Being a nanny and a babysitter is an extremely important job. You are responsible for caring for and keeping safe a parent’s most precious gift. The days are filled with changing diapers, washing and refilling sippy cups and/or bottles, playing, reading, changing more diapers, and playing some more! It’s a tireless job that sometimes goes unnoticed. Not by this mom! Read the thank you Laura Harris wrote to her sitters for everything they do.
” My two kids are at the babysitter’s today. They’re running around in the watchful and loving care of my friend, Seyly, while I sit in a cafe and type on my laptop, listening to movie soundtracks in my earbuds. This is my one full day outside of the home to work as a freelance writer. My one day to chase my dream.
The rest of the week, I chase my other two little dreams. One has my laugh; the other has his daddy’s. For a long time, I felt guilty about doing something like this for myself. Then, I realized, it really does take a village. You, the babysitters, helped me overcome some pretty difficult stuff, and it’s time I shared my thanks with you.
Soon, I’ll pull into my friend’s driveway, and feel a flutter of excitement at the thought of seeing my children. I’ll open the door and find them both, safe and sound, racing around the house. It’s possible that they’ll react to my entrance by running away and sobbing, but I’ve come to take that as a good sign. They had a good time.
There’s no telling what kind of day my friend had, however. No telling how many bodily excretions she had to smell or wipe up. No telling how much food my kids spilled on her table or floor. I’ve been that sitter, as many of us have, and I just want to say,”Thanks.”
To all the sitters: You’re awesome and you probably don’t get paid enough. Some of you even choose not to get paid at all. You love our kids and keep ’em safe while we, the parents, try to remember the basic functions of adulthood sans babies.”
What a sweet thank you! Read the full blog here.
If you are interested in becoming a nanny or babysitter contact TLC for Kids! We are hiring in St. Louis, Atlanta, Miami, Boston, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville.
Museums are the perfect place for people of any age to learn about history, culture, and the arts, but they are especially important for kids because they offer the chance to see those things up close and personal. St. Louis Museums like the St. Louis History Museum and the Art Museum are great places for a nanny to take her charges.
It’s not always easy to get a young person engaged in a trip to a museum. These days, if it doesn’t have a screen on it, kids don’t seem too interested. There are things a nanny can do to amp up a kids interest, though, and if you do a bit of planning beforehand it’ll be a magical trip for everyone. Here are some of the best tips on how to help a child have the best experience possible.
Keep realistic expectations
If you’re planning a trip to a large museum, chances are you won’t get to see everything in one visit, and attempting to make a child walk the length of a huge space and stay focused the entire time is probably just not doable. Instead, do some research before your trip; hop online and check out the museum’s website, because many offer detailed maps and even apps you can download that will make your visit much easier. Pick 10 or 15 things you know your child will enjoy seeing in person and make it your goal to see those first. That way, you won’t feel pressured to get everything in during your trip and your child will be able to narrow down their attention to just a few things.
Start with an interactive exhibit
Many museums have caught on to the fact that people have shorter attention spans these days and are offering interactive exhibits. Some are hands-on–which is great for kids–while others require a smartphone. Starting with one of these can ensure that your child stays interested, as can visiting a museum that focuses on animals or dinosaurs. Or, you might even try incorporating concepts that your child is learning about in school.
Make it a game
After you’ve done some research online about the museum you’ll be visiting and have an idea of the things on exhibit, consider making a scavenger hunt to bring along for your kids. Give it to them when you first get to the museum and ask them to find all the things you listed and write down one fact about each item.
If photography is allowed in the museum, have your child stand in front of a sculpture or exhibit and try to recreate the pose, then snap a picture. Challenge your child to really look at what they are recreating and find one interesting thing about it, then try to find an answer together. For instance, Renaissance artists often painted babies with funny expressions on their faces; look for information about the painting to see who the baby represents and what emotion it is expressing.
When touching isn’t an option
Some museums have delicate items on display that are not to be touched under any circumstances, and many of the exhibits are even under glass. For these, it’s important to keep kids engaged by asking them to look closely at the items to see what they might find. For instance, if they’re looking at a small replica of a famous house complete with furniture and small details, ask them to count how many chairs are inside, or bring along a magnifying glass so they can see it even closer.
