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When School’s Canceled, Families Turn To College Nannies

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(credit: CBS) Angela Davis
Angela Davis joined the station in 2006. Angela co-anchors the Sund...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For parents in school districts that did cancel class, it was another day of figuring out what to do with the kids. For some families that meant paying for outside help.

College Nannies and Tutors is a nationwide service that sends trained child care providers into homes.

Managers in the Twin Cities say requests for their nannies, who help out on short notice, have nearly doubled this month.

As parents, we know that sometimes we have to cancel our plans, maybe even take time off from work to take care of our kids. But this month has really been difficult with schools being closed as many as five times, in some districts.

It’s no wonder that businesses like College Nannies and Tutors can barely keep up with the demand.

For Lily and Jack, there’s no school today — dad’s out of town and mom’s gotta work. So Katie is here — Katie, who they just met today.

“This morning, I got to know that Jack loves hockey, and I got to know Lily loves music and dancing, and we got to do Zumba on the Wii. And we are dancing together and it’s super fun,” said Katie Ebinger, college nanny.

Ebinger is the nanny who got the call to help out at this St. Louis Park home for six hours Tuesday.

“I’m very lucky I found College Nannies and Tutors and I can be an on-call nanny as needed. It’s a win-win situation. I can get work and families who need someone, I can be there,” Ebinger said.

Laura Davis runs the Edina location of the company. She said they’re getting lots of phone calls from parents who’ve run out of options.

“These last couple of days were, ‘I can’t take another day off from work … or I need somebody, or I have a meeting planned, and it’s not an option … who do you have?’ They are willing to take part of the day, all of the day, we’re splitting nannies in some instances,” Davis said.

Most of the nannies are college students who are studying early childhood education and have schedules that allow them time to work.

“All of our nannies are background screened, reference checked, personally interviewed here. We’re following up with the families, making sure it went well,” Davis said.

College Nannies and Tutors provides several kinds of services.

There’s back-up care, which is what we’ve been talking about, plus after school care as well as summer nannies.

So how much does it cost?

It’s an hourly rate — ranging from $16.95 to $18.50.

If you have a sick child or a child with special needs or more than three kids that need care at one time, the cost goes up.

Families have to be pre-screened before they can enroll and be able to hire a nanny. That means the company sends out a staff person for a home visit, to meet the parents and the kids, to make sure it’s safe environment for everyone.

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