Bell Family Company

Bell Family Company Offering Virtual Sitters

Due to COVID-19, Bell Family has launched Virtual Sitters to provide childcare relief to families across America.

To book a Virtual Sitter, simply click here and fill in the form. We will then coordinate everything and get you booked!

Our Virtual Sitters can:

  1. Teach improv (read a play, act out scenes, etc.).
  2. Bake together (you provide the ingredients, the Virtual Sitter will guide the junior chef).
  3. Teach/practice another language (Spanish, French & more).
  4. Learn or practice playing an instrument.
  5. Tutor or help guide with homework and online lessons.
  6. Do yoga, ballet or another movement activity.
  7. Host a virtual book club or dance party.
  8. Organize family photos, process paperwork, complete online grocery orders, etc.

“This is unbelievably genius. A must for parent survival right now!”

Mom of 2, West Coast
Bell Family Virtual Sitter teaching session

“It worked great! I got the whole kitchen cleaned and ate food sitting down!”

Mom of 3, Midwest

We hope that you will support this small business during this difficult time, and book a Virtual Sitter for an hour or two to help with the kids. Virtual Sitter rates are $23 per hour for 1 child, and $25 for 2 children (for 3+ children please inquire about rates). The booking minimum is one hour, but the hour can be split into 30-minute sessions (i.e., 30-min morning session and 30-min afternoon session the same day). Check out this video for a short clip of a Virtual Sitter doing a teaching lesson with a child.

Meet Mahri Relin, Founder of Body Conceptions

We recently had the opportunity to partner with the Founder of Body Conceptions, Mahri Relin, whose dedication and hard work is helping women through her dance-inspired cardio workouts. Learn more about her technique and journey through our Q&A below.

Q: What inspired you to create Body Conceptions?

A: I was a dancer and performer for many years in NYC before I discovered dance fitness. I had never seriously considered fitness as a career before then, but the combination of dance and fitness together felt incredible to me. And it made me a stronger dancer than ever before!

Once I got more immersed in this form of exercise, my early experiences in studios watching women struggle with fitness in the times that mattered the most were incredibly impactful to me. Pregnant women in classes around me had no idea how to modify their workouts appropriately. And frankly, many of us working in studios had no idea how to really help them. I felt lots of empathy for women in this position in addition to great responsibility to help them, so I decided to get myself certified in pre and postnatal fitness. I developed my own business because I wanted the freedom to pursue my passion to help women in my own way. And I made pre/postnatal support a big part of our company mission. This has expanded to fertility support, and I am also interested in finding out as much as possible about the changes that occur for women during perimenopause so that we can support aging as well.

I am proud to say that the Body Conceptions method has proven to be a very safe but also challenging and effective method for women with a broad range of goals, not just pregnancy. I am constantly exploring the science behind fitness for women and also seeking the best way to keep our clients engaged and challenged while they train with us — which can be many, many years! We have created a method that combines cardio with full-body sculpting in a format that has constantly changing exercises and music to keep our clients on their toes. I am proud about the results we have seen, and I also love what it has done for my body. And most importantly, our work has connected us with the most wonderful community of clients and wellness practitioners with whom we collaborate. I am so grateful that I chose to follow this career path after dance.

Q: What does the dance-inspired fitness routine provide over the more traditional workouts (machines, weights, etc.)?

A: That’s a great question.  Dance can mean lots of different things for different people.  For me, it symbolizes freedom and a deep artistic connection to my body. That comes from music in a very big way for me, which is why I take so much time (and pleasure!) creating my playlists. When I’m working with clients, I’m paying so much attention to them and what their bodies need, but I’m simultaneously responding to the music in a way that connects our physical energy with the music’s energy. It’s amazing how much more intensity you can put into workouts when you feel like the music takes you there!

