All posts by bellfamilycompany

Bell Family Company Corporate Care Program

We are a tight-knit, loyal network of hundreds of affluent busy families. We are looking for small and big businesses that want to improve their employee’s benefits with a focus on family and child care. Our Corporate Care Program gives employees access to a unique, elite, ROI-positive benefit at an affordable cost. We offer flexible programs that can be tailored specifically to your business. We are a fully-licensed and insured LLC and equipped to care for children from newborn to 16 years.

Our Corporate Care Program Offers:

• Unique, gold-plated benefit at affordable, per employee cost
• Facilitates access to best-in-class family care
• Powerful employer ROI:

Reduced absenteeism
Increased employee productivity
Alleviates significant source of stress
Promotes employee work-life balance initiatives

Flexible Program Structures:

• Full company sponsorship of annual membership for employees
• Subsidized membership programs
• Pre-paid sitting programs
• Subsidized hourly rate programs
• On-site care available for trade shows, meetings, stadium family rooms
• Access to staff for corporate events such as holiday parties, retreats, team-building programs, etc.

Your company or organization can sign up for no cost to you. To get started or for more information, please contact us, we’d love to speak with you!

Written by Founder & Owner, Lindsay Bell

The Best Gift for Moms & Dads!

Want a holiday, birthday, baby shower or just a friendly “I care” gift idea for your spouse, mom and dad friends or family member?  What do parents need and want most of all … time off! Put money towards a Bell Family Gift Certificate to help with membership fees, a full or part time nanny placement, baby or night nurse placement or hours towards babysitting.

“I’m a new mom. Two of my friends were members of BFC, and each of them gifted me gift cards – it was amazing. I’m now a member myself!”

Of course the Bell Family team fully supports parent-time! The same old gifts can become rather dull, and if you’re anything like our mom team members, you want to pick out those things yourself. That’s part of the fun, right? We can make all arrangements for your friend or family member – no stress!

“One of my mom friends was struggling and needed a break. I sent her a $75 BFC gift card and she appreciated it so much!”

Simply contact us to purchase a gift certificate and indicate the amount you’d like to purchase. We will provide you with an e-card to print or email to the recipient. Happy gifting, readers!

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

The Only Toy Gift Guide Needed From NY Mag feat. Lindsay Bell

It’s that time of the year where our minds run wild trying to think of the perfect gift to give the children. Our Founder & Owner, Lindsay Bell, teamed up with The Strategist at NY Mag, and helped to create the ultimate toy gift guide for children ages 7, 9 and 10. Read for Lindsay’s top picks and check out the full lists per age group below. Happy shopping, readers!

For your 7-year-old: Ultimate Secret Formula Lab

“This chemistry lab is mesmerizing for those kids who like to mix potions,” says Lindsay Bell, founder of the Bell Family child-care company. It comes with beakers, test tubes, petri dishes, the works, and inside them you can combine mixtures of, say, phenol red and ammonia to create invisible vapors.

For your 9-year-old: ThinkFun Code Master Programming Logic Game

It’s an enticing concept — your avatar traveling to an exotic land to collect “power crystals.” First you have to write a program for yourself using the included Guide Scroll to set out your pathways along the map (this mimics the step-by-step sequences that need to be followed in computer programming). Once you snatch up all of the crystals on your designed route, collecting “action” tokens along the way, you win. What might not be noticed in all the intensity, though, is just how many fundamentals of programming you’re learning (even “conditional loops” and “branches”), which is why this game is a favorite of Lindsay Bell, founder and owner of Bell Family child-care company. Plus there are progressive levels of difficulty: An Amazon reviewer whose husband is an engineer wrote that even he enjoys the harder ones.

For your 10-year-old: Snap Circuits Arcade Electronics Exploration Kit

Snap Circuits, says Rumaan Alam, a novelist and father of a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old, “is one of a whole slew of toys meant to appeal to STEM true believers. I don’t know if it’ll ensure your kid grows up to be an engineer, but I do know my kids spent many a cooped-up winter day building an AM radio or figuring out how to turn a little motor.” Ruka Curate, founder of the Tiny Treasures Nanny Agency, recommends this arcade-themed kit, which is a more advanced Snap Circuits version for 10-year-olds. Another option, according to Lindsay Bell, founder and owner of Bell Family child-care company, is Snap Circuits Extreme, although it’s a bit more expensive.

