The summer months can be a wonderful break from normal routines. However, with young children, families can find it challenging to find good-quality childcare when the 9 to 5 continues. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 61.1 percent of families have both parents working full-time. This leaves many children without proper care. Baylor Johnsen saw this problem on the Vineyard, and decided to do something about it.
The Times spoke with Johnsen about his new company called Vineyard Nanny.
Johnsen worked on the Vineyard last summer at McPhail’s Corner Cafe and Mad Max Sailing Adventures, both in Edgartown. As he spoke with families that came through the stores, he noticed a trend. “I came up with the idea last summer in Edgartown. I feel like I observed a shortage of childcare options, and I felt like the Vineyard was underserved in terms of nanny agencies. And so that’s when I started thinking about it,” he said.
While only 20 years old, Johnsen has dedicated many hours to ensuring that Vineyard Nanny is both professional and reliable. As he got more serious about starting his own company, he looked to friends and family for support, and eventually recruited his brother Camden, his mother Stacey, and a family friend, Aiyana Otsuji, to help him tackle the challenge. His mother and Otsuji have been caring for children for over 20 years, Johnsen as an educator and Otsuji as a full-time nanny.
In addition to recruiting a good team, Johnsen also applied for and received an employment license from the state of Massachusetts.
Vineyard Nanny is an online organization that pairs Vineyard families to a nanny. On the website, families fill out a form that entitles them to a free one-on-one consultation to explain their needs. After this, Johnsen and his team look through numerous applicants in order to find a good match. These applicants must meet a range of requirements to be considered for placement with a family, including 200-plus hours of previous childcare experience, and written recommendations.
“We have a lot of applicants that are looking for families,” he said. “We have a lot of freedom because of this, so we can always find the best candidate.”
Johnsen said that his favorite part of Vineyard Nanny is being able to meet with families and be confident that he is finding the best fit for them. “The part that I enjoy the most is meeting the families. I feel confident about our vetting process and who we recommend to people. Really, it’s finding the right nanny for the right family. That’s my favorite part,” he said.
If you’re interested in finding a nanny, the website is vineyardnanny.com.