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Meet our April SmartSitting SmartStars

With April fully in the books, we can see that families are busier than ever, managing work schedules and newly opened activities for kiddos. And with the need for childcare on the rise, SmartSitters continue to be invaluable rockstars to families in the SmartSitting network. 

Each month on this blog, we highlight exceptionally hard workers through our SmartStars incentive program. This is our chance to shine a spotlight on and reward those caregivers who work for families through our partnership with Bright Horizons backup care. Our tiered system sends these sitters a cash bonus each time they reach a new level: Shooting Star, Constellation, Zodiac, Galaxy, and Supernova. 

SmartStars moving up the ranks

Since our March roundup, several of the busy bees you’ve met in previous posts have reached higher levels in the program, working hundreds of hours in backup care. Our new Zodiac level sitters are Jessica B., Madelin G., Jenny C., Khiry S., and Chakendra F. Our new Constellation level sitters are Elizabeth S., Taryya E., Maggie D., Gillian B., Lillianne B, and Shana M. (who raced straight into Constellation before we could even profile her in a previous month!). 

Beyond these high-achieving sitters, we are thrilled to introduce you to our new April SmartStars, entering at the Shooting Star level. We are so grateful for all that these SmartSitters do and are so proud to have them in the SmartSitting network. 

If you are interested in booking one of our SmartStar sitters, reach out to us today. But best act quickly, these SmartStars get snapped up fast!

Kifa W.

SmartSitting SmartStar Kifa W.

Growing up in New York and North Carolina, I always had a love for children. I started my journey in healthcare working in the newborn nursery as well as the pediatric floor. Here, I was always so attached to the sweet babies. It was there that I learned the mothers need help and attention too, which is my real passion. This is something that has stayed with me in healthcare, working at a childcare facility, and as a nanny. 

Becoming a nanny was a great opportunity for me to work with families that really needed someone to come into their lives and help them from beginning to the end. I loved the way the families I’ve worked for have allowed me to become a part of their day-to-day.  We depended on each other for the growth and development of the child. I am so happy to have had many experiences caring for children in different settings and to be able to tie all my skills into my love for childcare.

Toni M.

SmartSitting SmartStar Toni M.

Growing up in Kansas City Missouri as the oldest of three kids, I learned to become a provider and homemaker very young. I began working with kids as a tutor when I was 15 and continued on with part-time babysitting. My military experience has taught me to be organized and structured but also the ability to be adaptable in any situation.

I have worked with children in every age range, both part time and full time and in in-home settings as well as facilities. My experience includes children with special needs, including behavioral, autism, mood disorders, hyperactive, and many more. It is important to me to have a good balance between structure and flexibility to allow children to become themselves and grow into amazing little beings. Children naturally gravitate towards me and I have no issues getting down eye level with them and playing any of their games.  

What makes me best for caring for children is the fact that I’m patient, fun loving, structured yet flexible, understanding and natural nurturing. I was made to be a provider and nurturer and it’s something that I’m good at. 

Elizabeth K.

SmartSitting SmartStar Elizabeth K.

I grew up in the mountains of Northern California with three sisters. My first job was as a mommy’s helper at 12, which grew my two loves and passion in life, childcare and travel. Starting an education in Early Childhood, I then embarked on my first travel abroad solo to Australia as an au pair. I got to embrace the culture, live and push my own boundaries being so far from home.    

I have worked with all ages including twins, infant, adolescence, and preteen and have a background in on-call respite nanny care, working mostly with autistic children. With my experiences I have held the title of kids club supervisor, teacher and nanny.  I am very adaptable, loving, organized and thorough.

Sabrina K.

SmartSitting SmartStar Sabrina K.

I grew up in the suburbs with my mom, dad, and older sister. They have all worked with children as Teachers in Arts and Music, and have served as such a valuable example for me of how to enrich a child’s life. Since graduating with honors from Wagner College with a BA in Theatre, I have been pursuing a career in performing and enriching children’s lives through the arts. My experience in an artistic and educational setting has helped me become the kind, compassionate and engaging child care provider I am today. I like to say the skills of a performer, teacher, and babysitter are one and the same: improvisation, creativity, communication, and empathy.