For the full gift guides from The Strategist at NY Mag, visit the links below.

Toy Gift Guide for 7-Year-Olds
Toy Gift Guide for 9-Year-Olds
Toy Gift Guide for 10-Year-Olds

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

What Sitters & Nannies Are Saying About Being Apart of Bell Family’s Childcare Provider Team

Our sitters and nannies are saying some great things about being apart of Bell Family’s childcare services team. Our women-run business has an established reputation for quality and excellence in childcare, and our childcare providers agree! Read below as sitters and nannies share their positive experience working with our team and all of our wonderful families.

Working with Bell Family Company has been such a phenomenal experience! It’s a fantastic way for someone who loves babysitting and working with children to be put in touch with amazing families throughout New York City.

Erin, sitter with BFC for 6 years

Bell Family does a fantastic job of pairing sitters and families. They’re meticulous in ensuring that the sitters have adequate information in regards to times, addresses, and backgrounds on the children and families. Their experienced in-house team run a very professional show, and always respond to their sitters and families needs immediately. A great experience on all levels – wonderful families, responsible sitters, and very proficient manage.

Shannon, sitter with BFC for 2 years

I became a sitter with Bell Family last year and it has changed my life in so many positive ways. I wanted to find a babysitting job to make some extra cash on the side, but BFC has provided so much more than that. I have met such incredible families who have had a profound impact on my life. It’s so wonderful! While I feel I can be a positive influence and make a difference in the lives of these children – they are also making a difference in mine. I am so grateful to be a part of the Bell Family team.

Laurie, sitter with BFC for 3 years

I’ve been working with Bell Family for over 2 years and I am happy to be one of their most active sitters! While I work as a full-time Actor, I am relieved to spend the other part of my life around the wonderful children and families that are associated with BFC. The children I have met have enriched my life, and I hope I have enriched theirs. It’s a wonderful gift to be able to work with such a fine company, and such playful children.

Laura, sitter with BFC for 2 years

I’m completely in love with the family you paired me with! You guys did such a good job placing me with them! Perfect match.

Larissa, nanny with BFC for 2 years

I am really, really happy working with the family you paired me with. They are super nice (thoughtful, grateful, kind, generous, respectful, good with communication) and their kids are just so sweet, lovely and perfect! Honestly, they might be the nicest people I have ever worked for and I am extremely grateful and excited to continue my long term journey with them.

Cynthia, nanny with BFC for 2 years

I tell everyone about your agency – you guys are truly the best! Again, thank you for giving me the chance to do something I love and something that I believe really matters (being a great role model for children).

Sandra, nanny with BFC for 1 year

What Families Are Saying About Bell Family’s High-Quality, Reliable Childcare

Our member families are saying some great things about Bell Family’s childcare services. Our women-run business has an established reputation for quality and excellence in childcare, and families agree! Read below as families share their positive experience working with our team and fun-loving and experienced sitters, nannies and family helpers.

We have used Bell Family Company services for over six years and are so impressed with the wonderful babysitters sent to us. Every one of them has been capable, loving, knowledgeable and fun! My children get so excited every time they come over.

Betsey, mother of 2

I wanted to let you know my 3-year-old endorses your sitters, always! He remembers them and asks for them by name, and even when we have someone new he is beyond quick to say goodbye to me. I couldn’t be more thrilled with that!

Heather, mother of 1

As a busy mom and entrepreneur, I don’t have a fixed schedule. Bell Family Company gives me the best of both worlds: the absolute highest-quality child care — but only when I need it! Their sitters are dynamic, fun and safety-conscious. I get the flexibility I need with the peace of mind I demand.

