Tag Archives: nanny

Q&A: Lindsay Bell Teams Up with Gymtime

Our Founder & CEO teamed up with Gymtime for a special Q&A feature on their website. We’re here today to share the post with all of our readers and get everyone’s caregiver questions answered.

Take a read, and then see all of the great programs and events offered by Gymtime!

1. How do you handle holidays with your nanny? Do they get paid time off? Should they be expected to work?

As the family is the employer they make the ultimate decision regarding holidays and PTO.  We help guide them on what is legal and the industry standard.  Holidays should be determined up front in the family nanny agreement upon offer so it is super clear what the paid days off are and the unpaid days.  Paid holidays usually follow the federal holiday schedule. Any working holidays are typically paid at time and a half. Depending on your nanny, she may prefer certain holidays off over others so there is typically room to negotiate what works best for both parties.

2. How do you determine sick days and vacation days?

Vacation and sick days should be determined up front in the family nanny agreement upon offer so it is clear what is allotted. A typical arrangement for vacation days is two weeks off paid; the nanny’s chooses one week and the family chooses one week. That said if the hours are full-time and the nanny is counting on her salary every week, most families will pay her when they take extra vacation days. 

3. What is the protocol for baby number two?

It’s always best honest to be upfront with your nanny upon hire if you plan on having additional children. You want to make certain the nanny you hire is comfortable with multiple children at a time otherwise you may have to do the search again! Typically families will offer a new hourly rate or increase the salary as new children are born. Schedule a time to speak with your nanny about the changes ahead so she feels prepared. 

3. My child will start school in the fall and I won’t need my nanny for the first part of the day, but I don’t want to lose her for the afternoons and early evenings. What do I do?

Very common problem! We have seen families continue to pay the nanny full-time hours to keep her for the afternoon with the kids and change her job description so she is more of a parent’s helper in the morning (helping around the home, errands, etc). It’s important to discuss this with the current nanny and make sure both parties agree to the new duties and discuss the expectations. Some families will cut the nanny’s hours and use her just for the afternoons and then help the nanny pair the job with a new morning position through a friend’s family or through a company like ours. More commonly the nanny begins to look for a new full-time job and the family hires a new nanny that better fits their needs for after school hours. An After School Nanny commits for one school year (typically late August or early September) through mid-June. Depending on the nanny and her availability the family may keep her for the following school year or need to find a new nanny. 

4. I love the idea of a nanny share, but also need my caregiver to have flexibility, as my schedule changes. What do I do?

Really think if you want to go the nanny share route. To make that work, so many things must align with the second family: location, parenting style, do they have pets/is that okay with you, etc. In my experience, nanny shares are difficult to sustain as it involves two sets of parents, their children and one nanny to be on the same page. If you are looking for a short term solution it may be easier. One of the most common requests parents make is wanting flexibility. It sounds great, but a nanny needs a schedule to commit to and should be guaranteed those hours. As she may be able to stay late/start early here and there, she does need her own life, too. And you want her to have that, it will make her happier, healthier and rested for the next day! Remember with a nanny share the other parent in the share will say the same thing ‘ I want flexibility,’ and to make a nanny share work the parents will actually need to be the ones that need to be flexible with one another.

5. How would you suggest giving your caregiver feedback (both positive and constructive)?

All employees need feedback in order to grow and thrive at their job. We recommend setting a date weekly or monthly to check in after a nanny starts with a new family. This will give the time and space to discuss things that are working or need improvement. It’s important to make sure you are available for open communication so you both feel comfortable with discussing sensitive or delicate matters. It’s also very important to meet on neutral turf (not at the house, for example) or around the children. If you have regular check-ins it won’t carry a negative tone and it will feel natural. Write out bullet points before hand if that helps prep you for the conversation. It’s always better to give feedback in person versus email or text. I recommend the sandwich tactic- You want to start with what she does well, then what she needs to improve on then thank her for her willingness, openness and show her that she is appreciated. One of the biggest complaints we hear from nannies is that they don’t feel appreciated by their families. Find ways that show her how much you value her and appreciate all of her hard work and dedication. Remember her birthday or special holidays she celebrates, give her a gift card, a day off, a simple hand written thank you note also goes a long way! 


For the full Q&A and to learn more about Lindsay, click here.

How to Create a Caregiver Video, Photo, and Bio

Want to impress families when it is time to interview for that nanny position?

