Business owners work ‘Hand in Hand’ with families
Rosemount, Eagan woman start nanny-placement service
by Tad Johnson
Finding quality child care is one of the most important tasks for new parents who work outside the home.
Shara Schmidt and Sarah McComb, the owners of Hand In Hand Nannies, know that … well, firsthand.
Schmidt of Eagan and McComb of Rosemount have been in the nanny business since their early 20s, caring for children from Minnesota to Colorado to California.
No matter where they have been, families demand the same high-quality care for their children.
“We believe that this process should be as stress-free as possible for the nannies and the families,” Schmidt said. “We truly work on finding the perfect fit for each family and nanny so that they can have a long-lasting work relationship, but more importantly so they can become more like a family to each other.”
With their combined 13 years of experience in the business, the two started their nanny-placement business in December 2011.
The response so far has been positive, according to Schmidt.
Within seven days of opening, its website rose to the top of major search engines and the two say they had a database of qualified nannies who are passionate about their work.
“We put every ounce of energy we have into making our company successful,” Schmidt said. “Every spare minute that we have we are thinking of new ways to advertise our business and to get our name out into the community in a positive manner. We want the things people are saying about Hand In Hand Nannies to be nothing but good things.”
Hand In Hand Nannies provides live-in and live-out, full and part-time nannies as well as temporary and summer nannies.
They say all of their nannies go through a thorough process before being accepted into its database.
Candidates fill out two applications, participate in personal interviews and clear a criminal background check and five reference checks.
All of their nannies have at least two years of child care experience, must be at least 18 years of age with a high school diploma and fulfill other requirements.
“When we find that perfect fit for each family and nanny we couldn’t be happier,” Schmidt said. “We know how important of a role a nanny plays in these children’s lives, as well as the parents. Some families look at their nannies as a part of their family and couldn’t imagine their lives without them. When the fit is a good fit it puts everyone at ease.”
Schmidt and McComb are the only two employees of their company, which allows them a quality control of knowing all of their nannies and families on a personal level.
The two are proud of the fact that there were minimal start-up costs, which were paid for out of their personal accounts.
“We were money savvy and very in tune with the fact that we could do a lot of the work ourselves,” Schmidt said. “This did mean that we would need to put more time and effort into everything but we were willing to do that instead of paying someone to do what we could do ourselves.”
The two used the services of SCORE of the Twin Cities, a nonprofit association staffed with volunteer business mentors, to assist them mostly with tax and accounting issues.
“We did a lot of research before beginning the process and we believe not only is this vital to the success of a company but also to ensure that you are choosing the correct paths for your business,” Schmidt said.
She said entrepreneurs should be smart with their startup costs and consider undertaking some tasks by themselves rather than outsourcing them.
“It may seem easier to pay someone to do it for you, but it is satisfying knowing that your company has become successful because of all the hard work and effort you have put into it,” Schmidt said.
She said starting a company is an exciting adventure and it can have its stressful times. Those who are truly passionate about their work will find their effort will be well worth it when the business starts growing and making a positive impact in the lives of others.
About the owners
Schmidt, a Faribault native, attended college at Minnesota State University-Mankato when she started her nanny career caring for 3-month-old twins.
As a teenager, Schmidt said she had several summer nanny jobs for friends and family.
“I have been around kids my entire life and absolutely love being surrounded by children,” she said.
After moving to the Twin Cities, she started working with her current nanny family in Eagan.
McComb, whose mother operated an in-home day care, was around children much of the time when she was growing up in Duluth.
Her mother started the day care business when Sarah was seven and continued to operate it for the next 12 years.
McComb said she would help her mother in the summers and when they took field trips.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, McComb moved to Minneapolis where she started work in her first nanny position caring for twin boys, one of which had Down syndrome.
She later attended graduate school in California and was a nanny during the day.
“After graduating and receiving a position in my field, I soon realized that working with kids was what I truly wanted to do, my ‘calling,’ ” she said.
Since that time, she has been a nanny for seven families and 10 children in California, Colorado and Minnesota.
McComb moved to Minnesota in 2007. She and her husband had their first child – a girl – in January 2011.
For more information about Hand in Hand Nannies, go online to www.handinhandnannies.com or call (952)-212-8102 or (952)-412-0971.
Tad Johnson is at firstname.lastname@example.org.