I definitely want to acknowledge that there’s a lot of fear around the word, “dance.” So many people back away when I say that word and tell me with their fingers wagging that they don’t have rhythm and aren’t coordinated. I tell them immediately not to be afraid! We have specifically designed the “dance” components to be simple (think jumping jacks to a beat), and we use dance principles in our approach to the movement — but we won’t be asking people to do crazy or complicated things if they don’t move that way. Dance-based workouts like ours help our clients connect better with their core, coordinate their whole body more effectively, and achieve the longer and leaner physique of a dancer. I want to add that if you ARE a dancer, we’ve got you covered as well. We have plenty of fun, complicated dances we can use for the cardio to get your brain working and your heart pumping!

Q: Motivation is a key factor in getting to the gym. How do you motivate women to join and power through a session?

A: As I mentioned earlier, music is a huge factor for me in helping my clients connect deeply with their exercise experience. I like to ask my clients to give me songs or artists they love so that I can incorporate their favorite music into the workout. I also spend several hours finding the best new music each week that works for exercise. If the music is good, people don’t even realize they’re working so hard!

In addition to music, we also place a big emphasis on identifying our clients’ goals and acknowledging that these goals can change through time. I personally get a huge amount of joy from these workouts, and I see joy in my clients as well. We don’t focus as a company on the unrealistic goal of getting a perfect “beach body.”  Instead, we want to give our clients an opportunity to improve their strength and coordination, get their mind off stress, strengthen during their pregnancy or heal from labor, and connect with their bodies in a new way – all of which helps them achieve the best physical version of themselves as a byproduct. These are motivating and joyful goals that keep people coming back each week and working with us for many years.

Q: How do you adapt your sessions towards people’s individual fitness goals and busy schedules?

A: Personalization is actually one of the most important elements of our workouts. Our workout has improvisation built into it, which allows us to change our direction easily and respond in the moment to the needs of our clients. It’s definitely structured as a specific method, but the flexibility empowers our instructors to make a wide range of choices depending on what’s needed in the moment. I think all personal training should be highly personalized, but the stakes become even higher when we we work with prenatal or postpartum women who require deep attention and sometimes a sudden change in direction during their sessions. And this isn’t just a pregnancy issue. Once, I showed up to train a client and only learned in that moment that she had fallen down her stairs. We had to avoid any jumping, protect her ribs that had been bruised, and could only move her shoulder in one direction. I managed to get her through the session gently and without pain, and she felt so much less stressed after getting her blood flowing – I was grateful that she had chosen to work out despite her accident!

Flexibility of scheduling is also a big factor in personal training. We address this by working with a range of trainers who have flexibility in their schedules when they begin working with us. We do get very busy and have more difficulty at times accommodating everyone’s schedule requests, but we try to hire trainers at a rate that accommodates our demands. We take lots of time finding the right people and training them as thoroughly as possible, so I have to admit that this can all be a tricky dance. But we do our best!!

Q: Tell us about some of the special offerings at Body Conceptions (i.e., pre & post natal training, special occasions, private training). What can women expect to takeaway from these offerings?

A: As specialists in pre and postnatal exercise, we are prepared to work with clients during and after their pregnancies. We are highly connected with practitioners and services in the area who can help our clients if anything comes up that we don’t address or that falls outside of our expertise. A pregnant client working with us can expect that we know the primary principles of prenatal exercise while having lots of experience working with a wide range of pregnancies. Every pregnancy is different, so we are highly attentive to the daily/weekly needs of each person and adjust accordingly. 

In addition to pre and postnatal fitness, we have worked hard to understand as much as we can about the fertility process. We work with fertility centers in the area to understand how they view exercise so that we can be as consistent as possible in our approach if our clients are seeking fertility treatments. (And we are always trying to learn as much as we can about current research on fertility and exercise as possible!)

In the same way we coordinate with fertility doctors, we also coordinate with PT’s who might be seeing clients of ours who have injuries (or perhaps any pelvic floor concerns connected with pregnancy/postpartum). We like to make sure our clients feel comfortable with us and know that we are aware of the direction their PT’s are going so that we can help them heal more effectively.

Outside of pregnancy, we have lots of other really fun, special offerings! Clients can get groups of friends together for special, private events like bridal parties, bachelorettes, and birthdays. We’ll help rent out spaces and create as special an experience as possible. Our venues have ranged from dance studios in the city to beaches or lawns in the Hamptons. We love working with these special groups, and we are specially excited to design a playlist full of our clients’ favorite tunes!

