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13 Questions with INA Nanny of the Year Nominee Karen Le Blanc

April 6, 2013

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.

eNannySource: How long have you been a nanny?

Karen: I have nearly 8 years of professional nanny experience overall and have been working in the field consecutively since August 2008.

eNannySource: How do you define a nanny?

Karen: A nanny is someone invited into the home who partners with a family to create a team dedicated to caring for and nurturing the children.

eNannySource:  How did you become a nanny?

Karen: For as long as I can remember I’ve been drawn to caring for children. It comes naturally to me and brings me great joy! Though I took a less traditional route to becoming a professional nanny, first teaching elementary school and even spending a few years in the corporate world, it makes perfect sense that I’ve settled into this amazing career. I was made to do this and can’t imagine doing anything else!

eNannySource: Worst nanny day?

Karen: The worst days have definitely been the “last” days with my kiddos. I’m currently working with my fifth family. After spending years with each one and being so intimately involved in the day-to-day and watching the children grow up in front of you it is so hard to leave that formal relationship behind. I have been blessed though to be able to stay in close contact with my previous families and visit them often! I’ve loved each family I’ve worked with and am always excited for the next adventure. But moving on is so hard!

eNannySource: Best nanny day?

Karen: There are so many great days! It’s hard to pick one. One of my best days was when I was rocking sweet A before her nap. She had just turned two and I was singing her the lullaby I had been singing to her since she was a newborn. About mid-way through she started singing with me. It was such a special moment. I will never forget it. Those are the days that remind you just why you’re doing this and somehow put everything else in your life in perspective.

eNannySource:  The misconception about nannies that bothers you most?

Karen: It bothers me that nannies are primarily portrayed as individuals raising children for rich families instead of their parents. While I know this type of arrangement exists, I’d like to see more awareness of the true partnerships that exist as well.

eNannySource: How do you spend a typical day?

Karen: I’m currently working with twin girls who just turned one. Right now a lot of the day consists of managing feedings and naps with some playtime mixed in there too! We also spend time reading together each day and taking walks through the neighborhood. We just started attending music class once a week and are part of a weekly playgroup as well.

eNannySource: Hardest part of the job?

Karen: Leaving a family at the end of a position.

eNannySource: Easiest part of the job?

Karen: Loving and celebrating the children!

eNannySource: Best advice to parents hiring a nanny?

Karen: This is one of the times it’s OK to be picky. Keep interviewing until you find the right fit. Be clear up front of your expectations and commit to maintaining open communication with your nanny.

eNannySource: Best advice to those considering becoming a nanny?

Karen: Parents are looking for someone with experience who sees being a nanny as a career and not just a job.

eNannySource: What’s one thing you wish you could change about the industry?

Karen: Increased awareness of the true partnerships that exist between parents and families and increased efforts to encourage and foster these partnerships.

eNannySource: Best advice to nannies wanting to make nannying their career?

Karen: No matter how well your experience matches up or how well the interview goes it may not be a good fit for you, for the family or for both. Don’t become discouraged! You will be working in partnership as a team so a good fit is important. Be honest and genuine in your interviews. If you let your personality come through and be yourself, families will be able to see how much you love working with children!

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.


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Donna says:

Karen, great answers. So true about partnerships. We coach parents as they coach us…i could feel your love and passion for your amazing career!