April is Autism Awareness Month, and we at TLC for Kids support Autism Awareness in our communities.

In 1943, psychiatrist Leo Kanner observed 11 children who he described as having a desire for sameness and social withdrawal. He also claimed these children had speech and language problems, particularly speech delays and echoing mechanisms.

Kanner used the word “autistic” to describe the characteristics of these children who seemed not to posses an ability to relate to people.

Today 1 in every 59 children is diagnosed with Autism, as reported by the CDC in 2019.  The St. Louis Chapter of Autism speaks says that a new case of Autism is diagnosed every 11 minutes.  Obviously there is a great need to get the word out about Autism and how we can all help.

Finding childcare for a child with Autism can sometimes be difficult.  Parents want to find a babysitter who has the the experience and the know how to work with a child with special needs.

TLC For Kids has babysitters and nannies who have experience caring for kids on all levels of the Autism Spectrum.  Our team of Special Needs providers have attended seminars on Autism, taken OT or PT classes, or are teachers and nurses with experience.   If your child has Asperger’s,  or PDD-NOS we can also help.

Contact us 314-725-5660 to learn more about our Special Needs providers and reserve a sitter today.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Original article appeared April 2013, updated with current statistics. 

To some, it seems like the ultimate gig. You get to travel to tropical islands and exotic foreign destinations with all of your expenses included — plus your regular salary. But while outsiders may hear “all-inclusive trip to the Jamaica,” a nanny hears “a long flight, a new location, no toys and strange food.” 

Though you may actually serve sandwiches on a blanket multiple times on the trip, being a travel nanny is no picnic; it’s work. And unlike your usual set up, where the parents go to work and you’re at home in familiar territory with the kids, it’s all new, to you and your nanny family. So before you pack your bags, it’s important to prepare, communicate and set expectations that will ensure that everyone has a successful trip.

Who Is In Charge?

Unlike your usual routine, there will be times on the trip when you and the parents are both present. In these scenarios — such as on the plane, during some sightseeing and back at the hotel — who is in charge? Many parents will want to be, but many won’t. Some may prefer flying first class while you handle the kids in coach. Others may not want to undermine the authoritative status you’ve already worked so hard to achieve. Either way, discuss it before you set off for your destination. If you know you’ll be in charge somewhere big and crowded, consider asking the parents to invest in wearable technology that keeps kids from wandering. For example, the Mommy I’m Here child locator uses Bluetooth technology to alert caregivers if a child has strayed an unsafe distance.

What Are the Expectations?

Will you be meandering through museums with the kids in tow, or will you be holed up at the hotel while the parents explore alone? Either is fine, as long as you know what’s expected. Knowing beforehand allows you to properly prepare. For example, if you’ll be in charge during the six hour flight, you may want to introduce earphones earlier that week so young ones won’t be reluctant to wear them. And, if you don’t already own one, a headphone splitter is a must. If you’ll be in charge of meals and snack time, you may want to pack nutritious kid-friendly snacks, like BodyKey protein bars or Nutrilite smoothies from Amway. If given enough notice, consider following the company’s Twitter page to learn more about other healthy on-the-go product offerings.

When Is Your Down Time?

For everybody’s sake, it’s important to remember that this isn’t a vacation for you but a vacation for your employer’s family. That means this trip shouldn’t count as your paid time off, and you shouldn’t expect to see and do everything you would’ve had you made the trip yourself. With that being said, you are deserving of down time. Talk to your nanny family beforehand to set aside time for yourself. For longer trips, you may even suggest a full day off to see the sights on your own instead of receiving the day’s usual compensation.

Where Do You Sleep?

To cut costs and keep you close, many families expect the nanny to share a room with the kids. If you’re OK with this, then by all means accept. If not, speak up. If having your own room is important to you, consider pitching the idea of an AirBnB-type home rental. That way you’ll have your own space, but you’ll also be just across the hall if anyone needs you.

How Much Are You Paid?

This depends on the family, expected duties and trip duration, among other things. But, in most cases, nanny employers will disburse your usual salary and will also cover food, travel and lodging expenses. Others may add a $50-$100 or more, daily bonus to compensate you for being away from home, and others may come up with a 24-hour rate, so they don’t have to keep track of work hours. If you’re unsure about the rate your employer has offered, do the math. According to federal labor laws, if you work more than 40 hours a week you’re entitled to overtime pay at one and a half times the regular hourly rate of pay.

