Bell Family Company

Meet Michal Berg CEO & President of Spirituality for Kids International, Inc.

We recently had the opportunity to partner with CEO & President of Spirituality for Kids (SFK), Michal Berg, whose nonprofit organization is helping serve children, parents, and professionals all around the world. Learn more about her organization and journey through our Q&A below.

Q: What are you doing differently, or how have you adjusted your program to adapt in the COVID-19 world?

A: SFK courses were always available as online self-paced courses. When quarantine started, many parents that otherwise didn’t feel they had the time, enrolled in the kids’ online courses and our parenting course. We offered a significant discount for all our programs between 35%-75% besides our ongoing scholarship program, where we provide financial assistance to anyone who requires it. We also launched a FREE Daily Tune-In inspirational email and a weekly Family Activity to help parents and caregivers navigate these trying times.

Q: SFK offers online courses for both children and parents to do in their home, which is crucial in today’s environment. What are some courses children and parents can sign-up for, and what can they expect to learn in those courses?

A: Our award-winning online Spiritual Social-Emotional Education Program includes two learning levels: Winning in the Game of Life™ and Exploring the Journey of Life™ are suitable for children 8-12 years old. Children learn how to manage their emotions, boost their confidence, ignite their compassion, and understand cause and effect, the power of their words, among many other concepts through engaging videos and characters, fun activities, art projects, and journaling. 

Our Parenting course, Parenting the soul, takes parents on a personal journey to discover their parenting manual within and offers insights and easy, practical tools on how to best support their children while practicing self-love and self-care. You can learn more about our courses at https://courses.sfk.org/.

Q: What things as a mother to 5 children (hold for applause) have you learned that you have carried over to your SFK work?

A: One of the greatest lessons I learned as a parent to many children is that it is not all up to me. Each child is so different – how they experience life, how they react to situations, what they believe about themselves, and their level of consciousness. And my primary role is to love and support them, to my best ability, on their unique journey. Their successes are not mine, as well as their failures. As parents, we tend to take everything personally, learning to set ourselves free from that mindset, not only makes our lives more peaceful but also giving the necessary space for our children to be and evolve.

Q: For those families who already have busy schedules and are unable to attend courses, how can they still give back and support SFK? (hint: DONATE)

A: SFK is a 501(c)3 educational non for profit organization with an international reach with our outreach initiatives in more than 21 countries outside the US and scholarships. You can help by donating at https://sfk.org/donate/.

Michal Berg, CEO & President, SFK

BFC Team Experience Leads to Finding the Best Childcare Providers

Our team is comprised of social workers, certified coaches, former nannies, teachers as well as working mothers who match families with childcare providers suited to the specific developmental needs of their child. What team could be better in helping you to find the best childcare providers in the business?

My first summer nanny job was when I was 16. I cared for 3 girls ages 5, 6 and 7, weekdays from 8am-4pm for a single mom. I did everything I could think of to help make the mom’s job easier. Since then, I have probably provided childcare for 100 different families, and along my childcare journey I have learned about different types of families, parenting styles, dynamics, when to make a quick decision and how to make a tough one. Now as a mother myself, I get to see another angle of childcare through the lenses of a parent. I believe each childcare placement requires a special intuition, high emotional intelligence and real life nanny and life experience.

Lindsay Bell, Founder & Owner

I have been with BFC for over 7 years in all different forms. First, as a babysitter while in college in NYC, then as a full time nanny for two years and now in office for about 5 years. I have seen all sides of the business and understand what it’s like to be both in the sitter’s or nanny’s shoes, and how a family experiences childcare. With that knowledge, I do my best to place the best caregivers in the business!

Meredith Hamler, Sitter Services Manager

My past experience as a full time nanny not only helped shape me into the person I am today, but has also allowed me to connect with families on a deeper level. I was a full time nanny for twins starting when they were just 8 weeks old. I was the family’s first and only nanny randomly selected; we learned so much from one another and to this day are very close. I know what to look for in great caregivers; I carefully look at a family’s job musts and ages of their children to select nannies that will connect the best with them. We want to place nannies who care about the family’s children just as much as they do, which is why our hand selected process works so well.

