Meeting a demand for nannies
Every parent needs a break sometimes, and Methven woman Hannah Mentink is helping make that happen.
Less than three years after falling into her first nannying job, at just 22 years old, Mentink has set up a business she hopes will cater to every family’s needs.
If locals need a regular nanny, if visitors in Methven for a month of skiing in winter need childcare, or if people need someone for a one-off – like a date night – that’s where Mentink’s new business New Zealand Nannies comes in.
‘‘Heaps of mums only go out and do stuff if they can sort childcare; you’re doing something on the basis that you can go out and the kids are happy,’’ she said.
It’s not something Mentink – who grew up in Leeston – ever saw herself doing. She babysat growing up, but headed down another path when she left school, going to Tauranga to study tourism and beauty therapy.
‘‘But I just felt like I was wasting time and money studying.’’
So she returned home to Leeston and took a job for six months before placing an ad in a newspaper offering her services as a nanny.
The ad was answered by a Methven woman pregnant with her second child. It was a daunting prospect for Mentink, with no experience with newborns, but she took the job and the rest is history.
The families kept coming and Mentink realised there was a need for nannies in Methven.
‘‘Right now I have five families on the go, and as of November there will be seven; it’s just crazy,’’ Mentink said.
‘‘Every family is different in the way they run the house, and the kids are so different, so you just need a strategy for each house.
‘‘I just love [the work] and meeting different families in the community.’’
She’s grown attached to the children she’s looked after, and loves watching them learn and develop.
‘‘Kids just have a way of making you see things for what they are; if they’re happy, they are honestly happy.’’
At the moment New Zealand Nannies is just her, but she plans to hire other nannies and build up a database, almost like a babysitters club.
‘‘Eventually the bigger goal is to act as an agency for nannies and to provide support all the way through,’’ she said.
Methven’s Hannah Mentink has started her own business, New Zealand Nannies.