A Valpo Life in the Spotlight: Ahna Dunn

Ahna-DunnBeing a nanny is more than a full-time commitment or a job to make a living. It is an emotional investment to a family's life and the people part of their lives. Being a nanny require an almost superhuman level of commitment, compassion and dedication to be there for a family when they need you most.

For Valparaiso resident, Ahna Dunn, caring for children has been a lifelong passion, one that she has turned into a career and a business.

Originally from California, Dunn moved to Valparaiso due to it being her boyfriend's hometown. Dunn's strong love for the Valparaiso community has been one of the significant reasons for continuing to live and invest in the community.

"I love the community aspect of Valparaiso," says Dunn. "It's great to see everyone involved and engaged with living here. Being from California it’s great to see so much green here as well."

Dunn has spent her time in Valparaiso working with Talltree Arboretum and Gardens, doing charity work and working with 100 volunteers. Currently, a majority of her time is spent with her own business, Valpo Nannies, a nanny service that serves all of Northwest Indiana.

"I founded Valpo Nannies in July 2014," says Dunn. "The initial idea and structure came from a company in Colorado and has grown to serve Northwest Indiana as well as some locations outside of the region including Michigan and Illinois."

Valpo Nannies takes pride in the business they provide by not only serving families but the nannies who work with the company as well.

"People who become nannies are put through a very personalized process that assesses what would be best for the nanny and each family's needs," says Dunn. "We learn all aspects of them and make sure that everyone can be comfortable and will get along with each other."

Dunn sees Valpo Nannies not just as a business but a full-time commitment that forms lifelong bonds with families and their children. It is a career path that is not for the faint of heart and something that requires strong passion.

"Being a nanny is being a second mom. Everything that a mom does, a nanny does as well," says Dunn. "You share the same responsibilities as the mom. You go to doctors’ appointments; you go to after school activities. You're pretty much Mary Poppins to the children."

Dunn’s commitment to the community sparked an interest in helping children outside of her business. Valpo Nannies also has a partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Porter County and Northwest Indiana that Dunn is very proud of.

“Every time that we make a permanent placement with a family, we also give a scholarship to the Boys and Girls Club in that family's community so that a child can have better opportunities,” said Dunn.

While it is not a job path for everyone, Dunn's passion has been one of the biggest driving factors to the success of Valpo Nannies and the drive to keep serving Valpo's nanny needs.

"I was involved with childcare growing up. I had a younger sister so that was one of the reasons I was always involved in the childcare loop," says Dunn. "I started doing nanny work in college and fell in love and knew that this is what I wanted to do."

Dunn hopes that her love and passion will continue to be an asset for her business and with the guidance and support of the Valparaiso community, has full confidence that her passion turned career will continue to thrive.

"The biggest thing I like about this job and the nanny field, in general, is hearing how happy people are," says Dunn. "I love hearing from families how happy they are with their nanny. I love talking to a nanny and hearing her talking about how happy she is working with her family. I still get letters from a girl I nannied 2 years ago and it makes me happy every time I think about it."

Dunn hopes to continue serving families and their children as well as launching new services. Thanks to the support of the community, Valpo Nannies looks to be a passion and full-time job for Dunn for a long time.

"People here want to see you succeed, they are so supportive and overall so positive," says Dunn. "I keep seeing Valpo continue to get better and better and with so many benefits here that help out everyone."