TLC for Kids helps St. Louis and Southern Florida families find permanent nannies.   At this time  of the year we often hear from nannies with questions about taxes.  If you are a nanny and haven’t received a W-2 from your employer, here are a few things you can do:

1.       Ask the family if they’ve prepared your W-2 and when you can expect it. It’s entirely possible that the family got busy and completely forgot to prepare your W-2, or they didn’t realize the deadline was January 31. Also, if you recently moved and didn’t update the family with your new address, they could have mailed it to the wrong place.

2.       If you discover the family isn’t going to provide a Form W-2 because they didn’t withhold or pay taxes last year, remind them that failing to handle the “nanny tax” obligations is extremely risky (felony tax evasion with expensive penalties) and denies you several important benefits. They may think that nanny taxes will be very expensive, so it’s worth letting them know that tax breaks for childcare expenses can offset most – if not all – of their employer tax costs.

3.       Don’t accept a Form 1099 from the family in place of a W-2. This form is for independent contractors only. This is important to you financially because independent contractors have to pay the entire FICA tax liability (15.3%) whereas employees only have to pay half (7.65%). For a caregiver making $30,000 per year, that’s a difference of $2,295! It not only hurts your pocketbook, it’s also risky for the family. The IRS has ruled definitively that nannies should be classified as employees and families that misclassify their employee as an independent contractor are subject to tax evasion charges.

4.       If the family simply refuses to give you a W-2 prior to the April 15 tax reporting deadline, you’ll be forced to file Form 4852, which is the substitute for Form W-2. Filing this form can trigger an audit for the family, but as a last resort, it’s the only way to legally report your income to the IRS. The form and instructions for filing it are available here.

Thank you Regardingnannies.com and Stephanie Breedlove for sharing this helpful information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being a nanny is a very rewarding job. It’s a unique opportunity to be able to watch children grow and learn in their home environment. But, it takes a special person with certain characteristics to be a nanny. If you have the following characteristics and previous childcare experience you might want to consider a career as a nanny.

Personal Characteristics:

  • mature
  • patient
  • warm-hearted yet firm
  • friendly
  • communicative
  • responsible
  • honest and ethical

Professional Characteristics:

  • takes pride in delivering the best possible child care
  • provides safety and security by establishing a routine and consistency
  • knows the proper handling of an infant for feeding, bathing, dressing and holding
  • understands children’s developmental stages and phases
  • encourages individuality and creativity.

If you are interested in learning more about the nanny jobs at TLC for Kids please visit our website.

Click here for a list of our current job openings.

We look forward to hearing from you.

There are many ways that you can make sure you have enough time for your children. In fact, there are many times when you can take the time that you need for your children. Remember that children don’t always need to have time that is only for them. Often, a child will enjoy any time that he gets to spend with you – even if that time doesn’t seem that important to you. When you are spending time with your children, any of this time can be quality time, as long as you are able to do it correctly and make it worth it for you and for your children. No matter what you are doing with your children, it can be time that is completely worthwhile and that you will enjoy for years to come. 

Part of the reason that many people are not able to spend enough time with their children is because they have so much else to do. They might not feel like they have enough time to spend with their children because they have so much else to do. However, it is very important that you realize that all of the time you spend with your

Father and son

children can end up being quality time, in more ways than you think. 

First of all, when you are with your children, any time at all can be quality time. You will be able to spend quality time together when you are working in your home, or even running errands. When you are doing the dishes or cooking dinner, you will be able to spend quality time with your children. But you want to make sure that you are able to spend each moment with your kids in a quality way. When it comes right down to it, you will be able to spend a lot of time together as your children get older. It is time for you to be able to spend as much time with your children as possible. 

When it comes right down to it, the best way to take advantage of being with your children is to make each moment as wonderful and special as possible. There are many ways that you can do this, and no matter which way you choose, you will be able to spend the time that you need. For instance, when you and your children are working around the house, you can use each moment as a life lesson. When you are cooking, a good thing to do is to have your children help you cook. This will allow you give yourself a chance to get what you need to get done, but also be able to spend this time with your children. It can also help your children learn as much as possible in the time that they have. 