Elise, mother of 3

Thank you so much for sending two amazing girls to help with our event. They were adorable and full of energy, and all of the kids and mommies loved them. They didn’t stop moving for one moment and were consistently asking what they could do, how they could help, etc. They are such professionals, it’s simply a pleasure!

Annie, Owner of Blast Events NYC

The party you helped us with was AMAZING. The kids had so much that no one wanted to leave! Some of the kids even came up to me and said it was the best birthday party they have ever been to, and to promise to have another one next year just like this one. Thanks to your awesome family helpers who made this last minute birthday party a big success!

UES Mom

I wanted to thank you for your hard work getting us through a very difficult transition of hiring a full time nanny. I’m not sure what we would have done without you! We had worked with another agency last fall, and the difference in experience was night and day. We were very impressed with the quality of candidates you sent us, as well as with your judgment as to who would be a good fit for us.

Cissie, mother of 2

To learn more about Bell Family and the services we provide, visit our website!

Best of Halloween: Bell Family Style

The women behind Bell Family Company are taking a stroll down memory lane and sharing their favorite Halloween memories this week. From country to city style trick-or-treating, and DIY costumers – there’s bound to be a story that will take you back to your favorite Halloween.

Lindsay Bell, Founder & Owner

My favorite Halloween memory was last year’s trick-or-treat in our new neighborhood. It was just like what you’d hope for after watching your millionth Halloween movie. The local police mark off the street so that no traffic can get through – making it safe for all to walk – and then crazy town is born (in a good way)! Thousands of trick-or-treaters roam the area, and parents are decked out in costume along with their kids. Almost every house on the road participates, with some homes going all out with decorations, spooky music, open bar on the porch for Mom & Dad, and the list goes on. I can’t wait for this year!

Lindsay’s two little boys in their Halloween best.

Meredith Hamler, Sitter Services Manager

My best memory of Halloween is that every year up until I was about 13-years-old, my grandma and I would go to the fabric store and pick out a pattern of the fabric I wanted, and then we would make my costume together.

Meredith and her Grandmother’s homemade costume making.

Lauren Kruk, Nanny Services Manager

I always loved dressing up for Halloween! My hair has been very blonde my whole life, and for one Halloween, my mom had me dress as an Indian and sprayed my hair black. No one knew who I was at first! It was fun, but messy! We had a great neighborhood with a ton of kids, so trick-or-treating was always an adventure walking around the block.

Lauren (feat. her hairdresser mom) in her Indian costume.

Christine Bell, Recruitment & Retention

There is one vivid memory of Halloween as a mom of 5, piling the kids in the car in full dress, trying not to smash anyone’s costume or get it caught in the door. Trick-or-treating in the country meant driving in the dark from driveway to driveway, stopping long enough to open the doors and let the witches, scarecrows, cheerleaders or whatever other costume I could creatively throw together, out to run across someone’s yard to collect their treats.

We had Halloween’s of all kinds in northeast Ohio – rain, snow, heat – it was always a grab bag. Perks of a country Halloween: households with insight gave out large candy bars and individual bags of candy to these very special Halloween ghouls.

Chris’s 5 kiddos on Halloween night, 1992.

Courtney Garvey, Sitter Services Coordinator

One of my favorite Halloween memories is my first Halloween with my kids. It was so fun dressing them up; we were the Three Little Pigs and my husband was the Big Bad Wolf! I love everything about Halloween in general and now so do my daughters, so it makes the whole experience that much better!

Courtney and her twin daughters dressed as the
Three Little Pigs.

Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

Trick-or-treating always involved teaming up with my best friend to wander the development that a lot of my classmates lived in. The best years were the years we thought of a good group costume: my favorite being when we went as Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs. Shoutout to my friend’s grandmother who worked tirelessly to knit our costumes!

After trick-or-treating we’d always pour our candy buckets out on the living room floor and trade pieces back and forth until it was time to go home.

Taylor and her friend’s dressed as Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs in middle school.

Fall Happenings Around NYC

Festivals, markets, and all of the pumpkin-themed fun possible. We searched around for some fall events in and around NYC that would be great for a family-fun day! Browse through our list, plan your adventure and tag us in your photos on Facebook, so we can get in on the fun too!

