Tag Archives: children

Morning Routine: How Moms Handle the Morning Chaos

If you’re a mom, you know that mornings can bring a certain level of stress. From waking everyone up, prepping breakfast and school lunches to getting the kiddos off to school, it’s not an easy haul.

We talked with four different moms with kids ages 7 months to 9 years to hear about their morning routines and to share tips with other moms. Here’s what they had to say.

Lindsay, mom of 3 (ages 7 months, 4 and 6) My morning routine starts early. I’m usually up twice in the wee hours of the morning when my baby wakes up. Last night I was up at 3 a.m. to feed my baby a bottle, burp and change her. She’s teething, and when I pick her up to sooth her she barfs on me. I change everything and get back to bed around 4 a.m. At 7 a.m. my two older sons run into my bed and jump on me. They want to play Wordle, so they grab my phone and I watch as my oldest keeps swiping up to get my email notifications off the screen. Soon after, my husband comes in and plops the baby on me and says he has to take a shower. At this moment, I have three kids on me (one is not dressed and has Nutella all over his face while on my white comforter… Grrrr!).

We head into the kitchen and I sit at the kid’s table trying to motivate them to eat and get dressed, while my husband repeatedly says, “We are going to be late for school.”

Our nanny arrives around 10 a.m. to help tidy up the kitchen and care for the baby. At that time, I’m finally able to get dressed and brush my teeth and head to my at-home office to start my workday.

Courtney, mom of 3 (ages 3 and 9 year old twins) Mornings, particularly weekday mornings, are not for the faint of heart. I remember calculating how many things I did one morning and felt I deserved a major reward.

My husband works six days a week and is usually out the door before I brush my teeth. So, with that being said, I have a lot on my plate with getting the kids dressed, beds made, backpacks packed, breakfast, snacks, and on and on. I’m also trying to check email in the morning while all of this is unfolding (sigh). For the most part these days have become somewhat of a routine, but don’t let that fool you. Someone might have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, which creates another level of chaos. But yes, the routine helps and also a lot of deep breathing and coffee. 

Jamie, mom of 1 (age 9 months) When does the morning even start? My 9 month old daughter still wakes up 2-3 times per night, with a final wake up at sunrise around 7 a.m. She usually crawls around in our bed a bit until one or both parents are ready to function. Each morning, I take my daughter over to our bedroom window for her to greet the day. We say “Good morning, world – Good Morning, birds – Good morning, cars.” She loves it and just lights up!

Once we make our way downstairs, my husband will feed the baby while I get ready for work. On the days I go into the office, I drive to the train station to catch the 8:05 a.m. train into Washington, DC. On WFH days, I’ll lounge around a bit more and feed the baby in the morning so my husband gets a moment.

No two days are the same. It’s a lot of on-demand attention to what’s needed hour-by-hour. The flexibility has its benefits, but a little structure is also helpful. The days we have childcare help are always smoother and more balanced.

Katie, mom of 3 (ages 2, 4 and 5) I get my youngest son up from bed at 6 a.m. and then my next move is to immediately head to the coffee machine. Luckily, my husband and I rotate the early morning waker each day so the other can get an extra hour of sleep. I get him his breakfast and squeeze in some snuggles before I head back to the kitchen to start filling water bottles and getting things ready for school. Oh, and meanwhile, I’m checking work emails to see if any of my Europe clients have urgent requests. Perks of working for a global pharma company. 

The other two kids head downstairs at 7 a.m. and everyone has their breakfast. Peppa Pig or Spider-Man can be seen on the TV in the background. They assist me in keeping the kids in one place as I get them dressed and do their hair.

I run upstairs around 7:30 to change and get ready. I come back downstairs (in record time) to load everyone in my car with my husband. At least one person is screaming or having an exorcism. I drop the youngest two off at daycare (we do part-time daycare and part-time nanny care) and then my oldest and I head to Dunkin’ to consume our breakfast (which includes a large coffee for me). This stop on the way to the carpool line is religious to my morning routine. If I had to chose between Dunkin’ and my husband … I’d need a few minutes to think.