Lauren Kruk, Nanny Services Manager

I had 35 years of experience as an Educator speaking with parents and fellow Educators, which has allowed me to see many perspectives in managing and educating children and parents. When speaking with nannies and families that have been references, I use this experience in making judgments and empathizing with people.

Christine Bell, Recruitment & Retention Coordinator

My time with BFC began in its starting days when it was known as Lucky Lil’ Darlings. In the years I lived in NYC I babysat for dozens of families ages infant to teens, where I helped with evening, daytime, weekend and TravelSitting. I have such fond memories of the families that I sat for, from going on spring break trips to just having pizza and movie nights. That experience has led me to finding the best sitters to join the BFC team and understand both the sitter’s and family’s needs.

Courtney Garvey, Sitter Services Coordinator

My high school weekends were filled with babysitting for my baby cousins and neighbors down the road. After college I moved to NYC, and while there I became a BFC sitter! I met some amazing families and was able to take my experience from growing up into the city life. Now, I keep my experience alive through my 8 nieces and nephews; perks of being the youngest of 4 siblings.

Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media Consultant

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny in NYC? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted on-demand babysitting, including childcare for when a child is sick, full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care and more! Learn why BFC is the best NY Childcare Agency servicing the tri-state area. Contact us today to hire a nanny in NYC or to book the best babysitters in NYC!

BFC COVID-19 Protection Plan

Every family has a different set of rules and preferences when it comes to protecting their family and caregivers during COVID-19. We will ask each family for what makes them feel most comfortable and communicate that to each caregiver. We will also communicate any questions or requests from the caregiver to the family.

Best practices that caregivers (sitters and nannies) are taking:

  1. Wearing masks
  2. Wearing gloves
  3. Carrying disinfectant wipes and ensuring that they wipe down all surfaces that they come in contact with on the way to work (car door handles, building doors, stroller handles, etc.)
  4. Being advised to not shake hands with anyone
  5. Washing hands upon entering a home for 20 seconds with soap and warm water
  6. Ensuring they take off shoes at the front door or outside family home; some are leaving coats at the door or bringing a change of clothes separate from what they wore commuting
  7. Keeping a safe distance (6 feet) from others when able to
  8. Asking parents’ permission prior to touching/holding a child

Bell Family Company asks each caregiver the following preliminary questions before meeting a family:

  1. Would you be able to share if you have had your flu shot this year? If you have proof, are you able to send that to us?
  2. Would you be able to share if you have traveled anywhere within the last 30 days? If yes, where? Was it via plane, train, car, etc.?
  3. What type of public transportation do you take?
  4. Are you able to share if you are currently sick? Are you able to share if you have a temperature? If yes, are you able to share your symptoms?
  5. Are you able to share if you have quarantined for 14 days? If yes, what were the dates?
  6. Have you been in contact with any other people over the past 14 days? If yes, are you able to share who?

Resources: 1) COVID-19 Resources for Household Employers 2) Employing Household Workers During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

Disclaimer: The information and guidance provided in this document is believed to be current and accurate at the time of posting, but it is not intended as, and should not be construed to be, legal, financial, medical, or consulting advice. 

How to Set Up a Zoom Meeting


Like most companies, Bell Family is moving all interviews to Zoom for the time being. We have outlined questions below that will help answer anything you need to know beforehand to make the process as simple as possible.

Q: How do I set up a Zoom account?

A: Simply click here to sign up for free, and download to your phone, tablet or computer.

Q: Do I need to have a Zoom account for my virtual interview with the agency?

A: Nope! You do not need to create an account to join the meeting, but you will need to have Zoom downloaded on your computer or phone.

Q: How will I know how to join the Zoom interview?

A: You will receive an email from the agency a few minutes before your interview. All you need to do is click on that link. If you are more than 5 minutes late we will cancel the interview.

