Archive for June 2013

Safe Sunscreens For Kids

Summer is here and many of us are thinking about how we can keep our kids safe in the sun.

Parents and nannies everywhere are grabbing the sunscreen. Some sunscreens out there are made of chemicals that you may not want on the little ones.

There are natural sunscreens that are just as effective. Using safe ingredients, many lotions, creams and sticks provide excellent UV protection while minimizing chemical exposure.

 

 

TLC For Kids has made a list of some of the natural sunscreens that were included in The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) annual Safe Sunscreen Guide.

Many of these products can be found locally and  can be found online as well.

1. Badger Active Kids Sunscreen Cream

2. Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Sunscreen

3. Wee Generation Baby Sunscreen

4. California Baby Sunscreen Stick

5. Raw Elements Sunscreen

Remember sunscreen isn’t your only defense against the sun. Wear protective clothing and hats to avoid a sunburn.

Part time nanny jobs

TLC For Kids in St. Louis is recruiting for part time nannies.  We have great families in need of after school nannies.

An after school nanny is a great job for a college student.  The job allows you to go to morning and early afternoon classes AND be back on campus for study groups or club meetings in the evenings.

After school nannies typically work Monday through Friday 2/3pm to 6/7pm.  You may pick the kids up from school or meet them at the bus stop.   Once the kids are home after school nannies help with homework, take the kids to activities, play ball, or supervise a little down time.

After school nanny jobs are a great way to work consistent hours while focusing on your schoolwork.

If you live in St. Louis and are interested in helping a family this school year with their child care needs apply on line at tlcforkids.com

 

Hotel Babysitters

Summer vacations are a lot of fun for everyone.  Kids love traveling to new places and seeing all the cool things a different city can offer.  If your kids are like my kids, one of the most fun things about a vacation is the hotel.  I don’t know why, but most kids the idea of staying in a hotel for a few days.

Parents, however, can find the hotel room a little cramped.  After a long day and nights of sight seeing parents can use a little recharge time.

TLC For Kids can help!  We offer hotel babysitting in St. Louis, Mo.  Our Miami office offers hotel babysitting in Fort Lauderdale and Miami!  Our hotel sitters are fun, reliable and screened.  They will come to the hotel with games and activities for the kids to do while you enjoy an evening out.

Visit our website to complete the hotel registration form.  TLC recommends booking your sitter prior to your arrival but last minute requests are welcome.

 

 

 

Tips to Balance Work and Family

It is not easy being a mom who has to juggle work and family.

According to AmericanProgress.org, “women now make up half of all workers in the United States, with nearly 4 in 10 homes having a mom that is also a working mother.”

Here are some tips for mom to help balance work and family life.

1. Find quality childcare.

Knowing that your little ones are safe and sound at home with a loving nanny helps going to work so much easier.  TLC For Kids can help you find a loving, reliable and fun nanny to watch your kids while you are gone.

2. Let go of the guilt.

Try to focus on how your job is benefiting the family instead of what you are missing while being at work.

3. Make mornings easier.

Make mornings less stressful by doing as much as you can the night before.  Pack lunches, pick out clothes, and plan what you are going to have for breakfast the night before.

4. Create a family calendar

Create one calendar for everyone to use.  Add school events, sports activities, and work requirements so everything is in one central place.

5. Create Special Family Activities

Remember when you are at home to try to focus on being at home with your family.   Plan fun family activities that the kids will like.

 

House and Pet Sitters

Are you traveling this summer and need someone to watch your pets?

TLC For Kids‘ screened and background checked nannies also do house and pet sitting.

 

Our house and pet sitting service offers you a variety of options.  If you need someone to pick up the mail, bring in the papers and feed the fish once a day we can help.  Or, if you need someone to live full time in your house, be a companion for your dog, and water the plants call us.

Our service is safe, convenient, and confidential.  Our agency is bonded and insured and you can trust our sitters in your home.

Your home and your pets are in capable hands, so you can kick back, relax, and enjoy your time away from home.

 

 

 

If you are

Transitioning from Nanny to Household Manager Tips

As kids get older the needs of the family change.  The family you are working for no longer need you to plan play dates, work on gross motor skills, and work on imaginative play.  Instead you are needed for house organizing, chauffeuring duties, and homework help.  TLC For Kids places nannies in full-time Household Manager positions.

I came across these tips from the Regardingnannies.com blog.

 

Understand that you won’t be punching a time clock.  While you may be used to starting when the parents leave in the morning and being done when they come home, the role of a Household Manager isn’t so black and white.  An urgent repair may require a vendor call at 7 am, a delivery may have truck trouble or get stuck in traffic, and will now arrive at 8 pm.  It all requires flexibility, lots of patience, and the ability to think quickly, problem solve and multitask.   If you work more than forty hours in the work week you will be compensated for overtime.

Be Organized.  Keeping an accurate and detailed calendar is a must.  I keep a paper calendar for quick reference on my desk, as well as notes on what tasks were completed that day, follow ups to be done and general notes to self.    I also utilize Gmail and their calendar is great as it syncs with my cell phone and I can color code vendors, school, work and personal appointments. The capability to keep notes on the appointment is a plus as well.   Technology is your friend!  Get to know the latest apps available to help with organization, time management, note taking, mileage tracking and more.

