Keeping up with the kids...
Keeping up with the kids...
Like the children they find nannies for, KiwiOz Nannies is constantly growing and changing. With the current market having changed rapidly in the last 12 months, it has become increasingly important to keep an eye on changes in childcare patterns in New Zealand. While the nannies are telling the children to switch their laptops and electronic games off, KiwiOz Nannies as an agency is switching everything on.
The company was started by two young New Zealanders working in London who specialised in placing New Zealand and Australian nannies in London in 2002. By 2005 an office opened in Auckland and the company has since opened its doors providing nannies to families living in Hong Kong, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Germany and the USA. Not only has the company expanded geographically but technology wise too. This year has seen the upgrade of a whole new web based database to keep track of all the nannies and families on their books (over 5,500 nannies are now registered between both offices). They have also introduced an online booking system for their babysitting and temporary nanny service. They offer credit card payments online for families who have booked a temporary nanny or babysitter, take care of payroll services for those bookings with online payslips for their nannies and advise families who are now employers with up to date NZ tax information. Nannies and parents are sent text message reminders and are encouraged to maintain contact with the agency at any time via online forms or emails. New Nannies are now required to complete an online registration form on the KiwiOz Nannies website to first apply to the agency, this includes uploading a CV, first aid certificate and work related references as well as filling in all current contact details. “Those who are not up with the play in today’s world are not going to offer children assistance and growth to children, nowadays a lot of homework requires research on line, this needs to be monitored by a nanny or parent” said Director Lisa Rutledge.
However, don’t be fooled. Even though all this new technology may make bookings and payments hands off, the consultants and nannies are anything but. “By having all our new candidates apply online it saves us time entering data so when we interview them in person we can spend the time looking into their experience and gaining a clear idea of their childcare capabilities to make that best match with a suitable family” Rutledge said.
The growth of the company throughout this tough year can be aligned with “our best team we have had in the last seven years currently working in both offices” said UK owner and director Rachel Ogg but also can attribute to many external factors, such as the worldwide baby boom present at the moment, there has also bee a growth in the preference for private childcare in the home over public early childhood centres, where classes are growing rapidly and waiting lists for entry being as long as a year. With the increase in influenza type sicknesses like the swine flu hit New Zealand at the beginning of the year, many parents were forced to look at all their options. This type of disruption for working parents is not ideal when everyone is working the hardest they have worked so many have since justified the extra cost of employing a nanny as they know that they do not then need to compromise on their work commitments when kids are sick or childcare centres closed.
KiwiOz Nannies has future plans to keep using technology; a web cam interview room has been set up for families to arrange Skype interviews when they are based internationally to be able to “meet” their prospective employee. Whatever the kids are going to be doing, KiwiOz will be aiming to be do it first.