Good news, mamas! Northwest Arkansas is now home to a company called Nanny Needs, which specializes in connecting families with nannies and sitters who are screened, background checked and trained in safety procedures. Nanny Needs has been operating in the Little Rock area for several years and is now expanding to Northwest Arkansas, which is where owner Brittany Wickliffe grew up.
We asked Brittany a few questions to find out more about Nanny Needs specialties and why pairing nannies with families is so close to her heart.
Does your company only place full-time nannies with families, or can parents who need sitters or part-time nannies also use Nanny Needs? What about after-school care or occasional date nights? What about those times when school is out but parents are still working?
We are the solution for most child care needs! Nanny Needs is a unique service that does provide care for a variety of schedules, including care only as needed. In Central Arkansas, we work regularly with after-school nannies and are unparalleled with our Occasional Care program.
We’ve had parents call when their child’s school goes virtual for a week or two and provide care the next day for these families. We also provide a back-up nanny when a family’s nanny is sick or unable to work. We have two main options: Regularly Scheduled Care for 20+ hours per week; or Occasional Care for anything less than that.
Because we keep track of a family’s favorite nannies, our Occasional Care option is often the same small group of nannies that the family already knows and loves. This is especially true for school breaks, summer time, and date night nannies.
What is your screening process like for nannies and sitters? Does it include a background check?
I LOVE talking about our screening! We hope to raise the overall standard for child care because our kids are worth it. Our process is the most thorough across the U.S. Because of our intensive screening process, we work with fewer than 1% of our applicants.
Our process includes:
Check 3-5 References
Drug testing initially AND randomly on an ongoing basis
Proof of Immunization Records
Maintaining current CPR (we even host our own classes and emphasize nanny-specific tips!)
Providing proof of car insurance (Arkansas has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers) And quite a bit more!
We think the above requirements should be essential for child care workers. On top of these, we have an additional set of standards to determine if someone is or could be a good nanny.
It’s not easy to join, but our nannies tend to stay with us. We have fantastic retention rates and invest in those who work with us in a variety of ways. Seeing our nannies develop is one of the best parts of my job.
Can you help find nannies for medical workers and others who work night shifts?
Absolutely! Many of our families in Central Arkansas work “unusual” hours. Whether a schedule is different due to a residency or medical schedule, owning a business, doing shift work like many first responders, lawyers sometimes working late hours, or a variety of other reasons, we can provide care. We aim to provide care for all families.
Do your nannies have any training in first aid or CPR?
Yes! We’ve found that many people say they’re certified even if their certification expired years ago. Because of this, we require the card to be submitted or that a person get up to date on CPR training within 90 days of joining our team.
While the pandemic has caused our class sizes to be smaller, we’re working hard to safely keep nannies up to date with these important skills. I’m actually in the process of being an instructor myself so we can have more frequent, smaller CPR classes as safely as possible.
We host CPR classes with the American Heart Association regularly to make sure all nannies can stay up to date on the latest information. This is a vital part of working with children; the guidelines change frequently. Just this year, two more acceptable ways to perform finger thrusts for infants have been added. Getting certified once a long time ago or in an online course without that hands-on experience just doesn’t cut it for us.
What is the pricing structure for Nanny Needs services?
Every single family is different. We individualize pricing for each family’s needs based on a variety of factors. We first look at the family’s needs: the number of hours expected each week, the ages and number of children in a family and several other things.
In addition to family factors, we commonly quote a price range within $2/hr of the lowest rate. This allows us to better account for the range of education and experience levels within the nannies in our network. With us, it’s more about finding the right personality match for your family. We handle the basics so you can find someone to fit in and grow with your family.
Why did you decide to expand the business to Northwest Arkansas?
I grew up in Northwest Arkansas, so it’s always been in my plans to expand my business here as an excuse to visit more. 😉 It’s grown so much since my childhood days! Many of my friends and family have a need for child care here, and I’ve seen firsthand how difficult AND expensive it is in this area.
Having a nanny is certainly not a cheap option, but it actually is comparable in cost in this area when you have two or more kiddos! There are other benefits, too, like laundry help, skipping the morning and after-school rush, and the personalized care provided by a nanny. Not to mention that in the middle of a pandemic, having a nanny is the safest form of child care.
After I married my awesome husband and moved to Central Arkansas, I became a professional nanny immediately. Most of my friends and family here didn’t even know that nannying was a real job! I have always thought that it is the BEST job ever, but so many people don’t know where to start to even become a nanny.
Just like it’s hard to find quality child care, it’s brutal for a nanny to find the right family. I want to help make being a nanny a more accessible and viable career option here while providing the child care service all parents need.
How did your company get started, and what’s your favorite part of connecting nannies with families?
I spent my career as a nanny and learned the industry well. In each of my child care positions, whether it was working with a “standard” nanny agency, a daycare, or a notable preschool, I was shocked at how easy it was to get hired. I learned some pretty scary stuff: how a person once on the child maltreatment list can be removed after only a year and resume working with children, how only violent charges may disqualify someone from caring for 6 babies at a time, and how the need to staff classrooms can be so demanding that screening takes a backseat to who can start first.
In addition, I was never drug tested, even when working with children with special needs who may be taking medication themselves. Don’t get me wrong — some daycares and preschools are AMAZING with wonderful directors and caring teachers. I have plenty of tips to help parents find a safe, great program for their children.
I LOVE so many aspects of my job! It’s incredibly rewarding to hear a family gush about how much their nanny helps them and has become part of their family. Some families call us after having bad experiences with other nannies or suddenly needing care; I especially love to help those families find a professional, compassionate nanny.
I understand how stressful it is to suddenly need care and love being able to support families in this special way. When a nanny brags about how awesome her nanny kids are during a professional development class or tells new nannies about how we helped them find a family who is absolutely perfect for them, it makes all the long hours worth it for me. Knowing that this nanny just bought her first home or that one finally has a career that she absolutely loves is so fulfilling.
The many families I cared for as a nanny all have a very special place in my heart, and I still talk with most of them. Helping others make that same life-long connection is honestly almost addicting for me.
Tell us a little about your family.
My family is busy and fun! Our silly, messy Brayden is 1 and the perfect accomplice for our serious, way-too-smart 2-year-old Brock. More recently, our sweet newborn niece has joined our crew and is being doted on by everyone.
We’re obviously the coolest aunt and uncle to all of our nieces. (Shoutout to Brie and Mady here!) Connect Point Church in Maumelle is absolutely an extended family, and we love being involved as much as we can be with 3 kids under 3.
My husband is the BEST dad and a fellow business owner. Life gets crazy with littles, and I love doing date nights with this guy. Making time for each other helps us both be better for our kiddos. Our family is a huge reason why I do what I do. And we use our nannies ourselves! We don’t have family nearby as a backup option for child care, so we really do need this service, too.
For more information on Nanny Needs and how to connect with a new nanny or sitter for your kids, call Brittany at (479) 305-4566 or read testimonials from Arkansas moms on her website by clicking here.