Hello from Natalie!

Hello all,

I have been running Natalie’s Nannies and blogging for a few months now, I was recently coming up with ideas for a new blog post for the new year and I thought it would be a nice idea for me to blog about my own personal experiences in the world of childcare in the hopes that our parents, nannies and nursery’s can get to know me, the “Natalie” part of Natalie’s Nannies, just that little bit better!

My career in childcare started back in 2004 when I was at college studying my A-levels where I would spent as much of my time as I could skipping class and hanging out down at the shops with my friends. I then decided that it was time I did something that I really wanted to do, so I decided to do my CACHE Diploma in childcare and Education. The best decision I had ever made, and this is where my career working with children began. I had some fantastic nursery placements which gave me the experience I needed to move forward in my career and working with children.

I then went on to working in a number of private day nurseries, working my way up from being a nursery nurse, room leader, deputy manager to eventually managing a big nursery, with 16 early years practitioners and 120 children on roll.

My passion for working with children and the interest I had in child development didn’t stop there. In between this time, I completed my degree, a BA Honours in Early Years. This is by far one of my biggest achievements.

I then decided to go and work in an International school in Thailand. Here I managed a nursery of children aged 0-4 years, I also taught a class of children aged 5-6 year olds. The children I taught were all from different nationalities, and spoke different languages from English to Thai, French, Polish, German and Russian. It was a challenge, but I loved being able to help these children learn. Using all the experience I had and the skills I had picked up over time I were able to help these children learn English and become more confident in making friends and talking to peers. Whilst I was there I also developed a curriculum for the nursery to follow, I then introduced continuous provision so that the children could follow their interests and enjoy learning without being made to sit at a desk colouring work sheets. This also helped the nursery teachers, they felt more confident in the activities they were providing for the children.

When I came home from Thailand I took the managers position at a local nursery. With a lot of hard work, sweat and tears, I managed to help get the nursery from a ‘satisfactory’ to a ‘good’, and excellent OFSTED report to go with it.

Being a nursery manager is very rewarding. Being able to see a child’s transition from first arriving at nursery very young to leaving to go school. Getting to know the families along the way, being part of their child’s growth and development. Sometimes being that shoulder to cry on for that mum who’s having a hard time, but knowing that you can give them the peace of mind that they are leaving their chid with someone who is trustworthy, and someone genuinely loves and cares for their child.

I have many friends and family with children who struggle when it comes to childcare. They struggle to find the right solution that works for their family. There is the dilemma of cost, flexibility and most of all having to put their trust in a stranger. This is where my idea originated from for Natalie’s Nannies. Giving that I have 13 years’ experience in childcare and early years, the knowledge of what a good early year’s practitioner should have and knowing the thorough recruitment process anyone working with children go through. I thought who better than myself to be the person to find suitable and safe early years practitioners or nannies to work with families. Finding suitable and safe childcare can be overwhelming for any family but knowing that someone who has inside and outside knowledge of early years to help with the process must alleviate some stresses.

Natalie’s Nannies is a bespoke childcare company, aimed at providing tailor made childcare for families and early years settings. If you think we can help in any way, even just for some friendly advice, please do drop us a message.

Natalie x

Owner at Natalie’s Nannies

The Best Santa’s Grottos in and around Sheffield 2017

There are so many fantastic festive events this year for families to get involved in! This list has the best Santa’s Grottos in and around Sheffield 2017 so you and your little one’s can find the perfect place to meet the man himself. Don’t forget your cameras! Ho, Ho, HO

1). Santa at Wentworth Garden Centre

Santa is arriving at Wentworth Garden Centre on Saturday 18th November at 10.45AM on a horse drawn carriage from Holy Trinity Church.  He’ll be in his workshop each weekend until Sunday 24th December with late night opening times available.

2). Santa at Those Cherished Moments, Hillsborough

From December 2nd, those cherished moments shop in Hillsborough will be transformed into a magical Santa’s grotto with magical lights, decorations and Father Christmas. It’s open every weekend running up to Christmas 11am-4pm, and it’s only £5.00 to see Santa (includes a gift). There will be gifts on sale, lunch, non-alcoholic mulled wine, fresh popcorn, tuck shop and more

3). Cannon Hall Farm, Barnsley Santa special

Selected days throughout December this Santa special includes breakfast or lunch with Santa on timed slots, trailer rides, singalong with elves, reindeer, personalised passports from the North Pole and much more. Prices start from £16.95 pp and include the breakfast or lunch, farm entry and Santa Special experience..

4). Tropical Butterfly House Wildlife and Falconry Centre, Sheffield

Santa, Elves & Sleigh bells at Tropical Butterfly House with Santa’s grotto on selected dates in December: 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 20-24th, 10am – 4:30pm, normal admission and admission includes santas grotto.

Families can enjoy a Christmas tractor ride, farm barn nativity scene, animal encounters, elf workshop and more. All activities and play areas included in admission as well as santa’s grotto visit.

5.) Sheffield Christmas Markets, Fargate

Open daily from November 15th Until Christmas Eve, the Santa’s grotto at Sheffield Christmas Markets is in the city centre at the top of Fargate. Opening times are:  10am-6:00pm Sunday-Wednesday, 10am-8pm Thursday-Saturday. Prices last year were £4.50 a child and with photo at £7.50 including a gift.

