Tag Archives: bfc

Bell Family Has Their Very Own IRONMAN

Lauren Kruk, Bell Family’s Nanny Services Manager, has accomplished something most people have not. She has successfully trained and completed in an IRONMAN competition, proving that the Bell Family team is one strong bunch.

Read below to hear directly from Lauren, and her experience from earlier this summer.

On Sunday July 23rd, I completed in IRONMAN Lake Placid. IRONMAN consists of a 2.4 mile swim in open water, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run (in that order). Being a part of a triathlon club and starting with small races in 2014, it was always a dream of mine to complete the largest triathlon distance, and as Lake Placid is the longest running IRONMAN event in North America (and also beautiful!), it was an easy choice to achieve my dream there. I started training before the new year, and in a matter of 6 months I had racked up 523 running miles, 1,675 miles on the bike, and 50 miles in water. It was challenging, exhausting, but exhilarating and emotional. An IRONMAN has a 17 hour cutoff; all disciplines are timed (with transitions between each timed too). I finished in 14:43 and I’ll never forget the feeling of crossing that finish line. It’s true what they say, anything is possible!

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On behalf of all your teammates at Bell Family, CONGRATS LAUREN! We’re so proud of you!

Training Thursday Vol. 13 – Stroller Safety

Welcome to volume 13 of Bell Family’s video training series, where each Thursday we release a video to help coach sitters on an array of childcare topics.

This week we are featuring a training video on stroller safety!

Here are some fast stroller safety tips:

1. Make sure the brake is on when you place the baby/child in the stroller, and that you unlatch the brake when you are ready to push the stroller.
2. Make sure the child is properly dressed for the weather (take sunscreen on a warm, sunny day, make sure the child has a hat and warm jacket on a cold day, etc.). Check the temperature before you go outside.
3. Make sure all straps are properly fastened on the child before pushing the stroller.
4. If you are carrying heavy bags on the stroller, be careful the stroller does not tip backwards. It is best to keep items stored underneath the stroller.
5. If you need to stop and are on a decline or hill, make sure to use the brake for added support.

Read more from Parent’s Magazine on stroller safety here.

These videos are recommended to all BFC childcare providers to view for the latest techniques when caring for children. These videos were designed by our team comprised of long-time babysitters, full-time nannies, mothers, grandmothers, elementary educators, and social worker.

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Note: Always follow the family’s instruction and care methods, and keep the family informed of everything with their baby.  These videos are not required to view, but a simple recommendation. For more information or for questions, please contact our office or read our terms.

New York Post Feat. Baby Nurses

Many entrepreneur working moms are finding it near impossible to juggle motherhood and business. Both require you 24/7. The only answer is to outsource to make life manageable. One of the many things moms juggle is sleep at night. Sleep is necessary for mom and baby to thrive, yet it is not easy, especially in the first few months.

One solution is for moms to hire a baby nurse or night nurse. A Baby Nurse is a non-medical professional who comes into the home when the baby comes home from the hospital. They generally assist parents with the day-to-day care of their new baby for a few weeks up to several months. They can provide overnight (10-12 hours), daytime hours, and 24-hour care. A Baby Nurse is experienced, trained, and/or has a certification. Many Baby Nurses will have additional certifications like: HHAs, CNAs or LPNs. Most Baby Nurses also have their CPR certification.

A Night Nurse is an infant expert and only stays at night with the baby. The Night Nurse helps with feedings at night by either bringing the baby to mom, or feeding the baby formula or breast milk through a bottle. Typically, night nurses stat over night from 9-10 p.m. to 6-7 a.m.

Check out this great NY Post article featuring Bell Family Company, and why they agree Baby Nurses are a must have for working moms.

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Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

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! 

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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.

Outside of the Box Fun

Are you getting tired of playing the same games or activities when watching the kids? Let’s face it, board games and “go fish” need a dose of resuscitation.

Our Bell Family sitters are helping everyone to think outside of the box with a slew of awesome ideas! Try out one of these fun activities the next time you are watching the little ones.

1. Get cooking: Pretend to own a restaurant and have the child be the chef. Practice using measuring cups and following recipes. Have them repeat the words you use and teach them how to cook and bake.

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2. Play Picasso: Pretend the child is a famous artist making paintings for their museum. Then be the customer in their gallery, view their original artwork, and buy them with pretend money.

Painting

3. Play lifeguard: The sitter is the lifeguard at the city pool and the child pretends to be a grown up at the pool with his little sister or brother.

Swimming

4. Get outside and play town (a Bell family favorite growing up): Get play cars, make traffic stops, have a cop, driver, and have them direct traffic. If someone passes a red light they go to jail! Have a pretend jail.

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5. Think outside the box (literally): Get recycled boxes and make a train station or play house. Get construction paper, have the sitter use the scissors and create your own train station with a conductor.

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

Diaper Bag Secrets

Have you ever wondered what exactly you should keep in your diaper bag? The list of items to throw in before heading out the door seems to be getting longer and longer. To avoid having to sit on the bag to get the zipper shut, we provided a go-to list of items to include in you diaper bag through parents.com.

Make your next house exit hassle-free by using the list below:

1. Diapers (who would have guessed?)
2. Small box of wipes
3. Fold-up changing pad
4. Diaper rash cream
5. Burp cloths
6. Set of clothes
7. Sun hat
8. Sunscreen
9. Bottle
10. Favorite thing (whether it’s a rattle, small plush toy, etc., what ever will help avoid the meltdown)

For the full list and inside details, check out the article on parents.com here.

