Tag Archives: nanny

Bored Children, No More!

Greetings, all!

It seems like it’s getting harder and harder to find ways to keep children entertained these days. To get away from the TV screens that seem to follow us everywhere, we put together this impressive list of fun activities, so both you and your child can fight the power of boredom.

1. Go to the park, make friends!

2. Make a treasure hunt – get some paper, crayons, and map out the hunt and hide the treasures.

3. Go on a nature hike – pack a zip lock baggie and gather all the cool things you find on the hike, and then write about them when you get back home.

4. Make clean up a game! Sing a song and chart how much you cleaned up.

5. Schedule a play date.

6. Hit the library – see if they have reading corners scheduled, research some great books and find them at the library.

7. Create your own book – encourage the child to get super creative.

8. Dance party – get music and make up a dance.

9. Try out a new restaurant and pretend to be a food critic.

10. Play tourist for a day.

11. Make an obstacle course outside or inside if the space is big enough.

12. Play board games.

13. Go for an I SPY walk. Make a list of all items you need to find, take a camera and snap the photos.

14. Babysitting for girls? Create at home spa day.

15. Go pottery painting.

16. My favorite – build a fort. Use pillows, blankets, blocks, anything you can, and have the kids visit each other in the fort they build.

17. Make a collage of photos.

18. Cook or bake with the kids. Have them follow the recipe, read it out loud, teach them about measurements.

19. Chalk drawing outside on the sidewalks.

20. Build a town – with a banker, hotel, restaurant, and have each child run the shop. They will love it!

Special thanks to The Centsible Life and our Founder, Lindsay Bell, for the great ideas!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Nannyology: Three Types of Nannies

Greetings, all!

We bring you a special feature blog post this week, with the findings from Tammy Gold, author of “Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer” and founder of Gold Parent Coaching. She shares insight on how to understand the three types of nannies, so you can find the right match for your family.

Finding the right kind of nanny to match your particular work/life situation is critical in creating a calm and stress-free home. If you make the right nanny match, everyone is happy… but if you choose the wrong match, things can get ugly in a hurry. To avoid this unnecessary stress, I coach my clients to figure out what kind of nanny they need based upon the term “nannyology.” This refers to the process of understanding who nannies are, how they think and how they work. One part of nannyology is learning the three nanny responsibility types so moms can figure out which one best matches their needs.

The Three Nanny Personalities

After hearing hundreds of stories and mediating countless mom/nanny relationships, I started to notice three distinct personality types which I named: The Parental Unit Nanny, The Partner Nanny, and The Executor Nanny. Each of these types is distinguished by their level of autonomy and their ability to handle — or not handle — different kinds of responsibility. It’s important to know which one you’re looking to hire from the get-go, because all too often parents make the mistake of hiring one when they really need one of the others.

The Parental Unit Nanny

Parental Unit Nannies are proactive, motivated, in-charge and most importantly, capable of handling every single aspect of her job without help from the parents. They work best with parents who are actively looking for someone to take the lead in their absence and “just take care of it.” This type of nanny functions as the “parent in charge.” Parental Unit Nannies make it easy for their bosses to transition into “work mode” or “rest mode” because they know that everything at home is being handled perfectly. Parental Unit Nannies can run the entire home, manage all of the children’s’ activities, schedule play dates, get the putty for Bobby’s science experiment, take Ruby to the doctor when her cough sounds worse, talk to Ali’s teacher about the mean girl on the playground and have dinner on the table by 5pm. Of course even the greatest Parental Unit nannies need training in order to do the job well, but they are the type of nanny usually best suited to a full time working parents or moms who are really busy and need to clone themselves. It can be hard for a parental unit nanny to stay home all day and take directions when she is used to being in charge and on her own.

The Partner Nanny

The Partner Nanny is named for her ability to be the mom or primary caregiver’s partner. She can shift her duties and level of care based upon the needs of the mother. When mom is out, the Partner Nanny runs the show and she is able to keep the house and children moving along smoothly and steadily. When mom is home, the Partner Nanny does not necessarily step behind mother, but steps beside her completing household tasks in unison. A Partner Nanny is completely in-sync with mom and together side-by-side, tackling the care of the children and running the home. Being a Partner Nanny is challenging since it can be difficult to shift between being “the boss” and then just “the helper.” Nannies usually like to know they are one or the other and Partner Nannies need to be highly adaptable and carefully attuned to the needs of the mother. A Partner Nanny may take the older children to school, run to the store for new ballet shoes, take the baby to music class, and when mom returns, she may shift her focus to laundry, cooking and cleaning.

