Hey Day Nannies (HDN) is the type of Nanny Agency moms dream of except as we found out it isn't an agency. It's better ... a grass roots, networking service run by two young ladies who really know the childcare industry. I caught up with the founders and got the scoop.
When did you start HDN?
We started it in 2007 with an overwhelming demand from parents we knew who did not have access to smart, engaging, educated nannies.
Yeah but why did 'you' start an agency?
The process of finding a nanny can be grueling and confusing. We wanted to take the guess work out and offer a more efficient & effective approach. Plus, we were very good friends and great collaborators who had a hunch that if we put our heads together we could have a strong business. Here we are four years later and loving it!
What do you guys respectively bring to HDN?
I (Annabelle) worked as a nanny in New York more than ten years ago and still remain close to the families I worked for. We also are swimming teachers, myself here in New York and Deb was in Australia. Deb's been working with families in Sydney and London for years so together we can offer a lot of insight based on experience. We are major kid people with a strong understanding of the challenges New York City parents and their kids face.
What makes you different from other agencies?
We are not an agency, we are recruiters. We come to your home and meet with your family before we embark on a retained search. We are hired by parents to conduct job specific recruitment sessions for their exact position. We meet and screen 20+ nannies over a minimum period of two weeks and send only the top candidates. We are in the business of saving valuable time and will only send a family a nanny who is likely to get hired based on the parents requests during their consultation.
What type of Nanny do you go after and why?
We seek out intelligence, warmth and the ability to engage and communicate well, not only with adults but children especially. Obviously they have to have experience with the age group of the child they would be caring for and strong references but a lasting placement is about chemistry and without it the placement will not be a success. It's important the nanny and parents are in agreement when it comes to how the children are being raised and what kind of example is being set. This way, the nanny can be an extension of the parenting that is already taking place in the household. We also love nannies with Early Childhood and Education Degree's, teaching backgrounds and creative types who can encourage and cultivate a child's love of music, languages, the arts, sports and even science.
What do you think about sourcing Nannies on Craig's List and other listings sites?
It's like looking for a needle in a haystack in New York City. There are just too many people who think they can be a nanny. Who has the time view hundreds of people properly? We believe the preliminary stages of the search should be delegated to a third party like us where parents have less but better choice.
What is your opinion of the childcare industry in NYC?
In this economy, many mom's are going back to work so we have seen an upswing in the need for full-time nannies. For financial reasons, often parents end up paying less and have a nanny who is basically just "watching the kids". We believe there is so much more to being a good nanny that being on time and staying in the job. Many parents in New York have had bad experiences and are happy to settle for someone who brings reliability and not much else. We'd like to see that change, with an emphasis on the quality of the care a nanny can provide in addition to upholding a common sense professionalism.