Stacey Richard – Super Sitters
Leading business woman Stacey Richard talks to us about her award winning business
Tell us about the concept of Super Sitters?
I started Super Sitters when my little girl, Maxine, was about 6 months old. I looked after some friends’ children, fetched them from nursery when the trains were late, had them for the day when they were ill. Then friends of friends asked for help, more people heard about me, and so my network grew and I loved it.
Slowly I increased the amount I worked and the number of children I cared for. Someone asked me in January 2015 what my business was called. Super Sitters it became.
I felt that the world of childcare was so impersonal, rigid, faceless, impersonal and inflexible. I realised that there were so many working parents out there who literally just needed an extra pair of hands with their child from time to time. Nothing fancy, nothing formal, just another caring person to fill in when needed.
There are loads of permanent nannies, childminders and nurseries as options for childcare, but outside of those days or hours, nothing. So I decided to be the one to stand out and provide ad hoc care, flexible care.
I soon became really busy and had to look at adding people to assist me. Instead of doing a recruitment drive, I decided to call on nannies I had met in the park or those who worked for friends. I have built my whole team that way. We are a close-knit team who also just get along. We have things in common, are like-minded, and refer to ourselves as a collective.
Most of them are more experienced than me, which I massively respect and value. Over time, we started supporting more and more families outside of Surbiton too, so Super Sitters we have become. Other agencies function in a very detached way with their sitters and don’t have that relationship or know them personally. I believe this relationship to be of great importance – I love my team and you’ll notice the difference in the care they provide too.
My worst fear is that someone who really needs help with their childcare is too afraid to call, but I’m happy to have a chat and see how we can help.
What has been the best business decision you have made in the last five years?
The best decision I have made in the last five years has been to recruit more staff. I have continued to recruit to support more families who need it. We now have over 120 staff who are available to assist with all sorts of childcare needs. From doulas and maternity nurses, to specialists with PhDs in special needs.
What makes you different?
We are different as we only recruit through word of mouth. We only have professionals with a background in childcare, DBS checked, first aid trained, and who are known to someone else in the team. We want the very best nannies and sitters for our clients. Last year we won ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Kingston Business Excellence Awards, and this year received Highly Commended for Commitment to the Community. We are very proud of these accolades, and will continue to provide great services to more and more families.
What have you got planned for the future?
We are expanding! We’ve grown from just working in Surbiton, and are now stretching our services to the whole of Surrey and south west London. We are hoping to increase our number of sitters in other areas. So you will definitely be seeing more of us.