introduction by Alice Shaffer
Today’s Table Talk Thursday is an extension of Monday’s announcement that NANC has closed its doors. I have been a professional nanny for the past 15 years and have seen many changes in the nanny profession.
For over 25 years there have been nanny organizations that have come and gone on the local and national levels. National Association of Nannies left the Nanny Industry in 2005 and over time many local nanny support groups have been started and closed for various reasons. All of the groups have been founded for one reason or another but the common thread is they all want to make sure that nannies have educational resources available to them as well as being recognized as professionals. When NANC closed, Glenda Propst published a post that is titled “It’s Up To Us” It speaks about about what we need to do to continue to improve our profession now that NANC has closed.
Its Up To Us
by Glenda Propst
Another Nanny organization folds.
Last night before I went to bed, I read that NANC has made the decision to fold it’s organization.
Some of you, knowing my history, might think that would make me very happy but over the years being involved with this professional on a national level, I have learned many lessons. Some lessons have been harder learned than others but the most important lesson that I have learned is that as far as our profession has come, we have so far to go.
I belong to the pioneer generation of the professional nanny world.
Nannies have a long history in the world that goes back hundreds of years and the title and job of nanny has evolved and still continues to evolve. The professional nanny movement that began back in the early 1980’s culminated in the founding of the International Nanny Association.
As a founding board member of that organization I realize that my roots and professional commitment was solidified there. I was always committed to what I did, I was always dedicated to improving my profession but being able to connect with other professionals across the USA and even around the world brought a whole new frontier to this little country girl who grew up in a small town in the Midwest.
My involvement with INA connected me to a bigger part of the world, and made me realize that I could not just be an observer, I had to step out of my comfort zone and be a leader.
Being involved in INA connected me to the late Harriette Grant and my dear friend Eva Harkness. Together the 3 of us realized that nannies needed an organization that was run by them for them. An organization that would not compete with INA but co exist co hesively with INA. NAN formed in 1992 and folded in 2005. In 2005 when NAN folded we folded because we had a vision for what our organization was to be, and when we could not find dedicated professionals to continue with the dream we folded the organization because we did not want to take the chance of having it molded into something that did not fit our vision.
I mourned the death of NAN in 2005 like I mourned the death of Harriette in 2002 but I mourned the death of NAN long before we closed our doors.
I don’t feel like we failed, I feel like we paved the way for the next big nanny movement which seemed to be NANC.
And so today, I too mourn the closing of NANC.
My note today is really just a plea to all of you who work in the nanny profession.
It is not enough to blog, or rant or vent or post on message boards.
If you want the nanny profession to be recognized, respected and revered then it’s time to step out of YOUR comfort zone and be the change. Don’t complain because we don’t have standards, work to educate parents and nannies and agencies about what sets us apart.
Don’t say “someone should do something about that” Be the someone that does it.
As professional nannies we need to speak out, we need to speak for ourselves and we need to stop expecting someone else to pave our way and pave our own.
Start a support group, mentor a nanny, join INA but do something and every time you feel frustrated, don’t complain, do SOMETHING!
Start in your community and then reach out beyond. It’s great to network on line but make your profession a priority.
Join INA, go to a conference. Join NAEYC or your local affiliate and attend their conferences and local workshops. Keep educating yourself, keep learning and never stop growing.
What you give will come back to you 100 fold (sometimes) and sometimes it might come back to smack you the face (ouch) but keep reaching out and keep giving back and keep working to make a difference.
If we as nannies don’t do it, who will? and if we as nannies don’t do it, who has the most to lose?I know that many of you are grieving that professional connection you had with NANC. Sue and Lora did a great job but it takes as much wisdom and courage to know when to stop, as it does to start and I commend them for that.
So start today and decide what you can do change the face and the future of the profession.
It falls to me and it falls to you.
It’s up to us.
Just do something.