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Meet Michelle LaRowe of Morningside Nannies in Kirby

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle LaRowe.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Michelle. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
We purchased Morningside Nannies from another nanny industry insider Pat Cascio in 2012. Pat had started the agency in the 1980s in response to the lack of screening and professionalism in the domestic staffing industry. I had known Pat as we both served as International Nanny Association Board of Directors. In fact, in 2004 as president, she had presented me with the Nanny of the Year award.

Although I graduated with a degree in Chemistry, I put myself through school working as a nanny. I loved my work and in my junior year of college, I learned about the underworld of nannies. There were agencies, organizations and conferences for nannies. I realized I could make a career of doing what I loved.

That was in 1998. Fast forward a few years and I joined the Board of the International Nanny Association and received INA’s highest nanny award. During this time, I was very active in the nanny industry and helped to draft INA’s recommended practices and basic skills exam. After receiving the award, I wrote several parenting books including Nanny to the Rescue! and Working Mom’s 411 and appeared locally, nationally and internationally in media and print as America’s Nanny. I continued to nanny until I became pregnant with my first child. I was then offered the position of executive director of the International Nanny Association.

During my time at INA, I connected with a new member, Ken Myers. He was merging technology with childcare services. I left INA and joined him in growing his nanny business. When the opportunity to purchase the award- agency came amount, we took it and are glad we did.

I still remain active in the industry. We hold membership in INA and the Association of Premier Nanny Agencies. I serve on the advisory board of Nanny Magazine, I write regularly for parenting publications and am featured frequently as an industry expert. In 2016 we launched NannyTraining.com, the first US Based CACHE Endorsed Learning Program for nannies.

Has it been a smooth road?
You have to figure out what you love to do and find a way to get paid for it. I am grateful I work in an industry that I love and that I know really well. I have been in this industry half of my life as a nanny, nonprofit executive, trainer, parent and agency owner. It has been a real benefit to be able to understand all facets of the industry.

Competing with online nanny websites and social media groups for nannies and parents seeking them was initially a challenge. However, what we have come to learn is that many of our clients come to us because they were not successful screening a nanny on their own and had a really bad experience that they did not want to repeat.

We screen nannies every day and have a very strict screening process in place. Out of every 10 nannies who come to us for work, 2 or 3 make it through our process. This means our clients are only meeting nannies who have been fully screened and handpicked for their job and family. This saves our clients time and energy and puts them on the path to finding the right match.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Morningside Nannies story. Tell us more about the business.
Morningside Nannies is Houston’s award-winning nanny agency.

We specialize in finding Houston area parents the right nanny for their family. We refer full-time, part-time, back-up and temporary nannies.

We are most proud of our screening process. Unlike other agencies that wait until a family makes a job offer to a nanny before investing the time and money in her screening, we screen all of our nannies before our families know they exist.

Our staff has over 40 years of nanny industry experience and has been involved in all facets of the nanny industry.

We also developed and offer our nannies free training at NannyTraining.com, the home of the country’s first CACHE Endorsed Learning Programme for Nannies.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I believe in the next 5 to 10 years, we will see more regulation surrounding the nanny industry. Right now, anyone can be a nanny, that is why it’s essential to do excellent screening of potential candidates. In the future, I believe nanny education will become more mainstream and expected from agencies and parents, I believe some basic standard will eventually be required like it is in the UK, though we are probably more than 10 years out for that.

I think on-demand care will continue to grow. I would expect more apps to be developed to instantly connect parents with nannies. Parents will need to be super vigilant with screening, as there’s more required for quality care than an attractive nanny profile.

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