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Meet Modern Day Mary Poppins, Candi Vajana, 2017 Nanny of the Year

June 8, 2017

Each year, the International Nanny Association names their Nanny of the Y ear. This year, Candi Vajana received the honor. Recently we had the opportunity to interview Candi and learn a little more about her, her experiences and what it means to be INA Nanny of the Year.

How did you become a nanny?
I decided to become a Nanny in my teens. I always knew I wanted to work with children but I did not know in what capacity. My parents fostered a 2 year oldCandida Vajana at SRK Headshot Day in Menlo Park, CA girl when I was 16 and she is the reason I chose to be a nanny. I attended Nanny School in the United Kingdom and received my NNEB Diploma in 1992, wow, that makes me feel old!

What was your first job like? Your last?
My first job was a live in position in Bruxelles, I was appointed to look after a 3 month old little girl who is all grown up now and living in the United Kingdom. I was with the family for a year and it was a great year. During my time in Bruxelles I learnt a lot about what being a nanny really means. I learnt with the isolation we nannies, deal with, it may seem silly, we around children all day long yet we are lonely. My last job, I have been with the family for two and half years. I can’t really say much more as I have an non disclosure agreement.

What does it mean to be a professional nanny?
Being a professional nanny means that we have dedicated our lives to being a nanny. A professional nanny looks after a child or children. We take care of all the aspect of development, social, emotional, cognitive, physical and language. We don’t just take care of them we are also their advocate, ensuring they have a safe and nurturing environment they can thrive in. Being a professional nanny means being a cohesive part of the team that is raising the child/ren.

What does it mean to be Nanny of the Year?
Being the Nanny of the Year means being the spokesperson for my profession, it means being at the top of my game and it means being an industry leader. To me, being the Nanny of the Year means being the advocate for my colleagues and my profession, it mean being able to make an impact in the way the Nanny Profession is perceived.

What is your best advice for those starting out as nannies?
My best advice, hum, there is so much I would like to say. If I only had one thing I could say it would be to be respectful, of the children, the employers and yourself. Respect the parent’s views, respect the children and allow them to make choices and respect yourself, know your boundaries.

What is your best tips for nanny employers?
I would say that open and honest communication is the piece of advice I have. I believe that if there is open and honest communication from both parties the relationship will last a lot longer.

What is the one thing you want people to know about nannies?
Nannying is a profession, we are not babysitters, we don’t just watch TV all day. Nannies are professionals who dedicate their lives raising other people’s children.

What are your plans now that you have received this honor?
My plans are to increase awareness about the role of the Nanny, our role in society and hopefully dispel some of the negative press nannies have received over the year.

To learn more about Candi, INA and the Nanny of the Year award, visit http://nanny.org/annual-conference/noty-award/

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Q&A with Jennifer Kuhn of Nanny Magazine

June 1, 2017

Recently I had a chance to catch up with Jennifer Kuhn of Nanny Magazine. Here’s a little of our conversation and what she had to share about her venture. – Michelle

Tell us about yourself. Hi! I’m Jennifer Kuhn, and I’m the owner of Nanny Magazine, currently the only national magazine for nannies and kuhn (1)childcare workers. I live and work in the DC metro area, and worked as a nanny for four years during college and graduate school. I currently work in the field of scholarly publishing (which probably sounds boring, but I love it!), and I run Nanny Magazine in my spare time. My current obsessions include podcasts (favorites are BizChix, Call Your Girlfriend, Planet Money, and Stuff You Should Know), lemons and honey (for real, you can use them in so many different ways!), and constantly trying to learn new things.

Why did you start Nanny Magazine? Gosh, what a great question. When I worked as a nanny, I used to constantly search for resources to help me do my job and feel like my career choice was legitimate. Maybe it’s because this was prior to the mega explosion in the social media community that’s available to nannies of today, but when I was a nanny, there was just about nothing and nowhere to turn aside from a few message boards. There’s so much more now. I’ve always loved magazines in particular—the short bursts of useful information are so helpful. I started this publication because there is nothing else like it. I always wanted it to be the sort of thing you could pick up, read through, and feel really amazing by the time you get to the last page. Since we launched in 2014, I’ve been able to give that feeling to so many nannies and that alone makes me feel so accomplished.

