Archive for January 2014

Why didn't I get a W-2?

When tax time comes around every year TLC for Kids is often asked this question…Why didn’t I get a W-2?  Babysitters often times do not receive W-2’s from the families they babysit for.

Nanny tax experts Breedlove and Associates share the reason why.

Nannies who work for one or more families on a temporary basis usually have lots of tax and legal questions. There are special provisions in the law for “casual babysitting,” so here’s what you need to know:

Temporary nannies are still employees; not independent contractors.  They are employees of the family.

A nanny working in a family’s home — whether the job is temporary or permanent, part-time or full-time — is an employee of the family. It is illegal for the family to treat you as an independent contractor (a designation which increases your tax burden significantly). The “employee” classification is not determined by how much you are paid or the amount of time you work for the family; it is determined by the nature of the work performed. The IRS has ruled definitively that caregivers are employees of the families for whom they work.

Your employer may not need to withhold taxes from your wages.

Household employment tax requirements are determined by the amount of the gross wages paid to an employee. In 1995, the IRS modified household employment tax requirements to exempt temporary employment and casual babysitting from the tax process. This is sometimes referred to as the “Casual Babysitting Exemption.” As a temporary employee, if you earn less than $1,900 (2014) in a calendar year, your employer is not required to withhold any taxes from your salary.

However, if you earn more than $1,800 (2013) from a family in a calendar year, your employer — the family — must meet the household employment tax withholding and reporting obligations. They are required to withhold payroll taxes from your wages and then report and pay those taxes to the tax agencies quarterly — along with some employer taxes that provide you with retirement and unemployment benefits. At the end of the year, the family should give you a Form W-2 detailing your wages as well as the taxes that you have pre-paid throughout the year.

If your employer fails to withhold taxes and file employment tax returns, they are breaking the law — and you will not be entitled to the retirement and unemployment benefits mentioned previously. Hopefully, you won’t face that situation. But if you do, the best thing you can do is make sure you avoid tax and legal problems for yourself by reporting your wages and paying your income taxes at the end of the year.

You are responsible for keeping track of your wages.

If you are paid less than the $1,900 (2014) threshold per family you work for, you will most likely not have any taxes withheld from your pay since your employers are not obligated to do so. However, temporary nannies are still required to track the amount of money earned from every employer — no matter how little you are paid. You are responsible for reporting all wages earned during the year by filing annual income tax returns — even if your wages are not high enough to trigger a tax payment.

 

Understanding Nanny Taxes

Tax season has started and many of you are working on filing your taxes.  TLC for Kids has received a few calls today about how to handle nanny taxes.  We are not tax experts, so we recommend using Breedlove and Associates for all your household employment needs.   Here is some information from Breedlove on nanny taxes.

Paying taxes tends to invoke negative feelings for most people. Fortunately for household employers, there’s a silver lining– tax breaks. As long as you and your spouse are working or are a full-time student and have at least one child under 13, you’re in a great position to make back most, if not all, of your nanny taxes. Here are two ways you can save:

 

1) Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account. Many companies offer their employees the option to set aside up to $5,000 of their pre-tax earnings into a Dependent Care Account to pay for childcare expenses. This means there is no federal or state income tax, Social Security tax or Medicare tax on $5,000 of either you or your spouse’s income. Depending on your state and your tax bracket, this deduction will save you anywhere from $2,000 to $2,300 per year.

2) Child Care Tax Credit. If you don’t have access to a Dependent Care Account, you can claim the Tax Credit for Child or Dependent Care (IRS Form 2441) on your federal income tax return at year end. If you have one child, you can save up to $600 per year (20% on up to $3,000 in childcare expenses). If you have two or more children, your savings will be up to $1,200 per year (20% on up to $6,000 in childcare expenses).

Great News! If you have two or more children under the age of 13, you can use a combination of these two tax breaks in order to achieve a maximum of $2,500 in tax savings.

For many families, the tax breaks will offset a large portion of the employer tax costs. This is especially true for those employing someone on a part-time, seasonal or NannyShare basis.

We hope you find this helpful.  Please call TLC for Kids St. Louis 314-725-5660 or TLC for Kids Miami 305-256-5905 for your child care needs.

 

Dear Nanny

Such an honest and sweet letter from Jessica Pallay to her nanny.  TLC for Kids is so proud of all the hard work nannies do every day.

Thank you for being a partner with us to make parents lives run a little smoother every day.

