The science of finding the right nanny for your child

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Tammy Gold with daughters Braydin, Presley and Gemma. Matching children with the right caregivers

Tammy Gold with daughters Braydin, Presley and Gemma. Matching children with the right caregivers

Tammy Gold is a licensed therapist and a certified parent coach. But more important than her lofty professional titles? She is a mom!

She started to take notice of childcare providers 12 years ago when her first daughter was born. She needed someone to care for her baby when she went back to her full-time job working at a school. Although she encountered some great nannies, she also met some terrible ones, and was horrified by the things she saw.

“As a child development expert, I know that the stakes are of finding the right nanny are high,” said the founder of Gold Parent Coaching, the parent company of the Tammy Gold Nanny Placement Agency. The first few years of your child’s life are the most critical with 90 percent of the brain developing by age three. Any person that you hire to care for your child will shape his personality and influence his development.”

A nationally recognized parenting expert, Tammy appears regularly on Good Morning America, The Today Show, FOX, and CBS News. She has appeared in more than 100 magazines and writes regularly for the Huffington Post,, TheBump, and Howcast.

As a therapist, she is devoted follower of “Attachment Theory,” a school of thought explaining that caregivers directly affect the children for whom they care. She knew that even something as innocent as a nanny not engaging a child could result in developmental harm for the child. As such, she wanted parents to have access to critical information for their children’s upbringing, and to understand the importance of choosing their right nanny. She also wanted to bring awareness about the importance of nannies on a societal level.

“Because nannies interact with children during formative years, they can be even more influential than college professors,” she says in her first book “Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer,” which quickly became a bestseller within the first week of being published in 2015.

Her first book “Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer,” an Amazon bestseller.

Her first book “Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer,” an Amazon bestseller.

Her goal is for people to look at and analyze the nannies they choose for their children in the same way they scrutinize and analyze the schools to which they send their children.

Tammy has worked with families of all kinds for over a decade. She helps parents manage everything from finding the perfect nanny, to handling the terrible twos or tumultuous teens, to couples navigating their relationships. She realizes that being a parent is tough and even the best of us need a little support along the way.

When it comes to finding a nanny, while it is essential to seek out the right match, it’s equally important to avoid the wrong match. Many seemingly ideal nannies are guilty of committing what Tammy calls “Benign Neglect”—that is, they do the physical aspects of the job, such as feeding and dressing, but neglect the emotional ones, such as playing, interacting, and being affectionate with the child. Activities like play stimulate brain cell activity and can actually increase children’s IQs. So, if you have a nanny who is disengaged or refuses to play at the park because she’s on her cell phone or too busy chatting with other nannies, your child will be missing an opportunity for cognitive growth.

Similarly, if you have a caregiver with the wrong personality match for your child, the resulting stress and tension in the home will affect your child’s emotional development. Nanny searches are tricky, because you’re not only trying to find the good nannies—you’re also trying to identify and weed out the bad ones.

As Tammy took on more clients and worked to find them the right nannies, she began to see clearly the common mistakes that parents made in the hiring process, as well as the strategies that led to successful, lasting matches. Tammy discovered that she could teach parents to use the same psychotherapy-based assessment tools that she used when evaluating nannies. By matching parents’ own logistical and emotional needs to the professional and personal profile of the nannies—rather than simply evaluating their professional experience and resume—they could almost always come up with a winning combination.

She found herself on the front-lines of the nanny-parent experience, getting unique, one-of-a-kind insights and information, and learning how to make the relationship work for both parties right from the beginning.

She worked for years perfecting her methodology. Everywhere she went, she listened to people’s stories. She gave lectures and wrote down the fears, questions, and concerns of parents, and she surveyed nannies to get their stories and perspectives as well. She went into homes and trained moms and nannies side-by-side to help them have a better working relationship.

As The Nanny Whisperer, Tammy gets to know all the parties, gains their trust, understands their needs, and supports them through their decisions. She is their personal coach and cheerleader so that they can make a truly outstanding choice.

© 2017 The FilAm

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