Tag Archives: sitter

Top 5 Questions Childcare Providers Are Asking

At Bell Family Company, we prep our childcare providers as much as possible, so when they enter the family’s home they are confident and ready to take on the role. One way we help prepare childcare providers is by answering their questions. Here are the top 5 questions childcare providers are asking us before they fill a position.

  1. Will the agency be available if I ever have any questions regarding time off, salary, job duties, etc.?
  2. What if I am not happy or something comes up in my life where I cannot continue the position? 
  3. During this time of a global pandemic, can you tell me any safety measures the family is taking to ensure that mine align and we both remain healthy? 
  4. Is the job on or off the books?
  5. [For live-in jobs] Will I have my own room? And can I go home on the weekends?

Nannies will also ask logistical questions regarding a yearly bonus, PTO, sick days, overtime, etc. We communicate all details clearly in the contract and the negotiation offer stage, but we are always available to answer questions upfront. 

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!

Can Nannies & Sitters That Work in a Family’s Home Get the Vaccine in NY?

A message from our Payroll & Household Employment Expert, GTM Payroll Services Inc.

“It seems legislation is being passed where this may change, but as for now, our HR advisor is stating that nannies are not official childcare workers for this particular item. The definition is just not firm enough for us to put nannies in a group that is mainly supposed to be (for lack of a better term) ‘official and registered caregivers.’”

BFC’s thought is that you can try to get the vaccine with an employment verification letter and see if you are eligible. We can provide a letter stating that you were referred by our agency as a fully-vetted childcare provider and work in a BFC family home as a regular childcare provider. Your employer (the family) could also provide a letter.

Another option would be for a nanny or sitter to call the Department of Health (DOH) to ask for a vaccine priority. It is certainly possible that they will get it. Anyone applying for vaccinations will also need to fill out a form for the DOH.

That being said, we can’t officially advise that nannies and sitters are included in the first couple of vaccine rollouts that favor licensed caregivers. We will be alerting our childcare providers with any new updates as we receive them.

Please visit our resource page for the latest information on COVID-19.

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

How to Ace a Virtual Interview

Bell Family hosted a virtual training to all caregivers on Wednesday, December 16th on “Preparing for a Virtual Interview.” In these new times, this has become the new norm, and it can be a challenge to understand how to showcase your best self through a screen, when as caregivers, we love interacting with others. 

The virtual training opened up with a guest speaker going over topics such as things to never say during an interview, what an interviewee can do to grab the attention of the interviewer and how to showcase your confidence and trust through a screen. 

BFC Founder & Owner, Lindsay Bell, and Nanny Services Manager, Lauren Kruk, then focused on sharing several tips on how to prepare and ace a virtual interview. 

The event was well attended and a great learning experience for all! We highly recommend those seeking to advance their interview skills to watch our training playback, especially those interested in a job in childcare. You can watch our full training 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!

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.

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!

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