Introducing the Koru Kids ‘early May’ class of summer holiday and after school nannies

We had a great day today training up 15 after school nannies at our offices near Euston in London. These nannies have now done their paediatric first aid training, they’ve learned how to help with homework, about safeguarding, risk assessments (etc., etc.,)… they’ve thought of lots of fun stuff to do with kids after school and during the school holidays….

And they are RARING to go!

The Koru Kids nannies can help with school pickups during the school term, and can also help out with full days in the school holidays.  

Here’s a closer look at some of them.   

Katisha is an aspiring child psychologist coming to the end of her Psychology degree at the University of Bedfordshire in London. She’s worked for KidCity – an after school programme for kids – and also has plenty of babysitting experience.

Hannah is an enthusiastic, bright and chatty girl who is currently studying Digital Film Production at Ravensbourne University. She enjoys being creative and loves interacting with children through arts and crafts and music. She is a very keen cook and baker (her favourite are Oreo brownies!), and also loves to stay active at her local gym.

Sasha is a smiley girl studying Dance at Kingston university. She spent a year teaching dance and sport to local schools and youth clubs in Birmingham and really enjoys working with children. She is very creative and loves singing and dancing, as well as generally being active.

Thushara is a bubbly girl who is about to graduate with a degree in Education from the University of Greenwich. She has a lot of experience working with children, including in primary school and nursery, after school clubs, and being a personal mentor for kids. She loves spending time with her family, especially her 6 year old sister, and baking!

Tamsin is a friendly, bubbly and sensible girl who is just finishing up her first year in Fashion Buying Brand Management at Ravensbourne University. She has been babysitting since she was 16 and has a younger brother with autism who she has supported through his childhood. She loves being outdoors and generally active.

Kim is a very creative and calm girl who is just finishing her first year in Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art. She specialises in painting portraits and enjoys making big expressive works. She’s helped out at a local primary school for 4-5 year olds, as well as babysitting. She’s interested in pursuing a degree in education and perhaps going into teaching.

Olivia is a chatty, bright girl in her first year studying Costume Interpretation at the University of the Arts London. She has a lot of babysitting experience and really enjoys getting kids to express their interests rather than sitting them in front of the TV! She is very creative and loves going to exhibitions in London, as well as cooking. She is also learning to code so she can build websites.

Laura is a bubbly, confident girl from Sweden who is in London studying Law at BPP university. She plays basketball every Sunday with her family and enjoys taking walks and generally being active. Back home in Sweden she volunteered with the Red Cross for 2 years, helping to look after child immigrants and organise activities for them.

Natalia is a bubbly, confident, enthusiastic girl currently studying Digital Film Production at Ravensbourne university. She has babysitting experience in Brighton where she grew up, looking after 3 children ranging from 10 months to 9 years, and she’s really keen to get back to working with children in London. She loves the cinema, going to the park and dance.

Linda is a very chatty, warm and bubbly girl who is currently studying Tourism Management at Greenwich University. She has babysitting experience and wants to gain more childcare experience as she is hoping to pursue a career that involves children. She loves reading novels and listening to music, and is currently learning the guitar.

Shaliny is a bubbly, enthusiastic and fun girl from Mauritius who is in London studying Actuarial Science at Kingston University. She has a big family back home so she’s very used to being around lots of children. She loves to cook, especially Mauritian food, and is also very active having been a track and field athlete back at home.

Khadija is a mature, kind-natured young lady who has a level 2 qualification in childcare and is currently working as a nanny on the weekends for a family in London with children aged 1, 7 and 9. She has a 1 and a half year old son herself (who wouldn't be involved in her after school work). She loves taking walks in the park, travelling and cooking.

Dionne is a mum herself to a 5 year old girl. She currently works part-time at a physio and thought it would be a great idea to help fellow parents out after school in the afternoons. She loves spending time with her daughter and is very creative so is always doing arts & crafts and having tea parties with her daughter's friends.

Molly is a warm and friendly lady who has an adult son of her own. She has previous teaching experience and currently works with 2-12 year olds at her local church on Sundays (Kidzchurch). She loves making jewellery, walking, reading, and music.

The Koru Kids after school nannies come from all over London, so one of them might live near you. If you’re interested in meeting one of them, register your interest here.  We also operate a waiting list in case there’s no perfect match for you right now.

Introducing the after school nanny class of April 2017

Koru Kids' latest batch of after school nannies completed their training today, and we're very happy to introduce them to the world!  

The class includes students currently studying for degrees in sciences, languages, history, urban planning, archaeology, fine arts, politics, business, psychology and child development at universities including UCL, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, Kingston, London South Bank University, Queen Mary and Roehampton.  Being an after school nanny means they can combine their studies with a part time job doing something they love, looking after kids.