I am excited to say that we’ve helped our clients through a full range of transitions and events, from their weddings through pregnancies and the births of several children to awards ceremonies and college reunions. What makes all of these times special is that we help them achieve their goals while preparing for the things that mean the most to them, all while having fun! Being part of these big moments is what makes this work so meaningful to my trainers and to me. I didn’t imagine how fulfilling this career would become for me and feel so grateful to be here.

“It’s about being sweaty and happy, not perfect.” – Mahri Relin

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny in NYC? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted on-demand babysitting, including childcare for when a child is sick, full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care and more! Learn why BFC is the best NY Childcare Agency servicing the tri-state area. BFC is the best in the business! Contact us today to hire a nanny in NYC or to book the best babysitters in NYC!

How to Best Approach Giving Your Nanny a Pay Increase

Employees feel better about a pay increase when they know it is due to their hard work and efforts. Your family can practice the following guidelines when giving your nanny a raise:

  1. Tie the raise in a written performance evaluation. Relating a pay increase to a performance evaluation displays your attention and appreciation to the nanny’s hard work. This review also gives both of you the opportunity to sit down and go over performance, give recognition and feedback.
  2. If additional duties or responsibilities are added as part of the review, a pay increase should be associated with the expanded job description. The pay increase acknowledges both the trust in your nanny to handle added duties, and that the added duties deserve a higher wage. Be sure to provide your nanny details of the increase in writing for his/her records.

Questioning what to give for a raise? Typically, $1 to $2 per hour is what we see for the first year. If there is a change in the nanny’s job description (i.e., baby #2, additional duties) be sure to think about what their job description will look like going forward, and propose any changes along with what pay is associated with the changes.

Another example of how to implement a pay increase: on my nanny’s 2-year anniversary we’ll give him/her an extra $XX per week. Then, when baby #2 comes they’ll get another $XX per week, totaling $XX.

If you have any additional questions or need advice on how to best approach compensation increases, reach out and we’ll try our best to help!

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny in NYC? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted on-demand babysitting, including childcare for when a child is sick, full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care and more! Learn why BFC is the best NY Childcare Agency servicing the tri-state area. BFC is the best in the business! Contact us today to hire a nanny in NYC or to book the best babysitters in NYC!

“You’re Going to Timeout!”

One of the most dreaded phrases as a kid is hearing, “You’re going to timeout!” The words spoken by parents to their mischievous little ones after they’ve been acting out. I remember hearing those words from my parents as a kid, and it always seemed like they came out in slow motion.

Timeouts can be a tricky business. What’s classified as a timeout? Are timeouts helpful for children? Are there better ways to discipline children?

We found an article published on Time.com, which touches on the “timeout” idea, along with other affective ways to discipline children. These tips are great to keep in mind whether you’re a babysitter, nanny, parent, or anyone working with children on a daily basis. We’ve outlined some of the key takeaways below, but encourage you to read the full article on their website here.

Let natural consequences play out. For instance, if a child is tossing their crackers on the floor, don’t pick them up. At a certain point they will learn that throwing their food on the floor means they no longer get to eat it.

Try some logical consequences. When natural consequences are not doing the trick, stepping in to create a consequence of your own can work well. For instance, removing the toy being chucked at the wall and locking it up for the rest of the day.

Guide the child to better behavior. “Discipline means to teach,” says Dr. Ben Siegel, chair of the AAP committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child & Family Health. Siegel recommends guiding children to appropriate behavior by giving them choices. For example, if a child doesn’t want to put on their jacket, a parent could say, ‘fine, but you have to carry it.’

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny in NYC? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted on-demand babysitting, including childcare for when a child is sick, full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care and more! Learn why BFC is the best NY Childcare Agency servicing the tri-state area. BFC is the best in the business! Contact us today to hire a nanny in NYC or to book the best babysitters in NYC!

