Professional Childcare Graduate Shares Her Experience with Amslee Institute

Crystal has also completed the International Nanny Association Basic Skills Assessment and is a Certified Personal Trainer.

Amslee Institute Chats with Crystal Terry, Professional Nanny and Amslee® Professional Childcare Graduate. As a new training organization licensed by the Florida Commission of Education, No. 5951, Amslee Institute is introducing our faculty, strategic partners, and industry leaders to the childcare community. Elizabeth Malson is President of Amslee Institute.

Our Facebook live guest is Crystal Terry. Crystal has been a nanny for over ten years after earning a Bachelor degree in Early Childhood Education and Teaching from Purdue University. Crystal has also completed the International Nanny Association Basic Skills Assessment and is a Certified Personal Trainer.

Can you share a bit about your nanny career and the types of families you’ve worked with?

Crystal: I started as a nanny in 2007, as a part time nanny after school while I was in college. In 2011, I started nanny work full time with older kids doing household management. Since then I have done a lot of work with toddlers, newborn, infants. I’ve been a live-in nanny and live out. I’ve also worked overnights caring for infants.

With your degree, you have a range job opportunity available including teaching, what makes being a Nanny such a good fit for you?

Crystal: When I was 8, I decided I wanted to be a nanny when I grew up. It was funny as my mom always laughed and she said, “that’s not a real job”. I was determined throughout my childhood and adulthood that I was going to be a nanny. I think I just love the personalized aspect and individualized care with 1 on 1 time with the kids to help them grow and develop. It’s just an amazing thing that you don’t get in the classroom or a school. It’s so different from any other job as it’s so personal. You get to forge a great relationship with the kids and family you work with.

As you’ve cared for older kids, like 13 who can’t drive themselves around yet, what do you do differently?

Crystal: It’s a more complex relationship. You have to get on their level and respect that they are older and developing a personality. They want to be independent. It’s not about teaching them but be more of a mentor. You’re not there to care for them but mentor.

In addition to being a Professional Nanny, you also match Nannies with employment opportunities at Nanny Nation Agency. Can you share some of the traits that make a Nanny great?

Crystal: Number one is to be responsible as you are taking care of someone’s most precious thing in the world. Responsibility is huge. You have to be compassionate and caring as you’re taking care of a child and they have child level feelings. You have to be patient as you have to stay calm. I think being organized is important to be responsible and have it together.

With these traits and so much nanny experience, what encouraged you to invest in the Amslee Institute’s Professional program?

Crystal: I think professional development is important and I like to find new opportunities to develop and learn. When I saw Amslee, I was intrigued by the college faculty and so much information was provided. Each class provides depth and the overall curriculum was so thorough.

What was your experience with the program? Did the classes meet your expectations?

Crystal: The classes were information and I like to think that I know a lot. I feel like I learned something from every course and I didn’t get 100% on every quiz. So, there were definitely new things. Like STEM – I have never experience STEM before so that was a new thing. I think the program, no matter if you have 1 year or 20 years of experience, there is something that Amslee can teach you.

What would you share with Nannies thinking about enrolling but worried about the tuition?

Crystal: Talk with your employer and see if they will help with professional development and provide for some of the cost. Amslee now has scholarships that are available, so that’s an option. It’s worth investing in education, just like you would in any career. Training is important to gain skills to be the best nanny you can be.

Do you think the training will help nannies find a better job or ask for a raise?

Crystal: Education is a huge factor when I’m negotiating for a new position for myself or for a nanny I’m working with. If someone hands you a resume without education but 5 years of experience and someone else has 5 years of experience with 200 hours of education, parents are more inclined to interview and hire the person who stands out. No only do you learn more about childcare, but it helps you stand out from other applicants.

Elizabeth: Crystal mentioned a scholarship and we are excited to announce the 2018 Nivens Scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded to two recipients and it will provide full tuition and fees for the Basic and Intermediate Childcare programs. The scholarship is available online at www.amsleeinstitute.com/scholarships and applicants have until September 15th to complete the two essays and forms.

