It’s that time of year again – National Nanny Recognition Week. The tradition started in 1998 to celebrate nannies across the country and recognize the important work they do for the families they serve.

Their impact can be felt through the everyday small tasks they do – like reading a child his favorite book for the 100th time and turning “cleaning up” into an exciting game. These small acts of care and love are greater than the sum of their parts. Together, they enrich our lives for the better.

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How can you recognize your nanny this week?

  1. Pick up her favorite treat and let the kids surprise her with it. An unexpected treat, like a pumpkin spice latte or fresh kale banana smoothie, is a great way to show your nanny how much she means to you.
  2. Have the kids make a homemade gift. This is a fun way to involve the kids in the gift and create a heartfelt keepsake for your nanny at the same time. Check out our Pinterest account for some DIY craft ideas for kids.
  3. Give her a gift certificate to take the kids out to a fun lunch. Every Mom knows – sometimes its fantastic to have a meal out of the house without dishes. The same is true for your Nanny, treat her & the kids to a lunch out at their favorite local spot.
  4. Make her a photo book. It’s a creative and thoughtful way to commemorate the important role your nanny has had in your family’s life. Have the kids include their favorite memories and quotes to add a personal touch.
  5. Treat Yo’ Nanny  – every woman’s favorite two words spa day. It’s the universally recognized – best gift ever.  Show your nanny how much she means to your family by rewarding her with some rest & relaxation. In fact – join her! You deserve it too : )

Friend, confidant & caretaker are just some of the roles nannies and sitters play in children’s lives. In honor of Nanny Recognition Week, Sittercity asked our employees to share examples of ways their caregivers impacted their lives this year.

Best Friend. Our last nanny called our son her best friend.  But really, she was more than that.  She was an eager tag opponent, an enthusiastic cheerleader, a co-author to his imaginary stories and a patient conscience, helping an active 5 year old remember right from wrong.  She was also my friend, my ally in discipline, companion in commiseration and the person who our son is closest to outside of our family.  Even though she has moved on, she checks in to just say hi, get a quick hug and make sure “our guy” is doing well.  She is part of our family – plain and simple.  – Amanda W.

Part of the Family. I always thought those who claimed their nanny was “a part of their family” were simply using a cliché to overstate the filling of a need.  That was until Jess came into our lives to watch our 3 month old when I returned to work. What I didn’t realize is how Jess would make all of our lives – including mine and my husband’s – brighter and better for being in them. Her love for my daughter was undeniable and the bond they shared gave me peace that my daughter was being grown and nurtured when we couldn’t be there.  Jess was blessed with her own daughter a month ago and while we miss her dearly, I know she’s doing the job she was born to do – help grow and shape a little life. – Mel M.

 Adventure Seeker. Our nanny knows that our son loves the El train.  So, she planned an outing for them where he got to ride the train, stopping at different stops to transfer to the lines he had not yet ridden.  We might see riding public transportation as a chore, but she took his excitement and made it an adventure for the two of them. – Amanda W.

 Third Parent. Our nanny came into our lives when my oldest son was three months old, and over the years she has really become a third parent to our children. They happily go into her care each morning with no separation anxiety, and she keeps them active during the day, whether it’s a trip to the zoo or an indoor craft project on a rainy day. When we moved to the suburbs after our second child was born she was so committed to our family that she moved with us! – Antonia D