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!

7 Household Employment Trends to Watch for 2022

In a recent article published by GTM Payroll & HR, they uncover what household employers can expect this year when it comes to employing someone to work in your home (e.g., nanny, housekeeper, in-home senior caregiver).

1. Tight nanny job market: The demand for in-home childcare is unprecedented and does not seem to be slowing down. Nanny placement agencies say in-home caregivers are in extremely high demand calling the job market “highly competitive.” Others say they are experiencing a shortage of candidates with nannies seeing their rates increasing by $2 to $4/hour.

For families, this means not only offering a competitive rate but also presenting themselves as desirable employers. In our recent survey of nannies, working for a trustworthy/ethical family and the personality of the family were more important to them than the rate of pay.

2. Popularity of nanny shares: In a nanny share, two or more families hire a caregiver who will look after all the children in one of the family’s homes. It can help families save on the cost of in-home childcare and provide similar socialization benefits as a daycare for your children, while your nanny can make a little more than their usual rate for a single family.

3. Rising minimum wage rates: Half of U.S. states are boosting their minimum wage rates at some point in 2022. It is important for household employers to check the rate that applies to them as their nanny’s hourly pay could quickly become a wage violation. Paying below minimum wage and not accounting for overtime hours are two of the easiest ways families fall out of compliance with nanny tax laws.

4. Following paid sick and family leave laws: In some states, it can just be a set amount of paid leave you need to offer your employee. In other locations, like New York; Connecticut; Washington D.C.; and Massachusetts among others, payroll contributions to state-run paid leave programs are required from employers and/or employees.

Check with your state’s labor agency to see what paid leave requirements you may have as a household employer.

5. Filing your 2021 taxes: A couple of things may be a little different this tax season if you provided paid sick or family leave for pandemic-related reasons through the American Rescue Plan. In 2021, offering paid leave was voluntary but employers can still take the same dollar-for-dollar tax credit. Also, waiting for COVID-19 test results, obtaining a vaccine, and recovering from the effects of vaccination were added as qualified reasons.

On your employee’s W-2, you will need to indicate the amount of paid leave in box 14. Then on Schedule H, you will reconcile the paid leave provided as well as your employer tax credits.

6. Contribution limits adjusted for 2022: Several contribution limits were updated for the 2022 tax year including:

  1. Dependent Care FSAs return to $5,000 for married filing jointly and $2,500 each for married filing separately
  2. QSEHRA: $5,400 for individuals and $11,050 for family coverage
  3. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): $3,500 for individuals and $7,100 for families
  4. Retirement Plan: Up to $20,500 in employee contributions to a 401(k) and $14,000 into a SIMPLE 401(k)
  5. Qualified Transportation Benefits: $280 for community and $280 for parking
  6. Student Loans: Employers can provide up to $5,250 tax-free toward a worker’s student loans

7. Another increase to the nanny tax threshold: The employment coverage threshold for household employees gets another small boost to $2,400 in 2022. If a domestic worker meets or exceeds that threshold, Social Security and Medicare taxes must be paid by the family and the employee.

Click here to read the full article from GTM.

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!

Faq: Get to Know Bell Family Company & NY Nanny Center

Bell Family Company (BFC) is a women-run company with an established reputation for quality, excellence and care. Each childcare provider has been carefully selected through our unique screening process and on-going CPR and educational training.

BFC’s sister company, NY Nanny Center (NYNC) places the highest priority on children and childcare. The center is based on the concept that excellent childcare can best be provided in an environment where nanny and family are well matched, where each is respected and valued by the other and where each understands the needs of the other.

Ready to learn more? Read our FAQs below and contact us today to find your best matched childcare provider!

How do you conduct your social media checks?