6). Crystal Peaks Christmas Grotto

This year’s theme is gingerbread man and there is a gingerbread craft room to keep kids busy. Children can meet santa, receive a gift, make an elf hat and this year, a brand new skate rink is at Crystal Peaks. Prices for santa start at £5.50 child including a gift and skating rink priced separately.

7). Santa Underground at National Coal Mining Museum For England

On selected dates from 25th November-23rd December. Santa’s grotto is underground down at the National Coal Mining Museum which promises to be a very unique and festive experience! The grotto is 140m underground with mini miners and their friends. There are time slots throughout the day which are on the hour and on the half hour. Children under 5 are free and welcome to go underground, too. Visits to Santa include a gift

8). Weston Park Museum Santa’s Grotto, Sheffield, throughout December

On Saturdays throughout December Santa will be at Weston park museum in the igloo at arctic world gallery, waiting for children to meet him. The museum is free and timed tickets to see Santa have to be bought from the reception at £6 a child which includes a gift.

9). Christmas At Eureka!

Santa’s grotto at Eureka! The National Children’s Museum is the best-rated grotto by Netmums. The museum in Halifax has the Santa’s grotto on daily from 30th November to 20th December and is included in admission prices. If you have already visited the museum this year and have an annual pass; this means a visit to the grotto is free! Children can meet the friendliest elves in town, see santa himself and receive a gift (for an extra £2)

Have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year with your family however you decided to spend it from all of us at Natalie’s Nannies.

Natalie X

Our Ten Tips For Keeping Your Children Safe on Bonfire Night.

Bonfire Night is one of the most entertaining nights of the year for children (unless they don’t like loud noises, then its best to avoid it and shelter indoors!) There are plenty of public events on and around November 5th and throwing your own Bonfire Night party is always a great idea. But in order to have a good time, you need to keep safe. If you are thinking of attending a firework event or throwing your own party for Bonfire night, here are some safety tips from Natalie to make sure your family make the most out of Bonfire Night in the most safe way!

1). Don’t build the bonfire too high

Always ensure your fire is built in an open space and not too close to houses, hedges, fences or sheds. Where possible, try to attend an organised display and keep a safe distance to ensure your safety.

2). Never light a bonfire with petrol

Or any flammable liquid, instead use domestic fire lighters and never throw aerosol cans or tyres onto a fire.

3). Keep a bucket of water nearby

Ensure you have a hosepipe or bucket of water on hand in case of an emergency. Used fireworks and sparklers should always be placed into the bucket after use for safety.

4). Only buy fireworks marked with the BS7114 kitemark

You should also never place fireworks in your pocket. Be sure to store them in a cool, dry box and away from young children.

5.) Always follow the instructions

And remember to use a torch and not the light of a flame to read the instructions on each firework. Be sure to use a taper to light the firework at arm’s length and stand well back from them. Always supervise young children around fireworks.

6). Never go near a firework that has been lit

Even if the firework hasn’t gone off, it can still explode. Also, never throw discarded fireworks onto bonfires as they may still have gunpowder left in them.

7). Never give sparklers to a child under five

Only light one sparkler at a time and teach young children to hold them at arm’s length.

8). When a sparkler goes out, do not touch it

It could still burn you, so be sure to put the hot end down into a bucket of water.

9). Ensure children are not wearing loose clothing

As they may catch fire and always ensure children wear gloves.

10). Keep pets indoors

The loud noises of fireworks will scare many pets. Always check before lighting a bonfire that your pets are inside and safe.

Next big event of the year now is……..Christmas. Follow us for loads of great Christmas blogs, Parenting tips, Activities for your Kids and Loads More!

Natalie X

Our Top 5 Activities To keep Little Monsters Entertained for Halloween

Here at Natalie’s Nannies we LOVE Halloween because families can have so much fun together with — and without — spending an arm and a leg. From spooky movies, music, and games to fun crafts, snacks, and parties, October offers a month packed with family pleasures. We collected some of our favourites from the Web for inspiration to get kids and families learning, doing, and having fun together!

1. Apple Print Pumpkins

Simply cut an apple in half, using orange paint get the children to print the pumpkins and decorate!! Great for fine motor skills!

2. Toilet Roll Spiders

Simply cut in to the toilet rolls about an inch, some of the trips will need cutting off. Use black paint to stamp. Add googly eyes, glitter and whatever decoration you would like to your spooky spider.

3. Spooky Sensory Bags

Get some re-sealable freezer bags and fill with hair gel, cooked spaghetti, jelly, oil and any other squishy textured object and place in some spiders, eye balls, etc. Babies love this kind of thing! You can also stick them on your window!

4. Wriggly Worms

Cook the spaghetti, place a few drops of food dye in to the spaghetti and leave to try for a couple of hours. Place in to a tray, and to make it even more interesting add some spiders and other spooky creatures!

5. Cotton Bud Skeleton

Such a simple but effective idea!! All you need is some black card and some cotton buds to make you’re very own skeleton. Try out some different positions!

Check out our blog next week on “A Parent’s Guide to Bonfire Night for Kids”. Bookmark our blog so you can always stay up to date!

Natalie X