Chicago Collegiate Nannies is happy to present this month's “Nanny of the Month!" We will continue to feature one of our very own CCN nannies and tell you a little bit about them. Below is our interview with another one of our favorite nannies, Rachel Y.--and she’s got so many helpful tidbits of information to share with you! Plus, she's a bilingual nanny which is a huge plus! Congratulations, Rachel, and thank you for all that you do for Chicago Collegiate Nannies!
CCN: What is your favorite thing about being a nanny?
Rachel Y.: My favorite thing about being a nanny is learning every child’s (that I take care of) personality. I find child development fascinating, so to apply my knowledge to every day life and to appreciate children’s uniqueness is probably my favorite thing about working with children. There’s never a dull moment, which is what I think I like most about being a nanny.
CCN: Can you tell us your story about how you decided to become a nanny?
Rachel Y.: Let’s see, my life changing decision! I actually worked at a daycare for three days and I knew right away I wanted to work with children. I had just come home after two years at University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee as a Business major and I wasn’t happy. So I came home and was searching for a job and I thought working in a daycare would be fun because I was the neighborhood nanny before I went to college, so kids always made me happy. So I worked at a daycare and three days in I knew that I wanted to work with children and be a nanny while I finished my schooling.
CCN: What do you think has been the most rewarding thing you have learned throughout your current placement?
Rachel Y.: The most rewarding thing is watching children develop at different age groups and to, kind of, know that my opinion and conversation that I have with the children at different age groups really play a role. They look up to me, so the things I say are really valuable. And to just see that conversations we have change demeanors, attitudes towards things and topics, and everyday life questions [makes it] really rewarding to see my impact in the overall picture of their life. Especially with this particular family I’m working with is three [children], so I get to experience three different age groups. It’s rewarding to know that this conversation persuaded them to think like this because of something I said, it could give it a more positive outlook…I think that’s really rewarding to see your work and care really at play.
CCN: What have you found has been beneficial about working with an agency like Chicago Collegiate Nannies?
Rachel Y.: I love working with an agency. I like working with agencies, period, because I think working with an agency in general [is great] because it’s their job to find you places where it’s appropriate for you to work based on your skills and they can be the buffer and vouch for you and really put your resume out there and stand behind you because they believe in you. The thing I really like about this particular agency [of Chicago Collegiate Nannies] is the community we have. I’ve worked with other nanny agencies and I can say I probably won’t go back because of the sense of community and [that] once you get hired, they don't leave you high and dry and I really appreciate that as a nanny because we are [trying] to self-brand ourselves. So, to have someone in your corner to vouch for you is really nice.
CCN: What advice would you give to somebody who is looking to become a professional nanny?
Rachel Y.: I would tell them, they gotta make sure they love kids! And [that] they’re willing to think sporadically and be able to know that nothing is every set in stone when it comes to kids. Always maintain calm, especially in a sense of panic. I think that’s the key.
CCN: What plans and goals do you have for yourself personally and professionally in the next five years?
Rachel Y.: Personally and professionally I hope to have graduated from the Erikson Institute with a Masters in Child Development and possibly travel teaching English as a second language because I’m also going to school for that right now. And maybe have a kid of my own!
CCN: How has being a nanny helped you in your own personal growth and development?
Rachel Y.: I think it’s helped me to look at things from different perspectives. Just being able to adapt to situations and learn to look at things from different viewpoints, interacting with different families and family’s needs…it’s really given me a broader perspective of things and how to handle things. And i’ve learned to just stay calm and it will be okay.
CCN: What would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learned as a nanny?
Rachel Y.: I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned being a nanny is [to] never second guess your instinct and never underestimate a child…There was a particular time with another family (not with the family I am with now, from one from before), with a child I nannied for, we thought that part of her learning problem was due to something else and we later found out that it wasn’t. And because of her age, we automatically assumed that she didn’t understand so we thought that couldn't have been a factor. So we kind of brushed it off, but instead we learned later on that she did know that and it was causing the problem. Never underestimate what children might know, as leading questions, and kind of always get a sense of the child themselves. And I would say [that is why] one of my favorite things [to do] is to learn each child because no child is the same.
CCN: Are there any other helpful tips and tricks you would want to share?
Rachel Y.: Tips, I would say it’s really important to have good communication [because] an open dialogue is always the best. Tricks, I like to say if everyone is panicking and we are somewhere, I always make the running joke with kids saying “You ever see an adult panic?” and to change the situation and often kids don’t believe me that an adult can panic and not maintain. So to kind of flip the script and back in a happy mood, I’ll pretend to “have a tantrum” and that usually turns everyone’s frown upside down.