Introduction by Alice Shaffer
Today’s Monday Moxie, is one of a different kind. It has a sad undertone to it. We at Regarding Nannies wanted to recognize the efforts of NANC as they closed their doors on October 25, 2010. We know that it was not an easy decision to make nor was made overnight by NANC.
Lora Brawley and Sue Downey have been leading the way with NANC and Nannypalooza for several years. Through the journey of NANC something wonderful was born and that was Nannypalooza. Their recent success with Nannypalooza was seen by Nannies Across America 2011, in which over 500 nannies attended one day workshops in 17 cities. The attendees were buzzing with excitement from what they learned and heard at their event as well from the networking. On Monday, an announcement was made that NANC the parent of Nannypalooza was closing for many reasons but the main was because their original goal of implementation of minimum nanny standards was not being advanced in a manner that was helpful to all involved. They made a hard decision to close the doors for NANC.
As these doors to NANC have closed you may be wondering how to keep up on what may be happening with Nannypalooza 2011. Lora and Sue are still in the planning stages of what is to come in the future for Nannypalooza. They are hoping to have it continue in some form, that form is yet to be decided. Lora and Sue are still committed as always to helping to educate and empower nannies, but are not sure what direction that will take yet. You can still stay in touch via the fan page on Facebook. If you have not become a fan, make sure to do so today. Their facebook page and Nannypalooza website will be where they will be releasing information on the upcoming events pertaining to Nannypalooza 2011. Regarding Nannies will also make sure to let you know what is happening when we hear as well.
Lora and Sue wanted to share this: “Huge thank you for all those that helped make NANC endeavors successful and for the support since the closing. This has been a very difficult decision and the support we’ve received has made it a bit easier.”
Stay tuned for Table Talk Thursday as we share more on how “You, the nanny can do something to advance and empower yourself and other nannies”.
For those of you that have been around since the beginning, you’ll remember that the National Association for Nanny Care (NANC) started out as the National Association for Nanny Accreditation (NANA). The original catalyst for starting the group was to bring people together to do the work necessary to set across-the-board, nationwide minimum standards for caregivers working in the nanny industry. In addition to doing that, we had many associated, secondary goals.
We wanted to start a new conversation. To get all segments of the industry – nannies, business owners and parents – talking about the issues our profession faced and working together towards developing real world solutions. We believe we’ve not only started that conversation but also have significantly added to it through what we proposed and achieved.
We wanted to create an organization that provided an equal voice to all segments of the nanny industry, including all types of nannies, and that actively promoted inclusion through attitude and actions. We have created that organizational atmosphere and we’ve make progress in giving everyone in our industry an equal voice.
We wanted to offer high quality, affordable training opportunities to all caregivers, addressing the varying levels of experience and knowledge within the nanny population. From that goal, Nannypalooza emerged.
Nannypalooza has been an extraordinary success in so many ways. The annual conference consistently attracts more nanny attendees than any other nanny training event. The nannies that attend are from all corners of the country and represent a wide variety of ages, educational backgrounds and experience levels. It’s gained a reputation for being an open, welcoming, inclusive and fun event. And it’s provided top training at prices that every virtually nanny can afford.
The latest incarnation of Nannypalooza, Nannies Across America, was equally successful, offering training to over 500 nannies in 17 cities across the country.
Although Nannypalooza has been very successful, the implementation of minimum standards – our original goal – has not. While our passion remains, it’s become clear that NANC is not the best vehicle for the project. While we haven’t defined exactly what is the best vehicle to get the job done, we know it includes bringing together dedicated individuals solely focused on the goal and organizing them in a way that allows them to freely work within the legislative and political arenas, unhindered by the legal limitations on political action placed on non-profit, educational organizations.
With minimum standards taken out of the NANC equation, Nannypalooza becomes the mainstay of the organization. While it’s clear Nannypalooza is a much needed and widely embraced endeavor, it’s also clear the attendees and supporters of Nannypalooza do not believe NANC is a critical element of the event. Nannypalooza 2010 did not require attendees to be NANC members to attend an event or offer a discounted price to NANC members. As a result, our renewal memberships dropped a staggering 80%. Even though NANC was instrumental in the 17 events that served over 500 caregivers, less than 2% of the caregivers that attended a local Nannypalooza event joined NANC. While numbers aren’t the only indicator of an organization’s effectiveness, they are an important one. From the beginning we vowed to be a responsive organization and we feel an obligation to respond to the numbers facing us.
After considering all the different issues involved, we’ve made the very difficult decision to close NANC. We don’t see this as a failure of our leadership, of our membership or of the core goals, standards and training, behind NANC. We see it as the natural evolution of our goals and the redefining of how we can best engage the nanny care community in those goals. The lessons we’ve learned through NANC have been invaluable and we’re thankful for the opportunity we’ve had to work beside each of you.
This has not been an easy decision for us. We’ve struggled with it, walked through the many different scenarios available, considered every other conceivable alternative. We’ve invested much of ourselves into this organization and our relationships with you and this is a personal as well as professional loss for us. However we know it’s the right decision and it will ultimately best serve our needs as well as the needs of the industry.
We haven’t yet worked out the details on how we’ll move forward with Nannypalooza or minimum standards for the industry. As always we encourage you to stay in touch and stay involved. The amazing events we’ve organized, the community we’ve built, the lasting impact we’ve made could not have happened without your ideas, commitment, and hard work. The next steps will be shaped by your continued input and participation.
We will be closing NANC as outlined in our by-laws. If you have a current membership, you’re entitled to a pro-rated refund of your membership fee. If you would like a refund, please let us know by November 27, 2010 through email (email@example.com) and include your name, amount paid and method of payment. Any funds left after issuing refunds and paying our ending expenses will be contributed to a charity.
Again, we can’t thank you enough for your support of our ideals and your commitment to excellence in nanny care. We look forward to working with you in the future on new and exciting endeavors.
Wishing all of you well,
Lora Brawley & Sue Downey