It can be a challenge for nannies to plan activities for the youngest kids under their care. It’s not like you can ask a three-month-old what they like to do for fun!

Luckily for you, Nanny Miss Monique already faced this dilemma in her career. Monique became a nanny twenty-five years ago, and discovered her favorite activity to engage with younger kids: reading. Today, she is a child care industry influencer. She joined Nicole on The Great Unicorn Search Podcast to talk about her experience teaching children literacy skills, the importance of diversity and inclusion in children’s books, and the joy and connection reading brings to a kid’s life.

Blue banner with text saying "When Pre-K doesn't last all day, but their energy does" and a nanny is playing blocks with a toddler.Miss Monique’s First Chapter

Monique discovered her passion for getting kids to read when she worked with her first family. The parents were professional writers and made sure their kids read constantly. Monique remembers the parents asking her to collect tons of newspapers and lay them out on the breakfast table for the kids to choose from each morning.

As she worked with more families, she branched out and began to care for younger kids. One family had an eighteen-month-old boy, and Miss Monique had the brilliant idea to take him to the library. As the two read more together, Monique decided to take it to the next level and start teaching phonemes. By the time he was two and a half years old, he was reading along with his nanny!

Monique’s passion for children’s literacy really started to take form once she discovered the book, The New Small Person by Lauren Child. It tells the story of two siblings having an argument, and what made it stand out was that the kids in the book are Black. From that moment on, Monique made it her mission to discover other kids’ books that center diverse lives in an inclusive, respectful, and relatable way.

Career Plot Twist

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Monique chose to work from home to care for her daughter instead of sending her to preschool. That meant that she couldn’t work as a nanny. Through some soul searching and support from her husband, Monique decided to pursue her passion for children’s literacy and diverse, inclusive storytelling in a brand-new way.

She started her Instagram page, Nanny Miss Monique, to share her expertise. She helps authors promote their books, teaches parents and caregivers about the power of reading, and provides a platform for a wide range of stories to be shared from people with different lived experiences across the globe.

Pink banner with text saying "When your logistics hero is the hero they look up to" and showing a nanny and child smiling and standing back-to-back.Turn a New Page and Don’t Look Back!

Nanny Miss Monique built an incredible business, sparked by her passion for teaching kids to read and for sharing diverse stories with young learners. When asked what her biggest piece of advice to any nanny out there looking to branch off or expand into a different space, she replied with, “fear will set you back.” Be brave and trust your gut. Who knows where your next chapter could take you?

There’s so much more you can learn from Nicole’s conversation with Monique. Listen to this compelling episode to hear more expert advice, discover how to make reading fun for kids, and find the best places to access diverse and inclusive books. To catch Nanny Miss Monique’s entire interview, visit The Great Unicorn Search Podcast website. You can also listen to the show on Google, Spotify, and Apple.

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