“Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, in the most delightful way!” Who coined that line? Yep, the most famous nanny of them all, Mary Poppins! Well, you may not be able to hire Mary Poppins to take care of your kids, but you CAN hire the best nanny, babysitter or caregiver for your kids or loved one without having to interview dozens of nannies like the famous Mrs. Banks had to!
One of our Jacksonville Women’s Small Biz ladies is co-owner of Rent-a-Nanny, a nanny/caregiver referral and placement service that has been successfully placing nannies/caregivers into homes here in Jacksonville for the past 16 years. They do all the work….and you get the right nanny/caregiver for your needs. And it doesn’t cost you a penny!
I recently was able to interview Donna Powell of Rent-a-Nanny to find out more about her business and how it works:
JWSB: Donna, how long have you been an owner of Rent-a-Nanny and how did you get started with it?
Donna: I have been with Rent-a-Nanny since 2005. My best friend’s mother actually started the business in 1997. I worked as a Sr. Operations Manager with AT&T/Convergys and was downsized in 2005 after 22 years of service. When this occurred, I decided to join forces with Penny Meeks and expand Rent-a-Nanny into other parts of NE Florida.
JWSB: What exactly is Rent-a-Nanny and what services do you provide?
Donna: Rent-a-Nanny is a FREE nanny/caregiver referral and booking service, meaning our families do not pay any fees to use our service. (We are paid through earning back a small percentage of what our nannies/caregivers earn.) We provide full time, part time and occasional nanny/babysitting and companion services. We also offer pet sitting, house sitting and house cleaning.
JWSB: Describe the process from hiring a new nanny to getting a nanny or babysitter to the doorstep of someone who needs a sitter.
Donna: We interview all of our nannies in person. We check their references, run a national background check and require that our nannies are CPR and First Aid certified. Once these requirements are met, then the nanny is available for referral. When a family calls, we assess their needs, review our roster for available nannies and do our best to make a good fit based on the needs/requirements of the family. We will only send a nanny that we feel is a good fit for a particular family. If the family is requesting a nanny for an ongoing position, we will have the nanny contact the family and set up a time to interview to ensure we have a good fit for both the nanny and the family. If the family is requesting “babysitting,” we will make the best match possible, tell the family about the nanny and her experience and if the family would like to speak to the nanny prior to her sitting with the children, we put them in contact with one another via a phone call.
JWSB: I hear you also have something called Nanny Daisy’s Storytime?
Donna: Yes, we do children’s story times in various locations around town; we have done Storytime at Gap Kids and will soon be including Toys R Us. Future dates to be determined, but we always advertise them on our Facebook page and on our website. Storytime is educational and includes stories, songs and prizes for the children and the parents.
JWSB: What excites you most about your business and about being a business owner?
Donna: I am very much a “people person” and enjoy the interaction with my nannies and families. I enjoy the challenge of balancing the needs of the families and the nannies. I really love it when I have a family that lets me know that one of my nannies and I have made a positive impact in their lives.
JWSB: When you’re not busy with Rent-a-Nanny, how do you like to spend your time?
Donna: Traveling…. Spending time at the lake house and going to the hunting club with my husband. I don’t hunt but I like to camp and ride the four-wheeler.
JWSB: How long have you lived in Jacksonville and what are your favorite things about our city?
Donna: I moved here when I was 3 years old so I’ve been here pretty much my entire life. My favorite things are the ocean, the river and the wonderful people who live here. I think, for the most part, we are a friendly city and I hear that from people who visit Jacksonville. It makes me proud to be a part of this city.
JWSB: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Donna: I would like to thank Carrie for doing such a super job and helping so many of us in small business. You have made a huge impact in a lot of women’s lives and you should be proud of your accomplishments. I am definitely proud of you and Thank You!
JWSB: Awe, thanks!! (Donna is very sweet!)
To find your own version of Mary Poppins, contact Donna at 904-262-6894 or email@example.com. Follow Rent-a-Nanny on Facebook for all sorts of great child and family resources, and check out their website at www.RentANanny.net for more information about their services.
Last, but not least, leave a comment below. What qualities do YOU look for most when hiring a babysitter or nanny?