Taking care of children is a responsible and trying task, one that requires unlimited supplies of patience and concentration.
For parents or guardians who choose to hire professional help to look after their youngsters, it’s natural for them to expect the nannies to stay focused at all times.
Many have been finding that the increased popularity of social media platforms in recent years has been disrupting the ability of their nannies to supervise their children efficiently.
A recent study discovered that the average Brit checks their phone approximately 28 times a day, which equates to more than 10,000 times a year.
Babysitting agencies such as Abbeville Nannies in south London and Kensington Nannies in west London have been making efforts to limit the amount of time that their nannies spend on social media by introducing regulations regarding smartphone use.
Kate Baker, co-founder of Abbeville Nannies, told The Times that in the past three months, around 20 parents have requested that smartphone clauses be added to the contracts given to their nannies.
“It is about nannies and their attention straying,” she said.
“[Parents are] saying, ‘We don’t want you to be texting your friends or being constantly on your phone while looking after the kids in the background.”
Louise Taylor, international consultant at Kensington Nannies, says that parents don’t want people who come across their nannies to think that they’re not capable of looking after children properly.
“[The clause] is to stop that thing where a neighbour says: ‘I saw your nanny walking down the street and she was talking on the phone and no one was paying attention to the child’,” she said.
Taylor also made the point that parents find it a “bugbear” when nannies are spotted using their phones during work due to the amount of money that it can cost to hire them.
Nannies hired through Kensington Nannies are bound by a social media clause in their contracts, which states that they should put their personal phone away during working hours and using a work mobile provided for them instead.