Two Chicago-area women help families find special-needs nannies
Monday, February 21, 2011
Two local women have teamed up to help families with children with special needs find nannies who can better care for their children.
North Shore Pediatric Therapy's Deborah Michael and First Class Care Inc.'s president Erin Krex created their Super Nanny Academy, a once-a-month course taught by certified applied behavior therapists, to arm nannies with tools to help children, particularly those with emotional disorders. It grew out of a need the women saw with their clients.
Krex, a mom, says it is the only program like it. The training, she says, keeps the focus on the parents' boundaries while giving nannies the tools to make a positive impact on the child and family.
"It's difficult, when you are not the parent, to figure out how to deal with (difficult behavior) because you are not there all the time and you really don't have the authority," Krex says. The training helps open communication.
First Class Care was named agency of the year for 2010 by the national Association of Premier Nanny Agencies in part, Knex believes, for the Super Nanny Academy.
Krex offered these tips for parents:
- Look for patience and a professional career nanny, who will want to learn and commit to your family. There's nothing harder for a family than to go through multiple nannies, Krex says.
- Be open and honest about your family situation with the nanny. Don't sugarcoat, Krex says. Full disclosure is key to finding the right nanny who will stay with the family. "I feel there's a nanny for every family. It's really about a connection," she says.