Dear Nanny,

I met you just a few days before my baby came. I’d never interviewed a nanny before, and I had no idea what to ask you. I read every article, and printed three pages of questions I’d found on the Internet. But I didn’t ask a single one. Instead, I rubbed my belly and tried to imagine the baby that would soon be on the outside — what life would look like in a week, in three weeks, and in three months when it was time for me to go back to work. It just looked murky and abstract.

I interviewed two other nannies, mostly because I thought I was supposed to. And I couldn’t picture leaving my baby with any of you. But I knew I was going back to work, and although I didn’t know much about motherhood, I had heard that leaving a three-month baby home alone wasn’t an option. So I trusted the moms whose children you had already raised, and I hired you.

A week before I was due back at the office, you arrived at my door. I handed over detailed notes about everything the universe had so far revealed about my baby. I showed you how bouncing on the exercise ball calmed her, and how she’d only finish the bottle if you tilted it just so. I lectured you on her likes and dislikes, I quizzed you on her daily routine, and I made you swear up and down and back and forth that you would do everything JUST like I did it. Because after all, I was the expert. Then I cried when I left for work, just 12 weeks after my baby was born.

Those first few weeks, and even months, were incredibly difficult. Each day, I second-guessed my decision to go back to work. I wondered if I’d made a huge mistake, if I was outsourcing motherhood to you. You were a relative stranger, and you were raising my baby! Would she grow up feeling abandoned by me? Or unloved? Would she forever blame me for leaving her in someone else’s care for the better part of her days?

But as the weeks and months wore on, I watched her melt into your warm embrace each morning. I heard the sweet giggles you shared while I got ready for work, and witnessed the knowing glances you exchanged at the end of the day. It turned out that hiring a nanny didn’t mean she was losing me. It meant she was gaining you.

Thank you for letting me have the milestones — I know she first rolled over under your watchful eyes. But you didn’t tell me, and you shared my excitement on that Monday morning when I regaled you with stories of baby’s incredible feats.

Thank you for letting me take the credit — while I’m at work all day, you patiently teach all those “please” and “thank-you”s that impress all the mommies at the playground.

Thank you for letting me keep my role — she’s never once acted confused about who her mama is, a fear that anyone with a nanny knows well.

You’ve quietly become the glue that holds us all together. You remind us to buy milk, you surprise us with a home-cooked dinner on those extra-long days, and every so often, you trade in your warm bed for my pull-out couch, so mommy and daddy can have a much-needed date night. Thank you.

When I was home again on maternity leave with #2, we became a caregiving team. And this time, instead of imparting my alleged baby wisdom upon you, I asked for yours. I willingly handed her over when I couldn’t get her to stop crying, and begged for your advice when something — anything! — seemed wrong. Never once did I tell you how to take care of her. You already knew. You knew it all along.

You suddenly got sick this past summer, and I was distraught. You, who I once couldn’t imagine in my life, now I couldn’t imagine life without. Suddenly, it was my turn — our turn — to take care of you. And as we nursed you back to health, we realized that aren’t just our nanny, you are our family.

On your birthday this year, we threw you a surprise party. We invited the children who called you their nanny, the families who you watched over for so many years. All the girls (yes, they were all girls) used familiar sayings (your sayings) and told warm stories about your life before you walked into ours.

And they were all so amazing, those generations of girls… the kind of girls I hope my girls grow up to be. The kind of girls I know they will be. Because you’re raising them, dear nanny. You’re raising us all.

Hotel Sitters in South Florida

Family vacation to MiamiBabysitters for beach vacationa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family vacations to the beach are fun for everyone.   But the nightlife in Miami doesn’t include kids.  There are so many great restaurants and clubs for parents to visit while in Miami. One popular place is the Hakkasan at the Fontainebleau Hotel. Why not have a date night while on vacation?

TLC for Kids Miami has professional babysitters ready to come to your hotel.   Our hotel babysitters are reliable, mature and experienced.  They arrive at the hotel ready to play with a bag of age appropriate toys for your kids.

To book your Miami hotel babysitter contact us at 305-256-5905 or ask the hotel concierge to contact TLC for Kids.

 

How To Live Peacefully With A Toddler

TLC for Kids, Inc. will be hosting an educational seminar all about toddlers called Living Peacefully with Toddlers at the TLC office in University City on Saturday, January 18th, 2014.

In this session, participants will explore recurring problems they have had with toddlers and then possible, practical solutions. The session will have some theory, then small group work/discussions, debriefing and wrap-up.  Participants are active during the session.  It is not a lecture format, so come prepared to share and ask questions.

