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Nanny Burnout

There comes a point in every career when you wake up, drink your coffee, get ready for the day and think to yourself, “I just can’t do it.” Burnout is an issue in any profession, and is especially common in positions where large amounts of emotional labor is needed. Nannies are notably prone to burn out, as their job as caregivers is to care. The extra emotional work that nannies put in on a daily basis drives them to an early case of burn out. So if you’re a nanny feeling like you just can’t do it anymore, what do you do?

The first step to managing the burn out is to identify it and recognize it for what it is. Burnout can look like many different things, but the general symptoms are:

“Burning out as a nanny is a common affair and is not something to be ashamed of or to stress out about even further, but it also shouldn’t be the new normal.”

Burn out is generally accepted as occurring when a nanny doesn’t have enough time for themselves to recharge, decompress and de-stress in-between shifts. This type of burn out is temporary and can be relieved simply by relaxing over the weekend or taking quality time for oneself. For more chronic burnout, however, there are many factors that can add up. Nannies who are at risk for burn out are:

  • Nannies who have a sense of personal responsibility. This type of burn out is especially present in nannies who do more emotional care giving, usually for children with special needs or in homes where there is turmoil or neglect.
  • Nannies who are not being paid enough. If one’s needs aren’t being met financially, it can be very difficult to be present for the job that is supposed to be paying your rent and feeding you.
  • Nannies who work without boundaries. If a nanny is without a work agreement and their role in unclear, they may end up being asked to take on additional roles outside of care giving.
  • Nannies who work long hours without time to recharge in-between shifts.

What can I do?

Many nannies work long hours and become emotionally invested in order to provide children with the proper care that they need and deserve, and to scale back on that care would be against their beliefs and be damaging for the child. So, as a nanny, how can you take care of yourself and the child?

Engage in Self Care

Self care is a major buzzword these days, but it looks different for everyone. Self care can be manipulated into marketing schemes, so it’s important to recognize what acts are actually beneficial to your rejuvenation between stressful care giving shifts. Shopping as self care may be good for some people, but if the cause of your burn out is due to financial stressors, it probably won’t do you any good. Self care is whatever you need to do to shake off the day. Exercise is a proven method of de-stressing and releasing endorphins, the chemicals in your brain that are responsible for happiness. Exercising every day also helps you manage stress and deal with whatever is coming up for you. Taking a bath, reading a good book, watching a movie or engaging in a creative activity are also wonderful ways of engaging in self care for nannies.

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Practice Mindfulness

Change your perspective while you’re at work. Instead of focusing on the negatives, “I’m not being paid enough for this”, “I am giving so much to this family”, or “I’m not getting enough help” think about all of the positives that are present, like “I am making a wonderful connection and a difference in this child’s life” and “I am capable and strong and can handle any adversity that is thrown at me.” Many caregivers get disheartened when their work goes unnoticed. Often, it is those types of families that the work is needed most. 
Visualize the fact that connecting with and nurturing their child is making a huge impact in their life. Think about how doing the laundry or cleaning the kitchen is creating a safe environment for the child. Changing the way you look at your role can have a huge impact on your mental health and your burn out. Take control of your days by engaging the child in fun activities that are also fun for you. Have a dance party, make a silly craft or just get a change of scenery. If it makes you smile, it will also make the child smile.
 

Draw Clear Boundaries

It is ideal for all nannies to have a close connection with their charges and with their families, but that closeness can often lead to feelings of guilt and obligation. If you are asked to do something you know will tire you out or leave you cranky and irritable, it’s okay to say no. Your job as a caregiver first and foremost is to care for the child, and anything that impedes on your ability to do so is outside of your job description and therefore not your responsibility. If you set expectations with the family, they can understand what you need and how better to allow you to assist the family.

Reach Out

If burnout is not managed, it can lead to more severe mental illnesses. Ask for help if you are having symptoms of depression or anxiety that you can’t manage yourself. Nannies are hard workers and often work alone, but there is no shame in asking for help when it is needed. If you are getting the help that you need in order to do your job correctly, then all parties benefit. Tell your nanny family that you are having difficulties performing, and have an open and honest conversation about how you can work together to make things better.

Accept Your Situation

Burning out as a nanny is a common affair and is not something to be ashamed of or to stress out about even further, but it also shouldn’t be the new normal. Once you accept that you are burned out, you can start taking steps to make your work-life balance healthy again.
 
If you are a nanny experiencing burn out, reach out to us! We can offer a number of solutions from drafting nanny work agreements to advice on how to set boundaries. Remember that you are not alone, all caregivers have felt this way at one point, but there is no reason that you need to continue feeling stressed.