In today’s busy lives, it is often hard to find time for you and your children to spend together. However, if you concentrate, you will be able to spend as much time together as you want. No matter what you are doing, you can do it with your children, and this will help both of you have the time together that you need. Spending quality time with your children is often much easier than you think. In fact, spending as much time together as possible can not only help you spend time with your kids, but help your kids grow up stronger and happier. The more time that your children can spend with you, the smarter and happier that you children will be able to be. So, spend each moment that you can with your children, and make each moment as special as popular.

Are you going to Florida this spring break?  South Florida is a great escape from the cold weather. Florida has so much to offer families this Spring.
First thing on any families spring break list is the beach. One of the best things about visiting Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach are the beautiful beaches!  You and your family can enjoy the warm temperatures on the beach during the day. When evening comes hire a TLC for Kids babysitter to watch the kids so you can enjoy the South Beach night life.

There is more to do in Florida than just the beach. Miami has some fun attractions for families too.  Jungle Island is a popular place for families and features a unique petting zoo. Stop by the Miami Zoo to see the famous Miami Flamingos. Another great destination for the family is the Miami Children’s Museum. This museum is like no other because it features  a two story sand castle!

Spring break in Miami isn’t just for kids. Take the time to enjoy some couple time while on break. TLC babysitters are screened and ready to work in Miami, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa.

Reserve a TLC  sitter to come to the hotel while you enjoy a date night!

 

Busy parents are often at wits end when dealing with a clingy youngster. This is especially true when the child is two or three years old.  

The most common frustration that a parent deals with while taking care of a toddler is that young child’s curiosity. A child of this age often gets into anything-no matter how childproof the home is. 

Dealing with a child of this age requires quite a bit of patience and persistence. This may mean telling this child “no” to the same offense 100 times in a day.

The reason why this is the case is because the child is not yet at the age of understanding right or wrong, but only conditioned to follow simple commands.  For this reason, trying to negotiate with a child this age is a challenge, and is often not recommended. 

However, there is one type of negotiation that works best with a toddler. The best way to do so is to use redirection. This is usually very effective when this child is wandering out of the year or is trying to grab your financial papers from off the kitchen table. 

Redirection is simply the act of saying “no” and then saying “here.” Then, you offer the child a coloring book, toy, or any other distraction in order to encourage him or her to behave more constructively.  

Redirection may also work if the toddler is crying or whining excessively, or angry with you for telling him/her “no.”  Within a couple of minutes the child will usually forget that you have denied him or her of something, and will go on playing as usual. 

An additional scenario that is conductive to toddler redirection is when you are under pressure to finish a very important work task. Perhaps the child is demanding your attention during a time when you cannot give it. 

If this is the case, you can give your child a hug, and or tell the child “I love you” and help the child find a way to keep occupied for even a few minutes. If this does not work you may want to find a responsible caretaker to oversee the child so you can finish urgent tasks.  

Another aspect of dealing with a toddler is appreciating him or her while you have the chance. This may seem impossible to do when you have so much responsibility. You may even sometimes not really be able to fully enjoy your toddler because you are busy taking care of the house, making a paycheck, and just living. 

However, if you can find it in your heart to spend at least a few minutes at a time during different intervals of the day noticing your toddler, it will help you and the child.  Although you are trying to help the child grow up, you also will want to spend quality time with the child as well. 

For instance, you may want to take a break from housework or job duties and take the child for a walk around the block. You might also benefit from an hour or two in the park with your young child as well. 

Furthermore, perhaps you can join other moms with children and make a social out of it. It is also important for you to take enough time away from your child as well. Every parent needs to be able to have time for him or herself.   

Even as little as a half hour a day alone is valuable, as every parent would benefit from solitude. Also, whenever possible you may benefit from napping while your child is asleep, if you stay home with the child for any length of time.

