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Student Profiles

Sarah Irvine
Sarah Irvine graduated with the New Zealand Certificate in Nanny Education in 2010 from the New Zealand College of Early Childhood Education in Christchurch. Her time studying at the college helped her to realise that working with children was her passion. Sarah said, “Seeing the children's faces after they have achieved something big makes my day, and knowing I was a part of this just makes it that much more special”. She found there were many nanny opportunities available to her after graduating and says, “The skills and knowledge I learnt within the College and out on my Practicums opened up so many new doors for me to venture into - and led me to my current role nannying on an Australian Cattle Station”.

On qualifying with her NZCNE Sarah secured what she describes as “pretty much my dream job if not more”, as a nanny with a family who have three young children and run a cattle station in rural Queensland, Australia. She has been working with the family for over a year now and says “watching the children grow up and reach their individual milestones is such a reward!” In her role she has travelled on holidays and feels a valued part of the family. Sarah has decided to stay on for another year before beginning her next adventure.
Sarah credits much of her success to the “hand in hand” philosophy of the college, which helped her to get to the position she is in today.
(photo is of Sarah beside a large cotton bale in Queensland, Australia)

Alison BourneAlison Bourne
Alison Bourne studied at the Ashton Warner Nanny Academy in Auckland in 2007.
Alison said her children had grown up; she was bored by her picture framing job and felt she had ‘done everything’, so she decided to make a change and study for the New Zealand Certificate in Nanny Education (NEONZ) to become a professional nanny.

As a mature student she found that she really liked learning and 'stretching her brain'. She enjoyed being with other younger students too; “it was great to be called 'mumsy' - sometimes they even did what l said!”
Alison said the course was 'wonderful' and prepared her very well for her professional nanny career. "A very comprehensive course - it's great!"
After graduating she put her new skills into practice in the UK, and travelled in Europe, before working as a nanny and governess at a number of outback sheep stations in Australia.
Alison spent 8 months working for Frontier Services in the Queensland outback as a Remote Family Care Services carer, spending between 1 and 3 weeks with families who live far away from early childhood services for their children to access them.
She said her experience was ‘hugely varied and interesting’. She learned a lot and met many intrepid people.

Laura CollierLaura Collier
Laura qualified with the NZ Certificate in Nanny Education in 2009. Prior to applying for the programme, Laura was employed by a small shipping company in Christchurch. Despite enjoying the challenges of her work Laura had always believed she was meant for early childhood education; having had an interest in, a longing and a passion to work with children and experience the world through their eyes. She saw this as an opportunity to further herself personally and professionally.
Taking the step from full-time employment to full-time study was daunting, but the small campus and support offered in the comforting, professional environment at Rangi Ruru Early Childhood College appealed to Laura. The student experience at Rangi was unforgettable for Laura; and she appreciated the strong sense of belonging that the institution offered. Laura comments "I felt affirmed as an individual, able to express my ideas and move forward. The tutors were accepting, thorough and professional role models."
The one year course itself, although challenging provided Laura with opportunities for thinking and analysing and extending herself through practical situations. In particular, developing relationships, not only with her peers, but also children and families through practical placements enabled Laura to flourish in her studies.
On graduating Laura applied for nannying work through an agency, securing full time work for a family with two children, aged two and three years. Laura has discovered this to be a busy, active, yet flexible position, with many opportunities to balance household requirements and stimulating experiences with the children, including plenty of visits in the community. "Working for the family is more than a job; the family means a lot to me" comments Laura. "I enjoy every experience with the children." She continues to develop her professional knowledge and skills through documenting the children's development and learning, creating learning stories of memorable moments and photos, which are valued by all the family.
aura views her journey as one of gaining skills, knowledge and a deep appreciation for the important job she is doing. "I live the goals of Te Whariki, early childhood curriculum."

Hayley SmithHayley Smith
The enjoyment Hayley Smith gained while baby-sitting her siblings and as a paid casual carer when she was a school student, has developed into an exciting professional future for the 20 year old.
“I was considering other career options but as soon as I started UCOL’s New Zealand Certificate in Nanny Education programme, I knew it was for me,” she says.
During her studies at UCOL Hayley discovered a strong interest in observing and analysing children’s holistic growth and development, particularly motor and language development.
“I was able to watch children’s growth and development and apply class knowledge in a practical context. It was then I decided I wanted to be a teacher!”
As an integral part of the Certificate programme, Hayley accumulated 400 practicum hours by spending time in four different family settings.
Hayley says the practicum experience was invaluable and enabled her to gain confidence with children from 0 – 8 years.
Since completing her NZCNE at Palmerston North UCOL in 2009, Hayley has embarked on a Bachelor of Education (teaching) – Early Years (Birth to Eight) at the Massey University College of Education.
Hayley says the NZCNE programme content is a great support for her University study and has given her a positive start to her degree experience.
It also helped her to quickly settle into this year’s first Centre practicum environment where staff have recognised her high level of skills, knowledge and attitude in working with children, by inviting her to be an ‘on call casual’ staff member.
While Hayley is unsure whether she will pursue a career in early childhood or primary teaching, she is excited about her commitment to her current three years of study and already contemplating further study to complete a post graduate programme.

Fleur CullFleur Cull
Fleur Cull trained as a professional nanny at the Ashton Warner Nanny Academy in Auckland in 2006.
Fleur said when she first left school she was not sure about her career, so she had decided to work as xan untrained au pair in Germany, mainly to learn about the culture. She had not realised that despite being inexperienced with children and completely untrained she would be expected to work long hours and take charge of a newborn baby plus a two year-old and a nine year-old.
Despite her difficulties in Germany she found that she enjoyed working with children but decided she needed proper training and preparation, so when she returned to Auckland she enrolled on a New Zealand Certificate in Nanny Education (NEONZ) course.
She said that course was a great preparation for work as a professional nanny and she enjoyed the fact that it involved lots of practical work, not just theory. Finding out more about baby care and educational activities for children was especially useful.
With professional training completed she returned to Europe much better equipped to work with children. In London she worked for a well-off family for a year, looking after their new baby and two year-old. They lived in a big four-storey house in a fashionable London suburb and also owned a house in Italy: Fleur said it was great to go there with the family for holidays.
Fleur said nannies in London are expected to have high professional standards and to have lots of ideas for activities with the children. The streets where she worked were 'full of nannies' and she loved meeting people from many different countries.