Can you think of a great story where you were at work and had an experience with a child that caused you to laugh or just a really great moment?

Crystal: I have my favorite moment in my nanny career because it showed my how amazing and truly honest and wonderful kids are. A few years ago, I was watching some school aged kids that were 7 and 9. We were going to the swimming pool and I was a live-in. I was going upstairs feeling I look awful in this bathing suit, but she looks at me, she grabs me by the face, and she says, “Crystal, you are so beautiful.” In one of my weakest moments, this little child, she had no idea what she was doing, found a way to make me feel amazing. I think children are brutally honest and they are so awesome. It’s one of the reasons I love working with kids so much. Every day is so unexpected, you just never know what you’re going to get.

Thank you, Crystal, for your time tonight!! If you aren’t already, please follow Amslee Institute and Nanny Nation on social media to see weekly articles published by our faculty and other Facebook live chats.

Amslee Institute Chats with Kim Roberts, Nanny Expert Announcing Via The Village’s New Mentorship Program

Kim has been a professional nanny for 17 years and has over 20 years of experience with children.

As a new training organization licensed by the Florida Commission of Education, No. 5951, Amslee Institute is introducing our faculty and strategic partners to the childcare community. Our Facebook live guest is Kimberley Roberts. Kim has been a professional nanny for 17 years and has over 20 years of experience with children. She has worked as a kindergarten teacher, reading specialist, newborn care specialist, and caregiver. IN 2014, she received the title, “Mama” and began to bring her son, Simon, to work with her. Kim is the Nanny Expert for Via The Village and is a passionate advocate for Nannies. Her goal is to elevate the nanny profession through education and networking.

Can you share a bit about your nanny career and what has kept you engaged throughout your nanny career?

Kim: My nanny career started in college for my teaching degree. I was a summer nanny for a family and loved every second of it, having babysat at age 12 for 6 kids. I was paid 50 cents per kid per hour and thought $3 per hour was fantastic. I’ve always loved children and knew since 2nd grade that I’d work with children.

I taught kindergarten for 2 years, nannying during the summer. After 2 years of teaching a high-profile family called me and offered a full-time nanny position, making more than I was as a teacher. I was less experienced at the time and I didn’t do my research and in 2005, there weren’t Facebook groups or online communities. Most people didn’t know what a nanny was other than Mary Poppins or British Nannies. For me it was different because I was treated as the help, not a part of the family. I wasn’t prepared for having to use a side entrance, not being allowed to talk to my bossed but go through a household manager and having to ask permission to leave the house. We had paparazzi hiding in the trees, so it was intense. It was a wonderful experience but difficult as some weeks, I worked over 100 hours. I was exhausted and love it, it was great.

What kinds of things would help someone who didn’t have a great first experience as a nanny or what challenges are more relevant today as nannies are more popular?

Kim: My first family had the attitude that I was there to help their family run more smoothly, The mom referred to me as, “her wife” and to the children as, “aunt Kim.” I was part of the family from the beginning and that was amazing. I’ve been viewed as the third parent and those are the positions that I’ve really appreciated.

I tell younger nannies that those are the families you want to work for. You want families that see this as a career choice or a professional and should be treated as a profession. I encourage nannies to ask families during the interview process, “how do you see my role in the family?” Do you see me as a surrogate family member or an employee? Can I come to you with issues and how are we going to resolve conflicts?

One of the biggest things I tell nannies is that you have to have a contract. Contracts are so important to make sure you all are on the same page about as much as possible. Nanny-Family relations are so unique, and nannies are part of the family, helping to raise the children. There’s no other job with the same dynamic between an employer and employee. There are resources to help as Via The Village offers free contracts for individuals and nanny shares.

Elizabeth: I’ll share as well that Amslee Institute has a free 30-minute class with 3 different contracts you can download. There is a one-page Sitter contract, a full-time nanny contract, and a thorough 15-page contract for live-ins. These downloads are designed to be templates and tools to help you think through and then modify them to make them your own. I love there are resources at Via The Village and Amslee to help everyone.

In working with Via The Village, what are some common misconceptions families have about working with nannies?

