Tag Archives: sitter

Training Thursday Vol. 8 – Good Manners

Welcome to volume eight 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 good manners.

As we all gear up for summer, here are some fast good manners to keep fresh in your mind.

1. ALWAYS text or e-mail the family once you get a confirmation e-mail. Families love that you go the extra step to make them feel comfortable and ensure that you’ll be there.

2. Google map the address beforehand, so that you are on-time! Nothing is worst than being late to an appointment. If you are running late due to transportation issues, make sure you notify the family via e-mail or text, so they have a heads up.

3. When you enter the family’s home; take off your shoes (if that is a house rule), wash your hands and shake the parent’s hand to introduce yourself (if it is your first appointment with them).

4. DO NOT BE ON YOUR MOBILE DEVICE. We can’t stress this enough based on parent feedback. The sitter should not be on their phone, unless to contact the parent. That also means do not take videos, photos, or post on social media about the kids and/or family.  If the children are asleep and you have downtime, it is fine to be on your mobile device. Make sure you use your own data, unless the family offers their wifi.

5. Always clean up after the children and yourself; put dishes in the dishwasher, clean up toys (get the kids to help).

6. Stay organized. Make sure you check your BFC calendar and know about all upcoming jobs. If you are unsure, e-mail us and we’ll help!

Read here for Parent’s Magazine ‘25 Manners Kids Should Know’. You are their teacher, and children learn from example. Be a great example for the kids!

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 workers.

HandHold

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.

 

Why Choose Bell Family Company?

Letting a new person into your home to watch your child can seem like a daunting matter. There are so many childcare services out there, but not all of them are a good fit for your family.

It’s so important to be thorough in your childcare search and here is why.

In a recent article published on the CafeMom website, they share a story of a mom who hired a sitter, and then discovered through her online search that she was a felon!

The mom was in a bind when her usual babysitter cancelled that morning, and she had (stay-at-home) work to be done on a deadline. With the family being new to the area they didn’t know anyone else nearby. As a result, the mom turned to a “Sitters and Tutors” Facebook group.

When the sitter (who claimed to be a mom herself) arrived, all seemed normal and the toddler gravitated toward her immediately. The mom soon got back to looking into the credentials of the Facebook group, and those of the girl that was now in her house watching her child. That is when the discovery of the fraudulent babysitter occurred. Upon her further investigation, the mom found out that the sitter only had nine friends, and a profile picture that was a stock image of a fireplace. That made it relevant that her Facebook profile/group was fake, and the identity of the sitter was a mystery.

The mom managed to handle the situation calmly and collectively, and got the sitter out of the house with her not suspecting she was onto her. However, when the mom returned to her computer to Google the sitter, she found her mug shot and read that she was previously arrested for credit card theft.

This story is alarming for any parent to read, and makes it evident that families need to be extra cautious as to where they are seeking childcare.

This is why Bell Family Company is a great fit for your childcare needs:

- Our core mission is to provide the highest quality family care in a convenient & efficient manner.
- Our sitters and nannies are the best in the business and become true, long term role models for your children.
- Our  GoodHire Background Check Process provides parents peace of mind that their little ones are always in great hands.
- Our comprehensive suite of offerings reduces daily stress for today’s busy families.
- We are a licensed, bonded & insured.

Sign up today to be apart of our family, and to have yours in great hands!

Outside-sitting

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 4 – Kitchen Safety with Kids

Welcome to volume four 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 kitchen safety with kids!

The first bit of advice is to always follow the parent’s instruction on the family’s kitchen rules. The other advice is as follows:

1. Oven: Make sure the children are always kept away from the oven to ensure they don’t touch it, or pull down the handle. Even if it is not on, it’s good practice to keep them away from it.

2. Microwave: The general rule is to keep children away from it when it’s on. Pay special attention to those that are near the floor. If that is the case, keep the children away from it.

3. Outlets: All outlets should have stoppers, and even if the outlet has stoppers, still keep the children away from it. It’s not something they should play with. If you are at a place without stoppers, keep the children away, or block it with another object.

4. Cords: Cords should always be out of a child’s reach. The child could pull it down on themselves or wrap it around their body/neck causing strangulation.

