Hi everyone! We are excited to present our next nominated Nanny of the Month! For those who have been following along, we take some time each month to nominate a nanny within our agency in order to showcase their talents, skills and personalities. We took some time to connect with Kellie G. recently to hear about her experience as a Chicago nanny! As you read along, you will discover how her move from the social services field has built an incredible interest in nannying! Kellie has also found some great ways to both connect with nannies in her area and find true enjoyment in working with children. Be sure to take a few moments to read about Kellie and hear her story. Congratulations to our October Nanny of the Month, Kellie!
CCN: What is your favorite thing about being a nanny?
Kellie G.: I would have to say that it’s such an active job. I’m always up and doing things. It always helps that the kids are up for an adventure. We are going around town, going to the museums, parks, you name it. I can’t sit around inside all day, I love that I’m able to get out and explore the community and teach the kids about exploring their own community. So that’s been really fun. I also love seeing them hit their milestones. I also love being able to see them do things for themselves (like putting on their own shirt or shoes) is very rewarding.
CCN: Can you tell us your story about how you decided to become a nanny?
Kellie G.: I just kind of found it after moving to Chicago and loved it! I used to be an in home care provider with children with severe disabilities and then I ended up settling in to social work as a case manager at a homeless shelter. After college, I started working one on one from working in social services, so when I moved to Chicago, I found out about nannying and that wasn’t really where I was from, there really weren’t nannies. So I saw this as a new opportunity I could take advantage from and I decided to take a chance on Chicago Collegiate Nannies and I found my family and I’ve worked for them ever since.
CCN: What do you think has been the most rewarding thing you have learned throughout your current placement?
Kellie G.: I think maybe that kids can really understand more than people think if you get down on their level and explain things to them in a way they can understand. And I feel like I’ve been able to translate a lot of the things I’ve learned in social services to nannying to help my kids gain perspective on things. Even though my kids are 4 and 6 years old, I’ve been able to have deep conversations with them about things. It’s rewarding knowing they’re able to understand those things and they’ve grown into some of the most empathetic kids I’ve met.
CCN: What do think has been beneficial about working with an agency like Chicago Collegiate Nannies?
Kellie G.: The support and having you guys there as a support system. I came in not really knowing how to get started. I knew I’d be a good nanny, but didn’t know how to get started (especially after having moved to a big city). Connecting with Chicago Collegiate Nannies and being placed with an agency was so beneficial to me and otherwise I would have never found my family. And that Chicago Collegiate Nannies helped me with training and getting my CPR was also really beneficial.
CCN: What advice would you give to someone looking to become a professional nanny?
Kellie G.: I would probably tell them to really try to make connections with other nannies in your community...I actually started organizing a monthly happy hour for the nannies in my neighborhood and it really expanded things for us. We have group chats for nannies in a certain street and play dates on certain days. We have a facebook group to connect with other nannies and other kids. It’s been really great!
CCN: Do you have any plans and goals for yourself personally and professionally in the next five years.
Kellie G.: I try to keep my life plans loose and don’t have any particular plans and goals right now. But I am working on getting my aerial yoga certification to help me be able to teach on the side. And probably whenever I finish my current placement (whenever that is), I plan to travel the world for about a year or two.
CCN: What do you think is the biggest lesson you have learned as a nanny?
Kellie G.: It took me a while to learn (until my kids got to a certain age) and every kid is different and hit milestones at different times, I found myself comparing my younger kid to my older kid. And then I remembered they’re totally different kids and I have to have totally different approaches to them. One learns differently from the other and that has helped me learn that and it has been beneficial to help them both with development.
CCN: Are there any other tips and tricks you would like to share?
Kellie G.: Something I think is beneficial is at lunch time, I ask what was the best part of their day, the worst part of their day and something they are thankful for. So that’s been a fun thing to do while we are sitting down and eating. And it helps them remember what we did for the day. And gives me insight on things we should do again and things we shouldn’t do again (for activities).