It is not easy balancing work and family life - wherever you are in the world.
But not least when you are miles away from a support network that could lend you a helping hand! So when Tanya Jeannet, owner of Rockmybaby Switzerland, approached Newly Swissed about her start-up, I was intrigued...
Hi Tanya. Tell us a little bit about the services Rockmybaby Switzerland offers.
Tanya: Rockmybaby is one of the largest nanny and babysitter agencies worldwide. We actually help with all stages of the recruitment process, offering advice on interviewing, employment contracts, or paperwork. We also provide ongoing support to both families and nannies.
We pride ourselves on the quality, high value and integrity of our services which give our clients peace of mind and save them the time and effort of trying to source childcarers privately. We have also extended our services to include household staff such as housekeepers, chefs and drivers.
I launched the Swiss office in 2012 and the community has responded very positively about our services. We have offices in New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Israel and Switzerland. Now, we also serve the rest of Europe.
What challenges did you personally encounter in Switzerland as an expat family?
After our first child was born, I returned to work on an 80 percent basis. As our family was back in South Africa, I struggled constantly with organizing childcare when my daughter was ill, working late when daycare was closing and just trying to focus on getting back to work.
I can honestly say that it was one of the most stressful times in my life, trying to manage it all with no family support. We then got a nanny which really made a difference in terms of flexibility. And after my second daughter was born, I decided to start Rockmybaby with the goal of helping other parents. By providing childcare solutions customized to families' needs, we hope to make their lives a little easier.
Who are your typical clients? Can your services be booked on a one-off basis?
Our typical clients are international families who do not have that extended network of support for childcare. We strive to find the perfect arrangement for their circumstances. And of course, babysitters or nannies can be booked on a one-off basis – all through our online booking system. You pay a 20 francs booking fee per babysitter booking, and we charge no upfront fees to register your nanny request with us (a fee is payable only upon placement).
What guidelines and checks do you have in place to ensure that the children are in safe hands?
We conduct a minimum of two to three reference checks, as well as criminal background checks.
What advice can you give to parents looking for a nanny or babysitter?
Prepare ahead of time for your search as it can sometimes take a while to find the right nanny. Finding a babysitter is usually easier, especially as we have a large number of carefully selected babysitters in our database. It is important to be aware of the rules and regulations in the country when it comes to employing a nanny or babysitter. You can read more on this topic in our blog post.
Can you outline the Swiss childcare system? What are the particular challenges and benefits that a family with children may face?
There are a few options with regards to childcare in Switzerland for international families:
- Sharing childcare arrangements with friends
- Tagesmutter (childminders who look after children at their home)
- Nanny (live-in, live-out, full-time or part-time)
The challenges most families face is flexibility. When the children attend local schools, they may come home at lunchtime, or school may finish earlier on some days. We have many requests for after-school and live-in nannies, as this allows for more flexibility for parents working full-time.
The fall holidays are almost here. Do you have any tips for enjoying fall in Switzerland with children?
Besides trying to keep the children busy, plan childcare in advance so you have the time to focus on things that still need to be done. There might be some fall camps and other activities for the older kids, or you can get a temporary nanny just to help for a few days or hours a week to care for the kids or to take them on outings.
For example, my nanny has taken our daughter to the zoo today, which gives me some space to get things done – and my daughter still gets to have fun!
(This interview is sponsored by Rockmybaby Switzerland. Feature photograph copyright Stadt Zürich)