Tag Archives: sitter

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!

GTM

Information provided by GTM Payroll Services.

Hello Sitter. Hello Peace of Mind.

Greetings, all!

Do you want an app that’s changing what it means to find the right sitter and fast? Well, behold, because Hello Sitter is here, and they are taking the stress out of finding quality childcare at you finger tips.

Lauren Mansell, CEO of Hello Sitter, was kind enough to share a Q&A with us, and here are some of the things we learned.

Q: What is Hello Sitter, and how does it work?

A: Hello Sitter is an on-demand sitter app that provides parents a way to schedule fully vetted, carefully curated, and highly experienced sitters in a quick and stress-free way. We connect you with the best matched sitters available for your time and date, so you never have to wait for them to get back to you again.

After signing up and telling us a little bit about your children and what you want in a sitter, you can select the date and time you need and our very clever technology matches you with the perfect fit. You can view each sitter’s profile, read reviews from fellow parents, and even watch a short video.

Q: How do you choose your sitters?

A: Hello Sitter was started by a mom named, Lauren, and when creating the platform, she chose a partner based on her personal experience. All the sitters on the platform are part of a boutique agency that has been around for over 10 years, specifically chosen, because Lauren had used them time and time again and had an amazing experience. New sitters can only join Hello Sitter if they are referred by a current sitter, this is then followed by a vigorous vetting process.

Q: How quickly can I book a sitter, and how soon can they show up?

A: You can book a sitter in minutes! All it involves is selecting the date and time you need a sitter (looking at their profiles if you want), and hitting book. All of our sitters have their own app, so their availability is up to date to the minute. Therefore, it can be as little as 1 hour.

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

Easy Bite Before Date Night

Greetings, all!

Picture yourself about to head out the door for date night, when you realize you wanted to prep a meal for your little one(s) before the sitter arrived. With only minutes to whip something together, you go into a frenzy thinking about what to make. Today, I’m here to help, by providing five easy bites to make before date night.

1. Crockpot Mac & Cheese
Everyone introduce yourself to your crockpot, because it should be your best friend. It’s also an added bonus that mac & cheese is scientifically proven to be loved by kids. Check out the recipe by Pipp and Ebby here.

2. Breakfast
Is breakfast food always delicious?  Yes, yes it is. Whip together some eggs, toast with jam, and a side of fresh fruit or raw veggies. I also like all the hype behind breakfast muffins. Take a look at a variety of them from Thriving Home.

3. Lasagna Grilled Cheese
Once you see the photo and the simple recipe for this sandwich, you will want to make one for yourself. Consider it your appetizer before you go out.

4. Homemade French Bread Pizza
Try making one off of this impressive list. Quick, easy, and always a crowd pleaser.

5. Chicken and Broccoli
What’s better than chicken and broccoli? How about a 12-minute chicken and broccoli. Take a peak at the recipe here.

Have a great weekend, readers!

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

How To: Ace a Childcare Interview

Greetings, all!

in·ter·view  /ˈin(t)ərˌvyo͞o/
noun
Commonly referred to a meeting between a small group, where one or all feel awkward through a series of random questions that no one in the real world would actually ask you. Most often deals with sweating, nervousness, and filling awkward silences.

Don’t fight it, you have felt some of the feelings listed above in at least one interview in your life. To better your experience in a childcare interview, our coordinator, Ali Sheppard, put together a list of 10 things to know prior to going in. I hope you can redefine my definition of an interview in your next go around.

Good luck interviewees!

1.   Prior to the interview review the Caregiver Sample Interview Questions and the Family’s Job Conditions; you won’t be asked every question, but its good practice to review!

2.   Ask questions about the children; about their personality, interests, do they play sports/play instruments, get to know them better! Do they have any allergies?

3.   Discuss the typical day and responsibilities. Ask questions.

4.   Do not bring up salary in the first interview. The first interview is about the connection, which is the most important factor in finding your family. If the family brings up salary – simply say that you are comfortable with the salary range indicated on their Job Conditions and you are more interested in making sure you and they are a good fit!

5.   Make a connection with the parents, but always engage the children if they are present! Ask about there parenting philosophy and their house rules.

6.   Be open and flexible. Listen!

7.   Be ON TIME. No matter what! Plan for weather and transportation delays. Being late to your interview is never a good sign.

8.   BE professional. NEVER ever get too personal. Do NOT discuss religion, politics or personal problems or other hot topics. Do not over share personal information about yourself.

9.   Dress professionally, but do not overdress! Business casual is a safe bet! A nice top, pants, closed toed shoes and hair pulled back with no tattoos showing, piercings, big jewelry is a great professional look for a caregiver interview.

10.  Be sure to connect with the Placement Coordinator to discuss the position and review any questions prior to the interview.

 

See you all next week!

TB

Meet the Sitters: Chicago

We’re always excited to share sitter profiles so our member families get the chance to “meet” some of our awesome caregivers. This week we’ll be featuring some of our caregivers from the windy city. Meet Kathleen!

Hanging out with our fearless leader, Lindsay

Hanging out with our fearless leader, Lindsay

Kathleen was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She graduated from Knox College with a BA in Biology and minor in English Literature. She has ten years of babysitting experience with children of all ages, infant to teen, and was a former summer nanny for several families where she handled all kinds of duties: meal prep, pick-up/drop-off, play, bathing, and naps. Kathleen works for a nonprofit medical clinic and is applying to medical school this summer. She also continues to volunteer with Kappa Kappa Gamma, the sorority she joined in college as a mentor to her sorority sisters in college now. Kathleen has been with BFC for a year and half now & all of our families just adore her. She is CPR/First Aid trained for both adults and pediatrics.

