Candi Wingate knows the nanny business inside and out. She was a nanny when she was placed though an agency known as Nannies of Nebraska. She worked in the agency until the day she bought the business.
Wingate saw the thousands of dollars that some parents spend locating, interviewing and hiring a qualified nanny for their children. "I knew there must be a simpler, more cost-effective way for families to find the right nanny," she says.
Her answer is Nannies4hire.com, an online database that helps families find a quality nanny for their specific needs as well as offers nannies a place to advertise their availability and experience. Families begin with a free preview of available nannies in a specific zip code area, then may subscribe to various levels of service that afford access to contact information, reviews, references and other advanced search features.
The service lists thousands of nannies whose profiles are updated every 35 days, and is available in the U.S. and Canada. Nannies4hire has partnered with several corporations to provide child care for employees and event participants.
In 2010, when Wingate wanted to expand her business and bid on contracts to provide nanny services to U.S. military families, she sought the help of Scott Knapp, certified contracting specialist and procurement technical assistance counselor in the Kearney office of the Nebraska Business Development Center.
"The particular contracts they were looking at were tied up on long-term basis, but Candi and her team kept working with us to establish other government contracting that might be available," Knapp says. "Over the course of the past two years, we began to find opportunities for providing babysitting services for Yellow Ribbon Events that are held by the National Guard around deployment of troops overseas."
Wingate, who is the author of two nanny informational books and whose business has been featured on television by Dr. Phil and on the Discovery Channel/TLC, says the new market is a good opportunity for her company and the nannies and families it serves.
"Military families often need nannies for weekend events or nights, and by having our name out there, it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved," she says.
As a mother of two boys, Wingate knows the value of professional care and advice, both in the home and for her business. "When we first talked to Scott, we told him what we’d like to do but that we had no idea where to start," she says.
"He has been there literally every step of the way as we grow into this new area. It’s a whole new adventure for us, and I am glad Scott is here to help."