Working through and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for everyone. Working parents with young children in the household face their own unique and particular challenges.

Nannies have worked with Work At Home Parents (WAHP) for decades and generally know up front that this is the situation. Most WAHP – nanny situations are well planned, with defined workspace, hours, and communication protocols in place. Many nannies chose not to pursue jobs in  WAHP situations because of the high level of communication, interaction and coordination necessary to make this work for all.

The Novel Coronavirus Pandemic came without warning, and parents and nannies were overnight thrust into working situations they never imagined. And for families with school aged children, layer on home schooling and distance learning over top of parents working in the home and it becomes an entirely new juggling act.

Realism and Transparency

Families now more than ever need to depend on their nanny. The ability of working parents to continue meeting their employer’s expectations and needs is predicated on the nanny meeting the family’s childcare needs.

All parties need to be realistic. A home with young children present cannot remain quiet at all times. So how do you balance quiet vs. activity? Many parents find themselves in less than ideal physical spaces for work – after all they didn’t plan on having a home office. Some solutions families have shared with us include:

  • Noise cancelling headsets;
  • Working from a bedroom;
  • Temporarily bunking children together and setting up an office in the extra bedroom;
  • White noise machines;
  • Scheduling telephone calls during nap time. With school aged children schedule reading / quiet time.;
  • Nanny schedule a walk or bike ride at a fixed time each AM, weather permitting, to allow for calls and conferences.

Radical transparency in the workplace means “creating a culture that is direct and honest in communication” to build trust between employers and employees. In the age of COVID-19 this is vital – all parties need to be brutally honest about their health first and foremost, and secondarily about their workplace and occasionally even household challenges. Approaching challenges with a flexible, can-do attitude will allow for creative solutions that everyone can live with.

As the employer, you need to insure that your nanny is free to speak her mind, rather than letting issues fester. And in order to empower your nanny to be radically transparent about HER health, you will need to rethink your paid leave policy. Don’t force her to choose between hiding an illness to protect her paycheck or communicating her symptoms and losing her pay. By the same token, if you or a household member are ill, have her stay home with pay until it is clearly safe to return to work. Presuming you and your nanny have a healthy working relationship, there is no reason to believe she will abuse your paid leave. You may even qualify for tax benefits for her paid leave.

Other Logistics and Protocols

Working from home while the children and nanny are present creates other logistical challenges. Young children in particular have a hard time understanding why mommy or daddy are home and yet not available to them. If you are lucky enough to be working in a place with a door, some sort of “Do Not Disturb” code should be worked out – similar to the tie on you college dorm room when your roommate was entertaining!

The quietest, most ideal location for parents to work from home may just be a WiFi dead zone. Mesh systems and WiFi extenders can solve that problem. And if your children are distance learning while you are Zoom conferencing, you may find you are competing for bandwidth. Contact your internet provider and upgrade your data plan.

Your children can become stir crazy just like you! Do try to explore SAFE activities your child and nanny can do together. Playgrounds and community pools are largely off limits. Consider learning to scooter on neighborhood sidewalks or trails (always wearing a helmet!) or sidewalk chalk art on your driveway. Every person re-entering the home for outdoors should immediately wash their hands. Many families who never previously thought of it are implementing a “shoes off at the door” policy.

Review your screen time policies with your nanny. Your toddler may in fact benefit from certain video entertainment, particularly those that involve exercise. Virtual child yoga classes and other activity based screen viewing can go a long way to releasing energy and keeping children physically and emotionally calm. Whatever you decide, be sure to have an open and honest conversation with your nanny.

The Best Laid Plans … Approaching Difficult Conversations

Even with the clearest communication, collaborative planning and problem solving, things don’t always go to plan. Difficult conversations initiated by the nanny are even more fraught with anxiety due to the power dynamic between employer and subordinate.

Do set aside some uninterrupted time for the conversation if at all possible. Face to face is best, however from a practical standpoint a phone call may be the answer after hours when the children are in bed.  AVOID text and email discussions.

Be direct – remember that radical transparency we discussed above? Be appreciative of the other party’s willingness to talk and do give everyone the benefit of the doubt as to motives. Experts suggest  that the initiator of the conversation to come armed with choices for the other and give them options.  (Nannies, does this sound familiar? Offering choices is also a method that early childhood educators suggest for getting young children to comply with requests.)

Wrap up the conversation with a summary of that actions have been agreed to and do schedule a time to follow-up to evaluate and adjust.

What challenges have you faced when nanny and parents share a workspace? How did you resolve the challenge?

 

This post originally appeared on HomeWork Solutions June 2, 2020

Are you stressed at home but unsure what type of assistance you need? TLC can help! Through our rigorous application and screening process, we provide you with caregivers to match all your needs. We have at our disposal the largest and most experienced pool of experienced caregivers – in many specialties!

