It is a proven fact that kids lose a lot of what they learned during school over the summer. Parents and nannies can do some things over the summer to keep children’s brains active and learning!
1. Visit your local library. Most libraries have summer reading programs, kids activities and story hours. You and the kids can check out travel books to help plan a summer vacation, how-to-books on planting a garden, or books about their favorite hobby.
2. One way to keep the math skills fresh is to play with money. Let your kids’ earn an allowance this summer. While they are saving and counting their money they are keeping math skills fresh.
3. Plan a trip to a museum. Learning can happen anywhere. A trip to the art museum, zoo, or science center can also be a learning opportunity.
4. Get in the kitchen. Cooking with your children is a great way to learn a practical skill and fractions!
5. Go local. So many communities offer free summer concerts, festivals and speakers. Get out and enjoy what your community has to offer.
Last month at the International Nanny Association Conference the Nanny of the Year was announced. Congratulations to Joanne Barrow! Here is an interview with Joanne conducted by the authors of RegardingNannies.com.
What prompted you to apply for INA NOTY?
I became a member of INA last October and learned about NOTY a short time later whilst searching their website. I’ve been a Nanny for more than 2 decades, I knew I’d made a valuable contribution to the families I’d worked for and I felt I could be a positive role model for the industry and the association, so I made the decision and applied. When my previous employer, and then my current employer both wanted to recommend me and other prior families I’d worked for and my even charges started writing letters, the process just took on a life of it’s own. It was quite a bit of work to complete the application but personally I really enjoyed the process and it got me inspired to get more involved in my industry.
How did you find out you won?
One of my nominating families threw a surprise dinner party for me at their home in New York City. The children greeted me at the door all dressed up grinning form ear to ear and made the announcement as I entered the dining room. They recited a poem they’d written and the youngest had drawn a picture that is now in a “2013 Nanny of the Year” engraved frame I was given to mark the occasion. It was a wonderful surprise.
What is your greatest accomplishment as a nanny?
There’s a great sense of pride I feel when I look at the children whose lives I’ve been a part of. It’s a wonderful feeling of accomplishment to know you’ve been a positive and guiding influence in a family’s life, I don’t imagine much can beat it!
What would you say to other nannies to encourage them to apply for INA NOTY?
Go for it! The recommendations alone are such a tremendous validation of your dedication and a job well done. When you start hearing from your former employers, your agents and if you’ve been at it as long as I have your grown charges! You’ll know you’re doing the right thing. The hardest part is stepping forward to accept the award knowing that the nominees by your side are all equally deserving; it’s an extremely humbling experience.
I heard more than once at conference that Nannies were ‘put off’ by the work involved in the application. It’s true, it is a process but I think they make it that way for good reasons. Don’t be put off by what’s involved, Marcia Hall provided great support throughout with her step by step guide on the INA’s website blog. The process really encouraged me to look inward on my 22 year career; for me it was a fun and inspiring project that re affirmed my passion for what I do.
What words of wisdom do you have for nannies – for career nannies and those just starting out?
I have always felt that the most important thing is knowing where your values lie and never taking a position that requires you to veer away from them. You need that guiding compass everyday, stay true to it.
If you weren’t a nanny, what would you be doing?
I’m a care taker at heart, steady, thorough and conscientious. Before moving to the US in 1991 I was an Auxillary Nurse in the UK caring for the elderly. If I had to guess I’d say I would probably have continued on in the nursing profession. Children were always destined to be my future though, that was clear to me when I was a child myself.
What do you wish you would have known when you first started out as a nanny?
Flexibility is your friend. It will save you from wasted power struggles with three year olds, make you a better employee, allow room for change in an ever changing environment and open you up to a world of opportunities. Embrace it, arms wide open. J
Thank you to Breedlove and Associates for explaining the labor laws for travel to us!
When accompanying an employer on a trip – whether a vacation or a business trip – an employee must be compensated for all hours worked during the trip, including the time spent traveling to the destination. If the employee’s working time exceeds 40 hours in a 7-day period, the employer must pay the employee for the overtime hours at the time-and-a-half rate. In addition to the regular and overtime pay, the employer is responsible for the employee’s traveling expenses, including airfare and hotel accommodations. These expenses are covered by the employer because the employee would not have incurred these expenses on her own.
A traveling employee does not need to be compensated during her “free time,” which is defined as time when she is not responsible for her charges and she has complete freedom to go and do whatever she pleases.
Our own Angela has a green thumb and has an amazing vegetable garden!
P.S. It’s not too late to hire sitters for the summer. TLC For Kids has great college students ready to work this summer. Contact us about your babysitting needs today!
School is out and you could use an extra set of hands around this summer.
TLC For Kids is here to help. TLC has experienced reliable babysitters and nannies available this summer. Whether you are looking for full-time summer help, part-time babysitting, or an extra set of hands for a day at the pool we are here. TLC sitters can also help chauffeur to the pool, camps, Six Flags or anywhere else your kids need to go!
