Program trains nannies to care for kids with disabilities

September 15, 2011 10:16:55 AM PDT
A Chicago-area pediatric therapy group for children with special needs and a nanny agency have come together to create "Super Nanny Academy."

The Super Nanny Academy started a year ago with the goal of training nannies to care for children with different disabilities. It's a first of its kind.

At North Shore Pediatric Therapy in Glenview, behavior analyst Brooke Einhorn is training a small group of nannies.

"We start off with the basic fundamentals of applied behavior analysis," said Einhorn, "And we give them tools needed to find the functions of the behavior, and from there they can find the best way to replace them."

Erin Krex, owner of First Class Care and partner in the program, says nannies get nervous when they see jobs that include children with disabilities.

"We encourage them to go and meet the families," Krex said. "Every situation is very different, so if they go in and meet the families, they can get special training to deal with those specific needs."

Super Nanny Academy is a four and half hours that meets once a month.

"We do a lot of role modeling," said Einhorn. "In addition, some of our behaviors charts that we use all the time in our behavior 9-1-1 program here and in addition to that its very interactive so if one nanny has a question it tends to turn into awhile discussion.

"They get a big certificate at the end and they leave with more confidence to work with these kids."

Alma Verdin is more than a nanny. She is also a house manager. She has participated in this program.

"I learned that it's important not to discuss the behavior issues in front of the child," said Verdin. "It is important to communicate with the parents about the child's behavior, and a good way to communicate is writing a daily journal, and that way they can learn more about the daily routine and the programs."

"We definitely get cases where nannies will call us and say, 'Oh, my God. I used something that I learned in Super Nanny Academy and it has changed the way I work with the child.' And the parents are so happy that I've taught them a different way to deal with situations," said Krex. "We have an additional family package where the family can actually come in with the nanny, and we can do one big training with everybody there, and they come with the concerns they all have."

"They don't want to be screaming at kids all day saying, 'No, no, no.' Super Nanny Academy really teaches them how to do it a different way to be successful," said Krex.

There is a fee for Super Nanny Academy. To find out when the next training class is go to For more about First Class Care, visit

Load Comments