Tag Archives: sitter

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!

BFC Team Experience Leads to Finding the Best Childcare Providers

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

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

Lindsay Bell, Founder & Owner

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

Meredith Hamler, Sitter Services Manager

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

Lauren Kruk, Nanny Services Manager

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

Christine Bell, Recruitment & Retention Coordinator

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

Courtney Garvey, Sitter Services Coordinator

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

Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media Consultant

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

BFC COVID-19 Protection Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Lindsay Bell, Small Business Owner & Working Mom

Make Your Caregiver Bio Stand Out

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some helpful tips to ensure excellence:

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

Great nanny & sitter characteristics:

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

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

Bell Family Company Offering Virtual Sitters

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

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

Our Virtual Sitters can:

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

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

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

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

Mom of 3, Midwest

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

“You’re Going to Timeout!”

One of the most dreaded phrases as a kid is hearing, “You’re going to timeout!” The words spoken by parents to their mischievous little ones after they’ve been acting out. I remember hearing those words from my parents as a kid, and it always seemed like they came out in slow motion.

Timeouts can be a tricky business. What’s classified as a timeout? Are timeouts helpful for children? Are there better ways to discipline children?

We found an article published on Time.com, which touches on the “timeout” idea, along with other affective ways to discipline children. These tips are great to keep in mind whether you’re a babysitter, nanny, parent, or anyone working with children on a daily basis. We’ve outlined some of the key takeaways below, but encourage you to read the full article on their website here.

Let natural consequences play out. For instance, if a child is tossing their crackers on the floor, don’t pick them up. At a certain point they will learn that throwing their food on the floor means they no longer get to eat it.

Try some logical consequences. When natural consequences are not doing the trick, stepping in to create a consequence of your own can work well. For instance, removing the toy being chucked at the wall and locking it up for the rest of the day.

Guide the child to better behavior. “Discipline means to teach,” says Dr. Ben Siegel, chair of the AAP committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child & Family Health. Siegel recommends guiding children to appropriate behavior by giving them choices. For example, if a child doesn’t want to put on their jacket, a parent could say, ‘fine, but you have to carry it.’

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

Bell Family Company’s Unique Vetting Process

Bell Family Company takes pride in providing the best childcare providers in the business. Each childcare provider on our team has been carefully selected through our unique screening process, where they are 1) directly referred by someone we know or recruited from one of our trusted sources, 2) college educated, working professionals, students or career childcare professionals, and 3) prescreened through an extensive online application (it is over 60 questions).

Our recruitment team reads through each application and then does a preliminary interview over the phone. Once the candidate passes through the preliminary, then he/she is scheduled for an in person (Facetime for non-local candidates) interview.

At the in person interview, the candidate completes a Nanny Assessment Test that examines both their emotional and psychological responses/answers to each question. The test is graded according to our standards. Each candidate must pass, and if they do not they are not accepted.

Then, the candidate meets a member of our Nanny Services Team to complete the interview and work history form, which includes names of all employers, their address, phone number and information about the job (ages of children, schedule, what they did at the job, etc.).

Our team member and the candidate then review their resume and the candidate provides proper legal documentation (two forms) along with a photo. Each candidate completes and passes a national background check, which we subsidize to bring cost down for them.

Next, we complete a social media screening and three of their references are called via phone by our team member who was an educator for 30 years. Each reference must be a childcare reference and pass through acceptable criteria set by our Agency.

Upon completion, the nanny candidate is accepted to our Agency and is in communication with our team about jobs that are a fit for them. Each candidate has the opportunity to attend our bi-annual CPR and First Aid Training, as well as receive on-going coaching, prepping and check ins to stay up to date on all childcare information.

We continually review the candidates’ profile based on family feedback and their communication with us. We only work with the best nannies in the business. If a nanny does not pass through our Agency’s criteria or proves to not be a fit for our Agency based on our team’s or family’s feedback, we will remove that candidate from our Agency.

To learn more about the Bell Family team, click here!

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