Bell Family Company

Farm Camp (for Kids) Does Exist!

My city boy husband knows I enjoy a good article proving the outdoors and farm life are good for the soul. He recently forwarded me “What City Kids Can Learn On My Farm,” by Larissa Phillips. She is a former Brooklynite turned upstate farmer. She shares the joys of seeing her own children working and playing on their family’s farm. She even shares the experience with city kids and their parents offering a place to stay and the opportunity to do jobs on the farm.

Earlier this year my parents volunteered to take our two oldest boys for 16 days while I recovered from my last birth. My parents own a small farm in northeast Ohio, and every summer we road trip there to stay on the farm. However, this year we couldn’t all travel with the new baby so the boys travelled with their grandparents back to Ohio.

Each day, my mother sent photos of what the kids were doing. My parents are both former educators — they like routine and follow a more strict parenting style. Loving, but firm is a good way to put it. The boys love it and seem to thrive. 

A typical schedule looks like this:

  • – Wake up: make beds, get dressed & take clothes to the laundry 
  • – Breakfast & brain exercises (my mom loves work books)
  • – Outside play till Papa gets back from the golf course
  • – Jobs: cleaning the barn, feed/water the cows, weed or pick veggies out of the garden, mow the lawn, paint the barn, sweep the garage, etc.
  • – Lunch time
  • – Go for a bike ride or hike in the woods
  • – Jobs (cont.): fix the cars, air conditioner or something else that broke
  • – Cousin time at the playground in the back yard 
  • – Downtime reading in the hammock 
  • – Dinner
  • – Bath & TV: they are allowed to watch something they typically watch at home or they watch Gunsmoke with Papa
  • – Bedtime in the basement (boys only!)

Can you imagine how tired kids would be after this schedule? Absolutely pooped! In bed by 8:30 p.m. and willingly. 

They missed home, but lived it up in Ohio. When they came home to hot Dallas, the good habits continued. My oldest willingly went to our small garden, weeded it and picked all the carrots. I usually have to ask for this. The second oldest usually has to be asked 5x to go outside to ride his bike for some exercise, but since getting back home he does it on his own. 

It is the best experience for everyone. I got some quality time with the baby and the boys got lots of independence and learned excellent life skills and habits on the farm. 

Larissa you are definitely onto something!

My second oldest on the farm

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted & FULLY VACCINATED on demand babysitting, including full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care and more! Learn why BFC is the best childcare agency, with childcare providers available across the U.S. (on-demand service available in the Tri-state & Dallas areas). Contact us today to hire!

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!

What Moms Are Doing for Childcare Over Summer

We talked with some of our Bell Family moms to see what they are doing for childcare this summer. Read below and get inspiration for your summer childcare plan.

Still looking for childcare help this summer? Reach out to us and we’ll work with you to find the childcare coverage you need!

Mandy, mom of 1

I have my kiddo enrolled in full-time summer camp at the YMCA over the summer to keep him busy during the daytime. The camp is great — it has a new theme every week and a bunch of his school friends also attend. We’re sure to get in at least one family trip to the lake over the summer where we hire a BFC Travel Sitter to help and that’s a savor!

Lindsay, mom of 3

This summer will kick off with some local science and sports camps and a part time summer nanny to help me tag team the shuffling from activity to activity. After camp is complete, we are road tripping to Nashville to say howdy to my husband’s alma mater, then to Washington, D.C. to see my sister and her family. Next, we go to Ohio for 4 weeks to work on Grandpa and Grandma’s farm. The kids will have their morning brain exercises, daily chores, lots of play and cousin time, then off to Michigan for 1 week to celebrate Grandpa’s 70th birthday before we start the journey back to Texas. Once we are back home, I will have sitters help me tag team the remaining few weeks to run errands, plan activities and swim!

Hannah, mom of 2

My 8-year-old daughter is enrolled in camps this summer. She is going to Girl Scouts, guitar camp, soccer camp, and YMCA camp. Luckily, I work from home so on the days I don’t have something lined up, she will be home with me. My 2-year-old son will split time in daycare and our part time nanny because I could not handle him solo while I work at home.

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted & FULLY VACCINATED on demand babysitting, including full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care and more! Learn why BFC is the best childcare agency, with childcare providers available across the U.S. (on-demand service available in the Tri-state & Dallas areas). Contact us today to hire!

BFC Family Helpers Can Do That!

Not enough time in your day? Feeling overwhelmed? Want more time to do the things you love NOT what you have to do? 

