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Nannuka

Finding suitable child care can be time-consuming, daunting and challenging – particularly when thinking about inviting a nanny or au pair into your home.  The questions are endless – are they suitably qualified? Are they CRB checked?  Are their references reliable?  The list goes on…

A nanny agency is a comfortable route for many, but can often be expensive and may require longer contracts than needed.  This is where Nannuka.com steps in – an online platform that connects families with pre-checked and verified child carers (and more recently – elderly care professionals and housekeepers).

Nannuka was created 3 years ago in Athens by Lela Dritsa, Natalie Levi and Catherine Lambrou who at the time, were struggling to find suitable vetted child care for their own children.  Rather than settle for the offerings available to them, they designed a platform that they themselves would have benefitted from.

Nannuka (a word play between ‘nanny’ and ‘giagiaka’ – the greek word for grandmother), now has more than 70,000 members in Greece, the UK and Italy – and is the first port of call for many parents seeking child care providers, as well as professionals seeking quality jobs.

So impressed were we here at QPM’s with this new platform, that we couldn’t resist talking to one the founders – Lela Dritsa about Nannuka and her journey from the conception phase to a thriving successful business.  We also find out her plans for the future, and how she manages to achieve that coveted work / life balance.

Lela Dritsa Psarros

 

Why and where did you start Nannuka?

The idea to establish Nannuka sprang from our own need to find suitable childcare providers to take care of, entertain and educate our own kids in Athens. Soon after our search for child carers began, we realised there was an absence of an online tool that could collect profiles, pre-check their suitability, evaluate them, and gather reviews from other parents. We saw a gap in the market and subsequently a business opportunity to provide this – and without wasting any time we launched Nannuka’s platform.

What makes Nannuka different from other agencies?

What makes it unique is the extra care it attaches to the security and trustworthiness of its services. Each carer that becomes a Nannuka member goes through an interview process, where their suitability is evaluated by one of the Nannuka team – as well as having full identity, education and reference checks.  Nannuka also gives parents the opportunity to review their carer, which other parents can benefit from.

Last but not least, Nannuka focuses on the human approach when dealing with both parents and professionals, ensuring the team is always available to offer valuable help to clients – as well as guide them through the registration process, share their concerns and offer solutions to their problems before, during and after they have found what they are looking for.

Why have you chosen to expand into London?

Nannuka’s outstanding performance in Greece made us look to both Italy and the UK for expansion – not least because London has a thriving Greek community!  It’s been exciting to see the quick growth in London, and to have had the chance to provide experienced child care professionals, senior carers and housekeepers to many different families across the capital.

What challenges have you faced along the way?

Nannuka launched in the middle of a socioeconomic crisis, so we were aware of the limitations.  Our main challenge was to be creative and resourceful – and even be inspired by the situation which required updated solutions. We knew there was a real demand for the service so we responded in the best way we knew how – regardless of the economic forecast.

What has been the highlight of running Nannuka?

There have been quite a few highlights along the path. There has been success, a period of questioning, growth, expansion and rearrangement… After three years, I can say that what keeps motivation alive is seeing the positive affects of providing families with trustworthy childcare; helping professionals find work, and overall, seeing Nannuka evolve into a flourishing business with great potential for further expansion. When we hear the appreciative words from parents, such as  “Thank you, you made a big difference in our lives” or “You saved us!”, we only want to work harder and be there for them.

What does a typical working day look like for you?

Every day is different, for sure! Together with Natalie and Catherine Lambrou, we have devised a new way of multitasking.  There are times when we have to answer emails, host a meeting and deal with a crisis all at the same time!

Day-to-day management goes hand in hand with planning the businesses future, but amongst it all, I always find the time to answer my children’s phone calls (since I showed them how to communicate with me, they do not stop calling… even for the most trivial query!). And, of course, we always make time to share experiences, worries and laughs with the team – like all truly connected teams do.

How do you juggle work with motherhood?

Being a mother of two children and a businesswoman means the only answer is to multi-task!  I have tried to make peace with all of my roles – and try not to feel that by being an entrepreneur, I am by default a bad mother, or that by being a mother, I have less value in the boardroom.  On the contrary, being a good entrepreneur enables me to be a happier and more fulfilled mother. Ultimately, when you have a huge task list to get through for both the business and your family, you just have to prioritise – without guilt!

What is your vision/ dream for Nannuka?

Our vision is to continue growing our core business with the same success we have achieved to date.  Opening in both Milan and London has filled us with such joy and optimism, that we can only look forward to expanding into even more territories.

But most of all, and this is not immediately measurable in business terms, our vision is to ensure that Nannuka will become the number one supportive online marketplace for all families to turn to when in need of reliable and trustworthy home and child care solutions.

Nannuka are kindly offering 20% off all its services to QPM’s – simply use code QUEENS20 at checkout.

www.nannuka.com/uk

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