Our nannies, housekeepers and gardeners are often left with the huge responsibility of caring for our homes and their expensive contents.

As such it is important to educate them on what they can do to help protect themselves, our children and our things.

Be aware of your surroundings:

Our domestic workers walk the streets of our suburbs every day and are often far more able to identify suspicious people and vehicles than we are.

Your nanny needs to walk to work taking note of people and vehicles that look suspicious and out of place and alert you or your security company.

She needs to take note of details such as colour and make of vehicle, try and remember the registration number and take note of the people – what are they wearing, how tall are they etc.

She needs to be careful not to make it too obvious that she is noting all of this to prevent becoming a target herself.

Do not open the gate or door unless it is safe to do so:

On arriving at work – your domestic worker needs to check that there are no strange people lurking in the bushes or hanging around near the house, if there are, she/ he needs to keep on walking to prevent an ambush as the gate opens.

When she feels safe, she can phone you and ask you to come to the gate to open it for her or alert a neighbour.

When arriving home after fetching the children from school – your nanny and children are very vulnerable. Give her a remote panic button that she can put around her neck and use in case of emergency.

When someone comes to the door asking to be let in – nobody should be allowed into the property unless you the employer have told your domestic worker you are expecting someone, even if she thinks you know them or they look honest enough.

She must rather call you to check first, you also need to remember to let her know someone is coming.

Do not talk about your employers’ things

Your domestic worker needs to be careful not to talk about your property and new purchases with her friends as criminals may threaten her and her family in order to get to your things.

Keep the doors locked and unbarred windows closed

This is especially important when she is cleaning or busy with children in the house as she is not able to hear someone coming in at the other end of the house.

Give your domestic worker a panic button which she can keep on her when she working, playing in the garden with the children, hanging washing, opening the front gate.

It is also important to be sure that she knows where the panic buttons are in the house and knows when and how to use them.

It is also a good idea for her to come to the car, with the panic button, when you arrive back as she can help you get the shopping and children out of the car and be an extra set of eyes, looking out for any strangers who may be hunting for a soft target.

The Sugar and Spice Nanny Training course empowers domestic workers who are employed as nannies with all the essential knowledge they need to care for babies and young children.

The nanny course covers Safety and creating a childproof environment, First Aid, Hygiene, Nutrition, Time management and Routines and Developmental games and activities.

Sugar and Spice offers nanny training in Cape Town, whilst also offering Family Cooking, First Aid and Kids Play short courses.