What it Takes to be a Professional Nanny

What it Takes to Be a Professional Nanny

If you are a nanny, you know that professionalism is important. But, do you know what it takes to be a professional nanny?

To be taken seriously in your profession, you must represent yourself in a professional manner. Now, you might be wondering what that really means. You’re in luck because that is exactly what I plan to share with you.

First let’s get a good definition of “professional nanny”.

A nanny, by definition is an individual who provides care for one or more children in a family as a service.

Professional, defined by Merriam-Webster, is

a :of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession
b :engaged in one of the learned professions
c (1) :characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession (2) :exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace

So that would mean, a PROFESSIONAL NANNY is an individual who provides care for one or more children in a family as a service who exhibits a courteous, conscientious, manner and conforms to the ethical standards of said profession.

Now, I know your next question will be, “What are the ethical/professional standards for a nanny?” Lucky for you, we have that information as well. According to the International Nanny Association (INA), Recommended Practices for Nannies, The Role of a Nanny is as follows:

A nanny is responsible for the complete care of the employer’s children.
A nanny’s duties may include:

  • Tending to each child’s basic physical needs
  • Meal planning and preparation for the children
  • Laundering and caring for clothing belonging to the children
  • Organizing play activities and outings
  • Setting behavioral guidelines
  • Providing discipline when appropriate
  • Providing social and intellectual stimulation
  • Providing transportation
  • Housekeeping, when related to the children
  • Traveling with the family.
  • Nannies must also be able to communicate effectively with both the children and their parents. Depending on the individual family, the nanny may be treated as an employee, as a cherished friend or as a member of the family.

Keep in mind, these are the BASIC job duties. Therefore, you may also accommodate the family by helping with light housekeeping for the whole family, meal preparation for the whole family, running family errands like grocery shopping, etc. Your particular job responsibilities will be defined by your family and should be part of your agreement with the family that ultimately hires you. Nannies Who Care provides all of our families with a template Family-Nanny Agreement to be fashioned to properly represent what YOUR specific job duties will entail. It will also outline your rate of pay, days of vacation, sick or holiday pay provided, mileage reimbursement, etc.

Now to address the ethics part. According to Louise Dunham, the principal of Placement Solutions, Melbourne Australia as well as serving on the INA’s Executive Board and the chair of the INA’s Ethics Committee, “Every single person in our nanny industry needs to be absolutely committed to the base principle that no child gets hurt on our watch. That means no corner cutting during recruitment and no getting distracted whilst on the job. It means holding others to account. Always.” It is really that simple.

Professionalism – What Does That Really Mean?

To be a professional nanny, and to be taken seriously as a professional in your field, you must not only provide the aforementioned services to your family, but you must conduct yourself in a professional manner.

What does that mean? Conducting yourself in a professional matter…

Well, let’s dive into now, shall we.

What it Takes to Be a Professional NannyBe on time.

Your employer, the family you work for, counts on you to be punctual. So be on time. Easy-peasy.

Show up for your specified work schedule.

Never miss work unless you have made arrangements with your employer WELL in advance. Of course, emergencies do happen, and if they do, communicate with your employer/family as soon as you are able to ensure they understand your emergency situation. This way, they should have time to contact Nannies Who Care for a back up nanny in the event you are unable to work. Don’t make a happen of calling in with “an emergency” it cheapens you to do so and effectively labels you as UNprofessional. Yuck!

Complete tasks assigned.

Maybe this seems like an obvious thing. But, believe you me, many people get complacent in their jobs and feel as though they do not have to do EVERYTHING that they originally agreed to do. OH BOY, that is the WRONG ATTITUDE. If you agreed to do specific tasks when hired, those are the tasks that you should do. If you are instructed to create a meal, create a meal. If you are instructed to wash all the laundry, wash all the laundry. The job duties you were assigned are what you should be ensuring are completed on a daily basis. No exceptions.

What it Takes to Be a Professional NannyKeep the lines of communication open.

If you are feeling neglected, overworked, underpaid, etc. the family you work for will not know this unless….wait for it….YOU TELL THEM! I know, novel idea. But, if you don’t share how you feel, your employer will not know. Nobody is prewired with ESP. Maybe you feel like it is obvious, but guess what, usually, it is NOT!

What you don’t want to do is keep your feelings inside. All this does is allow the grievances time to fester and become a MUCH bigger issue. Instead, set up a specific time with your employer(s) to discuss the issues you are facing to deal with them like an adult…like a professional! Trust me, your family will respect you for taking this step. Chances are they will have a few things to discuss, as well.