Q: What documents do I need to have prepared prior to my interview?

A: A list of required documents is in the interview confirmation email. You may email us if you have any questions.

Q: How do I submit the required documents that the agency requires?

A: Simply upload all documents directly to your profile (instructions are in the interview confirmation email). If you have any issues uploading anything, just email us and we will help you or have you text or email us the documents. 

Q: How will I know what day and time my Zoom interview is with the agency?

A: You will receive a confirmation via email from the agency with the date and time of your interview. This email will also explain everything in detail. If you have any additional questions, simply email us back and we will help you!

Q: How long will the interview be?

A: The interview will be no more than 40 minutes. We will try to keep it at 30 minutes. You will have up to 5 minutes to join; please join the Zoom meeting per the email instructions sent at the scheduled time.

Ways to Keep Kids Engaged & Entertained at Home

With life at home being the new normal, parents are struggling to find new ways to keep their kids engaged and entertained without leaving the house. There are several resources surrounding this topic now, so we took some time to collect a short list of our favorite findings to help save from endless scrolling.

From virtual field trips, craft projects and yoga, your family is bound to find activities that will help keep the kids entertained. You can even learn about space from an actual Astronaut with thanks to the Kennedy Space Center!

Keeping Kids Active: What Parents Can Do
Physical Activity & Nutrition
Creative Activities for Kids
Science Experiments
Online Music, Language, Cooking & More
Scholastic Learn & Read
Art Making Activities
Stay-at-Home Resources From MommyPoppins: Homeschooling Support, STEM, Games & More

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny in NYC? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted on-demand babysitting, including childcare for when a child is sick, full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care and more! Learn why BFC is the best NY Childcare Agency servicing the tri-state area. Contact us today to hire a nanny in NYC or to book the best babysitters in NYC!

My Childcare Agency Is Open, Why Are Decision Makers’ Minds Closed?

Care taking has been ingrained in me since I was a child. I became a big sister when I was one and have been a caretaker ever since. From my early teens through my twenties, I babysat for everyone I could – and I loved it. That is why I started my childcare placement agency Bell Family Company, 10 years ago in New York City.

Now, I am a mother of two boys under four years old and run my small business from my home. Like many moms, I am juggling my day-job with ‘daycare and school’ for my children in our “new normal” resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every day there is a new article about how working from home with children is an impossible task. There is, “As Companies Reopen, Employees Scramble to Find Child Care” and “If America Doesn’t Invest in Childcare, Who Will Watch Our Kids When We Go Back to Work?” Reliable and flexible childcare was necessary before this pandemic struck, now it’s proven to be imperative.

While my agency concentrates on the tri-state area, there are agencies all over the United States that can assist employers big and small in referring help. There is not a one-size fits all approach, so a variety of service options must be available to working parents. This is a vital benefit, and employers and the government must step in to help.

In my endless attempts to reach out to employers big and small to educate them on our services and how we can help, the story is the same. I usually speak with a woman in Human Resources and she gets it immediately. Then the conversation begins to breakdown;
“It will be tough to get past the board”, or “There is too much red tape or liability involved”, blah blah blah … nothing gets done. And here we are, amidst a global pandemic in a country that is supposed to thrive on innovation, entrepreneurship and the American dream; and the problem is what do we do with our kids?

Employers and/or the government need to build a committee or board full of employees that are parents. The committee needs to come up with a list of agencies and other resources to refer to their families. Employers and the government need to then build a benefits program or package including ways that the company will help the parent (i.e., provide reimbursement on childcare hours).

The business community and government must work together to put forth viable solutions that support American families. If employers truly care about their employees and want to retain top talent, then they must offer modern-day caretaker policies that are flexible, reliable and affordable. If governments want thriving families and a strong economy, they must act as well.

The time for change is now and I am here to help. Please contact me  if I can be of service in anyway.

