Nanny News Online - Agency Spotlight: MLNA- 29th September 2015

Annie and Chris

Melbourne’s Leading Nanny Agency started in Annie Sargoods (Agency Owner) Mothers Front Lounge Room in 1999. It was oringally named Armadale Sitters but when the business expanded and became highly regarded they changed the name. It was so successful that they had to shift into a funky little office in Armadale. Later on they moved into a large office in Brighton East, where they remain. Never in Annie’s wildest dreams did she think she would create such an amazing award winning business or have her mum as a business partner.

They have 13 amazing women running their office, all whom take their jobs very seriously and adore forging long lasting relationships with both their Clients and their Carers alike. They provide wonderful service and support, holding professional development and industry standards in high regard. Servicing Victoria Wide, Metro, Rural and Remote areas.


What are the duties and responsibilities of being an agency owner?

Integrity, transparency, support, guidance and awareness. Being a business owner is one of the more complicated roles in life, lending your hand to so many differing skills is quite hard. I spend many sleepless nights thinking about how we can improve our performance and make sure that BOTH our Clients AND our Nannies are happy. Happy families and happy nannies = success. Given that the nanny industry isn't governed by any particular set of standards or expectations, we are heavily self regulated, setting a high standard and constantly modifying our focus is essential to being a leader in the industry.

Gathering amazingly passionate staff around me to help fulfil our customers needs, has definaetly been one of our proudest achievements. Without amazing people to help deliver your vision, you have nothing. Without our amazing Office Staff and incredible Carers we are nothing.


What is the most satisfying part of running an agency?

We looovvveee ALL of it, it is the most satisfying job that you could ever do. We help families find their fairy godmothers and help nannies find a loving family to spend their days with. What could be more satisfying than making people happy and helping them with the day to day challenges that can also arise when working in such intimate circumstances.


It must be great to know you run an award winning business.

Yes it really is. We have also been nominated and won several titles in the Stonnington Business of the year awards, a few years running. Each of those nominations came from our clients and we were extraordinarily proud. I have been personally nominated for the Telstra business woman of the year award, I was totally shocked and honoured all at the same time. I didn't end up winning, but it was terribly flattering all the same.


How is Melbourne's Leading Agency different from its competitors?

Mnnnnnn, well we all have our special features and benefits. I would probably say, the level of care and support that we offer is second to none. And that our screening process is such that only the fabulous nannies can scrape through. We keep our standards high and constantly remind ourselves that we are dealing with people who have feelings and lives, not just profiles and positions. We pride ourselves in providing service that we would be happy for our family to receive.

Melbourne’s Leading Nanny Agency, Victoria, Australia, Metropolitan, Remote, Rural


Can you tell us your trade secret on how you source the best nannies in Melbourne?

Now that's a bit cheeky, it wouldn't be smart of me to give away my trade secrets hey? Honestly though, word of mouth is probably our most powerful promotional tool, happy nannies and families = positive talk out there in the community. We really try to live up to our name and gather nannies to represent us, who reflect the high standard of in home care that we expect. Retention of them is also extremely important, so treating them well and giving them clear, consistent, instruction is paramount.


What king of screening process do you put your nannies through?

Extremely rigorous interview and reference checking process, plus verification of paperwork which takes a lot of man hours. We have a team of 4 who do all the screening, reference checking, professional development and retention. And then another team of 4 who do all the matching and placement coordination. The key to a long standing relationship between a nanny and the family, is all in the matching process, it's all about the warm fuzzy feeling you get in the pit of your belly when you know it's the perfect match, it's almost a dating agency of sorts.


Do your nannies need any special training prior to starting work with the Agency?

Of course there is obligatory First Aid, Police Check, preferred Certificate in childcare...... But I firmly believe that some Nannies were just born to be Nannies and then there are those Nannies who have studied and try super super hard but just don't have the "Shhhwwwiinngg" required to be a super nanny. A nanny isn't just someone who has gone to Tafe and done a course, Nannying comes from the heart, from the soul. It's that warm fuzzy feeling you get in the pit of your belly when you meet your nanny and you just know she is the perfect one for your family. No paperwork or certificate can evoke that type of assurance that comes from a parents gut feeling.


How does your agency contribute to the professional development of your employees?

Checking out our FB page daily for craft and art activities or recipes is always fun. We run workshops and seminars on a myriad of relevant topics, our schedule for 2015/2016 was just uploaded to FB the other day and should be on our website soon. Professional Development is essential for all nannies, it keeps you up to date with what's expected, ideals change and parenting philosophies change, being flexible and knowledgeable is important... even if you have done your diploma years ago, keeping abreast of current trends and ideas is not silly.


What kind of post placement support does your agency offer to your nannies?

Once a team member, always a team member, never will we turn away a nanny who needs our help, advice or support. That is unless they have breached company policy and haven't been humble enough to rectify the situation in an honest and integral manner. I hold loyalty and commitment in high regard and expect the same of our nannies.


What kind of experience, paid or unpaid, would you encourage for someone like myself, pursing a career with Melbourne's Leading Nanny Agency?

Completing a certificate 3 in childcare would be a great start, you would get the basic placement experience needed to enter into a mothers help role. On top of that, getting your hands on babies, especially Newborns is critical. Most families start thinking about needing a nanny because Mum needs to return to work shortly after giving birth, having an age of experience that includes Newborns puts you in good stead for all types of roles, not just those who have older children. Volunteering at Mother Baby units in hospitals is worth considering, or shadowing a local Maternal Health Nurse would give you some great insight in to the care of Newborns.


Melbourne's Leading Nanny Agency is apart of Australian Nanny Association, International Nanny Association, Recruitment and Consulting Services Association, Australian Council of Social Service, Australian Breast Feeding Association, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Association.

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