Archive for August 2017

Back to School Favorites

Our guest post today comes from Regarding Nannies

I love to find and use other people’s bright ideas. Lately I have been frequenting more blogs. Secret experts hiding with the “I did this and it was successful” post, for every day of the week. It always feels like a little treasure that I find as I venture through these posts. It can become very time consuming! See, the bloggers are finding each other, so that when you find one great blog, you then have a blogroll (aka list of the blogs those bloggers are reading) of even more blogs. So yeah, I guess I have become the dork that not only writes a blog, put keeps up with bloggers like I have known them all my life. [And you are thinking, did she just say “blog” 8 times?] But, my little obsession will hopefully be your reward today, as My Favorite Things – Back To School Edition comes to you from some of these said bloggers. After all, they are the ones living the examples of creativity, first in real life and then again in pictures and text. So I thank you, bloggers. You not only save me time and money, but give me daily inspiration.

Get all of Regarding Nannies Favorite Things here!

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Every Family Needs A Work Agreement With Their Nanny

TLC Family Care has always asked families and nannies to complete a work agreement before the nanny begins. Our friends at Breedlove and Associates share with us why the nanny work agreement or nanny contract is so important.

Hiring a nanny can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, especially for ultra-busy, sleep-deprived families. Often, the obsession with finding the perfect caregiver causes families to overlook important employment details.

The Mistake

A Virginia family began searching for a nanny to care for their new bundle of joy. After an emotionally-draining 6-week quest to find the ideal nanny, they hastily agreed — verbally — on a work schedule and hourly rate. The nanny started work the next day without any kind of written agreement in place.

The Law

In some jurisdictions, a basic employment agreement is legally required. Whether required or not, we highly recommend that families use a placement agency or an attorney who can facilitate a comprehensive contract between family and nanny.

The discipline of drafting detailed job responsibilities, house rules, emergency procedures, work schedule, vacation/sick time procedures, compensation, pay frequency, communication/review procedures, etc. radically reduces problems and misunderstandings. It also tends to lengthen relationships because it makes the employee feel like a valued professional. Finally, it can be an important and cost-effective means of arbitrating any family/nanny issues.

The Mess

Within a few weeks, the honeymoon was over:
The family had trouble hiding frustration with the nanny’s housekeeping habits. She was tidying up the baby’s room and kitchen as well as cleaning toys and baby clothes. But the family had expectations of the nanny doing the family’s laundry and light housekeeping.
The nanny resented not getting paid for Labor Day. She needed the money and had assumed that she’d get paid for major holidays.
When the nanny got her first pay check, she was confused by the tax withholding’s. She thought the agreed-upon amount would be her “take-home” pay.

The Outcome

The family talked to friends and did some online research into the typical duties of nannies. They quickly realized that nanny job descriptions vary wildly and that they had done a poor job of articulating their desires at the beginning of the search process.

Similarly, although the family had done some research on household employer tax and legal obligations, they had not discussed the compensation and benefits offer at the appropriate level of detail for their nanny.

Despite the rocky start, the family really liked the way the nanny took care of the baby so they made a considerable effort to keep her. They created an employment agreement and sat down with her to discuss all the “relationship details” they should have discussed a month earlier.

Unfortunately, the nanny took another job shortly after their meeting. She did not feel valued or respected and opted for a fresh start with another couple.

The family hired their next nanny through one of our agency partners. The agency used a thorough job description process to focus the search on nannies who met the family’s expectations. After a comprehensive vetting process, the agency held the family’s hand through an employment agreement that left no room for misinterpretation or confusion. It’s been almost 18 months and the relationship is going strong.

How the Whole Thing Could Have Been Avoided

When searching for household help, busy families are tempted to take short cuts. Aside from being pressed for time, it can feel somewhat awkward to have a formal contractual agreement with someone with whom there is such a personal relationship.

However, in our experience, the formal work agreement is the single-best predictor of the long-term success of the relationship. Without one, the relationship almost always seems to be rife with misunderstandings and resentment. With one, the relationship enjoys clear direction and increased professionalism.

We encourage families to retain a reputable placement agency that can guide them on employment agreements and other important aspects of due diligence involved with household employment. It dramatically enhances the odds of an endearing and enduring employment relationship.

If you have additional questions about this or any other aspect of household employment tax and labor law, visit them online.

 

Having a nanny doesn’t make you less of a mom!

This article was first published June 2010, but the message still resonates today with moms, and dads everywhere! St. Louis Babysitters

As I flip through the latest editions of newsstand magazines, I often notice articles that feature celebrities boasting that they don’t require the services of a nanny. The articles usually then go on to quote the celebrity stating their intentions to raise their children alone. While this is all well and good, when it’s true, we usually see the same celebrity featured shortly after they’ve publicly denied employing a nanny out and about with a nanny or two in tow (think Jennifer Lopez).

