Advice Column, Parenting

10 Super ideas on how to empower your domestic worker or nanny

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There are approximately one million, mainly African women, who are domestic workers and nannies in South Africa. According to CASE (Community Agency for Social Enquire), in the last decade very little progress has been made in reducing poverty. To date the recession has not helped this progress. As the employer of a domestic worker or nanny in your home, you have the opportunity to make a difference. Here are some wonderful empowerment ideas you can offer your domestic worker or her child.

  1. Nanny training courses for domestic nanniesGive your nanny the confidence she needs to care for and stimulate your child in a safe environment. Training your domestic worker to become a nanny is upgrading her job status and salary from a char to a child carer, giving her more responsibility and a better income. Price range: R1600 – R1800
  2. First Aid courses for domestic nanniesGive your nanny the confidence to deal with home emergencies or any crisis that may occur while your children are in her care. Providing her with lifesaving skills not only enables her to help your family, but she is then in a position to provide  assistance to her own family and community with her First Aid and CPR skills Price range: R350 – R600
  3. Cooking classes for domestic nanniesTeach your nanny to cook a nutritious, home cooked meal. By teaching your nanny how to cook a variety of meals, you can ensure your family is getting fresh, nutritious food. Not just the quick readymade meals available from our local supermarkets. Having meal times already prepared or even just prepped, will give you quality time with your children in the afternoon and evening. Price range: R1500 – R2000
  4. Swimming classes for domestic nanniesTeach your nanny how to swim. If you have a pool and your children are allowed to swim, it is vital that the adult present, can swim, in case of an emergency. This is a great life skill which will give your domestic worker or child carer a wonderful sense of achievement. Having a nanny who can swim allows your children to have fun at the pool. Price range (R1100 for 8 lessons)
  5. Housekeeping course for domestic workers and nanniesUp skill your char from a domestic worker to a super-efficient housekeeper. If your nanny shows initiative and pride in her work, offer her the skills she needs to become your housekeeper. An efficient housekeeper can clean the home, she knows how to delegate her time according to her tasks, and she has the ability to plan head and can manage any maintenance issues and workers in your house. Price range: (R800 – R2000)
  6. School education for your domestic nanny’s child.Help your nanny’s child get a good education. This is the most powerful way to make a difference to your domestic worker and enable her family to move into a better social class and have higher earning potential. Many families who can afford to pay will send their nanny’s child to a local school in the suburb where they live.
  7. Business skill training for your domestic workerTeach your domestic worker how to run her own business. If you feel your domestic worker demonstrates the ability and drive to run her own business, you can enlist her on an enterprise development programme called the Clothing Bank. They offer a 2 year holistic training programme that empowers unemployed mothers to start a small retail trading business.
  8. Retirement planning for your domestic nannyProvide your nanny with a pension fund. Give your nanny that peace of mind to know that she will have some financial stability later on in her golden years. Many loyal domestic workers mostly retire without any pension of provident funds savings for their old age – making them financially dependent on the state pension, which is currently R1260 (2013) per month. Most domestic workers are prepared to contribute if their employers are willing to meet them halfway. By taking the financial pressure of the next generation, will also give her children a better chance to further themselves. Old Mutual does offer pension funds for domestic workers. The low monthly premiums start from R125 a month and up.
  9. Skills development programs for your nanny’s childSchool leavers especially young men can study and train through the Military Skills Development System (MSDS). This is a wonderful opportunity for school leavers whose mothers (domestic nannies and chars) do not have the funds to send them on for a tertiary education at technikons or universities. If these young adults have a grade 12 qualification, they can join this program under the SANDF. The aim of this new training is not to provide the youth of the country with only military skills, but rather to teach them basic life skills that are required in a work environment. The military environment is just used as a platform to instil discipline, routine and work ethic. The new recruits will undergo various training aimed to providing specialists to the SANDF such as engineers, pilots, doctors, dentists and naval combat officers. The recruits that do leave can apply some of the skills they learn in the Defence Force to their private sector jobs as well.







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