The Executor Nanny

The Executor Nanny carries out the parents’ directions. She is typically someone who works with an at-home mother or a mother who works on a part-time basis. In her role she would handle childcare, but rarely all on her own. She would also handle a great deal of house care since the mother is often home managing the children. An Executor Nanny could do everything from heavy cleaning, and cooking, to taking the baby for a walk and playing princess with the toddler. She typically would never be asked to run the home and the children’s activities on her own. These nannies usually watch one child while the mother is out with the other siblings or perhaps watching all of the children for short periods of time while mom might be out running errands, at the gym or on a work project. Her mindset is to “assist” and “execute” items set in motion by the mother — precisely the opposite of the more proactive Parental Unit Nanny who may be left to plan the entire week on her own.

The key to matching in any relationship, let alone this complex personal/professional relationship, is stating your wants and needs upfront. By understanding that “one nanny does not fit all” and knowing these three nanny personality types moms can find or train to create their ideal match!

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Written by Tammy Gold, Nanny Placement Director and Parenting Expert

Hotel and TravelSitter for the New Year

Greetings, all!

Did you know we book HotelSitters for our families in NYC, Brooklyn, Westchester, Connecticut, Chicago, Los Angeles or Miami?

If you have a family trip coming up, we also book TravelSitters to accompany your family, making it a real vacation for you and not just a re-location of your normal day-to-day! Our sitters have traveled with member families throughout the Caribbean, Florida, Europe, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and most of the Rockies Ski resorts! We provide excellent vacation and holiday coverage so you and your family can have all the extra care and support needed for a restful vacation.

Bell Family’s Hospitality Program allows guests to participate in our trusted family care services!

We Offer In-Room/On-Site Care

We’ll come to your hotel to keep your children entertained!
– Make crafts and work on fun art projects
– Learn to sing and play guitar
– Play games, enjoy the on-site hotel services, or enjoy personal story time

Ask About Exploring the City and Mini-Day Camps

Our sitters will show up with an itinerary for the day!
– Organize shopping trips
– Plan destination visits
– Assist in pick-up/drop-offs
– Run last minute errands
– Lend an extra hand at local family events (weddings, parties, business functions, etc.)
– Refer the best places to go for kids

To download our release for your families click here! And to book a HotelSitter, e-mail
[email protected] or call 212.265.3354.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

News and Advice for Families

Greetings, all!

Today we bring you news and advice for agencies and families from GTM’s Nanny Agency Advisor. We’ll take you through and answer questions regarding whether nanny’s should get flu shots, 2016 minimum wage changes, and finally some gift ideas for your nanny on those special occasions.

Should Nannies Get Flu Shots?

As temperatures fall, the risk of illness rises. This is the time of year that many physicians recommend getting the flu vaccine. But some household employees may not want to get it. Families might be concerned, especially with nannies, that someone spending so much close time with children is not vaccinated. Can household employers require flu shots for nannies?

Read more about best practices and legal guidance to share with your families about this issue.

2016 Minimum Wage Changes

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers – including household employers – in all states must pay their employees at least the state’s minimum wage. This wage rate often changes at the beginning of a new year, so it’s important for families with domestic workers to make note of any changes and begin plans to increase an employee’s wage.

The following list shows the states that have 2016 minimum wage changes and when those changes are effective.

Gift Ideas for Nannies

Searching for the perfect gift for your nanny’s birthday, holiday, or just to show appreciation? This impressive list has 20 great gift ideas for special occasions such as these!

GTM

Information provided by GTM Payroll Services.

Live-In vs. Live-Out Nannies

Greetings, all!

We’re bringing you a blog post courtesy of Tammy Gold, our Nanny Placement Director and Parenting Expert here at BFC. In her recent post, she compares live-in vs. live-out nannies, and talks about some of the best nanny secrets and what she calls “Nannyology”.

Understanding Nannies and How They Work
One day, I received a call from a woman named Alicia, who lived in Connecticut with her husband, John. She had recently given birth to their first child, and with only three weeks left on her maternity leave, she was faced with the task of hiring her first nanny.

