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Nursery World Nanny of the Year 2020

Nannytax Interviews Nanny of the year 2020

Last week we co-sponsored the Nanny of the Year Award at the Nursery World Awards 2020. A little different this year under the current circumstances as each stage, including the live show, was rolled out virtually. The well-deserved winner of Nanny of the Year 2020 was current nanny to twin boys, Cristina Sajtos. Read our interview with Cristina who shares how she kick-started her career, what it is that appeals to her about nannying vs other childcare professions and how she’s finding 2021 as her role evolves as nanny meets home school teacher!

Congratulations! How does it feel to be Nursery World’s Nanny of the Year 2020?

To receive the title ‘Nanny of the Year 2020’ feels amazing. I am over the moon about being the winner, it’s a dream come true. I was well aware of the tough competition as there are many great nannies in the industry so I’m humbled and privileged that the judges chose me.

How did you find the interview process and the judging panel? A little different this year due to the current circumstances…

I was quite nervous but the judges made made me feel comfortable and they were all very kind and put me at ease. It was different this year as we had to do it via Zoom but everything was set up professionally and it was very easy to access it. The whole process went very smoothly.

What kick-started your nanny career? Have you worked in other childcare settings?

As a teenager I was looking after my younger brother so for me it all started back then. However since I was a little girl I always wanted to become a teacher, look after children and help shape their little minds. I knew that this is something that I always wanted to do.

After my move to the UK I gained the relevant education and qualifications required to work in a nursery and teach. I absolutely loved the challenges and found it a very rewarding experience.

What was it that appealed to you about nannying in comparison to other childcare professions?

The appealing thing about nannying is that it’s one to one interaction. That means I can spend more time focusing on the child/children observing their  needs and being able to build that secure relationship. Focusing on their needs as individuals means you can really get the best out of them.

In comparison, whilst I worked in the nursery I was constantly trying to catch up with paperwork and did not have enough time to deliver as I would of loved to and alter things to each child’s individual needs.

How have you found life as a Nanny under the current circumstances? The pandemic has been difficult to navigate for all but there have been some big challenges for the childcare industry.

It has been a very tough time but fortunately I have a great employer who is very understanding. We both take the necessary measures to make sure that the job gets done as smoothly and safely as possible. I try and do as many fun activities with the children so they don’t feel like they’re missing out on anything .

Have you had to take on the role of home school teacher? We have seen a lot of nannies who have been wearing several hats right now!

Home schooling has been a great experience for me to know and understand more about what they are learning. It now means that I can continue doing that with other fun activities after home-schooling and reinforce what they have learnt in a fun way. For me, it’s a pleasure doing home schooling.

What would your advice be to any Nannies out there who may be struggling right now?

It’s a tough time for everyone…the only advice I can offer is with a positive attitude we shall get through this. For anyone who is struggling, the support is available through nanny groups on Facebook and also lots of other professional agencies such as BAPN and Pacey or Early years alliance.

Who is Cristina Sajtos?

Cristina is nanny to twin boys. She has looked after them since they were three months old, when she was hired to provide care at the weekends.

However, on the weekend she joined, the boys’ grandmother had a stroke and their mother was busy dealing with family matters. Impressed by how Cristina took the situation in her stride, swooping in and taking care of the children ‘like Mary Poppins’ to allow the mother to sort things out, the family asked her to become the boys’ full-time weekday nanny instead.

A fabulous nanny with an endless variety of games, activities and ideas up her sleeve, Cristina pours her heart and soul into her job and never forgets that, although they are twins, the two boys she cares for are individuals. She caters for both their needs and tailors activities for each one to ensure they are both cared for and able to develop at their own pace and in their own way.

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