Thanksgiving Activities

 

 Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Can you believe Thanksgiving is this week??  It seems like just yesterday we started school.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite Holidays.  What’s not to love about a Holiday all about giving thanks to all the great things in our lives.  No stress about buying gifts or having the latest toys.  I love being able to spend time with my family and eat delicious foods.  YUM!

Thanksgiving crafts are so cute.  Do you remember tracing your hands to make turkeys?

If you are looking for something besides turkey hands, I found some cute crafts to share with your kids this Thanksgiving.

Looking for more Thanksgiving ideas?  Visit the TLC  Pinterest Board!

 Gobble Gobble!

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency  for over 25 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.

 

 

Tips on how to enjoy Art Basel when traveling with children.

So you want to bask in all of the Miami essence that comes with visiting for Art Basel. Special exhibits, pre-parties, after-parties, concerts, fabulous restaurants, and more. But there’s just one obstacle: Traveling with young children. Sure, we love to have them tag along and hate to leave them back home with the grandparents, but the multi-day party that is Art Basel creates an environment that is not entirely compatible with the young ones.

With a little bit of advanced planning, you can be sure to enjoy the best of both worlds so that the kids have a great time and you do too!

As so many Art Basel events occur in the evening, one strategy is to take advantage of Miami’s excellent kid-friendly attractions during the early part of the day. Attractions such as the Miami Children’s Museum,  Jungle Island,  Crandon Park Amusement Center, or an amphibious adventure with Duck Tours on South Beach will provide much needed entertainment for the kids that parents can share and enjoy with them!

Ok, so now the kiddos are entertained and worn out and its time for the parents (who have presumably conserved some energy) to go enjoy the Art Basel action. What now? Yes, we want to expose our children to wonderful art, but the massiveness of exhibitions such as Red Dot, Aqua, Context, Art Miami, and many others is capable of testing the endurance of the hardiest adults, let alone children.

That’s where TLC Family Care can help. Perhaps you’d like to take an early evening stroll through an exhibition hall with your children and have an extra set of eyes, ears, and hands to ensure the kids don’t touch the art (with the big “do not touch” sign on it), break anything, or run around and get lost in the massive halls while you attempt to take a serious and thoughtful look at the abundant and diverse art. One of TLC’s fully vetted and loving caregivers will be glad to join you and look after the kids to allow you to focus a bit more on the artistic treasures. Alternatively (or immediately after) TLC will send a sitter to your hotel room so that you can go out and enjoy the exhibitions, fine restaurants, and nightlife. You’ll be assured that your children are having a great time at your hotel playing, reading, and doing other activities before they get safely tucked in for a good night’s rest.

It’s really the best of both worlds; you can enjoy Miami’s beaches and attractions with your children by day, and also to get in some “adult-time” at night. Art Basel and Children DO go together well when you add a little bit of TLC caregiving to the equation.

It’s easy to book a TLC Miami hotel babysitter. Simply visit TLC Family Care and fill out our short application. A TLC representative will contact you immediately to assign and confirm an experienced and fully qualified sitter who will have fun with your children and set your mind at ease.

Last-minute requests are welcome, but we advise that you book in advance to be certain of getting the coverage you want. This is one of the busiest times of year for our on-call sitters. Use the link above or call TLC at 305.256.5905. We’d be happy to tell you more about our awesome sitters and get you set up with coverage to make your visit run smoothly.

Enjoy the art!

 

TLC for Kids Receives Industry Award for Innovation

On October 21, 2017 TLC for Kids was honored by the Association of Premier Nanny Agencies with their APNA Honors Award for Innovation in our industry. This award is given to an individual or agency that tries something new which enhances their business, increases revenues and incites change or advancement within the industry as a whole. For over 32 years, TLC has been a leading innovator in the in-home child care industry. 