Written by Lindsay Bell, Small Business Owner & Working Mom

Make Your Caregiver Bio Stand Out

To help get you started, use the questions below to help write your caregiver bio. You should provide answers in complete sentences and write in first person (i.e., “Hi, my name is Jane and I am from New York City.”). Your bio should consist of anything that may be relevant to the job and makes you unique. Be as concise as possible – limit your bio to 1,000 words max.

  • Where are you from? Where do you live now? Are you moving anytime soon?
  • How long have you lived in (city name) or the surrounding area?
  • Did you go to college? Where? What degree/focus?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • How much caregiving experience do you have (pets, children, children with special needs, baby nurse, elderly, etc.)?
  • What age range of children have you worked with? Do you have a preference?
  • What special capabilities do you have (languages, assistant, household manager, driving, swimming, etc.)?
  • Are you willing to travel? Do you have a passport?
  • What type of job are you looking for (full or part time, weekends, live-in or live-out)?
  • Do you have any certifications (CNA, HHA, CPR/AED, First Aid)?

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny in NYC? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted on-demand babysitting, including childcare for when a child is sick, full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care and more! Learn why BFC is the best NY Childcare Agency servicing the tri-state area. BFC is the best in the business! Contact us today to hire a nanny in NYC or to book the best babysitters in NYC!

Etiquette & Manners: How to Set Yourself Apart From Other Caregivers

It’s important not only to make a great first impression, but also to maintain ongoing good etiquette and manners to keep the relationship between you and the family healthy and happy!

Here are some helpful tips to ensure excellence:

  1. The family wants to like you, so make it easy for them! Present yourself with grace and warmth, and SMILE!
  2. Be sure to look the part. Be clean, groomed and put-together, while keeping your appearance kid-friendly and comfortable (i.e., nothing low-cut, above the knees, torn, dirty or see-through).
  3. Don’t use inappropriate language or chew gum.
  4. When first meeting the parents, it’s respectful to address them by Mr. or Ms. “Last Name” until they ask you to call them by their first name. Introduce yourself with eye contact, a handshake and a smile!
  5. Follow the family rules (even when you don’t agree). If you have questions about this, ask our team and we’d be happy to help.
  6. Be aware of using the family’s things and what is permitted or off limits.
  7. When running late, always email/text that you are behind. Do not make it a habit, but we and families understand transportation can have delays.
  8. Ask in advance if you need to leave early (a week’s notice is appropriate timing).
  9. If you get sick and you are a full or part time nanny, let the family  know well in advance. If you are a sitter, email HQ and let them know so they can find a replacement.

Great nanny & sitter characteristics:

• Respectful
• Loyal
• Helpful
• Honest
• Open-minded

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny in NYC? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted on-demand babysitting, including childcare for when a child is sick, full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care and more! Learn why BFC is the best NY Childcare Agency servicing the tri-state area. BFC is the best in the business! Contact us today to hire a nanny in NYC or to book the best babysitters in NYC!

Bell Family Company Offering Virtual Sitters

Due to COVID-19, Bell Family has launched Virtual Sitters to provide childcare relief to families across America.

To book a Virtual Sitter, simply click here and fill in the form. We will then coordinate everything and get you booked!

Our Virtual Sitters can:

  1. Teach improv (read a play, act out scenes, etc.).
  2. Bake together (you provide the ingredients, the Virtual Sitter will guide the junior chef).
  3. Teach/practice another language (Spanish, French & more).
  4. Learn or practice playing an instrument.
  5. Tutor or help guide with homework and online lessons.
  6. Do yoga, ballet or another movement activity.
  7. Host a virtual book club or dance party.
  8. Organize family photos, process paperwork, complete online grocery orders, etc.

“This is unbelievably genius. A must for parent survival right now!”

Mom of 2, West Coast
Bell Family Virtual Sitter teaching session

“It worked great! I got the whole kitchen cleaned and ate food sitting down!”

