Sara S.

June, 2018

Chicago Collegiate Nannies is happy to present this month's "Nanny of the Month!" Each month, we feature on of our very own CCN nannies and tell you a little about them. Below is our interview with Sara S.! We were able to connect with Sara recently about her experience as a Chicago nanny (and a first time full time nanny) and how much she has enjoyed working with an agency as well as making a new true friend in her little one! Take a moment to read Sara's story and find out more about what she loves about what she does! Congratulations, Sara, and thank you so much for how well you represent Chicago Collegiate Nannies!

CCN: What is your favorite thing about being a nanny?

Sara S.: To get the opportunity to partner with a family and to take care of their precious little kid. The family that I’m with (it’s their first child) so that was a really nerve-wracking process to pick a nanny and being able to love that child so much during the day. The dad said to me the other week “Thank you so much that we don’t even have to worry during the day at all,”…because I keep them updated during the day. And that we have built that relationship has been such a blessing to be able to do what I love so that the parents can continue to do what they love during the day. 

CCN: Can you tell us your story about how you decided to become a nanny?

Sara S.: When I graduated from college in 2015, nannying was on my list for possible careers. I walked into a different career path for a while and I just wanted something more one-on-one, more personal and more relational and so I decided to venture into nannying when I moved back to Chicago. One of my friends had been working with Chicago Collegiate Nannies and I thought I’d give it a shot. As far as experience goes, it was about finding a family that was a good fit. So, that was one of the biggest things I appreciated about [Chicago Collegiate Nannies] was the focus on that but also helped me to take that final step [in this career path]…The support in that [decision] was awesome.

CCN: What do you think has been the most rewarding thing you have learned throughout your current placement?

Sara S.: I have loved learning about child development. When I started, my little one was four months old and now he’s nine months old. Being up close [and seeing] the changes that happen (the fun changes and difficult changes) and being up close with the family like that has benefitted me a lot for my hopefully future family. And [I also enjoy] as I interact with other families… and just having that bond with one little kid. Knowing I’ve been with that child for over half of their life and that little relationship, I never thought I’d say a baby would be my friend, but he totally is my friend. And it’s so cool I get to hang out with him. 

CCN: What do you think has been beneficial about working with an agency like Chicago Collegiate Nannies?

Sara S.: Oh, where do I start? The main thing I tell people when I’m saying how I’ve benefitted from working with an agency is how much you help us with the things we (as nannies) aren’t sure about. With background checks, a professional profile, finding the families, helping supporting the families and giving them information about us and that process. And the whole interview [experience] can be really nerve wracking. If you meet a family you’re not sure about, it’s much easier to have an agency you can talk with and go through so you don’t end up saying yes to a placement you aren’t sure is going to be the best for you. But also how you present the nanny [position] as a professional career both to nannies and families. I’ve met quite a few nannies who view this job as a “blow off” and from their experience, see it as negative. So I appreciate [how an agency] tries to put a fresh face on it and presenting it as a privilege being the lucrative career it can be. 

CCN: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a professional nanny?

Sara S.: From my experience, the reason I didn’t jump into being a nanny right away was because I didn’t see it as professional or as a “real enough” job when I first thought about doing it. I would encourage them to completely get that idea off of the table…If you are thinking this is something you could be gifted at, dive in and embrace it because it really can support you above and beyond a lot of other positions, honestly…You spend your days at the park and at story time and it’s awesome. {Just] being able to tell yourself “hey this is what I’m doing” and not being ashamed of that because it’s an awesome opportunity.

CCN: What plans and goals do you have for yourself personally and professionally in the next five years? 

Sara S.: Well I’m planning on sticking with the family I’m with as long as it works out with them. They’re in it for the long haul. They’re talking about having another kid so I’d love to figure out things with them as long as I can and then even as they get older, I’d love to stay connected even if it’s just part time…’m just really open to whatever with this family being the first goal and seeing where it goes from there!

CCN: What would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learned as a nanny?

Sara S.: I guess just being open to learning with the parents (especially if you’re with first time parents). This is the first time I’ve been full time (with a family). So, being willing to support the parents. I haven’t had any issues at all with feelings of competitiveness or weirdness, but I know there is a potential for that. I’ve erred on the side of trying to [keep up] with the delicate balance. [Because] the parents want their kiddo to love me, but they also want their kiddo to love them…so building that relationship well has been different that a typical co-worker situation because it’s so close to home, it’s a different way to learn

CCN: Are there any other tips and tricks you would like to share?

Sara S.: My little one has been trying more food and I always try to have a little breakfast and lunch together [with him]. I love promoting meal time because I think it’s a real community bonding event. We always try to do that together (even if it’s him eating an avocado), I’ll eat my lunch with him and that’s always fun. I have also loved looking into the community based [events] like story times at the library. He’s only nine months old, so I signed him up for a summer reading program that will get him to see kids of all different ages. I know there’s little kid’s gyms in the area which are quite a bit more expensive and they have specific age groups, but it’s been so fun to see him interact with some kids that are older than him and [especially when they] bring him toys and [are being] kind to him. In Chicago, the opportunities are endless. And it has taken some courage to introduce myself to someone and you’ll see some nannies and moms already know each other, so it does take some courage. It can be scary, but it’s totally worth it. So I’d definitely say to be brave in that area (and you feel like a million bucks after).