Rent-A-Grandma Helps Older Women Find Work

A new employment agency is recruiting women of a certain age for a job many working families desperately need to fill: someone to care for their children. Rent-A-Grandma was profiled in this month's Entrepreneur Magazine. The company's founder was working as a tutor in Los Angeles when he first started hearing complaints from parents about the quality of their child care.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now, for grandmothers looking for work, a new employment agency is recruiting women of a certain age for a job that many working families desperately need to fill: somebody to take care of the kids. And our last words in business is: Rent-a-Grandma.

That's the name of a company profiled in this month's Entrepreneur Magazine. The company's founder, Todd Pliss, says he was working as a tutor here in Los Angeles when he first started hearing complaints from parents about the quality of their child care - flaky babysitters, negligent nannies.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

So he told the magazine, he asked himself: Who's more responsible, more mature? Grandmas. He started searching for women over 50 to babysit and do light housekeeping. They do not have to be actual grandmas, though many are. Mr. Pliss says the response to his employment agency was so positive, he is now offering franchises in three dozen states.

Rent-a-Grandmas in Dallas and Houston have opened, and Pliss wants to open more by the end of the year. Unlike younger employees, he says, grandmas are not looking for the next career-building job, and most are not leaving a childcare job to go back to college, either.

MONTAGNE: Pliss says feedback from families has been great. He says some families have told him, they say they're like real-life Alices from "The Brady Bunch." And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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