For nanny agencies, the summertime brings an opportunity to generate additional revenue through the arrangement of temporary child care. If your agency already has a temporary service, you can strengthen it by targeting specific child care needs that many families have during the summer. If your agency doesn’t make temporary placements, consider adding that to the services you offer.
What types of temporary placements are in demand for the summer?
- Summer nannies: Families need full-time or part-time child care for the summer only to make sure they have coverage while schools and day cares are closed.
- Hotel sitters: Summer is a busy time for travel. Families who are visiting your area for work or vacation and staying at local hotels may need child care for date nights, work dinners, etc.
- Wedding child care: With wedding season in full bloom, many brides and grooms who have a no-children policy for their wedding may want to arrange group child care for all the children of their guests. Even when children are invited to a wedding, parents may want a caregiver if the reception will end after their children’s bedtime. Contact local event planners and become a preferred vendor.
- Short-term care after a move: Many families wait until the close of the school year to move their family to a new town. Parents who move to your area during the summer may be interested in having a temporary caregiver to keep their children occupied while they unpack and get settled. They may also need a permanent nanny and don’t have one lined up yet. Establish relationships with local real estate agents to inform them of the services you provide that can support their clients during a stressful time.
What types of caregivers would be interested in helping these families?
- College students: Many college students are unable to work consistently for one family during the school year because of their course load, but would welcome the opportunity to have a full-time or part-time summer nanny job. Also, students who have internships for the summer may seek temporary child care jobs to get additional work experience and pay.
- Teachers: Based on how much time off they get for the summer, teachers may not have enough availability for full-time summer nanny jobs, but they can be great temporary nannies, particularly if they have experience with toddlers and infants as well as school-aged children.
- Permanent nannies: Some nannies placed in ongoing positions want to pick up extra work when the families they work for go on vacation, and they can be a great asset to your temporary pool, even if they’re available only one or two weeks at a time. Be sure to reach out to the full-time nannies you’ve placed to see when they might have some availability for temp work.
- Out-of-towners: Caregivers who are staying in the area for the summer only and looking for child care work can be valuable additions to a temporary pool, though it’s best if they apply at least one month before they arrive to make sure there is enough time for them to find work after they get through the interview process.
What can agencies do to advertise and increase their summer services?
- Alter fees: To attract new clients and incentivize existing clients to request child care for the summer, agencies can create new price points for the months of June, July and August. For example, families who need care Monday-Friday for one week could get a discount on the cost of five daily placement fees, and families who need care for most weekdays could pay a flat fee for unlimited weekday child care in June, July and/or August.
- Spread the word: Agencies can send a mass email to temp clients asking whether anyone is looking for some extra help for the summer and mentioning special discounts for summer placement fees. That can prompt parents to request summer child care for their own children and/or refer friends to the agency. Reaching out to event planners about weddings and real estate agents about families moving to the area can also generate new business.
- Contact caregivers: Agencies can contact college students and teachers already registered with the agency to gauge their availability for and interest in summer work, and also remind permanent nannies that there are temporary jobs they could fill when they have time off. Setting up a referral program, offering bonuses to caregivers for referring friends who become temporary or permanent nannies for the agency, is another good way to find top-quality caregivers for the summer.
- Employ on-call nannies: In late August, when camps have ended and summer nannies go back to school or teaching, families may need a temporary caregiver to bridge the gap before their children go back to school. At these peak times, agencies can employ on-call nannies and send them on temp jobs as needed to ensure their supply can meet the demand.
- Find an intern: Hiring an in-office summer intern to provide additional support for the agency will help make sure you can keep up with the workload that comes along with filling these summer needs. Interns can also assist with various projects that have been building up throughout the year.
A temporary service isn’t a fit for all agencies, but for those that see a demand for one, following these tips can lead to summer success.
by Barrett Neale Scott, The Nanny Network, LLC