My experience with kids ranges from ages 6 months – 12 years in short-term and long-term positions and including children on the autism spectrum. I believe my calling in life is to make people happy. That’s why I am drawn to creativity in my professional life – it is a way for me to bring happiness to others while doing what I love. It is for that reason that I am drawn to child care. I believe every moment spent with a child is a moment you can bring happiness to that child. Seeing a smile on a child’s face is the best reward I could ask for.

Bijoux R.

SmartSitting SmartStar Bijoux R.

I grew up in northern New Jersey as the oldest of two kids. At an early age, I became passionate about both music and sports. After high school, I worked at the South Mountain YMCA Preschool as a Teacher’s Assistant, where I cared for children three months old to five years old in several different classrooms. I was lucky enough to form meaningful and rewarding bonds with every child I worked with and still hold them very close to my heart.

All children deserve to be treated with kindness, shown compassion and demonstrated patience. I understand the importance and beauty in letting children express themselves by creating a supportive and nurturing environment that fuels their creativity and builds their confidence as well as their social and cognitive skills. My goal is to have each child I care for feel safe, seen, understood, and happy.

Ashley G.

SmartSitting SmartStar Ashley G.

I am studying Early Childhood Education in hopes of becoming a teacher. I love working with children so much and it has been a goal of mine to become a teacher ever since I was a little girl. Growing up, both of my parents were teachers. Watching my father teach his class put me in such awe on how passionate he was with his lectures and how much care he had for his students. 

My experiences with children are from babysitting to doing volunteer work at my local preschool. I have worked as as a student teacher in both private and public educational facilities and have worked as a tutor. Additionally, I have experience working with kids on the autism spectrum. I am looking to build as much experience as I can in order to become a successful teacher and to help families. 

Anita V.

SmartSitting SmartStar Anita V.

Island born, I moved to America with big dreams! Being a nanny has allowed me to be somewhat of the teacher that I always wanted to be. I do believe that having had to babysit my cousins and younger sibling as a teenager groomed me for my positions as a nanny. As a nanny, I have had the pleasure of working with numerous families on a full-time and part-time scale. I’ve worked with ages ranging from newborn to preteen. 

My current family has even visited my country and visited my family, which means a lot to me! They have two kids who I absolutely adore. I started with them when the girl was 11 months, and  she is 9 years old now! The boy I took care of since birth. I have watched both grow into fine and respectable young people. My main goal as a nanny is to assist parents in raising well rounded individuals who are fully capable of taking on the world. Watching kids grow has been one of the highlights of my job.

Shana M.

SmartSitting SmartStar Shana M.

Shana raced straight to Constellation level in the SmartStars system before we even had a chance to introduce her! We are pleased to do so now. 

I am from the beautiful island of Saint Lucia, in the Caribbean and the last of a large family of nine. Growing up I cared for my eight nieces and nephews while my siblings worked, and I moved to New Jersey, so I would be able to financially care for my daughter.

Since coming here, I have worked with amazing families, both as a live-in and a live-out nanny. I have stayed many years with each family. My daily duties for the families included preparing healthy, balanced meals, doing laundry and tidying up common areas, and helping the boys with early childhood education, story time, dancing, sing-along and crafts. I enjoy being a nanny because it’s an honor to be and integral part of a child’s life and help them achieve each milestone.

Dilly H.

SmartSitting SmartStar Dilly H.

Growing up in Plainfield, New Jersey with a father who is a former professional athlete, a healthy lifestyle and physical activity were prominent in my household. My eight siblings and I were cared for by both of our parents as well as a full-time, live-in nanny. Being part of the United States Navy and traveling all over the world for four years taught me discipline, confidence, adaptability and resourcefulness. My childcare experience includes tutoring, working in after-school programs, and babysitting and nannying kids from newborn to five years old.  

Looking back on my childhood I can appreciate the role my live-in nanny had in my life. The safe and nurturing environment in which I was raised gave me the confidence to step out on my own and pursue adventure and self discovery while knowing I would always have people in my life to return to. My hope when working with families is that I can provide the same care, love and support that will nurture the children’s individual personalities, interests, and strengths. By sharing my own interests and hobbies with children, I hope to open doors for them to experience the world in a new way.

Jitendra S.

SmartSitting SmartStar Jitendra S.

