As promised, CCN 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 one of our favorite nannies, Skyler C.--and she’s got so much to tell you! Congratulations, Skyler, and thank you for all that you do for Chicago Collegiate Nannies!
CCN: What is your favorite thing about being a nanny?
Skyler C: My favorite thing about being a nanny is definitely being able to [know] that it’s not just a job. I thought that “I love kids” and I love being around them and feeling like “Oh my gosh, I don’t have to go to work,” because you are helping this little individual person grow. You feel like you are important in their life so that’s what I love about it.
CCN: Can you tell us your story about how you decided to become a nanny?
Skyler C: Well, I’m the second oldest in my family and I’m the first girl, so I guess you know what that means. I always was the more responsible one so I started kind of watching my little cousins and little siblings and I basically became the “nanny” of my family. Which was great because I like being in charge. I like taking care of something…When I was old enough to babysit, I liked playing with Barbies and I felt like I always had that “mommy sense.”
CCN: What do you think has been the most rewarding thing you have learned throughout your current placement?
Skyler C: My most rewarding thing I have learned is about diet. I’ve actually lost a lot of weight since starting my nanny job because I’ve learned their cooking techniques. They eat very healthy and I’ve learned how to shop from them. Before I would just try to buy strawberries, for example, and now I know what to look for in terms of numbers and certain pesticides…And it’s just been rewarding for me and I feel like health is such a big thing…I know it sounds weird, but I go grocery shopping for them every week and I put the groceries away for them…so I think it’s just really cool.
CCN: What have you found has been beneficial about working with an agency like Chicago Collegiate Nannies?
Skyler C: It’s very beneficial, it’s very professional, and it’s great because there’s someone I can always talk to if I have a problem or if I need help or something, I feel like I get a very quick response. When I’ve worked with other agencies, it’s hard to get in contact with somebody or if I felt passionate about something or if I felt the complete opposite, I could talk to somebody and have someone to walk [me] through it. We weren’t just “robots," [CCN] was just actual people and I feel a part of it.
CCN: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a professional nanny?
Skyler C: I would say, definitely be aware of social media. I feel like social media can bring up so much negativity with finding jobs and everything now. Social media would be the first thing. I would say, really know yourself (I know that’s really corny), but if you don’t know what you don’t like and you get a child [at an age] that you aren’t comfortable with, you need to make sure you are very open with yourself in the interview. Be very honest and if you’re trying to “sugarcoat” everything, you aren’t going to get placed where you want to get placed. So I’d say social media, your own beliefs and definitely be educated [with classes] because you are in charge of someone’s life so make sure you know the basic training like CPR, choking hazards, that kind of stuff. Even if it’s just reading a book or online, just know.
CCN: What plans and goals do you have for yourself personally and professionally in the next five years?
Skyler C: Well I’m going to be graduating from nursing [school] in two years. I plan to sticking to working with kids, I want to open my own practice/agency, I’m not exactly sure, but I do know that I want to focus on helping somebody. I’ll be graduating with my B.S.N. and I’d like to get my own house, get married, and all that stuff.
CCN: How has being a nanny helped you in your own personal growth and development?
Skyler C: I would say it definitely helped me think [more] about someone other than myself. Being a nanny helped me realize that everything is not about you, and you’re taking care of someone else in the sense that you have to put aside your own emotions and wants for someone else.
CCN: What is the biggest lesson you have learned as a nanny?
Skyler C: Time management practices. You have to pick the kids up at a certain time, feed them at a certain time, take them to practices at a certain time, bathe them at a certain time, so definitely time management for me.
CCN: Are there any other helpful tips and tricks you would want to share?
Skyler C: Always have sunblock and water! Especially during summertime for sunblock because you are exposing the child to a lot of sun. And then they’re always thirsty for some reason and wanting a snack and then you have to tell them “Oh I don’t have anything!” So I would say [have] sunblock, snacks and water.