We do tell the nannies that we will be preforming social media checks. We perform those by spending time scanning google and social media including Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to make sure they have profiles that are acceptable to our standards. If we come across any activity that is not appropriate we will not proceed with accepting this childcare provider.

How many references do you contact? And how do you contact them?

We always attempt to get the most recent references to list first on the childcare provider’s profile. But because certain family’s lives are hectic, that is not always possible; some move away, some are private and do not want to provide a reference, some are going through person family situations and are not able to give a reference at that time. In those cases, we move on to the next year/employer, etc. If a childcare provider doesn’t have three childcare references, we permit them to give us a character reference, which is someone that has known them a long time (but not family). If a childcare provider only has two references total, we will accept these two on a case by case basis.

References are checked by our in-house, 10-year vetting veteran who was also an educator for 30 years and a mother of 5 girls. For consistent nanny work, she verifies references via phone call at which time she discusses the nanny’s work, etc. For on-demand sitter work, she will email the references to complete our reference form. If a given reference is only available via email, she will contact them to complete & submit our reference form. If a candidate originally joined our agency as an on-demand sitter and later applied to be a consistent nanny, that candidate will have emailed references only in addition to a long standing reputation at our company. In this situation, our agency can re-attempt to contact these references with a call at the request of the family.

Where are your nanny placement services available?

We place full time live in or live out in all cities across the U.S.

Our agency is based in Manhattan offering our full list of childcare services to the Tri-state area as well as select cities across the U.S. For a map of cities, click here.

What is the difference between a sitter and a nanny?

A sitter is used for occasional on-demand sitting, date night, daytime fill ins, weekends, etc. To book an on-demand sitter click here.

A nanny is one person who commits to a set schedule for a consistent duration of time.  To start your nanny placement process click here.

Do I have to have a referral to get into your agency?

We love referrals!

Ask any member family of Bell Family to refer you. They simply need to log onto their profile & click on ‘refer a friend’ to submit your name and email. You will get an email shortly after with a referral code to enter here!

If you do not yet know a member of Bell Family, click here and submit how you heard about us. A member of our team will review and be in contact with you.

How do I apply?

All families and nannies are required to apply with Bell Family Company.

FOR FAMILIES: Click SIGN UP on our website, fill in your basic info and submit. You’ll receive an email immediately after asking how you heard about us. We’ll then send you instruction to fill in your entire application.

FOR NANNIES: Click here to apply.

Do you have a membership fee?

Yes, we charge a $500 membership fee upfront to begin your nanny placement process. For a long term placement (anything longer than 3 months in duration), the amount is applied towards the final balance of the placement fee. Members have full access to ALL childcare services including emergency back up care, our 24/7 concierge program and more. For a list of membership benefits click here.

 How long does the placement process take?

It depends on the complexity of your request. If you are looking for an on-demand babysitter, that could take only minutes for us to place.

If you are looking for a full time long term nanny,  that takes on average between 3-5 weeks. However, we move as fast as the family does. If a family needs a nanny placed next week we can do that too.

When do I begin reviewing nanny profiles?

Once you’ve completed your family application and signed the nanny placement agreement we can start your nanny search immediately.

We develop your job conditions based on the consultation that we have with your family and begin sourcing right away. Typically we can send nanny candidate profiles to review within 48 hours.

Can I interview the nanny candidates?

Yes, always. After you review the nanny profiles and select who you would like to proceed with we offer a number of ways to get to know the nanny candidate better:

1. Virtual Phone, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facetime interview.

2. In-person interview.

3. Meet & greet between the sitter and the family (note meet & greets are paid hourly).

Your nanny coordinator will handle all logistics with the interview and send a confirmation email so everything is clear. If you need to modify the any aspect of the interview, contact the nanny coordinator and the nanny candidate directly with an update.

Do you offer nanny trials?

Yes, we are happy to offer paid trials with your nanny candidates. The family shall pay the nanny via credit card on our agency’s online platform upon completion of each trial day at the following rates: $23 per hour for 1 child, $25 per hour for 2 children, $28 per hour for 3-4 children. For trial engagements conducted with non-local candidates the Client is also responsible for covering all accommodations, travel and food for the non-local candidate.

