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Meet Danielle Podlesny of Munchkin Minders

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle Podlesny.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Danielle. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
From a young age, I knew had a unique connection with children. That love and passion for children is what led me to start Munchkin Minders. As a young stay at home mom raising our two toddlers, I wanted to contribute to our household income, So, I started brainstorming. A babysitting service! I thought I invented the idea, Silly me! In my research, I found there were a few local babysitting services, but none of them met my expectations. During that period, my husband and I were vacationing in Hawaii. We wanted to have a date night without the kids, so we hired a local sitter service. We were nervous and wanted our boys to enjoy the experience, so I bought some toys to sneak to the sitter to give to them when she arrived. That simple idea helped break the ice and they warmed up to her quickly. I knew I could take that idea and more, to create a higher standard of babysitting service in San Diego. My main focus was on the children and in creating a space where parents felt comfortable leaving their kids in our care. With hard work, determination and support from family and friends I founded Munchkin Minders in July 2006. It was exciting starting this new adventure! It was a challenge to balance being a mom and start a business from scratch, but I kept plugging away.

Most important was finding the best sitters. I started with 10 loving and experienced sitters to begin caring for our local families. I trusted them so much, I had them care for my own children. I advertised, worked trade shows, family fairs and events. Little by little we grew and expanded our team of sitters and families.

In 2007, we added a Hotel Child Care, Nanny Placement Service and Group Childcare Events.

Now, over 11 years later, we are going strong with over 1000 local families who trust our service with their most precious munchkins. Every day we have a new family signing up with us for on-call sitters and nannies. We work with hotels, churches, military groups, corporate groups and weddings in providing group child care from 10-400 kids. If there is a childcare need, we can fill it!

My decision to follow my passion for kids made Munchkin Minders what it is today, but I couldn’t do it without my strong team of minders and their love for children. Serving our community while raising my children is a blessing, my kids are happy, well rounded and secure in who they are and I have a business that I am proud of. Who could ask for anything more?

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, it was never a smooth road. I was raising two young toddlers (3 & 5 years) at the time I started Munchkin Minders. I wanted to be there for them all the time, but creating a business from the start was a lot more work than I thought. I was always recreating the wheel and changing things as I went along. There were always obstacles thrown in my path, but I rolled with it and kept moving forward.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Munchkin Minders – what should we know?
Munchkin Minders is a nanny agency and a babysitting service. We specialize in on-call sitters and long-term nanny placements. We also provide childcare for large group events.

We are known for our love for kids and families. Our sitters and nannies have extensive experience and true passion for what they do. We really care for the families who come to us for help. We listen to their needs and work hard to provide sitters to meet their expectations.

I am proud of who we are and believe we have created an important service where families can come to find top-notch trusted sitters and nannies. I truly enjoy working with our community and it shows in the high-quality babysitting service we provide to our San Diego families.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
So many people have been supportive of this venture.

My husband was my first cheerleader and was instrumental in keeping me going and on my path. He helped with so much, most importantly the name. We had so many ideas. Pages and pages of names. Minder Finders, Munchkin Connection, Kid Connection,Minder Connection, Munchkin Sitters, Munchkin Care ……then, he says; what about Munchkin Minders? YES!! That’s it. Munchkin Minders!

Shanna Kane, owner of Mollycoddlers in Orange County and LA. was a huge part of the building of Munchkin Minders. She already had a successful childcare business and helped me with the million questions I had. Shanna helped me with contracts, policies, pricing, and so much more. I am so very thankful for her. She is a true friend and now we support each other.

My whole extended family was so loving and supportive, especially my Dad, he was so proud of me and encouraging. He answered a lot of legal and business questions I had over the years. He was truly amazed at what I created. I am thankful he got to see my success before he passed away in 2014.

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