Archive for September 2017

Revving Up Your Child’s Immune System

Children are exposed to a lot of germs. They’re around germs at school, at the playground and at places where they go to engage in after school activities. It’s easy for them to pick up germs when they go to the library and touch books that others have touched, too.

Kids can also pick up germs at the school gym, which is actually a hotbed for germs – and they can pick up germs on the school bus. The reason it’s so easy for children to pick up germs is that they’re constantly in an environment with other kids who don’t practice good hygiene, so it’s easier for germs to spread.

Children aren’t as careful as they need to be when it comes to washing their hands after using the bathroom or playing outside. Kids, both sick and healthy, will cough or sneeze into their hands and then touch shared items or other children.

Kids can also pick up germs from playing outside and digging in the dirt or picking up a frog or sticks or anything else that had contact with the ground. They can also get germs from playing with the dog or cat.

Hand cleanliness can be a first line of defense against germs and children should wash for a good 20-60 seconds and make sure they allow the soap to get beneath the nails. But despite how diligent you are about making sure your child practices good hygiene, there will always be the parent who sends their kid to school sick for whatever reason.

When a sick child comes into a classroom packed with healthy kids and touches a paper that’s passed back or touches the doorknob for the classroom or the doorknob for the bathroom, germs rest there until they’re transferred to the next child.

There is nothing you can do to prevent someone else from not practicing good hygiene or from sending their child to school when they shouldn’t. However, you can take steps to protect your child as much as you can.

You want to make sure that your child eats a healthy diet, gets plenty of fresh air, the right amount of rest – and that he also stays up to date on his immunizations. Having your child stay on schedule for immunizations gives him the antibodies to fight childhood diseases – and many diseases are preventable with immunizations.

Besides having your child immunized, you also want to make sure she gets a yearly flu shot. Having a flu shot can help keep your child from being sidelined with the flu, which can cause high fever that can lead to seizures.

The Benefits of Nanny Care

Our guest blog comes from Sue Downey, Nannypalooza 

Happy National Nanny Recognition Week. It is a week of celebrating in the nanny community. Last year I wrote a blog post about what NNRW means to me. I love celebrating nanny care. It has been a great career for me and the community of nannies means quite a great deal to me.

But NNRW is also a great opportunity for us and I am not sure we are doing enough to capitalize on it. The nanny industry as a whole has changed immensely in the past few years. Big sites like Care.com have increased not only our visibility but also have made having a nanny something that even more families desire. There are more and more nannies across the U.S., and not just in the big East and West coast cities where they have been for decades. It is not uncommon to find families looking for nannies in cities like St. Louis, Cincinnati and Dallas. It is not only for the ultra wealthy families anymore either. Certainly, having a nanny is more expensive than other forms of child care, but more and more upper middle class families see the benefit and decide to make the sacrifice necessary.

Read more benefits of Nanny Care by Sue.

National Nanny Recognition Week Begins Sunday, September 24

National Nanny Recognition Week (NNRW) is a week long event, created in 1998, to bring awareness to the positive impact nannies and caregivers have on the children and families they work with. All too often we hear the negative stories of caregivers, but not enough of the positive. Nannies give their hearts to the children they care for, often sacrificing time away from their own family and friends. Being a nanny isn’t about working for wealthy or celebrity parents – it’s walking in the door and having the child run to you with open arms because they are happy to see you and can’t wait for the next adventure. It’s about the child drawing a picture of their family, with the nanny proudly displayed for all to see.

What began as an effort of few now spans hundreds of professionals the last full week of September each year.  NNRW continues to focus on the positive, quality aspects that nannies bring to their charges and jobs every day; and for parents and agencies to say “Thank You” to their wonderful caregivers. ~ www.nnrw.org 

How can you say Thank You to your nanny?

♥ Say Thank You ♥ Tell your friends good things about her knowing she will hear them back ♥ a surprise day off ♥ Have the children say Thank You ♥ Treat your nanny to breakfast or dinner made by the family ♥ a card and framed photo of the family ♥ Membership fees to a local nanny support group or other Professional Organization ♥ Pay for conference fees to Nannypalooza or INA with paid professional days to attend the event ♥ Pay for dinner out with friends ♥ gift basket of favorite treats ♥ gift certificates to favorite stores ♥ movie tickets ♥ gift certificate for manicure/pedicure or massage ♥ handmade card or gift from the child/children ♥

From the TLC family to all our nannies … Thank You! We appreciate all you do day after day, and are grateful to have you as part of our family of caregivers.

Tips for checking a childcare reference.

