Every parent at some point has weighed up the cost of childcare, and there are so many options to consider – nanny, au pair, childminder, nursery. Many parents need help to understand the different cost options and the tax relief that is available to them which will help towards the cost of childcare.
Cupcakes Nanny Agency is the vision of Lorraine Cannell, mum to three small children, aged four, three and two. Having made a decision to return to work after the birth of her third child, she turned to nanny agencies in order to find a nanny that would become an extension of the family – trustworthy, open, warm, a good communicator and in it for the long haul.
What she found was that the agencies offered little more than a CV introduction service. “They sent you CVs, left you to contact and set up interviews with potential candidates, and offered little confidence in their vetting service,” says Lorraine. “They were quick enough to find out if the candidate had been placed and then would charge a placement fee that was disproportionate to the service provided, I thought.”
If any problem then occurred with the family-nanny relationship, Lorraine found she was offered little in the way of advice and offered no help in trying to resolve the situation.
Lorraine set up Cupcakes Nanny Agency in June 2008 – the agency offers more than just an introduction at an affordable fee. Its standard placement service includes full vetting of candidates, advisory, contractual and relationship management services. The agency also offers a nanny payroll service to remove the headaches of form filling, calculations, meeting HMRC deadlines and avoiding fines.
Parents can trust that we will do everything in our power to find a childcare solution for them based on their requirements, budget, and any personal preferences. Lorraine says, “We recruit and place nannies, mothers’ helps, housekeepers, doulas, maternity nurses, babysitters and cover staff. We are also branching out into providing wedding and private crèche services.”
Cupcakes also recently partnered with another mumpreneur, Susan Ledger, from Meals4Munchkins. Susan offers a personalised meal planning service for families – what would you give for someone to visit your home and to help you come up with a weekly meal planner, a shopping list and a recipe book customised for your unique family needs, whether it’s eating well on a budget or providing you with meals that all the family will enjoy? Meals4Munchkins also offers both nannies and parents cookery classes – focusing on healthy, budget friendly meals.
Cupcakes Nanny Agency aims to expand across the UK, employing more consultants and helping more families. Lorraine is passionate about this business and about the service it offers and is always on the look-out for new ways to provide more of a service for families and nannies alike. Cupcakes is soon to have its own resident supernanny and plans to pass on the benefit of years of supernanny experience through supernanny training courses for nannies and parents. Watch this space!