Child care can be a side gig—but it doesn’t always have to be. Our latest guest on The Great Unicorn Search Podcast is Julianne Tejada, a career nanny and newborn care specialist. She joined our hosts this week to discuss her path from part-time sitter to full-time nanny, the stigmas around the child care industry, and the moment she realized nannying was her path.
Finding Her Pond
After she graduated from high school, Julianne took the path that was presented to her: college. She knew she wanted to work with kids, so she was drawn to teaching or nursing. But something about those choices felt off. Still, she took a position as an assistant teacher at a behavioral school and soon found that, as she puts it, she was “swimming in the wrong pond.”
She stopped working at the school right as the pandemic hit. She’d had side nanny gigs since she was twelve, but a new opportunity opened up to her and changed her perspective on her child care career. The family she worked with asked her to work full time when schools went into lockdown and they had to get work done—and she accepted.
Julianne shared the biggest sign that made her realize she found her dream career. In the past, her jobs sucked all of the energy out of her. But things changed when she became a full-time nanny. “I didn’t come home exhausted,” she said. “I felt full instead of drained.”
Fighting Stigma with Empathy
Julianne remembers growing up being cared for by nannies who were treated like family. Even so, the idea of becoming a full-time nanny herself didn’t click until the opportunity was thrust upon her by a global pandemic.
There’s a ton of stigma surrounding child care employees and families who hire nannies. Some parents are ashamed of hiring nannies because others could accuse them of being bad parents who can’t handle it all. Julianne argues against this stigma. She believes child care is an essential support for families. “It takes a village to raise a child,” she said. “Why are we shaming people for forming their village?”
Our world is complicated—we’re all expected to have jobs, take care of our families, stay connected with friends, keep up with our various doctor’s appointments, and pay taxes. On top of all that, how are parents expected to raise kids without some support? Julianne says we must end this stigma and have empathy for parents.
If you’re passionate about child care but not sure where to turn in your career, check out Julianne’s interview on The Great Unicorn Search podcast. She shares even more about her child care experience, her dedication to building strong relationships with parents, and how we can break stigmas around the child care industry together. You can listen to the full episode on the podcast website, Apple, Spotify, or Google.