Read what our amazing Family Helpers can do for you:

Household & Home Organization

  1. Meal & snack prep: Washing, cutting fruits/vegetables, gathering all ingredients, storing foods properly, etc.
  2. Housesitting: Checking the mail, turning on lights, receiving packages, watering plants, etc.
  3. Family schedules: Inputting school, work, extra-curricular, church, family outings in google or outlook calendar
  4. Service & repair: Scheduling of contractors and sitting at apartment/house while work is being done & ensuring project completion
  5. Tidy service (in between housekeeper visits): Wipe down counter tops, empty dish washer, swifter/dust buster
  6. Laundry: Wash, fold, put away, pack away, etc.
  7. Decluttering: Old toys, books, family items no longer in use
  8. Pack & unpack boxes or travel bags

Errand Services

  1. Grocery pick-up & delivery
  2. Dry cleaning & wardrobe alternations
  3. Personal shopping & returns 
  4. Pick up & drop off assistance for appts 
  5. Mail services: Shipping & returns 

On-Site Management (at birthday parties, weddings, business functions & family gatherings)

  1. Door greeters
  2. Kid zone monitors & childcare providers
  3. Management of check-in table
  4. On-site coordinators
  5. Other event staffing: Serving, set-up & breakdown

Senior Services

  1. Doctor visit attendance
  2. General companionship
  3. Pharmacy pickup 
  4. Travel escort: Vehicle & air travel 

Seasonal

  1. Seasonal shopping & gift wrap
  2. Decorating: Set up, breakdown & storage​

Looking to hire a BFC Family Helper, Sitter or Nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted & FULLY VACCINATED on demand babysitting, including full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care, help with virtual learning, and more! Learn why BFC is the best childcare agency, with childcare providers available across the U.S. (on-demand service available in the tri-state area). Contact us today to hire!

Prep & Etiquette Tips for a Childcare Interview

We know prepping for a childcare interview, or any interview, can be a stressful time. To help ease the nerves, it’s a good idea to do some pre-work to ensure you put yourself in the best possible position to get the job. Here are some interview preparation tips along with etiquette best practices to get you started in the right direction.

Sitter & Nanny Prep for First Appointment or Trial: 

1. Check in with the family via email or text as soon as you get the confirmation email to say hello and that you’re looking forward to meeting them.

2. During this exchange, make sure you have the right start/end times confirmed between both of you and the right address.

3. Review the family’s profile for special notes and/or job conditions to have a good background of the family’s needs and prepare any questions you may have.

4. Dress appropriately. Wear attire that is both childcare friendly and professional. Look presentable as this is the first impression you are making on the family.

5.  Show up on time! On time is 5 minutes early so that the family does not begin to worry if you’ll be late. Use a GPS device to get directions ahead of time and plan ahead if the weather is supposed to be bad, the subways are slow, etc.

6. Make sure to take your shoes off and wash your hands upon meeting them for the first time.

Get to Know Stripe: Your Secure Payment Gateway

With the launch of our new secure payment gateway, Stripe, we are answering commonly asked questions to help make the transition as easy as possible.

Q: When is the Stripe payment system launching on BFC’s site?
A: It was launched Monday, February 26, 2024 at approximately 1:00pm EST. All sitter appointment checkouts will be processed through Stripe’s platform going forward.

Q: When were families first notified about the change from PayPal to Stripe?
A: BFC sent a newsletter to families which can be read here on February 2, 2024. 

Q: Will I receive any further PayPal invoices after 2/26/24 at 11:00am EST? 
A: No. Invoices will no longer be sent to any families for any checkouts after 11:00am EST 2/26/24. Every family will need to click on the PROCESS CHECKOUT link on their calendar page or via link in the ‘sitter checkout’ email going forward to pay.

Q: What if I have a PayPal invoice outstanding, do I still pay that?
A: Yes! If you received a PayPal invoice that means it was issued prior to the Stripe launch and the family needs to pay that. You also have the option to pay through your calendar page.

Q: What if my sitter checks out wrong?
A: For wrong checkouts, simply email us with the correct details. We will verify with your sitter and get it updated as quickly as possible. 

Q: Will the CHECKOUT link in each sitter checkout auto email work for all families? 
A: Yes! Once each family receives the ‘sitter checkout’ email from us they simply need to click on PROCESS CHECKOUT and it will take the family to Stripe’s payment page. The family will enter their name and credit card details, review and click submit. This process should take 1 minute. 

Q: Do I have to enter my credit card details for every checkout after my first?
A: No. For your second payment on Stripe and all payments going forward, your default payment method will populate to pay. This process should take under :30 seconds.

Q: What payment methods are accepted to use?
A: Currently we only support credit card payment, but we are working on offering additional payment methods (Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.) in the future. 

Q: Will anything change when I need to cancel an appointment? 
A: Same process as always, just a different payment platform. You’ll log into your BFC profile, find the appointment you need to cancel, click CANCEL and submit payment. 

