Have you ever heard about Granny Au Pairs and Granny Nannies? Surely, this term might sound rather unfamiliar to you because the average age of the Au Pair definition is between 17 and 30 years and nannies are usually also rather under 50. Usually, “typical” Au Pair girls/boys tend to take a gap year after their graduation from school or maybe from uni before they start something new.
Since quite a while now more and more mainly women in older ages discovered the possibility of living abroad for a certain time period while helping families with their children. Quickly the name “Granny Au Pairs” or “Granny Nannies” were established and a lot of agencies started to focus on exactly this particular market “niche”.
So, what’s so special about having an elderly women as an Au Pair to take care of the children?
What exactly are Granny Nannies?
Granny Nannies and Granny Au Pairs are, as you might guess from the term, women at the age of fifty up to seventy-five who want to take care of somebody’s children, often in a foreign country. Very often, these people just retired, their own children are already grown-up and they live they live with only their partner or on their own. Sometimes, they are single because their partner unfortunately already passed away. Many Granny Nannies don’t have a lot of duties at home, maybe because they don’t have grand children to look after yet and so they long for exploring the world, without thinking about their age. And yes, who says they have to stay at home for the rest of their life?
Which advantages offer Granny Nannies?
The concept of a Granny Au Pair usually is closely related to the concept of “normal” Au Pairs. They usually live with the Host Family and take care of the children when the parents have to work. The do the school and nursery runs, take the children to activities, feed and play with them until the parents come home. So far this is what regular Au Pairs also do. The only major difference is the age of the Granny Nanny.
The age of a Granny Nanny can be something very positive for you and your children. The majority of these elderly women raised their own children, and hence, they are very experienced with children in all ages. They also went through phases, where children and parents don’t get along very well. If you face difficult phases with any of your children while the Granny Nanny is working for you, her experience can help a lot to improve the situation. Somebody else than a parent can play a neutral, mediating role in this family. And normally Granny Nannies tend to be very calm because of their age and experience.
Is there anything special to keep in mind before hiring a Granny Nanny?
If you consider looking for a Granny Nanny there are some things you have to keep in mind and to consider. Thinking about the age of Granny Nannies, do not forget that elderly people tend to be exhausted slightly easier than younger Au Pairs. So, make sure that the Granny Au Pair does get her breaks during the day if needed and does not have to work a long period of time without a break.
Granny Au Pairs do not necessarily ask for pocket money as it may feel a bit strange to live with a family like their “Granny” and then get paid a pocket money for helping with the children and a bit of household. You should discuss this with a prospective Granny Nanny in advance. Maybe she would be more happy about theatre tickets or the travel card for public transport. These things need to be clarified right from the start. Regarding the age of your Granny Au Pair, it might be an advantage to provide a room which is not on the top floor.
And you could consider to ask the Granny Au Pair to provide a medical check. In other countries than the UK it is quite normal that Au Pairs – no matter what age – undergo a health check. The climate changes, unknown food and completely different circumstances could cause some troubles for elderly nannies at the beginning, so a health check-up is always a good way to avoid bigger surprises.
Is it easy to communicate with foreign Granny Nannies?
Not all elder people know English that well, because they may have learned it at school 50 years back – if they have learned at all. However older people normally are confident enough to communicate in any kind of ways: Using hand and feet if neccessary.
If you speak a second language, you could try to look for a Granny Nanny who speaks this language as her native or second language to make sure that you have one language in common with the Granny Nanny. It is definitely a little bit more difficult for elderly people to learn a new language, so trying to minimise communicative problems would be good.
How to find a Granny Nanny?
As some prospective Granny Nannies do not use Facebook or other social media channels, you will have the best chances to find a Granny Nanny when contacting Granny Nanny agencies. You will have to pay a certain amount of money but usually, these agencies are well organised and you will have less headaches.
If you have young children, you should definitely try to find a energetic women who can run behind your children in the park without having trouble. Especially for very young, baby-aged children, a Granny Nanny could be a very good decision. So why not discuss this childcare option in your family and give it a try?