9 Positive Nanny News Stories of 2012

For every bad nanny story that is written, there are many great ones waiting to be told. While nannies come from diverse backgrounds and have various experiences, good nannies tend to have one thing in common: they are caretakers by nature. Whether it’s jetting around the world to accompany mom on a work trip, dedicating 40 years of their life to the same family, or saving their charge’s – or a stranger’s -  life, most nannies are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty in any situation.

While the media tends to focus most often on covering negative nanny stories, positive nanny stories do abound. Here are 9 positive nanny stories that have made the news so far in 2012:

Nanny Credited with Saving a LifeChicago based nanny Emily Rogers put the CPR training, which she learned years before for a nanny job, to use as she is credited with helping to save Jorge Pedroso’s life.

Nanny Saves Charge from CarjackingNanny Kaitlyn McGrath safely escaped her work vehicle that was being carjacked with her one-year-old charge, Cash, in her arms. Cash is the son of ABC Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition trainer Chris Powell and his wife Heidi.  Both credited her with saving their child’s life.

A Nanny’s Role is Reversed  - Susane Lavinia Bowden served as a live-in nanny and housekeeper to the Hoare family for 40 years. Nanny Susane celebrates her 100th birthday living with her former employer as a member of their family. In her aging years her employer, turned friend, now cares for her.

The Norland MannyMichael Kenny is the first male admitted to the world famous nanny training college, Norland College, to obtain an education degree. When he graduates he will be only the second male in history to graduate as a Norland Nanny from the 120-year-old college.

U.S. Soccer Fully Finances Nanny Services for Players and Coaches  – Members of the U.S. Woman’s Soccer Team bring their children on the road, thanks to U.S. Soccer and its commitment to establishing family-friendly policies. U.S. Soccer pays the salaries of the nannies so that players and coaches can focus on their families and their sport.

Childhood Nanny Given Ultimate HonorWonder where actress Tori Spelling got her daughter Hattie Margaret’s middle name from? She named her daughter after her own childhood nanny, perhaps one of the greatest honors a nanny could receive.

Nanny of the Year- Maryland based nanny Nikki Gribble was honored at the 2012 International Nanny Association Annual Conference as the association’s Nanny of the Year. This honor is awarded to nannies who exemplify who and what a nanny truly is.

Nanny Saves Boy from JeepQuick-acting nanny Cindy Gatson saved her four-year-old charge from being struck by an out of control Jeep that was barreling towards him. The boy’s mom credits his nanny with saving his life. The Jeep came within inches of where the boy was.

Book Dedicated to NannyWhile Chicago nanny Vivian Maier may not have made the news during her lifetime, she’s certainly making it in her death. A new book, Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows chronicles her life through the pictures she took of herself and others.

While not every positive nanny story will make the news, the ones that do are likely an indication of the everyday heroes who provide loving and nurturing childcare to the children in their care.

7 Reasons to Hire a Manny

Celebrities like Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow have contributed heavily to the rise in visibility of the “manny,” or male nanny, since they began to publicly praise the ones who have cared for their own children. While male nannies were once a trend largely adopted by Hollywood’s upper crust, the trend has started trickling down into the realm of everyday families. There are a variety of reasons why you might want to consider a manny to meet your childcare needs; here are seven of the most common.

  1. Providing a Male Role Model – Single working mothers or families headed by two women may prefer a male nanny over his female counterparts, simply to provide a strong male role model that may be otherwise missing from a child’s life. By hiring a qualified and capable manny, you’ll be ensuring that your sons have a positive role model and that your daughters benefit from the presence of a male figure in her life.
  2. Your Child Has Special Needs – Kids with special needs, especially those with mobility problems, may benefit from having a male nanny whose physical strength allows him to more easily move and maneuver around wheelchairs or other bulky specialized equipment. Some children that have developmental disorders such as an autism spectrum disorder or Down’s syndrome may even feel more comfortable with a male childcare provider, depending upon their individual preferences. If you know that your special needs child is more secure and happier in the presence of men than women, hiring a manny is a great way to ensure that those needs are met.
  3. Safety and Security – Generalizations aside, intruders, kidnappers and other predators may be less likely to make an attempt on a child whose caregiver is male, even if that manny isn’t particularly large or muscular. Parents with security concerns or worries about the safety of their home and children while they’re away may feel more comfortable knowing that their manny serves as a crime deterrent simply by doing his job.
  4. He’s the Most Qualified Applicant For the Job – If you’ve interviewed a dozen nannies and none fit the bill, but have encountered a manny with impeccable references, a strong work history, and plenty of experience, the reasons to hire him far outweigh any societal concerns that might move you to opt for a less-qualified female applicant.
  5. You’re Not Interested in Traditional Gender Stereotypes – Some socially progressive families may hire a manny simply to underscore the flippant attitude about traditional gender roles; other families may just be utterly disinterested with such things. If you fall into either camp and you’ve managed to find a manny who fits the bill, hiring him might be the wisest choice you’ve ever made. In addition to providing your children with quality childcare, you’re also providing them with a household where such things are of no concern; rather than growing up with a stilted worldview, your children will be able to accept non-traditional gender roles and careers in a way that their peers may have find difficult to grasp.
  6. Your Boys Are Exceptionally Into Contact Sports – Though there are definitely a high number of athletic, physically active nannies in the hiring pool, a manny may be more suited to your needs if you have children that are looking for a constant teammate and coach who loves male dominated sports. For families with older boys who participate heavily in contact sports, having a practice partner or someone to help lug the gear into the boys dressing room can be an added bonus.
  7. You Have a Child With Behavioral Problems – Because men can often project an air of authority with little effort, some kids that have behavioral problems may find it more difficult to challenge a male nanny and are thus inspired to exert more self-control than they might under the care of a traditional female nanny. While this certainly isn’t always the case, it may be worth a try if you’re struggling with your child’s behavior.

Gwyneth and Madonna may have been among the first to put mannies in the eye of the paparazzi, but they definitely didn’t start the trend. Even sitcoms have seen their share of iconic mannies: Who’s the Boss and Charles in Charge centered around the daily lives of their manny protagonists, and even the sitcom juggernaut Friends got in on the manny action briefly, with Freddie Prinze, Jr. making a cameo.