“I’m stressed because I have no idea what I’m doing,” she told me.  “I don’t know what I’m looking for, or where to begin. And I’m nervous, because I didn’t grow up with a nanny. I don’t understand nannies, and I don’t even really want a nanny in my house—but I have to go back to work. Can you help me?”

This post is designed to give you an introduction to what I call “Nannyology”—the science of understanding nannies—and to give you crystal-clear picture of what a nanny is and does, what the job actually entails, and how you should and should not approach the relationship. Nannies are human, and just like everyone else, they have strengths and weaknesses, surprising talents and funny quirks, as well as their own needs and expectations. You will most likely never find the “perfect” nanny who flawlessly performs every conceivable task. However, if you follow my hiring process and the strategies for working together (that I will discuss in subsequent posts), you can absolutely find an amazing, real-world nanny who will be a perfect fit for your family.

Live-In vs. Live Out
The first big decision that you will need to make when starting to think about who you want to hire is whether your nanny should be Live-In or Live-Out. A Live-In nanny is one who lives with  the family in their home for some portion of the week, while a Live-Out nanny commutes to  work each day and, after finishing her duties, returns home each night.

Live-In
Live-In nannies are the least expensive kind of nanny because you are giving them room and board as well as a salary. Some Live-Ins go home for some portion of the week, and some stay with their employer’s family full-time because they don’t have another residence. A typical work schedule for a Live-In is five full days and nights on, and two days off each week. If you want additional days and hours, you will need to pay for the extra time. The big advantage of a Live-In nanny is that you know you have round-the-clock coverage for those five days: If you and your spouse both travel for work, you have someone to spend the night; if your child is up all night with a stomach virus, you have someone on hand to help; and your nanny will never be late for work because a snow storm hit or the train broke down.

To have a Live-In, you need to be able to provide them with their own private, furnished bedroom and bathroom, and it’s helpful if the space is somewhat separate from the rest of the family. Live-Ins who drive also typically have a car at their disposal, either for transporting the children or for personal use; they also tend to cost more (average $750 a week) because they are the smallest percentage of nannies and thus are in high-demand. A lot of parents don’t initially like the idea of having someone else living in their home, but Live-Ins don’t necessarily mingle with the family after their hours are done. You want to map out your rules for privacy at the start—for example, do you want the nanny to go to her room at a certain time in the evening? Can she have a lock on her door so the children can’t go to her when she’s off duty? Can the nanny have a friend over or go out at night?—so that everybody is comfortable.

Live-Out
Most nannies are Live-Out nannies who will commute back and forth to your house each day. At an average rate of $15 per hour, they are more expensive than Live-In, and a driving, Live-Out nanny will command $18-$20 per hour or more. In general, Live-Out nannies will have less flexibility in terms of hours and schedules; they will expect to arrive at a certain time, work a set number of hours, and then leave at an agreed-upon time as well. 

There are some Live-Out nannies who occasionally live in—for example, if the parents go away for a week, the nanny may come to stay with the kids, or if the family goes away for the summer, the nanny may live in at the family’s vacation home for those few months. But this is something that needs to be discussed and agreed to by the nanny before you hire her. You should not assume that a Live-Out nanny is willing or able to do Live-In, and I have seen many nanny-family relationships severed because the nanny felt that the pressure of being with the family 24/7—even in a beautiful apartment in Rome—was just too much.

Visit our site to apply for a nanny position today!

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Written by Tammy Gold, Nanny Placement Director &Parenting Expert

Nanny, Daycare or Nannyshare

Greetings, all!

Deciding what childcare fits best for your family can turn into a long and stressful decision. To sort through the many options available to parents, it’s important to ask yourself questions prior to making a decision. Read below, an article published by Huffington Post, and find yourself ready to make a decision faster than ever.

1. How many hours a day will I need childcare and for which days?

2. How much flexibility do I need? Will there be days I need to leave the child longer? Or will I work part-time some weeks and full-time other weeks?

3. What is my budget? What can I afford to pay?

4. Do I want the caregiver to have a childcare education or specialized degree? Or is experience enough?

5. Do you prefer more individualized care for your child or more of a group environment?

6. What size of a group do you prefer for your child to be in?

a.) For example, do you mind there being 20 other children in a class or would you rather it was a very small class–like 5? Maybe you would prefer your child to be with his/her siblings most of the time and then have play times with other children?

7. Do you need some other help around the house, like doing the child’s laundry or fixing his/her meals?

8. How will your employer handle it if you need to take a day off if the caregiver is ill?

For the full Huffington Post article click here.

