“You know, you can say it backwards, which is docious-ali-expi-istic-fragil-cali-rupus, but that’s going a bit too far, don’t you think?” — Mary Poppins
Finding a nanny or babysitter in the Okanagan is tough, especially for families who are new to the area or who are just visiting for a business trip. Sure, there’s Craigslist, Castanet, Kijiji, and other sites where people offer childminding services, but how do you go about qualifying potential babysitters or nannies in an industry where inconsistent government standards mean there’s no single universally-accepted stamp of approval?
It’s this problem that motivated Christina Stein, a mom of two girls and a former professional nanny herself, to start Nannysitters – and 11 years later, Nannysitters continues to fill a void in the Okanagan market for professional nannies and babysitters who have been independently qualified and screened.
Stein says that Nannysitters came about in a very organic way, when her own work as a nanny snowballed to the point where she could no longer manage her client roster on her own. That’s when she pursued business education opportunities through organizations like Community Futures in order to give her the skills she needed to meet the growing demand for her services. Stein built out a list of requirements that she wanted all of her nannies to meet and started recruiting, looking for candidates with a minimum of 2 years’ experience. And with a network of professional nannies established, she started branching out into other niches – namely, childminding services for hotels, resorts, and events.
“Each of those components works together in creating awareness about our other services,” Stein says. “Our casual babysitting service also serves the tourism industry in the Okanagan. Hotels call on us, visiting families call on us….and our events service draws on our casual nanny roster for weddings and corporate events. All of the pieces fit together really nicely.”
Stein says that the single biggest lesson she learned as a business owner that has helped her to succeed is that listening is underrated:
“You can have this great concept of what things should be, but maybe that’s not what people want…for growth in any business, being able to listen and then adapt as needed is huge.”
Stein recently won one of the categories at Startup Weekend Okanagan 2019 with her Sitterlink app idea and is currently developing said mobile app, which will streamline the process of matching families and nannies. Watch for the Sitterlink app to come to an app store near you.
Learn more about Christina and Nannysitters at https://nannysitters.ca.
Christina is the proud founder and principal operator of Nannysitters. She combines her training in Business, Child Development and Family Dynamics with over 18 years of experience in the childcare industry both in Canada and the United Kingdom. Christina has an in-depth understanding of family-nanny dynamics, and excels in guiding families and nannies towards long-lasting and positive relationships. Having worked as a nanny for many years, and now having gone through the experience of hiring nannies for her own family, she has an even deeper understanding and appreciation of the processes involved. Christina’s community is important to her, and she and her family enjoy regularly connecting with children and families at various festivals and events!