This article originally appeared on Regarding Nannies. 

 

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

 

I hope you are enjoying the beautiful spring weather.  When Spring Break hits parents start thinking about summer and summer childcare. 

TLC for Kids can help you with your summer childcare needs.  I have wonderful nannies that are interested in securing work for the summer.  Hiring a nanny is the best option for families whether you are looking for full-time or part-time childcare.

Hiring a summer nanny from TLC  is like having your very own camp counselor!  Summer nannies will schedule fun parent approved outings for the kids like going to the amusement park, swimming, museum, bowling, play groups, the zoo and more.  TLC summer nannies will also do tutoring over the summer so that your kids are on track for their upcoming school year.

Since we have so many nannies available, I am able to offer our registered clients substantial savings on a summer placement. Give me a call to discuss discounts for full-time, part-time, and long term temp (up to two months) placements.

Click on our summer nanny parent application to start your search.  And check out our Summer Special – $150 (search fee) and $450 (placement fee) instead of $250 and $550.

And don’t forget we have great babysitters available for weekends, days, and evenings too.

Already have a summer nanny? For each referral you send us you will earn credits toward upcoming TLC services.

Happy Spring!

 

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Regular schedules provide the day with a structure that orders a young child’s world. Although predictability can be tiresome for adults, children thrive on repetition and routine. Schedules begin from the first days of life. Babies, especially, need regular sleep and meal programs and even routines leading up to those activities.  sitters available for hotels and visitors

As they gets older, when a child knows what is going to happen and who is going to be there, it allows them to think and feel more independently,  and feel more safe and secure. A disrupted routine can set a child off and cause them to feel insecure and irritable.  

Dinnertime is a great place to start setting a routine.  Sitting together at the dinner table gives children the opportunity to share their day and talk about their feelings.  This is also a great time to include some responsibility in your child’s routine, such as helping to set or clear the table. 

And regardless of how exhausted you or your children may be, don’t be tempted to skip winding down from the day.  This is part of a nighttime ritual and allows both child and parent to decompress after a busy day. It also helps bedtime go more smoothly.  This is usually the time of day when parent and child can spend some quality time together, so fight the urge to start the laundry or do the dishes until after the child has gone to bed.  If this isn’t possible, consider trading off these duties with your spouse each night to ensure your child has quality time with each parent on a regular basis. Take the time to find out what wind-down strategy works best for your child.  Some children are actually energized instead of relaxed by a warm bath, so if that’s the case with your child, bath time should be saved for a different time of day. Whatever routine you settle on, make it quiet, relaxing, and tranquil for everyone.  

And though routines are essential, there should be some room to be flexible as well.  You might be out late at night on a family outing, have unexpected company show up that may result in a skipped meal or nap in the car while running errands in the evening.  In these instances, it’s important for you to keep your cool. If you express frustration or anger about disrupting the routine, your child will as well. Prepare children for such unexpected events and show them that though it can happen from time to time, the routine will return the next day.

 

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

 

 

Toddlers can be fussy eaters who refuse to try new food at least half of the time. Approximately half of all toddlers fit this description, so it is no wonder that food issues are a source of stress for parents.

Establishing healthy eating patterns is important to avoid problems such as obesity and eating disorders later in life. Various strategies can help your child accept a wider range of foods.  It may be necessary to offer food to your child as many as 10 different times before they choose to eat it. The problem is, many parents get frustrated and give up before the fourth or fifth try. 

Try to make food fun. Colorful foods like carrot sticks, raisins, apples, grapes, cheese sticks and crackers can all be fun and healthy choices for your growing toddler. Explain to them that eating good food is important so they’ll grow big and strong, and how it will help them run faster and play longer. 

Children learn behaviors from their parents. If you restrict yourself to a narrow range of foods, your child will take notice and mimic your caution. Don’t limit your child’s food variety to only those foods you prefer. It may be that your child’s tastes are different to yours, and perhaps you are simply serving them foods they don’t happen to like.  Try to set a good example and try a variety of foods in front of your child. It could motivate them to do the same. 

If your child seems healthy and energetic, then they are eating enough. If you are still concerned, keep an eye on how much food they actually eat over the day. Children tend to graze constantly, rather than restrict their eating to three meals per day like adults. You may be surprised how those little handfuls and snacks add up. For further reassurance, check your child’s growth and weight charts, or check with your child’s pediatrician. 

