It Takes A Nanny

Cella Jones turned what she knows best into a business

Cella Jones started to nanny when she was 14. She was a natural at caring for others. “This mom would pick me up each day and we would care for her 2 children together. She then had a third then a fourth baby and I was able to drive by then so I truly became a full time nanny.”  After High school Cella left for Troy but decided college was not her thing so she came back to do what she loved to do and was good at, caring for others.  “Moms were texting, calling and emailing me asking for help. I could not be in 2 (or 3) places at one time and that’s when the bells started to ding ding ding. I could start a business.”

That’s how Nannies in your Neighborhood (NIYN) was born. 

What challenges did you face starting your business? The biggest challenge I faced was

not knowing exactly where to start. I reached out to established agencies across the country

and most owners were incredibly helpful and more than willing to steer me in the right

direction. Figuring out what to include in the contracts (with legal counsel) took a lot of research, patience, trial and error. 

How do you find your nannies? Mostly, they find us! Lots of our nannies

come from googling nanny jobs in Birmingham, word of mouth, Facebook, or referrals.

How do you qualify them?

Our nannies go through a rigorous process.  Each applicant must provide at least three professional references from previous employers and complete a one on one interview with me, and have a 100% clean and clear background check. We verify that each Nanny has a valid driver’s license with a clear driving history and that they have automobile insurance. I will add this – we get multiple applications and we reject approximately 85%. 

What do you actually offer?

We know what it takes to be a good nanny. We know what parents expect when an outsider is invited into the family to care for their children. We know the right questions to ask the nannies. We ask the hard questions that a parent may not feel comfortable asking a candidate. We know what a nanny should receive as far as pay and benefits. We know what’s fair to ask of your nanny. 

Other than your fees, what is a typical price to pay a nanny? 

 Our fee covers the costs of finding your perfect nanny and that’s a tedious set of steps that must be taken.  It is up to the family to pay their nanny. All our nannies are paid an hourly rate ranging from $20-$26 an hour. The hourly pay depends on a number of things – days & hours needed, number & ages of children, responsibilities, etc. 

What do you enjoy about this? 

Watching the children of our families fall in love with their nanny and vice versa.

Being a nanny myself, I know the feeling of the “perfect” match and seeing it happen in front of

me warms my heart. 

What have you learned that has made you a better business person? That you have to do

the research, to take the ups and downs and learn from each experience. Owning your own business is no walk in the park. You have to be a go-getter. 

What advice would you give someone who wants to start their own business?

Set long term and short term goals for yourself and your business. Work hard for it and good things will come. Be yourself and have fun with it! We continue to learn and further educate ourselves. It is a work in progress like any business I suppose.

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