Archive for August 2018

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.

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.

Back to School Checklist

Families everywhere are getting ready for the beginning of the new school year.  Here are some helpful tips from Good Morning America parenting expert Ann Pleshette Murphy so you can be prepared for the first day.

1. Start readjusting to a school-year bedtime now.

2. Hang a family calendar and color-code everyone’s activities.

3. Gather all school forms as they arrive.

4. Book babysitters now for your school’s parents’ night and other dates when they’ll be in-demand.  Call TLC for Kids to help with all your babysitting needs.

5. Create a family station where you can find what you need as you head out the door.

6. Set up an in/out box for school forms.

7. Look at online organizational websites.

8. Discuss goals for the year.

9. Institute a night quiet hour.

10. Reach out to your child’s teacher.

 

Good luck on the first day.  Don’t forget to post your first day of school photo’s on our Facebook page for a chance to win $20 credit towards any TLC for Kids agency fee.

 

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

 

Six Back-to-School Lunchbox Ideas

It’s time for your child to head back to school. You roll your eyes, because that means coming up with a new lunch five times a week, for the rest of the school year. What’s a parent to do? Here are some ideas for creative and healthy lunchbox ideas that you can send to school with your child.

  1. Bento Boxes

Bento boxes are originally from Japan, and they are a very creative way to serve your child food. There are containers especially made for this purpose, or else you can simply use a variety of boxes in an assortment of sizes that you already have.

Bento box food is generally shaped to look like flowers, animals or cartoon characters. The sky is the limit as far as creativity. There are plenty of websites dedicated solely to this artistic endeavor. Check them out and make your child’s lunch fun each and every day.

  1. Pasta

Pasta is an easy and quick lunchbox idea. Make a batch early in the week and then load it up with various vegetables and sauces to make many different options. You can pair spaghetti noodles with green peas and Parmesan, or add broccoli and a simple yet delicious tomato sauce to pasta shells.

  1. Sandwiches

Sandwiches have been an old lunch standby for as long as most of us can remember, but they are not to be scoffed at. There is almost nothing you cannot add between two pieces of bread that does not automatically become delicious. From peanut butter to BLTs, sandwiches filled the lunch boxes of our own childhood and continue to do so for our children.

Keep them fresh by storing any vegetables or other moist food in a separate container, so your child can put it all together directly before consuming it. Add new tastes to expand your child’s palate and prevent boredom, such as wasabi or sriracha mayo.

  1. Veggie Burritos

Why not turn an old favorite into a new lunch idea for your school-age child? Veggie burritos are easy to make and easy to store. What’s not to love about that? Simply choose a type each of beans, veggies, cheese and sauce, and then wrap it up. Your child will never get tired of all the options and combinations available.

  1. Soup

Soup is another great lunchbox standby. With all the thermoses and container options out there, it is easy to find something to keep it in, even keeping it warm until being eaten. A broth filled with numerous kinds of vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, zucchini and onions is healthy and lasts well in a lunchbox. Simply add a piece of bread and a few cheese sticks for a healthy, well-rounded meal.

  1. Salads

Salad is a great lunch option, and it does not have to be boring. Load it up with chickpeas, nuts, seeds, and top it off with a healthy dressing for a lunch your child will thank you for. There are now salad storage containers sold even at the big box stores that have special compartments to fit all the components of the salad – even tiny squeeze bottles for the dressing.

With all the options available, there is no reason for your child to get bored with their school lunches. Thanks to a variety of storage options, your child’s lunch can safely wait for lunch break and not even go bad. Fill up your child’s lunchbox with healthy meals to keep your child fueled all day long.

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

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products You Can Make Yourself

You don’t have to give up a clean and fresh-smelling home to become more eco-friendly. You can clean your home with ingredients you already have. Baking soda, water, and vinegar are the most frequently found ingredients in most eco-friendly household cleaners. Give some of these a try.

Window Cleaner

If you like shiny windows, mirrors and glass surfaces, then you probably need to make an eco-friendly window cleaner. It’s super easy; you simply need a glass spray bottle and equal parts glass vinegar, water, and isopropyl alcohol. Use a reusable lint free soft cloth to clean surfaces. You can also use old newspaper to bring a shine to your glass and mirrored surfaces.

Floor Cleaner

If you have laminate floors, use the same recipe for windows, but add a few drops of dish soap to help it work better. You can also add some olive oil to help condition the floors if they are made from wood. If you dry after washing, the shine will show even more.

Furniture Polish

You can make a very useful and earth-friendly furniture polish with two simple ingredients. Mix 1 part cold pressed olive oil with 1/2 part lemon juice. Use very sparingly to polish clean furniture to a beautiful sheen. You can clean the furniture first with 1 cup distilled water mixed with 3 TBS distilled white vinegar. The trick is to use a soft cloth, and to dry thoroughly when finished.

Sparkling Pans

If you have metal or stainless pans, you can quickly whip up an eco-friendly cleaner each time you want to clean up the pans. Do not make this in advance. A good tip is to have some baking soda in an old Parmesan cheese shaker at the ready near the sink. Shake on your pans as you wash them. You can add a little hydrogen peroxide to kick it up a notch.

