Joining us on Gossip Station for FAB FIVE is teacher, 'manny' and DJ Joss Simmons who has recently embarked on a new adventure – Jossy Care which is a childcare agency hoping to break down the barriers associated with men being in charge of ‘daddy daycare!’. So, we thought we would get him in for a little chat!
Joss! Thank you so much for joining us! Can you please start off by telling us a little bit about yourself and your background...?
Hi everyone! I’m now 29 years old and I’ve started finding grey hairs in my beard by the day and I'm just here thinking how and why?
I’ve always had a love for music! I have old ears and am often caught listening to Gil Scott Heron, Dennis Brown and even Starvue. As a teenager, I was fascinated with UKG and I thought I was the 4th member of "Heartless Crew". I was also their biggest fan!
These 3 guys made me fall in love with UKG and pirate radio but it was my mum and godmother who introduced me to garage. The sounds of Tuff Jam, DJ Spoony and Todd Edwards etc. all contributed to me wanting to become a DJ. Over the years, I've ventured from UKG on vinyl. Growing up on grime then matured to house using CDJS or a laptop. That's the sound I now play from the heart. It’s taken me to every nightclub in London, as well as Ibiza and has had me curating my own events with other likeminded DJ's and promoters.
As the years went by I dabbled in retail for a while from McDonalds to Harrods to JD Sports, Next and even Tesco’s as well as office work. I give thanks to my mother for helping me find a career path by showing me an advert for a job in a nursery. At the time, I was volunteering in my little brother’s school and nursery beforehand. I applied for the role my mum found in the newspaper and got the job on the spot.
It’s only at the age of 29 that I was made aware by my GP that I had depression and anxiety due to childhood trauma and self-inflicted things whilst growing up. Factors such as lifestyle, relationships, not knowing one’s self-etc.
Now, I'm at a stage of finding coping mechanisms and realising this journey is for me and me alone. But it’s this new journey that has opened doors for me and I can now say I'm a public speaker on domestic violence and men's mental health.
Wow what a journey you have had! Thank you so much for being so open and for sharing that with us! What has then made you decide to explore a new adventure?
After 11 years of working in nurseries I’ve now ventured into the world of private adhoc childcare due to the demand over the last year or so. What started off as just me offering a service has now become a niche of some sort which is slowly growing but becoming a childcare agency amongst other things.
With all the ups and downs and successes, I can safely say I became a man whilst working all of the different roles and i met so many amazing people and changed so many children’s and families life’s.
Me venturing to create something out of my experiences was bound to happen as I have learnt so much about families and childcare. When I did my first mothers group at “Family Action” I said to myself I can do this long term; giving advice guidance and childcare all under one umbrella.
Well done you for taking the plunge and going for what you wanted! Can you tell us about JossyCare...
Jossycare is a budding childcare agency as well as a childminding agency which helps parents find the right kind off childcare that can suit their every need and desire; taking their budget in to account.
Whilst working in my first ever nursery job the kids would call me Jossy. This was so funny because my godmother use to call me “Jossy Wossy” which stemmed from the sauce years ago called “Worcester sauce!” I just added the care bit to it and it’s become my nickname. JossyCare is a childcare brand which aims to brake barriers of perceptions of males in the childcare industry.
It’s during my time at that nursery that I found that working with children was my vocation and god given role. I’ve now been working in childcare for over 10 years and I can honestly say it’s changed my life and helped me become a loving, patient, grateful and honest soul. I’ve worked in care homes with teenagers that suffer from mental health as well as ex or repeat offenders.
I’ve worked at youth clubs doing mentoring and DJ workshops, managing a nursery as well as being a room leader, a family co-coordinator running mother and baby groups to now owning a small babysitting and nanny service that supplies male child carers and female. It’s all of this that added to me creating ‘JossyCare’.
What an exciting time for you starting your new adventure doing something that you love! Can you tell us what your top three nannying or mannying tips are…
Be your self
Put love into it
Let Children lead when it comes to play and learning
How lovely! So tell us, why Do you think that mannying and daddy day care is happening more and more?
How I think the daddy care scenarios have come about, is that seeing it in the media has made it more apparent that dads can and dads will. AND they now have us at “JossyCare” to support them! I’m hoping to get support and endorsements from a few celebrity dads. I have curated hashtag call #BigUpTheDadsThatDo which will also be the name of the fathers group that will be starting shortly, as well as on hats and merchandise etc.
JossyCare isn't just a babysitting and nanny service it also offers fathers help and mothers help in the form of workshops and groups. I want to give these new and old fathers the confidence they need to parent effectively. I have created a big buzz on my social medias around this and I have even gained new client base of fathers and father based brands of all sorts.
That’s fab! We think that you are on to something Joss and like you said, Dads should be able to be Dads!!
Thank you so much for joining us and for talking to us about JossyCare! We can’t wait to see what’s to come!