"Nannies by Noa" Will Help You Find A Great Nanny For Your Family

Interview with the entrepreneur who started Nannies by Noa at age 12

nanny with child

Nannies by Noa is a full-service childcare agency, serving families in New York City and the Hamptons starting by Noa Mintz. Like many entrepreneurs, Noa experienced first-hand an issue that needed improvement – caregiver accountability; her parents wanted trust and assurance and she and her siblings wanted a “city-savvy” babysitter who was fun and interactive. At the young age of 12, Noa launched Nannies By Noa, which was built around her innovative approach to matching families and caregivers.

Why did you start your business?

The idea for Nannies by Noa came from my own experiences as a New York kid. A real entrepreneur encounters a challenge and then tries to solve it. That is exactly what I did. My mom had used many different platforms to try and find good babysitters, with no success. Agencies were sending her sitters who were not engaging and interactive. They were the kind of nannies that would sit on the bench at the playground and not go down the slide with the kids. I wanted to provide NYC parents with engaging, fun, and energetic nannies. That is at the core of Nannies by Noa. 

What should people look for in a nanny?

It goes without saying that you are searching for someone honest, responsible, reliable, and experienced who has excellent references. Much harder to pinpoint are the qualities that are needed to make someone the perfect nanny for your particular family. You know best who your kids are and what kind of caregiver they need. For example, a nanny who is very quiet and shy may have trouble establishing her authority with raucous kids who love to push boundaries. A child who spends her free time doing elaborate art projects may fall easily in love with a nanny who mentions "creativity" as one of her best qualities. A nanny who touts her ability to plan a child's social life by organizing playdates with other sitters might be the perfect match for a working parent. But if you are a stay-at-home parent you might be happier with a caregiver who prefers to keep a lower profile and simply follow your direction. You are looking for a person whose personality will mesh well with your child--and with yours.

What are some interviewing tips?

Putting a candidate at ease is very important. A few moments of informal chitchat ("How long have you lived in New York?" "Where did you grow up?" Do you come from a large family?") can also give you a window into the candidate's personality and style. If the person is carrying a book and/or newspaper ask them what they are reading about? What interests them? It is also very important to ask the nanny what she is looking for in a job before you describe exactly what you are looking for in a caregiver. If the candidate admits that she prefers working with older kids and you have three pre-schoolers....well, you get the idea. We also recommend asking nannies what they think are their best qualities as a caregiver and their biggest "challenges" (yes, this is a polite way of asking what they need to work on!). Eliminate anyone who tells you they are great at everything: admitting weakness and showing a willingness to overcome difficulty is a positive quality in an employee who could also be a good role model for your kids. It can also be instructive to give a candidate a specific scenario and ask them how they would respond. For example, what steps would they take during a medical emergency? Have they ever experienced one on the job and if so how did they handle it? Do they feel it is their role to discipline a child and if so when, how, and under what circumstances? Ask what games the person would play with a child on a rainy day. The ideal nanny will have a childlike spirit and sense of fun that your kids will find infectious!

What are red flags?

A person who seems either too nervous or not engaged in the interview is not an ideal candidate to work with your kids. If you find yourself having trouble connecting with this person--either because chatters too much or barely speaks at all--chances are that your kids will have a similar reaction. When you ask them to talk about their past work experience, they should be open and honest about what they liked and didn't like about the family they worked for but in a very discrete manner. Someone who seems to enjoy providing gory details about a former employer's marital troubles or financial situation is not someone you want in your home.

What have you learned from starting your own business?

So much. I have learned that I am an executor. I don't just dream. I do. I have learned that I need to be confident to be successful. If I am not confident, people will have hesitations about using Nannies by Noa and won’t believe in me.

Along with her talented team, Noa raises the bar of what to expect from a caregiver, making it standard practice for her nannies to be active and engaged participants in the lives of the children they care for. Noa has been interviewed on national television shows including NBC “Today Show,” CNBC “Money with Melissa Francis,” “Squawk Box,” and her entrepreneurial story has been shared by the likes of CNN Money, The New York Post, Teen Vogue, Buzzfeed, Mashable, and many others. Follow Noa on Twitter @Noa_Mintz

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