Thursday, August 2, 2012

FOR HIRE: World's Greatest Nanny

UPDATED 8/28/2012:  Starshia confirmed for me this morning that she has accepted a new position starting  next week.  Thanks to everyone who stopped to read this post and who contacted me.

When I was in my last trimester with PJ in 2010, I finally had to break down and admit that our family needed help.  Our relatives are scattered across the US and none were going to visit any time soon.  Maggie was starting her final year of Pre-K and Michelle was turning 1 year old - that turning point where children need a lot of attention and activity.  I didn't have much of either.

We got some advice from friends who had nannies and babysitters and set out to find someone who would be there to help play with and educate the girls while Pat and I were getting ready for our son to be born.  We were scared to death as we sorted resumes and conducted interviews.

Starshia posing with Michelle and Maggie
during  our family visit to  Georgia Aquarium.
Our final interview was with Starshia Conley, then living in Doraville.  Starshia had a resume longer than my arm with numerous certifications and work experience.   After meeting her (and doing the requisite background check we did on everyone) we hired her almost on the spot.

In two years, Starshia has become a member of the family, more trusted than some of our blood relatives.  It was a mutual blessing for all six of us in the house.  The thing is with PJ now two and headed to preschool with Michelle, we're not going to have enough hours for her to make a living.  So it's time for Starshia to find a new family.

Starshia is an Early Childhood Education major at Georgia Perimeter College in Dunwoody.  Since 2007 she has worked for both families and daycare/preschools, including the Goddard School in Norcross.  She's getting her college education the old fashioned way:  she's working for it.

When Starshia cares for my children, she doesn't just babysit:  she created a structured program that included lots of active play both outdoors and indoors, age-appropriate art activities, and basics like the alphabet and numbers.  She evaluated each of the children at their educational level and formulated an activity plan with specific goals.  She helped Maggie improve her writing skills in time for kindergarten.  She helped prepare Michelle for preschool.  When PJ was old enough to crawl, she started introducing him to the same types of structure and activity, again preparing for preschool.  Most of all, she guided the girls full-time when it was time for us to rush to Northside in labor.  She kept Pat from stressing out (too much) and made sure the girls could visit with their brother in the hospital and prepare for his arrival at home.

Starshia is not just a sitter who gets the kids off to bed and is an over-18-adult in the house:  she is a trusted professional who provides reliable observations and advice.  She is truthful and tactful at the same time and always communicates so that there is a consistency between her style and ours when it comes to the balance of discipline and affection the children experience.

Starshia has one year's worth of classes left at GPC before getting her Associate's degree and continuing with her career goals.  She considers herself a Dunwoodian and would like to stay in Dunwoody.  We recommend her without hesitation to any family that needs not just a baby sitter, but an advisor, extended family member, and trusted friend who is brilliant with children.  I've learned a lot from Starshia these past two years and she will always be a part of our family.  That is the reason why we would like to see her find a position here in Dunwoody that she can love and be part of the family just like she has in our home.

If you'd like to consider interviewing Starshia or would like to refer her to a family, please contact me via email at  I will make sure you can review her CV and contact information personally.

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