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Erika Kruidenier

Erika Kruidenier | Success Story NZMA

 I enjoy working with children, and animals are my passion

Why did you decide to do a nanny course at NZMA?

I’ve wanted to be a teacher my whole life, however working for two years part-time in after school care and holiday programmes made me become more interested in the one-on-one interaction you get as a nanny. I heard NZMA advertised on the radio and thought it would give me a different perspective on working with children. Also the thought of working as a nanny overseas was very appealing! In the future I want to travel and nanny in the UK and Holland.

Tell us about your course.

I really enjoyed becoming part of a family and learning how to communicate with children, develop a relationship with them, and build trust. After the course finished I continued working with my training families and even now I still spend one night a week with one of my families. Before coming to NZMA I had worked with kids aged 5 – 13 years, however this course helped me learn how to look after and communicate with kids under 5. I loved the bonds that I built with the children, learning about their developmental stages and then being with them as they reached their milestones. Seeing them grow, gain independence and test the boundaries was pretty special. Indescribable really.

You’ve done some interesting things since graduating from NZMA. Tell us about some of your experiences.

I enjoy working with children, and animals are my passion. Last year I spent time volunteering in a lion sanctuary and an elephant sanctuary and I also worked in an orphanage in Africa. That was totally different to anything I’ve ever experienced – in fact it was quite a shock. I had to forget everything I’d learnt at nanny school because the rules are different over there. For example the children are not allowed to drink water as they can’t afford to waste it, so they get liquid through their food. It was hard, but very rewarding. The children have been through a lot, but they are just the same as every other child I’ve looked after in regards to playfulness and character. I loved all the kids and I would love to go back one day. I wouldn’t change my experience there for the world.