Bell Family Company’s Unique Vetting Process

Bell Family Company takes pride in providing the best childcare providers in the business. Each childcare provider on our team has been carefully selected through our unique screening process, where they are 1) directly referred by someone we know or recruited from one of our trusted sources, 2) college educated, working professionals, students or career childcare professionals, and 3) prescreened through an extensive online application (it is over 60 questions).

Our recruitment team reads through each application and then does a preliminary interview over the phone. Once the candidate passes through the preliminary, then he/she is scheduled for an in person (Facetime for non-local candidates) interview.

At the in person interview, the candidate completes a Nanny Assessment Test that examines both their emotional and psychological responses/answers to each question. The test is graded according to our standards. Each candidate must pass, and if they do not they are not accepted.

Then, the candidate meets a member of our Nanny Services Team to complete the interview and work history form, which includes names of all employers, their address, phone number and information about the job (ages of children, schedule, what they did at the job, etc.).

Our team member and the candidate then review their resume and the candidate provides proper legal documentation (two forms) along with a photo. Each candidate completes and passes a national background check, which we subsidize to bring cost down for them.

Next, we complete a social media screening and three of their references are called via phone by our team member who was an educator for 30 years. Each reference must be a childcare reference and pass through acceptable criteria set by our Agency.

Upon completion, the nanny candidate is accepted to our Agency and is in communication with our team about jobs that are a fit for them. Each candidate has the opportunity to attend our bi-annual CPR and First Aid Training, as well as receive on-going coaching, prepping and check ins to stay up to date on all childcare information.

We continually review the candidates’ profile based on family feedback and their communication with us. We only work with the best nannies in the business. If a nanny does not pass through our Agency’s criteria or proves to not be a fit for our Agency based on our team’s or family’s feedback, we will remove that candidate from our Agency.

To learn more about the Bell Family team, click here!

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny in NYC? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted on-demand babysitting, including childcare for when a child is sick, full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care and more! Learn why BFC is the best NY Childcare Agency servicing the tri-state area. BFC is the best in the business! Contact us today to hire a nanny in NYC or to book the best babysitters in NYC!

From Toddlers to Teens: Parenting Advice for Every Stage of Life

We recently teamed up with Kristin Louis, writer and researcher of all things parenthood on parentingwithkris.com. Over the years, Kristin has done A LOT of late-night Google searching trying to figure out how to be a better parent. Not all of the resources she found were useful; most consisted of the same things people read everywhere. So, she decided to compile a list of parenting resources that offer real, useful advice for raising children well through every age and stage. Read below for the advice she provided our Bell Family readers.

Becoming a parent is often one of the most rewarding and challenging decisions in a person’s life. Raising children is never easy, but it is undeniably fulfilling. From your child’s first steps to the day they get their driver’s license, watching them grow up is a beautiful journey unlike any other. There is no handbook for parenting — every child is a little different, and no two families are exactly alike. However, there are a few general suggestions that are applicable to most children. These essential parenting tips can help you guide your child through each stage of life.

Infancy

During the baby years, your child needs an established routine — and according to Nanit, sticking to a specific bedtime routine is especially crucial. A daily routine will help you both sleep through the night, get your baby used to eating at the same times each day and help them feel more comfortable around other people with regular social outings. It will also make planning your week much simpler and less stressful.

As a new parent, getting into a routine will make navigating this stage of life much easier — yes, life with a baby will always be somewhat unpredictable, but a baby with a settled routine will be much happier and healthier than a child whose day-to-day life is relatively unstable.

Toddlers

Toddlers are often strong-willed and mischievous. The phrases “the terrible twos” and “three-nager” can certainly worry parents! When your child is a toddler, it’s important to stick with consistent and effective disciplinary habits.

This is the stage when children begin to learn a sense of morality and distinguish right from wrong. They will often try to push boundaries to see how much they can get away with. As a parent, it’s important to teach them that these actions have consequences, without being too strict and harsh. Remember, it’s not about taking out your frustration or merely punishing your toddler — it’s also about helping them learn important lessons and showing them that we need to treat people the way we would want to be treated. It’s a balancing act.

