Archive for May 2014

Traveling With Your Nanny

 

Did you know TLC sitters are available to travel with your family on vacation? Families often fill their vacation schedules with activities for the kids. But TLC for Kids recognizes parents need a vacation for themselves, too. Bringing a TLC sitter or nanny along gives parents the flexibility to see places they are interested in, have quiet meals at adult places, and know their kids are being cared for by someone they trust and kids are comfortable with (remember you can request your favorite sitters anytime you need a TLC nanny).

 

Since the details of traveling can sometimes be overwhelming, it is important to discuss a few things with your nanny: how much will she be paid, how much time off will she have, and where will she stay.

Pay:  Payment is always negotiable between the family and the nanny, but the number of hours your nanny is needed and her work expectations should be taken into consideration. Offering to cover travel expenses. lodging and providing meals for her while the family is on vacation is expected and is not considered part of her salary. A nanny who is expected to be on duty day and night, waking up in the middle of the night when young children do, will clearly earn more than a nanny who is only required to work during day hours.  It is important to remember your nanny will want some time off during the trip, and pay and expectations should always be agreed upon before the vacation begins.

 

Schedule: Since your family and your nanny will be in a new location, it is best to plan a schedule for everyone.  Having a schedule allows your kids to get the most out of their vacation, so time is not lost deciding what to do or figuring out how to get to each activity. A schedule also clearly defines when your nanny has time off and when she will be working—this takes away the possibility of any miscommunication between the nanny and the family about her time to herself.

 

Sleeping Arrangements: Whether or not you decide for your nanny to have a private place to sleep or a shared living area (like the foldout couch in the living room) is up to you and your nanny to discuss. However, a private space for your nanny to sleep allows for your nanny to get better rest, making her more energetic when caring for your children the next day. Whatever the decision may be, sleeping arrangements should be defined before the trip starts.

 

Vacation should be relaxing for the entire family (that includes you, Mom and Dad). Bringing along your family’s favorite sitter ensures that everyone gets to have the vacation they deserve. TLC wants to help make your summer vacation is as relaxing as possible.

Call TLC for Kids today to find a travel nanny.

How To Get Asked Back on a Babysitting Job

Being a temporary nanny for TLC for Kids is a lot of fun. Your schedule is flexible, you meet lots of families throughout the St. Louis area, and every day of work is new. But sometimes not knowing whether or not you will get a job is stressful. Instead of getting anxious and staring at your phone, hoping it will ring, it is much easier to build a clientele of families who will request you.

But how do you do this?

If you follow these steps, it’s easy. Trust me.

1. Ask Questions. When you first arrive to a new family’s home, it is common for them to ask you questions: What are you in school for? How long have you been with TLC? Parents ask these questions to get a better idea of who you are (and since they’re leaving their most precious people with you, it’s important they feel comfortable with you). But they also want to see if you fit in with their family. To show them you are invested in meeting their needs and understanding how their household runs, you can (and should) ask them questions too: How long have you been in St. Louis? Do you have a regular TLC nanny you use? Do you get a babysitter often? When they answer these questions, build off them. Here’s an example:

Nanny asks, “How long have you guys lived here?”

Parent says, “We’ve lived here for about 15 years. I got my masters at St. Louis University, so we’ve stayed put ever since.”

Nanny replies, “Oh, really? I’ve been thinking about going to SLU for graduate school. Did you like it?”

If you can find a commonality with the family, they’re more likely to remember you (and like you. After all, most friendships are based off common interests).

2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings. Doing temp work on the weekend is a fun job—the family asks you to come at 5, you play with the kids until they are in bed by 9, and you get to go home at 11. You’re only taking care of the kiddos for four hours, so what do you do for the two hours you have between 9 and 11? This two-hour block is your time to show the family why they want YOU to come back. Even if the parents didn’t ask for you to do any household duties, look around and see what can be done. Check if the dishwasher needs to be unloaded or reloaded. If there is a laundry basket sitting out in the living room, fold the clothes. Are the kids’ toys in tossed in a corner of the living room? Straighten and organize the toys. These tasks take approximately 10-15 minutes each to complete and the parents notice EVERY time. The parents come home to a spruced-up home and happy, sleeping kids—what more could they ask for?

3. Leave a Personalized Note. At the end of every job, you should be filling out your “What We Did While You Were Away” sheet. The bottom of the sheet has a spot for comments. This is your last opportunity to show the family why they should have you back. If the kids said something clever/funny/sweet, write it down. The parents want to know how much you enjoyed spending time with their bright little one. Or if you learned that the parents need sitters often when you were asking them questions at the beginning of the night (see step 1), write down your availability. These comments show the family you enjoyed your time with their children and you want to come back.

Following these steps will allow you to say goodbye to the anxiety and time spent waiting for a job. The TLC phones will be ringing with families asking for YOU.

Car Seat Safety in Missouri

TLC for Kids babysitters and nannies are available to drive kids.   Our temporary babysitters can help with driving to school, after school activities or to a friend’s house for a play date.   TLC nannies not only drive kids to school and other activities but often assist the family with errands.  We do ask that the parents provide the sitter with the appropriate car seat.

 

 

 

 

Please read the information below about car seat recommendations and requirements for the state of Missouri.

 

 

 

 

Child Car Seat Laws
While safety belts offer excellent protection for adults, they are not designed to keep children safe in the event of a motor vehicle accident. Missouri law states:
• A child less than four years old or weighing under 40 pounds must be secured in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for the child.
• A child over four years of age, but less than eight years of age, who also weighs between 40 and 80 pounds and is under 4’9″ tall, must be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat appropriate for that child.
• Children 8 years old and older at least 80 pounds, or children more than 4’9″ tall, are required to be secured by an appropriate vehicle safety belt or booster seat.
The fine for violating Missouri’s child safety law is $50 plus court costs. Child safety seat requirements do not apply to children who are being transported in a school bus or public carrier for hire.
If you’re in the market for one, you can shop online for a child car seat at any time. Before ordering, be sure to read our articles on How to Buy a Child Safety Seat and How to Install a Child Safety Seat.
If you have questions about Missouri’s child safety restraint laws or wish to schedule a checkup to ensure your car seat is installed correctly, contact the Missouri Department of Transportation at (800) 800-2358.
 Missouri Car Seat Laws
Any child under the age of four (4) must be restrained in a child safety seat.
This child passenger restraint system must have an approval label from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) indicating that the child safety seat or system meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
Missouri Booster Seat Requirements

Children meeting the following criteria must be transported in a booster seat:
The child weighs a minimum of forty (40) pounds regardless of age, or
The child is from four (4) to eight (8) years of age, or
The child weighs from forty (40) to eighty (80) pounds, or
The child is less than four (4) feet nine (9) inches in height

Creative Play with Toddlers

There are so many ways you can engage a toddler in creative play.  This is such a fun age because their imaginations are so big!

 Here are some fun ideas that also develop important learning skills!

 1. Music

Listen to music and sing along.  Make hand motions and play instruments.  Shakers, drums, and hand clapping are all fun to do!

 

2. Dramatic Play

Playing with children and letting them use their imagination is very important to their development.  Find dolls, stuffed animals, trains or Little People and interact with them.  Take the dolls and stuffed animals for a walk.  Set up the train track and let the child be the conductor!  Let the play mimic a feeling or a relationship that is familiar to the child.

3.  Art

Use any pencils, finger paints,  or crayons and let the child scribble and color.  Don’t forget that scraps of paper or things from the recycling bin can be use for art projects.