Kim: A lot of misconceptions comes around the responsibilities that they think a nanny should have or they just have no idea what a nanny does. Families want a list, do nannies clean toilets, do they walk dogs, or do I pay them extra to walk my dog? Do I clean my house before the nanny arrives or is that something she takes care of? It’s something that Via The Village is trying to tackle and a lot of agencies and other online resources that are listing nanny responsibilities. Families just don’t always have an idea of what a nanny does.

[Jokingly] Families want a nanny with a college degree to clean our toilets and walk our dog and give us foot massages, but we want to pay $48 an hour, [Laughing].

Elizabeth: [Laughing] Right! We joke about it but we are also advocates in the community to build awareness and education what value professional nannies really bring to a family to help it run smoothly. Nannies earn paid vacations, sick days, reimbursement for mileage – all the things other full or part time employees receive.

You’ve shared a lot about your career and helping others, if you had to outline from beginning to where you are, what are the career stage?

Kim: The majority of nannies often start as a babysitter and some nannies may start as a mother’s helper. A mother’s helper is a babysitter that works with a stay at home parent, supervised by the parent to help out. That can be a position someone over the age of 18 can hold but usually, they are caregivers with less experience. Then is the entry level nanny who may or may not have any training or certification. These nannies may have a few years of experience. Then, is an experienced nanny for several years and usually have some type of continuing education. As advocates for nannies, we are trying to do a better job about training and resources to newer Nannies. Via The Village is providing a list of training courses available, including Amslee Institute. Then, there are Specialist Nannies who may train in Montessori, a teaching degree, or a travel nanny. Beyond that, you can go in many directions including becoming a doula. I recently got my certification as a doula. There is a lot nannies can do to advance their own careers, there are resources out there.

One of the things you are passionate about is advocating for nannies and helping those early in their career to develop and grow. What are some of the things at Via The Village that are helping nannies?

Kim: We are working on a program, Via The Village Mentor Program. We are looking for experienced nannies who are looking to help younger nannies. Maybe you are a younger nanny who needs help finding a position, or help with a resume, or you are having an issue with a family and don’t know what to do. We are hoping the newer nannies will reach out so we can pair them with a mentor to help them out. There are a lot of nannies who leave the field because they get burned out and don’t know who to ask for help or resources. If you don’t have a support system, it can be challenging or lonely working with children 10 hours a day. You can get burned out really quickly without nanny friends.

How do you join Via The Village Mentorship Program?

Kim: Nannies can reach out directly to me at, Kim@ViaTheVillage.com. Once we have a good number of mentors and those seeking to be mentored, we will start pairing people together. We are hoping to pair people together in the same areas, but that depends on who we have signing up. Just reach out.

Elizabeth: We do these live chats each week so let us know if there is a guest you’d like to see. We are alternating between industry leaders like Kim with Amslee faculty members. We also publish a faculty written article each week so let me know if you have a topic you’d like from a faculty member.

What are your thoughts on nanny training opportunities?

Kim: When I started sharing I was going to be on Facebook tonight, I was asked, “what is Amslee Institute?” When I explained, they got excited about it. I just want to mention how much I appreciate, as an educator, that your program is licensed by the Department of Education, they are extremely rigorous, congratulations. I also like that all Amslee classes are taught by Master’s degree teacher, it is fantastic.

Elizabeth: Thank you! It took us over a year and a half. The Department of Education has a requirement that you can’t talk about the program until you are fully licensed. So, we kind of came out of no where a few month ago. We were committed to the correct process and thank you so much because it’s our way of truly demonstrating who we are as an organization and the commitment and quality we want to bring to the industry.

Thank you, Kim, for your time tonight!! If you aren’t already, please follow Via The Village and Amslee Institute on social media.

via the villageAbout Via The Village. Via The Village is a web-based networking platform connecting families, nannies, and nanny shares. Nannies and Families can sign up (free), create a profile, and start building a village. Not only can nannies search for new positions or a nanny share family – they can find other nannies employed near them to meet up for play dates or provide backup care.

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