Summer is almost here!  If you are taking a vacation with your nanny you should know how to handle her payroll.  If you are looking for a summer nanny to travel with you TLC For Kids can help.

Thank you to Breedlove and Associates for explaining the labor laws for travel to us!

THE LAW

When accompanying an employer on a trip – whether a vacation or a business trip – an employee must be compensated for all hours worked during the trip, including the time spent traveling to the destination. If the employee’s working time exceeds 40 hours in a 7-day period, the employer must pay the employee for the overtime hours at the time-and-a-half rate. In addition to the regular and overtime pay, the employer is responsible for the employee’s traveling expenses, including airfare and hotel accommodations. These expenses are covered by the employer because the employee would not have incurred these expenses on her own.

A traveling employee does not need to be compensated during her “free time,” which is defined as time when she is not responsible for her charges and she has complete freedom to go and do whatever she pleases.

 

Special ‘Thank You’ to Stephanie Breedlove from Breedlove and Associates for this guest blog post!

The anxiety first hits around late-April: School is coming to an end! How ironic that summer vacation actually makes life more hectic until you get everything straightened out. My kids are grown now but I remember the panic:  School was going to let out, my husband and I were working, and we needed someone to care for the kids, even if it meant shuffling and chauffeuring them from camp to playdate. What put me at peace was the realization that teachers had new summer schedules too, college students were on break, and teen sitters were out there looking for jobs. That’s still true today.  TLC For Kids has great summer nannies looking for work. As you put your summer care plan in place – and exhale – play a quick game I like to call “Two Truths and a Lie: The Tax Edition.”

Who said taxes aren’t fun?! 

1. My summer nanny is not an independent contractor.

Truth!

Many families think a temporary or part-time nanny is an independent contractor, but the truth is that you’re her employer.

So even if he or she only works for you during the summer, the nanny is your employee in the eyes of the IRS and is covered by special protections such as minimum wage and overtime.

2. I can pay a summer sitter cash because she’s temporary.

False!

You aren’t supposed to pay any nanny or sitter earning more than $1,800 a calendar year under the table!

3. You Can Get Tax Credit for Hiring a Summer Nanny

Truth!

Say you hire a nanny to take care of your kids for the 13 weeks of summer – and you pay her $500 per week, for a total of $6,500 over the summer. The employer taxes on this wage amount will be about $600 (or a total of $7,100).

That’s the cost side.  Now for the good news: tax breaks.

If you have a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through your employer, you can set aside $5,000 for childcare expenses using your pre-tax dollars. An FSA can save you as much as $2,300 per year, depending on your marginal tax rate.  That savings will bring your total cost down to about $4,800.

By putting her on the books, you’ve saved roughly $1,700!

If you don’t have access to an FSA (or missed the enrollment period for this tax year), that’s okay.  You can still use the Tax Credit for Child or Dependent Care (a.k.a. the “Childcare Tax Credit”).  It will save you up to $600 if you have 1 child or $1,200 if you have 2 or more children, bringing your total cost down to either $5,900 (save $600) or $6,500 (break even).

Remember, these tax savings are only available if you pay your summer nanny on the books and fulfill your “nanny tax” obligations.

I hope you find a great caregiver and have a wonderful summer. Along the way, if you have any household employment questions, just let us know. We’re here to help (888-273-3356).

 

 

Most people connect separation anxiety with infants.  However, it is normal for kids to experience separation anxiety throughout different times in their lives.  It can occur again at 3-4 years old, 5-7 and again from 11-14.  The older ages correspond with starting school for the first time and again when starting middle school or high school.

If you have a child that is suffering from separation anxiety here are some things you can do to help.

1. Start a countdown.  Whether it’s starting school, the first day with a new nanny or babysitter or going to a new daycare.  This will help them get used to the idea that you are leaving.

2. Prepare them as much as possible.  If they are starting school try to visit the classroom and teacher ahead of time.  Or meet some of the other students.  Let your child know what will happen during the day so that the fear of the unknown doesn’t take over.  If it’s a situation where mommy and daddy are going to work have the nanny over a few times before her first day,

3. Don’t exaggerate the good-bye.  Everyone(teachers, psychologists and nannies) agree ”don’t drag out your good-bye. ” Say a quick farewell and assure them that you will be back.  Lingering or showing any hesitation shows your child uncertainty.

4. Don’t tell your child you will miss them or go overboard on your reunion.  If a you talk about how much you missed them your child might feel guilty about leaving you.  Not the feeling we want on a first day!