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Why You Need to Stop Nanny Pay Under the Table Today

Tax season is upon us, and with it come all of the trials and tribulations of filing. As a parent / employer, you’ve probably saved your receipts, collected your documents and spoken with your accountant, but have you declared your nanny as a lawful employee? Many parents or guardians believe that nanny pay under the table is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, after all, isn’t that what everyone else does? Many parents have never even considered paying a nanny through payroll, but there are many serious issues that can arise from paying your nanny under the table, all of which cause much more of a headache than simply having them fill out tax documents. We are experts in assisting parents legally employ their nannies via payroll. We can help you figure out which government documents you need and what to ask your employee. Reach out to us with any questions concerning paying your nanny legally. Still not convinced you need to need to pay legally? Here are a few things that can go wrong by paying your nanny under the table: 

Your Nanny Gets Hurt on the Job

You might be thinking that a childcare provider should be keeping children out of danger, and therefore the risk of any injuries coming to them would be practically nonexistent. But what happens if your nanny gets injured in a car accident during a drop off at school? Or if they slip and fall after your new construction? A serious enough injury can send them to their doctor or the hospital, and when they relay their story to the physician, explaining that they were injured on the job, they have a worker’s comp claim. And what happens when they file that claim and the state has no record of them being an employee of yours? You can expect hefty fines from the State, all because you paid your nanny under the table; rather than declaring them as an employee.

Your Nanny Files For Unemployment

Let’s say you and your nanny part ways. Your child starts school or your partner loses their job and you either no longer have need of your nanny, or you simply can’t afford to keep them on. Your nanny will need to have support during their transitional period of finding a new job, and they seek to obtain unemployment from the state. However, the state has no record of their employment with you, as you haven’t been paying unemployment insurance along with their salary. That would be yet another fine for not paying your nanny as a legal employee.

Act as you would if you were in the room with your nanny interviewers. When you’re listening be sure to engage with them, maintain eye contact and nod when listening. Just because you are not in the same room does not mean that all social graces fly away, they can still see you and will take note if you act disinterested or distracted.

Your Nanny Sues For Not Withholding Taxes

Your nanny is part of your family, and you want what’s best for them, so you are happy to pay them off the books, ensuring that they enjoy every dollar that they’ve earned. But your nanny talks to others at the playground and finds out what benefits of being a legally employed nanny she’s missing out on. She finds out she isn’t saving money for retirement, she can’t get a loan and realizes she doesn’t have credit because she doesn’t have any work experience. She begins to understand that the benefits she’s missing out on far outweigh the extra few dollars she gets in her paycheck each month and decides to sue you for not following the law and paying her under the table.

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 You've Hired A "Less Than Ideal Nanny"

Professional career nannies take themselves seriously enough to understand that their job is a business, and in order to reap the benefits of one, they must be paid legally. These nannies are responsible, they have legal employment histories, can receive unemployment and social security and they can qualify for Medicare. Isn’t that the type of person you would want to entrust your children to? Nannies who accept being paid under the table may not be taking themselves seriously, and if that is the case, how could they be trusted to take care of your children seriously? It is best to avoid any doubt by paying your nanny legally.

 

You Incur Fines and Penalties For Not Following the Law

There are many laws and regulations under Domestic Workers Bill of RightsFair Labor Standards ActDepartment of Labor rules or the IRS to protect both employers and employees in household settings. They exist to make sure all domestic employers properly declare an employee for tax purposes, pay over time, effectively track hours, pay a minimum wage, and provide time off. If any one of these many institutions discover you’ve been working outside of the law, you can expect large fines or penalties.

 You Get Audited By The IRS

If any of the above acts find out that you’ve been avoiding paying your employee legally, it could lead to an audit. Once the government catches wind, they will investigate to see if there is any other financial foul play. An audit could mostly just result in a legal headache, but there is also the possibility of needing to pay back taxes and fines. Failing to pay your nanny’s employment taxes can cost you up to $25,000.

 

Taking the time to employ your nanny legally today can save you from massive fines and penalties tomorrow. Have no idea where to start or how to pay an employee legally? Let us know, we can help! We have extensive resources that can make employing your nanny legally simple and easy, and will protect you from any issues.

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Reasons You're Not Getting Hired - And What to do About it

When you’re applying for jobs, do you feel like you’re sending your resume and covering letter out into the abyss, never to be seen or heard from again? Well we’ve compiled a list of reasons why you may not be getting hired, and how to empower yourself to change that.

You're not being proactive.

