Tag Archives: Family

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! 

Girl Power Alert: Pregnant Sisters Having Girls

It’s rare enough to be pregnant alongside a sister, but throw in that the sisters are both having girls and their mother also birthed five girls; the girl power is getting real!

Our Founder & Owner, Lindsay Bell, is expecting a child alongside one of her sisters and not for the first time. I guess that’s what happens when you come from a family with five girls all close in age; there’s bound to be some overlapping pregnancies.

Lindsay and her sister Jamie are both expecting their first girl just a few months apart. What does it mean to each of them to be pregnant alongside a sister and to be having a girl for the first time? Find out from the sisters below!

I kind of fit the mold for being a boy mom. My four sisters and I were always tom boys. I was completely happy expecting another boy, I just wanted to have another baby. When I found out it was a girl, I welled up with tears. I guess I didn’t realize how much I wanted a girl. The bond I have with my mother and four sisters is one of a kind and now I get to share that with my daughter. The extra special part is my middle sister Jamie is  expecting a girl alongside me, but happens to live 1,500 miles away from me (weep). I got to share all three of my pregnancies with a sister who happened to be pregnant at the same time. Talk about a special gift. Having a sister on a text thread who’s awake at weird hours, huffing and puffing while you walk together and talk about baby, sharing pregnancy photos and asking baby food questions has ben a joy to experience. I hope our daughters will be great friends and support one another through life’s miracles just like their moms did!

Lindsay Bell

Four weeks after I got married this past fall, I was surprised to find out that I was expecting. Shortly after I hit the 12-week mark, I broke the news to my sisters on a Zoom call. Everyone was shocked, including me all over again. I didn’t plan or talk about wanting to become a mom, but always thought it would happen some day if it were meant to be. I guess it was. Thankfully, I have a close sister squad with an abundance of recent mothering experience, including a mom that birthed five girls (naturally!) to lean on for support and know-how. Just a few months later, my oldest sister Lindsay, found out she was also expecting, her long-hoped for third, and both our babies to be girls! While it’s been tough at times navigating my first pregnancy physically distant from my family during this COVID-19 pandemic, I am glad we’ve been able to connect by all means digital to check-in, video chat in sloppy buns and pjs, and share updates on our latest doctor appointments or baby bump progression. I know the real questions lie ahead, but I am assured to know I have an abundance of resources and support just a phone call or text away. And that first in-person meeting with my newborn daughter and my sisters, and their kids, will sure be something special. 

Jamie Bell

Jamie has since delivered her baby girl, Sylvie, born last week.

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!

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!

BFC COVID-19 Protection Plan

What steps is Bell Family Company taking to protect caregivers and families? Every family has a different set of rules, preferences and precautions. We will ask the 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 and families are taking:

  1. Washing hands thoroughly for at least 30 seconds with soap and warm water upon entering a home and throughout the duration of the job.
  2. Wearing masks in any public place at all times including commute, entering and exiting a building, around other people in a close setting, etc.
  3. If the caregiver is requested for an on-demand babysitting job she will wear a mask during the entire appointment. We ask that families and children over the age of 3 that the caregiver is in close contact with also wear a mask.
  4. Carrying disinfectant wipes and ensuring that they wipe down all surfaces that they come in contact with on the way to work (i.e., car door handles, building doors, stroller handles).
  5. Being advised not to shake hands with anyone.
  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 of 6 feet from others when able.
  8. Advising the caregiver and family to have a call to review all Covid precautions so that everyone is aware of one another’s comfort level (prior to the caregiver’s first time in the family’s home).

Bell Family Company asks each caregiver and family the following preliminary questions before a babysitting appointment, nanny trial or first day of long term employment:

  1. Are you able to share if you or anyone in your immediate household has had a fever above 100.4 in the past 72 hours? 
  2. Are you or anyone in your immediate household currently sick with any NEW Covid symptoms (i.e., headache, fever, chills or sweating, new or worsening cough, sore throat, runny nose/congestion, loss of smell or taste, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, aching throughout the body, vomiting or diarrhea) or any other unusual aches or pains?
  3. Have you or anyone in your immediate household been within 6 feet of anyone who has been confirmed to have Covid in the past 14 days?
  4. Would you be able to share if you or anyone in your immediate household have traveled anywhere within the last 30 days? If yes, where? Was it via plane, train, subway or car?
  5. Have you or anyone in your immediate household tested positive for Covid within the last 10 days?
  6. Are you or anyone in your immediate household awaiting results of a Covid test?
  7. Are you able to share what your current Covid precautions include? 
  8. Is there anything else you can tell that would help protect you or the family?

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.

Resources: CDC: COVID-19 | COVID-19 Resources for Household Employers | Employing Household Workers During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

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

Nannies & Families: What Is Your COVID-19 Risk Tolerance?

It seems everyone has different behaviors and attitudes toward the pandemic. It’s important to make sure you and your nanny have a similar COVID-19 risk tolerance to avoid any potential issues down the road.