With the help of our placement counselors, find the help that you and your family need.
Here are just a few of the positions TLC caregivers take on:
Permanent Nanny: caring for children on a long-term basis
Temporary Nanny or Babysitter: on-call seven days a week to help you out for a day, an evening, a weekend, you name it
Hotel Sitter: for out-of-town visitors looking for childcare assistance on your vacation
Tutor or Homework Helper: there to assist with any subject K-12 or in higher education
Housekeeper or Personal Assistant: helping out in your home or at your events
Adult Companion: available to provide non-medical care or household assistance for your loved ones
House- and Pet-Sitters: takes care of your house and your pets while you’re away
Newborn Caregivers: qualified to provide the extra attention and specialized skills your new baby needs

Remember, TLC works with you to find the caregiver that best suits your needs – live-in or live-out, part-time or full-time, summer, after-school, or year-round! Each of our nannies can provide their own transportation, references, background checks, high school diploma, and unique set of skills and experiences. They, and we, are excited to meet you.  Contact us at tlcforkids.com today!

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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.

Summer is a wonderful time for kids! There’s nothing like a little fun and relaxation during the warm summer months, but for working parents, it could be the opposite. Your schedule likely doesn’t slow down once summer rolls around and it may even be causing you some anxiety thinking about trying to scramble to find reliable childcare while you’re at work. Day camps, relying on friends and family to serve as babysitters, and taking vacation time will only go so far. TLC for Kids has the solution: hire a summer nanny. Your kids will love having a nanny to hang out with and take them places.  You will love not having to figure out childcare on a week by week basis. A stress free summer for everyone! 

Thank you to Homework Solutions for sharing this article.  Click here to read about some other benefits  of hiring a summer nanny.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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.

School years are busy.  Mornings are spent rushing to catch the bus or drive carpool.  Days are spent running errands, taking kids to practices, helping with homework,  and putting the kids to bed so we can do it all again tomorrow. 

I can not wait for summer!  This summer the kids and I are going to relax and unwind with the help of a summer nanny. Having a summer nanny is a great idea for families with school age kids. Summer nannies provide fun, reliable, and consistent in home childcare.  No more rushing around in the morning! Having a nanny come to the house will take away the stress of the morning routine, and maybe, let us all sleep a little later 🙂

The interview is an extremely important step in the hiring process. The interview can be held, at your home, at a coffee shop, the library or park.

When interviewing a nanny, rely on your intuition and observations when evaluating the nanny’s responses, mannerisms and appearance. A parent’s impression of a nanny candidate can be a telling sign if the nanny is a good fit for the family.

During the interview, parents should first inquire about the nanny’s background, experience, training, driving record and other skills related to working with children. Then, by asking open ended questions about the nanny’s interests, after work activities, and child care philosophies, parents can better evaluate how compatible the nanny is with their family.

When describing employment expectations, parents should be specific about job duties, hours, salary, time off and other practicalities of the position. Seeing and hearing the candidate’s reaction can provide valuable clues to how the nanny will feel about the position.

Parents should also observe the nanny with their children before offering the nanny the position. Take note of how the nanny interacts with the children and how the children respond to the nanny.

When deciding which nanny to hire, carefully weigh all the information gathered about each candidate. Check each nanny’s references (even if they come from an agency) and interview the top candidates a second time before offering the position. Parents should listen to their intuition and remember that the nanny will be a part of their family’s life. They should ask themselves, “Does this candidate seem as though she will fit in well with our family and work well with our children?”

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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.

 

Summer is almost here and it’s time to start thinking about childcare for the break.

TLC for Kids have great nannies ready to work this summer. All of our nannies are experienced, screened and excited about playing with your kids this summer! TLC summer nannies will explore the city with your kids. They will go to the Zoo, the Science Center, the pool, and all sorts of fun places.

 

Contact us today to start your summer nanny search.   St. Louis, Mo. 314-725-5660   South Florida 305-256-5905

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our friends at Regarding Nannies have some great advice when traveling as a nanny.  

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.

Continue reading 5 Things You Need to Know When Traveling as a Nanny

Jump on over to our Facebook page and share with us what helps you when traveling as a nanny.

 

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.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

When it comes to caring for children with special needs, there are different approaches you will need to take. As a parent or caregiver, you may need to treat the special needs child different from an ordinary child, depending on what their needs are. It can be difficult for many parents, especially when they first find out or when they feel like they are going through this alone.

Caring for children with special needs mean facing many obstacles and challenges that can be difficult at times. These children need extra attention that can take up much of your time. There are numerous hours required for medical appointments and hospitals visits and some children even require regular therapy sessions.

When you are caring for a child with special needs you not only have to consider the present but you must also think about the future. What will happen to that child if you were to become sick or if you are involved in an accident? As you age you may no longer be physically able to care for them but they may still need assistance. As important as the here and now is, the future must be considered.

