Archive for September 2013

TLC Nanny Appreciation Week: Meet Christina!

Thank you to all the families that participated in the Nanny of The Year contest.   Your heartfelt stories made us smile.

We will be  featuring some of our entries every day this week.  The winning entry will be posted on Friday.

Today we want to thank Christina N. for being a great nanny.  Read how much Christina’s employers appreciate she does:

“Our nanny, Christina N, goes above and beyond everyday. She never misses a birthday, holiday or special occasion. She’s always willing to stay late or come early if needed. She plays games, does activities and does things no other nanny would do. Such as dress up, dance, and sing to make a video, clean up pet messes, try cooking creations and so much more. She is caring, willing to help and simply amazing. Most of all she is like an older sister to us!!!!!!”

Thank you Chrisina for being a great nanny!

 

Affordable Care Act Q & A for Household Employers

Thank you to our friends at Breedlove and Associates for sharing this informative piece on the new laws going into effect October 1st.  TLC for Kids recommends that both nannies and families read about new healthcare rules for employers and employees.

 

Beginning October 1, the first stages of the Affordable Care Act will go live. Americans looking for health insurance will have access to an online health insurance exchange where they can compare policies and ultimately purchase a plan that suits their individual needs. Because this is a new change to the way health insurance is administered, many families are confused or concerned about how the changes will impact them as a household employer.

 

To help these families feel more comfortable moving forward, we’ve created the following Frequently Asked Questions for household employers:

 

What is the Affordable Care Act?

 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as the Affordable Care Act, is a federal statute which was signed into law in 2010. The statute is primarily aimed at reducing the overall cost of health care and decreasing the number of uninsured individuals living in the United States by enacting a number of different mandates, subsidies and tax credits.

 

Am I required to offer health insurance to my employee(s)?

 

No, employers are not required to offer health insurance if they employ fewer than 50 employees. However, you are required to provide your current employee(s) and, at the time of hire, any future employee(s) with notice of the new Health Insurance Marketplace.

 

Is my employee required to have health insurance?

 

Yes, beginning in 2014, your employee may be charged penalties if she does not have health insurance coverage. However, you are not responsible for making sure your employee has health insurance.

 

What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?

 

The Health Insurance Marketplace, or The Marketplace, is a “one-stop shop” where individuals can compare and purchase health insurance policies. Open enrollment for The Marketplace begins on October 1, 2013 for coverage beginning January 1, 2014. Your employee(s) will be able to purchase health insurance through The Marketplace until open enrollment ends on March 31, 2014. For more information on The Marketplace, or to complete an online application for health insurance coverage, please visit www.HealthCare.gov.

 

How much will health insurance cost?

 

The cost of health insurance will vary depending on your state and the amount of coverage your employee chooses. After completing an application through The Marketplace, your employee will be able to compare prices and coverage options for   different health insurance policies. Depending on your employee’s income and family size, she may be eligible for the Advance Premium Tax Credit if she purchases insurance through The Marketplace. The credit can be applied directly to her monthly premiums which results in immediate cost savings. If she qualifies for the Advance Premium Tax Credit, her savings will be reflected in the prices displayed on The Marketplace.

 

If I contribute to my employee’s health insurance policy, will I be eligible for any tax breaks?

 

If you set up a health insurance policy for your employee through SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) on the Marketplace and pay at least 50% of your employee’s premiums, you may be able to take advantage of the Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance. To take this credit, you’ll attach Form 8941 to your personal income tax return. Beginning in 2014, the credit will increase to up to 50% of the contribution you pay. For more information regarding the requirements for contributing to health insurance, please contact our office.

 

Safety First When Taking Care of Babies

From time to time we could all use a refresher on safety tips for babies.  Here are some points to remember when caring for babies.

1.  Don’t put anything additional in the crib with the baby. This includes toys, blankets, bottles and sippy cups.

2.  Make sure the car seat is properly installed. Parents and nannies can visit the local fire department for proper installation.  Or, check here for a local certified Child Passenger Instructor.

3.  Keep up to date on all product recalls. The best place for information on recalled items is the Consumer Product Information Commission.

