5 Questions with Manny & Me

We recently met up with Jamie and James from Manny & Me, the London-based nanny and manny agency that combines education and childcare. Jamie and James are challenging gender stigma within the childcare industry and proving that childcare is no longer a role just for women.. Read on to find out more about them and their passion for childcare :)

Manny & Me

What inspired you to set up Manny & Me?
Jamie - I am a primary school teacher and have worked in both schools and the Arts Education sector for a long time. James and I would discuss at length how there seemed to be something missing from after school care and he spoke about how families were employing upwards of 5 individuals to look after 2-3 children. This sparked what to us seemed like a fairly obvious idea, but not one that is currently being promoted in London.
James - I have been working as a Manny for over 6 years and during this time, I realised that there is a real need from families for an individual that can not just be a nanny, but someone that can fulfil a number of roles. With time and budgets of increasingly more importance to the modern family, why can’t your nanny or manny also be a tutor, sports coach, family PA or ski instructor?

From there we realised that Manny & Me could also act as a vessel to support practicing teachers and students looking to study MAs or further education. They can study during the day and work as a Manny or Nanny in the evening, giving them financial support in their studies and the chance to share their rich experience and education with the next generation.
Tell us about your typical day...
Jamie - There is no typical day it would seem! We spend a lot of time with our clients, either in a coffee shops or on the phone. It is so important for us to meet them face-to-face and them us. Our office is in my house in Hackney and James lives in Brixton, so I'll make sure he has a good breakfast ready, with a pot of strong coffee and we'll kick off the day by discussing our never ending to-do list. Most of our clients are based in west & central London so once we've got our planning out of the way, one of us will usually be out in meetings, either with clients or potential mannies and nannies. We usually catch up towards the end of the day, trying not to stray from work chat too quickly!
What do you love doing at weekends?
Jamie - We are both very into football, both watching and playing, so our weekends are often taken up with either side of the beautiful game. James manages a team in Dulwich, so spends his Sunday mornings up and out early doors, come rain or shine. I am slightly more armchair based, although I do like to do circuit training on a Sunday morning, it makes me feel like I have earned a lazy day on the sofa. I also have a big soft spot for slow cooked meat, so will regularly get a brisket or lamb shoulder in the oven in the morning ready for Sunday evening dinner.

What did you want to be when you were younger?
Jamie - Upon realising that being the next Luke Skywalker and saving multiple galaxies was slightly out of reach, I very early set my heart on becoming a teacher. My mum was a teacher and I was lucky enough to have some incredible ones at school, although I did end up teaching for a while (I still do some work in primary schools). I got there via working in the Art Education sector, which is a real passion of mine.

James - I’m a huge sports fan and have a special love for football and tennis. After realising that being professional in either sport was a bridge too far I turned my attention to coaching and gained my coaching badges in both sports. At the age of 16, I was coaching an under 8’s football team and worked as a mini tennis coach at my local tennis club. I realised at this point that I wanted to work with children in some capacity, whether it was coaching or teaching in a school. My dad was a head teacher so I would often go into school with him on INSET days to help out, which gave me a valuable insight into teaching and confirmed what I wanted to do.
What's your favourite food?
Jamie - Wild smoked salmon, without a shadow of a doubt.
James - Bananas. They're a great snack when you're on the go and full of energy. 

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