From the time I was four, I studied ballet. By the age of ten, I was studying dance at a pre-professional ballet school. When I wasn’t dancing, I found I was drawn to the “baby ballerinas.” Throughout my formative years, I spent all my free time playing with the young dancers who were between three and six. They adored me and would take any opportunity they could to come sit on my lap and bring me their latest craft project. This is when I realized how much I truly love children. Before I knew it, my ballet mistress approached me and told me that the parents of the young children had been requesting that I teach their ballet classes and watch the kids in their free time. I happily accepted and enjoyed both teaching and supervising the children between ages three and eight.
I have extensive experience in childcare, and have worked with children in all stages of development from infancy through preteen years. I began my first job as a dance teacher and caregiver. I taught both boys and girls between ages three and eight, and also watched them during their free time between classes. Shortly after, I began my first professional babysitting position; I watched two girls ages two and three, and continued to babysit for this family for seven years.
As the position involved, I played with them on the beach and in the water, gave them meals, showered them, and dressed them. In the evenings, I was responsible for feeding them dinner, bathing them, and reading them stories before bed. As the girls got older, my responsibilities grew with them; I took them to activities using various forms of transportation (subways, buses and cabs), prepared more sophisticated meals, helped with homework, and tutored them in math, reading, and writing. Throughout those years, I also took occasional jobs babysitting for other children ranging in ages from newborn to thirteen years old.
For some time during college, I moved to Nashville to join The Nashville Ballet as an apprentice. During this time, I began part-time babysitting for a family with a newborn baby girl. At first, I assisted the mother with swaddling, night feedings, dressing and bathing while she was just home from the hospital. I continued these responsibilities on my own when the mother went back to work, and also made homemade organic baby food once the baby began eating solids.
When I returned to New York, I began babysitting for a family with two boys ages two and three, who I still babysit for today. The boys love dinosaurs and adventure, so I often take them to museums and parks. One of the boys has language development issues, and I take him to both speech and occupational therapy.
When working with children, I keep in mind that every child is special and unique; I try to encourage and bring out every child’s creativity, while making sure they are in a safe and secure environment. I am a huge advocate of active play, including cooking and baking, craft projects, block building and much more. I also love reading to children of all ages, and as they learn to read, encouraging them to read to me.