In 1985, using her thesis in college exploring women in leadership as a starting point, Sharon Graff launched one of the the first back-up child care care services in the US. She used the Kelly Girl model to develop an infrastructure to make emergency and sick care available for working mothers. Within 2 weeks of opening TLC For Kids, at age 22, Sharon appeared on the local CBS Morning news  discussing the “Superwoman Myth” – TLC offered a solution to the child care dilemma. Not only could TLC find a nanny for your family but we could also fill in when your regular care arrangement fell through or when your child was ill. The phone started ringing off the hook.  TLC For Kids became one of the first nanny and babysitting agencies in the country and paved the way for an industry.

The idea of fully screened on-call nannies and babysitters available around the clock was a revolutionary idea that would become common place in nanny agencies as the industry was born and began to mature. From that moment TLC would become a national model for temporary services in our industry. In 1988 Sharon joined the International Nanny Association which had just started uniting nanny agencies, educators, and nannies toward the goal of professionalizing the industry. Recognizing the importance of having the representation of an Industry Association, Sharon and some of her counterparts worked tirelessly to develop the INA into what it is today, a reputable, well-known and trustworthy resource for agencies, nannies, educators and families alike.

In 1987, Sharon’s sister Stephanie joined TLC full time and together with the help of their dynamic staff continued to innovate.  TLC created a state funded training program for in-home child care providers. This program ran for many years and was well attended. In 1994, TLC was one of the first in the in-home child care industry to develop training for nannies who wanted to support postpartum mothers and their infants. TLC shares this program through workshops and materials, and it subsequently became an area of growth for all in the industry who participated in it.  Around this time TLC also developed the first industry-specific software package that was designed to manage the unique needs of our industry including the management of applicants in process, scheduling temporary services, creating professional caregiver profiles, and automating many repetitive but required tasks.

During this time, TLC also began offering consulting services to start-up nanny and child care agencies, and has now has consulted with hundreds of agencies throughout North America.  Sharon was part of the team who presented the New Agency Workshop for over 5 years. Her goal was to raise the bar for quality and promote best practices for those entering the industry in order to ensure a better perception and reputation for the entire industry.

In 1996, Sharon joined the Board of Directors for the International Nanny Association where she would serve for 16 years in many capacities, helping to develop and set those standards and guidelines to develop both the professional practices and perceptions of the home child care industry to the public at large. A large part of her role with the INA was innovation. As chairperson of website committee and public relations committee, Sharon helped bring nannies as a respected profession into the fabric of American culture. At the first APNA conference in 1996, a very pregnant Sharon provided a workshop to the newly formed APNA members and participants about temporary services.

Over the past 32 years Sharon, Angela, Stephanie and the rest of the TLC team shared their business practices and innovative growth with many industry counterparts through workshops at APNA and INA as well as submitting articles in the INA Newsletter.  It is for all of the above reasons that TLC should be recognized as a long-running and persistent innovator in the child-care space, as well as its past and ongoing contributions to the health and reputation of the industry as a whole.

Teach Your Child to Practice Good Dental Hygiene

Children need to be taught the proper way how to care for their teeth as soon as their teeth begin to develop – and if you start them on the habit early, they’ll have good dental hygiene as an adult.dentist

You’ll have to carefully brush a baby’s teeth with a soft brush and don’t use any toothpaste until your child is aware that the toothpaste shouldn’t be swallowed. For most children, that awareness is around the age of two.

By this age, under adult supervision, children should be in the habit of brushing their teeth – and if you make it fun, children will want to brush their teeth. By the time a child reaches kindergarten age, he should be able to brush his teeth without adult supervision.

Children should avoid sugary snacks like lollipops that coat the teeth with sugar for long periods of time – and they should also avoid high sugar beverages that can damage the tooth enamel.

Though it’s a fairly common practice, discourage your child from thumb sucking, which can lead to buck teeth and poor tooth alignment. Teach your child to keep his fingers out of his mouth, since this is one of the main ways that kids pick up germs.

If your child is very young, to help him understand and get into the habit of taking care of his teeth, use a colorful chart to teach about good oral hygiene. You can use a blank calendar that has squares for every day of the week and let him put a check mark in the box every time he brushes his teeth.