What it Takes to Be a Professional NannyContinue your education.

Nannies Who Care offers various training opportunities throughout the year. To find out what opportunities are currently being offered, visit our Facebook page or call us at 727.784.8868.

In addition, you might consider training provided by other reputable agencies such as the INA. Attending classes to further your knowledge is not only important, but it will resonate with your family. It shows that you are dedicated to your profession. Oftentimes, your employer will even pay for your training! It never hurts to ask.

What it Takes to Be a Professional NannyGet creative!

Make sure that you are providing for the physical, emotional, intellectual and social needs of the children in your care by using developmentally appropriate play/learning activities, materials and equipment. You can promote socialization in young children by providing opportunities for children to interact with their peers through play groups, outings, and age appropriate group activities.

Be your charges advocate.

All nannies should be familiar with the signs of child abuse and neglect, and should be knowledgeable in the procedures for reporting these signs. Nannies are court mandated reporters and have a professional and ethical obligation to report suspected abuse of any child to the proper authorities. Nannies should actively promote the optimal development of a child in their care.

Treat each child as the unique and special gift that they are.

Understand that each child in your care is a unique individual. You should strive to create an environment that fosters each child’s self esteem and independence. Provide structure and developmentally appropriate behavior management techniques and you will build trusting relationships with the children in your care.

What it Takes to Be a Professional Nanny

Ensure your charges environment is safe and healthy.

You should partner with your employer to create a safe environment for the children to learn, play and explore. Consider discussing appropriate childproofing options, if necessary – i.e. baby gates for staircases.

What it takes to be a professional nannyBe present.

Put down the cell phones, nannies. Your sole responsibility is to keep the charges in your care safe and you cannot effectively monitor a child or children while Snapchatting or Instgramming. Put the phone away and only use it when there is an emergency OR if your employer is contacting you. Otherwise, you don’t need it – put it away.

You can do it!

If you follow these guidelines, you will not only be viewed as a professional nanny, you will increase your chances of maintaining a long-term commitment with your family. Being a professional nanny is not for the faint of heart, but it can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

Give your role as a professional nanny the 100% attention it deserves and you will be better for it.

Thank you for stopping by. Come back again.

sheryl-head-shotSheryl Sheppard
Marketing & Placement Specialist
Nannies Who Care

Sheryl is a proud mother of two boys, both of which are soccer players (yup, a true soccer mom). She has been happily married for 17+ years. When Sheryl isn’t writing blog posts, scheduling nannies, or marketing for Nannies Who Care, she is either driving to some remote soccer field or packing healthy lunches.

Sources:

International Nanny Association

Merriam Webster

Wikipedia

 

 

 

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How to Plan Your Stress-Free Holiday

Holiday planning can be a real challenge, even for the most prepared person. However, if you’re like most people, ummm….I’m certainly no exception to this rule, you’re just flying by the seat of your pants!

Believe it or not, we’re just on the cusp of the holiday season. AAAGH! With November already in progress, we need to focus on the dreaded holiday plans!!  Dun dun duuuuuuun!! There’s a lot to do and because of that, it can be daunting and oh so stressful.

Below you’ll find some helpful tips and tricks to assist you with relieving some of your holiday stress. I can’t tell you it will all be gone though. I mean, we all have those folks that we are bound to by blood…or marriage. That, I am afraid, I just can’t help you with.

holiday shoppingBE LIKE SANTA – MAKE A LIST

So, first things first, MAKE A LIST! I know, you are not the big man up north, but lists are uber helpful when you’re trying to get organized and can help calm the stress of the holidays. I suggest a list for meal/event planning, one per holiday plus a separate list for food shopping, and another list for gift ideas. If it is easier for you to make one list for all those who you plan to purchase gifts for, so be it. I prefer an individualized list for each person. Remember to include folks like your garbage men, postal carrier, hair dresser, nanny and/or daycare staff, etc.

listThe upside to lists, at least for me, is when I complete something I get to cross it off! I feel such a sense of accomplishment; a surge of glee and then a bit of stress vanishes. It is AWESOME! Yes, I realize that I’m sort of weird about that, but a task completed is a task completed…celebrate however you see fit.

 

PBS created a fantastic list for Thanksgiving planning. Click here to download the list. I mean why recreate the wheel?