Are you waiting for the perfect job and the perfect employer to just jump into your inbox? While this is the ideal, this unfortunately is not the reality. If you feel under-qualified for your next move, take an online course. We recommend these nanny courses to stay in the know. For nannies, volunteer at an after school program or local community center. LA Works has a huge database of volunteer opportunities to choose from and you can search by category. Taking classes and volunteering will spice up your resume and give you a seamless opportunity to find the next perfect family, or someone who knows one. If you’re feeling stuck, get moving! The rest will fall into place.

Your lack of passion shows.

Potential employers can feel whether or not you’re applying just to apply. If you’re excited about a job- let it show in the cover letter! Does the job description mention that the child loves dinosaurs? Mention that you’ve volunteered at the Museum of Natural History. Families don’t want to bring someone on board who’s only looking for a paycheck, they want someone who’s passionate and enthusiastic and will enrich their child’s life, right from the get-go.

“You know what they say: “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Most families love to hire people they already know, or who their current nanny recommends upon leaving. It’s important to put yourself out there by volunteering or maintaining contacts and references to increase your chances of being hired. A family would always much rather hire a nanny that was recommended to them than someone they found on the internet.”

You're not selling yourself.

Advocating for oneself does not always come naturally, but if there’s ever a time to push your worth, it’s when you’re job hunting. There’s a fine line between cocky and confident, but families want to know why you’re fit for the job. They could be looking through hundreds of resumes, so you’ll want to stand out by detailing your education, skills and experience, tailored based on their job posting. Here is a link to our template resume to help you get off to a good start.

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Your resume and covering letter don’t show your value to the family.

Your resume and your covering letter are your chance to show why you are qualified for the job. Make sure they both include relevant information and key words specified in the job description. If your resume just says “Babysitter for the Jones Family”, that doesn’t give a potential family too much to go off. Mention how you managed the child’s schedule and hosted play dates. The more specific, the better. If you don’t mention key specific points about the job in your cover letter, it sends off the message to potential families that you either didn’t read the job description or didn’t take the time to specify your letter. Don’t give off the impression of being lazy or disinterested and take the time to tailor your application to each job. This will show that you’re interested and proactive!

You conveyed a sense of entitlement at the interview.

It is incredibly appropriate to advocate for yourself, and we encourage this to the highest level, however it is important to be wary of your tone and attitude while selling yourself. Arrogance and rigidity are not traits potential employers look for in a nanny. It’s one thing to have a set salary, but to demand perks right from the get-go sends a red flag to the employer. After all, if you’re demanding in the interview, what kind of role model would you be for the children once you’re taking care of them?

You’re overqualified, or underqualified!

If you send a family a detailed resume about how you were the CEO of marketing for 15 years, that shows you’re qualified for marketing, but doesn’t mean you have any idea how to take care of a child. If parents and guardians are going to entrust their child’s life to your hands, they need to see that you have experience with children. The same goes for the inverse, if you’re a long term career nanny, they may want someone who is willing to grow and learn with their family, instead of someone who may be set in their ways. This is where your cover letter comes in handy to fill in the gaps of how you may be coming off to potential employers.

You’re not connected in the industry.

You know what they say: “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Most families love to hire people they already know, or who their current nanny recommends upon leaving. It’s important to put yourself out there by volunteering or maintaining contacts and references to increase your chances of being hired. A family would always much rather hire a nanny that was recommended to them than someone they found on the internet. How can you connect to others in the nanny industry? Talk to other nannies in your area, have play dates with nannies you meet at the park or on the soccer field. Join the International Nanny Association and look out for networking events in your area.

If you’ve been job searching for a while without any luck, take a step back and look at your applications from the point of view of a potential family. Ask yourself, based on what I’ve submitted, would I let this person in my home? Based on the previous points, review what you could be doing differently and create a game plan to showcase yourself in the best possible light and get back out there. Reach out to us at Los Angeles Nannies for resume building, advice and suggestions, we’d love to help you find the right family in any way that we can.

What do you feel nannies could do to increase their chances of getting hired? Let us know below!

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How to be a live-in-nanny

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There are many wonderful reasons to choose to be an at home caregiver. Live-in nannies experience many great perks like zero commute time, no-cost housing, and a unique opportunity to truly bond with a family. Yet with these benefits also come some obvious challenges. How can you navigate working from home in someone else’s home effectively and successfully? Here are some tips on how to be a great live-in nanny.

