The Importance of a Regular Routine to your Child

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.

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.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Best Practices to Establish the Perfect Nanny Relationship

Our guest post today comes from International Nanny Association

 

You’ve finished your search and have finally hired the best-fit nanny for your family, but where do you go from here to ensure that you develop the best possible nanny relationship ongoing?

Honeymoon Period

In every new job, both the employer and employee will be trying to make the best possible impression. Venturing into new territory will mean that the nanny may try different approaches and end up keeping some, while changing others. Adjusting to the expectations of the job and forming a bond with the children and family will take time. Rome, the perfect romance, and a long-lasting nanny relationship aren’t built overnight (or in two weeks); be patient and realistic.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

You hired this professional for a reason. That being said, she’s human. She may do things differently than you do, or would do. That doesn’t make them wrong. People have diverse ways of handling children. It’s easy to pick up on these variances, especially in the beginning, but try to be respectful and give your new nanny the space she needs to blossom in your household. Carefully weigh what really matters. Certainly, something involving a safety concern or a personal boundary you’d communicate about, but if she gets your child dressed in another order than you do or has a varied teeth brushing routine, it may not be worth worrying about. In fact, many parents comment on how much they’ve gained from having another adult around, with years of childcare experience, who second handedly taught them a great deal, if they were open-minded and willing to see other methods through this lens. At the end of the day, if your children are well cared for and you trust her, then that speaks volumes.

Read more for a successful nanny / family relationship. 

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

What Happens If I Don’t Pay Nanny Taxes?

“Not paying your nanny taxes may seem like an easy way to save some money and not have to deal with the hassles of calculating and remitting taxes. Plus, if you don’t pay nanny taxes, how is anyone going to find out? Your nanny is on board as she gets a few extra dollars in her paycheck. You’re not running for political office or being nominated for a position in government. And those are only the people who get caught not paying nanny taxes, right?

Wrong.

There are a number of ways to easily get caught if you don’t pay nanny taxes. Most will end up with you paying much more in fines and penalties than in the actual tax responsibility you chose to ignore.”

Our friends at GTM Payroll Services have laid it all our for you, and what can happen if you avoid Nanny Taxes.

Tips on Finding a Nanny

Almost all busy, working parents need a nanny to take care of their child and, sometimes, their  household chores. Finding a nanny is not an easy thing to do. TLC is here to help navigate hiring a nanny. Before you start your search, here are some tips to get you ready:

When finding a nanny, you need to identify the number of hours that you will require the nanny to work. If you are that busy and if your schedule frequently changes, you should make sure that you will inform your nanny beforehand if you need her to stay with your child overtime so that she can make the necessary adjustments in her personal life. The nanny may feel taken advantage of if you are constantly requiring her to work more than the hours you agreed upon when you hired her.

It is important that you decide on the pay right from the start. Consider the amount that you can afford before finding a nanny. Be sure to take into consideration taxes, overtime, and overall costs associated with having a third person in your household. Ask people you know who have nannies how much pay they provide so you have a realistic basis. Live-in nannies get pay plus room and board. Some families allow nannies the use of a car and other perks such as gym membership, paid vacations and educational stipend.

When finding a nanny, you also need to consider the fact that you will become an employer so you need to take care of completing all of the necessary legal employment documents required by the government and pay all necessary taxes, Medicare and social security. Both you and your nanny will have to pay certain taxes. TLC can recommend a tax service to help you in your nanny employment.

In finding a nanny, it is important that you and the nanny are in the same page when it comes to disciplining your child so make sure to discuss with your prospects what is acceptable and what is not and be sure that all of your terms are understood. Also discuss goals for your child, educational aspects, and whether your nanny can take the child/children places outside the home – library, play groups, parks, zoo, etc.

Nannies require time off like any regular employee. At the same time, make sure to pay your nanny for overtime work or of you asked her to work during her supposed time off. If there is a need for the nanny to travel along with you and your family, you should cover all of her expenses plus her regular pay.