Have a great week everyone!
TB

Introducing NY’s First Premier Nanny Concierge

The New York Nanny Center (a Bell Family Company) and Parenting Expert and author of “Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer,” Tammy Gold, partner to create NYC’s Premier Nanny Concierge Service

 

NY Nanny Concierge Services is the first nanny search and management service run

by licensed psychotherapists, former nannies, educators and mothers who match families with nannies suited to the specific developmental needs of their child. Instead of focusing on the physical match (days, hours, location) we match based on the psychosocial needs as well.

 

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Childcare matched to the developmental needs of your child

 

Our nannies go through rigorous recruitment process that assesses each nanny

based on psychological and social behavior profiles as well as the childcare skills

and experience. We know that “one nanny does not fit all” and our nannies are evaluated against their abilities to deliver the specific developmental needs of Erickson’s 5 stages of child development as every stage, from infancy to teen hood, needs a specific set of caregiving skills.

 

Childcare matched to each specific family’s characteristics and needs

 

We make sure your nanny can handle the specific and diverse childcare needs of today’s families. For example we match nannies to specific medical needs, e.g. Type

1 Diabetes, or psychological needs, e.g. skills to handle the complexities of children

with ADHD or specific family needs, e.g. divorced dual family households.

 

Each Search Includes Nanny Trialing and Assessment

 

You really don’t know if you have the perfect nanny match until the nanny, children and parents are interacting on the job.  That’s why we build Nanny Trials into our search process to that nannies and families can experience working together before an offer or placement is made.  During the trial period we work with both families and nannies to be gain objective feedback and assessment of the suitability of the match.  This ensures a more successful, happier and long-term placement for families and nannies.

 

2 hours of post placement Parenting and Childcare Coaching for Nanny or

Family

 

We have licensed therapists, certified coaches and former nannies there to help with any childcare challenges (e.g. children not listening to the nanny) or relationship challenges (e.g. communication issues between parent and nanny) that commonly arise during the beginning stages of the parent-nanny relationship. This added support to family and nanny allows for stronger relationships, placements that last much longer and most importantly better caregiving.

 

Access to 24/7 Sitter Services coverage for Sick Days, Weekends and Vacations

 

We know that nannies can get sick, may need to travel or leave for an emergency and therefore included in your search fee, is a complimentary one year membership to our premier on-demand caregivers from Bell Family Company. Weekends or at night, our Nanny Concierge covers all your childcare needs and emergency childcare situations.

 

We know we are the best way to find the ideal nanny for your child. If you are interested in learning more please call our office at 212.265.3354 or start your application by clicking JOIN TODAY here. To receive a copy of Tammy’s book please contact us for details:

 

Lindsay Bell, [email protected] or Tammy Gold, [email protected]

Infant 411

Hi all!

Here’s the quick 411 on Infant Care. These are tips I’ve learned through my nannying, sitting, and now in house job here at BFC. I’ve pulled together this list from doing much research and consulting with top experts in family and child care. You can also check out the links provided under each tip for videos and additional tips,  with thanks to Baby Center.

TIP 1: Swaddling

  • Lay a blanket on a flat surface like a diamond and fold down the top corner about 6 inches to form a straight edge.
  • Place your baby on his back so that the top of the fabric is at shoulder level.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 like me, take a look at a short “how to” swaddle video  here.

TIP 2: Bottle Prep and Feeding

  • Rule of thumb is to ALWAYS follow the parent’s directions. Every parent does things differently, so its important to do it their way.
  • 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

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

Because diaper changing is everyone’s favorite activity, catch a short video on it here.

TIP 4: Nap Time

  • 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.
  • 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.

Who doesn’t love a good nap? Interested in becoming a napping expert? Take a look at some additional tips here.

TIP 5: Burping

  • 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.
  •  If a baby is squirming or fussy during a feeding those are signs they may be uncomfortable and it’s time to burp them.
  • 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! Take a look at the link here.

TIP 6: Playtime and Tummy Time

  • Play and Tummy time is super important for a baby’s development, it helps them to get stronger.
  • Tummy time will help them to learn how to push themselves up, roll over, sit up and crawl.
  • Wait until at least a half hour after feeding to lay them on their bellies.
  • 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 here.

See you all next week!

TB

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Written by our in house sitter services coordinator and former full time nanny, Meredith H!

