Meet Jasmine Berry, the founder of Nanny Posse – a nanny referral agency dedicated to connecting families with child care.
By Marie Muir / Photography by John Michael Simpson
A woman with an enthusiastic smile struggles to read a children’s book out loud while two friendly goats climb onto her lap and back, trying to nibble her curly hair. The heartwarming scene titled “Goat Storytime,” is one video of a Facebook Live series recorded by Jasmine Berry, founder of Nanny Posse – a nanny referral agency that connects families with professional child care service providers. Her idea for Goat Storytime was inspired by actress Jennifer Garner, who released a similar virtual series at the onset of the pandemic.
“I was looking for a way to connect with my community and bring a smile to faces when we were all feeling a little lost,” Jasmine says. “It also allowed me to support local businesses such as Flyleaf Books and Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in the early days when our library was still closed. Now it is such a part of who we are, and it’s the time of the week I look most forward to because our community can interact live with me in a fun virtual environment.”
Like many with an entrepreneurial itch, Jasmine was eager to finish school and apply her knowledge in the real world. After graduating early from Carolina Friends School, Jasmine decided to take a gap year and work as an au pair in Italy. Since then, she has nannied in four different countries on three different continents ranging from Germany to Saudi Arabia.
Jasmine’s travels allowed her to bond with a diverse array of families. Years of experience in providing child care taught her that every family differs in structure and culture, and therefore requires a unique set of nanny services. “There’s not one way to raise a child,” Jasmine says. “Knowing and honoring that is essential because as nannies we are teachers and coaches, but our biggest role is partner.” Like a family coworker, nannies collaborate with parents to provide child care, schooling, cooking, cleaning and more.
Over time, Jasmine began to notice a lack of professional acknowledgement and support for career nannies. One of the main issues being that families often overburden and underpay nannies. In 2018, Jasmine earned a degree in early childhood and family studies from the University of Washington while nannying, and by the end of 2019 she was prepared to join the nanny industry full time. But this time, she would join the industry as an advocate, not a nanny.
Jasmine publicly launched Nanny Posse nanny referral agency in January 2020. Through both her logo and website designed by Carrboro Creative, Jasmine intends to convey that her company is a community space for families and child care service providers. Nanny placement, child care consulting and professional development are at the core of the agency.
Nanny Posse gets to know families and nannies through a 12-page questionnaire, a 30- to 45-minute discovery call, face-to-face interview and onboarding meeting. Jasmine is supported by Becky Craig and Tara Sygrave, both former and current nannies, teachers and child care experts. After this in-depth evaluation, Jasmine narrows down nanny candidates based on who is willing and able to best serve each family’s unique set of needs. “For the men and women that come to us, this is their profession, and they take it seriously, like I did in my career,” Jasmine says. “They’re looking for long-term placements and salaries that they deserve.”
She has learned how to match nannies with their “unicorn family,” an industry term that signifies when a family matches a nanny’s ideal terms, hours and salary. Jasmine advocates for nannies by encouraging parents to view their nanny as an employee and a teammate, someone to help them along their parenting journey.
In February 2021, Jasmine partnered with Family First, a Charlotte- based nanny referral agency, to launch Nanny to Success Workshop Series 2021 – a virtual series curated for nannies who desire professional development. Each month, a different expert leads a workshop on child care and professional development topics. Jasmine hopes the virtual platform will encourage nannies, doulas, teachers, parents and child care service providers all over the world to connect and grow together as a community. “How we connect and learn might have changed, but we don’t believe it should stop altogether,” she says.
Over the past year, Nanny Posse has matched 12 families with nannies, a small number that reflects pandemic setbacks as well as the selective nature of the referral agency. “Whenever we welcome a new client in, I always say ‘Welcome to the posse,’” Jasmine says. “You’re not just entering into an agreement with my company, but you’re really entering into a community. We do truly mean that.”