Ok so here we are with the number 2 Blog!! I did say last time I would let you know how Centenary Nannies started so here is the long and boring story but I guess you will now know how we started.
All during school I wanted to be a nanny. No idea why, I just did. I remember my mum telling me in Grade 10 I would never be a nanny and I would be terrible and only had the support of my Dad! Once I left school I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I worked in hospitality, managed a café and obtained my quals in this field. I met my husband during this time and he encouraged me to do what I wanted and that wasn’t hospitality nor was it to work in childcare centres where I had been doing relief work as well. He asked what I wanted to do when I was at school so perhaps being rebellious (against my MUM) and not knowing what else I wanted to do I joined some nanny agencies after looking online.
I must admit I didn’t even know nanny agencies existed or what they did! I recall one asking for a $50 fee to join. I thought are they kidding? I have no work or money and you want me to pay you. Needless to say they did nothing for me!! One agency found me a job so I took it. It wasn’t ideal being spilt shifts and a good 40minute drive but I took what I could. I helped a single mum (who was s surgeon) and she had 6 kids (2 sets of twins!) I worked here for about 2 months until her ex and she worked out an arrangement where they no longer needed me. So I finished here and got married (was good timing really). As soon as we got married I was back out looking for work again. Another agency said they had a job with a 6 week old baby. Wow I thought. I have worked with babies in centres but that was about it. They also had a 6yo boy and he was a soccer fanatic. I had played futsal all through school. This job was in Wilston and back then didn’t take too long to get to work. I just had to pick my time with the traffic and I was set to go. Can’t say I would drive to Wilston every day now though. The traffic in Brisbane is horrendous. I stayed with this family for almost 7 years! I think I surprised my mum!!!! I asked her one day why she said I would be a terrible nanny and her response was ‘you are not maternal at all Kristy’. Ha I think sometimes she is right though!!! But I guess I just found the right family for me.
Once Lucy (the 6 week old baby) started school my hours dropped back, although my family tried to accommodate, but I think I knew it was time for a change. My husband had been asking when we were going to have kids and he wanted by the time he was 30. I thought geez we only have a couple years here so I took the plunge called the local Westside Newspaper and put an ad in the paper saying ‘Nannies wanted’. I was inundated. So I just stared interviewing from one of my bedrooms at home and as I went along learnt I had to actually have insurances, contracts and so on. This was a whole new world and I had no idea about business! I was advertising everywhere then suddenly I started receiving calls from families needing nannies. YAY!!! I was so busy I had to hire someone so my next door neighbour, Angela, came and helped out until she fell pregnant and left. This is when Laura came on board. I met Laura as one of our nannies. She came into the bedroom office when I first started and I LOVED her! She worked as a nanny for us for a while until I needed her more. Then I fell pregnant with my first, Ava. As I was pregnant and had a baby I needed extra help that Laura couldn’t provide so my neighbours sister came and worked with me, Samantha. She even finished a certificate in admin whilst working here. Things quietened down and Samantha also fell pregnant so I plodded along on my own for a while and with Ava in tow! Perks of working from home, having your babies with you! Laura came back and helped out for a bit before she headed off to Victoria to live. Laura helped out for a while whilst living down there. Modern day technology allowed her to access my computer and do all the admin work. Saved me from doing it!! I then fell pregnant with Sophie so Sharon came and worked with me for 6 months however again work quietened down and for family reasons Sharon left. She is now a real estate agent and doing a great job. Laura relocated back to the Gold coast and this is where we are now.
Centenary Nannies has been in operation 6 years now so in that time have had a couple ladies work for me but we all seem to have babies!
Centenary Nannies is now run from an office from home. My husband who comes in handy at times is a carpenter so he extended our home to add a huge rumpus and an office for me!!! We have footpaths leading to the office door and looks and feels like an office unlike my little bedroom where Centenary Nannies first started.
With a new office, no more babies being had (I hope!), hopefully no more floods as we were flooded in the 2011 floods, and sort of an idea of business and a business plan, Laura is here to stay, so we are expanding on to the Gold Coast now! Not bad for 6 years work and for a nanny who knew nothing about business!!!
Working from home like any job has its pros and cons but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love being with my girls when I can and helping on tuckshop duty now Ava is at school and just having the flexibility for them. Laura also runs the Gold Coast office from her home and she too enjoys having her 3 kids around and working all at the same time.
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing though, with new laws and legislations, tax laws, the floods, change of staff and all the training that is involved, the global economic crisis and just business in general so I really feel I need to thank some people for getting me and Centenary Nannies here.
My Dad, being in business he has helped immensely.
Kevin and Karen of Freemont Business Solutions, for me bothering them 24/7 with tax and bookkeeping questions and just advice and business coaching in general.
Scott, my husband, for just supporting me and allowing me to work from home.
Laura, for her ongoing support and help. She has been here 5 of the 6 years, her loyalty still astounds me every day!
Staff –Angela, Samantha and Sharon for helping me when I needed it.
My family whom I was with 7 years. I was with them about 12months whilst starting CN and they always supported me and accommodated where they could.
All my friends for encouraging me to keep going.
Ava and Sophie, my kids, for letting mummy work on the computer and answer calls when they have needed me
All our recruits and families for all your support. We wouldn’t be here without any of you!
I am excited by the expansion into the Gold Coast and only hope we are as successful down there as we are and have been here in Brisbane so I can continue to help families find the help they need and for nannies to find the right family to work with, just like I did.
PS Thanks for reading our Blog Page and my boring story…promise next time will be a bit more exciting!!