Remember to ask the tour guides questions; not only do they love helping kids learn about the museum and all it offers, questions help everyone involved learn more about the exhibits and see things from a new perspective. With winter approaching consider visiting a museum with the kids you care for.
Thank you to our guest writer Sean Morris!
Sean Morris is a former social worker turned stay-at-home dad. He knows what it’s like to juggle family and career. He did it for years until deciding to become a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he has found this additional time with his kids to be the most rewarding experience of his life. He began writing for LearnFit.org to share his experiences and to help guide anyone struggling to find the best path for their life, career, and/or family.
TLC for Kids provides quality in home child care for families in Missouri and Florida. Our nannies and sitters get great feedback from the families they help. From time to time the reviews are so awesome we can’t keep them to ourselves!
Read the great review we received on Dascha in the St. Louis office.
“Just wanted to write a quick note to let you know how spectacular Dascha has been every time she’s worked for us. Dascha is very detail oriented. If anything out of the ordinary comes up, like David, my 8 year old telling her “I promise that mom ALWAYS lets us do XYZ” Dascha won’t hesitate to text me to verify (and 90% of the time David was not being truthful but rather attempting to push boundaries as is want to happen with an Aspie/ADHD kiddo). Dascha always fills out the form to let me know what she’s done with the boys – which I really appreciate knowing. Dascha even brings her own toys, which makes her very popular, even if it’s something as simple as playdoh (which we have a ton of but hers is special) and will help the boys clean up after themselves. The last thing I really appreciate is her making sure she has a note from me if the boys are going to ride in the car with her. It gives me good piece of mind to know the kids will be identified correctly if, heaven forbid, they were in a car accident. Just wanted to note that it is appreciated!”
Maria in the Florida office did a great job taking care of twins.
“TLC has proven to be excellent in every way. I was worried about hiring someone to help me with our twins, but I do feel confident now with the choice of sitter TLC has sent.
Your office staff is excellent and they exceeded my expectations. It was because I was so impressed by your office staff, and because it is a family owned business, that I decided to enroll with TLC. An example of why I was so happy with your staff is that they were kind, warm, and helpful whenever I called. They treated me as if I was very important to them. Kathy spoke to me about my needs and then worked diligently with Adriana to find me the perfect match.
Maria is the perfect match for me. She is very professional yet extremely loving and warm with the twins. She is punctual, soft spoken and respectful. Maria is knowledgeable about children and I trust her experience in keeping them safe and in nurturing them. I am very happy with Maria and with your service.”
TLC is a family owned business that has been helping families with their in home childcare needs for thirty years. We would love to help you too! For more information please visit our website at tlcforkids.com.
Temporary Childcare: TLC temporary sitters can help with last minute needs, transportation and date nights this summer.
- House and Pet Sitting: If you are traveling this summer and need someone to watch the house and take care of the pets let us know. We have pet sitters available.
- Traveling nannies: Do you need another adult for your vacation this summer? We have sitters who can accompany you on your trip to help watch the kids and give you a needed nights out!
- Tutors: TLC tutors are certified teachers and can give extra help this summer to keep your kids on track for next year.
Visit our website to learn more about becoming a member of TLC today!
Are you looking for childcare this summer? We have great summer nannies ready to make this summer a memorable one for your children. TLC summer nannies will take the kids to the pool, the zoo, or any other popular attraction. All of our nannies have an insured vehicle to help with any summer transportation needs. They will also make days at home fun with crafts, water balloon fights and running through the sprinkler.
Click here to fill out your parent application today!!
Applications received before May 1st will get $100 off your application fee!!
Contact Jessica or Debbie at 314-725-5660 with any questions.
Over the last few weeks we have collected some great feedback from our clients on the TLC sitters they have used. Nothing makes us happier than to receive such glowing reviews of a job well done! Way to go TLC caregivers!