4.  I know it seems obvious but don’t ever leave the baby unattended.

5.  Always properly buckle the baby in car seats, strollers, high chairs, etc.

6. Keep in mind food guidelines for babies.  Nannies and babysitters should ask the parents if the children have any allergies.  Remember children under 1 shouldn’t have cows milk, peanut butter, honey, or strawberries.  If the baby is on able to eat table food always cut the food up in little pieces.
7.  Make sure the house if baby proofed.  Check the outlets in the wall, keep small toys off the floor, and  keep cords from drapes and blinds out of reach.

 

National Nanny Appreciation Week

This week is “National Nanny Appreciation Week,” and we want to hear all about your nanny.

There are many different ways to celebrate your nanny next week, but one fun way is to enter her in TLC’s Nanny of the Year contest.  Shoot me an email and tell me why your nanny is the best. Even better, ask your kids! I can’t wait to here from you.

Take a few minutes and submit a short paragraph to Jessica@tlcforkids.com.  The winning nanny will be awarded a special prize for all her hard work. Each nanny entered will be featured on an up and coming TLC blog and Facebook posts.

Featuring One of Our Great Babysitters

TLC is so excited to see great reviews on our sitters and nannies.  Way to go Dawn!  You did a great job and it is appreciated!

“The first time I spoke with Dawn over the telephone, (prior to her first visit) I knew Dawn would instantly be a perfect fit for our family. Her reassurance, positive and calm voice made me feel at ease.
Plus, her having experience in school education for 20 years and 9 grandchildren was great to know.

Then when we first met Dawn in person, our “gut” feeling was finally filled with positive vibes.  Dawn’s reassurance of putting Katie’s needs first was a priority to Patrick and I.

Thank you for referring Dawn to our family. We are excited to use her again!!”

TLC for Kids Opens to Serve Miami Hotels

       

 Maria Goggio, TLC Personnel Director, Jessica Friedman TLC Placement Director join Angela Lehman, TLC Vice President, and Owners Sharon and Stephanie Graff at the TLC Miami office on Collins Drive.

The staff was in Miami to get a close up view of Miami and Fort Lauderdale hotels. TLC for Kids has been servicing St. Louis’ finest hotels since 1985 and look forward to providing the same high quality nanny and babysitting services for Miami and Fort Lauderdale hotels.

TLC’s in-room hotel sitters provide families with safe, convenient, as needed child care. TLC South Florida sitters are professionally screened, warm and nurturing, and mature caregivers.  They are selected especially for their experience, reliability, and commitment to quality child care. TLC nannies are easily recognizable in their uniforms and bring age appropriate activities for your children.

Call today for TLC hotel sitters 305-256-5905!

 

Tips For Staying Healthy

 

 

TLC for Kids was lucky enough to be a part of a live chat with Dr. Matthew Broom, a pediatrician with Cardinal Glennon Hospital, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

We asked Dr. Broom how our great temporary babysitters can stay healthy this year during cold and flu season.

His first piece of advice was “hand washing and more hand washing.”  Keeping your hands clean helps stop the spread of germs not only to you but to other surfaces in the house.

His second piece of advice was for all of our sitters to get flu shots.  Flu shots are recommended for all caregivers. Flu shots are important because  after the vaccination, your immune system produces antibodies that will protect you from the vaccine viruses

Aisha Sultan, Parenting Editor for the St. Louis Post Dispatach,  shared some of her tips for staying healthy.  She recommends using Zinc and Vitamin C to help prevent illnesses.

Finally both Dr. Bloom and Aisha recommend getting plenty of sleep and to take care of yourself if you aren’t feeling well.

Thanks for the chat!

Sitters, do you have any recommendations for staying healthy this winter?

Recovering from Childbirth

 

Your baby’s finally here!  You are beyond happy,  but you’re also exhausted, uncomfortable, and on an emotional roller coaster.  You had no idea the first few weeks were going to be this hard.

New moms go through a lot of physical and emotional changes in the first few weeks after bringing home a baby.  Physically your body will go through changes such as change in weight and sore breasts.  Your body will also be healing from giving birth.   Emotionally, new moms might experience baby blues or postpartum depression.

