Tag Archives: nanny

Hire Your Nanny Through an Agency!

GTM Payroll Services conducted a survey on the advantages to hiring household staff through an agency. The findings of their household employment survey of families and nannies made it clear that hiring a nanny through an agency, rather than using an online job site, saved time, boosted retention, and reduced the stress and hassles of bringing multiple nannies on board over a short period of time.

A family that hires through an agency instead of an online job site will receive a higher quality nanny, spend less time searching for the right match, and will ultimately find a nanny that they’ll keep longer.

The supposed benefit of using an online job site is having a wider selection of candidates. However, 83% of respondents who used an online job site said that the number of responses from unqualified candidates was one of the biggest drawbacks of going online to find a nanny.

See the full article “Why You Should Hire Your Nanny Through an Agency,” for more information on the survey. Also, see this handy infographic that illustrates the advantages for a family that hires through an agency versus an online job site.

GTM-trim

This blog has been repurposed from GTM Payroll Services Inc.

Benefits of Playing Guitar Are Greater Than You Think

Guitar and music lessons can be much more than just another hobby. Playing an instrument provides a great break away from the busy every day life, and cannot only benefit those as an individual, but those with families as well. So, why not bring a care-free, mind-relaxing activity into the daily routine?

Guitar by Anthony Music School will help with just that, by teaching how music works, specifically guitar. We had the chance to team up with Anthony to learn more about his teachings through the Q&A below.

Q: Many sitters, nannies, moms, and dads can use a break from the day-to-day grind. Why is learning or playing the guitar such a great way to break away from the busy city life?

Playing any instrument is a great way to maintain a quality of life. The guitar is portable which is a plus, and it’s a great healthy way to escape the grind of the day-to-day life. The benefits are many. Stimulating your brain and spirit just to name a couple. It also can be quite grounding as well. It teaches you to be in the moment as it increases your focus, which can benefit you in other aspects of your life.

All this in turn can help in adding fun for nannies and adults playing with kids to keep them engaged in songs and music. Perhaps creating a game-like atmosphere, which can make your job easier, while practicing your guitar skills. The possibilities are endless to how this can positively impact a child.

Q: What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced from teaching and playing guitar yourself? 

Some of the benefits for me personally would include reaching goals and growing constantly. Always striving for more. The guitar can be an outlet as well.

Teaching guitar is also rewarding. To witness growth in someone else is always a thrill. Lessons can also parallel life lessons (at least in my classes), and teaching reminds me of lessons learned too.

Performance is another reward. When there’s an exchange of energy between the audience and myself it is truly transcendent – making all the efforts worth it. I too, have developed good habits in time management and multitasking as a result.

Q: How does an adult playing guitar in front of a child benefit them?

An adult playing in front of a child will help to inspire them if they witness the joy in the adult playing. They will want to take part in the fun. The benefits of that will lead the child to learn and grow in multitasking and time management. Of course, we all know how it can benefit their studies as well, due to focus and some of the previously mentioned benefits.

Just think, all of this just by the mere fact that they wanted to have fun! Which is what it’s all about.

On another note, which may be a bit off topic, I’ve witnessed very shy and introverted kids grow into very outgoing, brave, and strong individuals just because they found refuge in music. To think this could have started by watching an adult play is extraordinary.

Anthony-guitar2

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

What Are Your Kids up to While You’re Away?

Have you ever wanted to know what your kids are up to while you are away? Daily Nanny helps to give a comprehensive view of just that in their app!

We recently had the opportunity to team up with the creators of the Daily Nanny app, to learn more about how it works, and why parents everywhere should add this to their download list. Read below for our Q&A!

Q: How can a user download the app? Is there a fee associated with it?

Daily Nanny is a one time charge of $4.99 to get access to all app features. Visit the iOS app store or Google Play to download.

Q: What does a user do once the app is downloaded/opened?

For parents, when you first open the app you’ll sign up, enter some basic information, enter your kids information, and then invite your nanny. Then you are brought right into the app and you can start using it right away! Not only can nannies use Daily Nanny to keep parents informed, but parents can also use it to keep spouses informed, or just use it as a way to store meaningful information about your kids early years. Parents can keep track of naps, meals, medicine etc, and store photos as well.

For nannies, you sign up, and if you were invited by a parent, you’ll see the kids you care for right away. If not, you can enter the kids you care for and invite their parents to use the app. Nannies can keep track of hours and overtime as well, so parents and nannies are always on the same page.

Q: How do I navigate the app? What information and tools are available to me within the app?