While there are those celebrities (like Gwyneth Paltrow) who praise their nanny and admit that they couldn’t work if they didn’t employ the services of a qualified in-home child care provider, they are sadly the minority. Generally it seems that most high powered women and celebrities simply avoid the child care topic and keep their nanny a deep dark secret. Why is that?

While I don’t have the answer, I do have some theories. First, I think that our society still harshly judges working moms and has certain expectations regarding a mother’s role.  Although more women than ever work outside of the home and more women than ever hold leadership roles in major corporations and  government,  if they have children, there is an underlying current of judgment that says they don’t spend enough quality time with their children. But what is “enough” and why aren’t men subject to that same judgment?

Secondly, women often feel guilty for working and are torn between their work obligations and their family obligations. The result of this tug-of-war is that oftentimes working moms are left feeling like they aren’t adequate at either being a mom or being an employee, which can negatively impact a woman’s self-esteem and overall happiness.

A hundred years ago, many extended families lived in the same neighborhoods (if not the same house), so Grandma or Auntie helped with the children, did much of the cooking, etc. Today, this simply isn’t the case. For most families, Grandma doesn’t live around the corner, and if she does, she may have a life and career of her own, so she isn’t willing or able to help with the children as much as grandmothers of  two or three generations ago did. While the living arrangements of families have changed over the years, the fact that many families need help raising their children hasn’t. The result is that these families are now forced to look outside the family unit for the assistance that they need.

Not so long ago, a high profile client hired a wonderful nanny through my agency. The client, who is a successful business woman, was interviewed on T.V. and when asked about her family and her children she made not one mention of having a nanny. While the woman talked about how the children are on a schedule and eat only healthy meals, she never once mentioned that it was in large part due to the nanny who had planned the schedule, cooked the meals, etc!

Another time I was on vacation, relaxing by a pool, when the woman lying next to me and I began a conversation. She asked me what kind of work I did, and when I told her that I owned a nanny agency she really started telling me off!  She told me how supporting mothers so that they could go to work was undermining our society, etc., because they were supposed to be home with their children full time. I really got quite a lecture.

While INA has worked so hard to educate the public about nanny care, I tell you these stories to remind you that we still have a lot of educating to do.  If a mom wants to continue her career and doesn’t have a mother that can help her, isn’t the most responsible thing to hire the best possible care giver to care for her children? And, wouldn’t it make sense for that mother to work with an agency that is screening these care givers and only presenting to her those candidates that meet her standards and needs? And might this mom be happier pursuing both a career that she loves and raising a family that she loves, with some help from a loving, knowledgeable, experienced nanny that loves her work? The answers are yes, yes and yes!

INA members are the cream of the crop when it comes to quality in-home child care. With nearly 25% of our membership in attendance at our 25th Annual Conference, it’s evident our membership takes continuing education seriously and embraces the mission of INA, which is to educate the public and industry professionals on the importance of in-home quality child care.

As our keynote speaker, Marybeth Phillips, founder of Trustline, said, “We must all do our part.” When it comes to educating the public, the quality of services you provide, the way you represent yourself or your business and the information you share with others about the importance of choosing a quality child care provider speaks volumes. When we all do our part we can help working mothers know that they are not alone and that there are quality agencies and nannies who can partner with them to ensure their success at work and at home. So, please, do your part!

By Susan Tokayer
(past) International Nanny Association Co-President

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Recognizing Post-Partum Depression

Our guest post today comes from Newborn Care Solutions

Recently I had a chat with a friend that made me sad and happy all at the same time. She is a friend I have known for years and a fairly new mother—within the last year. She also took one of my classes to learn more about being a Newborn Care Specialist. Our Foundational NCS Training Program is quite comprehensive and covers not just the fun stuff of new babies—it also covers the hard stuff. Even the stuff people still seem reluctant to talk about, including Post-Partum Depression.

The part that made me sad was that my friend shared with me that while she has known about it for years, seen it in clients and knows it is a very real condition, she didn’t recognize the signs in herself until after she took our class. And even then, it took some time for her to realize something more than the usual exhaustion of motherhood was affecting her. She talked to her doctor and was helped to realize she was suffering from Post-Partum Depression. My heart hurt for her as it does for anyone battling any form of depression.

However, I’m not writing about this to give a dissertation on the signs and symptoms—others out there have already done an excellent job. One of my favorite sites for great information in “plain mama English” is this one. Please take some time to look it over and read it; it could help you or someone you love.

Read more at Newborn Care Solutions on how an NCS can help the entire family when presented with PPD. 