This post originally appeared June 2011, but the information is still valuable. Reference checking can be a daunting task, but don’t delay in this important step in finding and hiring your nanny. 

As the Placement Counselor for TLC for Kids in St. Louis, I often take for granted the things I do everyday.  For example, this morning I was talking to a client who was ready to call references on a nanny she was interested in hiring.  She said that she had her questions ready – but just wasn’t sure how to go about it.  She didn’t know how to start the conversation and needed some tips.  It dawned on me that this is definitely a topic that St. Louis parents  are interested in learning a little more about.

When taking a childcare reference on a potential nanny:

  • Introduce yourself and explain why you are calling.  Let the person know you are a parent and the ages of your children.  Explain that you promise to keep confidential all of the responses and that the feedback of their former nanny/babysitter is extremely important to you.
  • When you ask the various childcare related questions, pay attention to the person’s voice inflection and pace of their  answer.  If the person answering the questions is hesitant or seems unsure of any of the answers, this is a definite red flag.  Many people are hesitant to talk negatively and this is when you must push a little and assure the reference that you are considering bringing their former nanny into your home.  You are counting on their honesty!
  • If the reference seems unsure of information or answers to the questions, something isn’t adding up.  This could indicate a false reference, which is something that is of course unacceptable.
    When in doubt, trust your gut instincts and make sure that you are 100% comfortable with the applicant you choose.  References are a great way to get a feel for the integrity and character, not to mention the experience level of a childcare provider.

At TLC for Kids, we love it when a parent gushes and is super excited to talk to us about their former nanny…usually, that means her other references are also stellar and she is a great find!

Good luck and if you have any comments or suggestions please let us know!

Jessica Friedman
TLC for Kids, Inc.

Technology and Kids

Another great guest post from Sue Downey, Nannypalooza

A friend of mine posted this article– I figured it was the standard article about internet safety and warning of some new way kids were in danger using social media. 

I was half right. The article does warn of the new way kids are using instagram to hold beauty pageants. It is alarming and the author made good points. But I stopped short when she said that her kids had to share their passwords until they were 13. What? Then she goes on to say these kids including hers that were on instagram were in 4th and 5th grade.

I had the standard nanny reaction You know- we all love kids and most of us rail against thee kids using tech. In fact I am always boring people about studies that show that TV is so harmful for young children and have been very strict with my former charges who wanted Facebook pages or the like.

Continue reading for what we need to be teaching children about technology. 

Helping Children Prepare for Natural Disasters

With all the coverage of Hurricane Harvey the past two weeks, and now Hurricane Irma headed to Florida, we thought this would be a good reminder that children, especially young children can become anxious and confused about all that is happening around them. natural disaster

We found a few great resources for you to share with your children and families.

Books for Young Children About Hurricanes

Talking to Your Kids About Hurricanes

How to Talk To Your Kids about Natural Disasters

Free PDF download! Disaster Preparedness Book from the American Red Cross featuring Mickey Mouse & Friends

25+ Resources for teaching kids about disasters

 

Our thoughts and prayers to all affected by Harvey and we’re keeping an eye on Irma. Be prepared and be safe!

Nannying For The Child With Special Needs

Our guest post today comes from International Nanny Association

As modern families continue to grow, they have become more prone to hiring professional, experienced nannies to support the day-to-day management of their busy households. As a result, Nanny and Parent FAQnanny roles have become much more complex and integral to the family dynamic than ever before. Nannies are expected to be more deeply involved in the physical and emotional development of the children, along with managing the basic needs of the kids.

Given the high demand, nannies have become more skilled in how to take care of varying types of children in multiple situations. Furthering their knowledge and continuing their education to include specializations and certifications, today’s modern nanny is well-versed in the intricacies of childcare.

Children with Special Needs

Families who have children with special needs often face different challenges than other families, and as they grow together they develop effective ways to best support and nurture their kids. Families with differently abled children often develop a dynamic support system to ensure that all members of the family are well cared for, respected, challenged, and loved.

As a result of generally busy lifestyles, this amazing family support system is not always available to the families in need of support, so this is where exceptionally talented nannies come in and play a gigantic role.

A nanny for a child with special needs is typically more skilled and often has more experience than their peers.  Children with special needs can have varying communication abilities, dietary concerns, or behavioral differences, depending on the specific situation. No two kids are alike, so although personal experience is extremely helpful for nannies wishing to work with differently abled young ones, it is essential to approach each situation with an open mind and desire to identify what is best for that specific family and child.

Continue reading for more information on skills, training and more. 

 

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