Here are some of the comments clients have shared with us:
- “Laura has been great. She has helped in every way. She has taken care of my newborn and has also now won over by very choosy toddler. My visit to Florida would have been very difficult without someone like Laura who is willing to help with everything and who is reliable. I would like to put her in my suitcase and take her back home with me 🙂 “
- ” Erin was amazing! She far exceeded my expectations. I was a little worried about needing a sitter for 8 hours because that’s a long time and I was afraid the sitter might get worn out or frustrated after a while. Erin was so patient with the kids and kept them entertained the entire time. The biggest surprise for me was when I walked in the room and saw my 3 yr old was already in his pajamas and sleeping, and had been sleep since 9pm! Bedtime with him is a struggle, even for me! I feel triumphant if I can get him to bed before 11pm on weekends and even that requires a battle but Erin had no problem getting him to bed. My daughter is very picky about sitters and she loved Erin. She like her so much she even left the cutest note for me to find once I got back to the room. I thought it was very nice and a reflection of Erin’s great work so I attached it to the email for you to see. My experience with TLC was amazing overall and I will definitely use the service again if the need arises!”
- ” Julie was wonderful. I’m actually going to be specifically requesting her on my future TLC needs.”
- ” Courtney was a fantastic nanny. I chatted with her for a while before we left, and I felt very comfortable leaving my son with her. She was warm and friendly and has a lot of newborn experience. My son has been having issues taking a bottle, and she even got him to successfully take down a couple ounces. I would highly recommend her and I hope to get her again. She also said wonderful things about TLC and the type of training she received through your service, making me even more confident booking a nanny through TLC again. “
If you are in need of a babysitter in St. Louis, Missouri or South Florida TLC is here for you. Our babysitters are experienced, screened and reliable. To learn more about requesting a TLC sitter visit our website at tlcforkids.com.
There is an app for that! New technology and apps aren’t just for fun – some new developments are incredibly useful for families and nannies. Here are just a few favorites from TLC for Kids:
HiMaMa helps parents keep track of important moments they might otherwise miss. Nannies and parents alike can take pictures or videos and share them with each other, and with anyone else in their child’s life. It’s like a private Facebook just for keeping track of the child’s special experiences! If a family has relatives who don’t live nearby and like to get updates, or if they miss their child when the nanny is on-duty, this app is a great way to stay connected.
Cozi will keep you on track when the family becomes just too hectic to keep track of. This app is an easy and free family organizer which allows you to record and share schedules, activities, chores, and more. When a family and nanny share this app, they’ll not only stay on top of everything that’s going on but will be better aware of what’s going on in a child’s life that may affect their behavior or needs.
Babysitting Pro allows nannies to calculate and record pay, set notifications for tasks they need to complete, and update parents about their children’s activity with notifications and daily summaries. This must-have childcare app streamlines the process of communication between caregivers and parents, so that everyone is on the same page about the children’s needs and nothing falls through the cracks!
Do you have a favorite app you use for nanny and babysitting jobs? Tell us about it and we can add it to our list!
Finding a babysitter is a rite of passage for parents. It often means that YOU are ready for a night out with your spouse or friends without having to bring along your arsenal of diapers, wipes and an extra change of clothes. It’s not easy to find someone you trust to watch your most precious possession— your kids. When you find someone the question then becomes how much do I pay her?!
Paying your babysitter a fair wage is important because it lets your sitter know you value her services and helps to ensure her interest in coming back. I often get asked what is the typical rate to pay?
At TLC for Kids, we have a minimum set rate of $12/hr . TLC sitters are experienced, CPR certified caregivers who have completed high school. Many have college or childcare coursework behind them. They also have their own transportation and come ready with books, games, puzzles and fun activities. TLC Sitters will arrive on time and ready to play!
When you have a newborn the minimum rate at TLC changes to $14/hr. If you are asking for extra housework or have more than 3 children the rate can go up to around $15/hr. This may seem like a lot, but keep in mind that it’s a small price to pay for security and peace of mind. A sitter who is making a fair wage likely takes her job seriously and relies on the income to help pay for extra expenses for college or is supplementing her income.
Parents looking for a “mother’s helper” or high school student pay a different rate. I’ve found that younger sitters typically make $8-10/hr. While a younger sitter might not be able to sit for a super late night, during a weekday, or offer sick care, she can still offer some much needed help. I’ve known of a mom or two to hire a high school student after-school and go for a jog around the block or hide out in her bedroom for an hour to unwind.