Tips for Staying Sane and Raising a Good Citizen

Raising kids is hard, and every parent is striving to do their best. That’s why we love honest articles like this one from Scary Mommy.

The author leads us through how to “give yourself the best odds of producing a great human being, and also make it through the first 18 years of his or her life with your sanity (mostly) intact.” Check out her top ten recommendations below:

  1. Teach your kid to sleep and stick to a schedule (for bedtime and naps)
  2. Stop comparing yourself to other parents and know that social media is just a portrayal of all the pretty things!
  3. Accept that there is no easy button
  4. Be consistent and follow through
  5. Give your kids responsibility
  6. Stop making excuses for your kids
  7. Be flexible
  8. Don’t be afraid to say NO. You can check out our in-house nanny coordinator Ali’s thoughts on this one too on our blog.
  9. Let them fail (this one is really hard!)
  10. Chill- think if this is something that’s really important in the big picture? That mustard stain on their shirt in the school picture will only be hilarious 10 years down the line.

Are there any others they missed? Any you have trouble with? We’d love to hear from you!

 

BFL – Nanny Whisperers

I had a chance to talk with Nanny Whisperer Tammy Gold, LCSW, MSW, CEC, whose book was reviewed recently on these pages. As founder of Gold Parent Coaching, Gold is one of the most sought-after parenting and childcare experts in the country, and is a frequent guest on TV’s Good Morning America and Today.

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From your background in child development, what have you discovered about the importance of quality childcare?

As a therapist who worked with children, and a supporter of Attachment Psychology, I knew that quality childcare is critical to a child’s well-being. Two things occur: First, as a child’s brain is growing and developing (90 percent of brain development occurs by age 3), caregivers can have a large effect on cognitive development. By talking, laughing, engaging with and simply responding to a child’s needs, caregivers literally help create neural pathways in the child’s brain.

Second, according to Attachment Psychology (Dr. John Bowlby) and Psychosocial Development (Dr. Erik Erikson), caregivers literally shape who children become. During infancy and the early years, having a loving, responsive, regular group of caregivers allows babies to become attached to others and feel secure. Erikson describes this as learning “trust versus mistrust.”

Babies who have an uninvolved, unresponsive caregiver lose trust and cannot move through each developmental stage. Every developmental stage requires a devoted and loving caregiver who can stimulate and support the child’s developmental milestones. If the caregivers are not paying attention-often on their phone, unsupportive, or not fostering a child’s ability to play, explore and learn-they hinder developmental advancement.

What are some of the common pitfalls parents fall into when they look for a caregiver?

Parents often rush to hire a caregiver and fail to zero in on the important items. Whether it’s choosing a daycare center, a nanny or a babysitter, parents need to allow themselves plenty of time (ideally 3-4 weeks) so they can outline their needs and make good choices.

Studies show that stress interferes with clear thinking, so if parents are stressed and pressed for time they can overlook qualities they are uncomfortable with-such as a nanny who may be too quiet or a daycare center with not enough staff-because they feel pressure to choose.

Parents also tend to look first and figure out later what they need in a caregiver, which wastes time and causes stress. Parents also tend to push themselves to make their hiring decision during the interview phase, but decisions are best made after conducting daycare trials or nanny trials to really assess if the child and caregiver are a match.

Finally, parents often choose a friend’s or relative’s nanny. But just because a nanny was great with another family does not mean that person-or a daycare location-will be right for their own needs.

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What would an ideal nanny look like?

The ideal nanny is someone who loves children, has a positive and happy attitude, and is receptive and attentive. Parents tend to focus on a candidate’s education (which can be a plus), but a nanny can have little education and still possess the essential skills to promote cognitive development-such as engaging with children, having the patience to handle and support tantrums and disappointments, and most of all, having a flexible and devoted attitude toward the entire family unit. An ideal nanny is never cranky or snappy; as a paid caregiver, nannies must maintain a personal and professional demeanor for a child’s continued well-being.

If a babysitter comes only occasionally to care for children during hours when they are mostly sleeping, parents need not be as discerning about the babysitter’s manner or level of interaction. However, a nanny who comes regularly from week to week must be warm, upbeat, loving and receptive so that the child feels safe, loved and stimulated.

In my book, Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer, I present a detailed, step-by-step process parents can follow to find, interview, hire, and manage a caregiver who is ideally suited to their child and to the family’s needs.