What is your vision for Nanny Magazine? My goal is to make Nanny Magazine the kind of magazine that nannies feel they absolutely need to be reading. In early 2017, I appointed a new Editor in Chief (Amanda Dunyak) so that we could breathe some fresh new life into the publication. I’m not a nanny any longer, so it makes sense for the person in that seat to be intimately connected to the work. My brain is better suited for building business operations and structures, and I’m so lucky to have my team to fall back on to help with the day-to-day boots-on-the-ground work required to pull off the effort… and it takes a LOT of effort to coordinate an operation of this level. Currently, my team is very focused on engaging nanny agencies with our magazine, as very often it’s the agency that’s in the best position to be able to procure access to resources and information for their placements. Agencies see subscribing to NM as an efficient way to tout their reputation as an organization that cares about the ongoing success of their nannies.

What is your biggest hurdle with the Magazine? There have been so many hurdles that it’s hard to choose just one! But if I have to choose, I’d say we July 2017 Cover DRAFThave been pretty proud of the way we’ve dealt with bullying over the years. The nannying community can sometimes really suffer from that group think bias that it’s almost as if when one person develops a negative reaction to something it has a tendency to spill over into this massive campaign of hate. Online bullying is something that Nanny Magazine takes a huge stance against. We have had so many instances when Facebook commenters misconstrued the nature of an intended post and started making comments that left one of my staff members in tears. I was so upset about it. I went back to the original post and re-read it a hundred times, asking myself, “how is it possible that people are misinterpreting this so severely that it’s leaving someone feeling shaken and crying?” I’ve had people criticize me personally—my background, where I come from, who I am, what I do, and what qualifies me to publish a magazine. Those things hurt to read, but I’ve come to understand that there are always going to be some people out there who, no matter what you do, will always be against your effort, or will always say you’re no good/not enough/not professional/not qualified/what have you. But we persist. We know we’re doing something nobody else is, and we receive confirmation from that every time we get a new subscriber. When it comes to bullies, we believe in being direct but kind, firm but polite, and not perpetuating a community of fear. We want nannies to come together, find community, make friends, learn, and grow. We don’t have time for bullies if we want to publish a magazine!

What is your biggest accomplishment with it? I’ll always cherish that time I got to arrange and listen in on an interview with Fran Drescher. Seriously, “The Nanny” herself! How many people get to say that?! I get emails from nannies all the time with notes of gratitude for the resource I’m providing them. I always share this with my team because without them, I couldn’t do any of this. Seriously, to know that the work we do impacts so many lives, not just in loud, in-your-face ways, but also in quiet, subtle ways, is worth more than anything.

Where do you see the magazine in 5 years? Is it too much to ask for Barnes and Noble to carry the magazine? Just kidding (sort of). In 5 years, I’d love for NM to be a common name that nannies, no matter their background or experience level, are familiar with and trust. There’s seriously something for everyone, from the agency owner to the new nanny to the niche nanny to the celebrity nanny. I’d like to see this magazine touch so many lives for the better. I’d love to start receiving some submissions from nannies who have a veritable wealth of information to share—long-term carreer nannies, hit me up!

What is the most important thing you want folks to know about Nanny Magazine? In America, there’s no other magazine like Nanny Magazine. None. Not one. The cheese stands alone!

How can people access the content? The magazine is available in print and electronic formats through www.nannymag.com, via a subscription model. We are not sold in any stores, anywhere, so to read the magazine, you have to be a subscriber. That’s easy to do via our website.