A few great ways is through a short video to show your personality, a bio that captures your super caregiving experience, and a family friendly photo that the parents can show the children.

Here are the steps to follow for a great first impression!

How to Create a Caregiver Video
This is a great way to showcase your personality to prospective families. It’s very easy and can be done on any smart phone. Here are the steps to make a lastly impression in less than 15 seconds! When you are done, please e-mail this to nanny@bellfamilycompany.com.

1. Relax and take your time! This is a quick, easy, and happy greeting! Keep it simple.
2. BE yourself. Make sure the lighting is good and you are looking directly into the camera.
3. Big warm SMILE. Speak slowly and confidently.

Hi my name is _________.
I have _____ years of childcare experience.
I’m looking for a nanny position with a great family. Thanks!

How to Create a Caregiver Photo
Your caregiver photo will be apart of your Bell Family Company Nanny Profile. Please take a picture that shows a bright happy smile, in good natural light. A headshot with just you in the photo is best.

How to Create a Caregiver Bio
Answer these questions and then write it out in paragraph form in first person (see ex. below). Add anything that might be relevant and what makes you unique.  Be as concise as you can. Limit your bio to 1,000 words max.

1. Where are you from?  Where do you live now?
2. How long have you lived in NYC or the surrounding area? Or when are you moving?
3. Did you go to college? Where? What degree/focus?
4. What are your hobbies?
5. Childcare experience?
6. Youngest to oldest ages you have worked with? Preference?
7. Bilingual? Drive? Swim? Passport? Willing to travel? Can you tutor? What subjects?
8. What type of job are you looking for FT/PT/weekends? Live-in/live-out?
9. Are you good at organization? Household management? Personal assistant?
10. Experience with pets? Elderly people? Children with special needs? What kind?
11. Certifications? CNA, HHA, CPR/AED first aid? Baby nurse?

Examples of a Bio
Example 1: Hi my name is Jane Doe and I am originally from Baltimore, MD but currently live in Brooklyn, New York.  I hold a BA in Psychology from NYU. I have been a swim instructor for the last 8 years and have experience working with children with special needs. I have been babysitting for many years and have filled the role as a summer nanny. I have worked with kids ages infant to teen and am extremely confident in my tutoring skills. My best subjects are math and science and I have also tutored kids for the SAT.  Additionally, I am computer/tech savvy and have great office skills. I love to cook and play board games.  I have a driver’s licenses and passport. I love children and am so excited to find a nanny position where I can use my care giving and tutoring experience.

Example 2: Hi, my name is Anastasia “Ana” Belinsky and I am originally from St. Petersburg, Russia but have lived in NY (currently Queens) for the last 10 years. I have been a childcare provider since moving to the US and also come from a large family. I love working with young children and am looking for a long term placement where I can grow with a family. I speak English and Russian fluently. I like to sew, read, and plan outings and play dates. I am very comfortable navigating all of the New York Metropolitan Area and get along well with everyone. I would describe myself as a self-starter, but am also very flexible and happy to follow the guidelines and requests of the family. I have lasting relationships with the families I have worked with and they would describe me as loving, patient, dependable, trustworthy and generous. I have experience working with children that have autism and developmental delays. I love pets, but have mild allergies and prefer to work in pet free homes or a home with hypoallergenic dogs. I am available for occasional weekends and overnights as needed.

How to Create Your Care Giver Bio

Greetings, all!

Need help creating a bio for your profile? Answer these questions and the write it out in paragraph form. Write it in FIRST person (see ex. below). Add anything that might be relevant and what makes you unique.  Be as concise as you can. LIMIT 200 WORDS MAX.

1. Where are you from?  Where do you live now?

2. How long have you lived in NYC or the surrounding area? Or when are you moving?

3. Did you go to college? Where? What degree/focus?

4.  What are you hobbies?

5. Childcare experience?

6. Youngest to oldest ages you have worked with? Preference?

7. Bilingual? Drive? Swim? Passport? Willing to travel? Can you tutor? What subjects?

8. What type of job are you looking for full-time/part-time/weekends? Live-in/live-out?

9. Are you good at organization, household management, personal assistant, etc.?

10. Experience with pets? Elderly people? Children with special needs? What kind?

11. Certifications? CNA, HHA, CPR/AED first aid? Baby nurse?

Bio Example:

I am originally from Baltimore, MA but currently live in Brooklyn, New York.  In 2009, I graduated with a BA in Psychology from NYU. I am a former swim instructor for the last eight years and have experience working with children with special needs. I have been babysitting for many years and have filled the role as a summer nanny. I’ve worked with kids ages infant to teen and am extremely confident in tutoring. My best subjects are math and science and I have also tutored kids for the SAT.  Additionally, I have office skills and am computer/tech savvy. I also love to cook and play board games.  I have a driver’s licenses and passport. I truly love children and am excited to find a nanny position where I can fully utilize my experience.  

