“People don't realise the benefits of being a Nanny”, says Iverna Hynes of the Hynes Agency. “They don't see it as the good job it is. There are fantastic opportunities to travel. It can be a great life.” Gone are the days when Nannies lived in; when they worked all hours and were taken advantage of. “It has evolved” says Iverna whose mother started the agency 70 years ago.
“A lot of clients have good, separate accommodation for a nanny, but the nanny says 'no'. They have apartments these days. They want to live out”. Previously nannies tended to be a lot more sought after in England, rather than in Ireland.
“Nannies always trained here” says Iverna. “They had their badge, but fewer families employed them. But we do, now, have clients who are the daughters of past clients. They say: ‘you supplied my Nanny; can you please now supply a Nanny for my children.’ And that” she says “is really heart warming”.
Irish Independent November 5 2007
Iverna Hynes, Director of Hynes Agency, a Dublin based company celebrating 70 years in domestic recruitment says: “When Ireland was in economic decline, we sent many of our educated girls to the UK, America and France to work as Nannies, Chambermaids or Housekeeping staff, but today we are the employers, which is a wonderful transition”.
Hynes believes that it has little to do with disposable income and more to do with necessity that these roles are on the rise in Ireland. “Many working parents are now juggling careers with housework and picking up or dropping off their children at crèches so hiring what's known as a 'family helper' eases this burden and frees up quality time at home.”
The family helper comes in many forms but it’s fair to say the butler is not top of the list. Nannies and Childminders are the most popular as they cater for those who work unsocial or inflexible hours but there is a fundamental difference between their duties. Hynes explains: “Nannies will only do the housework associated with the children; they will clean up after them but that's it. A proper Childcare qualification is also required, so the majority applying for these positions tend to be Irish”.
The quality of work-life balance attributed to this role also makes it quite attractive. Hynes continues: “It’s a very good career move and I would encourage more people to do it. Nannies get a home (optional), a car, a weekly wage and flexible hours between Monday and Friday.
Childminders, on the other hand, don't need specific childcare qualifications and they usually undertake some light household duties. The role is more flexible in terms of hours; it takes the pressure off working parents who would otherwise have to rush home by 6pm.”
Both roles are offered through the Hynes Agency with Irish or international families but Hynes advises all parents who intend to hire someone themselves to screen candidates thoroughly and check their references and qualifications are in order.
Hynes says services such as home-cleaning help are also becoming popular among busy professionals. “There is a big trade in housekeeping call-outs daily or on a once or twice- weekly basis. Some people employ individuals to do their ironing, change the beds and vacuum, as they love coming home to a gleaming house after a long day”.
Irish Independent 21 February 2008
Iverna Hynes, who runs a nanny agency based in Dublin, has seen business surge over the past six months as mothers try to return to work. The Hynes Agency has been in existence since 1937, and Iverna has seen her fair share of boom and bust. “It tends to follow the same pattern each time” says Iverna. “Women who had stepped back from their careers are opting to return to work, either full or part time, and need childcare”.
Many are seeking family helpers - less expensive than a full-time nanny. As well as childcare, they help out with domestic chores.
Irish Independent 1st November 2008
Iverna Hynes, daugher of Molly Hynes is the keeper of the flame, living and breathing the business in much the same way as you imagine her mother must have done. She sits at her mother's desk, in the building at 52 Lower O' Connell Street, where it all began, and tells a story which, more than most, puts a shape on social change in this country.
“Grandad started the very first agency in 1889”, she begins. “His name was Sean Brophy and he was one of Ireland's first entrepreneurs. He started Tramore as a resort too when he got a licence for a dance hall there. No one went near the place until then… My mother began working in the office with him when she was fourteen. She'd won a scholarship but he took her out of school, insisting she would learn more working with him”.
Mary Elizabeth learned and in 1937 she started her own agency. Iverna Hynes likes the personalised aspect of the business and so did her mother. Molly's was a very personal business in the early days. “Everything had to be done by letter and telegram” says Iverna Hynes. The Molly Hynes Agency earned its reputation by word of mouth and was world famous”.
Molly Hynes worked and played and lived to become a legend in her own time. “She ran the agency from the age of 19 until she was 82”. Iverna Hynes loves what she does every day of it. “But I'm certainly not going to sit here until I'm 82”. “Just until it stops being as fascinating and rewarding as it still is. The Agency in any event tends to have a life of its own”.
Irish Times 11th November 2004
Iverna Hynes, Chief Executive Officer of Hynes Agency, says the overriding factor in any parents’ decision on what childcare to choose is confidence and trust in the service. “Parents who contact us for home childcare staff are looking mostly for one to one contact for their children.
Another increasing factor in that decision is time limitations affecting parents, particularly in situations of demanding jobs and aggravating issues such as traffic. Many parents feel overburdened and by employing home childcare they have a better quality of life for themselves and their children as it provides a greater degree of flexibility”
Irish Independent 2008