Communication

Before accepting a live-in position, it’s important for both nannies and parents to fully and effectively communicate their expectations and needs to ensure a healthy and happy work relationship. To avoid any awkwardness down the line, here are some great topics to cover that you may not even think of until you’ve already lived with your nanny family:
  • Toiletries: are things like toothpaste, shampoo and soap expenses your nanny family will pay for, or are you expected to purchase them yourself?
  • Vehicles: will you use the family car to transport the children to and from school and activities? If you already have your own car, will you be able to store it in their driveway or garage?
  • Guests: can you entertain friends or partners in their home?
  • Food: are you expected to chip in for the groceries, or are you included in the family meal plan? Are you expected to eat with the family if you are off the clock?
  • Spacial awareness: are their parts of the house that are off limits to you while you are not working? Are you able to watch the family TV? Are you included in their Netflix plan?

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries!

I’ll say it louder for the people in the back: set boundaries! Your nanny family are not mind readers, so you will need to explicitly tell them what you are and are not comfortable with, and what you will need from them in order to successfully provide the best care for their children. As you are working from home (someone else’s home), the work-life balance may be difficult to manage. During your off hours, the children may come to find you and play or ask for something. Make sure that you enlist the parents as your partner in this to ensure you don’t have to be the one to discipline or ask for space from the children while you’re off the clock. It is also inevitable that the more you work in someone else’s home, the more responsibilities you may begin to take on. Keep a log of every new task you take on, if your job duties begin to greatly expand, you could be due for a raise. On the flip side, if it becomes too much, let your nanny family know that it’s taking away from your ability to care for their children. Set the boundary that you already have as much as you can handle on your plate. Check out our blog on creating healthy boundaries with your nanny family.

“It goes without saying that while you are living in your family’s home, you should continue to be a role model for the children even off the clock. Children learn from example, and they will be looking to you to teach them, even if it’s your day off. Remember to always clean up after yourself as you go along. ”

Set monthly meetings and check-ins

Like any roommate situation, it is important to keep a clear, open dialogue about how things are going. Setting up a monthly meeting can be a great opportunity for everyone to air out any grievances or make suggestions without it being awkward or one-sided. Just knowing that you will soon have an opportunity to bring something up can ease the tension in a situation. There may be many questions that come up long after you’ve already started working that you couldn’t have foreseen without having lived it. Make sure you don’t hold anything in, however, as this could lead to awkwardness or resentment and that’s the last thing you want with your employer, especially one that you live with!

Be mindful of your free time

It goes without saying that while you are living in your family’s home, you should continue to be a role model for the children even off the clock. Children learn from example, and they will be looking to you to teach them, even if it’s your day off. Remember to always clean up after yourself as you go along. If you are always putting away your dishes and cleaning up your messes, it will teach the children to do the same. Watch your language while you’re on the phone and don’t gossip about your family or the children, it’s very unlikely that your room would be soundproof and kids like to play spy as it is! While in the home, don’t engage in any illicit or inappropriate activities that the children could catch you at.
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While there are obstacles to face for live-in nannies, there are also a ton of benefits. Live-in nannies have the opportunity to really make an impact on children’s lives and they don’t have a commute or housing costs. If becoming a live-in nanny is something you are interested in, reach out to us! We would love to assist you in any way that we can on your job search.

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Nannies, Families, and Love Languages

The 5 Love Languages, book by Gary Chapman, swept the nation. Couples everywhere jumped to take the test to find out what their and their partner’s love languages are. Love Languages help people better understand their own emotional needs as well as the emotional needs of their partner to better strengthen a relationship. Knowing what another person wants and needs in order to feel safe, happy and secure is essential in creating a happy and healthy relationship. This study has been primarily focused on adult romantic relationships, but there is no reason that the love language cannot apply directly to children and their nannies as well. 

What are the 5 Love Languages?

According to author Gary Chapman, there are 5 Love Languages, or five ways that people communicate their love or feel love communicated to them. They are: 

  1. Acts of Service,
  2. Words of Affirmation,
  3. Receiving Gifts,
  4. Quality Time,
  5. Physical Touch.

How can I apply this to my child?

Children ask, through their actions, every day if they are seen or understood. A child acting out is a child who isn’t feeling seen or understood. Understanding your child’s love language can correct and assist with discipline. It can create a stronger bond with your child, and a child who feels loved and secure has a much easier time learning and a much higher success rate academically.

Knowing what love language your child most strongly connects with can greatly assist you in your search for a nanny and strengthen your child’s bond with their nanny should you already have one. 

Where does my nanny come in?

Knowing what love language your child most strongly connects with can greatly assist you in your search for a nanny and strengthen your child’s bond with their nanny should you already have one. In searching for your next caregiver, you can ask leading questions in the interview (link to interview blog) that focus on the caregiver’s ability to connect with and provide for your child’s love language. The more your child feels seen and understood by their caregivers, the higher their self confidence and the better they do in school. Studies show that the less a child feels loved, the smaller their brains and the fewer neural pathways they have for learning.