Mom of 3, Midwest

We hope that you will support this small business during this difficult time, and book a Virtual Sitter for an hour or two to help with the kids. Virtual Sitter rates are $23 per hour for 1 child, and $25 for 2 children (for 3+ children please inquire about rates). The booking minimum is one hour, but the hour can be split into 30-minute sessions (i.e., 30-min morning session and 30-min afternoon session the same day). Check out this video for a short clip of a Virtual Sitter doing a teaching lesson with a child.

Meet Mahri Relin, Founder of Body Conceptions

We recently had the opportunity to partner with the Founder of Body Conceptions, Mahri Relin, whose dedication and hard work is helping women through her dance-inspired cardio workouts. Learn more about her technique and journey through our Q&A below.

Q: What inspired you to create Body Conceptions?

A: I was a dancer and performer for many years in NYC before I discovered dance fitness. I had never seriously considered fitness as a career before then, but the combination of dance and fitness together felt incredible to me. And it made me a stronger dancer than ever before!

Once I got more immersed in this form of exercise, my early experiences in studios watching women struggle with fitness in the times that mattered the most were incredibly impactful to me. Pregnant women in classes around me had no idea how to modify their workouts appropriately. And frankly, many of us working in studios had no idea how to really help them. I felt lots of empathy for women in this position in addition to great responsibility to help them, so I decided to get myself certified in pre and postnatal fitness. I developed my own business because I wanted the freedom to pursue my passion to help women in my own way. And I made pre/postnatal support a big part of our company mission. This has expanded to fertility support, and I am also interested in finding out as much as possible about the changes that occur for women during perimenopause so that we can support aging as well.

I am proud to say that the Body Conceptions method has proven to be a very safe but also challenging and effective method for women with a broad range of goals, not just pregnancy. I am constantly exploring the science behind fitness for women and also seeking the best way to keep our clients engaged and challenged while they train with us — which can be many, many years! We have created a method that combines cardio with full-body sculpting in a format that has constantly changing exercises and music to keep our clients on their toes. I am proud about the results we have seen, and I also love what it has done for my body. And most importantly, our work has connected us with the most wonderful community of clients and wellness practitioners with whom we collaborate. I am so grateful that I chose to follow this career path after dance.

Q: What does the dance-inspired fitness routine provide over the more traditional workouts (machines, weights, etc.)?

A: That’s a great question.  Dance can mean lots of different things for different people.  For me, it symbolizes freedom and a deep artistic connection to my body. That comes from music in a very big way for me, which is why I take so much time (and pleasure!) creating my playlists. When I’m working with clients, I’m paying so much attention to them and what their bodies need, but I’m simultaneously responding to the music in a way that connects our physical energy with the music’s energy. It’s amazing how much more intensity you can put into workouts when you feel like the music takes you there!

I definitely want to acknowledge that there’s a lot of fear around the word, “dance.” So many people back away when I say that word and tell me with their fingers wagging that they don’t have rhythm and aren’t coordinated. I tell them immediately not to be afraid! We have specifically designed the “dance” components to be simple (think jumping jacks to a beat), and we use dance principles in our approach to the movement — but we won’t be asking people to do crazy or complicated things if they don’t move that way. Dance-based workouts like ours help our clients connect better with their core, coordinate their whole body more effectively, and achieve the longer and leaner physique of a dancer. I want to add that if you ARE a dancer, we’ve got you covered as well. We have plenty of fun, complicated dances we can use for the cardio to get your brain working and your heart pumping!

Q: Motivation is a key factor in getting to the gym. How do you motivate women to join and power through a session?

A: As I mentioned earlier, music is a huge factor for me in helping my clients connect deeply with their exercise experience. I like to ask my clients to give me songs or artists they love so that I can incorporate their favorite music into the workout. I also spend several hours finding the best new music each week that works for exercise. If the music is good, people don’t even realize they’re working so hard!

