Gus Desbarats, Chairman of design consultancy TheAlloy, and the Chairman of British Design Innovation, talks [...]
Q&A with founder of Granny & ICreated by Charlotte in Q&A's
What is Granny and I?
Granny and I is a babysitting agency and online meeting platform. All our carers are Grandmas! Our ‘Granny sitter’ service finds babysitting work for Grandmothers around London. Our Granny sitters are experienced ladies who have raised their own children and often look after their grandchildren. Some of our Grannies also work as Maternity nurses, viagra sale helpers or doulas.
We are also building an online platform of ‘Online Grannies’ from all over the UK – talented, clinic experienced Grandmas who have something to offer families, whether it’s child caring, cooking, tutoring, or pet-sitting! As an Online Granny you will have your own profile with details of your experience and the sort of service you provide. Parents will be able to become online members, search for and contact a Granny near them to help out with their children or home.
Why did you set up Granny and I?
I set up the business with my mum in September 2012. After having my daughter Penny, I realised how important it was to have my mother nearby – when Penny’s Grandma was around we all felt more supported and life simply ran more smoothly. Whenever she left we felt utterly bereft! We realised how many families don’t have the support of a more experienced relative nearby. Just like me, they need someone they can trust to look after their little ones, who will work on building long-lasting relationships with them, who will be reliable, on time and a capable carer. They might feel nervous leaving their baby or small child with a less experienced carer. And that’s how we came up with the idea of helping families find a local Granny!
What’s it like working as a mother-daughter team?
We are very similar to Grannynet in this respect. Having Penny has been an amazing, overwhelming experience, and it has opened my eyes to how hard being a mum is, and consequently how hard my own mother worked bringing up me and my siblings! My mum and I have had our ups and downs in the past, but since having Penny our relationship has grown stronger. It dawned on me how important it is for Penny to get to know her Grandma, and how valuable and special their relationship is. In terms of working together, we have quite clear boundaries and have divided up the work clearly too, so there are no misunderstandings. It helps that most of the time my mum lives nearby (literally down the road from us!), so we can schedule last-minute meetings or I can call on her for emergency childcare!
What’s so special about Grandmothers?
Grandmas have been through the whole parenting thing, so they know exactly how mothers feel! They have a wealth of life and work experience that a less experienced carer simply doesn’t have. Most of our Granny babysitters and Online Grannies have lived in their community for many years and are committed to building long-term relationships with the families they work with. I feel that I can hand Penny over to one of our Grannies and I can trust she will be played with, stimulated, loved, and should anything happen a Grandma will know exactly what to do!
How do I become a Granny babysitter?
You email us with your CV and a paragraph about yourself and your experiences. All our Granny sitters live in or around London. We interview them all in person and check at least 3 references. All our babysitters are CRB-checked and carefully selected. Our Granny babysitters come from all sorts of work backgrounds: some were stay at home mums or grandmas looking after their grandchildren, others have worked extensively as child carers or maternity nurses, others have had careers in areas like social work, healthcare and teaching. We believe that interesting life experiences make for capable and stimulating carers!
How do I join your Online Grannies?
If you live around the UK (except London) you can apply online by filling in a form here: http://grannyandi.co.uk/be-a-granny
We look through all profiles and approve them before they go live online. Our Online Grannies are not checked or screened by us, as our Online Granny part of the website is not an agency but a meeting platform, so families are expected to go through all the relevant checks.
How do our Grannies get paid?
Families become paying members of Granny and I in order to access our services. We have a Granny Sitter membership for families in London, and an Online Granny membership for families around the UK. Our Granny sitters in London are paid directly by the families they work for, and we have set hourly rates for daytime and evening babysitting so that families know what to expect. Our Online Grannies are free to negotiate wages with the families who contact them. We are simply putting them in touch with families via our website.
Where to from here?
We are focusing on building our Online Granny platform, and on growing our Granny Sitter and Maternity Granny services. We believe that Grandmas have a lot to contribute in family life and eventually we hope to expand, maybe running courses for Grandmas, or offering other useful services for families.
by Francesca Liberatore, found of Granny & I