For Christmas, there are gobs of sites out there that you can utilize for lists. There are sites with lists for printables, binders with various pages and dividers (if you will), and all-inclusive lists. I like to create a hybrid list. I use a few ideas I find online and then incorporate my stuff into them. Do whatever you like. This will make your life easier.

For Chanukah, I found a great printable list that you can download by clicking here.

Celebrating Kwanzaa, no worries. Top Party Ideas put together a fantastic list of all things Kwanzaa to help you get ready to host your next party! Check it out here.

Real Simple has created a stellar guide to all things New Years Eve-y. Click here to check out there epic site with how to’s, lists, ideas, etc.

For any other parties you might be putting together this holiday season, Real Simple has a generic checklist you can use by clicking here.

hire-helpHIRE HELP

You’re not wonder woman…right? Sometimes it pays to hire outside help. It can be a huge time saver, a BIG stress reliever, and it’ll help make you feel much more organized.

If you’re not Betty Crocker and you prefer to leave the cooking to someone else, cater your party. You can utilize your local grocer, like Publix, Winn Dixie, Whole Foods, or you can hire a local catering outfit. Ask around for referrals or go online and read reviews.

If you are hosting a party at your home, hire a party server. This way you can enjoy yourself without the added stress of setting up the food stations, serving the food, and cleaning up.

If you need to shop for food and/or gifts, consider hiring a nanny to watch the kids. This way you can shop leisurely, kid free, and stress free.

If you have lists made but don’t have the time or desire to schlep to the store, hire an errand service. You provide your lists and method of payment and your professional errand runner does the rest!

Lastly, if you don’t already have one, hire a cleaning service. This will take a ton of stress away. Ask around. Your friends and family might have someone fabulous they can recommend! Now you won’t have to run around like a crazy person trying to clean up before your guests arrive.

spa-dayTAKE A BREATHER

Now that you know the basics and have some tools to help you tackle this holiday season with ease, take a moment for yourself. Whether you book a spa day, go out to dinner with your significant other, or just grab a glass of your favorite beverage, take a moment to relax and diffuse.

Of course, Nannies Who Care would be happy to provide you with a nanny so you can take that much deserved break. It’ll be win-win! The kids get a fun nanny AND you get to recharge your batteries. Everything is way less stressful so you can finally enjoy the holiday season.

Wishing you a happy and stress-free holiday season!

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. We hope you found it useful. If so, please feel free to share it. If not, share it anyway. LOL. JK…not K.

Thank you for stopping by. Come back again.

sheryl-head-shot

Sheryl Sheppard
Marketing & Placement Specialist
Nannies Who Care

Sheryl is a proud mother of two boys, both of which are soccer players (yup, a true soccer mom). She has been happily married for 16+ years. When Sheryl isn’t writing blog posts, scheduling nannies, or marketing for Nannies Who Care, she is either driving to some remote soccer field or packing healthy lunches.

Halloween Treats…Naughty or Nice?

Halloween is fast approaching and many of you…you know who you are…are stressing out about what to buy to hand out to the adorable little faces that grace your doorstep this year. Not sure if you know it or not, but this year, the much-anticipated sugar-laden, spooky night falls on a Monday. (Do you hear the sobbing children?) Yup. A school night. As if it isn’t hard enough to fit knocking door to door to, let’s face it, beg for candy (or as my adorable niece calls it, “knock knock get candy”), this year you have to make sure the melt-downsweet little angels get some junk but no too much they can’t unwind and go to sleep. I honestly feel sorry for all the teachers, nannies, babysitters, daycare workers, stay-at-home folks and others who care for children on November 1. This year I would imagine most kids are going to be a bit weary and probably not at their personal best.

Might I perhaps make a suggestion…to you know, avoid this tragedy. I thought you’d be OK with that, given you may be the poor bloke left to handle one of these wild children on Tuesday. I suggest parents, neighbors, business owners, and whoever else may be participating in the giving of treats this year, let’s ban together and provide ALTERNATIVE choices than the chemical-laden, processed treats.

Not only are these things unhealthy, many children have intolerances, dietary restrictions, and many other concerns when it comes to consumption of the sugary temptations.

So, here is my suggestion, challenge…call it what you want. Here IT is. Let’s buy either healthy snacks or non-edible items to provide to the sweet babes on this much anticipated night.

I think, if just a few of us do this, maybe, just maybe, others will join. Who knows. Perchance in a few years there will be very little JUNK FOOD items and a lot more suitable choices.

There are several options for you to provide this year that will fit into this wonderful new category…NON-JUNK FOOD items.

