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INA Board Spotlight: Thaty Oliveira

Thaty Oliveira is a professional career nanny, educator, and coach in the Boston area. She has been a member of the INA since 2011 and serving on the board of directors since 2017. Thaty is currently the chair of the Education Committee where she has been excitedly busy reaching out and booking amazing experts to share their knowledge with our members. In this Board of Directors Spotlight, we get to know Thaty a little better.

Can you tell us about your work on the Nanny Council of the National Domestic Workers Alliance?

I was nominated to join NDWA’s Nanny Council a little under a year ago and It’s been an incredible honor to serve as a member of this council. NDWA’s Worker Councils are small groups of workers from each of the three domestic work industries who work together to help shape NDWA’s efforts to raise standards in the industry. Since I joined the Nanny Council, we have gathered input from hundreds of other nannies about what good work means to them, we’ve analyzed this information to develop a shared vision of fair work, and we’ve tested out and weighed in on possible solutions to some of the most pressing issues that nannies face on the job. It is not about what “I” want, or even just one particular group wants or deems necessary. It really is a collective process and such a crucial role to play because NDWA relies on workers in the field to help determine the best paths forward so that all domestic workers will be recognized and respected for the important work that we do.”

Can you tell us a some about the “Know Your Rights” clinics you offer as part of your work with the Mathari Women Worker’s Center and why it is important for us as domestic workers to know our rights?

Matahari Women’s Workers Centers in Boston has held several KYR clinics ever since Massachusetts passed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2014, which became a law a year later. Unfortunately, there is a huge gap between having a new law and then enforcing it. Education is a big component that helps enforcement become a reality. The more nannies understand our rights, the better prepared they are to negotiate fair standards, and consequently, contributing to raising such standards across the map. It is empowering and it is also dignifying to know that we are finally protected for the labor of love we perform. We have worked with hundreds of nannies all these years with monthly clinics in the beginning, and to this day, we still conduct Know Your Rights education training during International Nanny Training Day, when we bring together 250 nannies for training, as well as at smaller workshops across Greater Boston. You would be surprised how many nannies and domestic workers still don’t know about their rights! The nature of our job keeps us isolated by default, and even if you are out and about, meeting nannies at the playground, these topics aren’t ones that come out naturally. Matahari, however, has been incredible with their outreach campaign. They meet workers where they are – playgrounds, parks, libraries, etc. Many times dressed in our teal shirts, we do start conversations asking nannies if they know they have rights! Matahari is a very large membership and a growing number of leaders that keeps growing!”

Tell us a little about the work with the nanny community that earned you the Building a Lasting Legacy Scholarship Award from NAEYC?

“Jeez, there are too many =] It wasn’t about just one particular thing, but rather the journey that led me to where I was at the time!

Well, even though I’ve been in the industry for nearly twenty years, I can say I’ve only become a “professional nanny” about 9 years ago. And that was when I attended my first Nannypalooza, which that year, was held locally. It was then, that I realized people did choose nannying as a career and I was thrilled! That really marks my engagement in the community because after that, I’ve signed up for Janice St Claire’s Nanny News newsletter [local and one of my personal nanny heroes] and finally got connected with a local association at the time – and shortly after, I came across the INA!

But back to answer your question haha I started participating and organizing dinners, games nights and other get-togethers with the local nannies. Soon, after I founded the Nanny Breakfast Club, which just turned 5 years in February. My goal with the NBC wasn’t just to get together and eat, but, a way for mentoring and learn from each other. At the time I was also teaching ESL at our local Brazilian Immigrant Center and I was able to use the classroom space to host workshops to members of the Nanny Breakfast Club.

During that time I also participated in the Domestic Workers and Employer Mediation Project, which was the Nation’s first! From that, a group of us created the National Domestic Radio – NDR which we used to talk about the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights and all other things pertaining to the domestic workers’ industry. That led to collaborate with organizing National Nanny Training Day in 2014, which led to my deeper involvement with Matahari and all the other advocacy work we’ve done ever since.”

Could you talk to why ongoing professional development and continue busing education is so valuable to us childcare professionals?

“Ha. You know I am biased to talk about this, right? I absolutely LOVE learning and just the other day I noticed I have a list of 17 courses that I’ve purchased on Udemy and have not yet had a chance to complete haha!”

Continuing education should be pursued whether if you are in childcare or not. We live in a world where new information is constantly coming out and I do feel that if we do have it available to us, it is our duty to keep up. Ignorance isn’t bliss and in childcare, I will dare say it is not even ethical at this point. For example, those who constantly compare their childhood saying they grew up “just fine” without car seats, with spanking, with sleeping on their bellies, etc. We now KNOW the harms, the statistics, the trauma that all of that causes. Research is coming out with so much information that allows us to do the right thing. That is why I say that choosing to be ignorant, stay put in our old ways of doing things, becomes an ethical issue. We know how much impact we have in our children’s lives as caregivers and it is our duty to be equipped with the right knowledge, the appropriate tools, and skill sets to  provide the best care possible.”

Tatiane (Thaty) Dias de Oliveira – (Boston, MA) Thaty is a Career Nanny and Childcare Specialist in the Boston area, working with children and families for nearly 20 years. Thaty holds a Master’s of Education in ESL/Bilingual Education, a Master’s of Management in Leadership and Coaching and a Bachelor’s degree is in Multidisciplinary Studies (majoring in Early Childhood Education). In addition, Thaty is also a certified Happiest Baby on the Block Educator, Newborn Care Specialist, Parent/Family/Professional/Life coach, to name just a few. An industry leader and advocate, Thaty is involved in numerous projects, providing support, networking, and professional development for the nannies in the greater Boston area. She is the founder and facilitator of the Massachusetts Nanny Breakfast Club and the National Domestic Radio, the co-author of the Professional Nanny Series Class on Care Academy and has helped to organize – in addition to present – Boston’s National Nanny Training Day since 2013. Thaty has been a member of the INA since 2011 and joined the Board in 2017.

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