 

MDW: Red, White, & Bell

Memorial Day is a federal holiday for remembering the people who died while serving in our armed forces. The weekend is also the much-anticipated start to the summer season. We’re excited for another summer of adventuring, camps, family vacations, beach time, relaxation, and more!

henry

Check out some of our favorite memorial day activities for little ones below:

1) Celebrate all of the solider and veterans in your life by attending your local parade. Also check out fun events such as the Grand Procession at the Green-Wood Cemetery, which will be transformed into a Civil War-era commemoration and festival on Saturday.

2) If you’re looking to get out of the city, but don’t want to hit a lot of traffic, Governor’s Island.

3) Head to the beach, and take a BFC sitter if you need an extra hand! Beaches like Coney Island, Jones Beach, Brighton Beach, Orchard Beach, and Rockaway Beach are all easy commutes from the city and boast plenty of sand and sun-filled fun!

4) We also love heading to museums and the zoo on weekends like this! Since so many people are headed out to the beach, attractions like this usually have shorter lines.

5) As the sun heats up on Monday, you might want to bring the kids to some water attractions. Mommy Poppins created a great list of water parks in the area here.

Overall, enjoy spending time with your family and celebrating

Impromptu Child Activities

Parents sometimes have to bring their kids to places where there isn’t readily available entertainment or are running low on fun ideas. Our BFC sitters are experts in drumming up ideas, so we figured we’d share some impromptu child activities:

  • 1. Host a Hoola Hoop & Limbo contest with the neighborhood kids! Have the kids make signs & promote the contest.  Invite parents to attend, set up & play!
    Props: hoola hoop & some music
  • 2. For the car ride, play rounds of “I Spy”
    Props: Nothing necessary!
  •  3. Play a game of Keep it Up!  This is classic, get a balloon or pool ball & play rounds of keep it up. This game can be played anywhere & it can go on for hours.  Make teams, play-one-on-one & more.
    Props: Balloon or pool ball
  • 4. Duck, Duck, Goose.  Okay another classic.  This gets the kids outside or can be played indoors & encourages them to be active!
    Props: Nothing necessary!
  • 5. Hot & Cold Treasure Hunt.  Designate one person to be ‘it’ & direct the other person to go find the hidden treasure by following the map.  ‘It’ is responsible for telling the other when they are ‘hot’ or ‘cold’
    Props: Treasure map style-hide toy(s) through the house & then map it out for them to follow

shannon Smith photo

If you do not have any props/toys to work with here are some other fun ideas!

  • 1. Read books (maybe rent a few from your local library to bring with you on your outing)
  • 2. Color (bring crayons and construction paper if you have on hand)
  • 3. Dance parties (a Bell Family  favorite). Download kidzbop on pandora for an instant dance party; they also have a children’s sing along station which could be fun!

 

 

WWW – Run, Carole, Run!

Today, we are feature BFC’s resident marathon runner, Carole Dempsey.  Carole has been with Bell Family Company for three years, and has really enjoyed meeting other great sitters and families. She’s also passionate about her job as an Associate Buyer at Macy’s in the Fragrance division.  Originally from Maryland, Carole moved to NYC after graduating from Dickinson College 3.5 years ago. She also played basketball all four years in college and still plays during the week, when she’s not training for marathons that is.

We sat down with Carole to hear about how she balances training for a marathon, why she’s running, and more! 

headshot for BFC

 Why are you running the NYC Marathon?  

I have run 6 half marathons and always thought I wasn’t interested in doing a full marathon, but it was so inspiring to watch the NYC Marathon last year! There was so much excitement and support for the runners, and it was so cool to see people travel from all over the world to run in the race.

 Why did you choose to fundraise for the Michael J. Fox Foundation?

In recent years, Parkinson’s has affected my family and changed our lives. I never knew much about the disease until a few years ago, and now I feel the need to make others more aware about it. I’ve also never had a charity or cause that I was passionate about until now, and this is such a great organization with a huge support system.

 How do you balance training for a marathon with the other parts of your life? (I.e. family/ friends/ work)

It is extremely difficult, but I just think about how much easier the race will be if I make the time to train. There were a few half marathons that I did not train for, and they were HARD. I do not want to experience that during a 26.2 mile run. Family and friends will be supportive of something that is important to me, so that is what also makes it easier.

 Is this your first marathon? 

Yes, this is my first! And I want to finish this one before I start thinking about the next.

 Many adults want to be physically active, but don’t think they have the time in their days to go for a jog or work out at the gym; do you have any advice?

I struggle with this as well. However, having a marathon, half marathon, 10K, or some goal makes it easier to stay active. I also feel much happier when I’ve been active. When I start to take a week or two off, I feel sluggish, tired, and eat more junk food. And a friend of mine always says, “You never regret that workouts you do, only the ones you don’t.” It is so true! 

Any other comments?

My goal is to raise $5,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, so I have a ways to go and need all the support I can get. Any donation, no matter how small, would be SO appreciated!

You can donate to Carole’s run here:  http://www2.michaeljfox.org/goto/caroledempsey

 

Good luck, Carole!