EDIBLE TREATS

apple-slices

  • organic fruit in bags, like apple slices (prepackaged…nothing done at home)
  • veggies in bags, like baby carrots (prepackaged ONLY)
  • prepackaged, individual packets of raisins or other dried fruits (not gummy snacks – they are full of sugar)
  • organic juice boxes or pouches
  • organic apple sauce snack packs
  • real-fruit strips and rolls
  • whole food bars such a LARABAR minis
  • Bare Fruit trial size packs
  • raw or roasted nuts (ask parents before giving out nuts due to allergies)
  • trial-size packs of dried veggie chips
  • organic granola/breakfast bars
  • organic, gluten-free treat-sized crispy rice bars
  • trial/snack-sized bags of organic cookies, crackers, or popcorn

NON-EDIBLE TREATS

bubbles

  • Halloween-themed toys like fang whistles, monster finger puppets, etc.
  • plastic jewelry—glow-in-the-dark preferred. Since they’re only supposed to last a day or two you don’t feel bad when you chuck them.
  • Halloween-themed temporary tattoos
  • bubbles
  • chalk
  • small containers of Play-Doh
  • Cash! A bag of pennies, nickles, dimes, or quarters, or $1 bills.
  • slime in a jar
  • Halloween-themed pencils
  • little crayon boxes
  • Halloween-themed stickers
  • Halloween-themed notepads
  • Halloween-themed erasers
  • bendable critters
  • take-home craft project
  • squeaky toys/rubber duckies

You get the jest here. There are SO many options you can choose from aside from the regular sugar-shocking garbage that seems to be the go-to stuff for Halloween. Be part of the change. Encourage others to be part of it, too.

With all the health issues, intolerances, allergies, attentionary issues, etc. it appears as though the “typical” Halloween treats should be avoided. Stick to a healthy edible or non-edible option. The parents and childcare providers will appreciate it…BIG TIME!

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. We hope you found it useful. If so, please feel free to share it. If not, share it anyway. LOL. JK…not K.

Thank you for stopping by. Come back again.

SherylSheryl Sheppard
Marketing & Placement Specialist
Nannies Who Care

Sheryl is a proud mother of two boys, both of which are soccer players (yup, a true soccer mom). She has been happily married for 16+ years. When Sheryl isn’t writing blog posts, scheduling nannies, or marketing for Nannies Who Care, she is either driving to some remote soccer field or packing healthy lunches.

Back to School and the Dreaded Lunch Dilemma

OK. So you’re not Mary-freaking-Poppins. No spoonful of sugar will fix your daily melee to pack a lunch worthy of your child’s consumption. It is a struggle…a REAL struggle. I know that struggle all too well.

Reality Check

You have a picky eater but you are bound and determined to pack something that won’t come back in the lunchbox all squished into a disgusting clump at the bottom. Perhaps, it is stuck so badly that you have to call 911 and have the paramedics use the jaws of life to peel the Godforsaken sludge out. Yes. We’ve all been there. We all seem to battle with this daily chore of packing our child’s lunch. But not just any lunch, a lunch that meets the following criteria:

  1. A delectable selection that makes your child complete the amazing feast. Every. Last. Morsel. Oh yeah, lunchbox jackpot!
  2. A lunch display that has everyone envious of what a spectacular parent you are. Absolutely clinched the Parent of the Year award.
  3. Full of nutritious and delicious menu options that leaves every child vying to be seated next to your special little miracle, just in case there is anything discarded. MVP, baby!
  4. And, of course, a meal that was packed with such ease, you can’t even recall what you even prepared. Because. Level – EXPERT!

So, now that you are totally and completely feeling like an epic failure as a parent and are thinking that you will never be able to pack your child a successful lunch, STOP! Seriously. That type of lunch is NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN! Never. So just forget about it.

Here’s what’s going to happen. You’re going to rethink the whole “I need to prepare the most fanciful lunch for my child every day” idea, jump on the reality train and focus on preparing a lunch that is both semi-nutritious (yes, semi) and delicious. This is how you will succeed. Flourish even. That Parent of the Year award may just be in your reach. But, don’t get ahead of yourself. Instead, try these 7 steps to reach some semblance of lunchbox hero.

The Seven Steps to Becoming a Lunchbox Hero

superhero parent.jpg

STEP ONE. Stop beating yourself up. You are a parent, not a super hero. Let that sink in. Yes. Absorb those words. Accept them.

