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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A Note to the Hardworking Nannies Out There

 
Hard Working Nannies

Dear nannies, 

What makes a great nanny is not something you find on a CV, but is found in the nanny's story, personality, and values. Many nannies we recruit have post-secondary education in childcare, a long history of experience in professional nannying and are parents themselves, but it's truly your patience, compassion, and ability to anticipate the family's needs that make a great nanny. Every person has a unique set of skills, experience, and outlook they can bring to a family and the great thing about nannying as a career is freedom to let your personality and nannying style shine through. 

Childcare workers are one of the most undervalued career options; It's no doubt a problem in our society. Let's all work together to debunk this conception with a positivity and being informative. Nannying can be an under-appreciated job, and it's probably because most people's general conception of nannying is a glorified babysitter, paid to hang out with kids all day, or thought of as house-cleaners. We know, of course, these people could not be more wrong (have they ever cared for a child all day long?-- it's full on work, physically and mentally draining!) 

Hard working nannies, kids

Never underestimate the significance of your role. As a nanny, you wear many hats in the household. Your role is to shape the next generation through patient guidance and role modelling in your everyday actions. Nannies are the cultivators of our future, chefs for some of the pickiest eaters, the chauffeurs for the kids' busy schedules, the nurses, the story-tellers, the teachers, the counsellors, the mediators, and the cheerleaders. 

When mom and dad are out of commission, it's your job to be the best version of their parents you can be. It's very rare that you're sitting around on the job because there is always something to do around the house to help the family's schedule run more smoothly. Mom and dad have entrusted you with the most important role, and that is being one of the pillars of support in their children's' lives. 

hard working nannies-kid sweater

Caring for children is one of the most rewarding careers. Children look up to you as their hero, their confidant, and run to you in need of comfort. Nannies become honourary family members. The intimacy of caring for children in the family's home is a huge privilege, and families will never forget your commitment and love for their children. 

Thank you to the brilliant, big-hearted, hard-working nannies that make mini Nanny Agency one of the best nanny recruitment agencies in Brisbane. The most rewarding aspect of a recruiter's day at team mini is receiving that phone call from a happy family letting us know that we've found their perfect nanny. 

We have some interviews of some of the mini's best nannies on our blog so have a read! Each nanny has their own unique journey to tell and it's been such a privilege to share these stories and have them represent Mini Nanny Agency to such lovely families. 

Cheers to you nannies! 

xx
Mini Nanny Agency
 

 
 

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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!!