Being a parent is not easy and it gets even harder, when your child gets angry. A toddler throwing a temper tantrum, a young child screaming and pounding or an adolescent slamming the door slamming, can leave us all puzzled, frustrated and at our wits end. Sometimes it might even make us angry and it is hard to deal with your child’s anger if you are getting angry and frustrated too.

Therefore one of the first things you might want to do when trying to deal with child anger and tantrums is identifying the source. Find out what triggered the anger and also, find out what the child’s reaction to anger is. Not all children have the same reaction. Some scream, some pound, others might hit and bite, bang their heads on the wall or not show any exterior signs at all while they store the anger inside. Even though many of us were taught that anger is a bad thing and that we should be ashamed for being angry, this is not exactly true. Of course anger is not a nice thing, but learning to properly deal with and express our anger can make all the difference.

Children should always be allowed to express their feelings and the feelings should be treated with respect. A child has a different view of life. What angers him now might not even bother him tomorrow, but for now we need to respect the feelings and acknowledge them. The angry outburst of a child might be a defense mechanism or might be related to failure or self esteem. Sometimes it might even be a way to express anxiety. Many young children actually get angry when they are sad. It is a normal reaction for them because anger and sadness are very closely related.

If you are worried about your child, find out when and why the child gets angry. Also there is a fine line between anger and aggression. Anger is a temporary situation, whereas aggression is a way of hurting a person or destroying property. Neither one of the two is really bad, but when other people can get hurt it is absolutely time for you to deal with your child’s anger/aggression. When dealing with an angry child, think about trying to protect and help the child; don’t think about punishing the child.

Ways to prevent anger or help a child with the anger are more or less effective for different children. Here are some ways that you can deal with anger in children.

First of all, “catch your child being good”. Telling a child when he or she has done something that pleases you helps a child learn what you think is good behavior. It also makes the child feel good about him/her by accomplishing things that are important to you. When a child learns the difference between good and not so good behavior the child will try to behave more often in a way that you appreciate. This does not mean to just tell the child that he is good. It needs to be related to a specific situation. Praise your child after cleaning up by himself, after taking the shoes off when entering the house or after helping you with a chore without being asked.

Another important part with dealing with aggressive/angry children is to ignore behavior and situations that can be tolerated. If you tell your child every time he does something wrong you not only overwhelm the child, you might also lower the self-esteem. The child will think that he or she can never do anything to please you.

Additionally you can help your child by giving him or her physical outlets or by manipulating the surroundings. Sometimes anger comes from having to much energy to burn; the child is on the edge. If the child gets an opportunity to burn the energy there will be less energy put into anger. Manipulating the surroundings to prevent the child from being angry is also helpful (removing a toy, starting a different activity).

Lastly, one of the most important things, show your child that you love him or her, be close, lovingly connect to your child through touch and talk. And if you get into a situation, try some humor to break the ice; it will ease the tension in your child.

 

 

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.

“Mom! I had it first!”

“Mom! Make her get out of MY room!”

“Mom! She’s BREATHING on me!”

Sibling rivalry when it is happening in your home isn’t funny, but you will learn to laugh about it sooner or later — probably later rather than sooner. What can you do about sibling rivalry? Is there anything that CAN be done about sibling rivalry?  

“Sibling rivalry” has been around a while. It’s the term that best describes the situation between Cain and Abel in the Bible — and we all know how THAT turned out.

Sibling rivalry is natural. Siblings usually swing back and forth between “best friends” and “sworn enemies.” Sometimes when siblings grow up, they do bury the hatchet and actually become friends — sometimes, but not always.

The only thing that parents can do about sibling rivalry is to be as fair as possible when dealing with disputes and competitions and to stay out of the dispute as often as possible. Let the kids work it out unless the solution has blood involved.

It’s best to include the kids in the resolution of a situation rather than just imposing your will or making your “best judgment.” The first thing to do is to separate the kids and give them both time to calm down.

The second thing to remember is that it does take “two” to make a fight. One child cannot fight without an opponent, and the odds are that both parties to the disagreement bear some responsibility. Blaming the older child “because you are the oldest and should know better” is unfair and gives license to the younger child to annoy and aggravate the older child.