Teenagers

Teenagers have a reputation for being rebellious — it’s a natural part of growing up. However, youthful recklessness can also lead to negative outcomes. As a parent, you may be concerned about your teen’s safety. You can take steps to safeguard your house by locking up the liquor and medicine cabinets. If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, you can hire a professional to set up parental controls and other security measures on your home computer.

Worried about where your teen is running off to at night? Installing motion-activated security cameras can give you peace of mind (hiring installers costs $1,473 on average in NYC). Yes, these actions may sound a bit extreme, but you can decide what is necessary to ensure your child’s safety (and your home’s security).   

Leaving the Nest

When your child gets older, they might leave for college, but they still need your love and advice. According to Grown and Flown, scheduling weekly phone calls will help you stay in touch while allowing your child to have their own space. As your child grows up and enters adulthood, you can cultivate a friendship based on mutual respect. And as they move through life and achieve their dreams, you can look back on their childhood with pride.

Parenting is always an adventure, and some days you’ll feel like your family is on an emotional rollercoaster. No parent ever has all of the answers, but understanding your child’s changing needs through every phase of life will help you raise them with confidence and compassion. 

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny in NYC? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted on-demand babysitting, including childcare for when a child is sick, full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care and more! Learn why BFC is the best NY Childcare Agency servicing the tri-state area. BFC is the best in the business! Contact us today to hire a nanny in NYC or to book the best babysitters in NYC!

Bell Family Company Corporate Care Program

We are a tight-knit, loyal network of hundreds of affluent busy families. We are looking for small and big businesses that want to improve their employee’s benefits with a focus on family and child care. Our Corporate Care Program gives employees access to a unique, elite, ROI-positive benefit at an affordable cost. We offer flexible programs that can be tailored specifically to your business. We are a fully-licensed and insured LLC and equipped to care for children from newborn to 16 years.

Our Corporate Care Program Offers:

• Unique, gold-plated benefit at affordable, per employee cost
• Facilitates access to best-in-class family care
• Powerful employer ROI:

Reduced absenteeism
Increased employee productivity
Alleviates significant source of stress
Promotes employee work-life balance initiatives

Flexible Program Structures:

• Full company sponsorship of annual membership for employees
• Subsidized membership programs
• Pre-paid sitting programs
• Subsidized hourly rate programs
• On-site care available for trade shows, meetings, stadium family rooms
• Access to staff for corporate events such as holiday parties, retreats, team-building programs, etc.

Your company or organization can sign up for no cost to you. To get started or for more information, please contact us, we’d love to speak with you!

Written by Founder & Owner, Lindsay Bell

The Best Gift for Moms & Dads!

Want a holiday, birthday, baby shower or just a friendly “I care” gift idea for your spouse, mom and dad friends or family member?  What do parents need and want most of all … time off! Put money towards a Bell Family Gift Certificate to help with membership fees, a full or part time nanny placement, baby or night nurse placement or hours towards babysitting.

“I’m a new mom. Two of my friends were members of BFC, and each of them gifted me gift cards – it was amazing. I’m now a member myself!”

Of course the Bell Family team fully supports parent-time! The same old gifts can become rather dull, and if you’re anything like our mom team members, you want to pick out those things yourself. That’s part of the fun, right? We can make all arrangements for your friend or family member – no stress!

“One of my mom friends was struggling and needed a break. I sent her a $75 BFC gift card and she appreciated it so much!”

Simply contact us to purchase a gift certificate and indicate the amount you’d like to purchase. We will provide you with an e-card to print or email to the recipient. Happy gifting, readers!

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

The Only Toy Gift Guide Needed From NY Mag feat. Lindsay Bell

It’s that time of the year where our minds run wild trying to think of the perfect gift to give the children. Our Founder & Owner, Lindsay Bell, teamed up with The Strategist at NY Mag, and helped to create the ultimate toy gift guide for children ages 7, 9 and 10. Read for Lindsay’s top picks and check out the full lists per age group below. Happy shopping, readers!

For your 7-year-old: Ultimate Secret Formula Lab

“This chemistry lab is mesmerizing for those kids who like to mix potions,” says Lindsay Bell, founder of the Bell Family child-care company. It comes with beakers, test tubes, petri dishes, the works, and inside them you can combine mixtures of, say, phenol red and ammonia to create invisible vapors.

