Twelve years ago, Minnesota college student Joe Keeley was making good money working as a ‘manny’ the male version of a nanny, taking care of kids and helping them with their homework at the same time. His friends, who had jobs that were much more labor-intensive and didn’t pay as well, began asking him how they could become ‘mannies’ too, and two years later, College Nannies and Tutors was born. Keeley, a business major, graduated with a Collegiate Entrepreneurial Award.
Meanwhile, Laura Davis, a former marketing and licensing executive with Target, had taken time off to have a baby, and read about Joe Keeley in the city’s business journal. “I contacted him and said “I’d be a great partner for you, because I’m the demographic of your customer, as a mother of an 18 month old, ready to get back into (the work place),” said Davis. “In 2004, I opened the second College Nannies and Tutors location in Minnesota, which was so successful, we turned it into a franchise in 2007.”
A year later, Davis was looking to expand the franchise outside of Minnesota, and when looking for areas that had similarities to Midwestern community demographics, she immediately thought of Seattle. “We wanted an area where you see lots of families with strollers and a lot of community involvement in activities for children’s growth,” she said. “We opened a branch on Queen Anne in 2009, and I took a year to do some market research into what other local communities would need our dual services.” Davis said she ‘fell in love’ with Mercer Island, and hopes the 1,300 square foot space at 7615 27th Ave SE, just south of the Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce, will be popular with the Island’s busy parents and students.
Noting that their primary focus is middle school and high school students, Davis said that her business hires and trains college students to be a nanny or manny who can meet the students after school, drive them home, (or take them to athletic practice or other activities) get their homework completed and have supper ready by the time the parents arrive home. “Our college students are young enough that they easily develop a camaraderie with their students and they have enough energy to get a neighborhood soccer game going after the kids are done with their supper and homework,” Davis said. “The other side of the service is one-on-one tutoring in the office, using the same textbooks that they have in the middle school and high school. We also offer SAT and ACT test prep.”
Davis notes that College Nannies and Tutors are all submitted to rigorous background checks, screenings and are licensed and bonded. All the offices in 23 states are locally operated and managed.
Nanny services start at $16 an hour, and tutoring is $55 an hour at their learning center/office. Visit www.collegenannies.com or call 206-659-4156. Somer Davis, Nanny Placement Manager can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, MacKenzie Krause, Learning Center Manager can be reached at email@example.com