Meet Nanny Manda

 
Meet Nanny Manda - Mini Nanny Agency

This spunky nanny has an Instagram video of herself dancing to the noise of power tools.
It’s apparent upon meeting Manda that she’s the kind of person who finds music and movement in everything she does. 

We caught up with Nanny Manda and her pup, Meeku. Manda moved to Brisbane from Adelaide earlier this year, and we had the pleasure of matching her with a down-to-earth family with two minis. 

We talk about how she got into nannying, the importance of communication with parents, and what it’s like to be a children’s entertainer. 

How did you get into nannying?

I’ve always looked after children ever since I was old enough to do so. I helped bring up my younger brothers and taught dance—nannying seemed like the obvious thing for me.

How did you come across Mini Nanny Agency and Michelle?

I found Mini online. I was looking for a nanny agency because I’ve worked with one before—it was nothing like Mini! 

Mini’s website is inviting, and I could see Michelle’s values come from the photos and blog posts. 

Why do you love working with kids?


I’m a kid at heart. I also want to help bring kids up learning the right things so that the world has more decent human beings.

Can you describe a favourite nanny moment? 

Only one? I loved being there for the kids’ “firsts.” I’ve been around to watch kids take their first steps and when they’ve said their first words. It’s so exciting! 

What are some challenges you've experience nannying?

Being at the same level as the parents when it comes to discipline can be a challenge. I’ll always work with the parents when it comes to discipline, but sometimes the communication can get lost. It’s important to maintain your boundaries.

I don’t want to come across as too bossy or harsh with the kids, but I also to be taken seriously. 

Ask lots of questions and set boundaries up from the start with what you’re comfortable with. 

Generally, I only want to work with families with the same values. I think Michelle did a great job finding the right family for me in that sense.

What’s something a parent has done to make you feel really appreciated? 

The little gestures like being invited to birthday parties mean so much and the thoughtful gifts for Christmas and birthdays. It shows they have really been listening and makes me feel like part of the family. 

What you do outside of nannying? Your Instagram says you’re a choreographer, dancer, children-entertainer?

I love to hike Mount Coot Tha with my husband and Meeku in my spare time. 

I haven’t done much children-entertainment lately, but I did clowning and suit-work for ABC kids. My claim to fame was Lulu from Bananas In Pyjamas for meet & greets in the city.

Unfortunately, a lot of these shows are now computer generated, so this costume work is not as popular anymore because the character won’t look like the show in person.

I also love to perform dance if I had the time to. Right now, my main focus is committing my time to the family I’m currently working with. 

I will sometimes take on relief work for dance instructors if an instructor is sick or away and they need someone to fill in. 

What’s your favourite activity to do with kids?

We do lots of playgroups. South Bank does “Little Days Out” on Thursday mornings. It’s different every week. They’ll have tents and set up play stuff and activities. The kids love it, and it’s a nice way to spend the day. 

What advice would you give someone who is looking to become a nanny?

Communication is so important with the parents, to communicate as much as you can. 

For kids, treat them like equals. Don’t be patronising or talk down to them. They like to think they’re “little adults” and they appreciate it when you listen to them. 

Anything upcoming you want people to know about?

I’d like to do performances, but I don’t have anything coming up. I’m still discovering what I can do in Brisbane. 

I’m doing a clothing endorsement with a clothing company out of the UK, so I’ll be looking to do photo shoots and videos for social media. 

Manda and Meeku

Manda and Meeku


If you want to keep up with Manda and Meeku's adventures you can follow her Instagram @_clockworkmanda_
 



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Meet Nanny Sam

 
Meet Nanny Sam

Meet Nanny Sam

How did you fall into nannying? 

I’ve had 6 children. They’re 24-35 years old now, so I guess you can say I’ve had a lot to do with kids; Caring for children comes naturally for me. 

When we moved to Sydney for my husband’s work, I applied for a nanny/housekeeper position and worked with the family for 8 years! I became part of the family, and it’s a real privilege to experience that and be there for the good and the bad. 

I started working with a family with twins in Brisbane 18 months ago and really enjoyed coming back and being a nanny for a family that reached out to Mini Nanny Agency online. I’m working with beautiful families here. 

