Night Owls is a Maternity Nursing Agency that is setting new standards to ensure that it delivers the very best service possible to its clients. It has been forged out of a life-time of experience and skills by Jan Harrison, who has been a highly respected practitioner in the field of child-care (0-7 years) and who has worked as a Maternity Nurse and Sleep Trainer for more than 30 years.
Jan began her training after leaving school when she completed two years full time study as a Nursery Nurse. This covered a variety of subjects including Child Development & Psychology, Child-care and Health. Jan further developed her skills through training courses as well as from practical experience gained, working in day nurseries, private homes, pre-schools and in the villages of Pakistan teaching primary health care.
For some time now Jan has been concerned about the lack of regulation governing the employment of Maternity Nurses and Nannies.
Did you know:
- That a Maternity Nurse or Nanny needs no qualifications or training to practise?
- There is no professional body regulating Childcare providers or monitoring skills and ability.
- Some Maternity Nurses and Nannies have no insurance, DBS check or Paediatric First Aid training. Consequently they will offer their services at a significantly discounted rate to that normally charged.
Having worked with a number of agencies in the past Jan had a clear idea of the type of agency she wanted to establish. She believed that it should be one that would provide some of the best Maternity Nurses and Nannies available and at the same time would embrace the highest standards in the delivery of that service.
Jan knew from her own experience that every parent wants to know that when employing a Maternity Nurse or Nanny, they are leaving their child in safe hands and could be confident regarding any advice they received. That is why Night Owls is committed to investing time in the ongoing training, supervision and selection of its Childcare providers. As far as we know it is the only agency that requires its Maternity Nurses to sign a commitment to a ‘Code of Conduct’. It is upon these key values that Night Owls (UK) Ltd has been established.
We have been pleased to recently welcome Fiona as part of out team. She is often the main point of contact between the agency and the client.
Fiona is a mother of two grown-up children but says that she very much remembers the struggles of being a new parent. Fiona studied Midwifery for three years from 2002 to 2005 and this covered all aspects of pregnancy and birth as well as postnatal issues and breast feeding. She has now worked with parents and babies for over 20 years and thoroughly enjoys her work since it enables her to spend time with parents where she can listen to their concerns and offer advice and encouragement to find a routine to the needs off the family and the baby.
She says that she believes that it is a privilege to help place Maternity Nurses with new parents needing support at a vulnerable and special time. Like Janet I believe the role of the Maternity Nurse is very special, and one in which Maternity Nurses need to continue to develop their education. It is part of Night Owls unique code of conduct that Night Owls Maternity Nurses embrace.
Fiona is also the Author of’ ‘A Helpful Guide to A Happy Baby’ which was published by Orphans Publishing in September 2018 (reprinted October 2020). It covers those early months from birth to three months when most parents and the baby are adjusting to a new way of life. From day ‘one’ of getting feeding established to three months when your baby will be in a nice feeding and sleeping pattern, and everything in between. It deals with questions such as ‘What is normal’? ‘What to expect’ as well as covering ‘Common problems’ in those first weeks. It is a book full of helpful tips to help parents find what works for them and their baby. Please contact Fiona directly if you wish to purchase a copy of her book.
The Agency means Night Owls (UK) Ltd acting as a staff placement agent to offer an introductory and advisory service to clients wishing to employ a Maternity Nurse or Nanny (hereinafter called Childcare Provider). In all instances, the term ‘Night Owls’ refers to Night Owls (UK) Ltd.
The term Maternity Nurse is used generically to describe any suitable person that the Agency may introduce to the Client as a possible temporary employee for maternity and childcare services. This could be for work overnight, during the daytime, live-in or working a variable shift pattern. In all instances the Maternity Nurse acts in a ‘self-employed’ capacity and will charge a fixed fee for their services. They are responsible for their own Income Tax and National Insurance payments.
It should be noted that generally a Maternity Nurse is not trained medically and does not have the same skills as a Nurse, working in a Hospital. There are some exceptions to this, and the client would need to check the Maternity Nurse / Nannies CV.
The term Nanny is used to describe any suitable person that the Agency may introduce to the Client as a possible employee to provide long term or permanent child-care provision. This could be ‘live-in’, or ‘live out.’ The client is responsible for the Nannies’ Income Tax and National Insurance payments as well as Pension contributions.
A Childcare Provider is used interchangeable to describe either a Maternity Nurse or Nanny offering childcare support.
All Maternity Nurses and Nannies provided by Night Owls must:
- Hold a current (within the last 3 years) and clear DBS (CRB) Police check
- Have specialist insurance cover with a recognised company (often called Nanny insurance)
- Hold a current Paediatric First Aid certificate
- Be able to provide a Curriculum Vitae for the previous three years
- Hold a permit to work in the UK (if not a British citizen)
- Have a minimum of three year’s experience in child-care or working with children other than their own.
- Be able to supply certificates of attendance in respect of training days and courses attended.
- Be able to provide verifiable references for work covering the previous two years.
- Have attended a face to face interview and assessment of competency with the Agency or another assessor designated by Night Owls.
‘Code of Conduct’
In addition Night Owls Maternity Nurses and Nannies must agree to uphold the following ‘Code of Conduct’ at all times.
- To conduct themselves at all times in a manner that is professional and appropriate to the child(ren) for which they are responsible, the client, their family and family members.
- To treat everyone with dignity and respect
- Not to act in a way that could be perceived as harassment, threatening behaviour or bullying.
- Not to use language that is inappropriate, discriminatory or offensive in the home of any client. This includes but is not limited to, sarcastic, insensitive, derogatory or sexually suggestive comments or gestures.