All the items we’ve discussed should be laid out in a work agreement signed by both the parents and the nanny. 

When you make an offer that shows a prospective nanny that you respect their profession and value their services enough to give them honest pay and good working schedule, then finding a nanny should come easy.

TLC can help when it comes time to hire your nanny. We meet each caregiver prior to placing them, and work with you and the nanny to find the best fit. Give us a call and find out how we can help you find the best caregiver for your family.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Federal Reporting Thresholds for Household Employers

Tax information for employers and nannies is being updated for the new year. Thanks to our friends at HomePay for this valuable information all nannies and employers should know.  photo of tax papers and calculator

The earnings threshold that triggers the requirement to remit FICA taxes on a household employee’s wages will increase from $2,400 in 2022 to $2,600 in 2023. If the annual FICA wage threshold is reached, the employer becomes responsible for remitting both the employee and employer portions of FICA on all the wages they paid to the employee during the tax year. When wages paid to a household employee do not reach the annual FICA threshold, the employer is not required to issue a W-2. 

A new line has been added to form 1040 (federal personal income tax return) for reporting income earned as a household employee that was not reported on form W-2 because the wages stayed below the FICA threshold. It is no coincidence that the IRS added this new line alongside the change to the threshold triggering the requirement for TPSOs like Venmo and PayPal to file and issue a 1099-K.* 

*Previously, the 1099-K threshold had been $20,000 and 200+ transactions received. Effective 1/1/23, the threshold will be $600 in payments received. 

1099-K Threshold Changes Postponed

This past Friday, December 23rd, the IRS announced that the effective date of the new 1099-K threshold will be pushed back a year. So, rather than impacting payments made after 1/1/22, the change will impact payments made after 1/1/23. Per the IRS announcement, the delay is intended to provide more time for taxpayers to prepare and understand the new reporting requirements. 

While changes to the 1099-K requirements do not impact payments made through a payroll service, we know that TPSOs like Venmo, PayPal and Stripe are frequently used by families to pay date night sitters and other more temporary/adhoc providers. Earlier this year, we shared answers to FAQs we received when the change was first announced. As of now, the answers are still accurate – minus the effective date of the change. We will continue to compile resources to help families and domestic workers ensure that they have their ducks in a row for the 2023 tax filing season.

Should you have any questions, give us a call or reach out to HomePay for all your nanny tax and payroll needs.

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Holiday Gifts from Nannies to Parents

During the holiday season, we see lots of gift ideas for families that wish to recognize their nanny or other employee in a special way. But we have also heard from household employees who are looking for ideas for holiday gifts from nanny to parents. In case your nannies have brought up this issue, we have this list of holiday gift ideas for those nannies who wish to show their appreciation for their families at this time of year.  

Top 10 Gift Ideas From Nannies to Parents

1. Photo book with pictures spanning the past year
2. Coffee mug with gourmet coffee or hot chocolate
3. Homemade ornaments
4. Bottle of wine
5. Free date night babysitting
6. Free overnight babysitting
7. Canvas-wrapped photo of the kids
8. Movie night basket – popcorn and DVD or movie tickets and restaurant gift card
9. Homemade cookies or other treats
10. Art projects done with the kids

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Making the Holidays more Meaningful

With the holidays looking much different than years past, families are getting creative in how their holidays will be spent this year. We have put together some ideas on  how you can make the holidays more meaningful for all.

Giving Back

One of the best ways to make the holidays more meaningful is to give back. Make baked goods or a meal for someone in need, or just to let someone know you’re thinking of them. Donate winter clothing and toiletries to a local shelter. Buy gift cards for first responders and essential workers to purchase meals at local restaurants. Adopt a local family hit hard this year, and purchase gifts and groceries.

Get Creative

Set up a family craft night and everyone make holiday decorations for the tree and around the house or make for others as gifts. How about a family gingerbread house making contest? Make holiday cards for essential workers and senior citizens who can’t be with their families this year. Make someone’s holiday special letting them know you are thinking of them.