Once completed, please e-mail your bio to: bookings@bellfamilycompany.com in the body of an e-mail or send it as a word doc attachment. If you are a BFC sitter or nanny, please upload it on your profile and let us know when it is complete!

How to Perform CPR

Greetings, all! Are you needing a quick refresher on compressions only CPR? Well, it just so has it that the refresher you are looking for is below!

Note this post was developed and sourced by Bell Family from our training and experience in CPR, First Aid, and Fire Safety through the American Heart Association and from our training with the Fire Department of New York. We also cited trusted blogs for added information. Note this is NOT a training or certification. These are simply helpful tips.

How to perform CPR – Newborn/Infant
Perform CPR if the child is not breathing, has no pulse and has lost consciousness.

1. First do back blows

- If a baby is conscious but can’t cough, cry, or breathe and you believe something is trapped in their airway, carefully position them face up on one forearm, cradling the back of their head with that hand.
- Place the other hand and forearm on their front. The baby is now sandwiched between your forearms.
- Use your thumb and fingers to hold the jaw and turn them over so that they’re facedown along the other forearm. Lower your arm onto your thigh so that the baby’s head is lower than their chest.
- Using the heel of your hand, deliver five firm and distinct back blows between the baby’s shoulder blades to try to dislodge the object. Maintain support of the head and neck by firmly holding their jaw between your thumb and forefinger.
- Next, place your free hand (the one that had been delivering the back blows) on the back of the baby’s head, with your arm along the spine. Carefully turn the baby over while keeping your other hand and forearm on the front.

2. Then do chest thrusts

- Use your thumb and fingers to hold the jaw while sandwiching the baby between your forearms to support their head and neck. Lower your arm that is supporting their back onto your opposite thigh, still keeping the baby’s head lower than the rest of their body.
- Place the pads of two or three fingers in the center of the baby’s chest, just below an imaginary line running between the nipples. To do a chest thrust, push straight down on the chest about 1 1/2 inches. Then allow the chest to come back to its normal position.
- Do five chest thrusts. Keep your fingers in contact with the baby’s breastbone. The chest thrusts should be smooth, not jerky. Repeat back blows and chest thrusts.
- Continue alternating five back blows and five chest thrusts until the object is forced out or the baby starts to cough forcefully, cry, or breathe on their own. If coughing, let them try to cough up the object.
- Repeat the chest compressions and so on, until help arrives.

Child (toddler to approximately 7-8 years old, dependent on weight)
Check for alertness.  Tap the child gently. See if the child moves or makes a noise. Shout, “Are you OK?”

- If there is no response, shout for help. Tell someone to call 911 and get an AED (if available). Do not leave the child alone until you have done CPR for about two minutes.
- Carefully place the child on his/ her back. If there is a chance the child has a spinal injury, two people should move the child to prevent the head and neck from twisting.

1. Perform chest compressions

- Place the heel of one hand on the breastbone — just below the nipples. Make sure your heel is not at the very end of the breastbone.
- Keep your other hand on the child’s forehead, keeping the head tilted back.
- Press down on the child’s chest so that it compresses about 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of the chest.
- Give 30 chest compressions. Each time, let the chest rise completely. These compressions should be FAST and hard with no pausing. Count the 30 compressions quickly.

2.  Open the airway

- Lift up the chin with one hand. At the same time, tilt the head by pushing down on the forehead with the other hand.
- Look, listen, and feel for breathing. Place your ear close to the child’s mouth and nose. Watch for chest movement. Feel for breath on your cheek.
- If the child is not breathing: Cover the child’s mouth tightly with your mouth.  Pinch the nose closed. Keep the chin lifted and head tilted. Give two rescue breaths. Each breath should take about a second and make the chest rise. Continue CPR (30 chest compressions, followed by two breaths, then repeat) for about two minutes.
- After about two minutes of CPR, if the child still does not have normal breathing, coughing, or any movement, leave the child if you are alone and call 911. If an AED for children is available, use it now.
- Repeat rescue breathing and chest compressions until the child recovers or help arrives.