Harvest Homecoming
When: October 20, 2019 (11 a.m.-5 p.m.)
Where: Brooklyn Botanical Garden
About: Discover an old-school fall foliage festival in the heart of Brooklyn—complete with hay rides, carnival games, music, and more! Local cider makers and kombucha brewers offer tastings, a farmers’ market features heritage apples from local orchards, and kids can debut their Halloween costumes in a high-energy drum parade.

Scary Bazaar
When: October 27, 2019 (10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.)
Where: Grand Bazaar NYC
About: Grand Bazaar NYC transforms for Halloween into a “Scary Bazaar”. Expect to be greeted by creepy crawly and ghostly decorations, and explore the 140+ spooky vendors – many in costume – indoors and outdoors. There will be a fantastic selection of scary sweet treats from artisanal food vendors. Get your scare on and come out for a fun day for the whole family and maybe uncover unearthly finds!

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
When: October 3-31, 2019 and every weekend in November
Where: Croton-On-Hudson, NY
About: Witness an army of more than 7,000 glowing pumpkins in the tristate area’s most spirited Halloween happening, It’s also one of the best and easiest day trips from NYC!

Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla
When: October 30, 2019 (4 p.m.-7 p.m.)
Where: Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (inside the Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues)
About: Celebrate the Halloween season in Central Park. Listen to ghost stories, check out a costume parade and get creative by carving a pumpkin. After the festivities, the Central Park Conservancy will partake in a traditional Pumpkin Flotilla, where 50 gourds (possibly your creation) will take a sail across the Harlem Meer at twilight.

Written by Taylor Bell, Social Media & Marketing

Revamp of the Packed Lunch

Packing lunches can become mundane. As I’m the one packing it, I want to make it more fun for both my sons and me!

There is a wide variety of lunch box options today. We use two different types: a cooler fold up one and a Tupperware one with separate sections to save on plastic bags and make it easy to eat.

There are so many allergies to consider when packing – our schools provide a list of what is not permitted – so I keep that top of mind when grocery shopping and packing.

I try to mix it up daily. I make sure it is balanced; a meat, veggie or fruit, a healthy carbohydrate and then a special treat. I’ll throw in a love note that my son can’t read yet too.

Easy protein options: Chicken apple sausage (I make it the night before), beef jerky packs (I found at Costco) organic pepperoni, and humus with crackers is a hit, too.

Fruits: I’ll cut up anything and put it in Tupperware, or buy the Dole mandarin oranges or dried fruits (mango, raisins, etc.). If I’m in a hurry I’ll pack a fruit or veggie pouch.

Veggies: I’ll make broccoli, carrots or peas the night before and pack in Tupperware, or cut up cucumbers.

Dairy: Cheese or yogurt are my go-to’s. Don’t forget the spoon!

Special treat: We’ll make cookies the night before, or get a variety of fruit snacks. My boys also like Lara bars.

My 18mo-old enjoying the hummus life.

Written by Lindsay Bell, Founder & Owner

The Why & How of Spring Cleaning

I have a confession. I’m one of those maniacally organized people who, in spite of a demanding job and two little ones, cannot sleep when the house hasn’t been returned to order. My house is organized. There. I admit it. My containers match, I fastidiously use a label maker and you know  what, I love a good surface wipe. But, even though my house is pretty organized most of the  time, I still get that urge to turn the place upside down and go all Container Store on it every April. Why?! Trust me, I do not need another single thing to do. And, every year when I’m knee  deep in a pile of stuff while both of my kids nap (I know what’s WRONG with me) I think –  WHY?! Why do I feel compelled, driven even, to participate in full blown spring cleaning  whenever the tulips pop?