Born in Guyana, I migrated to Brooklyn, New York at the age of three. I grew up with a babysitter, as my mother had to work two jobs to maintain the household, and I also helped raise my two younger siblings. I have worked in an after-school program and assisted in a daycare program. This was definitely a learning experience for me as it helped me with my babysitting.

The phrase “helping others/children” really resonates with me. It reminds me that in order to provide a better future, we need to give back to those in need. We have to be the teacher that is needed for our next generations in order to see improvements. My goal is to help children create a more loving and peaceful world for all of us. To assist them in making better decisions, to incorporate critical thinking In order for their betterment. By showing love, by caring and being empathic it will show children that the world can be a better place and a better future.

 Alexandra S.

SmartSitting SmartStar Alexandra S.

I grew up in Yonkers, New York and eventually moved upstate to Beacon with my family. Growing up I loved performing in school plays and singing in the church choir, I eventually went to study Acting/Directing with a Music minor at DeSales University. I continue working as an actor and singer, traveling across the country performing at different regional playhouses.

As the oldest of three children, I’ve practically been babysitting all my life. In my career I’ve had multiple opportunities to perform in children’s theatre productions. Being able to perform and interact with the children onstage has always been a treat. It was a consistent learning experience for me, about theatre, but mostly about kids growing up in this day and age. 

Giving autographs after the show to the kids, I learnt so much about them. I learned how much information they retain, how impressionable they are, and how bright and beautiful they see the world. Children see the world through a kaleidoscope lens; and being able to add even more color and fun into their lives through babysitting and the arts means all the more to me.

 Maranda R.

SmartSitting SmartStar Maranda R.

I am an actress, singer, dancer, seamstress, and photographer with a love for kids! I like to describe myself as genuine, vivacious, and effervescent. My experience includes caring for children ages 3 weeks to 13 years in many different settings. This experience includes special needs, twins, and up to five children at a time. I believe in following the rules, being responsible and respectful, being safe, and having fun. I love working with children because I love bringing joy and being a positive role model in a child’s life. 

As a childcare provider, I believe in being fun, active, and interactive. I love to get kids moving and keep them away from phones and television as much as possible. Being a sitter isn’t just a job. A sitter is a very important figure in a child’s life, and can even become like family, so I believe in always being my best self, and being a positive role model for the children I care for.

Petula C. 

SmartSitting SmartStar Petula C.

Originally from the island of Trinidad and Tobago, I moved to the States when I was 19. Becoming a caregiver and nanny helped fill the void of leaving my siblings in some way, as being with kids and helping them grow and develop reminds me of my upbringing. My most recent experience was working with the same family for the past 9 years. I took care of twin boys from the age of 8 weeks – 9 years old. 

I believe nannies are very vital to families who need them and do a tireless job with a smile. Most nannies enjoy and take pride in their jobs and once they’re paired with a great caring family, I think the possibilities are endless. At the end of a job, I look back on the kids I helped take care of and just feel so proud that one day they’ll be great adults – I only hope that they took some of the sweet advice I sometimes give them and hope they’ll carry that with them into their adulthood!

Brittany H.

SmartSitting SmartStar Brittany H.

I grew up upstate New York in a small town named Washingtonville. I attended Brooklyn College for two years studying Early Education and then transferred to Mercy College where I currently study Occupational Therapy. Growing up with younger siblings was my first experience of being a caretaker. When my younger brother was diagnosed with autism, this triggered an interest in learning more about children, so when I moved to the city I instantly began looking for a childcare position. I have experience as both a live-in and live-out nanny and have worked in a classroom setting with children from 3 months to the age of 4 years old. Additionally, I was the head teacher in a daycare and then a teacher’s assistant in a UPK classroom.

When I am not working or in school I enjoy going to the gym to stay healthy and in shape. I also enjoy activities such as kayaking, hiking and bike riding. I love to learn new things and to also share my knowledge. Seeing how teachers and therapists helped my brother really inspired me to further my career in childcare. I take great pride in knowing I can be a part of a child’s emotional, mental and educational growth!

Congratulations to all our SmartStars!

Do you think you have what it takes to become one of our next SmartStars? Do you love working with kids and have great experience as a caregiver? Fill out an application online today!

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