100 beats per minute. Sing a song that goes along with the pace of the compressions (“Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees or “Let’s Get It Started” by the Black Eyed Peas). 


Safety Refreshers
Note this is NOT a training or certification. These are simply helpful tips. 

Newborn and Infant (1 month-1year)

1. Burping

- Hold the baby with their chin near your shoulder. Support the baby with one hand and gently pat/rub their back with the other to soothe them while allowing their body to stretch out with your hand.
- Sit the baby on your lap with one hand, supporting their chin and pat/rub their back.
- Lay the baby at a slight angle (with their head higher than their chest) on your lap facing you; rub their belly to soothe them while they stretch out their body. We advise this method as a last resort after the above two.

2. Choking

- ONLY if you clearly see and can easily extract the item that is obstructing the airway, take it out. DO NOT stick your fingers down the baby’s throat to try and scoop something out (this can shove it farther down).
- If you cannot see the object, don’t try to find it. Start back blows.

3. Changing a diaper

-  A newborn/infant’s diaper should be changed following each feeding, approx. every 2-3 hours. As child gets older, time frame will vary. Consult parent for schedule.
- Be sure that you put the diaper on correctly- not backwards.
- Dispose of used diaper properly. 

Toddler Safety Techniques

- For naps and bedtime: Do not have anything in the crib with them, unless the parent instructs.
- Make sure electrical outlets are covered or inaccessible.
- Always keep one hand on an infant sitting on a high surface, i.e. a changing table to prevent falling.
- If there are stairs in the home, always use a gate.
- Keep your purse and any hazardous household items (electrical cords, medicine, cleaners, art supplies, toiletries etc.) out of a child’s reach.
- Stay with ALL children throughout bath time and never use more than a couple inches of water.
- Always ensure food is broken up into small enough pieces to prevent choking.
- Never administer medicine without the parent’s permission.

Pre K and K Safety Techniques

- Always use a helmet and/or protective pads when appropriate.
- If at a playground, make sure the equipment is age-appropriate for the children you are supervising.
- When crossing the street, choose street corners with crosswalks and make eye contact with drivers prior to crossing in front of them and always hold the child’s hand. Even if they are older, you must guide them across.

Elementary and Up Safety Techniques

- You are their biggest role model. Model safety first! Teach them safety rules for crossing streets, playing at playgrounds, etc.
- Avoid playing on non-impact-absorbing surfaces, like concrete.
- Remove helmets before using playground equipment.
- Keep screen use to a minimum.

1. AED Reminders

-  Don’t use AED near water.
- Don’t use while child is wet or in a bathing suit.

2. First Aid Tips and Tricks

- Carry 1st aid Kit with you- band aids, Kleenex, wipes, etc.
- Don’t give kids medicine without parental permission.
- Always use sunscreen in summer.
- Bring water always.

3. Fire Safety Tips and Tricks

- Make sure the home is installed with fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Change the batteries in all detectors every six months.
- Develop a home escape plan with the children and family in case of an emergency. Have two exit routes available. Do a practice fire drill so the children understand where they are supposed to go (make an activity of it).
- There are two types of apartment buildings, fireproof and non-fireproof:
a) A fireproof building is usually a high-rise, so the building is made of concrete, not wood. If the fire is not in your apartment, it is probably safer to stay inside than to enter a smoke-filled hallway. Keep the door CLOSED, and seal the gaps with duct tape or wet sheets/towels. Open the windows slightly. Call the Fire Department. b) A non-fireproof building is usually an older building, has an exterior fire escape, and is made of wood. If the fire alarm goes off, leave the building immediately.

- Children and toddlers have a curiosity about fire. Make sure they are taught to NEVER play with matches and lighters. If a child expresses curiosity about fire, calmly but firmly explain that matches and lighters are tools, not toys.
- Never leave a child unattended in a room with a lit candle.
- Do not use candles if the power goes out. ONLY use flashlights.
- Never use an extension for large appliances.
- Turn off/unplug all space heaters whenever you leave the room. Do not leave children unattended in rooms with space heaters. Never plug in space heaters into extension cords.
- Using a fire extinguisher for a SMALL fire: 1) Pull the pin, holding the extinguisher upright 2) Aim at the base of the fire, from 20 ft. away 3) Squeeze the handle 4) Sweep from side to side.
- Fire extinguishers can only be used ONCE, and must be replaced or refilled after a use.
- Cooking fires/grease fires should NOT be extinguished with water because it will splash the grease and spread the fire. First, turn off the stove. Then use either baking soda or slide a lid over the pan to smother the flame. Do not attempt to pick up/move the pan, and do not take off the lid before a couple of hours.
- Always stay in the kitchen whenever there is something on the stove. Keep pan handles facing inwards in case a child tries to grab at the handle. Ideally, keep pans on the back burners if the children are around.

