Introducing Ike Robin, a manny training at Norland College!
Read on to find out more!
Hi Ike! Please can you tell us, how did you first get interested in working in childcare?
When I was growing up I always said to myself that I want a career based around making people happy and inspiring lives, and that is what childcare is for me. Working with children and families is such a rewarding job, and it’s one that drives me to keep doing better. The impact you can have on someone’s life is incredible. My day-to-day life is based around learning through play - who else gets to say that?
Overall my goal is to ensure children grow up knowing that they can do and be anything in this world, and that life should not have limitations. I would love to be able to change a person’s mindset from ‘ I can’t’ to ‘ I can ‘ and that all starts in your earliest years. And that is why I want to work in childcare.
There are a huge range of places you can study childcare. Why did you choose Norland College?
I chose Norland because my sister studied there; she graduated around 8 years ago. She was a big inspiration for me, and I got to see how creative and hands-on the course is. My sister would also come home with the most amazing sewing projects and tell me about the fun she had had in her placements. This is what drove me towards Norland’s particular training. Norland is completely unique, there is nothing like it and it is so exciting to be connected with people who have the exact same dream as you.
So what is your current position?
Over the Christmas holiday I worked full-time nanny role with an amazing family. We had loads of fun preparing for Christmas with decorating and cooking. This was extremely special as I worked alongside a pregnant mother. Because of this I have learnt loads about supporting someone through pregnancy.
Whilst working I am continuing studying at Norland, learning about the most current information on child development. It is so exciting studying for my course whilst working as I get to experience what we learn in practise firsthand.
Working and studying at the same time does sound quite demanding! What does a typical day look like for you?
Before I go to Norland in the morning I work with a family, helping to take two amazing children to school. I then have a full day at Norland - either in lectures or studying practical lessons. I then occasionally work in the evenings but if not I can be found cooking, studying or enjoying a well deserved rest!
We can see from your Instagram profile that you have a passion for food too. How did you get interested in cooking?
My mum was a fantastic cook! I was adopted from Vietnam and when I was fed plain food I did not like it, so my parents had to add spice into my food for me to eat anything. I have always been interested in trying new things and learning about how food can have real health benefits.
What are the best things about your job and life?
The best part about my job is that I get to experience childhood again from an adult’s point of view, which is so much fun! I am able to be creative with my activities and use my knowledge of life to support a child’s development. Cooking food at work can be challenging as families may have different dietary requirements, but this is what I love the most as I am forced to learn new nutrition and cooking styles. Overall, the best part is seeing the impact you can have on both the children's’ and parents’ lives just by being yourself and putting other people before your needs.
What are the most difficult aspects of your job?
One difficult part about being a nanny is adjusting to different family lifestyles, and their way of doing things. What I have learnt is that it can take time for connections to become stronger, and you have to keep giving your all and be confident that you can make a difference in a young person's life.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to travel the world whilst nannying and explore different cultures. Learning about how others live and learn is so beneficial to improving your practice. My biggest dream is to open a cooking school for children and parent classes.
What advice do you have for a male nanny looking for a career like yours?
Childcare is not what it sounds like. In my day I’m playing with Nerf guns, building Lego, acting as superheroes! It is such a fun, hands on job that always turns out to be better than you planned. Children need male role models just as much as women. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of women in childcare as we are no different and can be just as good. Childcare is great for expressing who you are as a person. It’s not like there is someone constantly telling you what to do, so you are able to be as imaginative, inventive and creative towards your practice as you want to be.
Ike Robin is a Norland Manny in training. You can connect with him and find out more information in the places below.