How do I cancel or reschedule my nanny interview/trial?

To cancel an interview/trial please reply all to your confirmation email as soon as you are aware. Make sure your nanny coordinator is on the email and aware of the situation. If you’d like your nanny coordinator to make all updates, contact her directly.

Do I need to reimburse the nanny for travel during the interview/trial process?

For any travel outside Manhattan or Brooklyn the family is responsible for providing travel reimbursement to the nanny candidate during the interview and trial process.

During COVID-19 or bad weather families will typically offer to pay round trip car fare so that the nanny can commute safely to the family’s home.

How do I pay for your services?

Once an offer is made and the nanny has accepted we will send the family an invoice for the total placement fee due. The fee will be charged in full per the credit card we have on file on the day that the nanny commences employment.

I’m ready to make an offer, how do I do that?

Before you make the actual offer to the nanny, NY Nanny recommends to all of our families to use some kind of Nanny/Family Work Agreement to outline the duties, hours, responsibilities, expectations and compensation package. This will serve as a guide to keep the position clear and both parties accountable for their roles. You can use any Nanny/Family Work Agreement you prefer or pull from ours. We ask that the family provide us with a copy of the agreement once complete. If you choose not to, our agency will need the information in an email so we have confirmation of the scope of the nanny position etc.

The nanny/family contract is not a legally binding document; its purpose is to simply state the roles, duties, compensation and expectations of both parties.

What is the difference between full and part time?

FULL-TIME (FT): A full-time nanny in the NYC metro area works between 40-60 hours/week. 

PART-TIME (PT): A part-time nanny in the NYC metro area works under 39 hours a week.

Please make sure you know the state domestic worker NY Domestic Worker Bill of Rights regarding overtime pay, workman’s comp, disability, minimum wage and required time off.    

Can you help negotiate my offer to the nanny?

Yes, we’d be more than happy to assist in negotiating your offer between you and the nanny. If you have questions about taxes, Payroll, etc. we can also recommend a great source for you to speak to before you make an offer.

 Are all your nannies CPR trained and have proper immunizations?

We highly encourage all of our nannies to be CPR trained. We host training seminars at our HQ for Adult, Child & Infant CPR in partnership with the Fire Department of New York. If a family requires the nanny they hire to be CPR Certified through the American Red Cross or another organization the family will need to reimburse the nanny for all costs associated. We can assist in booking your nanny for any additional classes or courses you require.

RE immunizations every nanny candidate is different. We will communicate any immunization requirements upfront to the nanny candidates in the job conditions and communicate that information to the family to ensure all your needs are met.

Our agency offers a number of other informational training programs throughout the year. For more information contact us.

Can my nanny do housekeeping?

Nannies are mainly focused on the children they are caring for and anything that relates to the children (i.e., school drop-off, pick-up, light tidying, meal prep, laundry for the children, occasional errands and shopping). Typically nannies are not housekeepers.

Who can I ask payroll, tax and benefits questions?

We have a long standing relationship with GTM Payroll Services. You can utilize any payroll service you prefer, but if you’d like to have a free consultation with GTM, just ask for Matt and mention our agency referred you. They will be happy to speak with you.

GTM Payroll Services provides household employers with payroll processing, tax compliance, as well as different insurance offerings for you and your nanny or sitter. They can help you manage all of the administrative tasks associated with being a household employer, offering you an unparalleled level of customer service and support.

Contact: Matt Owen ([email protected]), for more information click here or to use their tax calculator click here.

How do you find your nannies?

Most of our nannies are direct referrals through past nannies, sitters, families, colleagues and partners we know. We also recruit from other trusted sources including college campuses, select job boards/sites, through our own castings and with the International Nanny Association (INA).

Is it the families responsibility to provide healthcare, PTO, other benefits?