No new mom needs to go through this alone.   TLC’s Newborn Specialists are experienced moms and caregivers who can help.

Our specialists are available to educate, support and assist you so you may enjoy your new role as mom.  Visit TLC for Kids Miami or TLC for Kids St. Louis  for more information on our Newborn Care Services.

 

An Annual Nanny Review

It’s been a year since you found your nanny and it’s time to hold an annual review.    When you’re preparing for your annual review with your childcare provider, these are a few of the things that you’ll want to make a point of addressing.

Compensation Changes

If your nanny has requested a raise or a cost-of-living wage increase, it’s essential that you address that request as part of your annual review. Whether you plan to grant the increase or can’t find room in the budget, you shouldn’t neglect to mention the subject. It’s also wise to broach the subject if your nanny hasn’t mentioned a raise, as it’s likely the first thing on her mind when the time for a review rolls around. Establishing whether or not there will be a change in her current compensation package early in the review gets the subject out of the way, making room for other productive conversations without keeping her on tenterhooks regarding her salary.

 

Change of Duty Agreements

 

Typically, a nanny is responsible only for household chores related directly to the care of your children. In some situations, your nanny may be willing to perform other tasks if she’s compensated accordingly, but it’s important to ensure that those duties are outlined in her nanny contract. The relationship between a nanny and her employer is an ever-evolving thing, so there will almost certainly be changes in the way that your nanny works over the course of a year. If her hours will be decreasing due to a child’s enrollment in preschool, increasing because you’re expecting another child or you’re interested in expanding her role into a household manager capacity, the annual review is an ideal time to discuss the subject.

 

Performance Evaluation

 

Even if you’re happy with the way that your nanny cares for your children and maintains the household while you’re away, there are probably areas in which you feel that she could use some improvement. If not, you certainly should be telling her that she’s doing an outstanding job and reiterating how important she is to your family. One of the primary purposes of an annual review is to discuss her performance, so make a point of including your observations.

 

Nanny Log Review

 

If your nanny keeps a written log or documents major milestones, this is a great time to talk about the difference she’s made in your kids’ lives and their leaps and bounds in development under her care. You can also address negative situations or events, and talk about ways that they could be handled differently in the future.

 

Her Expectations and Observations

 

Your nanny may have questions or situations that she’d like to address, or changing expectations as her position evolves and your children get older. Make sure that you set aside a bit of time to listen to your nanny’s thoughts, what she expects going into the year ahead and any grievances she may have. Your nanny needs to feel free to discuss things that she sees or how she feels without fear of repercussion, so make your annual review a safe, judgment-free zone in which she can do just that.

 

Projected View of the Upcoming Year

 

When you go into your annual review, it’s wise to have a mental overview of what you expect from the year to come. While it’s not possible to accurately predict every change in a busy family’s routine a year in advance, you should be able to make a few guesses. An impending new addition to the family, the beginning of a preschool or kindergarten routine, an upcoming promotion that will require you to be away from home more or any other major lifestyle change that affects your nanny should be discussed. The review is a great time to get on the same page about the year ahead and to prepare to face the challenges and excitement that is sure to follow together.

If you have any questions about a nanny performance review please contact TLC For Kids Nanny Placement Counselor Jessica Friedman at Jessica@tlcforkids.com

Coping with Sleep Deprivation

Parents of a newborn are sleep deprived.  Taking care of an infant day AND night is exhausting.    Here are some tips to help with sleep deprivation.

1.  Try caffeine.  A burst of caffeine might help you wake up in the morning or give you the boost at lunch you need to make it through the day. If you are nursing check with your doctor to see how much caffeine you can have in a day.

2.  Fresh air.  If you are feeling groggy during the day try stepping out and getting some fresh air.  A little sunshine and fresh air will boost your spirits and help revive you.

 

Of course the best thing for lack of sleep is more sleep!  Let TLC for Kids Night Nurses help.   Our trained overnight Newborn Specialists will stay up with your baby through the night.  She will change diapers, feed,  burp, swaddle and soothe the baby.  If you are nursing she will bring your baby to you to you to nurse.

Visit our website for more information on our Newborn Specialists.