FDNY with sitters_edited-1

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

CPR Training Near You

Greetings, all!

Are you in the NYC, Los Angeles, or Chicago areas, and looking to get CPR training? Us at Bell Family did some digging, and here is what we found.

New York

1. Free CPR training through FDNY (Download their “Be 911” free app)

2. HeartStart Training provides certification courses daily that cover infant, child, and adult CPR/AED/First Aid

Los Angeles

1. American Red Cross

2. American Heart Association


1. American Red Cross

2. CPR in Chicago (FREE)

3. Chicago Pulse

If you take one of these courses as a BFC prospective sitter, be sure to get proof and send it to our team. Please note, Bell Family does not reimburse for certification or independent training.

FDNY with sitters_edited-1

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Bored Children, No More!

Greetings, all!

It seems like it’s getting harder and harder to find ways to keep children entertained these days. To get away from the TV screens that seem to follow us everywhere, we put together this impressive list of fun activities, so both you and your child can fight the power of boredom.

1. Go to the park, make friends!

2. Make a treasure hunt – get some paper, crayons, and map out the hunt and hide the treasures.

3. Go on a nature hike – pack a zip lock baggie and gather all the cool things you find on the hike, and then write about them when you get back home.

4. Make clean up a game! Sing a song and chart how much you cleaned up.

5. Schedule a play date.

6. Hit the library – see if they have reading corners scheduled, research some great books and find them at the library.

7. Create your own book – encourage the child to get super creative.

8. Dance party – get music and make up a dance.

9. Try out a new restaurant and pretend to be a food critic.

10. Play tourist for a day.

11. Make an obstacle course outside or inside if the space is big enough.

12. Play board games.

13. Go for an I SPY walk. Make a list of all items you need to find, take a camera and snap the photos.

14. Babysitting for girls? Create at home spa day.

15. Go pottery painting.

16. My favorite – build a fort. Use pillows, blankets, blocks, anything you can, and have the kids visit each other in the fort they build.

17. Make a collage of photos.

18. Cook or bake with the kids. Have them follow the recipe, read it out loud, teach them about measurements.

19. Chalk drawing outside on the sidewalks.

20. Build a town – with a banker, hotel, restaurant, and have each child run the shop. They will love it!

Special thanks to The Centsible Life and our Founder, Lindsay Bell, for the great ideas!


Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Nannyology: Three Types of Nannies

Greetings, all!

We bring you a special feature blog post this week, with the findings from Tammy Gold, author of “Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer” and founder of Gold Parent Coaching. She shares insight on how to understand the three types of nannies, so you can find the right match for your family.

Finding the right kind of nanny to match your particular work/life situation is critical in creating a calm and stress-free home. If you make the right nanny match, everyone is happy… but if you choose the wrong match, things can get ugly in a hurry. To avoid this unnecessary stress, I coach my clients to figure out what kind of nanny they need based upon the term “nannyology.” This refers to the process of understanding who nannies are, how they think and how they work. One part of nannyology is learning the three nanny responsibility types so moms can figure out which one best matches their needs.

The Three Nanny Personalities

After hearing hundreds of stories and mediating countless mom/nanny relationships, I started to notice three distinct personality types which I named: The Parental Unit Nanny, The Partner Nanny, and The Executor Nanny. Each of these types is distinguished by their level of autonomy and their ability to handle — or not handle — different kinds of responsibility. It’s important to know which one you’re looking to hire from the get-go, because all too often parents make the mistake of hiring one when they really need one of the others.