It is up to the family what type of benefit package they would like to offer. We have seen offer packages include the following:

VACATION: it is the industry standard to offer 2 weeks paid vacation to the nanny minimum. (1 week family chooses/1 week nanny chooses with advance notice). Families usually pay the nanny for any days they are out of town and it is a normal working day for the nanny.

PAID TRANSPORTATION: A monthly Metro Card or contribution toward the MTA card. (This is a common perk offered by most NYC families).

PAID HOLIDAYS: If they fall on a normal workday they are typically paid and off. If the nanny is required to work the holiday the family typically pays holiday pay (equal to time and a half). Please discuss what days you are offering as paid/off holidays etc. and paid working holidays.

PERSONAL/SICK DAYS: On average we see 2-5 days offered, although some families do not include this in their compensation package. Discuss the sick day policy.  

HEALTH BENEFITS (or contribution to health care): While it is a wonderful benefit to offer your nanny, it is rarely offered in NYC.

ANNUAL REVIEWS/RAISES: Are often forgotten, but are the cornerstone of good morale for the nanny and family. At the very least be sure to give verbal feedback and make sure you have an open door communication policy.

HOLIDAY BONUSES: Gift giving is very common in NYC for nannies. The NYC standard is usually a minimum of one week’s salary and some families will also give a gift in addition to the monetary compensation. It is also nice to acknowledge your nanny’s birthday.

Do you offer nannies with special needs experience?

We certainly do! Our team has licensed therapists, certified coaches, teachers and former nannies here to help with your child with special needs. For more information click here.

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted 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! 

Childcare in Ever-Changing Times: Refresher on Social Etiquette

A lot has changed in the childcare industry over the past year and a half. Parents started staying home, nannies and parents were forced to learn Zoom and how to assist with remote learning, public transportation wasn’t as reliable and stress levels spiked as new health rules were put in place by the CDC. The list of concerns goes on and on.

BFC is helping to navigate this new landscape and go over commonly asked questions from childcare providers. We’re also sharing tips on how to navigate the new social etiquette during changing times and providing insight into virtual and in-person interviews.

Normal Etiquette Expectations:

  1. 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).
  2. Don’t use inappropriate language or chew gum.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. Be aware of using the family’s things and what is permitted or off limits.
  6. When running late, always email/text that you are behind. Do not make it a habit, but we and families understand transportation can be delayed. Ask in advance if you need to leave early (a week’s notice is appropriate timing).
  7. If you get sick and you are a full or part time nanny, let the family  know well in advance.
  8. ALWAYS text or e-mail the family once you get a notification from them. Long amounts of time concern the family. During work hours, you’ll want to get back within the hour if you are working with them, within 2-5 hours if you are not working that day and after hours at least 12-24 hours.
  9. Google Map the address beforehand so that you are on-time! Nothing is worse 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.
  10. When you enter the family’s home; take off your shoes (if that is a house rule), wash your hands and introduce yourself (if it is your first appointment with them).
  11. 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.
  12. Always clean up after the children and yourself; put dishes in the dishwasher, clean up toys (get the kids to help).

Abnormal Expectations:

  1. Not offering to pay for Covid tests or PPE when the family requires them.
  2. Not covering missed days of work because of Covid.
  3. Unpaid vacation time because of a family’s change in plan, unless they communicated this ahead of time via your nanny contract or you both agreed upon the arrangement.
  4. No playdates/outside time or no breaks for 5-6 hours.
  5. Families asking you to change your clothes when you enter their home by offering to give you some of theirs.
  6. Families not offering to provide food during travel (i.e., hotel sitting on vacation).