Koru Kids after school nannies undertaking paediatric first aid training

Koru Kids after school nannies undertaking paediatric first aid training

Janina - studying history and German - worked as an au pair in London years ago and loved London so much she decided to stay here for her studies. She said, "I loved being an au pair and I'm keen to work with kids again. However, now that I'm more established in London life, it's important to me that I have the freedom of living apart from the family. So being a Koru Kids 'live out au pair' is great for me." 

Although the students are not professional nannies, they all have some form of childcare experience. Ella, for example, has just returned from working in an orphanage in South Africa for a few months.  Masoodeh has already done two placements as a teaching assistant and is thinking of going into teaching after her science degree. Others have been tutors and music teachers, worked in summer camps, run children's parties and sessions at museums, worked in nursery schools and as nannies, and done a lot of babysitting.

For several of the nannies, after-school nanny experience will help their future career as they intend to go into teaching, child psychology or child development related fields.

The students were selected through a rigorous process which included interviews, character references, and background checks, plus a day of interaction with the Koru Kids team. Students must display excellent character, judgement, reliability, and energy as well as a love of kids. Less than 10% of all applicants are accepted onto the programme.

Now that the intense training period is over, the students will be matched with families. They'll be able to pick up and look after children aged 4 and over from school-closing time until 6:30pm on at least 3 days per week. Some can also do morning and school holiday cover. Meanwhile, Koru Kids takes care of all the paperwork including contracts, taxes, and payments.

Koru Kids is now accepting applications from London families for the after school service.  To request an after-school nanny for your kids, fill out this form.  

Why students who play sports make brilliant after school nannies

It's not the most obvious association: sports and nannies. There probably aren't many parents who list 'sweaty' among the qualities they're looking for in a nanny. But in fact, in our experience students who play sport make AMAZING after school nannies for local families.

Here's why. 

1. One word: energy

When we ask parents what they love most about their after school nanny, one word comes up repeatedly: ENERGY. We hate to generalise about age but.... as you get older, you have less of it. Working parents are frequently exhausted, so they love having someone around to muck about with the kids - in the park, playground or at home - who can keep up. Obviously, sportspeople have energy and stamina in spades.

2. Dedication and commitment

People who take their sport seriously understand what it is to commit to something. They're reliable, and they follow through on what they say they'll do. That's crucial in becoming an after school nanny. You say you'll be at the school gate at 3.30pm: you're at the school gate at 3.30pm. No excuses.

3. Timetables

After school nannies work from about 3.30pm to about 6.30pm, usually three or more days per week. Most importantly this keeps your weekends free for matches (whereas most student part-time jobs require you to work weekends). It also gives time for any morning sports practice and potentially afternoon ones, plus all evenings for relaxing or studying. Depending on your sport and its demands, this could work nicely.

4. A mental break

It's not study, and it's not practice. It's fun! If you're part of a sports club at uni you end up spending a LOT of time with your fellow students and people your age. Give yourself a break and spend some time with kids. We guarantee hanging out with them will put everything else in perspective.

5. Sports coaching

A lot of sporty people have also been involved in coaching sport to younger people at some stage of their life. This is great experience and makes you an excellent candidate for after school nanny. Plus, parents love their kids to be active. Take them outside and kick a ball around  -- wait, you're getting paid to play the sport you love?! Um, brilliant.

6. Leadership

Everyone knows that people who are members of sports teams generally have great leadership and teamwork skills, right?  Channel all the motivational and team-building skills you've learnt from those wet, cold and miserable away matches when all everyone wants is to get back to the pub for a beer, to be a fantastic role model for kids. The kids and the parents will love you for it.

7. Social skills

Sports clubs are the most sociable clubs at uni. FACT. So if you're in a sports club you've generally got the chat and can strike up a conversation with pretty much anyone. This is a fantastic skill to have when working with children. Parents are looking for bubbly, confident, chatty individuals who their kids are going to enjoy being around, and who will help them to come out of their shells.

That's 7 reasons sportspeople make amazing after school nannies, and we barely broke a sweat.

If you're interested in becoming an after school nanny in London, register with Koru Kids. We give you training and support, and match you up with a family local to you. It's fun, rewarding, and it pays well. Goal!

Why drama students make great after school nannies

"I'll never forget coming home after work and hearing loud screams in my house," Brian, a dad of two kids, said the other day. "I freaked out as I put the key in the door. It took me a few seconds to realise what it was: our after school nanny was putting on a show for the kids. She was in 'Wicked', and she happened to be doing a bit that involved some yelling. They absolutely loved it. And we loved her. She was the best nanny we ever had."

Drama students (and aspiring performers in general) and kids can be a match made in heaven. Here's why they make AMAZING after school nannies.