To learn more about Newborn Care Solutions Foundational Program visit their website and view all their programs!

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

TLC Announces Nanny Training Affiliation

TLC Founder Sharon Graff Radell announces Nanny Training affiliation with Foundation Practice for Nannies, a CACHE Endorsed Learning Program.  Nanny Training Logo

Foundation Practice for Nannies is a CACHE Endorsed Learning Program designed by award-winning nanny and recognized industry expert Michelle LaRowe. The course consists of 13 lessons designed specifically for nannies and covers topics including child development, health and safety, nutrition, creating optimal environments for children cared for by nannies, professionalism, and unique situations nannies face. Each lesson has an introductory video, course content, resources, and a quiz. Once all lesson quizzes are completed, students can access the final exam. Upon passing the final exam, a joint certificate from Nanny Stella, Inc. and NannyTraining.com will be accessible immediately and available for download. A CACHE certificate will be requested and mailed directly to the student at the mailing address provided.

How Long Does It Take?

The course typically takes 15 to 30 hours to complete. It is taken completely online and students progress at their own pace.

What is CACHE?

CACHE is a UK based organization that was established in 1945 by the Ministry of Health under the name of the National Nursery Examination Board (NNEB). The board set the syllabus for the first national examination which took place in 1947. In 1994, the NNEB merged with the Council for Early Years Awards to form CACHE. In 2001, they incorporated the National Association for Maternal and Child Welfare and in 2015, they became part of NCFE.

TLC Nannies: purchase your Foundation Practice for Nannies here http://nannystella.com/foundation-practice-for-nannies/ and use code tlcnannies to take 10% off your purchase price! Please note, for nannies who opt to do a payment plan, no discount is available and no code can be entered.

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

2017 INA Nanny of the Year ~ Candida Vajana

Each year the International Nanny Association honors an outstanding nanny for recognition by his/her peers and in-home child care industry. At the 32nd Annual INA Conference in Chicago, the

Candida Vajana

2017 Nanny of the Year Candida (Candi) Vajana received this honor.

Candi has been a nanny for over 20 years. One of her goals is to elevate the Nanny Profession by showing examples of quality care and by being a role model to empower other nannies. She enjoys being able to instill the basic but important skills of compassion, empathy and knowing that in order to be happy one needs to be able to help others. In her current position she works with one child and travels extensively. Candi enjoys working with families from different cultures around the world and finds that everyone has something to teach you. She believes that nannies have a very important role to play in society, shaping the minds and souls of the leaders of the future.

Do you know an exceptional nanny who should be nominated for INA Nanny of the Year? Take a look at the NOTY Guidelines and consider nominating an outstanding nanny for the 2018 INA Nanny of the Year Award.

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Should You Share That on Social Media?

Important information for all nannies and parents from the International Nanny Association.

Recently there has been an article circulating on industry social media (INA included) that shares personal and private information from nannies about the families that employ them. As   the industry leader, the INA works to continue to educate both industry professionals and those outside the industry regarding the recommended practices for nannies. We thought this article provides a good chance to talk about what a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is and what you can, should, or should not share if you don’t have one of these in place.

An NDA is a document usually provided by the parents who employ you or more often, their legal advisers. It details the restrictions you have when talking about who you work for and the specifics of your job with others outside of the home. It might even explain what information about the children you can disclose to others who work in the home if you work for a family with several staff members. It will also often dictate when and how photographs of the children may be used. NDA’s come in all shapes and sizes. They might be simple and they might be complicated. If you are presented with an NDA or any other kind of document you are asked to sign, you need to make sure that you fully understand what it says and the consequences should you violate that agreement. Asking questions of the parents who employ you is a great first step but you might want to take it to a trusted attorney of your own to be sure you know what you are signing.

So what can you share? Read on for more important information and tips. 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Should You Consider an After School Nanny?

Back to school is right around the corner. Have you considered your child care needs? 

Thanks to HomeWork Solutions for this insight into hiring an after school nanny. 

Your children are in elementary school full time and you and your partner are working full time. After school childcare is a priority. Your son wants to participate in an after-school computer program once a week, and your daughter wants to play fall soccer. Mom and dad have demanding jobs, and just getting a healthy dinner together can be a major challenge. You wonder, are there after school nannies?

Yes, many families turn to after school nanny care.

While there are certainly candidates looking for long term part time nanny positions, families find it can be challenging to hire reliable part time help. You don’t want to hire a part time nanny who is working for you until a full time opportunity comes along. Experts agree,  the more hours offered the better, and the more competitive the pay the better.

Many families look to college students but be aware their availability may change semester to semester.

You will still need coverage for school closures, teacher work days and when child is sick – the after school nanny may or may not be flexible enough to help here.