New Pandemic Expectations to Be Prepared For:

  1. Requirement that you be vaccinated.
  2. Requirement that you watch the children more carefully at playgrounds/playdates.
  3. Requirement that you think of alternate activities for children. Many nannies are used to filling the days with community playgrounds, classes and play dates. Instead, you may be asked to just “take them for a walk” or go to the park and play in open spaces.
  4. Paying extra attention to hand washing.
  5. Encouraging small children at least 2-3 years old to always wear masks until children can get vaccinated.
  6. Wiping down surfaces that you feel were shared too much.
  7. Sharing information on your lifestyle and habits to feel safe hiring you.

Etiquette for Other Challenging Scenarios:

  1. Families are cramped in smaller spaces and one or both parents may be working from home. Be mindful of working around the other parents by being relatively quiet if they are on a call, taking the children to play in rooms as far away from the working parent as possible and limiting play to quieter activities if you know a parent is on an important call.
  2. Navigating virtual learning. Have the parent run through the process with you step by step. Take notes on passwords you need, steps you need to take, set alarms on your phone for meetings the kids have throughout the day, etc. This will take some time to adjust, and every school seems to do a different type of virtual learning. Give yourself a week to adjust.
  3. General family anxiety from a year of the pandemic. Be mindful of an anxious family. You can be a calming presence if you act confident in your abilities. Show that you are very cautious with masks/sanitizing to help the family feel at ease. The family may ask for your opinion on what you think is a safe or unsafe activity and it’s best to lean on the conservative side if you feel the parents are nervous about something.
  4. Vaccine-hesitant families. Most families in NYC are asking their nanny to get vaccinated. Some families do not require it. Family and nanny need to be on the same page. Over time, not being on the same page about the vaccine is going to end in a bad relationship for nanny/parents. If you do not feel comfortable getting the vaccine alert your employer. The agency will communicate if you are willing to get vaccinated or have already received it.
  5. Families feeling insecure about you using public transportation to get to work. We understand that pubic transportation is the way that most nannies in NYC get around. However, if you are in NYC (or elsewhere) and have access to a car, it may be best to use it. Do not feel afraid to talk about this with a family. Many families are THRILLED to pay for your gas or parking if it means you can stay off the subway. It never hurts to ask (nicely).

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted 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!

Travel Con Lola Is Adorable

I read this new book by sisters Natalie & Jessenia Rios who are hard working entrepreneurs with a new book, new non profit and on-site location to educate children on world cultures. My two sons who are 5 and 3 years old love the colorful pictures and rhyming words. It is helpful to a non Spanish speaker, like myself, in pronouncing the words since the end of every sentence rhymes.

My 3 year old takes the book on his own and will flip through the colorful pages and ask questions. My 5 year old loves it as a recap of some of the words he practices at school. There is even a glossary at the end to define what each Spanish word means.

In a world where us parents are trying to guide our children in understanding other cultures and that everyone is different, Travel Con Lola is lighthearted and sweet, while sending an important message of being open and learning about other cultures and people. It makes the world a better place and helps educate our children to embrace others.

View this recording featuring our Founder & Owner, Lindsay Bell and Co-Director of Little Lola Tots and Author of Travel Con Lola to la Republica Dominicana, Natalie Rios, as they discuss the book and everything around being a woman business owner and mom in the workplace.

Travel Con Lola to la Republica Dominicana written by sisters, Natalie & Jessenia Rios 

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted 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!

Manners Matter

One thing that never goes out of style … manners. In an article published by Dana’s Kids, they talk about how building manners is like building muscles. The more you use them, the more they grow.

So how do parents instill manners in their children? The article goes on to explore four different methods:

Model.  Model. Model. It doesn’t matter how much you nag your child about remembering to use respectful language, nothing will ever replace modeling. Your child hearing you say “please” and “thank you” will be the cornerstone of their learning to do the same. 

Set them up for success. This conversation will look different depending on your child’s age, but you can help your children think about what to do in a variety of scenarios where manners matter prior to that event. Heading to an outdoor holiday event? On the way, talk to you child about three good rules to remember when being with family or receiving a gift. 