For your 9-year-old: ThinkFun Code Master Programming Logic Game

It’s an enticing concept — your avatar traveling to an exotic land to collect “power crystals.” First you have to write a program for yourself using the included Guide Scroll to set out your pathways along the map (this mimics the step-by-step sequences that need to be followed in computer programming). Once you snatch up all of the crystals on your designed route, collecting “action” tokens along the way, you win. What might not be noticed in all the intensity, though, is just how many fundamentals of programming you’re learning (even “conditional loops” and “branches”), which is why this game is a favorite of Lindsay Bell, founder and owner of Bell Family child-care company. Plus there are progressive levels of difficulty: An Amazon reviewer whose husband is an engineer wrote that even he enjoys the harder ones.

For your 10-year-old: Snap Circuits Arcade Electronics Exploration Kit

Snap Circuits, says Rumaan Alam, a novelist and father of a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old, “is one of a whole slew of toys meant to appeal to STEM true believers. I don’t know if it’ll ensure your kid grows up to be an engineer, but I do know my kids spent many a cooped-up winter day building an AM radio or figuring out how to turn a little motor.” Ruka Curate, founder of the Tiny Treasures Nanny Agency, recommends this arcade-themed kit, which is a more advanced Snap Circuits version for 10-year-olds. Another option, according to Lindsay Bell, founder and owner of Bell Family child-care company, is Snap Circuits Extreme, although it’s a bit more expensive.

For the full gift guides from The Strategist at NY Mag, visit the links below.

Toy Gift Guide for 7-Year-Olds
Toy Gift Guide for 9-Year-Olds
Toy Gift Guide for 10-Year-Olds

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

What Sitters & Nannies Are Saying About Being Apart of Bell Family’s Childcare Provider Team

Our sitters and nannies are saying some great things about being apart of Bell Family’s childcare services team. Our women-run business has an established reputation for quality and excellence in childcare, and our childcare providers agree! Read below as sitters and nannies share their positive experience working with our team and all of our wonderful families.

Working with Bell Family Company has been such a phenomenal experience! It’s a fantastic way for someone who loves babysitting and working with children to be put in touch with amazing families throughout New York City.

Erin, sitter with BFC for 6 years

Bell Family does a fantastic job of pairing sitters and families. They’re meticulous in ensuring that the sitters have adequate information in regards to times, addresses, and backgrounds on the children and families. Their experienced in-house team run a very professional show, and always respond to their sitters and families needs immediately. A great experience on all levels – wonderful families, responsible sitters, and very proficient manage.

Shannon, sitter with BFC for 2 years

I became a sitter with Bell Family last year and it has changed my life in so many positive ways. I wanted to find a babysitting job to make some extra cash on the side, but BFC has provided so much more than that. I have met such incredible families who have had a profound impact on my life. It’s so wonderful! While I feel I can be a positive influence and make a difference in the lives of these children – they are also making a difference in mine. I am so grateful to be a part of the Bell Family team.

Laurie, sitter with BFC for 3 years

I’ve been working with Bell Family for over 2 years and I am happy to be one of their most active sitters! While I work as a full-time Actor, I am relieved to spend the other part of my life around the wonderful children and families that are associated with BFC. The children I have met have enriched my life, and I hope I have enriched theirs. It’s a wonderful gift to be able to work with such a fine company, and such playful children.

Laura, sitter with BFC for 2 years

I’m completely in love with the family you paired me with! You guys did such a good job placing me with them! Perfect match.

Larissa, nanny with BFC for 2 years

I am really, really happy working with the family you paired me with. They are super nice (thoughtful, grateful, kind, generous, respectful, good with communication) and their kids are just so sweet, lovely and perfect! Honestly, they might be the nicest people I have ever worked for and I am extremely grateful and excited to continue my long term journey with them.

Cynthia, nanny with BFC for 2 years

I tell everyone about your agency – you guys are truly the best! Again, thank you for giving me the chance to do something I love and something that I believe really matters (being a great role model for children).

Sandra, nanny with BFC for 1 year
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