Try to turn a sibling rivalry dispute into a win/win situation. Look for a solution that gives both parties something. Teach the kids to negotiate and compromise. It could keep you from having to play referee so often.

I’m often asked what age a child should be when his parents begin to read to him. The answer is, “It’s never too soon to start!” The baby can “hear” in the womb. Oh, he doesn’t understand words, but he does understand emotions, and he does respond to the emotion behind a sound.  

Sudden loud sounds cause a fetus to flinch. Calming sounds calm, and there is nothing more calming to an unborn baby than the sound of his mother’s voice. So, yes, read to your child before he is born….what you read doesn’t matter…the daily newspaper is fine as long as you read it aloud and in a soft, comforting voice.

The first books that parents should read to their child after he is born are those that feature touching and textures. Children begin to learn language and associate different senses with different words at a very early age.

As the infant becomes a toddler, the books that are read to the child can be used to help reinforce positive behaviors. There are thousands of excellent books for toddlers on the market. It is better to use books that are made of washable materials that are not easily torn until a child is old enough to learn how to treat books with care.

Reading time is a special time for children. They love the sound of their parents’ voices, and they love the undivided attention that one-on-one reading provides. They also love the physical closeness — the touching and cuddling — that are part of a parent reading to a child.

The wisdom of the ages is contained in books. The earlier a child is introduced to books and the pleasure that books bring into his life, the better he will do in life. Nobody who loves to read is ever lonely if they have a book to read!

 

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.

Sometimes it seems that the lines between being a toddler and being a preschooler are a bit fuzzy. Which is which? Many (most) of today’s children begin going to day care almost from birth. The transition from day care to preschool can be nearly imperceptible to the child.  

From the child’s point of view, yesterday he could go play with the blocks if he wanted to, but today he must sit still and do what the teacher says. It can be frustrating, but parents can help with the transition.

Your preschooler is about to spread his wings and fly, and it is up to you to prepare him for what he will find out in the world. You have to teach him to help keep himself safe, but you have to do it without scaring the pants off of him. Parenting just got a little more complicated.

The way that your child interacts with the family and the degree of security that the child feels in family relationships will have a great deal to do with how he interacts with his schoolmates and his teachers.

It’s important to continue to read to the child. It’s also important to encourage the child to take part in and “help” with simple household chores. The child needs some “experience” to do well in school, and that experience includes playing with other children. Make play dates for your child and take advantage of “mother’s day out” programs if the child is not enrolled in day care.

Immediately stop talking baby talk to your preschooler. He needs command of the language and in using real grown-up words to describe common items.

Discipline is important now. The child must learn that when he disobeys the rules, there are consequences to his behavior.

 

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.

From the time a baby is born until he is about six months old, he requires more sleep than an adult — a lot more. Newborns may sleep between 12 and 18 hours out of every 24-hour period. After a child is about six months old, his sleep requirements are a bit higher, but very similar to an adult’s sleep requirements.  

It is of the utmost importance that parents help the child to establish a regular sleep/wake schedule as early as possible. This will make life easier for everybody in the household, including the baby. Babies, even as young as six months old, like continuity.

A regular “go-to-bed” time and a regular “get-up” time as well as a regular “naptime” will help to prevent all kinds of sleep-related problems.

There are lots of reasons why children can have sleep problems. Some of the problems are caused by physical discomfort or illness. Some sleep problems are caused by emotional or developmental problems that might seem totally unrelated to sleep. If your child is consistently unable to sleep (and consistently is the operative word here) it is best to talk to your pediatrician about the problem and have him or her help you resolve the issue.

The thing to remember is that when humans are tired, no matter how old or young they are, they sleep if they aren’t having mental, physical, or emotional pain. Sleep is natural; it isn’t a behavior that must be learned.

If you have worked to establish a regular schedule for your child (eliminated all of the foods and drinks that might prevent sleep, read him a story and tucked him in), and sleep continues to be a problem, it really is time to seek professional help. The lack of normal sleep is a symptom, not a disease.

 

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.