Good news to parents who have to travel with their small children and better news yet for those who have been sulking at crying babies on the plane – flying nannies are coming to the rescue.
Etihad Airways has launched a dedicated in-flight childcare assistance program for traveling families this month, available on its long-haul flights.
For the past two months, 300 cabin crew members have been trained for the role. Etihad reports that a further 60 will be trained, and the airline is aiming to have 500 flying nannies by the end of 2013.
The training course lasts two days and is run by the world-renowned Norland College. According to the airline, the programme is theory-based, with focus on child psychology and sociology. It aims to enable the flying nannies to identify the different types of behaviour and developmental stages that children go through.
A flying nanny can be identified by a bright orange apron, and she will use her specialist training to serve the needs of families and unaccompanied minors, as well as supporting other cabin crew members when they interact with families.
One of the tools provided to the flying nannies is a special kit containing straws, stickers, cardboard and other items that can be used to engage children in simple arts and crafts such as origami. Another trick in bag is to create sock puppets using stickers from the flying nanny's kit as eyes and socks from the guest’s travel pack.
In addition to the arts and crafts, the flying nannies can also teach children simple magic tricks, keeping them entertained while seated.
For more information, visit www.etihad.com