Try not to worry, and remember, that unless a child is ill, they will eat. Children are very good at judging their hunger and fullness signals. Try to stay relaxed about mealtime and offer your child a wide variety of foods, and most importantly, remember to set a good example by trying a wide variety of foods yourself.  You may discover you and your toddler share a new found favorite food!

Most parents nowadays are busy – but most also still want a clean home.  Yearly events have been established culturally in which homes are given particular attention when it comes to straightening up and beginning fresh.  Communities often have bulk trash days a couple of times a year and most individuals are familiar with spring cleaning, a seasonal time in which the world seems clean and brand new – and through hard work, so do homes.  However, due to the hectic schedules of some parents, spring cleaning may often take a back seat, leaving parents feeling cluttered and frustrated. Here are some simple ways in which busy parents can help to make the most out of spring cleaning!

  1. Involve children.  Children of almost any age can help when it comes to spring cleaning.  Sometimes the tasks are more involved, such as cleaning windows, and other times the tasks are much more simple, such as putting one’s own toys away.  Regardless of the ages of your children, they can help. 
  2. Remember to keep the specifics of your child in mind when enlisting help.  Asking a three year old to clean windows is, in most cases, unrealistic. However, asking the same thing of a thirteen year old is often much more in line with their capabilities.   It is very important to keep the particulars of one’s child in mind so that the tasks are reliably completed and no one, child or parent, is left completely frustrated by the tasks.
  3. Explain the concept of spring cleaning to your children and, if necessary, your spouse.  Everyone likes a clean and organized home, and so everyone needs to be willing to pitch in and help.  Spring cleaning is a big task. If it is accomplished successfully and everyone respects the works that has been done, it should not need to be done often – usually only once a year as the name suggests.  By explaining these things to your family, it is more likely that they will be content with the work that they are doing.
  4. Set a reasonable time limit.  It is unlikely that an entire house can be cleaned and organized entirely in just one day.  Be aware that it will take time for these tasks to be completed – Especially if you are a busy parent!  Instead of creating unrealistic goals, make sure that you set reasonable time lines, not just for your children, but for yourself as well.
  5. If necessary, look outside the home for help.  There are plenty of cleaning services that can help busy individuals achieve their spring cleaning goals.  However, it will be important to find a reputable company to do the work, which means a cleaning service that will hire individuals that are trustworthy and reliable.  At the same time, it will help to give you a feeling of accomplishment, even as a busy parent, if you do not allow them to do all of the work. Take pride in your home and keep some simple, less bulky chores on hand for you and your family to take part in.
  6. Remind your family of their unity!  Spring cleaning is a great time for families to come together and help each other out in order to create a more peaceful living environment.  By simply setting aside a small amount of time, families can remember what it is that unites them and how important it is for them to act as a family.  In just a few hours, by working together a family can accomplish quite a bit in the home, possibly more than they ever may have expected possible!

 

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Having a family dinner is one important part of being a family. A family dinner gives a child a routine, a safe place and a warm meal together with loved ones. But what can you do if your dinner schedules do not match up? How can you keep in touch?

Many parents do not know what is going on in their teenager’s lives for several reasons. Most families discuss the day at family dinner. If your schedules do not allow dinners you will miss this opportunity. Often time’s schedules are filled with errands, sports practices, music lessons, and meeting friends. If you additionally work late or your work is second shift you might not have many chances to see your children. 

To improve the way you stay in touch you can try anyone of the following solutions. If you do not have time for a family dinner because of scheduling extracurricular issues, go ahead and try to tackle that schedule. Look at what is holding you back from family dinners and try to reschedule these events. Of course you cannot reschedule all the things planned for that week, but maybe a few nights a week you can get together and have a family dinner. When you do so, make sure your children know why you are changing the schedule and why you think it is important to have a family dinner. During these family dinners, talk to your children, discuss the day, the week, the upcoming events and especially if they have any issues or problems.

If you cannot get many of these family dinners going because your schedule is just bursting full, there are other ways to stay in touch with your children. Every morning, everybody comes through the kitchen, has breakfast, take the time and talk to them. This is the perfect half and hour to get in touch and find out about your children’s interests.

If you are the driver to school, get a chat going don’t let them plug their mp3 players or iPods in their ear, do not let them use their cell phones to talk to their friends. Start up a conversation with your kids. Find out about their school days, anything that is going on. If you are the driver you have the opportunity every time you drive your children to stay in touch, to be connected to them.