Clearly define your work agreement.  We highly recommend a detailed work agreement.  Since you be doing childcare and household managing make sure the contract covers both.  The contract should clearly define all of the responsibilities and include which role plays a priority in special circumstances, such as sick child, vacations, and inclement weather.  Remember to be flexible.  Not every day goes as planned.

If you are interested in learning more about Household Manager positions please contact us.

How To Keep Your Nanny

One question TLC For Kids hears from families when hiring a nanny, “Is how long is she going to stay?”  We tell families there are reasons why a nanny might leave that are out of your hands.  However, there are things a family can do to help a nanny feel comfortable in her position and happy with her job.

Thank you to Kathy Webb of HomeWork Solutions for sharing this with everyone.

The Top Ten Reasons Why Nannies Quit

10. ISOLATION: Occasionally a family outright forbids the nanny to leave the home with the child. Nannies look forward to taking a walk with the baby on a nice day, perhaps walking with another neighborhood nanny or at-home mom, chatting, enjoying the interaction. Toddlers look forward to spending an hour exploring the local playground. Webb observes, “Criminals get sentenced to house arrest – please don’t do this to your child’s caregiver!”

A live in nanny, especially one who has relocated for the job, must have the opportunity and means (transportation) to establish a social life outside the home. Generally a live in nanny who does not have reliable access to a vehicle in the evenings and weekends will not stay long.

9. LACK OF RECOGNITION: Nanny spends long hours with your children, with little interaction with other adults. Parents who are so preoccupied with the demands of their own careers and lives that they forget to express appreciation for the nanny often find themselves without a nanny unexpectedly. Words really do matter.

8. FAMILY DYSFUNCTION: Substance abuse, physical abuse, marital wars, emotional instability… any and all of these in a household can cause a nanny to quit.

7. MICRO MANAGEMENT: (SAHM and WAHM) When one or both parents spend a considerable amount of time at home while nanny is on duty problems often develop unless steps are taken up front to establish boundaries.

6. EXPENSES: Nannies who are asked to run family errands – whether groceries, dry cleaning, or party gifts – should be left adequate funds in advance. When nanny is required to provide transportation in her personal vehicle, adequate mileage reimbursement should occur.

5. TAXES: Employers, take the time to discuss wage and tax issues SPECIFICALLY at the very beginning and memorialize this in your Work Agreement. Consider giving the nanny a breakdown of the tax deductions from her paycheck with her first payment, and any time there is a change to her compensation. Consult a nanny tax specialist for assistance when needed.

4. POOR COMMUNICATION: The employer must make the time to establish regular communication with the nanny. Find 15 minutes once a week to just sit down and talk over the relationship and how things are going. Consider requiring a Nanny Log and actually look at it every 24 hours, jotting a note to nanny every few days with recognition, suggestions, or just the information that you might be a few minutes late on Thursday.

3. NON-COMPETITIVE COMPENSATION: New nannies especially are often eager to accept the nanny job and do not investigate local wages or costs. When nannies find out that $250 per week for a 50 hour week is NOT the norm, they will leave for a better paying job, often without notice.

2. DUTIES ADDED ONE BY ONE: Sometimes referred to as job creep, the family adds duties (housekeeping, cooking, shopping, watching your neighbor’s son after school) with out appropriate compensation.

1. SCHEDULES THAT GROW, GROW, GROW: Careful! Abusing the nanny’s schedule with unplanned overtime can cost you your nanny! Just as an employer will fire a chronically late employee, a nanny will quit on a chronically late parent. And remember, always compensate for overtime. You don’t want a disgruntled employee filing a wage and hour grievance against you!

TLC For Kids has been placing nannies for over 25 years.   Contact us to learn more hiring  a nanny.

 

I'm Bored Jar

I’m Bored!

 

We all know it will happen. One day your little ones will come up to you and say they are bored. We can fix that!

 

Make an I’m Bored Jar. I saw this idea on Pinterest and love It! We made one at our house and the kids are enjoying it. It’s easy to use. If someone in bored they can pick from the jar. They can only pick once. So, they could get make their bed, wash the windows, run through the sprinkler or make smoothies! Some ideas are fun and some aren’t. But the idea is that they have something to do. So far we haven’t picked a chore yet but I know it’s coming.

 

Here is a link for other ideas to fill your jar.

Please share with us your favorite beat the boredom.

 

 

Phone Interview Tips for Nannies

Are you interviewing for nanny positions?  If so, chances are the family may want to  set up a phone interview.  The phone interview helps makes a large group of candidates more manageable.  Typically, phone interviews are held prior to a face-to-face interview and last about 10-15 minutes.

During a phone interview you can expect:

1. General questions like, “What drew you to our position?” or “What do you like about being a nanny?”

2.  The family will probably go through their schedule and job requirements over the phone to make sure they still fit your needs.

3.  Know the family’s salary range and be prepared to tell them what you are looking for in terms of a salary.

4.  Have a list of references and their contact information handy  in case they ask.

5. Make sure you have your calendar with you so you can set up a face-to-face interview if asked.

TLC For Kids has great nanny jobs.  Apply on line today!

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