Tracey Blake, the founder and CEO of Student Nannies, is a parenting author and blogger, and mum to Minnie, 9, and Monty 7 (there they all are above, with dad James too!).
‘As a working mother of two, I experienced the childcare crisis first hand when I couldn’t find any after-school help for my two children on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Childminders wanted to finish at 6pm but I didn’t get home til 7.30/8pm; professional nannies wanted a full day, not 4 hours. I was stuck and getting increasingly desperate,’ recalls Tracey.
‘Then I heard two students talking in my train station waiting room and I said, “Do you live locally and are either of you interested in some babysitting work?” One of them, Louise, said yes, we swapped numbers and after a chat at our house we hired her. Louise was an art foundation student and did amazing craft projects with the children so there was always something for me to admire when I got home. It was such a good fit for us that when Louise left I wanted to find another student but as a 40-year old woman I couldn’t reach into that network. So Student Nannies was born!
‘It’s a service created for working parents by working parents, in a bid to make the juggle between being a parent and having a career just a little bit less of a struggle. If we can make life less stressful for parents and students I will be cockahoop! Please do let us know how we’re doing – I’d love to hear any feedback from you, you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
PS Small Talk: Simple ways to boost your child’s speech and language development from birth, Tracey co-wrote this book with speech and language therapist Nicola Lathey. It was published in the UK and US, and the pair went on to write two Small Talk children’s story books that encourage first words, which have been published in the UK (stocked by Marks & Spencer) and also in Spain.
Before she set up Student Nannies in 2016, Tracey was a national newspaper journalist for 15 years, working at the Daily Mail and Metro, and still writes a parenting blog for Mail Online.