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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Celebrating a Milestone!

The following article appeared in the September / October 2009 issue of ADCAN Happenings, the newsletter of the nanny support group ADCAN / Association of DC Area Nannies.

Written by Christine Watson Holsen, it chronicles the career of DC Nanny Penny Andrews who was recognized on Sunday, September 20 by friends and peers for her 50 years as a child care provider.

This Fall, Penny Andrews will celebrate fifty years as a professional nanny! At the tender age of nine she knew it was her calling. By age 12 she was caring for children on weekends and holidays at an orphanage in her home town of Hartlepool, England. She followed four years of that work with 2 1/2 years of formal training, earning her National Nursery Examination Board (NNEB) certification.

The NNEB is internationally the most widely recognized certification for nannies. The program emphasizes hands-on training complemented by intensive classroom study. Areas of study include health, nutrition, hygiene, play and social, emotional and cognitive development from ages 0 to 7, in addition to practical homemaking skills. (Penny's graduation requirements included, besides a 5-hour written exam, a "practical display" of handwork projects, including sewing, knitting and hand-made wooden toys.)

After earning her NNEB certification, she worked in the preemie ward of a maternity hospital for half a year, then began her formal nanny career, working in Scotland and Madrid before coming to the US with an American family that she worked with in London. She liked the US and decided to make it her permanent home. She has cared for children, mostly of families in the Washington area, ever since. Eventually Penny became a US citizen.

Penny considers her style to be "loving, but firm." She puts great emphasis on routine and consistency, and therefore prefers long-term assignments, which allow these things to develop. Routine in a child's daily life and consistency in care are generally recognized as critical factors in the formative years.

Currently Penny is finishing a long-term commitment in Northern Virginia. Her next position begins in September with a family in Georgetown. She is much in demand (recession or not) and has worked continuously since she arrived here, except for three weeks in 2003 (when she helped a friend sell Christmas trees in Glen Echo).

Penny has been the proud owner, for 23 years, of a lovely condominium in Glover Park. She is welcomed home each day by her adoring Sheltie, Misty. For relaxation, she likes to walk Misty, read murder mysteries and watch comedy movies. Her travels have included Spain, Italy and the Caribbean. Most recently she visited Albuquerque, NM. She enjoyed the city and plans to return as soon as possible.

reprinted with permission from ADCAN


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