Chicago Collegiate Nannies is happy to present this month's "Nanny of the Month!" Each month, we feature one of our very own CCN nannies and tell you a little about them. Below is our interview with Briana C.! We were able to connect with Briana recently about her experience as a nanny who has goals of opening her own home based daycare center after her continued experience with nannying. We were also able to open up Briana to utilizing an agency and seeing the benefits of what that has brought her! Take a moment to read up a little about Briana's experience as a Chicago nanny and how she has enjoyed building her skills to help her towards reaching her professional goals! Congratulations, Briana, and thank you so much for how well you represent Chicago Collegiate Nannies!
CCN: What is your favorite thing about being a nanny?
Briana C.: My favorite thing about being a nanny is having the opportunity to have hands on, one on one experience with children because I do want to open up my own home based day care in about three years. I’ve had the experience of working in classes and working with approximately 10-15 kids in the classroom…I really love being able to help mold the children when they’re younger up until they transition into school. I love learning about new environments, bringing some of my techniques into their environment, and putting it together to work together. It’s wonderful! I love being a nanny!
CCN: Can you tell us your story about how you decided to become a nanny?
Briana C.: In my second year of college, I knew that my major I was going into for engineering was not something I felt I truly wanted to do for the rest of my life. And I had been working with kids since I was probably in 7th/8th grade [because] my grandmother had her own home based daycare so I used to help out there. So, when my grandmother passed away, I realized I really needed to cherish life…and that opened up my eyes to [wanting to be able] to get that one-on-one experience, being able to touch people’s lives just like she was able to do. That was something I loved doing with working with kids, whether it was in the school [system] (I had worked with a program called BUILD in Chicago)…and [after that experience] I figured I really wanted to be able to get back into that field again. It gave me energy, and kept me wanting to go and do more. So, that’s when I decided when I graduated from college, I planned to do two years of nannying so I could get the outside experience that I [needed to help me when I] build my own home based daycare [in the future]…It was a learning experience for me and I’m glad my first nanny experience was a wonderful experience. It makes me want to continue until it’s time for me to transition into my next step.
CCN: What do you think has been the most rewarding thing you have learned throughout your current placement?
Briana C.: That every day is a learning process. I say that because once you feel like you’ve got things figured out, you realize there are other ways to approach things. And there’s always more that you can learn. I love how [nannying] has opened my eyes to be more open to different things or different approaches. I’m grateful that when I was in college, one of my education teachers taught us that every learning style is different for each kid and not every style is going to be the same for each kid. Getting that experience has opened my eyes to [think about that] in a learning environment but also knowing that everything we do can be in a different style.
CCN: What do you think has been beneficial about working with an agency like Chicago Collegiate Nannies?
Briana C.: I would say the support. The support is wonderful. There’s always resources [and] someone I can talk to…[Working with an agency is great because] I remember when I was a new nanny and I was able to meet some [CCN] nannies who have been with the agency for a few years. I think it has been very helpful…It’s very wonderful to be with an agency because you have a strong support system behind you rather than if you were not doing your [nanny search] with an agency…Agencies are here to help and [a resource] to have a safe place to talk to.
CCN: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a professional nanny?
Briana C.: My advice would be to join an agency. I feel like some people who have not experienced [what it’s like] being a nanny think that an agency is not there to help or they’re here to take the money from you [or things like that]…It was wonderful getting the help from an agency, help with the interviews, getting to talk to someone and getting some pointers, etc…I love that Lydia had asked [so many questions about me and what I was looking for]. I would recommend going through an agency because it’s great help, a great support system, and when there’s any questions you have, there’s someone there to help out.
CCN: Do you have any plans and goals for yourself personally and professionally in the next five years?
Briana C.: My next goal in three years [is that] I want to buy my first home so that within that year I can open up my own home based daycare in the same year of moving in. Right now, I’m focused on enjoying life because I’m young still. I’m also trying to stay focused on researching different areas about what’s the best area for home based care. I’m looking into what areas have home based day cares, what areas don’t have any and things like that. I’ve got a lot of little goals that are essential for me for when I transition in the next 3-4 years.
CCN: What would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learned as a nanny?
Briana C.: Realizing that all of my actions and how I come off plays a huge role in kids’ lives. I say that because when I first started with my nanny family, their previous nanny had some negative energy [when working with the family]. It feel so peaceful now. And people ask me a lot “Why are you so happy?” and I just say that I make sure I take care of myself whether it’s going to get a massage, relaxing, etc. I want to make sure I’m taking care of myself 100% so I can give off a good energy. Kids tend to reenact what they see. I love that when I look at how I act as a person gives off a certain positive energy to the kids. I feel that has been the biggest [learning] experience for me.
CCN: Are there any other tips and tricks you would like to share?
Briana C.: The good thing about my nanny family is that they live near three different parks, multiple restaurants, libraries, that are all within walking distance. When it’s a rainy day, the kids prefer to put on rain boots and rain jackets and play in the rain. I’m always open to different things or whatever may come my way…I’m very flexible. So I think that’s one of my biggest tips is to be flexible with all activities. For me personally, if it’s a rainy day I think of board games I know the kids will love [so I have things planned out]…I’m always scheduling for anything to happen.