Allow for variation. Depending on your child’s age, developmental ability and temperament, verbal manners may be more challenging.  Think together about other ways to acknowledge people around you. A high five (or elbow bump these days), wave, or a thumbs up and big smile might be a starting point for your child. 

Repetition. Building manners is like building muscles. The more you use them, the more they grow.  

For the full article from Dana’s Kids, click here.

Bell Family Company Gets Nominated for GTM Agency Partner of the Year

Although 2020 proved itself to be a challenging year, there was still a lot to be proud of as an Agency who prides itself on finding the best childcare providers in the business. The hard work didn’t go unnoticed, as one member family nominated Bell Family Company (BFC) for GTM’s Agency Partner of the Year Award. Take a look at the nomination below, and find out for yourself why BFC should be your first choice when it comes to taking care of your little ones. Click here to join!

Bell Family Company has proven to be the finest childcare agency in New York City and beyond for well over a decade. Behind the scenes at BFC, you will find a group of hard working women that possess kindness, love, talent, passion and incredibly high standards when it comes to both their caregivers and families.

The beauty of BFC is that it was founded on the belief that all sides of the childcare industry are equally important. BFC has always been eager to give smart, competent, talented working women the opportunity for jobs in a very important field: expanding a child’s imagination while keeping them safe.

BFC has always valued women with careers, education and passions because of the philosophy that they will then bring that knowledge and inspiration to their work with children. What families get in return is a bright, energetic and educated caregiver with energy to spare.

On the flip side, BFC has an incredible way of finding families that will be a healthy addition to the company. As a childcare provider, you will never be afraid to step foot in someone’s home because BFC has worked tirelessly to make sure there is a level of trust and appreciation between everyone involved.

I believe that BFC is the most phenomenal agency in childcare because they are fostering 3 levels of care: flexibility and appreciation for the caregiver, understanding and patience for the families, and true teamwork and love for their co-workers. This company was built on a high moral ground, to which it stands to this day. Run by a group of brilliant women, they never tire of doing the right thing by everyone involved. I can’t think of a better company to nominate for this award and I am proud to know them. 

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted 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!

What Parenting Style Are You?

As the oldest of five girls – with three of us having children of our own – it’s interesting to see how different we parent our children. Based on the descriptions below, we are each a combination of different styles. How can that be when we were all raised by the same parents in the same house? Well, as pandemic fatigue sits in, we as parents are losing our patience quicker than usual or just giving in. As a result, it’s causing us to switch our parenting style.

The four types of parenting styles are:

Authoritarian or Disciplinarian

  • Parents use a strict discipline style with little negotiation; punishment is common
  • Communication is mostly one way (from parent to child); rules usually are not explained
  • Parents with this style are typically less nurturing
  • Expectations are high with limited flexibility

Permissive or Indulgent

  • Parent discipline style is the opposite of strict; there are limited or no rules; children are expected to figure out problems on their own
  • Communication is open, but parents let children decide for themselves rather than giving direction
  • Parents tend to be warm and nurturing
  • Expectations are typically minimal or not set by these parents

Uninvolved

  • Parents give children a lot of freedom and generally stay out of their way
  • No particular discipline style is utilized; lets the child(ren) mostly do what they want
  • Communication is limited
  • This group of parents offers little nurturing
  • There are few or no expectations of children

Authoritative

  • Parents are reasonable and nurturing, and set high, clear expectations
  • Children with parents who demonstrate this style tend to be self-disciplined and think for themselves
  • Disciplinary rules are clear and the reasons behind them are explained
  • Communication is frequent and appropriate to the child’s level of understanding
  • Authoritative parents are nurturing
  • Expectations and goals are high but stated clearly; children may have input into goals

Transforming Your Home Office Into a Mini Classroom

My neighbor completely transformed her home office into a classroom when she decided to keep her kids home for the time being due to COVID-19. The office meets classroom space is truly amazing! She built cubbies to make the kid’s lockers (like they would have had at school), the alphabet is hanging on the wall, there is an art center and library with hundreds of books. Mama’s are killing it, and it’s because of their hard work like this to make their children’s lives as ‘normal’ as possible during the pandemic.

