THE NANNY SPOTLIGHT
Welcome to another issue of The Nanny Spotlight – an exclusive and behind the scenes look into the lives of some of the international nanny industry’s most notable rockstar nannies! It’s always a pleasure to chat with these seriously inspiring career professionals. Today I’m excited to introduce you to Lani Hopcroft.
Lani and I recently met through a mutual contact (my good friend Anna over at The Corporate Kid), and I must thank her. I’ve long been saying that this nanny industry needs support, connection, friendship and community and well, Lani and I are on the same page. I managed to speak to Lani whilst she was over in London recently. She’d just started with a new family and lucky her, this new job involves loads of travel. This nanny life sure has it’s perks!
Career nanny Lani is based in Sydney, Australia when she’s not travelling for work. Photo – Source.
Tell us a little about your background, what led you to becoming a nanny?
I started nannying when I was 17. I was finishing school and my children services course, and I decided that my love for babysitting could be extended. I realised that I could be more than just “the casual babysitter.” Two days after I finished my HSC (Year 12 formal qualifications), I started my first nannying job. I was thrown in the deep end and I quickly found myself managing the home and four amazing boys all under five.
“After over 7 years in this industry, I continue to fall in love with that I do every time I think about how amazing it is. That I get the opportunity to call this job my profession!”
Do you specialise in a particular age of children or type of nanny role?
My experience varies. I have worked with almost all ages and stages in life and don’t think I could say I have a favourite. All have their pros and cons. I have cared for so many different children with individual needs, both physical and intellectual disabilities and I feel that it is what fuels me in what I do. No one day is the same as the last. I’m currently looking after a newborn – I absolutely adore him.
Can you tell us about your approach towards the role of caring for kids?
I’m able to draw upon my own family values, and mix these more “old school perspectives” with a modern-day approach towards raising children. I firmly believe that getting dirty and having fun is important for kids, but ensuring that a good education is in place is equally so. I also believe that manners are taught to children and it is up to the parents, families, and carers to impress these onto the kids. I am a firm yet fun and young nanny. Once our jobs are done, I love to get the kids out and into the sunshine or the puddles in our wellies.
Have you faced any major challenges in your nanny career so far?
Whilst I have maintained a great relationship with almost all of my families, I have had to resign from positions because I felt that I just wasn’t the right fit for them. It is important to know that it is ok to do this as a nanny. Otherwise our quality of care will suffer and we become unhappy in our placement.
You recently just started with a new family. Why the change?
Today marks one week in my new position and I have never felt more comfortable in a job. The family is amazing, they operate as a team. They work together as well as with me to make sure that everything is done and that the child has the best opportunity to grow and develop. I’m looking after a 4 month old boy who is divine!
So you’re in London right now as part of your work. How’s that?
Yes – I am in London right now and loving it! London is an amazing place for both big kids and little kids. Hyde Park is full of amazing creatures and humans. From the Queen’s horses and all the Queen’s men (haven’t spotted Humpty yet), to squirrels and Pippa Middleton running on the track, it has been a beautiful place to picnic in the autumn sun on the grass.
What’s it like to be with The Corporate Kid – an Australian based nanny agency?
The Corporate Kid contacted me on behalf of the family I now work for and did all the inventory work. What was a very quick process was also a very rewarding one. Anna was there for me every step of the way to make sure I was feeling good about the career move. Being part of the T.C.K team is a good feeling, you know you have support to ask any question and have it answered it with respect.
In terms of career progression, do you stay in contact with your previous nanny families?
I have a fantastic and ongoing list of families that I have babysat and nannied for. I always take the time to do causal babysitting for them as it’s an amazing feeling to see how much my previous charges have continued to grow and learn! I try to take the kids out to the movies here and there, so I don’t just up and walk out of their lives. I think moving on from one job to another and leaving the kids is the hardest part of being a nanny.
Lani has a modern approach to raising children with “old school” values. Photo – Lani Hopcroft.
What’s your take on the current nanny industry in Australia + the community?
I feel that in the last year there has been a boom in the “community feel” within the nanny industry, particularly in Australia. I have met many nannies and we all seem to go through the same things, and it is really helpful and comforting to know that there are others just like me. It’s comforting to know that if I have a question, some one will answer it.
Although there are so many groups and places we as nannies can go, it is a lonely job at times. There can be hours where you do nothing but sing and talk “baby talk,” but I am so lucky that all of my families are amazing and we get along really well. We can chat here and there and communicate during the day with the funny antics of the kids and enjoy a professional, and amicable relationship.
I wholeheartedly think there is a difference between being a nanny in Australia, and a nanny in other countries. I’ve seen documentaries from all around the world, and I think we have it very good in Australia. Some other places treat their nannies with respect, but not the same kind of respect we benefit from here. We become part of the family.
What’s your favourite thing to do with the kids whilst out and about?
I love getting the kids in my care down to the beach. I think it is so important to make them aware of the water – to be water safe and to learn and understand our limits when it comes to water play. I am a strong swimmer, and yet I have a vivid memory of being pulled from the bottom of a pool when I was a young child. The sooner the kids become safe and confident around water the better!
Where do you shop for tools of the trade?
I tend to stroll shops and draw inspiration from what I find. Think Spotlight, RiotArt & Craft and cheap dollar stores. I also use Pinterest. I love DIY projects that I can do with the kids. I recently made soy candles with a little girl I was caring for – perfect Christmas gifts!
Favourite travel destination?
Even though being a nanny can be quite isolating, I really just love being on a deck chair in the middle of a quiet beach. Ice cold grapes and a good books top it off. Wherever that’s on offer, I’m there!
Best thing about what you do?
The simple fact that I love what I do! Every day is different and poses new challenges and it means that I don’t actually get bored. I love that I get to watch little humans grow. It’s something that a parent only really experiences once, but as a nanny you get to experience this process with each new family.
Best piece of advice for new nannies starting out in this industry?
The dream opportunity is waiting for you. Don’t be scared, we all start somewhere!
Connect with Lani Hopcroft on Instagram + Pinterest.
>>> Have you ever travelled with your nanny family?
If you’d like to participate in The Nanny Spotlight, please email me. If you’re a rockstar in your field, be it a nanny or sitter, childcare worker, primary teacher, nanny industry expert, nanny agency or children’s author – I’m looking to hear from you!