How can people contribute? It’s so easy to contribute, and we love working with contributors of all experience levels. Our submission site and information for contributors is online at www.nannymagazine.submittable.com. Photographers and authors at all levels of experience are encouraged to submit work to the magazine because it can really make a difference in other people’s lives. Beyond that, we’re always open to working with people who may not have a creative bone in their body, but may be a good source of information or wisdom for, say, an interview. Let me know. We’re really hoping to make new friends with parents, agencies, and professionals (eg, lawyers, doctors, tax professionals, etc.) because there are so many opportunities for collaboration and idea and wisdom sharing.

Who is on the team? Right now, in addition to myself, we have a fantastic crew of nannies helping to publish this magazine. As I mentioned, Amanda Dunyak is our Editor in Chief. She is a nanny in New Jersey with over 15 years’ childcare experience. We have Connecticut-based Michelle Galetta who cares for both children and elderly, as well as pets (she’s so good with managing our advisory board, helping with strategy work, and making sure our contributors are well cared for!). Next up, Stephanie Magrisso is an Ohio-based nanny who helps a lot with our marketing and social media work. Jill Ciganek is our newsletter editor and also runs our Instagram; she’s based out of Baltimore and has been with us for a few years now. Our food editor is Heather Cherry out of Pennsylvania. Nicola Manton of New York City is our news editor and helps us dig up the best web articles to keep nannies aware of what’s happening in their field. We also have two fantastic copy editors, Ebun Adewumi (Pennsylvania) and Amber Barrett (Seattle, Washington) who helps us make sure we go to press with clean copy. Everyone has a huge job to do and I can’t stress enough how much I adore each and every one of these amazing ladies. I also have to give a shout out to NM’s advisory board—they help the team by bringing ideas and questions from the business world.

Anything else? We hope everyone will take a minute to learn how a subscription to Nanny Magazine could be a great thing for a nanny’s career. Our website is www.nannymag.com and we hope you’ll come by and check us out!

 

Michelle LaRowe is the editor in chief of eNannySource.com. She also serves on the Nanny Magazine advisory board.

 

 

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CACHE Endorsed Nanny Training

May 31, 2017

Stella Reid, known for her no-nonsense approach to childcare and family management as seen on hit reality show Nanny 911, and International Nanny Association Nanny of the Year award recipient, editor in chief of eNannySource.com,242_4215 and author of Nanny to the Rescue! Michelle LaRowe, have teamed up to bring US based nannies access to high-quality, CACHE endorsed nanny training.

“For the first time, US nannies now have easy access to the same type of high quality training that nannies in the UK receive and are respected for. Nannies need to invest in themselves to be the best that they can be, and I am proud to have brought them this groundbreaking opportunity” said Reid.

Established in 1945, CACHE was created by the UK Ministry of Health under the name of National Nursery Examination Board (NNEB). This board set the syllabus for the first national nanny examination which took place in 1947. In 1994, NNEB merged with the Council for Early Years Awards to form CACHE, which has endorsed the programs Reid and LaRowe have developed.

“The first nanny course to be endorsed in the US by CACHE was The Nanny Stella Professional Nanny Program, which I developed and launched earlier this year,” said Reid. “This three-part program is designed to support learners through their journey from hoping to work with children to becoming a fully- fledged practitioner.”

Recognizing the need for an entry-level course that would provide nannies or nannies to be with a solid overview of best practices, industry information and current childcare standards, Reid collaborated with long-time friend and colleague, Michelle LaRowe, who serves as lead educator at NannyTraining.com. “Michelle has developed a high-quality, comprehensive nanny training program that perfectly complements the course I have developed. As a CACHE Approved Learning Center, it made perfect sense to endorse and offer her course as a CACHE Endorsed Learning Program.”

And the pair plans to continue to expand their offerings. “It’s our vision to expand access to high quality nanny education to caregiver across the globe” said LaRowe. “We’ve recently signed a licensing deal in Dubai and are working on one in Switzerland. There is a recognized need for high quality, affordable and easily accessible nanny training across the globe and we plan on meeting that need.”

To register for a course or to learn more about the first US CACHE endorsed learning programs for nannies, visit http://nannystella.com/nanny-learning-programs/.