Silver Cleaner

Baking soda is good for a lot of things, including cleaning silver. Make a paste of baking soda and water, in about equal amounts. Apply to the silver with a soft microfiber cloth (or extra soft baby toothbrush for silver with intricate designs), making small, circular motions. Once covered, rinse and dry silver.

Soap Scum Killer

You know that horrible scum that gets in your bathtub and bathroom sink? You can get rid of it naturally and safely. In a glass beaker, mix 1 cup of distilled white vinegar with 1 TBS cornstarch. Heat until it’s hot and comes to a boil; mix quickly, being careful not to splash it. It’ll look kind of like a gel-like substance. Using a funnel, pour into a glass spray bottle, then add 2 TBS dish soap and shake well. Spray on the area, let sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean with a soft cloth. Rinse and dry.

Get Rid of Lime Deposits

It’s easy to get rid of lime deposits by just using plain, distilled white vinegar. Spray on the deposits and let sit, then use a soft cloth to wipe down until dry. No need to rinse. To get the lime deposits off faucets, just use an old plastic grocery bag and fill with vinegar and tie to the faucet. Leave overnight if desired.

Clean Your Stainless

To clean stainless you have several choices. You can use distilled white vinegar on a soft cloth. This is the best choice for large appliances like refrigerators or the stove. For your stainless sinks you can use a paste of baking soda and water, but be sure to rinse very well and dry to ensure that you’ve removed all the cleaner.

These ideas are easy to use and you likely already have most of the ingredients on hand. Buying these ingredients in large quantities will save a lot of money and be a lot better on the environment than prepackaged chemically-laden cleaners.

 

Note: Many ideas are adapted from: http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2013/06/homemade-all-natural-cleaning-recipes.html

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

Why you Should Use a Nanny Agency

St. Louis NannyNeed childcare?  Have you thought about hiring a full-time or part-time nanny? St. Louis families have been using TLC for Kids to help them find nannies for over thirty years and so should you!

We’ve put together a list of reasons why you should use a nanny agency to conduct your nanny search.

1. A nanny agency only sends you vetted nannies.  The agency does extensive screening and personally interviews the candidates.  This makes the process much safer for your and your family.

2. Using a nanny agency makes the process more personal. A placement counselor  will get to know you and find out what is uniquely important to your family and will send you candidates that fit your pre-determined qualifications.
3. A nanny agency gives you a manageable number of candidates. Fewer is better so that parents are not overwhelmed by a sea of possibilities.

4. Using a nanny agency saves you a lot of time and energy sifting through sometimes hundreds of candidates.

5. When using a nanny agency  you will work with a placement counselor who will step you through the whole process of interviewing and negotiating employment agreements; will provide payroll and tax direction; and will be a helpful resource throughout the period of the nanny’s employment.

6. Families who want the best nannies use agencies because the highest quality nannies work exclusively with nanny agencies. They do not want to call strangers from a blind posting. Agencies offer them a safe, professional representation.

To learn more TLC for Kids visit our website or call Debbie at 314-725-5660.

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 info@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

The Benefits of Unstructed Playtime

TLC Nanny AgencyI recently came across an article about the importance of free play for kids. The article stressed the importance of play for kids and how it links to their educational, social and physical development.

It’s clear that playing helps a child’s physical development. Gross motor skills are strengthened when kids have time to play and run around. But, did you know that play time can also improve a child’s communication and literacy skills? Play time on a playground with other kids or with a nanny teaches a child how to communicate and share. Play time also teaches kids how to interact with other people and read social cues. Woodbury School is showing kids how to turn imaginative play into plot lines. The schools teachers write down the ‘stories’ the kids are telling. The teachers read the stories back to the kids and then they learn to read them to each other.

The article goes on to say that young kids today have less and less time to play freely because of the emphasis on academics and structure in daycares and preschools. Hiring a nanny to take care of kids in a home instead of a structured daycare can give children more time to play freely. Nanny’s are able to give children one-on-one play time that can grow a child’s imagination.

To read the article in it’s entirety click here.

To learn more about hiring a nanny for your family visit the TLC for Kids Website.

Hiring Qualified Nannies with TLC for Kids

TLC for KidsThe one-on-one care that a nanny provides gives children a deep sense of self-worth and security while giving parents convenience, flexibility and peace of mind.

TLC for Kids extensive recruiting and screening process is always in motion and we always have a pool of qualified, experienced nannies. Our expert placement counselors will work with you to understand what is uniquely important to your family. This ensures that we only present you with candidates who meet YOUR desired qualifications and allows you to focus your attention on choosing that special nanny who will make a positive impact on your children and your family.

TLC only represents experienced caregivers with verifiable, good references who are warm, sensitive and alert to the needs of children. Our extensive application and interview process allows TLC and parents to carefully view the caregivers’ child care experience, education and work history, personal lifestyle and child care philosophy. Our child care questionnaires and oral interview questions help us to assess the caregiver’s knowledge of early childhood development and their ability to make decisions concerning the safety of their charges.

With TLC your nanny search can be limited to only those candidates who meet your qualifications. We look forward to helping families find the nanny that will be just the right fit for their family.

 

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

 

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