The app is very simple to use. There are four tabs. For parents, the first tab gives you a timeline of everything that has happened today, including meals, naps, photos and more. The second tab is a photo gallery of all the photos you or your nanny has uploaded of your kids. You can comment on photos, save them to your device, and share them with friends. The third tab is a group messaging thread between you, your nanny, and anyone else added to receive notifications about your kids. And the fourth tab lists your kids, detailed information about them, and allows you to go back in time and see what was entered in the past!

For nannies, everything is the same except for the first tab. You can clock in for the day and track your hours, see how much money is owed for the week, as well as manage all your shifts in the past. You can mark shifts as paid and enter/edit shifts in the past.

For a  video walkthrough of the app and additional information, check out the Daily Nanny website!

Daily Nanny copy

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Bell Family Teams Up with FDNY

To continue with CPR awareness from last week’s blog on CPR parties, we wanted to share Bell Family’s CPR training partnership with the FDNY team.

On September 6th, Bell Family hosted the FDNY to conduct their quarterly CPR training seminar to our sitters and nannies. The FDNY has been working with Bell Family for over six years, and we always appreciate them taking time out to help us be the best caregivers we can be.

FDNY went over Adult CPR, and had the caregivers practice on dummies. They learned all steps to performing CPR, and practiced chest compressions while humming along to “stayin alive”.

Our Nanny Services Manager, Lauren, then taught Infant and Child CPR, also while reviewing what to do if a child is ever choking, and basic first aid care.

It was a great night for all, and always a great refresher to know what to do in all situations while caring for infants and children.

Bell Family thanks everyone for coming, and we look forward to the next training! For any further information on what was learned, please contact us directly!

CPR-training

Written by  our Nanny Services Manager, Lauren Kruk

Bell Family in Connecticut

Bell Family has been servicing the Greenwich, CT and surrounding southern CT/Westchester County areas for approximately five years. It all started when our families began to move from the city to expand their families.

Greenwich Moms.com’s founder, Layla, recently did a feature on our company and three of our super sitters in the area. Our sitters in the Greenwich area are all college educated, have valid driver’s license, and are experienced childcare providers and LOVE kids!

To read the feature, click here !

We are excited to meet more families, as well as sitters and nannies in the area! If you are interested in joining our group, please e-mail us at info@bellfamilycompany.com.

House

 

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Installing a Nanny Cam

Thinking of installing a nanny cam? Make sure to read these laws first!

What Nanny Cam Laws Should I Know?
It can be difficult to make the decision to purchase a camera, but if you choose to, it’s important to know the legalities. Families can choose whether or not to tell their caregiver that they have a nanny cam. And there are two types of laws you need to be aware of: ones for video surveillance and ones for audio recordings.

  • Video surveillance laws: It’s legal to install a nanny cam in all 50 states, even if you choose to videotape your nanny without her consent. However, you can’t tape her in private areas of your home, such as the bathroom or a live-in nanny’s bedroom. If you do install a nanny cam, be sure to do so in common spaces, such as the kitchen or playroom.
  • Speech laws: While you can videotape your nanny, several states have laws to protect against audio recordings. If you live in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania or Washington, you must notify your nanny if you have a nanny cam that records both audio and video. Not only could you be prosecuted for violating this law, but any evidence of abuse or neglect found on the tape could be inadmissible during legal proceedings.

For more information, read the full article provided by Care.com here.

We also found two other articles that provide helpful info if you are still debating on the nanny cam purchase.

For the NY Times article, click here.

For the Brick House Security article, click here.

Learn to Be a Diapering Master

There are always questions that linger about the proper way to diaper an infant or toddler. We put together some basic rules to keep in mind so the next time it’s time to change, you’ll be taking care of business like a pro!

1. Remove the used diaper and clean between the folds of baby’s skin. Use gentle diaper wipes if the baby has very sensitive skin, or if he/she seems allergic use a wet cloth (with luke warm water).
IMPORTANT: Remember to always wipe front to back.

2. Raise baby carefully by the ankles and slide a clean diaper underneath. The colorful markings should be on the front, facing you. The stretchy tabs are in the back and get wrapped to the front.

3. Close the diaper and adjust the stretchy tabs. Make sure it isn’t too tight or too loose. You should be able to fit two fingers snuggly between the diaper and their stomach.

Top Tips:

Remember it’s important to check the baby’s diaper frequently. Change after every poop, and after every nap or feed (on average this is every three hours).

Cover the baby boy’s penis with a diaper or burp cloth while changing him to prevent getting a surprise shower yourself.

If you start to experience frequent leaks, it might be time to move up to the next diaper size.