Posted in Nanny Tips, Nanny Training | Leave a comment

Caring for Three or More

March 20, 2017

For many larger families, nanny care is the most affordable, effective, and efficient childcare option. Unlike with daycares, nannies don’t charge a per child fee or age children out of their care, so for parents with several children of differing ages, nanny care is an attractive childcare option. And given that most nanniesshutterstock_605237732 transport children as part of the job duties – and are willing to be a bit flexible with their scheduling when required – nanny care is most often the ideal childcare choice for multi-child families.

However, many nannies are hesitant to take on jobs with more than two children. Since jobs caring for one or two children are often offering the same wages as jobs that require caring for three or more children, the slight bump in hourly wages isn’t appealing enough to take on the extra work.

But as parents in large families will tell you, double the children isn’t necessarily double the work. Here’s why:

1. The scale of economy. Translated to childcare, the more children there are, the less “above and beyond” work required to care for each individual child. If you’re cooking pasta for dinner, for example, the work required to make pasta for an additional person isn’t really that much.

2. Forced routine, structure, and organization. Successful large families will tell you that when caring for multiple children of various ages with unique needs, having routine, structure and organization are essential. Most larger families operate like a fine-tuned machine and the hard work of establishing consistent patterns from day to day is already done.

3. Increased social/emotional development. Children in large families tend to have solid social/emotional relationships and are used to having to wait their turn, share, and get along with others. These kids tend to know how to develop relationships with their peers because they get lots of practice doing so.

4. Group friendly activities. When caring for several children, having activities that all the kids can participate in at their age an interest level is essential. Nannies caring for large families can adapt many activities to be all inclusive. Having theme days where activities revolve around a centralized theme and having children engage in the arts and outdoor play can help ensure fun for everyone.

5. Opportunities to fine-tine your caregiving skills. When caring for several children, nannies must meet the needs of one child without sacrificing the needs of another. Nannies who are competent in caring for multiple children learn to prioritize needs, multi-task and learn to be fair, which doesn’t always mean ensuring equality. Nannies caring for children in large families have a real opportunity to increase their caregiving abilities through rich the rich experiences afforded by hands-on care.

Nannies who find their niche out earn and outperform their peers in the areas where they specialize. If you’re looking to stand out in your career, consider specializing in caring for multiple children in larger families. A well-referenced nanny who has experience caring for several children of all ages will quickly stand out among peers when applying for jobs that require experience caring for several children of varying ages. Nannies who have a background working in daycare are especially poised to specialize in caring for children in large families since they already have experience caring for several children of varying ages under their belt.

Posted in Child Care Tips, Child Safety, Parenting | Leave a comment

Making Learning Easy and Fun

January 24, 2017

As the editor-in-chief of eNannySource.com, a mom and a career nanny, I am always looking for new products and services that actively engage children to make learning fun. I have shared about ABCmouse.com before and was excited to learn that they have expanded their educational content to reach 2nd graders. With the addition of over 200 lessons and 1500 activities geared towards children up to age 8, parents and nannies have a new option to support their older elementary school child’s learning and educational development.

For many families, limiting screen time can be a real struggle. Parents and nannies not only struggle to limit the amount of time children spend on their screens, but they struggle with monitoring the quality of content their children are exposed to. With ABCmouse.com, parents and nannies can trust that the content their children are exposed to is high quality and educationally based, free from questionable pop ups and in app purchasing opportunities. In fact, ABCmouse.com has no advertisements, no pop-up ads, and no links to other sites, which make the platform perfect for child-safe exploration.

And since the platform is accessible on iPads, iPhones and Android devices, kids can learn on the go. Instead of playing video games or watching videos, ABCMouse.com gives children access to a multi-award-winning curriculum which was honored by parents and educators. Opportunities for increasing reading time or building on a child’s interest in science, math or the arts has never been easier.

Since ABCmouse.com leads children down a progressive learning path, they can review concepts and master new ones using a variety of engagement tools including songs, puzzles, printables, rewards, books, animations and games. ABCmouse.com gives kids access to a whole world of educational opportunities that they can explore at their own pace and discretion.