Holiday Traditions

Create new holiday traditions this year! Maybe a family scavenger hunt? Or how about a family sing-along via Zoom? Have each family member write down what they are thankful for this year and place on the tree. On Christmas morning, everyone reads their contribution.

Family connection

We may not be able to be with extended family in-person this year, but we can still be together. Set up Zoom calls or Facebook video chat.  Set up games you can play from afar. Have your children interview their grandparents and get to know more about when they were children and share memories of holidays they remember. Record and write these down to share in years to come. Place photos of family members who cannot be with you on the tree, around the table, or make a festive display.

Celebrate a Different Culture

Consider celebrating another culture this holiday season. Research how other cultures celebrate the holidays – traditions, foods, songs, language, and clothing. Embrace one, or more different cultures into your holiday celebrations this year.

Furry & Feathered Friends

Decorate the outdoors with handmade bird feeders made of seeds, pinecones, and peanut butter. How about a garland of popcorn and apple and orange slices? Set out apples and carrots for other wildlife to enjoy a holiday feast

Record Your Memories

Take all the photos and video you have taken this year and create a holiday greeting for friends and loved ones. Let each family member make a special message for loved ones and share. Email to friends and family to enjoy and encourage them to do the same.

While the holidays will be different this year, new and exciting traditions and memories can be made. Happy Holidays from all of us here at TLC Family Care.

Creating Family Traditions

What are some good ideas for creating family traditions? Here are some ideas based on the holiday. These can be useful to get you started but remember that your own family traditions can be whatever you want and they don’t have to be centered around a holiday at all. Part of the fun of a family tradition is that it is yours and you can do whatever you want.

• Create your own special day or holiday such as “unbirthdays” or “family day”
• Never go to bed without saying I love you
• Have a special birthday meal whenever a family member has a birthday
• On Saturdays, everyone cooks breakfast together
• Have a monthly movie day where you watch movies that explore traditions
• Sing a special birthday song made up by the family
• Keep a family journal and let everyone write in it
• Make a scrapbook for every family vacation
• Always eat dinners together as a family and talk about your day
• Take turns choosing topic of discussion at dinner

These are just some ideas for creating family traditions. You can use these to boost your own ideas and be sure to ask your family members to think of their own. You can have everyone write down their ideas for traditions and then vote as a family on the ones you want to make happen.

Ideas for Passing on Family Traditions

When it comes to passing on family traditions, there are many ideas here as well. The most important thing to remember is to remain consistent. It’s important to do something over and over again each time to become tradition. If your family does not seem enthusiastic about it right away, you will have to help motivate them by being consistent.

For example, hold an event every year at the same time and continue to encourage the family to participate. Remain positive about it even if others do not and always continue even if only a few show up. By doing this consistently and with enthusiasm, others will begin to join in and the tradition will continue. As soon as all parties give up and miss an event, the tradition dies along with any enthusiasm to do it.

Holiday Traditions

Here are some holiday traditions that we enjoy and might help you get started:

• For Easter, color eggs together or have an Easter egg hunt
• Volunteer at a homeless shelter for Thanksgiving or Christmas
• Collect or make an ornament each year at Christmas
• Have Thanksgiving dinners together with everyone helping to make a dish
• Have the children dress up as pilgrims and Indians on Thanksgiving
• Re-enact holiday events or perform a small skit as a family
• Act out the Christmas story
• Make cookies and milk for Santa
• Leave shoes outside for “baby New Year” to fill with goodies
• Create family New Year resolutions together

These ideas should help you with creating and passing on family traditions of your own. Whether you have your own family now or hope to one day soon, we hope that you will explore these options and ideas for family traditions. The memories you will create together as a family will last a lifetime.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Teach Your Children the Importance of Giving

Everyone says that it’s better to give than to receive. But, it can be easy to lose sight of this during the holiday season, especially for kids. So much of the Christmas season is focused on toys and presents, kids tend to catch a case of the “gimmies.” Are you having a hard time teaching your kids about how important it is to give? If so, here are a few ways you can encourage them to be more giving, during the holidays and beyond.

