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Blue Mountains, Penrith: Job opportunities for nannies

By Ellen Hill for Faeriestorm Nanny Service        Photo: David Hill

An influx of families making the tree change to the Blue Mountains and Penrith areas has resulted in a spike in demand for professional nannies to care for children which in turn, has led to job opportunities in the sector.

Faeriestorm Nanny Service owner Brenda Edwards said: “We are seeing a lot of families moving to the area from Sydney for the lifestyle and more affordable housing which they love, but then parents have to make the daily commute to city offices and are away from home for long hours or, increasingly, need child-free quiet to work from home offices.’’

More than just a babysitting business, Faeriestorm Nanny Service did everything a favourite aunty or grandma would do with clients’ children, from educational play, personal care, supervision and transporting to activities and appointments to light household chores and meal preparation.

The aim of the whole-family approach was to help parents create time to foster healthy, positive relationships with their children.

“It can be tough juggling work and family life, so it’s our job to help alleviate that stress a wee bit by tidying the kitchen and preparing a basic meal or school lunches,’’ Mrs Edwards (Miss Brenda to her charges) said.

“Other tasks like stripping and making beds, dusting, ironing, folding clean washing, baking, gardening or window cleaning can be negotiated between individual families and nannies.

“I like to say we bring calm to the faeriestorms for our families.’’

Apart from requiring her team to wear branded uniforms on duty and have current qualifications, police and working with children checks, banning the use of phones, computers and social media, Mrs Edwards said the ideal Faeriestorm nanny and manny was respectful, discrete, unflappable and, above all, loved children and the ideal of family.

“It helps if you’ve run a home for the little things – you won’t step over the toys, you’ll ask the children to help pick them up or you will pick them up yourself; you’ll wipe the kitchen counter over; you’ll fold the washing. You won’t have to be asked to do those things.’’

The service was tailored to each family’s short or long-term needs and nannies were matched to families, Mrs Edwards said.

The mother-of-six became a nanny in 2009 and for two years worked six days a week, rarely seeing her own family before employing other nannies.

Today, Faeriestorm Nanny Service operates in private homes throughout the Penrith, Blue Mountains and Sydney region, can cater for children with special needs and has experience with children under welfare care and in high profile families where security is an issue.

Faeriestorm nannies also care for tourist children in hotels during holidays and at conferences and events such as weddings, functions and parties.

Contact Brenda Edwards on 0417 448 318 or at nanny@bluemountainsnanny.com.au for more details.

* Faeriestorm Nanny Service is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media


Leura Garage lights up Christmas early with kids’ lantern-making workshops

By Ellen Hill for Leura Garage         Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

Begin the Christmas countdown early, get ahead of community festivities and unleash your kids’ creative side with lantern-making workshops at Leura Garage.

The award-winning funky eatery off the top of Leura Mall will hold three workshops in the lead-up to Leura Village Association’s December 15 Christmas festival.

With its polished concrete floors, wide benches, light-filled windows and interesting features, the former car garage will be the ideal workspace for children aged four to 12 to create their own lanterns.

Leura Garage owner and father-of-two James Howarth said: “My wife Anika has very fond memories of lantern parades from her childhood in Germany and our kids have also had lots of fun experiencing this wonderful festive community activity while visiting family over there.

“So we’re excited to be transforming our restaurant into a lantern-making workshop space – it’s going to be great fun for everyone.’’

“The lanterns will then be on display at 8pm on December 15 when the children will showcase their creations during the lantern parade in Leura.’’

Participating children will have the chance to win prizes from Leura Toy Store, Megalong Books and Teddy Sinclair.

The workshops would be an opportunity for parents to bond with their children, get into the Christmas spirit and gear up for the festivities, Mr Howarth said.

Lantern-making workshops will be held from 3pm to 5pm on November 28 and December 4 and 13. Cost: $10 per child (must be accompanied by an adult with maximum three children per adult) includes full lantern kit and drinks and nibbles. Proceeds will be donated to Leura Village Association and will contribute to its Christmas festival at 8pm on December 15.

Leura Garage, 84 Railway Pde, Leura, is open from 12pm til late seven days. Bookings (including for Christmas parties) and details: (02) 4784 3391, service@leuragarage.com.au or leuragarage.com.au/lantern.

* Leura Garage is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media


Faeriestorm Nanny Service makes family life easier

By Ellen Hill for Faeriestorm Nanny Service             Photos: David Hill

Race home from work. Pick the kids up from school. Feed them afternoon tea. Get the washing off the line. Supervise homework. Take one child to music lessons, another to soccer training and a third to a play date. Bath the baby. Prepare dinner.

What if a fairy godmother did all that for you and all you had to do was enjoy your children? In your dreams right?

Wrong.

Brenda Edwards and her team at Faeriestorm Nanny Service take the hard work out of your busy life so your family can spend more time focusing on, well, being a family.

Running a household, holding down a job and dedicating time to your kids is hard work,’’ Mrs Edwards (Miss Brenda’’ to her charges) says. “Sometimes it’s even impossible. But we can make it easier.’’

While the central focus of all Faeriestorm nannies is always the children in their care, “our second priority is to make your life a little less stressful’’.