STEP TWO. Start thinking about what your child enjoys eating. Remove that nagging idea that everything your child eats must be deemed “healthy” and just think about the foods your child really enjoys. I know, this can change daily. But, start a list and edit as necessary.

STEP THREE. Break down the list into two columns. Healthy and Not So Healthy. Not hard. Just do it. And, stop freaking out that there is a column labeled “Not So Healthy”. It will be alright. We will get through this together. Promise.

mom buying groceriesSTEP FOUR. Purchase items in both columns on the list. Yup. BOTH. Why? Because, just like you, your child is a real, living being who likes both the good-for-you stuff and the not-so-good-for-you stuff. Hey, you’re still alive and well, right? And, try to buy more from the Healthy list. That way you can breathe easier. Stop with the guilt already!

compartment lunchSTEP FIVE. Consider buying BPA-free (just to be safe) plastic containers that are broken into compartments. Nothing fancy or super pricey. This will just help separate the lunch items and make is easier to pack. Some of the things your child likes may not be so easy to pack. For example, my son LOVES canned mandarin oranges packed in water, not syrup. (And just in case you are wondering, this went in the “Healthy” column.) Anyhow, these little buggers are messy. So, we purchase the large cans and then we drain them and put them into one of the compartments. Boom. Swish. Score!

STEP SIX. Realize that not every day will be a success. Children change their likes and dislikes faster than a Twinkie can disappear at a Weight Watcher’s meeting. That is not unusual and does not speak to your ability to parent. So, there’s that. Move on.

kid hates lunchSTEP SEVEN. If your child is speaking and your can understand him/her, ask about the lunch. What did your child like. What did your child not like. Make corrections as necessary. If, however, your child can not speak, ask the daycare provider/teacher what items your child seemed to enjoy and which ones your child spat out. This will help you when packing lunches later in the week…month…year. Maybe. Children are so fickle. Don’t take it personally. Don’t see it as a failure. Just correct the offensive item(s) and move on.

The Finish Line

finish lineIf after you have successfully packed at least one lunch during the week, consider that a HUGE accomplishment. I mean, one success is one success. Take it and run with that bad boy. Shout it out loud. Post it on social media. Own it. Like a boss. Because, after all, you earned it!

Lastly, I would highly recommend you take a moment for yourself, maybe during your celebratory lunch-packer-hero bliss, and watch Bad Moms. If you have already seen it, you know what I am talking about. If you haven’t…you are welcome!

Best of luck on your lunch-packing journey. I have nothing but faith in your success. Even if it is only once…a week….a month…a year. A success is a success. Am I right??

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. We hope you found it useful. If so, please feel free to share it. If not, share it anyway. LOL. JK…not K.

Thank you for stopping by. Come back again.

SherylSheryl Sheppard
Marketing & Placement Specialist
Nannies Who Care

Sheryl is a proud mother of two boys, both of which are soccer players (yup, a true soccer mom). She has been happily married for 16+ years. When Sheryl isn’t writing blog posts, scheduling nannies, or marketing for Nannies Who Care, she is either driving to some remote soccer field or packing healthy lunches.

How to Broach the Dreaded Topic: Asking for a Raise

Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you are at least thinking about asking for a raise. Nannies Who Care knows that the topic of salary negotiation can be intimidating, but if you start off with information and knowledge, you’re starting off on the right foot. We’ve done some research to provide you with some salary negation tools to make your goal a reality. So here, without further ado, is our absolute, number one piece of advice for a successful salary negotiation:

It’s not magic.

kid magician

Now stay with me here. You probably already guessed you aren’t going to find instructions on how to leave cookies out for a magical, raise-granting elf that will repay your gift of carbs with a fatter paycheck. You’re a sane, logical human being after all. But, that would be killer!

Before you storm away from your computer, announce loudly to your friends and family that you’ve lost faith in humanity and start plotting a move to a remote island where only people who pass a series of carefully constructed logic puzzles are granted permission to enter, consider the fact that what this really shows is how much fear people have around the topic of salary negotiation. The idea of asking your employer for more money is so frightening that it causes successful professionals to resort to magical thinking in such great numbers that it’s been captured by Google auto-suggest. No, I am not kidding.

It’s okay to be nervous. It’s okay to be scared. You see, the problem with talking about salary is that it’s something we’re taught to not talk about openly. It’s a black box.

Get Educated

education.png

Did you know…most Nannies in the United States are women, a whopping 90% in fact.