Part of planning for the future includes taking steps to teach that child as much as they are capable of learning now. You will work with them to help them achieve independence and teach them the basic skills needed to survive but that still may not be enough. It will depend on their disabilities and they may always need someone to be there and help care for them. Take the time now to plan for the future and it will help to relieve some of your worries.

Resources for Special Needs

What resources exist for children with special needs? When your child was diagnosed with a disability or other issue, you were probably told then that there are many resources available for special needs. But you may be surprised to find out how many different options really exist for you out there. Search for resources for special needs with:

• Doctors
• Therapists
• School
• Online resources
• Online support groups
• Local support groups
• Books
• Videos/ DVDs
• Other parents and caregivers

These are just a few of many places you may be able to find more info about your child’s special need and what is available to help you.

When you are caring for a child with special needs don’t hesitate to use any of the resources designed for children with special needs. It’s a difficult task and no one expects you to go it alone. You should never feel like you have to deal with it all on your own, especially when there are so many people out there who know what you’re going through and so many resources to make it easier.

Seeking Help with Special Needs

As a parent, the more you learn about special needs and what options are available to you, the better prepared you will be to give your child the help they need and deserve. Don’t hesitate to seek help with the special needs of the one in your care. There are people out there more qualified and more experienced than you in this type of problem and they can help show you the ropes and gives you hints, tips and ideas for how to better care for your child.

As a parent or caregiver for a child with special needs you will spend countless hours worrying about your child and doing all that you can to comfort them. Many people spend sleepless nights simply listening and watching over the child so they will be right there in the event they are needed during the night.

Parents and caregivers of children with special needs display extraordinary strength and courage when caring for these kids. They focus all of their attention on the child and do all they can to nurture and protect them in every way. In the end, the most important thing is that you give your child the best opportunities available, regardless of what types of special needs they may have. In the end, caring for children with special needs can be one of the most rewarding experiences you ever have.

 

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.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

So, you’ve hurdled through the monumental undertaking of finding a nanny as well as the daunting feeling of leaving your child with a stranger. After doing the background check and all other things-to-do involved in having a nanny, it’s often beneficial for both the nanny and you to establish the rules in your house and set your and the nanny’s expectations. This can be mutually beneficial by identifying the nanny job description.

Most families know the familiar responsibilities of a nanny, which include taking care of the child’s physical needs such as preparing meals, making sure he/she is safe, washing the child’s clothes, and making sure your child’s surroundings are kept clean. When the amount of cleaning is not perfectly mapped out to you, disputes with the nanny can arise and you sure don’t want that. Not after you’ve spent weeks or months looking for one.

Laying down the nanny job description prevents disputes, at least nothing that concerns the nanny’s paycheck. Most nannies are briefed ahead in the nanny agency. Yet, you’d still want to talk to the nanny personally to inform her of your expectations and the job that encompasses being a nanny.

A Nanny is part of your child’s life. Since the nanny will be spending more of the waking time of your child, you must let her understand that she has a role to play in your child’s areas of development: emotional, social, cognitive and language, and physical. Although it is the parents’ responsibility to provide educational materials to the child, the nanny will usually be the one to supervise stimulating activities during the day.

The nanny job description, then, transcends meal preparations and giving your child a bath. Included in the nanny job description is cleaning the play areas of your child, reading a book to the child, plan daily activities that can stimulate intellectual development, monitoring TV and computer time, and making sure all his/her needs are met.

Furthermore, part of the nanny job description is to drive children to activities and arrange play dates to ensure a child receives all the exposure he/she needs for social and emotional learning. When driving is part of the job description and you are providing a vehicle for your nanny, make sure and discuss whom is responsible for making sure there is gas in the vehicle – especially come Monday morning, and whom is responsible for scheduling service for the vehicle.

The nanny job description actually varies from one family to another, and is largely determined by the needs of the child and the family. Don’t assume your nanny will do something – discuss in advance.

You should also discuss emergency plans and especially inclement weather. If it is not safe to be on the roads, your nanny should not be expected to drive to work. If you do require your nanny to be at work, discuss her staying overnight or having back-up child care plan in place. This should also be in place for when your nanny is sick. Nannies are exposed to all the germs your child brings home from school, and it’s inevitable that at some point, she will get sick. Be prepared. TLC can help by providing temp care or back-up care in the event your nanny is unable to work.

Nonetheless, nannies should bear in mind that their job is more than just receiving a weekly paycheck. The fulfilling part of this job is knowing that you became instrumental in a child’s life, and in the day-to-day of the family.

When done properly and discussed in advance, the nanny job description is a win-win for both parties. Clear, open lines of communication are key to a successful nanny-family relationship.

TLC is happy to assist nannies and families with their work agreement.

 

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.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

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.

 

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.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660