 

How do you feel inspired to be the best nanny? What keeps you inspired? 

Every child and every family is different, so no two days are the same. I love the fun days I get with kids and the challenges that keep me on my toes. 

For me, it’s knowing that I get to support parents and be there for the kids and have fun with them and watch them grow up that makes nannying really rewarding and the job so inspiring. 

What’s been your favourite moment as a nanny?

I love moments when we can let our imaginations run wild! 

I love moments when we can let our imaginations run wild! 

I love the moments when the kids are just showing so much love. Just recently, I had a bit of a cold and I received a voice message from the boys that said, “Hi Sam. I hope you’re okay. We love you!” It just shows that they are thinking about me and it’s really nice. 

 

Your greatest challenge as a nanny? 

I think you have to put your own ideas aside on disciplining most of the time and support the parents with the way they discipline the children so that we are on the same page, and that can be very challenging. 

Saying "no" and working through temper tantrums are not pleasant, but you have to hang in there because the child will be okay.

 

What’s the best thing a parent has done to make you feel appreciated? 

This is with the family that Michelle had placed me with earlier this year--they are just gorgeous! In the second week, the family bought me a massive bouquet of flowers. The mum said, “thank you for being part of the family and for everything you do.”

I had only been with them for a short time, but it was such a beautiful gesture. It was really special. 

 

When you’re not on nanny duties, what makes you happy?

Sam and her beautiful grandson

Sam and her beautiful grandson

Spending time with my kids. I love spending time with my family and reading. I also volunteer and do a lot of work with my parish. I enjoy decorating the church for holidays like Easter and Christmas. 

 

Favourite activities with kids? 

Dress up as superheroes and listen to stories at the library with the minis!

Dress up as superheroes and listen to stories at the library with the minis!

We love going to the parks and libraries. 

Making parachutes out of tissues and Lego men is always a hit with the kids! Every household with a kid will have a Lego man--they make really good parachute guys.

Lego parachute men are always a hit in the household! 

Lego parachute men are always a hit in the household! 

You take the tissue or napkin and tie string to the four corners and attach it to the little Lego man and we go to the top and the stairs and send them down. The kids love this. 

I also love playing the made-up games with the kids. Their imaginations are amazing and it’s all about going with the flow.

 

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? 

Just be honest and be yourself. You can’t go wrong with that, especially working with families.

 

What is your advice for aspiring nannies? 

If you enjoy working with kids, just go for it. It’s such a rewarding thing to do to support families and watch children grow. 




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Meet Nanny Kate: Nannying is the best job for her work-life balance

 

Kate Waud is a nurturing soul and mother of three kids: 12, 14, and 16. As her kids are getting older and gaining more independence, Kate reached out to mini Nanny Agency for part-time work that allowed for a work-family life balance and provided an outlet for expressing her creativity.

How did you fall into nannying?

My life is very family-oriented so, nannying is the perfect part-time job for my lifestyle. I homeschool my kids, and I love the flexibility this job offers.

I  appreciate the time Michelle took to figure out who I am. I think she does a great job matching nannies to families because the connection is such an important aspect of the job.

How do you feel inspired to be the best nanny or caregiver?

I love kids. It’s the little moments of connection I have with the kids that inspire me and remind me why I do what I do. The other day, the kids and I were playing school. I was the student and the kids were the teachers. It was so much fun to play pretend with them and watch their imaginations take over.

Having older kids, I understand the importance of play at a young age. When you’re parenting and are in the midst of it all, you don’t think the craziness ever stops, but when it did, I really missed it.

Kate  with her sleeping nephew and son. 

Kate  with her sleeping nephew and son. 

What has been your favourite moment as a nanny?

I’ve only been working with the family for a couple of months, which is not a long time in a kid’s life, but when you have moments of pure love you know you’re doing something right. I love the moments filled with cuddles and kisses.

What has been your greatest challenge as a nanny?

You have to learn the routines and personalities of the family members fast. When you come into someone's life, you need to figure these things out to make that transition as smooth as possible.

I also needed to remind myself that my experiences with my kids are not the same with the kids I'm caring for now, and it's always a learning experience.

What’s the best thing a parent has done to make you feel appreciated?

