It’s time for another instalment of our From Our Friends… interview series, giving you the opportunity to meet some of our amazing partners from around the world, all of whom share our commitment to helping parents and babies on their journey together.
Today, we’re speaking to Stephanie Fornaro and Marie Mouat, Co-Founders and CEOs of Hello, Nanny!, who are based in Dallas (TX) and Bay Area (CA).
Hi Stephanie and Marie! Could you take a moment to introduce yourselves?
Our team is made up of two women who have been a professional nanny, nanny employer, and placement specialists. Having been in the industry for over 20 years, we are proud advocates and mentors of parents and nannies. The success of our parent clients and nannies means the world to us!
The co-founder of our company, Stephanie, is a corporate professional with a BA in Communications from the University of California, Davis. As a former nanny employer, she understands the needs of parents with young children and serves as our Family Intake Coordinator; Stephanie left behind her career in Saas and medical device sales to serve parents needing reliable childcare and drive Hello, Nanny’s mission.
Our co-founder Marie is a former career nanny with 15 years of experience who has specialized in placements for the last eight years.
Both of us are mothers who strive to make a positive impact on the lives of families and career nannies.
Let’s get into it - what do you think is the biggest challenge facing parents at the moment?
Sourcing reliable and trustworthy caregivers and having access to all the tools and resources to raise well-rounded and thriving children.
As parents, we are formally educated in a field that prepares us for our professional lives but few of us possess formal child development or recruitment training and take on the journey as parents with minimal working knowledge and limited parenting resources. In addition, if you have never hired, sourced, vetted, or screened a nanny, it’s likely you’ll face challenges and failures in doing so. When parents embark on their search alone experience a revolving door of candidates that don’t last or are unreliable. Putting their children at risk.
Utilizing an agency like Hello, Nanny mitigates these trials and tribulations families face.
That takes us on really nicely to our next question! How is your organization / company / programme responding to the challenges you’ve described?
By leveraging over 20 years of nanny industry knowledge, we source, vet, and qualify career nannies and connect them with families to give them peace of mind and the support they deserve and desire. Above and beyond being a parents' go-to resource for caregiving support; we strive to connect and collaborate with providers that can serve as a resource. From breastfeeding providers, healthcare providers, postpartum doulas, family travel experts, or communication tools like Onoco; we strive to be a parents toolbox to help raise thriving children.
As part of our service, we take the time to get to know each of our families and nannies. Placement involves a series of intricate steps. To create a successful next partnership; we invest time in understanding each family's and nanny's needs. Achieving long-term success for everyone by cultivating happiness, health, and well-being within our placements.
In the same way that we support our families, we also support our amazing network of nannies. Mentorship, guidance, and advocacy are put into motion for both parties.
That sounds like a really useful suite of tools and support. Is there anything else parents can expect from your organization / company / programme?
Parents can expect to have our vetted network of candidates and industry knowledge & experience at their fingertips. Our matchmaking process facilitates peace of mind by removing the guesswork for families and ensures a successful placement and lasting relationships between families and career nannies.
Families can also expect that each candidate in our network goes through a formal recruitment process, encompassing interviews, background & motor vehicle checks, and reference checks personally handled by our team. Whether families need a part-time nanny, a full-time nanny, or a backup nanny, we strive to be the go-to resource that parents can count on.
Every step of the way, families can expect transparency and fluid communication. We facilitate weekly check-ins to keep our families updated on the progress of their search. It is expected that they will have a full understanding of the industry and market in their area so that they can retain top talent to provide the best and most reliable care for their children.
How can parents find out more about Hello, Nanny?
Parents and nannies can learn more about our Nanny Placement Services on our website.
Similarly, we are available for live conversations to help answer questions from families and nannies.
We’d love to take a moment to get to know you both a bit better! Let’s start with your typical 'day in the life'?
For Stephanie, a day in my life consists of getting myself ready, then waking my children and preparing them for the day. With a toddler and teenager, the juggle is a bit more challenging! I prepare my kids’ breakfast, pack lunches, and then do a daily drop-off. After school drop-off, my work day begins. I start with a morning workout routine and then get straight to the computer to support families needing reliable childcare. It was important to me that I would do something in my career that made a difference for others. As a working mom that had limited support with a traveling husband, I needed more. That’s why I hired a nanny and then eventually started Hello, Nanny! So that I could provide support to parents and make a difference. The afternoons consist of school pick-ups, followed by piano lessons, soccer practices, and attending singing recitals and most recently creating a college plan for my teenager - all the things parents do to facilitate thriving children!
Since my children are school-age; I am fortunate to rely less on needing a full-time nanny. Still, I am fortunate to have Hello Nanny to hire backup care as needed. As parents, it is essential to our mental health and well-being to indulge in self-care or date nights with our spouse. So providing this to parents, and myself, allows me the ability to manage it all.
Typical days for Marie are similar to those of Stephanie. The way I start my day as a single mom to an active and amazing 8-year-old is by getting her ready for school in the morning and dropping her off. I have the privilege of co-parenting with my best friend. Every day, we work together to ensure that our daughter is raised in a loving, guiding, and consistent environment. It's go time after school drop off. Keeping in touch with Stephanie every day to ensure our working relationship is fostered is a key component to my day. The morning and afternoon when I have back-to-back nanny intake interviews and schedule time to connect with our families are always my favorite times.
After school pick-ups; I attend monthly PTA meetings, bring my daughter to her ballet class, make sure her homework is completed, make a wholesome dinner, read our favorite books before bed (our current favorite story is Madeline. Paris has become my daughter’s #1 place to visit!). On evenings when my daughter is with her dad; I often schedule later nanny calls or work on catching up on emails.
Making sure I block off time to exercise is crucial. Self-care and health are always top priorities for me.
What three things can you not live without?
For Stephanie: My family, my health, and my support system.
For Marie: My family, my health, and my common sense.
And it’s only natural that we ask - what's your favorite part of the Onoco app?
We love the abilities that Onoco provides to communicate with caregivers and spouses or co-parents about our children's daily activities and needs. It makes life much easier, and mitigates that overwhelming feeling of juggling it all.
On a busy day, there isn't always time to summarize or discuss how things went but the Onoco platform provides a safe space for essential communication. Every long-lasting relationship is built on communication and that’s why we appreciate how Onoco provides a platform for this.
FInally, we love to finish on a fun question, so tell us: how would you describe your life with one movie or song?
For Stephanie, that’s a tricky question. I would attribute my life mantra to “Run the World” (Girls) by Beyoncé. I’ve had a lot of roadblocks and obstacles throughout life, but I was determined to raise thriving and loving children while also being able to maintain a career. I have been able to do that because of a support system like Hello, Nanny. The opportunity to provide that platform to parents so that they feel supported and raise thriving children is my life mission in motion.
For Marie, Fight Song by Rachel Platten. I find this song empowering. This song reminds me that I am strong, powerful, and unbreakable during hard times, sad times, or times when I feel defeated. As humans, we will face "heavy feelings" (as I tell my daughter). This song reminds me to stand in my power, be grateful for the strong people in my life, and never doubt my abilities. My philosophy is that during difficult times, we grow, become more aware of ourselves, and learn. My search for those is made a little easier with this song.