The national average hourly rate for babysitting or short-term assignments is $13.36 per hour. The national average hourly rate for full-time, permanent assignments is $18.86 per hour while International Nanny Association (INA) credentialed nannies earned a bit more, $19.96 per hour. Newborn Care Specialists and specialty nannies earned even more.

While the specific employer and experience level impact pay for this group, location is the most influential factor. The majority of Nannies claim high levels of job satisfaction.

Medical and dental benefits are awarded to less than one-tenth, and less than two percent earn vision coverage. Paid vacations are provided to 62% of full-time, permanent nannies whereby guaranteed pay whilst the family does require nanny services is provided by 71% of families.

The data in this summary comes from PayScale.com and the INA’s Salary Survey.

Ask for the Raise!

Asking for a raise is a stressful and often a downright awkward experience. Money is hard enough to talk about in the first place: When most people have to ask their employer for more money, their anxiety levels shoot through the roof.

If you’re not a natural negotiator, there might always be a touch of nervousness when it comes to requesting an increase in pay.  However, if you’re well-prepared, you might just find that asking is easier than you were expecting.

Believe in your worth

Imagine a car salesperson saying, “I don’t know if you’ll like this vehicle or not, but it’s pretty good, so I think you might want to try it.” Would that convince you to buy the car? Probably not. You’re more likely to be sold by the one who says “This is a great model. It’s highly reliable, fun to drive, and comes with a variety of options. In fact, I drive one myself!” Confidence sells. If you don’t believe you deserve a raise, why should you expect your employer to think so?

Don’t Go In Negative

attitude

Aggression is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to salary negotiations. When you’re coming up with your arguments, be open-minded with what you consider complaining. If it could possibly be construed as airing your grievances, cut it from your plan.

This means you shouldn’t talk about how you haven’t had a raise in years, or how you do twice as much work as most nannies. Even if these things are true, they’re not going to work in your favor.

Have a backup plan

How to Breach the Dreaded Topic: Asking for a Raise

If a raise isn’t possible now, lay the groundwork for the future. Ask for feedback on your work so you know where to improve.

Try saying something like, “I’m disappointed that it looks like an increase is not going to happen right now, but I would appreciate some feedback on my value to the family.”

In addition, ask your family what and/or how you need to improve before they will consider a raise. Make sure you follow through on those requests. At that point, you can readdress your request for a raise.

You’ve got this!

How to Broach the Dreaded Topic: Asking for a Raise

Good luck asking for your raise. If your employer values you as an employee and you have a good relationship with your family and charges, you should have a successful negotiation.

Thanks for taking the time to read our blog! We truly hope you find value in our posts. To stay up to date with Nannies Who Care’s latest posts, click the subscribe button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

Feel free to posts your comments below. We’d love to hear YOUR thoughts.

How To Rock YOUR Summer Break

How to Rock Your Summer Break

Summer’s almost here.

Many folks take advantage of the warmer temperatures by spending more time outdoors. Activities such as traveling to the beach, picnics, family vacations and the like are forefront on many summer agendas. Of course, summer equals summer break. The kids are more than eager for a break from school over the summer. If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the kids screaming with glee! So now the million dollar question…What are you going to do with your kiddoes?

 

Bored-Kids

You could send them to summer camp…
the kids say, “Again? Booooring”.

 

overwhelmed parentYou could spend each and every moment of the entire summer break trying to keep the kids happy and engaged. Um, yes…that’s a tad bit overwhelming.

 

Family On Vacation

You could take them on vacation…but then what?

blue divider

HIRE A SUMMER NANNY!!!

Let Nannies Who Care provide a creative solution to your family’s summer break dilemma.

You can have an amazing time with your kids, but you can also have time for you and your significant other.

If you go on a vacation, take the nanny with you. This way you will be able to enjoy a romantic night out or an afternoon on a wine tasting excursion and everything in between.

Summer is a time for you to relax and affords you gobs of time with your kids. Make sure you are able to enjoy their time as well as yours. Don’t delay, hire your summer nanny TODAY!

Contact Nannies Who Care via phone at 727.784.8868 or book your nanny online at http://www.nannieswhocare.com.

 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A NANNY – THE INTERVIEW AND BEYOND

Finding a good nanny (or manny) is well worth the search. Use these tips on what to look for in a nanny so you can make the most of the interview process.