Baby_blanket

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Know Your Nanny Reference Is Real

We all have a go-to list of questions that we ask on reference calls. It gets really impressive (or sad, not sure) once you’ve reached a point where you don’t even have to look down at the paper for what question to ask next. Then you think, if you can go on autopilot asking these questions, can your reference go on autopilot answering them?

This begs the question, how can you determine if a nanny reference is real? It’s easy for friends to team up, give a false name, and rave about him/her to their potential employer. Today, parents are lucky that there are a variety of ways that they can make sure the references they receive are real. In a recent article published by  Nanny Interview Questions, they discuss how to recognize if the nanny is right for the family, as well as if the family is right for the nanny.

We outlined a handful of the asking questions from the article below:

1. What’s the worst discipline experience you’ve had?
2.
How many nannies have you had?
3. 
How do you plan to support me when I discipline your children?
4.
Do you offer healthcare?
5.
What’s the one thing you’re really looking for in a nanny?

For the full article, “How to Verify a Nanny Reference is Real?” click here.

Court_girls

Written by our Social Media & Marketing Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Long-Term Benefits of Babysitting

People saw me babysitting and would tell me that I would be a great mom one day. I always smiled at that comment, which lead to day-dreaming of strolling down 5th Avenue pushing the hippest stroller with a baby of my own.

I’ve babysat a lot in my day… newborns to teens, one at a time, groups, you name it I did it. Obviously I’m an extreme case, which as you can see led me to starting a babysitting company. But it’s not just me who got the real-life childcare experience, it’s my hundreds of babysitters, too.

When I interview each bright-eyed new prospective sitter, I now emphasize how much this trade has better prepared me for motherhood. I always figured it would help, but now living through it I see how beneficial it really is.

One of my former sitters turned working moms, Monica, put it quite perfectly. “In many ways babysitting has made me more responsible and also a little more easy going about how to react to babies. I have a sense of calm when my son is crying or fussy because I’ve seen it before and I know that everything is okay and that it will pass.”

What a relief for her to have already experienced many crying babies; holding him, soothing, bottle prepping, and swaddling him. Monica has cared for many infants while babysitting, making it easy to see how motherhood came with much ease. Sure she said there are challenges each day, but it’s just easier after being a former sitter.

Brittany S. from Ohio is one of six children and has been caring for infants of multiple families for years. She is now a first-time mom to a five-week old boy. She says, “After seeing how different families react to a crying baby, I developed my own method; basically taking the things that worked when I babysat and using them on my own child.”

She is convinced babysitting has helped her to be a better mom. She goes on, “From the minute he was born I felt totally comfortable with taking care of him. There has never been an awkwardness when handling him and I almost feel like I have been doing this all my life.”

She basically has, Brittany started babysitting when she was 10-years old.

I went to see a lactation consultant to make sure my son and I were doing everything correctly, as this was not something babysitting could prepare me for. She shared that many moms come in awkward and nervous with their new bundle, as if they have never held a newborn before. It’s expected to be uncomfortable with something so new and tiny. She noted how she can differentiate new moms who have babysat or have worked in childcare and one’s who have not.

Both Monica and Brittany said how babysitting gave them the opportunity to see all babies are not alike; what works for one probably won’t work for another, and how nice it is to have a collection of nursery rhymes to sing, along with soothing moves that have worked.

I think the general state of calm and alarm is sensed by the baby. One of my past sitters observed a family that kept their baby on a very rigid feeding schedule, regardless if he was full. The baby of course reacted with spitting up and fussiness. The sitter asked if it was okay if she weighed in on the matter (as she has been babysitting for over 10 years and has witnessed this before). The mom said sure, the sitter then suggested feeding less at a time (take breaks) till the baby was full. That caused less spit ups and less fussiness by the end of the day.

How resourceful this sitter is, and how nice it will be when she becomes a mom herself and has all this knowledge in her back pocket.

Another longtime sitter Lindsey S. raves about how babysitting helped her prepare to be a mom. She said babysitting taught her three major things:

1) Babysitting taught me patience. Patience is truly a virtue and as my son becomes older (now almost 20 months); I have learned the importance of being patient and understanding.
2) Babysitting taught me how to be flexible. Boy does your life change when you have a baby of your own! It’s no longer your schedule, it’s their schedule! The ability to adapt to changes in daily routines and situations is so important.
3) Babysitting taught me to be tenacious. To never give up, no matter the situation.

There you have it, the benefits of being a babysitter beyond the special time you get to spend with lil’ ones and making some extra money. Babysitters are moms-in-the-making, and what wonderful moms they will be one day.

SistterMoms

Written by our CEO & Founder, 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! 

Lindsay_Brooks

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