Arlington, VA – Christy Ochs is not your typical nanny. She is the mother of four who took an unusual path to becoming a nanny, a professional caregiver who is a genuine advocate for children, and she represents a positive role model for the in-home child care industry and the International Nanny Association (INA). On May 18, INA awarded Christy its highest honor, The 2007 Nanny of the Year (NOTY) Award during its 22nd Annual Conference held in Alexandria, Virginia.
When Christy turned 49, she decided her child rearing days were not easily left behind—even though she had already reared four children, one with downs syndrome, and two step children. “I chose to be a nanny because the idea of doing for the parents what I would have loved to have had done for me as a young parent was very appealing. I loved the idea of not only providing a secure and loving environment for their children, but also taking some of the daily pressure off of their shoulders by doing their laundry, straightening up the house and helping the children with their school assignment.”
Christy is now working with her third family and cares for three-year-old Hawk who attended the conference with his mother. During the award ceremony, he presented flowers to Christy. “My boss, Jill, nominated me for the NOTY. I was so honored and touched to have been nominated, especially by my employer. Lot’s of people go through their entire working lives without feeling appreciated. I can't tell you how much this nomination meant to me. Every time my little charges say "I love you Nana!" I feel like Nanny of the Year.”
What does it take to be INA’s Nanny of the Year? Officially, it takes at least five years of professional nanny experience; an education in the field of child care; a nomination from a nanny recruiting agency or employer; and several references. Unofficially, it takes a lot of love and patience.
Christy is the founder/moderator of the Denver Area Nanny Association. She has been a member of INA since 2001, and is also a member of NANC (spell out) and Nanny Support Group Leaders. She was inspired to start the Denver Area Nanny Association in 2003 after attending her first INA conference. Now with 28 local members, the group arranges play dates, nanny dinners and coffee gatherings, and organizes and participates in CPR/First Aid training for nannies.
INA is a nonprofit organization that was established in 1985. It is an educational association for nannies and those who educate, place, employ, and support professional in-home child care providers. Membership is open to those who are directly involved with the in-home child care profession including nannies, nanny employers, nanny placement agency owners, nanny educators, and providers of special services related to the nanny profession.