Finding the right fit

Nannies in Your Neighborhood pairs local families with the best caretakers around

by Stephanie Lepore, content director
Photographs courtesy of Cella Jones 

Mountain Brook native Cella Jones started out babysitting like many young girls do—for extra money during their teenage years. And, as every family knows, word of a good, trusted sitter spreads quickly. “I have a strong passion for working and spending time with children,” says 22-year-old Cella, who started babysitting a decade ago at age 12. “I love watching them grow and seeing the world through their eyes. Watching their little brains experience new things is so fun!”

Mountain Brook native Cella Jones founded Nannies in Your Neighborhood after families asked her to clone herself.

After graduating from Mountain Brook High School in 2017, Cella moved to attend Troy State University. After two years on campus, however, she knew college just wasn’t for her, and she returned to her first love: babysitting.

“Since coming home, I have been a full-time nanny for families in the Over the Mountain area,” she says. “I loved my job and, unbeknownst to me, ended up with quite a good reputation in the babysitting/nanny world. Moms began calling me to see if I was available to nanny—it was such a compliment! But, unfortunately for these families, I wasn’t free.” The next question these families asked was if she knew any Cella clones. “These families started asking if I would help them find the perfect nanny for them, and a lightbulb turned on. Hence, the birth of Nannies in Your Neighborhood.”

Cella explains that Nannies in Your Neighborhood is committed to pairing families who need a nanny with the right nanny who needs a family. “Our nannies are seeking employment, so they are just as important as the families in need,” she says. And, while the process may seem relatively simple, she says, it’s actually time-consuming and detail-oriented.

Business Manager Missy Jones is a mother of three grown children and an experienced nanny herself.

First, a potential family submits a consultation form with their specific needs—such as days, hours, location, pay, job expectations—then, Cella searches their nanny pool to find a potential match for those details. “Once we have a handful of interested nannies, we set up interviews between the nannies and families. It is very important for families to know that all of our nannies have been screened before any interviews take place,” she says. “We call all references and run a very thorough background check on each applicant.” A majority of nanny applications are rejected because the person does not represent what the company requires in a nanny, so families can trust that they will only be interviewing vetted applicants who pass Nannies in Your Neighborhood’s stringent expectations.

“After the interview process, families typically find an applicant they love and want to move forward in the hiring process,” says Cella. “This is the easy part! Once both parties agree and complete the proper paperwork, the search is over. We have a happy family and a happy nanny.”

Currently, Nannies in Your Neighborhood only offers full-time (30-40 hours weekly) and part-time (20-29 hours weekly) nanny placement, and Cella is focused on eliminating some of the obstacles she faces as a business owner.

“Slow communication from both families and nannies is often very difficult to work around, specifically during the interview arrangements and post-interview followup,” she says. “It’s nearly impossible to place a nanny when weeks go by before someone responds to a call, email, or text.”

Another hiccup? Social media. “Facebook is a constant thorn in our side!” says Cella. “Many families and nannies are connecting via Facebook, and that is worrisome to us. We truly hope each party has done their homework prior to hiring. Nannies in Your Neighborhood does a great deal of, if you will, “investigating” each potential nanny. We know what to ask, and we ask the hard questions a family may not. We know what makes a nanny great, and we also know what makes a nanny not great.” While she acknowledges that great connections have been made through social media, at the end of the day it’s imperative to know if your children are in kind, caring, safe hands. “If we found your nanny,” says Cella, “then the answer is 100 percent yes.”

Families can trust that all nannies have been thoroughly vetted before interviewing for a position.

After seven months of successful nanny placements, Cella believes the company’s biggest accomplishments are yet to come, and she does have definite dreams for the future. “We would love to expand across the state of Alabama and continue to have happy and satisfied clients. And we would also love to offer a wider range of services.”

“Thisis by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever done!” says Cella. “I love our community, and I know there is a need for Nannies in Your Neighborhood in the Over the Mountain area. At the end of the day, it feels good knowing these children are in loving and trusted hands. The parents are happy, the nannies are happy, and Nannies in Your Neighborhood is happy! We are so grateful for everyone.”

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