Here are some more ways your kids can benefit from a summer nanny:
1. A Positive Role Model: College students can be a great mentor for your children.
2. A Coach: Hiring a sitter how loves sports like your children is like having a private coach for the summer. Your sitter can play soccer in the backyard or pitch to your aspiring ball player all afternoon.
3. A Tutor: Your summer sitter could also serve as a tutor. Doing fun science experiments or learning about a certain time in history seems more exciting with a “cool” sitter.
Contact us about your summer childcare needs today!
Dads, TLC For Kids wants to help you celebrate Mother’s Day with a free agency set up fee.
Simply visit our Facebook page, like us, and enter our contest. Tell us what a great mom your kids have in the comment section of our Mother’s Day Contest post and you will be entered into the drawing. The winner will be announced Friday, May 10th.
Special ‘Thank You’ to Stephanie Breedlove from Breedlove and Associates for this guest blog post!
The anxiety first hits around late-April: School is coming to an end! How ironic that summer vacation actually makes life more hectic until you get everything straightened out. My kids are grown now but I remember the panic: School was going to let out, my husband and I were working, and we needed someone to care for the kids, even if it meant shuffling and chauffeuring them from camp to playdate. What put me at peace was the realization that teachers had new summer schedules too, college students were on break, and teen sitters were out there looking for jobs. That’s still true today. TLC For Kids has great summer nannies looking for work. As you put your summer care plan in place – and exhale – play a quick game I like to call “Two Truths and a Lie: The Tax Edition.”
Who said taxes aren’t fun?!
1. My summer nanny is not an independent contractor.
Many families think a temporary or part-time nanny is an independent contractor, but the truth is that you’re her employer.
So even if he or she only works for you during the summer, the nanny is your employee in the eyes of the IRS and is covered by special protections such as minimum wage and overtime.
2. I can pay a summer sitter cash because she’s temporary.
You aren’t supposed to pay any nanny or sitter earning more than $1,800 a calendar year under the table!
3. You Can Get Tax Credit for Hiring a Summer Nanny
Say you hire a nanny to take care of your kids for the 13 weeks of summer – and you pay her $500 per week, for a total of $6,500 over the summer. The employer taxes on this wage amount will be about $600 (or a total of $7,100).
That’s the cost side. Now for the good news: tax breaks.
If you have a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through your employer, you can set aside $5,000 for childcare expenses using your pre-tax dollars. An FSA can save you as much as $2,300 per year, depending on your marginal tax rate. That savings will bring your total cost down to about $4,800.
By putting her on the books, you’ve saved roughly $1,700!
If you don’t have access to an FSA (or missed the enrollment period for this tax year), that’s okay. You can still use the Tax Credit for Child or Dependent Care (a.k.a. the “Childcare Tax Credit”). It will save you up to $600 if you have 1 child or $1,200 if you have 2 or more children, bringing your total cost down to either $5,900 (save $600) or $6,500 (break even).
Remember, these tax savings are only available if you pay your summer nanny on the books and fulfill your “nanny tax” obligations.
I hope you find a great caregiver and have a wonderful summer. Along the way, if you have any household employment questions, just let us know. We’re here to help (888-273-3356).
Are you going on a family vacation this summer? Vacations are fun and it’s a nice break to get away from the daily grind. Vacations can also be a time for parents to reconnect. Planning and running after kids can be tiring. Parents should take a day or evening and spend time together without the kids!
Here are some tips for parents who are looking to take a vacation from their kids while on vacation.
1. Hire a babysitter on your own.
Check with the International Nanny Agency (nanny.org) for a list of babysitting agencies where you will be staying. Nanny agencies like TLC For Kids can send a vetted sitter to the care for the kids in your hotel room. Check with the agency about rates, hours, and pre-screening. TLC For Kids offers hotel babysitters in South Florida and St. Louis, Missouri.
2. Bring your nanny or babysitter with you.
If you have a nanny or regular babysitter see if she wants to come along! Negotiate everything ahead of time. Talk about what is expected as far as hours on duty and hours off duty. Remember you will be responsible for a salary plus her traveling expenses. Having another set of hands for the trip whom the kids already know and love maybe worth the extra expense.
3. Find a hotel that offers sitting services.
Lots of hotels and resorts offer provide babysitters, day care or kids’ clubs. Do your research when making arrangements with the hotel. Ask questions like where do they find their sitters, does the hotel check their references and do a background check, and where will the childcare take place?
Make your plans prior to your arrival so you won’t by trying to make arrangements last minute.
4. Take family-friendly cruise.
Most cruise ships offer child care or supervised activities for children. For example the Disney Cruise Line offers lots of options for kids of all ages. Do your research to make sure there are no age requirements.
Most importantly have fun and take time to relax and reconnect!