DENVER — If you’re a parent, you’ve probably been in a childcare pinch — a last-minute school closure, a call-in to work, an unexpected snow day that puts you in a last-minute squeeze and in need of a babysitter. A locally-based app is trying to fill that need by being the “Uber for childcare.”
“Nanno is the first national on-demand child care solution. It’s an app that allows parents to book childcare providers babysitters and nannies at the last minute,” CEO Liz Oertle said.
Here’s how it works:
· Parents request a sitter through the app
· A text is sent to the pool of available pre-screened nannies
· The first to respond gets the job, chats with the family, and shows up
· Parents pay by the hour through the app
“It's a rational, sane, technology-enabled tool to do this very important thing,” Oertle said.
The biggest selling point for Nanno is the speed. While parents have to set up an account and put in details like food allergies or if their child has special needs, the rest of the request and accept of a job happens very quickly.
“You’ll get a resolution to your childcare problem within usually about 15 minutes,” Oertle claimed. “A very frequent occurrence of people trying to book a job at 6 in the morning: 'I need someone by 9. I know it’s crazy but can you help us?' And in Denver, we almost always can.”
“The last time I used Nanno I was like, 'I need a sitter in an hour,' and they placed me,” parent Khara Muniz said.
Muniz is a small business owner who has used the app for those last-minute work emergencies, and says her two young daughters were well taken care of.
“My daughter was saying that the Nanno childcare giver was great,” she said.
The biggest question when it comes to childcare is usually about safety and security. The service is comprised of mostly professional nannies, teachers, nurses and college students. The vetting process includes:
· A review of the sitter’s profile done by the company
· A criminal background check
· A skills test for things like CPR and safety
· A financial check to look at issues like bankruptcy or liens
· A behavioral profiling test, created by law enforcement, to make sure the person is trustworthy and good with kids
“The vetting process is the crown jewel of our company because as parents ourselves we know how important that is,” Oertle said.
“When parents think Uber, it’s like a stranger. And this, we’re very well vetted and we have experience and we have references as well,” Nanno nanny Patchouli Ritchison said.
Ritchison is a professional nanny who now works on-demand.
“Maybe someone got canceled on and I have picked up (shifts where) I have to be there in a half-hour. And if it works for me, it works for them,” she said.
The app is available in Denver and about 150 other cities, with plans to expand.
“People are used to having to go through this whole horrible drama to find a babysitter, and when they can get their booking resolved and a wonderful caregiver In 15 minutes, that is pretty shocking to people,” Oertle said.