- To treat all people fairly and not to discriminate against anyone in respect of Culture, Race, Religion, Belief, Disability, Gender Identity, Age, Sexuality, and Marital Status.
- Not to make any allegations against the client or the clients family knowing them to be false, libellous or slanderous, at any time.
- Not to allow any personal, religious or social activities affect their service delivery
- To be trustworthy, honest and conscientious at all times
- To be punctual in their time keeping.
- To show commitment and customer loyalty by fulfilling any booking which has been agreed.
- As far as it is possible, to ensure the safety, protection and welfare of any child they have responsibility for at all times.
- To respect the requests of the client at all times unless this will cause harm to the baby/child they are responsible for.
- Not to initiate, encourage or conduct a sexual relationship with any client, child, young person or any other member of the family, at any time.
- To keep strictly confidential and not disclose, publish or reveal to any person now and at all times in the future the affairs and concerns of the client and their family and their transactions and business, other than information already in the public domain, unless disclosure is required by law.
- To dress appropriately at all times
- Not to use their mobile phone for personal calls during working hours, except in an emergency and only with the permission of the client
- To ensure that all equipment utilised in the course of their work, is used safely and for its intended purpose. Manufacturers’ guidelines will be followed at all times.
- Not to smoke tobacco in any form whilst at work and if they are a smoker, not to have had a cigarette within four hours of any scheduled work and to not wear any clothes that they have worn whilst smoking, to the workplace.
- Not to go to work with more than 80 mg of alcohol/100ml blood (the drink drive limit) and not to drink alcohol at any time during their contracted working hours
- Not to take illegal drugs in any form or at any time while working
- If the Maternity Nurse is taking any form of medication which may impair their work performance they will inform the client before attending work.
- To be willing to attend Supervision with a director or another appointed person, designated by Night Owls at least once every 26 weeks.
- To commit themselves to continual learning and development
- If at any time the Maternity Nurse is not able to fulfil in part of in full for any reason a clients booking, when working in a Night Owls placement, they undertake not to send any other person to replace them, whether that person is a Maternity Nurse, or not. In all instances they will refer the situation to Night Owls staff.
Training and Personal Development
Maternity Nurses and Nannies must have attended or are committed to attend the following ‘Core’ Training Courses.
- Basic Child Care or the Maternity Nurse Practitioner course.
- Postnatal Depression
- Caring for Multiples and Premature Babies
- Breast feeding
- Reflux, CMPA and early Allergies
- Understanding Sleep in children and Sleep Training
- Birth Trauma and Perinatal complications
Maternity Nurse / Nanny Assessment
Night Owls staff will have carried out a complete review of all documentation and conducted a personal appraisal of all Childcare providers they introduce to clients looking to employ as a Maternity Nurse or Nanny.
This will include checking Qualifications and Training, personal references and Curriculum Vitae’s and ensuring that all Childcare providers hold a clear DBS Police check, suitable Insurance cover and a Paediatric First Aid Certificate. For Maternity Nurses or Nannies who are not British Citizens or EU/EEA Nationals, Night Owls will check that they hold either a valid Permit to Work in the UK, have Indefinite Leave to Remain or have a Tier 2 Work Permit, issued by the Home Office.
In addition Maternity Nurses and Nannies will also be required to attend an in-depth personal interview and show that they are competent to provide the service that they offer.
Whilst the checks outlined above form a vital part of the staff selection process, Clients are strongly recommended to verify for themselves all information relating to the Childcare provider, before confirming a booking.
Night Owls Agency – Service Provision
It is important to recognise that Night Owls is not an employment agency. The Agency acts only as a staff placement agency validating, supporting and monitoring the Maternity Nurses and Nannies that it refers to clients.
The Maternity Nurses and Nannies that we use are all skilled practitioners not only in providing practical help and support to parents and their babies, but have comprehensive experience in trouble shooting, behavioural issues and sleep training for babies and children from 0 – 5 years.
Night Owls Agency – Insurance
Night Owls holds its own Agency insurance cover with Morton Michel. This includes Public Liability insurance with an indemnity limit of £3 million and Professional Indemnity insurance with a limit of £100,000. In addition the policy also provides legal cover and help with debt recovery.
Please note that the Agency Insurance does not replace the personal insurance cover Maternity Nurses should hold themselves.
Night Owls Agency – Child Protection Policy
Night Owls believes that no child, young person or adult should experience abuse of any kind. All Maternity Nurses and Nannies supplied by Night Owls make a commitment to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to practice in a way that ensures their safety.
We recognise that:
- the welfare of the child/young person is paramount;
- all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to protection from all types of harm or abuse.
We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:
- Adopting child protection practices through a ‘Code of Conduct’ that all Maternity Nurses commit to.
- Providing effective management of Maternity Nurses through supervision, mentoring and support.
- Ensuring all necessary checks are made when recruiting Maternity Nurses
- Sharing concerns with agencies who need to know such as the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
We are committed to reviewing our policy and practices annually.
All members of Staff and Childcare providers are expected to report any breaches of this code to any Director of Night Owls, under the whistle-blowing procedure or, if necessary, under Child Protection procedures. Staff and Maternity Nurses who breach this Code of Conduct will no longer be used by Night Owls Agency.
Terms & Conditions
Our Terms & Conditions establishes the legal principles underpinning the working practices and procedures governing Night Owls. They also place legal constraints and obligations upon any client using our services. A copy of the Terms & Conditions will be sent to all clients or can be downloaded from our Web-site.
The Terms & Conditions apply from the point at which clients are sent the names and personal details of any Maternity Nurse or Nanny by Night Owls, irrespective of whether or not they subsequently use any of the Maternity Nurses suggested. It will be assumed that Clients requesting this information confirm acceptance of our Terms & Conditions.