The Woman: Hayley Wilcox

What she does: Full-time nanny to Arlo, Mack and Madeline Duffy

Describe your job:

I'm currently working for a family with three gorgeous kiddies aged 6, 4 and 2 years. I work 10-hour days, which is shocking to most, but pretty standard in the nanny business. My days vary, but generally consist of school and kindy drop-offs and pick-ups, taking the kids to all their extra-curricular activities, painting, building train tracks, Lego towers - anything goes, basically lots of fun; all the perks of working with kids.

Why did you become a nanny?
I've always had a love for kids, such amazing little minds and endless amounts of fun. I studied Early Childhood and worked in a few childcare centres, but it wasn't until I landed my first nanny job in New York back in 2000 that I realised how much fun you could have working as a nanny. I have been nannying for 14 years now. Most of my jobs have come through word of mouth, although in saying that I am currently registered with Porse, who I have been with for the long haul, they have been amazing.

The best thing about your job?
It's just so incredibly rewarding watching the children learn and develop, being such a great part of that.

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What is the best career advice you have received?
You've got to pick your battles.

Practicality is key to your job: clothes that enable you to run around after little ones. How do you balance your own sense of style with that practicality?
When you have been working with kids as long as I have, practicality doesn't really affect my style: whatever I feel like wearing, I'll wear.

Your days could involve anything - a day at home, or heading out with the kids to the park. Do you always have options for different activities?
Yeah it's pretty busy running around with two preschoolers and one at school. Between kindy and school and the rest of the extra curricular activities, I treasure those spare moments in the day when we get to chill out at the park or the beach. I love that spontaneity of the job.

What do you avoid: anything you can't wear to work?
Heels! You would be surprised by the number of girls I have nannied who just can't seem to fathom why I don't wear heels.

How do you dress outside of work - do you embrace being able to dress up?
I pretty much wear to work what I wear outside work; at work it is just toned down a little.

Where do you sit on the nanny style scale: Mary Poppins or The Nanny's Fran Fine?
Definitely Mary Poppins with a dash of Fran - although at times I can look more like the Pied Piper!


- VIVA