The Association of Premier Nanny Agencies (APNA) has prepared a handy COVID-19 Risk Tolerance Scale that you can share with your caregiver or use during the nanny hiring process. It assigns a numerical value to your risk tolerance from 0 for very strict to 5 for very open.

0: Very Strict
Stays in their personal “bubble” with no outside contact. Only socializes with people living in the same home. Avoids outside contact unless absolutely necessary. Goes outside only if it is possible to maintain six feet of distance. Follows strict infection protocols for items entering the home. Concerned because they are or live with someone who is immunocompromised.

1: Strict
Leaves home for essentials only. Only socializes with people living in the same home. Follows strict etiquette including handwashing, wearing a mask, and social distancing at a minimum of six feet 100 percent of the time. May be concerned because they are or live with someone who is immunocompromised.

2: Fairly Strict
Leaves home for work, exercise, and minimizes trips out for groceries and essentials. May socialize in a socially distanced way in outdoor spaces only. Follows strict etiquette including handwashing, wearing a mask, and social distancing at a minimum of six feet 100 percent of the time outside the home.

3: Somewhat Open
Leaves home for work, exercise, and essentials several times a week. Socializes with a small trusted group of less than 10 unique individuals but only in outdoor spaces. Follows handwashing, wearing a mask, and social distancing at a minimum of six feet more than half of the time outside the home.

4: Moderately Open
Leaves home for work, exercise, shopping, and other activities as desired. Regularly socializes with more than 10 unique individuals outside their home. May invite a small number of trusted visitors, like neighbors, close friends, or family members inside the home. Practices handwashing and wears masks sometimes. May not always maintain social distancing.

5: Very Open
Socializes without social distancing, masks, or recommended etiquette. Not taking any extra precautions to protect oneself from infection outside what is normal. Not personally concerned with being infected.

Image from https://theapna.org/

This article has been repurposed from GTM Payroll Services.

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

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

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

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

Betsey, mother of 2

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

Heather, mother of 1

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

Elise, mother of 3

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

Annie, Owner of Blast Events NYC

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

UES Mom

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

Cissie, mother of 2

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

Fall Happenings Around NYC

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Taylor Bell, Social Media & Marketing

Introduce Your Kids to Volunteering!

ATTN New Yorkers – It’s time to get out and help others living in that beautiful city of yours! Volunteering comes in all shapes and sizes, and no volunteer activity is too small.

We had the opportunity to learn more about New York Cares and the amazing volunteer opportunities that they offer. We were particularly taken by their kid-friendly volunteer opportunities where children and their parents can learn, give back and grow together, all while doing some good. Read below for our Q&A with Cynthia Chovan-Dalton, Director of Development, Individual Giving & Special Events at New York Cares and learn how your family can give back!

Q: Tell us about New York Cares Family Day on September 22nd. What does the event entail? Who can volunteer?

A: The New York Cares Family Day of Service on September 22nd will be a fun and educational event to introduce children to volunteering and giving back to the community. There will be eight stations that families can travel among to learn about different issues areas and participate in service projects such as packing baby boxes for families with newborns, making cards for seniors to brighten their day, creating seed balls for New York City parks, and learning how a family can collect coats to participate in New York Cares 31st Annual Coat Drive. The activities are designed for children ages 6-12, but younger and older children can attend (space for stroller parking is available). Parents can attend an express orientation for New York Cares volunteers, and then sign up for additional volunteer projects that are family-friendly. There are projects open to children as young as 6.

More information on the event can be found on our website.

Q: What are some other family-friendly volunteer events that you offer?

A: New York Cares Day for Schools on October 19 will have a family-friendly site. The New York Cares Family Council will plan additional volunteer projects over the course of the year that are exclusively for families, including a family-friendly coat sorting for the Coat Drive, a card-making opportunity for seniors or veterans, and a park revitalization project. Families can also search here for additional opportunities that allow children.

Q: How can someone sign up to be a volunteer? Can people of all ages sign up to volunteer?

A: Parents and guardians must create a New York Cares volunteer account and attend an orientation. They can then sign up for volunteer projects; for each project they must complete a Family Friendly Waiver. If a project is not one of the exclusive family projects organized by the Family Council, the parent or guardian must email the Team Leader of the project to let them know they will be bringing their child.

Q: What are some benefits you see families receiving after volunteering together?

A: We’ve heard from many parents that their time is limited and while they want to volunteer, they must prioritize family time. The solution is to volunteer with your kids! This will allow parents to pass on to their children the values of giving back and civic engagement that they feel are important. And research indicates that service-learning activities can reduce stereotypes, facilitate cultural and racial understanding, and increase interpersonal development, leadership, and communication skills. Children who volunteer are more successful in school, are three times more likely to volunteer as adults, and are more apt to vote.

A special thanks to Cynthia Chovan-Dalton for working with us for this Q&A blog post. Happy volunteering, readers!

Young female volunteer marks a cardboard box with a pencil.

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media