Unlike a babysitter who only looks after the child, a nanny cares about the whole family.

Most nannies conduct light duties around the home such as laundry, meal preparation and tidying depending on their individual skills and the wishes and needs of the family.

The first role is to look after the children: their washing, their learning, their food, their play,’’ Mrs Edwards says.But it’s also about helping parents have uninterrupted bonding time with their children.

“One of my clients needs to have her two boys picked up from school, homework done and a little bit of dinner preparation so that when she comes home she can just enjoy quality time with her boys.

“I’m like an aunty or another grandma.’’

All Faeriestorm nannies have Certificate III in Childcare and first aid certificate qualifications, a working with children check and wear a uniform while working.

Most have children of their own and many have worked in childcare centres.

 

“It helps if you’ve run a home for the little things – you won’t step over the toys, you’ll ask the children to help pick them up or you will pick them up yourself; you’ll wipe the kitchen counter over; you’ll fold the washing. You won’t have to be asked to do those things.’’

While the service is tailored to each family’s short or long-term needs and nannies are matched to families, honesty, reliability and discretion are paramount in all cases, Mrs Edwards says.

The mother-of-six became a nanny in 2009 and, for two years, worked six days a week, rarely seeing her own family before employing other nannies.

Today, Faeriestorm Nanny Service operates in private homes throughout the Penrith, Blue Mountains and Sydney region with a team of nannies, and can cater for children with special needs.

Nannies are also available to care for individual children or groups when parents attend events such as weddings and parties and for travellers in hotels, especially while parents enjoy evening fine dining experiences or grown up activities such as adventure sports or ghost tours.

Contact Brenda Edwards on 0417 448 318 or at nanny@bluemountainsnanny.com.au for more information.

  • Faeriestorm Nanny Service is a commercial client of Deep Hill Media

Blue Mountains, Australia: Magical heritage adventure for kids at Everglades

Henry Laurie studies his Everglades activity book while Georgia Anicic and Nina Howarth with 5 yr old Jessica Nutt play at Everglades Historic House & Gardens.

Henry studies his Everglades activity book while Georgia and Nina with Jessica play at Everglades Historic House & Gardens.

By Ellen Hill for Everglades Historic House & Gardens                                Photos: David Hill

Children can learn about heritage conservation and the natural environment in one of the most enchanting historic properties in the Blue Mountains these school holidays – and they won’t even know it’s educational.

My Adventure at Everglades children’s program will begin at Everglades Historic House & Gardens at Leura during the long December/January summer holidays.

Funded with a $25,000 grant from the Ian Potter Foundation through the Alec Prentice Sewell Gift, the program aims to encourage children to care for their natural and historic heritage.

Nina Howarth explores the veggie patch

Nina explores the veggie patch

Everglades manager Scott Pollock said the My Adventure at Everglades program would introduce a new generation of history and nature lovers to the Everglades property and others like it.

“We know that about two thousand of the thirty thousand visitors who come through the Everglades gate every year are children. That is two thousand potential future guardians of our nation’s heritage, culture and natural environment.

“For the first time, we have a dedicated program for children at Everglades, one which will spark their curiosity and urge to investigate and explore and help create a magical memory for the rest of their lives of an afternoon spent with Mum and Dad or Gran and Pop at this fairytale property in the Blue Mountains.’’

Jessica Nutt is mesmerised by the sunlight dancing on the water

Jessica is mesmerised by the sunlight dancing on the water

Surrounded by the spectacular landscape of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, Everglades features many outdoor “rooms’’ where small people can explore grassy slopes, tall trees, tiny flowers, colourful shrubs, outdoor theatre and mystic sculptures, tucked away among the Banksia men with their wicked tales.

The Everglades property at Leura includes 12.5 acres of Paul Sorensen-designed European-style gardens and native Australian bush with breathtaking views over the Jamison Valley, as well as the art deco house created by Henri Van de Velde in the 1930s.

Designed in consultation with expert educators for three to six-year-olds, the My Everglades Adventure program provides learning tools such as the Garden Detective Program, Sculpture Trail, activity book and an array of things to see and do.

 

Georgia Anicic immersed in exploring

Georgia immersed in exploring

 

Children will set off on their adventure with a pack of tools including a work book, magnifying glasses, garden trail, Play with Parents Guide and instructions for physical activities throughout the property.

Half the activities are for children to do themselves while others are conducted with parents.

A great resource to help children become ready for school, activities will give the opportunity for matching, drawing, colouring, identifying component parts, labelling and drawing from their surrounds along with counting, exploring and contemplating.

 

Henry Laurie, Georgia Anicic and Jessica Nutt enjoy doing some colouring in

Henry, Georgia and Jessica enjoy doing some colouring in

 

The My Everglades Adventure program will start during the 2015 summer school holidays. Everglades Historic House & Gardens, 37 Everglades Ave, Leura, is open from 10am to 5pm daily during daylight savings and from 10am to 4pm during autumn and winter. Entry: $13 adults, $8 concessions, $4 children, National Trust members free.

The children’s activity books cost $10 and $5 per subsequent book. Bookings and information: (02) 4784 1938 or email evergladesgarden@bigpond.com.

Nina discovers a hidden picture

Nina discovers a hidden picture