When they are home at night, get together for social interaction like playing board games or just sitting together and have a chat. It does not need to be dinner to talk to your children. Any time that they are around you is a good time. 

Oftentimes, children do not want to spend all this time with their parents or do not want to talk about their lives with their parents. But when children regularly talk to their parents and a good connection exists, keeping in touch can be easy. The more you are in touch with your children, the better are the chances that you find out about problems early. You can help redirect them with early relationships, sliding grades, drugs, alcohol and much more. Parents’ involvement in children’s life’s and education helps getting your children on a successful path. Use any and all times to talk to your children. Even though you want to talk to your children and know everything that is going on in their life, be respectful and do not overdue it. Teenagers are at a developmental stage where they want to find their identity away from the parents, therefore staying in touch can be difficult and when tried to hard, the contact can actually rather be lost than saved.

 

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

The benefits of the internet are vital to your kid’s growth, but it may also impose some danger when used incorrectly. So as parents, you should know the ways to keep your kids safe while using the internet.

1. Create a set of rules on how to use and what time your child can use the internet. It would be advisable if you discuss it with your kids or create the rules together with your kids. In this way, both of you can agree to each rule that you impose. This will give your kids a level or responsibility when they can participate on rule-making. 

2. As much as possible, keep the internet connected computer where adults can see it (and not in your kid’s bedroom). In this way, you can monitor the websites that your kids visit.

3. Speak to your kids about online pornography. You can direct them to websites about sexuality and health.

4. Block websites with malicious content. Although there are several ways to do it, the easiest way is to follow these steps: Keep one user name for the computer and one internet browser e.g. Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. This will allow you to monitor and access the internet activity of your kids. For the Internet Explorer, you can change the setting of your security access by implementing the security zone on your Internet Options menu. This way, you can restrict website access and block specific websites that your kids shouldn’t see.

You can also use a firewall to block any unwanted content to enter your computer. There are several software’s that allow you to do this.

5. Show your kids how to use the internet properly. Although this may be taught in school, it is always good to spend some time with your kids while they use the internet. This way, you also bond with them and can direct them to websites that are right for their age.

6. If you allow your kids to enter chat rooms, make sure that they remain in public rooms. Tell him not to talk to anyone in private and absolutely no personal information (school, parent’s occupation, address, etc.) should be given to anyone.

7. Tell your kids not to give his password to anyone, even to his friends or classmates.

8. And, make the computer area free from clutter so that your kids will enjoy the time on their computer.

 

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

 

 

Staying home for Spring Break? There are plenty of ways you can have loads of fun for little to no cost. Don’t forget – book your TLC Spring Break Sitter today! 

  1. Create a Scavenger Hunt. Fun for any age. Make a list of items to find around the house – think outside the box – and each find has a clue to the next. The prize? How about a Make-Your-Own-Sundae party!
  2. Take your Scavenger Hunt into the community. Head to a local museum or zoo. Hit up the gift shop first, or do a little planning online and find photographs of exhibits or animals and have them ready for your scavenger hunt.
  3. Bring the beach indoors. Let the kids wear their swimsuits in the tub. Bring along your beach towels, favorite tunes, sunscreen and shades.
  4. How about Community Service? Find a local shelter, food bank or charity that you can volunteer for the day. Or check your local animal shelter to volunteer with the animals. We’ve heard reading to the animals has a wonderful effect on them.
  5. Go hike a new trail and bring along a picnic. Take photos and make a memory book, or grab some rocks and paint them when you get home.
  6. Create a restaurant at home. We saw this idea on Regarding Nannies and can’t wait to try this with our kids.
  7. Make your own movie. With today’s smart phone you can record and put together your own Academy Award worthy short featuring the kids and even the family pet. Everyone has a part – and don’t forget the director, sound effects, costumes, makeup and special effects! Have fun, then host a screening of your film with popcorn for everyone to enjoy.
  8. Rock the runway with your own Fashion Show. Pull out that dress you no longer wear, or dad’s old shirt and tie and strut your stuff down the runway. Invite your friends over and make it a day everyone will enjoy.
  9. Declare it a tech-free day and visit the bookstore or the library. Everyone grab a new book, then head to the park or beach and read. Bring along a picnic and games and everyone will forget about their phones / tablets for a while.
  10. Do a little Spring cleaning. Have the kids go through toys they no longer play with and donate to a local shelter. Toss broken toys. Go through clothes they’ve outgrown and donate.

 

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.