If you’ve been looking for a tool to support your child’s education, check out ABCmouse.com. The learning opportunities are fun, access is easy and the educational engagement is endless.

 

eNannySource.com is an affiliate partner of ABCmouse.com. This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. All opinions are the author’s own.

 

 

 

Posted in Child Care Tips, Parenting, Playtime | Tagged | Leave a comment

Mother’s Day Gift List

May 3, 2016

While a day at the spa is the standard mother’s day gift, why not break the mold and consider something different this year?

Here are a three fresh ideas to get your started:

starwars

Bean Bag Toss, or Cornhole, is a family friendly lawn game that everyone can play. Victory Tailgate creates custom made Cornhole game boards in a variety of themes from mom’s favorite sports team to her favorite Star Wars character. For moms who loves outdoor family fun, hosting BBQs or just winning, regulation Cornhole boards from Victory Tailgate may be the perfect gift.*

Pearl Bath Bombs are a twist on traditional bath bombs. After the bath bomb has fizzled out, a plastic compartment, or “pearl” is revealed. Inside is a ring and redemption code. You can enter the redemption code online for your chance to win a ring up to a $5,000 value. For moms who are in need of a little pampering and relaxing, a Pearl Bath Bomb may be a great gift.*

Spring cleaning has never been so fun for mom than when someone else does it. Consider hiring a cleaning crew to come in and scrub the house from top to bottom or gather up your own crew to tackle the task. A deep cleaning may be the best gift for busy moms who dream of spotless house but have a hard time making it happen.

Do you have a favorite out of the box gift idea? Share it in the comments below.

*Promotional samples were provided for review consideration. 

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Introducing NannyTraining.com

April 10, 2016

NannyLogoI am super excited to introduce you to our latest project, online nanny training at NannyTraining.com!

At NannyTraining.com I’ve combined my 20 years of industry experience as an award-winning nanny,  published parenting author, past board member and executive director of the International Nanny Association, managing partner of an award-winning nanny agency and editor in chief of a network of online sites including eNannySource.com to develop a specialized certification just for nannies.

With over 13 lessons, 350 topics, 100s of resources, 13 quizzes and a final exam, I know that nannies who complete this training will enhance their knowledge, skill set and marketability.

Since I know nannies value quality training at an affordable price point, I’ve set the cost of the certification at $69.

Check it out and I look forward to partnering with nannies across the globe in improving the quality of in-home childcare.

Michelle LaRowe
Editor-in-Chief

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National Nanny Training Day

April 8, 2016

 

Over 1,500 Nannies Gather in Local Communities For Training That Promotes Quality Care

Nannypalooza celebrates National Nanny Training Day (April 16th, 2016) to recognize the needs of young children and to raise awareness of the positive correlation between nanny training and quality care.  This national initiative is part of Week of the Young Child, an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

unnamed

On Saturday, April 16th over 1,500 nannies in 32 cities will gather in their local communities at training events designed to meet their unique needs.

While professional development is required is other childcare settings, the informal nature of nanny care often leads parents and caregivers to believe that ongoing training isn’t necessary for nannies.  However early childhood researchers such as Dr. Laura Berk, retired Professor at Illinois State University Psychology Department, tell us a different story.  Her research shows that child care providers become skilled professionals when hands-on childcare experience is combined with training and education.

Sue Downey, owner of Nannypalooza.com, says, “Many nannies are drawn to this work because they have natural skills.  But when you combine those natural instincts with a solid knowledge of child development you will directly increase the quality of care for children. And top notch care is what every child needs and deserves.”

Events are offering training on such topics as positive discipline, nutrition, car seat safety and more. For more information to find an event near you, nannies should visit www.nannypalooza.com.