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted & FULLY VACCINATED on demand babysitting, including full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care, help with virtual learning, and more! Learn why BFC is the best childcare agency, with childcare providers available across the U.S. (on-demand service available in the tri-state area). Contact us today to hire!

Infant 411

Here’s the quick 411 on infant care with tips BFC childcare providers have learned through their nanny and sitting experience. You can also check out the links provided under each tip for videos and additional tips, with thanks to Baby Center.

TIP 1: Swaddling

  1. Lay a blanket on a flat surface like a diamond and fold down the top corner about 6 inches to form a straight edge.
  2. Place your baby on his back so that the top of the fabric is at shoulder level.
  3. Bring your baby’s left arm down. Pull the corner of the blanket near his left hand over his arm and chest, and tuck the leading edge under his back on his right side.
  4. Bring your baby’s right arm down. Pull the corner of the blanket near his right hand over his arm and chest, and tuck the cloth under his left side.
  5. Twist or fold the bottom end of the blanket and tuck it loosely behind your baby, making sure that both legs are bent up and out from his body, his hips can move, and his legs can spread apart naturally.
  • If you’re a visual learner, take a look at a short “how to” swaddle video.

TIP 2: Bottle Prep and Feeding

  1. Rule of thumb is to ALWAYS follow the parent’s directions. Every parent does things differently, so its important to do it their way.
  2. You can heat up a bottle in a bowl of warm water or run it under the tap.  Microwaving is not the way to go as it heats unevenly, which can cause hot pockets and lead to burns.
  • Quick read on bottle basics here.

TIP 3: Changing

  1. Always wash your hands before and after diaper changes.
  2. Make sure you put on the diaper correctly! Snap is in the back and you pull it forward and around on top.
  3. Be sure to use wipes and diaper cream if necessary (per the parent’s request) and wipe ALWAYS DOWN, not up.
  4. Never leave a baby unattended while on the changing table.
  • Because diaper changing is everyone’s favorite activity, catch this short video.

TIP 4: Nap Time

  1. Nap time isn’t one size fits all, so make sure to check in with the parents as to how they would like you to handle their little ones down time as every child has a different routine.
  2. Some tips: make sure the room is quiet, dark and a comfortable temperature. Be safe by placing the baby on its back and making sure there isn’t anything in the crib they could get tangled up in.
  • Interested in becoming a napping expert? Take a look at some additional tips from Mayo Clinic.

TIP 5: Burping

  1. Helping a baby to burp will release air trapped in their stomach, making them more comfortable. It helps their tummy to settle and get them to feed longer.
  2.  If a baby is squirming or fussy during a feeding those are signs they may be uncomfortable and it’s time to burp them.
  3. There are three common ways to burp a baby: On the chest or shoulder, sitting on your lap or face down across your lap.
  • Burp tips – yes, we have those!

TIP 6: Playtime and Tummy Time

  1. Play and Tummy time is super important for a baby’s development, it helps them to get stronger.
  2. Tummy time will help them to learn how to push themselves up, roll over, sit up and crawl.
  3. Wait until at least a half hour after feeding to lay them on their bellies.
  4. Play with them during tummy time! Rattles, funny faces, toys and talking are a few things that may help them to feel more comfortable during this time.
  • Tummy time is fun to say. So is watching a video about it.

BFC Substitute Teachers Are Here!

We are partnering with a number of the most prestigious private preschools in NYC and beyond providing our exceptional sitters as substitute teachers. Our childcare providers are a perfect match as they are smart, college educated, love children and work well with others.

Our substitute teacher program was built to aid in sourcing last minute, reliable help when a teacher gets sick. Bell Family Company has been the leader in last minute bookings for nearly 15 years, as we grow and see a need we hope to further help our community of families and providers.

There are a number of additional ways to get your school involved with BFC besides requesting a substitute such as;

  1. Refer your teachers with children of their own to BFC services to improve retention and cut down on stress.
  2. Refers your teachers to sign up with BFC who want to babysit to earn more income.
  3. Offer free membership programs for teachers! What an awesome benefit for your employees.
  4. BFC offers workshops, talking engagements as needed/requested to further educate your community on hiring childcare.

All schools and organizations must first be set up with our program prior to use. Currently no membership fee is required for schools and organizations. To set up your school or organization contact us.

To book a substitute teacher for your school or organization and to review our rates, visit our website.

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted & FULLY VACCINATED on demand babysitting, including full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care, help with virtual learning, and more! Learn why BFC is the best childcare agency, with childcare providers available across the U.S. (on-demand service available in the tri-state area). Contact us today to hire!