No matter what your comfort level, I’m seeing mamas work their tail off to make their child’s life happy and fun. Another mama who is keeping her 7-year-old twins home from school for the first semester put together a deal with Grandma to offer a two-day-a-week ‘boarding school,’ where the twins pack their bags and go spend the night at Grandma’s house who helps with virtual learning. A solution like this gives the kids a new face, environment and relief for mama!

Another two moms put together a regular playdate with their toddler boys, switching off homes and spending two hours twice per week getting some socialization. The kids hang out upstairs with a regular babysitter in a fully stocked playroom filled with games, books and activities to follow during their school session.

It’s amazing what I’ve seen put together. Way to go mamas!

Example of an office turned classroom from a BFC mama

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted 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!

What You Need to Know Before Your Childcare Interview

  1. Make sure you are prepared and you have the correct location and time. Plan ahead for any delays (weather, transportation, technology, etc.). 
  2. First impressions matter MOST!
  3. Be on time (10 minutes early). DO NOT be late.
  4. Dress appropriately. Most childcare providers will dress in business casual, comfortable clothing.
  5. When entering the family’s home, ask if you should remove your shoes and offer/ask to wash your hands.

During the interview it’s important to be yourself. Here are items that are important to discuss during your interview:

  1. Your experience and skills.
  2. Questions pertaining to the family and children (i.e.,  day-to-day activities, parent’s childrearing philosophy, what motivates and interests the children).
  3. Caregiver’s role and responsibilities – refer to your resume and make sure you are able to answer any questions the family may have regarding your experience (i.e., if you indicate that you engage well with children or are very creative, have examples of how you do these things).
  4. Listen, make good eye contact, smile and be confident. Families look for professional, experienced and happy childcare providers who are excited about being a caregiver.

The salary range should already be indicated on the job conditions. DO NOT bring up salary or compensation at the first interview, or try to negotiate your preference of being paid on or off the books. If the family brings up salary during the first interview, simply tell them that you reviewed their job conditions and you are comfortable with their offer. Let them know you are there to learn more about the position and if you are a good fit, and that you prefer to save the compensation discussion for a later time. BFC can follow-up with the family post-interview to discuss salary further. 

While BFC has already called your references, prospective families considering you as their caregiver will also want to contact your references. Be sure that you let your references know that you are actively interviewing and they may be contacted.

Many families see the caregiver as an extension of the family, but it is essential for you and the family to establish good boundaries. Be careful not to over share personal information. If a parent shares personal information with you that you can relate to, just listen. This is not an invitation for you to share your personal information or beliefs (politics, religion, etc.).

Reminders: 

  1. The family has already seen your Caregiver Profile which includes your 1) Resume or work history, 2) Caregiver photo, bio and video, 3) References and letters if provided, 4) Cleared background checks and 6) Certifications (CPR, First Aid, CNA, Baby Nurse, HHA, etc.).
  2. At this stage you have already agreed that you are interested in the nanny position. You are aware of the required qualifications, job duties, hours, number and ages of children, location and salary range. Please DO NOT come to the interview and negotiate any of these factors. If you have any objections or questions about the position, bring this to your placement coordinator’s attention BEFORE you agree to the interview with the family.
  3. When speaking about past employers or jobs, ALWAYS speak positively. NEVER give names or share personal details about another family. Some families may even ask you to sign a NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement).
  4. Stay OFF YOUR PHONE during the interview and when working with children (unless it’s work related). This is the biggest complaint we hear about caregiver’s today. 
  5. After the interview, please email your Placement Coordinator and let them know how the interview went and if you are still interested. If you are still interested, email the family and thank them for the time they took to interview and express your interest. Please keep your Placement Coordinator cc’d on all email responses. If the family is also interested in you, we will schedule a trial with the family (trials are paid directly to the caregiver).

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!