February Nanny Spotlight: Stacey Kelly

We are thrilled to feature our permanently placed nanny Stacey Kelly as this month’s Nanny Spotlight. Stacey started as a nanny in our Temporary Department and is known to help out in the office from time to time. We love that she is part of our company is several ways!

Describe your background and education in the childcare realm and beyond.

I grew up working with children in my church and baby-sitting in my community. As a military family, we moved a lot and that was a great way for me to get to know the new places I moved to.  I received my undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education. And in recent years, I was Lead Teacher and Director of a progressive child-centered preschool program for 4 years.  My time with the preschool helped grow me as an educator and intentional learner alongside young minds and creative souls.  It also provided the opportunity to strengthen my abilities in directing a child-centered learning environment while partnering with families and care-givers in the process.  Our school unfortunately had to close, so I decided to pursue my Graduate degree in Family Studies and Human Development from Arizona State University.  My studies gave me a glimpse into my love of working with families one-on-one versus in a classroom/center environment.  Working with A Nanny for U and the opportunity to be placed in a permanent position within the community has been an absolute blessing!

What is your favorite part about being a nanny?

I find that being a Nanny provides that one-on-one partnership with families and children. I appreciate that the family wishes for intentional care for their child and working with them to provide that care is the best part. As a preschool teacher, I found it challenging to have that consistent communication with families and in my Nanny work; that is not the case.  The autonomy that my current family has given me in planning play dates, facilitating fun experiences and outings, as well as the general day-to-day routines of their kiddo makes me feel appreciated and valued.

Describe your childcare philosophy.

My philosophy of childcare comes from significant experiences in child-directed learning environments. Just as I appreciate the flexibility my current family provides, I know that young children value their own autonomy, too.  With that, I also agree that some structure and facilitated learning experiences are important in the early years and in school-age time.  All that said, I consider myself a keen observer and I seek out direction from the families I work with.  While I am a trusted adult in the child’s daily routines, my wish is to extend the kind of care the families are modeling.  I love providing a sense of normalcy, trusted care and support with the children and families I work with.

What advice do you have for nannies with less than a year of experience who are working to land a permanent placement with a family?

My experience is that a permanent placement requires flexibility and a reliable Nanny who’s consistent in her schedule and in her communication. While family schedules vary, it is valuable to show that you’re able to pivot and stay later or arriver earlier, if necessary.

What are your hobbies and passions outside of being a nanny?

I love being anywhere there are books and coffee. Scheduling coffee dates and getting together with friends over a good book fills my soul.  In recent years, I have enhanced my own health and wellness and have found a passion for running.  I completed my first half-marathon last year and plan to run a marathon this year.  I also value giving of my time and efforts within the community, so you will find me volunteering at local events that give intentional support to people in need.  My husband and I love to travel and have been to Mexico, Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Belgium, England, France and Canada.

Please share a funny or interesting fact about you!

My husband and I decided to minimize our life and became liveaboards on our boat. We lived aboard full-time for almost 5 years.  Living “small” is possible and fun!