Get to Know NYC’s Barrow Street Nursery School

We recently had the opportunity to talk with our friends at Barrow Street Nursery School in New York City to get to know them and the wonderful work that they do. Read our Q&A below and visit their website to learn more.

Q: Barrow Street has had its doors open for almost 50 years. What are 1-2 leading factors behind its success?

A: Barrow’s teachers are unparalleled. Their passion for early childhood education and professionalism create warm and nurturing classrooms which support both children and parents alike. Teachers are on continuous paths of learning – we have 8 enrolled in Masters or PhD’s supported financially by the school this year – as well as various professional development initiatives created by teachers themselves.

Our parents support educators and their children help to build a community experience both inside the walls of 27 Barrow Street and beyond. Our parent volunteers enrich the curriculum and experience of families by providing opportunities for engagement that strengthen the connections and celebrate the diversity of our school. 

Our parent education focus means we are educating the whole community, which connects everyone in unique ways. Strong communication between all is built into the program.

Q: Tell us about Barrow Street’s teaching approach. What is your goal(s) for students to walk away with after a school year?

A: Our approach is centered on collaboratively designed learning experiences. We want students to leave Barrow and enter the world with compassioncuriosity and confidence in how they think. With the world rapidly changing, we believe we are laying a foundation within children that teachers them how to problem-solve and approach unknown, essentially how to think, not what to think.

Barrow’s philosophy blends two progressive approaches to education, Bank Street and Reggio Emilia. At Barrow Street Nursery School, our mission is to help students build the foundation for life-long learning, appreciation of the arts, care for the community and environment.

Q: What are the steps in your admission process and when would you recommend a family to sign-up for the upcoming school year?

A: Parents apply the year before they would like to enter our school. Applications will be available on September 1st for the 2024-2025 school year. We will host an in person Open House before our application deadline.

For applicants through the application lottery, they will be invited in for a small group conversation and tour. We also host child visits in January and offer many optional opportunities for families to get a better sense of our school, program and community. 

Q: Barrow Street has an extensive list of programs. Can you highlight a few of them and what they offer?

A: In addition to our gross motor spaces, rooftop, tricycle track and gym, our students participate in specialist classes, built into their daily schedule, such as music, movement, pottery, art and science.

We also offer extended day programming which allows our children the opportunity to register for classes both before school and afterschool. We have a huge variety of partners, currently about 15 different programs who host classes on our premises, such as Super Soccer Stars, Yogi Beans Yoga, Tribeca Language, and Dance with Miss Rachel.

We are proud of the programming we are able to offer and grateful for a large facility and dedicated group of specialists that allow us to do so.

Q: Ahead of our partnership this fall, would you speak to how families will see some of our providers in your school or how you will be providing BFC sitter services to your teachers?  

A: We will be using Bell Family to:

  1. Support our on-demand needs at the school as substitute teachers in the classrooms.
  2. They will also be a resource to teachers who need on-demand coverage of their own children. Barrow will be covering the cost of 5 days per year for teachers.
  3. Barrow Street teachers may volunteer to work as a Bell family sitter if interested
  4. BFC will engage may also engage with us as a workshop resource for our families

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted & FULLY VACCINATED on demand babysitting, including full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care, help with virtual learning, and more! Learn why BFC is the best childcare agency, with childcare providers available across the U.S. (on-demand service available in the tri-state area). Contact us today to hire!

The Ultimate Nanny Resume Template

Ready to apply for your dream childcare job? The best place to start is by reviewing your resume and making sure it’s up to date, accurate and clean before sending it to your future employer. We crafted a template perfect for a future sitter or nanny looking for a job in childcare. Happy job hunting!

Your First and Last Name 
City and state you reside | Cell | Email 

Professional Summary

  1. How many years of childcare experience do you have? 
  2. Tell us about all the childcare positions you have worked.
  3. Tell us about your personality and goals.
  4. Why do you want to be a nanny?  

Qualifications

  1. Do you speak any other languages, have certifications/trainings in a field, do you have a driver’s license, do you swim, do you have a passport and are willing to travel?

Education

  1. Name of College/University, start/end dates, graduation year, major and/or minor.

Childcare Experience

Family first and last name (start date and year – end date and year), City, State 

  1. Was it full or part time (how many hours)?
  2. How many kids, and what ages when you started?
  3. What were your daily duties?

Other Professional Experience

Name of business (start date and year – end date and year), City, State 

  1. Was it full or part time (how many hours)?
  2. What were your daily duties?

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted & FULLY VACCINATED on demand babysitting, including full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care, help with virtual learning, and more! Learn why BFC is the best childcare agency, with childcare providers available across the U.S. (on-demand service available in the tri-state area). Contact us today to hire!