Kids should learn about flossing as soon as they’re able to hold the floss and should floss every single day. Regular dental visits should be begin as soon as your child starts to have teeth, because regular visits can catch small problems before they become big problems.

Children should brush at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. If your child isn’t old enough yet, and you need to brush for him, brush the outside of the teeth first from the back to the front and then switch to the back of the teeth. Make sure you brush the tongue as well.

Your child’s toothbrush should be changed regularly – every twelve weeks – or sooner, if the bristles are damaged. Also, your child’s toothbrush should be changed after every illness because the bristles can house the germs that caused the infection. Don’t store toothbrushes in covered containers, since this provides a breeding ground for germs.

Caring For Sick Kids

Cold and Flu season is upon us. Make sure you’ve stocked up on all the essentials – cold medicine, thermometer, throat drops, tea, and get your flu shot. Another item to cross off your list should be to contact TLC and be registered for our backup care. Be prepared when the unexpected arrives. A reminder to caregivers, when doing a sick care job for TLC always follow the parent’s guidelines and remember to get permission in writing before giving any medicine. 
Here are a couple of extra tips to keep in mind when caring for sick kids.
1.  Always use a digital thermometer.  The most accurate way to take a temperature for a child over the age of one is with orally with a digital thermometer.
2. Don’t treat kids under the age of 12 with a multi-symptom cold medicine.  The best way to treat a cold is by using a humidifier, a saline solution for the nose, and by giving lots of fluids. With parents permission you can give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fevers or achiness.
3. Always use the medicine dispenser that came with the medicine.  Teaspoons used in everyday kitchen ware can vary from set to set.
For more tips on treating sick kids you can read the entire article.  It’s interesting to see that some things we may have been taught to do (or that we did as a kid) aren’t recommended anymore.
Remember to wash your hands, get plenty of rest, and drink lots of water so you can stay healthy!

Helping your child adjust to a new caregiver.

Every child will receive care from someone other than their parents.  It may be a nanny, babysitter, grandparent, daycare worker or teacher.  Often times this situation can be difficult for both parent and child. Nanny Resources

TLC Family Care would like to share some tips to help you both through this new challenge.

1. Preparation.  A few days before start talking to your child about what is going to happen.  If possible take a look at the new setting and talk to your little one about what is going to happen during the day.  If you have hired a new nanny have the nanny come over to play first before she starts work.

2. Communication.  Tell the new nanny or caregiver all about your child.  Share routines and likes and dislikes.  You can also tell the nanny about recent events that might help build a relationship.

3. Transition objects.  If possible let your little one keep something with them that will remind them of home.  This can be comforting for your child.  A transition object might be a blankie, favorite stuffed animal or a picture of mom or dad.

4. Play Games.  For a younger child playing games like peek-a-boo and hide-n-seek help with  separation anxiety.  Kids learn that things continue to exist even if they are out of sight.  It also helps teach children the idea of a reunion and that objects and parents do come back.

5. Aftermath.  Finally be prepared that your child may react to the separation after the fact.  This may come in regression in toilet training, temper tantrums, or low levels of frustration.  Remain calm and talk to your child about their feelings and reassure them that everything is going to be OK.  Let the nanny or caregiver know about these new feelings too.

TLC’s nannies have experience working with kids and come ready to help make the transition a smooth one. Give us a call today to speak with one of our placement specialists and help you find the perfect caregiver for your 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.

Revving Up Your Child’s Immune System

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Benefits of Nanny Care

Our guest blog comes from Sue Downey, Nannypalooza 

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

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

Read more benefits of Nanny Care by Sue.

National Nanny Recognition Week Begins Sunday, September 24

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

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

How can you say Thank You to your nanny?

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

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

Tips for checking a childcare reference.

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

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

When taking a childcare reference on a potential nanny:

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

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

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

Jessica Friedman
TLC for Kids, Inc.