5. Cleaning Supplies: If you need to clean something up, make sure you are not spraying bleach, or any other harmful chemical around the children. Use a green friendly cleaner to wipe up the mess. Also, make sure the cleaning supplies are far from the child’s reach at ALL times.

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 workers.

Ava_Amelia_eat

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.

Training Thursday Vol. 3 – Snack Time

Welcome to volume three 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 snack time!

1. First and foremost, be cognizant of ANY and ALL food allergies. Always read ingredient labels and if you are still not certain, snap a photo of it with your phone and send to the parent to ask. Always ask if you are not 100% certain. If you see or sense an off reaction to a food, contact the parent immediately.

2. Solids typically start when the child is six months, usually in a pureed state (before six months babies digestive systems are not developed to digest solid foods). Some families make their own baby food in a food processor and some will buy baby food.

3. Once the baby is beyond pureed foods and ready for big boy/girl food, EVERYTHING needs to be chopped up in small pieces, so it’s easy to munch with their gums (as some babies don’t get teeth till 12-18 months).

4. Warning foods: grapes, blueberries, hotdogs, oranges – be wary of the casing – peel it off or chop up as much as possible.

5. Babies and children should sit in their highchair, booster, or chair at the table to keep messes in the kitchen. It’s a way for them to practice good eating habits at a table with the family.

6. For babies and toddlers use a bib, or for younger children, a placemat to keep their clothes and surrounding area as neat as possible.

7. Depending on the pediatrician, babies start drinking water around six months old. Follow the parents instruction on how much water the child should have throughout the day.

When heating foods, always test the food before you give it to a child to make sure the temperature is not too hot.

Every family has a different way of doing things. Always ask the family for full instruction on how they would like you to prepare foods.

If the child is not taking the food for some reason text the family and let them know. Always keep full records of how much the baby eats when in your care.

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 workers.

Eating

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.

What Parents Want in a Sitter

To pinpoint only a few items that parents look for in a sitter can be difficult. When it comes to someone else caring for their little one(s), the ”want” list in terms of childcare can soon fill an entire notebook.

So, what exactly are parents looking for? We asked a dozen families, what are the top three things they want in a sitter?

1. Reliability - Be on time!
2. Ability to engage - Energetic and positive sitter to play with their child.
3. Trust - Knowing that the sitter will always do what is right.

Additionally, we were able to gather a handful of parents from Bell Family to provide insight as to what they look for in a sitter. Here’s what they had to say…

“The most important thing is a responsible person who we can immediately trust with the safety and well being of our child.”
Mom of 1, Tribeca

“I want my son to feel loved and cared for while I’m gone. I want a sitter that will smile, laugh, dance, play and engage him. Seeing a happy baby when I get home makes me feel less bad for leaving.”
Mom of 1, Midtown East

“Knowing I can go to work and focus on providing for my family with peace of mind that my little one is in great hands, is the most at-ease feeling a working mom can hope for.”
Mom of one, 9 months

“A key aspect when choosing a babysitter for our son, was knowing our sitter personally and understanding her experience and how that will assist with her time with our son. I know that’s not always the case when searching for a qualified babysitter so I would rely highly on recommendations. I would observe his interactions with someone we were interviewing in addition to the recommendations by others.”
Mom of one, 6 months

“The sitter needs to have been recommended by someone I trust.”
Mom of one, 3yrs old

The Bell Family team is confident that if you take this advice with you on all of your sitting adventures, you will make for one praiseworthy sitter!

Kiss_edited-1

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

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

Sitter 411

Are you looking for a refresher on caring for children. Here are some helpful posts we have done over the past few months to help guide sitters. It is always a good idea to stay informed and updated on the latest childcare trends as methods do change.

1. Diapering
2. Burping
3. Nap & Bedtime Schedules
4. CPR
5. Bath Time
6. Teething
7. Entertaining Kids
8. Bee Stings, Mosquito Bites and Food Allergies
9. Swaddling 

If you have any questions please contact us! We are always here to support our sitters in providing the best of care.

Ava_pushing stroller

 

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

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.