As you have hopefully seen our “Meet Nanny” series,we wanted to you to get to know our NannyFusion members too! Today we are kicking off a new series called “Meet NannyFusion Member”. Through many of our networking experiences the development team has had the privilege of working with many of our NannyFusion members. We wanted to share more about them with your our readers. Professional networking is a vital part of the nanny industry, we hope that this will help strengthen your professional networking with our NannyFusion members.
Company Name: Morningside Nannies, L.P.
Contact: Pat Cascio
Years in business? 28 years
What does your company do? Refer full-time, part-time and temporary nannies and Newborn Care Specialists in the Houston Texas area
Member of what organizations?
International Nanny Association
Association of Premier Nanny Agencies
Better Business Bureau
Houston Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals (Advisory Board Member)
Tell us a little bit about how you got into this business?
In 1982 I hired my first nanny from a domestic placement agency. It took me at least four more nannies in the first year to find someone that was good with children. I paid four fees because the agencies didn’t offer a free replacement, they didn’t do background checks nor did they do much in regard to reference checking. The applicants didn’t interview for positions other than talking to the family on the phone before starting to work. I figured there had to be a better way of finding qualified in-home childcare providers. The word “nanny” was not a familiar term in the United States at that time. I started the first agency in Houston that specialized in referring nannies.
What is one of your favorite memories since you have been in business?
A dad came in to meet with me. He had his two young children with him. His wife, along with their newborn baby, had died during childbirth the day before. He needed help immediately. He said his wife retired from her law practice to raise the children. She was a room mother, a Brownie leader, attended every school event and field trip and he hoped to find a nanny than can take on those roles so that the children could maintain something similar to their “normal” way of life. Later in the day an amazing young woman came in to interview and said she just wanted to work for a family that really needed her. I knew something unexplainable had just happened. I introduced her to the newly widowed dad and they agreed that they were perfect for one another. She worked there for over five years and finally left when she and her husband were expecting their own baby.
What is one item that you would like applicants to pay more attention to when applying for jobs?
Detail!!! Take the time to complete every line of the application. Relax!! Let the agency get to know you in your best light. The more an agency knows about your past positions, personality and your philosophies the better the chances are that they can successfully match you with the right family.
What is the number one mistake nannies make when interviewing?
Many nannies forget to interact with the child/children while meeting with the family. The nanny may be concentrating so hard on the interview and trying to say just the right thing that she may not realize that the parent is judging how the baby or child is responding to her.
What advice would you give to someone considering opening a nanny placement service?
Research your market very thoroughly. If you’re going to compete with well established reputable agencies you may not succeed. Be prepared to spend more than you earn for at least a year. You need to be available to interview and answer phone calls during business hours. It is very difficult to get your business established if you continue to work a full time job while trying to start your business.
What is the most important piece of advice you can share with our readers?
Continue your education. Everyone can improve in their ability to do their job. In our industry the best way to be the best-you-can-be is to attend professional conferences.
What was your first job?
I started babysitting after school every day when I was 13 and I worked as a cashier at the corner grocery store on Saturdays when I was 16. My first “grown up” job was for an advertising agency in Chicago, I worked in the accounting department billing time, space and talent.
After you retire, what would you like to be doing?
My bucket list includes writing a children’s book. I’ve had the story in my head for more than 30 years.
Tell us a fun fact about you.
I went to the same high school as Ernest Hemingway, Carl Sandburg, and Kathy Griffin.
Where would you take your dream vacation?
I have wanted to go to Costa Rica for many years.