Start with a Small Act

Many people have a hard time getting motivated to give because they feel like their contribution won’t matter in the long run. Prove to your kids that every little bit counts when it comes to donating either time or resources. Look for someone in your community that your kids can help with something like yard work or other chores around the house.

Don’t forget to reward them for their good deeds and show them the ways that even a small act of kindness can be a big help to someone. That way, they’ll probably more willing (and excited) to help the next time.

Set a Good Example

Kids often want to follow in the footsteps of their parents. If you want your kids to pick up on how important it is to give, make sure that you practice a bit of giving yourself. Let them see you putting aside time to help others or donating to a charitable organization. Remember, it’s sometimes more difficult to get your kids to want to give when they’ve never seen you do so. All it takes is once, to set a good example.

Find Other Kids

It will be easier for your kids to connect with the idea of giving if they’re involved in a project with their peers. Look for opportunities like food banks or toy drives in your community. Check to see if they allow children to participate in their programs. If there aren’t any kid-friendly charitable organizations in your area, consider taking it upon yourself to organize a volunteer event. You also have the option of seeking out online charities or volunteer organizations that kids can relate to.

Make Them Feel Empowered

The greatest motivator for giving is the feeling that you can make a difference. If you want your children to feel good about giving, make them feel good about themselves. Let them know that the things they have to say are important and encourage them to incorporate their talents into giving back to others. If they feel empowered, they’ll feel like they definitely can and will make a difference.

If you practice the act of giving on a regular basis, you make a habit out of generosity and charity. This is especially true of kids, who are growing up and developing into the people they will be later in life. Talk to your children about how important it is to give today and they will almost certainly make you proud of their compassion in the future.

Contact us today so we can help you find the best nanny for your family.

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

How to Reduce Holiday Stress

For many families, the Holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. But, the high expectations that come along with the holidays can lead to stress, depression or disappointment. With so many things that we need to get done in order to spread holiday cheer, it can be pretty easy to get overwhelmed. Here are a few things you can do to keep yourself feeling merry and mellow this holiday season.  

Get Started Early

It’s never too early to start getting ready for next year. Always keep an eye out for festive decorations or the perfect holiday card while you’re out shopping. Not only will this give you less to worry about when Christmas is just around the corner, but buying holiday supplies off-season can also save you money. If the family holiday festivities are going to be held at your house this year, start preparing weeks or even months ahead.

Connect with Family

The stress of the holidays is much easier to manage when you’re able to use the time to reconnect with family. Find new, fun ways to get into the holiday spirit together. You might try decorating Christmas stockings together as a family, or singing carols around your community. You could even volunteer together at a local food bank or toy drive and help to spread some holiday cheer.

Bring Down Expectations

Over-hype and high expectations make preparing for holiday festivities much more stressful. If you worry yourself over having the best decorations, the most presents, or the most memorable dinner party, you could end up trying too hard (and going a little crazy). Try to keep your family more focused on family and being together than they are decorations or presents.

Cut Down on Spending

Financial issues are one of the leading causes of stress, and the holidays tend to be a very costly time. Try to save money where you can so that you have one less thing to worry about. Think of inexpensive or sentimental gifts that you can give, rather than something costly from the store. The same goes for decorating. Homemade decorations for the house or tree save money, as well as provide an activity the whole family can enjoy.

Ask for Help

It’s very difficult to get everything done on your own during the holiday season. But, you don’t have to get it all done by yourself. The ideal people to go to for help would be your family. All of the stress-inducing chores that you need to take care of can become fun family activities. Not only will this make things much easier, but your family is sure to cherish the holiday all the more if everyone helped make it happen together.

If you feel anxious when Christmas is a few weeks (or even months) away, you’re not alone. Many people consider the Christmas holidays to be the most stressful time of the year. But, as long as you avoid the over-hype and encourage your family to have realistic expectations, everybody in your family should have a peaceful and merry Christmas.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.