The Parental Unit Nanny

Parental Unit Nannies are proactive, motivated, in-charge and most importantly, capable of handling every single aspect of her job without help from the parents. They work best with parents who are actively looking for someone to take the lead in their absence and “just take care of it.” This type of nanny functions as the “parent in charge.” Parental Unit Nannies make it easy for their bosses to transition into “work mode” or “rest mode” because they know that everything at home is being handled perfectly. Parental Unit Nannies can run the entire home, manage all of the children’s’ activities, schedule play dates, get the putty for Bobby’s science experiment, take Ruby to the doctor when her cough sounds worse, talk to Ali’s teacher about the mean girl on the playground and have dinner on the table by 5pm. Of course even the greatest Parental Unit nannies need training in order to do the job well, but they are the type of nanny usually best suited to a full time working parents or moms who are really busy and need to clone themselves. It can be hard for a parental unit nanny to stay home all day and take directions when she is used to being in charge and on her own.

The Partner Nanny

The Partner Nanny is named for her ability to be the mom or primary caregiver’s partner. She can shift her duties and level of care based upon the needs of the mother. When mom is out, the Partner Nanny runs the show and she is able to keep the house and children moving along smoothly and steadily. When mom is home, the Partner Nanny does not necessarily step behind mother, but steps beside her completing household tasks in unison. A Partner Nanny is completely in-sync with mom and together side-by-side, tackling the care of the children and running the home. Being a Partner Nanny is challenging since it can be difficult to shift between being “the boss” and then just “the helper.” Nannies usually like to know they are one or the other and Partner Nannies need to be highly adaptable and carefully attuned to the needs of the mother. A Partner Nanny may take the older children to school, run to the store for new ballet shoes, take the baby to music class, and when mom returns, she may shift her focus to laundry, cooking and cleaning.

The Executor Nanny

The Executor Nanny carries out the parents’ directions. She is typically someone who works with an at-home mother or a mother who works on a part-time basis. In her role she would handle childcare, but rarely all on her own. She would also handle a great deal of house care since the mother is often home managing the children. An Executor Nanny could do everything from heavy cleaning, and cooking, to taking the baby for a walk and playing princess with the toddler. She typically would never be asked to run the home and the children’s activities on her own. These nannies usually watch one child while the mother is out with the other siblings or perhaps watching all of the children for short periods of time while mom might be out running errands, at the gym or on a work project. Her mindset is to “assist” and “execute” items set in motion by the mother — precisely the opposite of the more proactive Parental Unit Nanny who may be left to plan the entire week on her own.

The key to matching in any relationship, let alone this complex personal/professional relationship, is stating your wants and needs upfront. By understanding that “one nanny does not fit all” and knowing these three nanny personality types moms can find or train to create their ideal match!


Written by Tammy Gold, Nanny Placement Director and Parenting Expert

Hotel and TravelSitter for the New Year

Greetings, all!

Did you know we book HotelSitters for our families in NYC, Brooklyn, Westchester, Connecticut, Chicago, Los Angeles or Miami?

If you have a family trip coming up, we also book TravelSitters to accompany your family, making it a real vacation for you and not just a re-location of your normal day-to-day! Our sitters have traveled with member families throughout the Caribbean, Florida, Europe, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and most of the Rockies Ski resorts! We provide excellent vacation and holiday coverage so you and your family can have all the extra care and support needed for a restful vacation.

Bell Family’s Hospitality Program allows guests to participate in our trusted family care services!

We Offer In-Room/On-Site Care

We’ll come to your hotel to keep your children entertained!
- Make crafts and work on fun art projects
- Learn to sing and play guitar
- Play games, enjoy the on-site hotel services, or enjoy personal story time

Ask About Exploring the City and Mini-Day Camps

Our sitters will show up with an itinerary for the day!
- Organize shopping trips
- Plan destination visits
- Assist in pick-up/drop-offs
- Run last minute errands
- Lend an extra hand at local family events (weddings, parties, business functions, etc.)
- Refer the best places to go for kids

To download our release for your families click here! And to book a HotelSitter, e-mail
bookings@bellfamilycompany.com or call 212.265.3354.


Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

News and Advice for Families

Greetings, all!

Today we bring you news and advice for agencies and families from GTM’s Nanny Agency Advisor. We’ll take you through and answer questions regarding whether nanny’s should get flu shots, 2016 minimum wage changes, and finally some gift ideas for your nanny on those special occasions.

Should Nannies Get Flu Shots?

As temperatures fall, the risk of illness rises. This is the time of year that many physicians recommend getting the flu vaccine. But some household employees may not want to get it. Families might be concerned, especially with nannies, that someone spending so much close time with children is not vaccinated. Can household employers require flu shots for nannies?

Read more about best practices and legal guidance to share with your families about this issue.

