Introducing the SPARK Awards for Excellence in Nanny Care

Last year while working on National Nanny Training Day, I was struck by how many amazing people we have in our industry and how little recognition they receive. I feel so lucky to work in a field where I’m surrounded by nannies who give their all to the kids they love and care for each and every day. Who personify lofty ideas like passion, commitment, creativity, life-long learning, devotion, professionalism and service. Who teach, support, play, encourage, hug, soothe, laugh, explore and love for a living. I think those nannies deserve recognition and appreciation (along with some great gifts!) so I’ve created the SPARK Award for Excellence in Nanny Care. Along with honoring the dedication and hard-work of nannies, the SPARK Award celebrates the diversity found in today’s nanny workforce and showcases what quality nanny care looks like in the real world.

So what criteria are nannies judged on? Of course the most important part of being an excellent nanny is providing excellent childcare so that’s at the top of the criteria list. In addition, there are characteristics that all successful nannies share and SPARK outlines those things. A nanny with SPARK:

has a Service-minded or “How can I help?” outlook.

acts in a Professional way.

has a positive Attitude about her job and her role as a nanny.

is Resourceful and knows where to go for information, ideas and support.

is Knowledgeable and understands how to foster a child’s healthy development.

We all know one-size-doesn’t-fit-all in the nanny world so there are two award categories, Enthusiastic Newcomer and Seasoned Veteran. The Enthusiastic Newcomer is for caregivers who’ve worked as a nanny for 2 or more years. The Seasoned Veteran is for nannies who’ve been doing it for 10 plus years.

Anyone can nominate a nanny and you can nominate as many nannies as you want. (I know I couldn’t choose just one!) All you have to do is answer a few quick questions to get the ball rolling. Just click here to nominate someone right now.

Nominees will complete a short online application, submit reference letters and a 2 to 10 minute video. The process is quick, easy and painless. OK, for those of you like me that don’t like being on camera it might be a little painful but you can do it!

The winners will be chosen through a combination of online voting and a selection committee. Yep, your vote helps pick the winners. You’ll have the chance to watch each nominee’s video and vote for your favorite nanny through the Nanny Biz Reviews’ facebook page. Are you already trying to figure out how you’ll choose just one nanny? Don’t worry. You get 5 votes.

At the close of the voting period, the two nominees in each category with the most votes will become finalists. The selection committee will choose a third “wild card” finalist in each category.

The vote tally for each nominee will be converted into a score which will count for 50% of the nominee’s total score. Each member of the selection committee will score each nominee and those committee scores will count for the other 50% of the nominee’s total score. The nominee with the highest total score in each category will be the winner.

Whew! That’s a lot of math but the winners will really represent the diversity and the collective voice of the nanny community.

The winners of the 2013 SPARK Awards for Excellence In Nanny Care will be honored at their local National Nanny Training Day event on Saturday, April 20th, 2013. Each SPARK Award winner will receive a gift package including a cash prize. I’ll be stalking businesses, ahem…I mean graciously asking businesses over the next several months for prize contributions so I can’t tell you exactly what the prizes will be right now. But I promise the winners will be happy and the rest of us will be jealous.

Like most other things, this project wouldn’t be able to happen without a sponsor. Select APNA agencies have generously come together to be the collective sponsor. They see the great work nannies do every day and are excited about being part of the SPARK Awards. They were my first (and only!) sponsorship call because their commitment to exceptional client service and quality nanny care is the perfect companion to the mission of the SPARK Awards. You’ll be hearing more about each agency throughout the year but take a look at the complete list here.

For all the details on the SPARK Award, please visit Nanny Biz Reviews. I’ll need your help to spread the word and make the dream of honoring nannies in a real way becomes a reality.

Filed Under: nanny front, SPARK