Safe Sunscreens For Kids

Summer is here and many of us are thinking about how we can keep our kids safe in the sun.

Parents and nannies everywhere are grabbing the sunscreen. Some sunscreens out there are made of chemicals that you may not want on the little ones.

There are natural sunscreens that are just as effective. Using safe ingredients, many lotions, creams and sticks provide excellent UV protection while minimizing chemical exposure.



TLC For Kids has made a list of some of the natural sunscreens that were included in The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) annual Safe Sunscreen Guide.

Many of these products can be found locally and  can be found online as well.

1. Badger Active Kids Sunscreen Cream

2. Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Sunscreen

3. Wee Generation Baby Sunscreen

4. California Baby Sunscreen Stick

5. Raw Elements Sunscreen

Remember sunscreen isn’t your only defense against the sun. Wear protective clothing and hats to avoid a sunburn.

INA Nanny of the Year

Last month at the International Nanny Association Conference the  Nanny of the Year was announced.  Congratulations to Joanne Barrow!  Here is an interview with Joanne conducted by the authors of

What prompted you to apply for INA NOTY? 

I became a member of INA last October and learned about NOTY a short time later whilst searching their website. I’ve been a Nanny for more than 2 decades, I knew I’d made a valuable contribution to the families I’d worked for and I felt I could be a positive role model for the industry and the association, so I made the decision and applied. When my previous employer, and then my current employer both wanted to recommend me and other prior families I’d worked for and my even charges started writing letters, the process just took on a life of it’s own. It was quite a bit of work to complete the application but personally I really enjoyed the process and it got me inspired to get more involved in my industry.


How did you find out you won? 

One of my nominating families threw a surprise dinner party for me at their home in New York City. The children greeted me at the door all dressed up grinning form ear to ear and made the announcement as I entered the dining room. They recited a poem they’d written and the youngest had drawn a picture that is now in a “2013 Nanny of the Year” engraved frame I was given to mark the occasion. It was a wonderful surprise.


What is your greatest accomplishment as a nanny? 

There’s a great sense of pride I feel when I look at the children whose lives I’ve been a part of. It’s a wonderful feeling of accomplishment to know you’ve been a positive and guiding influence in a family’s life, I don’t imagine much can beat it!


What would you say to other nannies to encourage them to apply for INA NOTY? 

Go for it! The recommendations alone are such a tremendous validation of your dedication and a job well done. When you start hearing from your former employers, your agents and if you’ve been at it as long as I have your grown charges! You’ll know you’re doing the right thing. The hardest part is stepping forward to accept the award knowing that the nominees by your side are all equally deserving; it’s an extremely humbling experience.

I heard more than once at conference that Nannies were ‘put off’ by the work involved in the application. It’s true, it is a process but I think they make it that way for good reasons. Don’t be put off by what’s involved, Marcia Hall provided great support throughout with her step by step guide on the INA’s website blog. The process really encouraged me to look inward on my 22 year career; for me it was a  fun and inspiring project that re affirmed my passion for what I do.

What words of wisdom do you have for nannies – for career nannies and those just starting out? 

I have always felt that the most important thing is knowing where your values lie and never taking a position that requires you to veer away from them. You need that guiding compass everyday, stay true to it.


If you weren’t a nanny, what would you be doing? 

I’m a care taker at heart, steady, thorough and conscientious. Before moving to the US in 1991 I was an Auxillary Nurse in the UK caring for the elderly. If I had to guess I’d say I would probably have continued on in the nursing profession. Children were always destined to be my future though, that was clear to me when I was a child myself.


What do you wish you would have known when you first started out as a nanny? 

Flexibility is your friend. It will save you from wasted power struggles with three year olds, make you a better employee, allow room for change in an ever changing environment and open you up to a world of opportunities. Embrace it, arms wide open.  J

Tips for a More Enjoyable Vacation!

Are you going on a family vacation this summer?  Vacations are fun and it’s a nice break to get away from the daily grind.   Vacations can also be a time for parents to reconnect.   Planning  and running after kids can be tiring.  Parents should take a day or evening and spend time together without the kids!

Here are some tips for parents who are looking to take a vacation from their kids while on vacation.

1.  Hire a babysitter on your own.

Check with the International Nanny Agency ( for a list of babysitting agencies where you will be staying.  Nanny agencies like TLC For Kids can send a vetted sitter to the care for the kids in your hotel room.  Check with the agency about rates, hours, and pre-screening.   TLC For Kids offers hotel babysitters in South Florida and St. Louis, Missouri.

2.  Bring your nanny or babysitter with you.

If you have a nanny or regular babysitter see if she wants to come along!   Negotiate everything ahead of time.  Talk about what is expected as far as hours on duty and hours off duty.  Remember you will be responsible for a salary plus her traveling expenses.  Having another set of hands for the trip whom the kids already know and love maybe worth the extra expense.

3.  Find a hotel that offers sitting services.

Lots of hotels and resorts offer provide  babysitters, day care or  kids’ clubs. Do your research when making arrangements with the hotel.  Ask questions like where do they find their sitters, does the hotel check their references and do a background check, and where will the childcare take place?

Make your plans prior to your arrival so you won’t by trying to make arrangements last minute.

4. Take family-friendly cruise.

Most cruise ships offer child care or supervised activities for children.  For example the  Disney Cruise Line offers lots of options for kids of all ages.  Do your research to make sure there are no age requirements.

Most importantly have fun and take time to relax and reconnect!

Going Green with your Baby and Nanny

TLC For Kids Miami is so excited to be  at the Green Baby Fair in Miami this weekend.

If you are looking for a nanny in Miami swing by our booth and talk to us.  We also have screened Miami babysitters who will come to your home.  If you can’t make it Saturday call us at (305) 256-5905.

Here are a few green activities for caregivers to do with kids:

1. Encourage walking, biking and public transit with the kids which can be much more of an adventure than driving.
2. Have the sitter make a poster of a big pile of plastic water bottles with the kids. Every time they find one to recycle, the kids can erase it from the pile… It teaches them to know how wasteful a simple thing as a water bottle can be.
3. Encourage [green] behavior by involving the kids and nanny in a garden. No matter how big or small, a simple pot could grow a tomato plant
4.  Start a compost pile.  Keeping your food scraps and composting them is a great way to keep your trash “foot print” small.
5.  Recycle water.  Put a rain barrel outside to collect the rain water.  Your kids and nanny can use the recycled water for your garden.
6.  Use old cardboard cut into pieces and cardboard rolls to make roads and tunnels for toy cars, trains or people.