Hiring a babysitter even for a just few hours can help a frazzled mom recharge and that’s worth its weight in gold!
What makes certain TLC for Kids sitters get requested more than others?
Obviously, you have to get your foot in the door by working for a couple of families before any of them will request you specifically the next time they call. What is it that makes a family remember a great babysitter and ask for you by name?
THE KIDS LOVE YOU. Kids who are old enough to speak will ask for you by name. I literally can hear kids screaming in the background when a couple of clients call. The mom will ask, “who do you want?” and the kids will yell the names of their favorite babysitters. Mom and Dad will surely be more comfortable about leaving if they see a toddler take your hand to show you their favorite toys. It is very important to break the ice with the kids when you arrive, and keep up the fun while the parents are gone!
THE HOUSE IS PICKED UP WHEN THEY GET HOME. It isn’t always possible, due to time constraints, but do try to put in the extra effort. Parents love coming home to a tidy kitchen at the end of an evening out. We’re talking about 10 minutes to load the dishwasher, wipe down counters, and clean up the mac & cheese pot! I had one mom say lately that she loves a certain sitter, and her kids love her too, but it’s just not worth it because her house is a disaster when she comes home. This is one of the things that sets TLC sitters apart from the teenager down the street.
THEY BRING A FUN ACTIVITY PICKED OUT SPECIALLY FOR THE KIDS. This is one of the biggest things that wins over parents. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but parents love it when you keep in mind the interests of a child and bring an art project, a special library book, or even a holiday craft or baking project in your TLC for Kids tote bag. Just be sure to OK things like this when you call to confirm, and clean up extra carefully as well! Empty-handed caregivers are NOT popular and usually get the day or evening off to a poor start.
YOU SOUND FUN AND “TOGETHER” ON THE PHONE. Remember, your initial phone call is your first chance to make a great impression! Call ON TIME (the evening you receive the job), call from a quiet area and at a time when you can concentrate 100% on the conversation. Be upbeat and perky. Take careful notes and let the parent know you look forward to meeting their kids. I have actually had parents ask for a sitter to be replaced because she sounded “dead” on the phone! Also be prepared to answer questions about yourself and your background.
LEAVE A WHAT WE DID WHILE YOU WERE GONE SHEET. Make sure it lists all of the fun things you did! Keep careful notes if caring for an infant (feedings and diaper changes) or a sick child (food, drinks, medicine, mood, activity, and temperature.) Write a note saying you would love to come back to their house because you had a great time! Parents also love to hear funny things their kids said or did. Even better, they would love to see a cool art project that you helped with or a puzzle that you completed!
Do you have any babysitting tips and tricks that you have found get you requested back? Please share!
When hiring a babysitter to supervise their kids, parents don’t want someone to come over and watch TV. They want a sitter who will interact and play with the kids. If you do a good job and you and the kids have fun the parents will request you back next time.
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from series learning. But for children, play is series learning. Play is the work of childhood.” Fred Rogers
Here are a few ideas you can do next time you are babysitting.
- Play dress up: collect fun hats, jewelry, clothing and props for the “dress-up box.”
- Play cards and board games: don’t forget favorites like Hi Ho Cherry-O, Old Maid, Go Fish, Checkers, etc.
- Have a puppet show: make puppets out of lunch sacks and construction paper.
- Dance: turn up the tunes from Sesame Street, Radio Disney, and Wee-Sing for a toe-tapping good time.
- Make jewelry using yarn and a variety of pasta shapes. You can paint them too.
- Paint a shirt, hat or tote bag using fabric paint.
- Have a treasure hunt hide things around the yard or house and have the children find them.
- Make musical instruments use spoons, pots and pans, paper towel rolls, paper plates and dried beans… and MARCH!
- Build a “fort” using boxes and old blankets.
- Make homemade holiday cards cards will all be more special when made by the little ones.
All of TLC for Kids’ sitters and nannies are experienced child care providers and thoroughly screened by our professional staff. For more information about hiring a TLC babysitter in Florida or Missouri, please visit our website.