Turns out there are strong cultural roots pulling us towards trashing our homes only to immediately set them right again when the sun starts shining. This practice is shared around the world, supported by biology and part of deep rooted American traditions. In the Jewish faith the  house is rigorously cleaned in anticipation of Passover and Christian faiths suggest various cleaning rituals starting on lent and throughout the days leading up to Easter. Iranian New Year, Nowruz, falls on the first day of spring and dictates a thorough house cleaning too. For the agnostic among us, longer, sunnier days mean less melatonin fogging our brains, and less  melatonin means more available energy. And for the history buffs, during the long winter frontier families’ homes would become covered with soot from the fires used for cooking and heat.

When the weather was finally warm enough to open the windows these homes got a through scrub down to remove that soot layer.

Now that I’m convinced spring cleaning isn’t just me killing time I don’t have, I’m going to break down how you can make it happen this spring in spite of all of the other things demanding your time and attention (because you know you want to…).

Set Your Goals
Pick one or two priority areas that need your attention the most and define your goals for the space. For example, if you chose your entryway, your goal might be getting out the door in the morning faster. If you’ve chosen your kids toy room, maybe your goal is to bring older toys to light again. By defining your goal you will automatically align your actions with your desired end result.

Out, Sort, Distribute – Repeat
Pull everything out of the space you’ve chosen and set it out so you can see as much of it as possible. Sort your belongings into 3 piles, Keep, Donate, Lives Elsewhere. Organize the Keep pile in a way that supports your goal. Ferry the Lives Elsewhere stuff to its rightful home and  drop those donations off early in the season so those who need them most can take advantage  of your generosity.

Keep It Simple
If you have a bunch of time on your hands, sure, go full on Marie Kondo, but if you have limited  time and competing priorities what sparks joy for you might be getting that one cabinet in order so you don’t have sippy cups raining down upon you every time you open it. And you know  what? That totally counts. Keep it simple and do what works for you.

Our team of expert, skilled and savvy GYST Assistants had a few things to say on the topic too. GYST Assistants are excellent spring cleaning partners and even better than doing it yourself is  delegating to an expert. GYST Assistants will help you set up organizational systems that are  efficient, effective and easy to maintain and Bell Family Company families enjoy exclusive access to GYST Assistants on a project basis. Give us a call at (917) 912-9206 or say hi@gystplease.com to learn more. Our goal is to set our clients free to focus on what matters  most.

About GYST
GYST sources, selects, educates and retains top personal and executive assistants and offers clients a flexible, high level assistant experience in a program optimized for long term success. Learn more at www.gystplease.com.

A special thanks to Brooke Stone, Founder and CEO of GYST, who shared her exploration of spring cleaning, organization tips and advice from GYST Assistants.

Simple Summer Fun!

Now that burnout is an official medical diagnosis, I think it’s a good time to bring some simplicity back into our lives this summer.

There is always the temptation of the zillion great summer camp options available. I’ll admit I signed up for a week long one, one for each of my kids with the school they will be attending in the fall. The intention was to practice getting used to that school so drop off in the fall would be a breeze for both kid and me… mostly me.

This simple summer phenomena is not genius. It was how I was raised and probably how most of you and your parents were raised. With how complicated life seems to be today, here is what we will be doing to bring simplicity back. Beware, your kids may be bored at times, but I think that’s good! That’s when creativity is born!

  1. Set up a safety town outside in the driveway. Grandma sent kid size street signs that are easy to set up and take down.
  2. Host a lemonade stand and have your child make flyers to drop off at the neighbor’s house (this is the entrepreneur in me).
  3. Swim, swim, swim! At home or a local pool (invite friends over, play pool games, etc.).
  4. Play in the back yard. Sit toys or objects out and let the kids use their imagination to build and play.
  5. Set up different areas in the house with different activities (e.g., front yard is sidewalk chalk, media room is trains, office is reading).
  6. Go on a walk.
  7. Go to a splash pad.
  8. Pick vegetables at your garden or a local garden.
  9. Water plants and teach your child about taking care of the environment.
  10. Help clean up and make it a game.
  11. Help mom cook! Teach your child about measuring cups, measuring spoons and practice the names of the ingredients.
  12. Visit Grandma and Grandpa for bonding time.
  13. Take a nap or have downtime/rest.

Written by our Founder & Owner, Lindsay Bell