Colleen Hjort, owner of A Unique Nanny Agency, has an extensive background in childcare as well as customer service-related fields. Colleen discovered her interest in working as a babysitter for neighborhood children while growing up in Adel, Iowa. She worked at the after-school daycare program and ran her church nursery while attending Adel-DeSoto-Minburn High School. Colleen attended Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa as an Elementary/Special Education major for two years. After attending Morningside, Colleen moved to New Jersey to pursue a career as a live-in nanny. During her time on the east coast, she worked for three families, the last of which employed her for five years.
Colleen has worked with special needs children in a variety of venues over the years. She has worked with children with Down's syndrome, Fetal Alcohol syndrome, ADHD, ADD, behavioral disorders, and mental disabilities. Children with autism are especially close to her heart since she was a nanny for a little boy with Asperger's Syndrome.
Since returning to Des Moines, Colleen has spent time assisting families with their babysitting needs and working for local small businesses as she developed the skills necessary to start her own nanny agency.
Photograph by Eric J. Hermann