It may take time for your child to get used to the separation.  If the fear doesn’t go away after 4 weeks it’s time to consult an expert.

Both my girls have separation anxiety.  My oldest is coming out of it and feeling more comfortable when I leave her places.  However, my middle child just started kindergarten and she is having a VERY hard time with me leaving her.

If you have any tips on how to help with separation anxiety please share them with us.

TLC For Kids, Inc has been St. Louis’ premiere nanny and babysitting agency  for over 25 years.   TLC For Kids dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutor’s, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at info@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

 

Keftab

TLC For Kids is so excited to be the St. Louis sponsor for the 2012 National Nanny Training Day on April 28th, 2012.

National Nanny Training Day is a day dedicated to provide quality nanny training opportunities to nannies all over the country.   St. Louis nannies will be joining nannies in New York, Colorado, Arizona, Georgia and many other states to participate in this nationwide event.

TLC believes that the training and education of caregivers is one of the most important factors associated with the quality of child care they provide.

For months now we have offered our nannies continuing education courses on topics like Autism, SIDS, CPR and first aid certification, and ADD/ADHD. 

On National Nanny Training Day TLC will host three sessions on some very important childcare topics.

1. Newborn Care: learning how to care for the specific needs of newborn babies.

2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: how to reuse things at home into fun activities for kids.

3.  Activities to Engage Youth: discover the essentials on how to plan and engaging activities. 

Along with these amazing sessions we will also have raffle prizes and goodie bags.

Registration is required for this event by April 23rd, 2012.  Space is limited. You can register online at National Nanny Training Day.

Can’t wait to see all you amazing nannies at the event!

Almost every Saint Louis parent I talked to about hiring a nanny said the same thing: “I’ve never interviewed someone before. What do I do?”  I always gave the same answer: Trust your instincts. 

When your baby is crying you know why.  You know when your little one is sick before the thermometer tells you.   And when hiring a nanny you will know which one is a good fit.  Always follow your gut. 

Today an email came through my inbox that reminded me of this.  It’s a post a mom made on a blog thread I’m following.  She registered with a competitor’s website looking for a nanny.  Here is part of her story.

“I had a weird feeling about her from the start but, i couldn’t put my finger on it so i figured i was just a nervous mother and hired her. she was with us about a month. long story short, i got off early from work one day and came home unannounced. from the moment i approached the front door i could hear my baby SCREAMING. i walked in a called “hello?” but all i could hear was wailing. i walked upstairs and must have surprised the babysitter becasue she was in another room and said “oh!” and scrambled into my baby’s room. i saw her open the door. the room was pitch black and he was sitting in the middle of the floor crying so hard he was sobbing. she scooped him up and started chatting with me like nothing happened. i asked her why he was crying and she said “oh we were playing peek a boo.” i was shocked.

 PLEASE check ppl out. PLEASE listen to your gut. you are the mother and your gut is never wrong!”

 

When you interview the right nanny you will know.  Trust yourself.

Hello! I’m writing today about a topic that we all know is very important, but it really hit home for me yesterday.  A TLC nanny, who I’ll call JC has been working with a family TLC placed her almost two years ago.

Earlier in the week, she was eating dinner with her charges when the fourteen month old began to choke on a small piece of pizza.  JC immediately reacted and went into what she called “save his life mode” and used her skills from CPR training.  JC was able to dislodge the food from his throat and calmly remedy the situation. JC was relieved to say the least — and I am so glad she shared her story with me.

Being a nanny, you are in charge and responsible for the safety of the children you care for.   Call TLC if you need resources on how or where to renew your CPR training, it might just be the most important thing you do.

Thank you JC, we are grateful for your ability to spring into action and handle the situation so well!

Jessica, TLC for Kids

As the placement counselor at TLC for Kids, Inc. in St. Louis I am often asked by nannies about getting together with other nannies for playdates. After all, don’t I have a great network of nannies in St. Louis? Of course, the answer is yes, TLC has been placing nannies with families since 1985!
The problem I run into is that since TLC has such a wide radius that we place nannies, playgroups can be difficult for me to coordinate.
The last nanny I was working with really wanted to start a playgroup in South County, but she was having a hard time figuring out how to make it work. She definitely did not want all the way drive to University City for a playgroup.  I needed to come up with a way for nannies to freely set these things up together!
And so, the TLC “Meet-up” group was born. This is a group of nannies and sitters who want to get involved with other nannies in their area. Feel free to join and suggest an activity!

