WHAT MADE YOU TAKE THE LEAP FROM WORKING AT VOICE TO BECOMING CO-OWNER OF BAPN?
I had a fantastic career at Voice – 32 years in total. I was involved in some amazing projects and campaigns and met truly professional, inspiring people whom I now call friends.
I turned 60 last year and it made me reflect. I met up with the founding member and director of BAPN, Dawn Kirenli, as I often did. We got chatting about what she’d like to do with BAPN, to build on their already extensive array of member benefits. She said, jokingly, ‘When are you going to come and work for BAPN?’ When I couldn’t come up with a good reason as to why not, my decision was made.
WHAT IS BAPN?
BAPN is not a trade union, it is non-political and involves itself solely with matters relating to nannies. Our members are not vying for attention with larger groups such as teachers, nursery and school support staff.
It is one of the founder members of the Regulation Matters Campaign. We have worked alongside each other on many campaign issues, which is why working for BAPN and gaining responsibility for BAPN’s future development feels like a natural progression for me.
WHAT DRIVES YOUR PASSION FOR THE NANNYING PROFESSION?
I’ve worked for over 30 years as a trade union representative looking after the interests of nannies, raising their profile, arguing for greater recognition. I’ve campaigned for the registration of nannies and regulation of nanny agencies and I’m the current chair of the Regulation Matters Campaign. I’ve been acutely aware of how unfairly treated nannies can be by overdemanding, unrealistic employers; how they can be let down by some nanny agencies. I’ve been frustrated by consecutive governments who completely overlook nannies. Nannies need to be heard, need someone in their corner – and I’ve always been willing to take on that mantle.
Raising the professional profile of nannies is always going to be challenging and that’s because it’s still the case that anyone can call themselves a nanny, they’re not required to be childcare trained, and can gain employment through online forums. However, I do believe the perception that anyone can do the job is changing. I’ve met prime ministers, ministers and MPs – all in pursuit of raising the profile of nannies and the incredible contribution they make, and I shall continue to lobby for greater recognition and professional status so that nannies are eventually regarded with the same professional respect as all other childcare practitioners.
What DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE AT BAPN?
BAPN’s priority over the coming months is to grow its membership and strengthen the level of advice, support and representation we offer, along with forging strong and supportive commercial partnerships with relevant, respected organisations, providing the highest level of professional services and support available, enabling BAPN nannies to gain the security of high-quality employment support and representation while also giving them, through their BAPN membership, access to significant and market-leading savings on essential training, services and products, making BAPN the leading nanny membership association UK-wide.