Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nannies Across America

reprinted with permission by Regarding Nannies

Monday Moxie: Nannies Across America

Nannies Across America
By Sue Downey

Professional conferences are a great way to sharpen skills, network with others in your profession and rejuvenate yourself in your current job. Conferences can be particularly beneficial for nannies as we work unconnected to our peers and often with little professional support. It is important to recognize that while many nannies have the earning power or supportive families to attend conferences there are still many working nannies who struggle to make ends meet or who do not have families willing to give them funds or time off to develop professionally. These nannies are exactly the people who need this training the most, as they are often just starting out in the profession or are unconnected to resources and professional mentoring. Thus we founded Nannypalooza on the principal that learning and networking can be low cost, high quality and fun!

Nannypalooza has been quite successful in many ways bringing hundreds of nannies together and sharing loads of information. Our cost has always been rock bottom but the conference has always gotten high marks from most of our attendees. However, many nannies still have problems getting to Nannypalooza. There are travel costs, hotel costs, time off work etc.. that pose challenges to working nannies. SO this year we decided to take all that we have learned about putting together the conference and empower local nannies and agencies to put together their own mini conference. Thus the idea of Nannies Across America was born. We decided to partner with National Nanny Recognition Week in order to bring some positive attention to the great work we do. Therefore all the events will take place the weekend of Sept 18th and 19th.
This event promises to be the largest nanny training event ever! And the excitement is growing. We ask coordinators to plan an event that meets the basic Nannypalooza criteria: that it has at least 2 workshops (one professional development, one childcare), that it provide nannies with the opportunity to network and get some personal support, and that it be low cost, inclusive and fun. After meeting these initial requirements, the coordinators can get creative adding additional social components, more workshops and themes to the mix. Some events will be large attracting more than 75 nannies while other events will be smaller depending on the event planner and the nanny community in that particular city.

Our goal is to have events in 25 cities and we are well on our way! Events are already planned in Orlando, Detroit, Seattle, Cincinnati, and many more locations. Just think of it- if only 20 nannies in 25 cities participate then we will have more than 600 nannies gathered virtually together learning, making friends, growing and having fun. What a great thing for our profession.
More importantly these local events give nannies who are “unconnected” a chance to see what a conference is all about. They can plug into the world of the professional nanny and develop skills and gather resources that will open a new world to them. Gathering like these will provide the first steps for many nannies to gain confidence and skills that will put them on the path to professionalism. And we hope that they will see the benefits of attending conferences and classes and start to look for more opportunities to grow.

And did I mention it will be fun!! How great it will be to take a few hours off and enjoy the company of your local nanny community. How fantastic to share your expertise and ideas with others who really understand!

If you are interested in planning an event in your area, or helping out with an event in the works we are looking for you!! It doesn’t take any special skills, just a passion to help out and a sense of adventure. We have plenty of resources and can assist you along the way. And it important to remember that any gathering of any size can make a difference!! There are nannies out there who need these events, whether it be something casual for 20 people, or something more elaborate at a hotel for 100. The important part of Nannies Across America is that everyone is welcome and will come away with some new ideas and new friends!

For a current listing of cities holding events, visit Nannies Across America

1 comment:

  1. It's sad that the Katey Facey in Greenwich failed to put up any information until the 13th hour. All calls and emails to the agency (and Nannypalooza) trying to find information about the Greenwich event went unanswered. There was an enthusiastic group of professional nannies in the Greenwich area eager to attend. Oh well, maybe next time.


NNRW 2009