by Michelle LaRowe
Editor in Chief
Each year, the International Nanny Association presents the Nanny of the Year award at its Annual Conference. Those nominated for the INA Nanny of the Year award are exemplarily examples of who today’s professional nanny is and what she stands for. The 2013 INA Nanny of the Year will be named at the association’s 28th annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky April 12-15. As the 2004 INA Nanny of the Year, I’ve enjoyed getting to know this year’s nominees and look forward to meeting them in person at this year’s event.
1. How long have you been a nanny?
I have been a nanny for 6 years.
2. How do you define a nanny?
A nanny is a long-term childcare provider who works as a team with the child’s parents to care for the child’s physical, mental, emotional and developmental needs.
3. How did you become a nanny?
I had been babysitting for a family for years when the mom became pregnant with her fourth child. The parents were worried that she would go in to labor in the middle of the night. They asked me to move into their home so that I could take care of the other children when the mother went in to labor. Once they brought the baby home they asked me to stay longer to help. They realized how much easier life was when they had an extra set of adult hands around and asked me to become their live-in nanny.
4. Worst nanny day?
My worst day as a nanny was a few weeks ago when all 3 of my charges had the stomach flu at the same time.
5. Best nanny day?
It’s hard to pick a best nanny day. Some of my best days were when parents brought babies home from the hospital and seeing a child reach a milestone.
6. The misconception about nannies that bothers you most?
The biggest misconception about nannies that bothers me is when people think that nannies and babysitters are the same thing. A nanny works with the parents to care for the whole child. She makes sure the children are eating healthy, getting exercise and meeting developmental and education milestones. A babysitter keeps a child safe.
7. How do you spend a typical day?
I usually get to work and my older two charges go to school. While my youngest charge finishes breakfast I straighten up the kitchen and start the laundry. After that the baby and I do art, play games, or read. Some days we will attend music class, Gymboree, or swim class. After that we come home and have lunch, a bath, and a nap. While the baby is napping I work on laundry and start cooking dinner. When the older 2 kids come home I give them baths and we do homework. We then do an activity which could involve playing outside or doing an art project. I usually leave just before the family starts dinner.
8. Hardest part of the job?
The hardest part of the job is making sure that the parents and I are always on the same page.
9. Easiest part of the job?
The easiest part is giving and receiving hugs and cuddles all day long.
10. Best advice to parents hiring a nanny?
Remember your nanny is a person too. She needs to have a life outside of her job. Show respect for her time by coming home on time and let her know if you are going to be late.
11. Best advice to those considering becoming a nanny?
When looking for a job make sure you are a good fit with the family. Never take a job without a good, clear contract.
12. What’s one thing you wish you could change about the industry?
I wish people had more respect for what a nanny truly does.
13. Best advice to nannies wanting to make nannying their career?
Only take job where the employer pays on the books.
INA is a non-profit educational associated dedicated to quality in-home quality childcare. Visit http://nanny.org/past-noty to learn more about the award and about past Nanny of the Year recipients. eNannySource is a proud sponsor of this event.