What to Look For in a Nanny.png

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A NANNY DURING YOUR INTERVIEW

Beyond satisfactory answers to your interview questions, make sure the applicant:

Looks put-together. No, you can’t judge a book by its cover, but how well a prospective nanny cares for herself is one way to predict how well she’ll care for your baby. Is she neatly dressed and groomed? (A strong fashion sense isn’t important, but dirty fingernails and unwashed hair are bad signs.)

Interacts well with your child. Part of the interview should include some face time with your baby. Does the applicant seem patient, caring, and attentive? Is she comfortable holding and playing with your little one? It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker if your baby is crying or seems disinterested (she may have some stranger anxiety) — what’s more telling is how the candidate handles the situation.

Asks appropriate questions. An applicant’s questions are another way to gauge whether or not she’ll be a good nanny for your family. For example, “Does your baby cry a lot?” may mean she’s not up on normal infant behavior (most babies cry a lot). If she asks more questions about when and what she’ll eat for lunch than she does about childcare issues, that’s a red flag too. No questions (or comments) at all can also be telling — she may be more interested in any job rather than your specific position, or she may be noncommunicative, neither of which bodes well for your baby.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF AFTER THE INTERVIEW

If there’s any time to rely on your gut reaction, it’s when you’re making important decisions in childcare like this one. So if something feels off, it probably is. At the very least, jot down your first impressions post-interview. Ask yourself:

Does she seem intelligent? Being able to interact well with you, follow instructions, and think on her feet are key characteristics that should be on the top of your list of what to look for in a nanny. She should also be able to read books to your baby and engage her in stimulating ways.

Did the two of you have good chemistry? You don’t want to become best buds, but you do want to feel you can talk to her about touchy subjects. For this relationship to work, you’ll need to be in constant contact, so a good nanny should be as comfortable with you as she is with your baby. Was she easy to talk to? Did she have a sense of humor? Did she seem likely to tell you all about your little one’s antics or do you suspect getting info about your baby’s day will be like pulling teeth?

Does she seem reliable? Being late for the interview (even with an excuse) may be a sign that she has trouble sticking to a schedule.

Does she seem physically capable of handling the job? Did she huff and puff after walking the flight of stairs to the nursery? If so, consider how she’ll do on the four-block walk to the park each day — or whether she’ll be up to chasing after a toddler once your baby grows into one.

HOW NANNIES WHO CARE ASSISTS FAMILIES IN THE NANNY SEARCH

References. Part of Nannies Who Care service to our family clients is to provide reference letters. When we match a nanny to a family, we will send a nanny profile that contains her references and profile photo. This cuts out the time and frustration of trying to obtain the reference information and letters back from the various reference contacts provided.

Background check. Nannies Who Care prides itself on its reliability, quality of care, and ability to provide exceptional nannies. So, rather than using a standard database to conduct our background checks on our nannies, we utilize a premiere service.

To explain better, we asked Intellicorp to provide some details about the services they provide for us:

Our Criminal SuperSearch is a nationwide search of criminal records, including the District of Columbia. Each Criminal SuperSearch report contains a wealth of information, including felony and misdemeanor records, sex-offender records, inmate records, and arrest information. With over 3,100 counties nationwide, there is not one database available containing all the criminal information. Based on the social security number validation/7-10 year address history, we will be able to detect counties of prior residence for your applicants. If any of these counties are not currently up-to-date in our Criminal SuperSearch, our system will notify you and we will send a court runner to the county to make sure all possible records are uncovered.

In addition, Intellicorp is a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners.

This is just one of the many ways Nannies Who Care strives toward providing a superior nanny service for you and your family.

Personal Service. Every nanny that is part of the Nannies Who Care database are personally interviewed by our staff. We pride ourselves on personally meeting all of our nannies. For those nannies that are located outside of our area, we schedule Skype or FaceTime interviews. We want to meet the nannies we work with and establish personal relationships before we send them out to meet with our families. We know this sets Nannies Who Care apart from the other nanny services and online databases.

MAKE THE OFFER

Once you have obtained all the documentation from Nannies Who Care and have had ample time to interview the various nanny candidates Nannies Who Care provides, it is now time to choose the nanny that best matches you and your family’s needs. Once you have decided on the nanny, contact her and offer her the job.

After you have hired your nanny, Nannies Who Care can provide a few companies that offer tax and payroll services to assist you with payroll and taxes for your newest employee and hopefully extended family member, your nanny!

5 Common Mistakes First Time Parents Make

Okay. Let’s clear the air before we start, because I can feel the heckles rising on the necks of every new and expectant mother reading this article. “What does Debbie know about modern parenting?” Things have changed. They’re different now.”