This session will be taught by Deb Moberly, PhD. Deb is a former Associate Professor and Early Childhood Coordinator in the Division of Teaching and Learning at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). She has served more than 40 years in a range of roles in the early childhood arena—as a public school kindergarten teacher in Indianapolis, teacher/administrator of a nursery school co-op, director of a private childcare center, director of the Child Development Laboratories at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (SIU-C), and supervisor of pre-kindergarten teachers.

This class is part of the continuing education series TLC for Kids offers to St. Louis nannies and sitters.

Nanny Jobs!

 Here is the list of the nanny jobs TLC for Kids currently has available.  If you interested in a nanny job in St. Louis please apply on our website.

Full-Time  (requires a one-year commitment)

1)    Downtown Saint Louis family seeking a full-time nanny! Nanny will care for their 10-month-old son. Family wants a nanny that takes their son on fun play dates and helps with errands. Position begins ASAP!  Hours are M-F 8:15a-5:15p.

2)    Eureka family is seeking a full time nanny for their toddler! Nanny will work Monday through Friday, from 9am-6pm. Opportunities for extra hours are available with this job! Job starts in the beginning of Feburary!

3)    Wentzville family seeking a live-in or live out nanny for their 2 school aged children. Nanny will assist with running errands, laundry, taking children to and from school, and other household tasks. Family will provide Nanny her own bathroom and bedroom. Job starts ASAP!

4)    Central West End family seeking a full-time nanny to start early January!  Hours are M-F 8a-6p M-F, toddler is in school a few mornings and nanny will run errands  / do light housekeeping during that time.

5)    Laude family seeking full-time nanny work with their three children starting in early Feb. 2014.  Hours are M-F 8a-6p and older girls are very high energy!  Baby will be home all day and primarily need care.  Family will provide a vehicle if nanny’s car does not fit three carseats.

6)   Clayton family seeking full-time household manager for their three children, ages 4, 9, and 11.  Nanny will assist with household tasks, as well as making sure the school age children are taken to and picked up from school. Job is Monday through Friday, with flexible morning and afternoon shifts.  Will be perfect for a student and will pay full-time for a nanny who has a flex. schedule! Starts ASAP!

7) Clayton family is seeking an energetic nanny to help take care of their one year-old twins!  You will also help assist with running errands and helping with laundry. Hours are Monday, 7:30am-5:00pm, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 7:30am-7:30pm, and Friday, 7:30am-5:00pm.  Jobs starts ASAP!

8) Kirkwood family needs nanny to help take care of their toddler. They want someone who is fun, engaging, and energetic! Hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30am-6:00pm. This is only a six month contract! Job starts ASAP!

9) Richmond Heights Family is seeking a nanny to help care for their toddler and new baby born in January! Hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30am to 6:30pm. Starts ASAP!

10) NEW! University City family seeking a full-time household manager.  Position involves errand running, light housekeeping and organizational projects.  Kids are picked up at 3p and nanny must be comfortable with homework help (specifically 5th grade math) and be fun and engaging.  Starts ASAP!

11) NEW! Live-in housekeeper (house has a detached one-bedroom apartment) needed in Wildwood ASAP!  Hours are 8a-5p M-F, must have professional housekeeping experience, send a resume to jessica@tlcforkids.com if interested!

Part-Time  (requires a one-year commitment)

1)   Part-time nanny needed for new baby and very active toddler!  Hours are about 20-25/wk

mornings — ex. 9a-1p or 8a-12p, even 10a-2p.  Family is flexible and parents are seeking someone who has a lot of newborn experience!  This position is located in South City and could start as soon as 2/1!  Must be able to make at least a one year commitment.

2)   Brentwood family seeking a part-time nanny to work M/W/TH with an 18 month old who has special needs.  No medical training required, but a very mature and patient person.  Family would prefer someone with special needs experience.  Tentative hours are 12p-6/7p, but somewhat flexible if necessary.

After-school – **2nd Semester Start Date!**

1) Wildwood family is seeking energetic after school nanny to help with their three children, ages 2, 5, and 6!  They need someone to help run errands, help with children’s homework, and prepare meals. Hours are Monday through Friday, 3pm-8pm. Position starts ASAP!

2) South City family needs after school care, Monday through Friday, 4pm-6pm. Nanny will be responsible for picking child up from school and taking him to his activities.  Position starts mid-January!