In addition to music, we also place a big emphasis on identifying our clients’ goals and acknowledging that these goals can change through time. I personally get a huge amount of joy from these workouts, and I see joy in my clients as well. We don’t focus as a company on the unrealistic goal of getting a perfect “beach body.”  Instead, we want to give our clients an opportunity to improve their strength and coordination, get their mind off stress, strengthen during their pregnancy or heal from labor, and connect with their bodies in a new way – all of which helps them achieve the best physical version of themselves as a byproduct. These are motivating and joyful goals that keep people coming back each week and working with us for many years.

Q: How do you adapt your sessions towards people’s individual fitness goals and busy schedules?

A: Personalization is actually one of the most important elements of our workouts. Our workout has improvisation built into it, which allows us to change our direction easily and respond in the moment to the needs of our clients. It’s definitely structured as a specific method, but the flexibility empowers our instructors to make a wide range of choices depending on what’s needed in the moment. I think all personal training should be highly personalized, but the stakes become even higher when we we work with prenatal or postpartum women who require deep attention and sometimes a sudden change in direction during their sessions. And this isn’t just a pregnancy issue. Once, I showed up to train a client and only learned in that moment that she had fallen down her stairs. We had to avoid any jumping, protect her ribs that had been bruised, and could only move her shoulder in one direction. I managed to get her through the session gently and without pain, and she felt so much less stressed after getting her blood flowing – I was grateful that she had chosen to work out despite her accident!

Flexibility of scheduling is also a big factor in personal training. We address this by working with a range of trainers who have flexibility in their schedules when they begin working with us. We do get very busy and have more difficulty at times accommodating everyone’s schedule requests, but we try to hire trainers at a rate that accommodates our demands. We take lots of time finding the right people and training them as thoroughly as possible, so I have to admit that this can all be a tricky dance. But we do our best!!

Q: Tell us about some of the special offerings at Body Conceptions (i.e., pre & post natal training, special occasions, private training). What can women expect to takeaway from these offerings?

A: As specialists in pre and postnatal exercise, we are prepared to work with clients during and after their pregnancies. We are highly connected with practitioners and services in the area who can help our clients if anything comes up that we don’t address or that falls outside of our expertise. A pregnant client working with us can expect that we know the primary principles of prenatal exercise while having lots of experience working with a wide range of pregnancies. Every pregnancy is different, so we are highly attentive to the daily/weekly needs of each person and adjust accordingly. 

In addition to pre and postnatal fitness, we have worked hard to understand as much as we can about the fertility process. We work with fertility centers in the area to understand how they view exercise so that we can be as consistent as possible in our approach if our clients are seeking fertility treatments. (And we are always trying to learn as much as we can about current research on fertility and exercise as possible!)

In the same way we coordinate with fertility doctors, we also coordinate with PT’s who might be seeing clients of ours who have injuries (or perhaps any pelvic floor concerns connected with pregnancy/postpartum). We like to make sure our clients feel comfortable with us and know that we are aware of the direction their PT’s are going so that we can help them heal more effectively.

Outside of pregnancy, we have lots of other really fun, special offerings! Clients can get groups of friends together for special, private events like bridal parties, bachelorettes, and birthdays. We’ll help rent out spaces and create as special an experience as possible. Our venues have ranged from dance studios in the city to beaches or lawns in the Hamptons. We love working with these special groups, and we are specially excited to design a playlist full of our clients’ favorite tunes!

I am excited to say that we’ve helped our clients through a full range of transitions and events, from their weddings through pregnancies and the births of several children to awards ceremonies and college reunions. What makes all of these times special is that we help them achieve their goals while preparing for the things that mean the most to them, all while having fun! Being part of these big moments is what makes this work so meaningful to my trainers and to me. I didn’t imagine how fulfilling this career would become for me and feel so grateful to be here.

“It’s about being sweaty and happy, not perfect.” – Mahri Relin

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny in NYC? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted on-demand babysitting, including childcare for when a child is sick, full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care and more! Learn why BFC is the best NY Childcare Agency servicing the tri-state area. BFC is the best in the business! Contact us today to hire a nanny in NYC or to book the best babysitters in NYC!

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