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

New on Demand: Breast Feeding

It is 3:25 a.m. and I’m awake. Four years ago the only time I was up at this hour was to dance at Southside (a then fun night club).

Nowadays, I spend these hours cruising through Facebook, responding to the mass texts from my sisters, and brainstorming new business ideas while I check my six e-mail accounts. Rather than swiping right on Tinder, I’m clicking “interested” to childcare providers and recruiting new sitters and nannies. So really, not much has changed.

As my fellow first time mommy pal would put it, “This sleep deprivation thing is no joke, huh?”

I know we are in an on-demand world now; on-demand babysitting, car services, grocery shopping, etc., BUT on demand breast feeding?!

I had no idea what I was in for. As coached by the doctors and nurses where I delivered, my baby basically regulates his meals and is fully in charge. When he begins rooting or making this snap sound with his mouth - it’s go time. A cry is SOS.

I keep track of each feeding, well, I did at first, now I can’t remember where the note pad is half of the time.

This on demand stuff happens every two hours or so, except at night when he gives me about 3-4 hours of relief. It’s weird how no one told me about this when I was expecting.

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Written by our Founder & CEO, and new mom, Lindsay Bell!

Elegant Personalized Baby Blankets

Greetings, all!

We’re bringing you a product review on a baby blanket that is quickly becoming one of our favorites. Elegant Personalized Baby Blankets set out to find the highest quality baby blankets they could at the most affordable price. What’s even better, personalization and gift wrapping are FREE!

Adding to the impressive list of reviewers (People, USA Today, Pregnancy & Newborn, and O: The Oprah Magazine), is Bell Family’s Founder and CEO, Lindsay Bell. Lindsay recently reviewed one of these elegant blankets, and shared her thoughts below.

Just in time for my baby’s arrival, the personalized Classic Dream Blanket from Elegant Personalized Baby Blankets was on my doorstep. And good thing, because one item I didn’t purchase for the baby was a tummy time blanket.

I was already a fan of aden + anais, as I have an assortment of their bibs, and this blanket confirmed my fan status even more. This natural, gentle muslin blanket is colorful, comes in a variety of modern prints, and was the last thing I needed to complete my first baby collection of items.

The part of it that made the blanket extra special was my son’s initials sewn into the corner of the blanket, in my husbands favorite color – blue. This was the first time I saw my sons initials and that was really special to me.

These Dream Blankets™ are sold in over 65 countries and in some of the finest stores. The four-layers of 100% cotton muslin are easy to wash, too. Just pop into the wash on cold and then you can even throw it in the drier (thank goodness with how much I’ll be washing it)!

If you don’t have a little one of your own, purchase for your next friend’s baby shower. I’m sure they will love the personalized touch just as much as I did. Visit the Elegant Personalized Baby Blankets website today – you’ll love it!

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Written by our Founder & CEO, and new mom, Lindsay Bell!

Gyst Please! What They Can Do for You!

Greetings, all!

We’re bringing you a special blog post today featuring our friends from GYST, a company whose mission is to simplify the lives and increase the capacity of their clients by providing excellent assistant support in a maximally flexible model. GYST is transforming the personal support industry through absolute dedication, allowing their clients to consistently achieve and exceed personal and professional goals.

We had the opportunity to talk with Founder and CEO, Brooke Stone, to get the inside scoop on what GYST is all about. Read below for our Q&A!

Q: At what time in your life did you recognize that a place like GYST would be in such demand?

A: I had the great privilege to work as a personal assistant beside incredibly dynamic artists and executives for many years, and many of my clients generously referred me to their associates. At some point I ran out of hours in the day and was unable to take on additional clients myself, so I began looking for a service that provided assistants with the same commitment to excellence I had myself. After looking for this type of service in New York, I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a single one to be found! I felt compelled to start GYST to fill this huge hole, and to give our city’s movers and shakers the personal support they needed to keep moving and shaking.

Q: For all those moms out there needing an extra hand, why should they turn to GYST? 

A: In addition to mom-ing and wife-ing, moms are almost always the defacto family administrator. With precious little available time, moms are expected to plan family vacations, stay on top of weekly errands, manage household staff members, pay bills, prep paperwork for taxes, complete school forms, research and enroll kids in camps and after school programs…and on and on the list goes. At GYST we understand you would always rather spend that time doing something fun with your family (or getting a manicure!), and we can make that happen for you. We also know how important it is that anyone working in your home and with private details about your family needs to be trustworthy, discreet and kind. Our assistants are fully vetted, insured and bonded and we are known for quietly knitting ourselves into our client’s lives in a way that feels very organic and unobtrusive.

Q: You’re more than just a personal assistant company. What are some of the unique services you offer your customers?

A: We sure are! Our assistants come to GYST with at least three years of experience working with a celebrity or C level executive, and then complete our training program before working with GYST clients. This combination of experience and training gives our assistants the tools they need to functionally manage tasks ranging from scheduling and travel booking all the way up to event and property management, and everything in between. Our clients value the proactive, anticipatory nature of our assistants, and the city savvy efficiency our team brings to the table.

Q: If someone wants to get on board with all that GYST has to offer, how do they go about getting started?

A: Give us a call at (917) 912-9206, or e-mail us at hi@gystplease.com. You can check out our on demand service, GYSTNow, by downloading for iOS in the App Store. We are really excited to have GYST assistants available in the Hamptons this summer too, but their availability out East is filling up fast – so definitely reach out to us now for Hamptons support!  

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