3) Richmond Heights family is seeking fun, spirited nanny to help out with their three children, ages 10, 12, and 15. Nanny will need to help with homework, making dinner, and taking them to sports practice.  Hours are Monday-Friday, 2:30pm-6:00pm. Position starts January 1st.

4) Olivette family seeks an after-school nanny to start ASAP!  Children are 14 years old and 19 and older child has autism and functions like a young child, approximately at a third grade level.  Both children have after-school activities and oldest needs help with simple homework.  Hours are 2:30p – 6:30p.

5) Clayton family seeks an after-school nanny who can pick up their three children afterschool and bring home and work on homework and activities.  Must be available from 3p-6:00p M-F.  Starts ASAP!

6) Town and Country family seeking an after-school nanny to work with their two three children.  Ages are one year old, 7 year old and 12 years old.  Hours are 4:30p-8:30p M-F and the end time is somewhat flexible.  Each child is at a different school and kids have outside activities to be taken to and from.  Starts ASAP!

7) NEW! St. Charles family seeking an after-school nanny to work M-F 3-5:30p.  Must have childcare experience and a great driving record!

8) NEW! Creve Coeur family seeking an after-school nanny for their two children, ages 13 and 10.  Must be interactive and engaging!  Hours are 3p-6p M-F.  Starts immediately!

 

If you have a question about any of these positions contact our Placement Counselor, Jessica Friedman, at Jessica@tlcforkids.com.

New Year, New Job!

TLC for Kids St. Louis has lots of great childcare jobs available right now!  Working with children is a very rewarding and fulfilling career.  Our clients are looking for qualified caregivers who have experience working with kids.

We have many positions open now, below is a brief job description or each type.  For more information on the locations of our jobs visit our job board at www.tlcforkids.com.

Full time nannies typically work for a family in their home Monday through Friday business hours.  You are responsible for the kids’ health and development.  As a full time nanny you plan meals, keep nap schedules, plan playdates, do inside and outside learning activities, and light housekeeping directly related to the kids’ needs.  It’s a fun, fast-paced day!

Part time nanny jobs are similar to full time jobs except they are typically 20-30 hours a week.  It might be two or three days a week or five  half days.  Part time nanny jobs are great for nannies who are taking classes or need to work around another schedule.

After school nanny jobs are great for college students.  These jobs are Monday through Friday in the afternoon, typically 3:00pm to 6:00pm or something similar.  After school nannies will either pick the kids up from school or meet them at the bus stop.  You are responsible for helping with homework, giving a snack, and taking to activities.  Working as an after school nanny is a great way to meet a family and stay with them for number of years.

Remember to look at our job board for the most current jobs available!

The Sleep Lady Sleep Tips

 

 

Every parent of a newborn could use more sleep.  I know I always did!  TLC for Kids has teamed up with a Gentle     Sleep expert to help St. Louis parents get more sleep.  Here are some tips on creating a sleep space for your baby from Kim West, aka The Sleep Lady, and founder of Gentle Sleep.   The goal is to create a sleep space for your baby that is relaxing and conducive to sleep.

 

1. Make sure the room is dark. Use blackout shades, curtains, or blinds to help darken the room and keep early morning rays out.

2. Keep televisions, computers, cell phones off while your baby is sleeping in his room at night. Studies have shown that the light emitted from electronics can overstimulate the brain and make it harder for your baby to fall asleep and stay asleep.

3. White noise is a very effective tool that can help your baby sleep better. Actual “white noise” is the best rather than ocean waves or sounds of trains, birds, etc. Keep the white noise on during the entire sleep duration and turn it off as soon as your baby wakes.

4. Swaddling during the newborn months can help extend sleep periods and help if your baby is sensitive to the startle reflex. Make sure to always put your baby to sleep on his back and practice safe sleeping.

5. Keeping your baby close by can help you manage feedings more efficiently and make it easier for you to settle and get your baby back to sleep quickly when he does wake.

TLC has teamed up with Certified “Gentle Sleep Coach” Jessica Manela Litwack who will work with your family to create an individualized, loving and responsive step-by-step sleep plan teaching your child the vital life skill of putting themselves to sleep.

The Gentle Sleep Program will consider your personal parenting philosophy, child’s age, health and temperament, mother’s well-being and the related family dynamics. Most importantly Jessica will support and coach you through the process from beginning to end- for night sleep and naps!

Call TLC at 314-725-5660 to set up your consultation today!