Guest Blog: Nannying for a child with additional needs – by Anna Wood

I left my career in special needs education in 2014 and decided to move into nannying full time. I had always temp nannied and weekend nannied alongside my main career but had decided to make the move and become a full time nanny.

I knew I wanted to continue to use my skills and experience, and for me that meant finding a post with a family who had a child with additional needs.

I initially temped and looked at what age group suited me, my skills and what I enjoyed the most.
In January 2015 I felt ready to commit to a permanent full time post and found my perfect fit.

I now nanny for two children, a toddler and a school age child. Who at the time of starting the position were a baby and a reception age child.

Whilst my position is very similar to many other nannies, I have the usual nursery duties, after school activities, school runs, nursery runs, school holiday fun etc, there are also a few things in my job description that are different.

I am responsible for ensuring the medication stock is maintained, I order and collect medications for my youngest charge. I also attend the majority or medical and therapy appointments and feedback information to parents immediately afterwards. On occasions that extra tests such as blood tests are needed, I ring my charges parents to obtain permission before proceeding.

Making resources to carry on speech therapy targets at home is another of my responsibilities, one I really enjoy.

Due to my charges health needs in the early days of my time with them, my workplace was often the local hospital where I would arrive at my usual time and stay with my charge during my working day ensuring parents could rest before doing the night shift. I built great relationships with the play team at our local hospital who are all fantastic and so helpful to families and children during their stay in hospital.

My role with this family is an honour and a joy. Seeing the progress made by my charge over the last 22 months has been incredible, I’ve helped to teach my charge to sign, speak, walk etc, something all nannies do, but because it takes that bit more effort and practice for a child with additional needs it feels even more brilliant!
Working with a child with additional needs is in many ways no different to working with one with typical development, all children require patience and guidance. The joy and pride myself and my charges parents felt when my charge walked, a year after they took their first steps was amazing.

When people ask questions about my charges development, saying will they do this, or that? I reply of course, like every child my charge will meet all their milestones, we’re just taking the scenic route to get there, and in todays fast paced society, the scenic route is actually often nicer with a better view along the way.