I’ll make two points in my defense.

First, over 26 years in the in-home childcare industry means I have seen a lot of parents grappling with the challenges of a new baby, in all sorts of situations. Twenty-six years. That’s an entire generation, and a lot of parents making the same mistakes over and over.

Second, things aren’t so different today, no matter how much today’s generation like to think otherwise. (Believe me, my generation thought we were different too, as did every generation before us.) Another lesson of my 26+ years in this business is that the basics remain the much the same regardless of what is going on in the wider world.

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Here’s my entirely non-scientific list of five common mistakes made by new parents.

1. Not setting a routine

Most people love the free-and-easy life they lead ‘before kids’. Sleeping late, rising later on the weekend, eating at whatever hour the urge strikes, eating out on a whim. And many parents believe that they’ll be able to maintain that lifestyle once the baby arrives. The baby will just have to fit in. Unfortunately the reality is not like that. Babies are creatures of habit. In order to feel safe they need to have some rhythm in their young lives. Not rock-solid rhythm like the four-hourly feeds that were trendy in the sixties, but a reasonably robust routine around sleep times and, as they grow, meal times. Don’t worry, you will be able to revert to your laissez faire lifestyle again. It just might take a decade or two.

2. Underestimating how tired both parents will be

To some extent there is no point in writing this, because it is almost impossible to understand how tiring parenting is until you are a parent. Every expectant parent is told this, and few of them really understand. So if you are a parent-to-be, just take it as read: you will be constantly tired, and a lot more tired than you ever thought it was possible to be.

3. Not organizing a help roster before the birth

In the first 12 weeks in particular, you will need all the help you can get. Particularly if one of you is working, you’ll want as many pre-made meals as you can get your hands on. You’ll need your baby watched by someone else for an hour here or there in order to get some cleaning done and to fold the endless – endless – pile of washing. However once the baby arrives you won’t have time to plan any of this, so create a roster and delegate as many tasks as you can to helpful family and friends before the big day. Or better yet, hire a Newborn Care Specialist! They can help you with all of this and MORE!

4. Not accepting help at all

Worse than not planning for help is failing to accept offers of help at all. Everyone who has had a child knows how crazy the first few months are going to be, and many will offer help in various forms. Yes, I know you want to be independent and self-sufficient and I know you think you can pull it off, but when offers of help come, accept them. Don’t argue. Just say, “Yes, thank you.” It’s not that hard.

5. Being too hard on yourselves

Give yourselves a break. Seriously. I don’t know how many times I’ve met new parents who feel they are failing. They had grand plans before their baby’s birth. They weren’t going to be like the other parents they knew – the ones they saw struggling to cope, whose once-tidy homes had become bomb sites and for whom going out for a meal just got too hard. Then when they become exactly those parents they beat themselves up about it. Don’t. Being a parent is hard work and no-one ever gets it completely right, so just do the best you can and your baby will love you for it.

If you think something else should have made this list, let us know in the comments below.

What is Proper Gift Giving Etiquette for a Nanny?

What is Proper Gift Giving Etiquette for a Nanny

Even when all the presents for family and friends are wrapped and under the tree, many parents still aren’t done with their holiday shopping. They’ve got to figure out what to give the people who help change their kids’ diapers, fix them after-school snacks and tuck them in at night.

With both parents active in the workforce in nearly 60 percent of American families, nannies and babysitters are an increasingly important part of the family unit. And in this promising holiday economy — holiday spending is estimated to be up 4.1 percent this year to $586.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation — people are prepared to shell out for their family’s caregivers.

A new survey by UrbanSitter reveals that 75 percent of parents plan on giving their babysitter a gift or bonus this holiday season, and when it comes to nannies, that number jumps to 97 percent. The most popular gift for nannies is one week’s pay, while 44 percent of parents give their babysitters more than $75 for a holiday or year-end bonus.

So how much should you be giving your babysitter or nanny this season? Check out UrbanSitter’s infographic below to see what other parents are doing.

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Resources:

Help During the Holidays

This holiday season don’t stress! Nannies Who Care is here for you. Call us so we can help you!
Holiday Shopping Nanny – schedule a nanny so you can shop kid-free
Errand Runner – schedule a helper to run holiday errands
Party Servers – schedule a party server at your holiday gatherings
Call today and book your nanny! Make your life easier. You deserve it!
Call us at 727.784.8868 to book your nanny or book your nanny online at http://www.nannieswhocare.com.
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