Meet the agency: Smart Nanny Solutions
2015 March 27
This month meet Louise, founder and owner of Smart Nanny Solutions
How long has your agency been established?
The agency is brand new! I launched on January 2nd 2015 and I have been pleasantly surprised (and a little overwhelmed) by how busy I have been in the first month. It’s been a really positive start.
What inspired you to start or work for this agency?
I worked in the child care industry for over 10 years including 7 years as a nanny before I had my own children who are now 5 and 3. I absolutely loved being a nanny but about a year ago when I started thinking about returning to work, I realised that with my two girls I couldn’t offer the commitment and dedication to another family that I had always offered before. I started thinking about a job in which I could use my skills and experience as both a nanny and a parent but that which I could work around my family. That’s when the seed for the agency idea was planted. Now I’m finally up and running and I absolutely love it. It’s great to help families find that special someone to care for their children and it’s great to help nannies find their ideal job. It’s extremely satisfying.
What areas do you cover?
I’m based in Folkestone but I cover the whole of Kent and I make sure I visit each and every client so there is a lot of travelling involved but that’s what makes my service very personal and unique.
What are the minimum requirements to register with you?
In order to register with the agency, nannies need to be qualified to level 2 minimum (or have plenty of relevant experience and fantastic references), they need recent DBS check or be willing to obtain one (they can do this via the agency). I meet every nanny before I agree to register them and they must bring with them some form of photographic ID and proof of address, all their relevant certificates including paediatric first aid and Ofsted registration certificate if they have them and details of two referees whom I can contact and of course an up to date CV.
What do you look for in nannies that come to register?
In a nanny I look for confidence, a cheerful fun nature and a positive outlook. I like to know about their previous jobs and any issues that arose within them and how these were resolved and about their plans for the future. I find it’s useful to gain an insight in to each nanny as a person and as a professional so that I can put them forward confidently to clients whom I think they’ll work well with.
What do your clients expect to see in a nanny?
I think clients like to see confidence and a can do attitude. It’s very important that they feel that their nanny is capable and competent in the role. For some parents, a nanny’s experience is key but for others it boils down to personality and how at ease they feel around them. Most like to see if their child/ren interact happily with the nanny and this can often be the decider when they are making that final choice! Of course, availability, flexibility and reliability are crucial.
How can nannies improve their chances of getting a job through you?
Of course the more experience a nanny has the better chance they have of getting a job and I am looking at running some in house training courses for new nannies who are qualified but have not worked in the home setting, along with providing some work experience opportunities. Not only will this give an insight in to the job but it will increase the candidates confidence and parents too can have greater confidence in the candidate as a potential employee.
What post-placement support do you provide?
Although I charge a one - off fee to clients for helping them to find a nanny, my service continues throughout the duration of their employment. If there are any issues or queries that arise the agency will be pleased to help, whether it’s to do with tax, contracts, holiday entitlement, insurance or an issue between them, both the client and the nanny can always contact me.
What’s your top tip for nannies looking for work?
Nannies are at a distinct advantage if they can drive, have their own transport and a clean driving licence.