Check us out: http://www.meetup.com/TLC-for-Kids-Inc/ Follow the prompts and join – it’s free, fast and easy!

Thanks! Have a great week. Jessica

The Evolution of the Afternoon Family Assistant

Better known as After-School Nannies, Family Assistants can do wonders to make life easier for your family. Life is supposed to get easier for us when our children start school, right? Wrong! It gets much more complicated. When my children were small, I never realized how many different activities and things needed to be done between 3:30 and bed-time. They need to be at different places after school, every day of the week. I often find myself taking my lunch-hour from 3:30-4:30 PM so I can shuffle my kids around from place to place. Then when my husband and I get home from work, we are trying to make dinner, supervise loads of homework, run to music lessons with one and soccer practice with the other, attend school functions, and it goes on and on! I only have two kids. I can’t imagine how it would work with three or four kids, even in families where there are not two working parents. It is no wonder parents are exhausted and overwhelmed.

TLC for Kids has been finding nannies for families for over 25 years, but we have only recently seen a huge increase in the demand for family assistants after school. These nannies are becoming invaluable family assistants, alleviating the stress of busy families when they need it most: from 3 PM – 7 PM! The family assistant, picks up kids from school, provides transportation to activities, lessons and appointments, gets the kids started on their homework, walks your dog, empties your dishwasher, throws in a load of laundry and can start dinner. Some may offer special skills in art, foreign language, sports and music.

Plenty of moms used to hire a sitter to play with the kids while she prepared dinner, but today’s families need more. Clients used to call TLC for Kids for After-school Nannies because they needed someone to pick their kids up from school and supervise them until parents could get home for work. Now, After-school Nannies/Afternoon Family Assistants are becoming an integral part of the family and provide so much more!

Afternoon Family Assistants are generally college students looking for a job that will fit with their class schedule. More often than not, our Afternoon Family Assistants are studying education and eager to put their education to work to help your children with their homework, teach them organizational skills and get them into a good routine for effective homework habits and study skills. Typical hours for Afternoon Family Assistants are any combination of M-F from 2:30/3:30 pm – 6:30/7:30 pm. They are generally flexible to work on school holidays, stay overnight if you have to travel, pet sit when your entire family travels and even work for you more hours in the summer when everyone is out of school.

So, if you are a parent like me, you may find an Afternoon Family Assistant a huge asset to the family; fewer battles over homework with the kids, more time for each individual child, less stress in your marriage, and time to breathe. If you are a student, an empty nester, a retiree looking for a great part-time job, an Afternoon Family Assistant job might be just what you are looking for!

Here’s a list of the various AFA responsibilities you may benefit from.

Pick up children from school
Take to after-school activities
– sports practice
– tutoring/Kumon
– music lessons
– religious school

Homework
– get kids to start homework before dinner
– teach good study skills
– help your child learn
– supervise musical instrument practice

Run errands
– grocery store
– target
– dry cleaner
– Walgreens
– library

Start Dinner
Help with homework
Do a load of laundry
Empty the dishwasher

Sports
-practice sports
-teach kids to ride a bike, skate, etc.
– supervise active, outdoor play

Supervise/help kids with household tasks
– emptying out their backpacks
– supervising their chores
– keep them away from the TV!

It’s summer break and some of you may still need to wrap up your plans for summer childcare.  Good news!  We have quite a few wonderful nannies that are still interested in securing work for the summer.  Even if it’s just a few days a week, hiring someone for the summer months is the way to go.

Remember TLC Temps and Sitters are NEVER allowed to take children swimming, but a Summer Nanny can!

Having a TLC Summer Nanny is like having your very own camp counselor, tutor, driver, and household helper all wrapped up in one! Summer nannies will schedule fun parent approved outings for the kids like going to amusement parks, swimming, museums, bowling, play groups, the zoo, and more. TLC nannies will also do tutoring over the summer so that the kids are on track for the upcoming school year.

Since we have so many nannies available, we are able to offer our registered clients substantial savings on a summer placement!* Give me a call to discuss discounts for full-time, part-time, and long term temp (up to two months) placements.

All you need to do to start your search is to click on the link below, and I will have candidates for you to interview within 24 hours.  If you have any questions please give me a call, otherwise, I will be in touch as soon as I receive your application!

https://tlcforkids.com/?register_parent

And don’t forget, we have great sitters available for weekends, days, and evenings, too!

*Already have a summer nanny? For each referral you send us, earn credits toward TLC services!

Have a wonderful summer!