This is my first nannying job. The first week I worked with this family, the parents bought me a bottle of wine as a "cheers, you made it through the first week!" It was very thoughtful. 

When the parents notice my efforts around the house and the play time with the kids, it makes my job feel very fulfilling. 

When you’re not on nanny duties, what makes you happy?

I’m all about family and spending quality time with hubby. We love being outside and staying fit. We rock climb and I’m currently learning how to surf!

Kate and her beautiful family at the beach

Kate and her beautiful family at the beach

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

If you don’t appreciate the little moments, you’re not going to like what you do. I don’t love sweeping someone’s floor, but I love knowing that I’m making someone’s life easier; and that's incredibly rewarding.

You have to love what you do, so you can easily put the boring chores into the context of the big picture.

Finally, What’s your hot 101 nanny tip/ advice to other aspiring nannies?

If you’re not willing to get on the floor and be a tiger, you’re going to have a hard time! I’m joking, but I think it’s all about making the effort to find points of connections with the family, especially the kids.

I first met the family right before Christmas, and I gifted the kids strawberry plants. I love gardening, and it’s something I wanted to share with them, and they love it! Gardening was our first point of connection and they still have the plants today. 

 

Meet Nanny Gemma

 
Nanny Gemma A.k.a Jimjams

It's with great pleasure that the mini team introduce nanny Gemma a.k.a  Jimjams. She’s a full-time Mary Poppins to a beautiful family with 4 children plus a cat and a big dog. 

Gemma loves campervan camping and is a major foodie. She loves to dine out for inspiration to take back into her kitchen where she enjoys creating delicious and nutritious meals from scratch.

How did you get started with mini Nanny Agency? 

It was fate meeting Michelle at a yoga and wellness centre in New Farm. Nannying sort of just made sense for me. Michelle and I connected straight away and had an amazing discussion about our passions. 

I had 10 years of experience running salons and a photography studio which came out of a love of being around people and helping them feel beautiful in their own skin. 

I have always enjoyed working with kids and making them laugh, entertaining them, and having fun. Meeting Michelle and nannying felt like it was all meant to be for me.

What is the day in the life of Nanny Jimjams?

I get up with the sun and am with the family for 6 am. School drop-offs and household duties are part of my morning routine. I make all meals from scratch, keep the house immaculate, and act as a personal assistant to the parents. 

Breakfast has to be nourishing and slow-carb releasing as the kids have such big days! The breakfast winner at the moment is the “avocado smush.” It’s avo and feta on whole grain toast. 

Avo Toast Nanny Diaries

I braid the girls’ hair, tidy the kitchen and check to see that the kids' bed made. At 7:10 it’s a swift exit to the schools and pre-school sports activities! It’s a busy morning, but things start to slow down without the kids around so I do the cleaning, washing, errands and walk the dog. 

What has been your favourite moment as a nanny? 

I can’t get enough one on one time with each child. I love getting hugs and reading books together. The best moments are filled with affection and literally laughing till our bellies ache! 

What has been your greatest challenge as a nanny?

For me, the most challenging thing about being a nanny is creating boundaries and knowing when to step back and when to jump in with both feet.

There’s a lot of learning to do about yourself in the nannying career just as there is to learn about kids and families which makes this role so much more rewarding.

What’s the best thing a parent has done to make you feel appreciated? 

I got a phone call the other night from the kids screaming “love ya! Thank you for everything you do for us!” That was pretty cute! A quiet thank you is always much appreciated

What’s the soundtrack to your life at the moment?

The kids and I love blasting the car stereo to Bruno Mars! 

When you’re not on nanny duties, what inspires nanny Gemma?

My partner and I just bought a camper van, so it’s the gypsy life for me! We love Byron Bay and spend our weekends outside soaking in the ocean spray, paddle-boarding, and winding down the day eating the best slow cooked brisket! 

Beautiful Byron Bay light house 

Beautiful Byron Bay light house 

I train at gym 4 days a week and love yoga and catch ups with friends over food, of course! I’m always keeping an eye out for new restaurants to try. 

Best advice for new nannies? 

A nanny has to understand different personalities in a family and finding the best way to meet everyone's needs to offer the best support. 