1. They're fun
Has there ever been a child who didn't love creative play? Drama students are fun in exactly the kind of way that kids love. They're not embarrassed to be bunnies or giraffes, to sing songs with the kids or to make up dance routines. In fact they love it. And the kids love it too. 

2. The perfect audience: enthusiastic but honest
For people who love to perform, an child audience is a gift. They're enthusiastic, but they're also brutally honest. They won't tell you your top notes are a bit pitchy, but they'll definitely let you know if they're bored.  They actually like repetition, unlike adults. And they'll think your funny voices are HILARIOUS.

3. They connect with all sorts of kids
Actors and performers tend to have high emotional intelligence, which helps them connect with kids. They often have a special ability to channel boisterous kids into creative directions, finding an outlet for their energy -- and can also help bring quieter kids out of their shells. Meanwhile parents love having positive role models for their kids.

4. You don't have to be a professional nanny
To look after babies and toddlers, a nanny needs to have experience and qualifications. But for school-aged children -- 5 years to 10 years old -- it's okay to have less experience. You just need to have looked after or worked with children in some capacity. (If you sign up with Koru Kids, we'll also background check you, and give you basic paediatric first aid training.)

5. Flexible schedules
After school care happens from roughly 3:00-6:30pm, leaving after school nannies time in the rest of the day to do other things, as well as all the evenings free. 

If you're interested in become an after school nanny in London, find out more here.

How to apply for a job that doesn't exist: a guide for students

After a permanent role, and not finding what you want on the jobs boards?

It’s time to take it to the next level. Here’s the idea: Beginners apply for jobs that are listed. Winners apply for jobs that aren’t listed.

That might sound dumb. What’s the point asking for a job that doesn’t exist? But it’s actually a great strategy – as long as you target the right company at the right time.

The trick is to find fast growing businesses who value proactive employees. How do you find them? Easy. They advertise in places like WorkInStartups. The job ad they’ve placed might be for something you’re not capable of doing, but that doesn’t matter. If the company is hiring, it’s growing. And if it’s growing, they’ll be hiring for other roles soon—or now. Read the job ads to get a feel for the mission and culture of a few companies, noting down the ones you like.

Next, email the CEO of the company (it’s a startup, so you should be able to contact the CEO pretty easily) a really great cover note, telling them how much you love their mission and how much you want to work in a startup. Tell them what you can do, and attach your CV. Say you’ll work for free for a week to show them what you can do, with no obligation. (Worst case scenario – you’ll get some really useful work experience.)

The brilliant thing about this strategy is that you don’t have any competition, since no one else is applying for this job that doesn’t necessarily exist.

(The drawback is that the job doesn’t necessarily exist.)

Too much work? Want something more certain, or more part time? If you love kids and live in London, consider working with Koru Kids as an after school nanny. Apply here. 


How to find your perfect part time job as a student


It’s tough being a student in London. Sometimes it seems like one long parade of things you can’t have. That great restaurant? You can’t afford it. That awesome coat? You can’t afford it. That night out? You definitely can’t afford it.  And when your troubles get beyond new clothes and start biting into your rent and food…. There’s only one thing for it: you need a part time job.   

Here are our top tips to find one.

1.       Job boards  

Job boards are a great starting point for finding a part time student job. The main challenge is figuring out which one to try first – and then wading through all the options on it.

The granddaddy of all jobs boards is Indeed, where a new job is posted every 8 seconds. That represents a lot of opportunity for you, although it also means a lot of options to process. Luckily the interface is pretty user-friendly and you can apply for jobs with one click. It’s a bit ‘spray and pray’, and there’s certainly no guarantee that you’ll get a role, but if you’ve got the time it’s worth a go. Other good student job boards to check out include E4S and Student Job. Don’t forget your university job board, either—it’s a gold mine.

2.       Job apps

You’ve probably seen apps like TopTask and JobToday advertised on the Tube. These tend to offer short term/ad hoc work, mostly in the hospitality industry – for example, waitressing at an event. If you’d like total control over your hours they’re a good option, but it might be a lot of continual faff if you’re looking for something more recurrent.

3.       Apply directly  

If the thought of trawling through hundreds of job ads doesn’t appeal, you can always apply directly to companies who are filling roles. For example, if you’re interested in part time work after school looking after children, you could drop a line to Koru Kids, who train up students as after school nannies and match them with local families. You’re not competing with thousands of people for the job, since we'll take on as many qualified applicants as we can find. (The main requirements are that you have some childcare experience, and can commit for a few months.) Not into looking after children? Consider becoming a brand ambassador instead. 

4.       Start your own business

If all else fails.  Why not? It worked for Richard Branson.