National Nanny Training Day is a national initiative coordinated by Nannypalooza.com, a site dedicated to nanny professional development. It is the home of the Nannypalooza conference, a 2 day training event for nannies held in the Fall.  For more information please visit www.nannypalooza.com

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YES Prep Has Become eNannySource’s Newest Partner

June 8, 2015

YES Prep Small Logo

eNannySource.com is pleased to announce their newly-formed partnership with YES Prep Public Schools. YES Prep will be offering eNannySource’s online child care service as a new, free benefit for all of their employees to help each of them balance their career and family life.

“We are proud to partner with YES Prep,” said Travis King, eNannySource.com’s director of strategic partnerships. “Teachers and staff who work so hard at helping kids from underserved areas have the opportunities they deserve to graduate high school and go on to earn a college degree deserve every bit of help and support we can give them.”

YES Prep is an open-enrollment public charter school system that’s been educating students from low-income and disadvantaged areas throughout Houston since 1998. They’re currently educating 9,000 students at their 13 Houston schools and will be opening two new schools in Houston this fall. In many of the communities they serve, only half of all students graduate high school, and less than 10% are expected to graduate from college. The goal of YES Prep goes beyond every one of their students graduating from high school; it extends to each one of them earning a four-year college degree. They even continue to support their alumni throughout their college careers.

“YES Prep has been tremendously successful in transforming the lives of thousands of students right here in Houston,” said Eric Mullins, the chief operating officer at eNannySource.com. “Since YES Prep is a nonprofit organization, we are providing our service at zero cost to their organization.”

eNannySource.com began connecting families with in-home child care providers in 1994. Since their beginning, eNannySource has helped more than 500,000 families find the care they need, whether they’re seeking live-in/live-out nannies, night nannies, nanny/housekeepers, babysitters, newborn specialists, or corporate backup care. eNannySource recently began partnering with companies across the country to offer their online child care service as an employee benefit. The focus of the benefit is on backup care, so employees no longer need to miss work for any child care related issue. However, a partnership with eNannySource grants each employee full, unlimited access to their service.

If you’re a nonprofit organization or know of one that you think will benefit from our service, email Travis at travis@enannysource.com and talk to him about partnering with eNannySource.com to offer corporate backup care to your employees and volunteers at no charge to your organization.

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eNannySource is Now Partnering With KIPP

May 13, 2015

KIPP Logo TrioAnnouncing eNannySource.com’s new partnership with KIPP Houston Public Schools, KIPP San Antonio, and KIPP Dallas-Fort Worth to provide corporate care to all of their employees at no charge to the KIPP Foundation.

Focusing on educating students from low-income, underserved communities, the KIPP Foundation is a nonprofit organization that has built a network of elementary, middle, and high schools offering free, open-enrollment to students across the nation. KIPP faculty and staff are unified by the goal of equipping their students with the knowledge and skills they need to make it all the way through college and beyond.

“KIPP teachers and staff devote so much of themselves to helping and educating kids from our community here in Houston and across the country. I’m proud to partner with KIPP Houston, San Antonio, and DFW to do all we can to help them balance their demanding careers and their family lives,” said Travis King, the director of strategic partnerships at eNannySource.com.

eNannySource.com is an online child care service that, since 1994, has helped more than 500,000 families nationwide find the caregivers they need, including nannies, babysitters, newborn specialists, backup care, and more.

eNannySource.com recently began partnering with businesses nationwide to offer backup care as a new employee benefit to help businesses give the work-life balance support their employees need. When offered as a benefit, employers see a significant decrease in absenteeism for childcare related issues — such as a child being too sick to go to school or daycare — and are better able to maintain company-wide productivity. Employees are able to find, contact, run background checks, and hire caregivers for their children, allowing employees to go to work knowing their children are in good hands.

“Nonprofit organizations like KIPP work to improve their communities. We at eNannySource.com want to help nonprofits by offering our services to their organizations free of charge,” said Eric Mullins, chief operating officer at eNannySource.com.

If you are a nonprofit organization or know of one that you think will benefit from our service, email Travis at travis@enannysource.com and talk to him about partnering with eNannySource.com to offer corporate care to your employees and volunteers at no charge to your organization.

Posted in Non Profit Childcare, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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