A Unique Nanny Agency

A Little Bit About Us

A Unique Nanny Agency was founded in November 2010 in Des Moines, Iowa by Colleen Hjort, a former nanny with years of first-hand experience in caring for special needs children. Through Colleen's unique perspective on child care and deep understanding of what it takes to find the perfect fit between family and nanny, the agency has developed an incomparable placement procedure. The unique process involves extensive nanny screening, rigorous background checks, education and training in accordance with the International Nanny Association, and comprehensive family interviews to ensure a strong and nurturing relationship for both the family and the nanny. In addition, our services extend beyond the initial placement to provide on-going support and problem solving.

Families and nannies have a very personal relationship that isn't always easy, but our agency's goal is to find that perfect fit while providing our clients with an unparalleled experience.

What Makes Us Unique
  • We are owned by a former nanny.
  • We have first-hand experience in working with special needs children.
  • We provide first-rate education and training for our nannies.
  • We have developed a placement process tailored to find the perfect fit between family and nanny.
  • We provide on-going support beyond the placement to ensure 100% client satisfaction.
About Colleen

Colleen Hjort, owner of A Unique Nanny Agency, has an extensive background in childcare as well as customer service-related fields. Colleen discovered her interest in working as a babysitter for neighborhood children while growing up in Adel, Iowa. She worked at the after-school daycare program and ran her church nursery while attending Adel-DeSoto-Minburn High School. Colleen attended Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa as an Elementary/Special Education major for two years. After attending Morningside, Colleen moved to New Jersey to pursue a career as a live-in nanny. During her time on the east coast, she worked for three families, the last of which employed her for five years.

Colleen has worked with special needs children in a variety of venues over the years. She has worked with children with Down's syndrome, Fetal Alcohol syndrome, ADHD, ADD, behavioral disorders, and mental disabilities. Children with autism are especially close to her heart since she was a nanny for a little boy with Asperger's Syndrome.

Since returning to Des Moines, Colleen has spent time assisting families with their babysitting needs and working for local small businesses as she developed the skills necessary to start her own nanny agency.

Photograph by Eric J. Hermann

Client Testimonials
“Colleen is the first person we think of when we need someone to look after our son. She is extremely in-tune with the development stages of children and takes time to understand his current milestones. Colleen always takes a genuine interest in what is new and exciting in his life, and is very hands on while spending time with him. She also shows a great respect for the rules and parenting style we have in our home, upholding them with our son at all times. We fully trust Colleen and her advisement with the placement of someone to care for our son, because we believe she does so with her personal standards in mind.”
Tom and Abbe Hendricks
“We highly recommend A Unique Nanny Agency to find a nanny for any family. Our son has some special needs so we are extremely choosey with our sitters, and Colleen has been not only knowledgeable but adaptable to his needs. Colleen is very hands on with both of our kids and helps reinforce our rules of the house while maintaining a playful relationship with them. Colleen has also been extremely dependable and punctual, and we always know we can count on her, which is priceless!”