Roanoke nanny service sees uptick in business as kids prepare for at-home schooling
ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the need for nannies in the Roanoke Valley is at an all-time high.
“The demand has increased quite a bit in the last three months,” said Claudia Lagueux, the owner of Nanny Connects in Roanoke.
As the fall approaches, many kids will soon be completing their schooling at least partially at home, while many parents are forced to return to work in-person.
That means the demand for in-home childcare will likely only increase over the coming months.
“It’s important to have someone responsible with them,” said Lagueux.
Her business has paired more than 80 families with nannies who best fit their needs.
She says it’s critical to have someone overseeing at-home schooling while parents are working.
“They’re not teachers by any means, but they’re definitely helpful when it comes to keeping them focused and then making sure they get their work done,” said Lagueux.
Alissa Ward, mother of two young boys, agrees. “You want to make sure that your children are supported, well cared for and well educated.”
She does her bank risk mitigation work from home and needs someone to look after 5-year-old Gavin and 1-year-old Landon.
“I’m leading meetings and working on important documents that really require my full attention,” said Ward.
That’s where nanny Ava McClung comes in.
“I am the parent when they’re not there, so I play a pretty big role and I think that’s why my connection with them is so strong,” said McClung.
Ward recommends anyone who needs help with in-home supervision or schooling help consider hiring a nanny.
“Having a nanny there that can keep the kids focused in a Zoom meeting, help them make the connection with ‘okay we have this work to do now after the meeting’s done,’ so they can stay up on their homework and the tasks that they need to complete between the Zoom meetings is incredibly important,” said Ward.
So, if you’re ready to jump into hiring a nanny, but don’t know where to start, Lagueux recommends: “Doing background checks, that’s something that anyone can do nowadays, checking references, making sure that you have the best fit for your family.”
And that fit is so important. She says, don’t just hire anyone.
“We try to match them with the best family for the best fit,” said Lagueux.
As the pandemic continues, it’s also important to set safety expectations.
“Some want their nannies to come in and change their shoes, or change their clothes, or sanitize before they walk in,” said Lagueux. “It makes no sense for parents to do all they can to keep their children and families safe if their nanny’s going to come home and possibly be infected.”
McClung says it’s ultimately up to each individual nanny to make the right decisions to protect themselves and the kids in their care.
“I’m very careful about where I go, a little extra careful, because I don’t want to bring anything back to them,” said McClung.
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