I know with teenage boys it’s more of a stern approach. You need to treat them like men and give them that bit of autonomy that they crave. I am there to support them into becoming more independent. With the girls, it’s always more of a trade and compromising. Homework first and baking after. 

With the parents, you need to be able to anticipate their needs to the best of your ability. Be the best support possible and go beyond to exceed their expectations. 

What do you wish parents and outsiders looking in would understand about being a nanny and the nanny field in general? 

The stereotype of the nanny life is that we just play with kids all day, but in reality, nannying requires a lot of emotional support to the parents, diplomacy, and patience

There are days that are tough and mentally draining, but there more days that you feel like you made a difference than not. It's a lot of hard work, but it is definitely rewarding.

Since you're such a foodie, what are your favourite Brisbane restaurants and what should I order? 

Depending on what you enjoy, Katrina, my fav restaurant in Brisbane is Survey Co in the city. Survey co is all about the fresh locally sourced produce and excellent service- the owner takes your order! It’s a little expensive, but it’s the best I have been too! 

On a weekend, I love Miami Marketta.  Marketta is like Eat Street markets but better! It’s full of cocktail bars and has a dance floor. Last weekend, I had the best damn chicken burger of my life!! 

You can’t go wrong with Rouge in Newstead for brekkie dates and cute date nights. The pancakes are legendary!! 

 

Katrina's Nanny Story

By: Katrina Lubiano

 

What's Brought you To This Point?

I had moved to Brisbane from Canada after graduating university almost 4 months ago now.

My first job upon arriving here on my working holiday visa was at a telesales center. It was a 9-5 full-time gig in a stuffy office with pushy sales techniques. I was earning money doing work that I didn't believe in.

Brisbane is a stunning city with so much culture to take in, it was a shame I was in an office all day. I lasted a week at that gig. I stumbled upon mini nanny agency through their an advertisement looking for a temp nanny position for a beautiful family that I am so thankful to have in my life today.

 

What Drew you To Nannying?

One of the reasons I was drawn to childcare is because I love hanging out with kids. Children provide a fresh perspective and help simplify what we grown-ups are so great at over-complicating. I think nannying can be a creative and flexible outlet as a job, especially if you’re on a temporary visa, like myself. You can apply so many different skills working with children, whether your talents are in cooking, art, teaching, or organisation. It’s rewarding to know that at the end of the day, you’re in a career helping families.

 

How Did you Find Mini Nanny Agency?

Reaching out through a recruitment agency, through mini Nanny Agency, is an excellent way to start off your nannying career and meet people in a new city. To be honest, mini nanny agency was not the first place I came across when I decided on this nanny-adventure. I applied at a few other agencies and met with their recruitment agents, but it was Michelle’s warm personality and punctuality that won me over.

Michelle is passionate about what she does and really cares about the families and the nannies she works with. The interview didn’t feel like an interview at all; she was genuinely interested in getting a feel for my personality and story to ensure I was the best match for her client.

 

What Advice Would You Have For People Looking To Become A Nanny In A New City?

It’s really about creating a network when moving to a new country. To meet people who are like-minded makes all the difference in helping a new city feel more like home, and I found that my values with Michelle and mini Nanny Agency aligned.

 

What Was your First Nanny Job?

My first nannying gig was a temporary position with the Majer family themselves. Their nanny had gone on vacation, so I had the opportunity to work with the charming and very active 8-year-old, Henry and his lovely mom, Suzie. I can’t say enough amazing things about this family. I am one of those people who believes that people come into your life for a reason, and since I’ve moved to Brisbane, without my family, I’ve felt such a strong connection to the Majers and all they’ve done for my partner and me

Suzie and Henry kindly invited justin and I to join them to cheer the broncos on. 

Suzie and Henry kindly invited justin and I to join them to cheer the broncos on. 

I was overall impressed with Michelle’s approach with recruitment in that she takes the time to get to know the families’ and the nannies’ needs. I’m so pleased to be working for a company that I truly believe in. Since working for the Majers, I’ve started nannying for another great family and have been writing for the mini-blog and I can honestly say, that I love what I do. If you want to immerse yourself in the Australian experience as a traveler, I can’t think of a better and more rewarding career than nannying. 

A photo posted by mini majer (@minimajer) on

 

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