2016 Minimum Wage Changes

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers – including household employers – in all states must pay their employees at least the state’s minimum wage. This wage rate often changes at the beginning of a new year, so it’s important for families with domestic workers to make note of any changes and begin plans to increase an employee’s wage.

The following list shows the states that have 2016 minimum wage changes and when those changes are effective.

Gift Ideas for Nannies

Searching for the perfect gift for your nanny’s birthday, holiday, or just to show appreciation? This impressive list has 20 great gift ideas for special occasions such as these!


Information provided by GTM Payroll Services.

Live-In vs. Live-Out Nannies

Greetings, all!

We’re bringing you a blog post courtesy of Tammy Gold, our Nanny Placement Director and Parenting Expert here at BFC. In her recent post, she compares live-in vs. live-out nannies, and talks about some of the best nanny secrets and what she calls “Nannyology”.

Understanding Nannies and How They Work
One day, I received a call from a woman named Alicia, who lived in Connecticut with her husband, John. She had recently given birth to their first child, and with only three weeks left on her maternity leave, she was faced with the task of hiring her first nanny.

“I’m stressed because I have no idea what I’m doing,” she told me.  “I don’t know what I’m looking for, or where to begin. And I’m nervous, because I didn’t grow up with a nanny. I don’t understand nannies, and I don’t even really want a nanny in my house—but I have to go back to work. Can you help me?”

This post is designed to give you an introduction to what I call “Nannyology”—the science of understanding nannies—and to give you crystal-clear picture of what a nanny is and does, what the job actually entails, and how you should and should not approach the relationship. Nannies are human, and just like everyone else, they have strengths and weaknesses, surprising talents and funny quirks, as well as their own needs and expectations. You will most likely never find the “perfect” nanny who flawlessly performs every conceivable task. However, if you follow my hiring process and the strategies for working together (that I will discuss in subsequent posts), you can absolutely find an amazing, real-world nanny who will be a perfect fit for your family.

Live-In vs. Live Out
The first big decision that you will need to make when starting to think about who you want to hire is whether your nanny should be Live-In or Live-Out. A Live-In nanny is one who lives with  the family in their home for some portion of the week, while a Live-Out nanny commutes to  work each day and, after finishing her duties, returns home each night.

Live-In nannies are the least expensive kind of nanny because you are giving them room and board as well as a salary. Some Live-Ins go home for some portion of the week, and some stay with their employer’s family full-time because they don’t have another residence. A typical work schedule for a Live-In is five full days and nights on, and two days off each week. If you want additional days and hours, you will need to pay for the extra time. The big advantage of a Live-In nanny is that you know you have round-the-clock coverage for those five days: If you and your spouse both travel for work, you have someone to spend the night; if your child is up all night with a stomach virus, you have someone on hand to help; and your nanny will never be late for work because a snow storm hit or the train broke down.

To have a Live-In, you need to be able to provide them with their own private, furnished bedroom and bathroom, and it’s helpful if the space is somewhat separate from the rest of the family. Live-Ins who drive also typically have a car at their disposal, either for transporting the children or for personal use; they also tend to cost more (average $750 a week) because they are the smallest percentage of nannies and thus are in high-demand. A lot of parents don’t initially like the idea of having someone else living in their home, but Live-Ins don’t necessarily mingle with the family after their hours are done. You want to map out your rules for privacy at the start—for example, do you want the nanny to go to her room at a certain time in the evening? Can she have a lock on her door so the children can’t go to her when she’s off duty? Can the nanny have a friend over or go out at night?—so that everybody is comfortable.

Most nannies are Live-Out nannies who will commute back and forth to your house each day. At an average rate of $15 per hour, they are more expensive than Live-In, and a driving, Live-Out nanny will command $18-$20 per hour or more. In general, Live-Out nannies will have less flexibility in terms of hours and schedules; they will expect to arrive at a certain time, work a set number of hours, and then leave at an agreed-upon time as well. 

There are some Live-Out nannies who occasionally live in—for example, if the parents go away for a week, the nanny may come to stay with the kids, or if the family goes away for the summer, the nanny may live in at the family’s vacation home for those few months. But this is something that needs to be discussed and agreed to by the nanny before you hire her. You should not assume that a Live-Out nanny is willing or able to do Live-In, and I have seen many nanny-family relationships severed because the nanny felt that the pressure of being with the family 24/7—even in a beautiful apartment in Rome—was just too much.

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Written by Tammy Gold, Nanny Placement Director &Parenting Expert