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Speaking to your child’s love language

If your child’s love language is quality time, but the way that you communicate your love is in gift giving, there can be a disconnect between you and your child. You both love each other, but your child may not recognize or understand that to you, gift giving is your expression of love. They need quality time to feel loved, secure and cared for. Instead of buying your child a gift, spend quality time with your child and encourage your nanny to do so as well. Quality time looks like active listening and engaging in the child’s interests without distractions. Once you understand how your child feels loved, you can express this to your child’s nanny so they can better assist in the child’s emotional development.

How to find out your love language

Interested in knowing what each member of your family’s love language is? Take the quiz here

The first step towards providing for your child’s needs is to understand them. Love Languages are a wonderful way to strengthen communication with your child and create strong foundations for their developmental journey. If you have questions or comments about your child’s Love Language, or how to implement the strategy with your child’s nanny, reach out to us

We would love to hear what your love language is and how you show and receive love!

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Nanny Red Flags to Look out for

Hiring a nanny can be a daunting, intimidating process, especially for new parents or parents who haven’t had extensive experience in the childcare industry. The interview process is a crucial time to weed out unworthy applicants, but how can one really know whether or not a candidate is right for the job? You can check out our list of questions to ask a nanny during an interview, but knowing what the right answers are can be a different story. Below are some red flags to look out for during the process.

 

The nanny blanks on activities

We require specific information to be present on our nannies resumes, and this includes the ages of children upon hire. This gives us an indication of the types of developmental activities each nanny is accustomed to providing based on the child’s age. However, just because they have worked with a child before doesn’t mean they were particularly present or engaging. Having worked in the childcare industry ourselves at Los Angeles Nannies, we’ve seen many nannies in story time or at the playground who spend more time on their phones or chatting with other nannies than they do caring for the children. It is important to ask specific leading questions about the types of activities they are used to participating in with their nanny children. The more specific, the better. If they cannot get specific, or they describe activities that are not age appropriate, this is a red flag as it shows they were not present enough for the child, or they were exaggerating on their resume.

The nanny avoids questions about past employers

35% of people have lied on their resumes, a scary number when considering the nature of a childcare position. The interview process is an excellent way to decipher between who is lying and who is speaking truth. Ask specific questions related to past positions on a candidate’s resume. If they trip up, avoid the topic or change the subject, that is a red flag. An additional red flag is if they refuse to give references, or avoid giving references from past childcare providers. Ask for references from the names they’ve listed on their resume, and refrain from accepting references from jobs outside of childcare. You want to know what this person is like in the home and with a child, and speaking to past employers is the best way to get to the point.

“Hiring someone to look after and spend long hours with your child can be a stressful and intimidating process. For families that have the option, hiring an agency to assist in the hiring process can be of great benefit to ensuring that your nanny is trustworthy, dependable and professional.”

They ask more questions about money and benefits than the needs of your child

A professional, caring nanny will want to know the needs, personality, and health concerns of your child. They know that they will be directly responsible for the health and safety of your child, as well as their emotional and social development, and they will want to make sure that their own personalities will be a great match. A wonderful nanny’s main priority is to create an environment for your child to succeed in. A red flag nanny will skip over the topic of your child and get straight to the pay and benefits. This is someone who is not in the industry out of a passion for seeing children grow, but for what they believe is an easy paycheck. This is a red flag.

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They give conflicting information

If a nanny says one thing, then contradicts themselves later, or if they are inconsistent when talking about their resumes, this is a red flag. Either this nanny is attempting to deceive you, or they are unsure of themselves, or are trying to say what they think you want to hear. This is a red flag. A nanny should know themselves and know their work history, as it is their career and something they should take great pride in. Be wary of someone who contradicts themselves.

You do not connect with their personality

Of course some people are nervous during interviews or are shy until you get to know them, but generally interviews tell a lot about a person. Your child and family may require someone with a calming presence, but generally it is your child who is the one who needs time to open up, not your nanny. We have found that our success in placements stems from an ability to match families based on personalities, as nannies spend enough time in the home to become part of the family. If you are going to not only trust this person to the care of your child, but also have them in your home for 40 hours a week, they should be someone you get along with. Mix-matching personalities is a red flag. 

Their childcare philosophy does not align with yours.

The key to bringing up a well rounded child is to expose them frequently to a diverse range of people, ideas and subjects. However, children also require consistency in the home and in parenting and disciplining techniques. A nanny can easily read in a job description that a family is looking for Montessori experience and make a note in her resume that she has it, even if she has no background on the subject. For this reason, it’s important to ask leading questions in an interview, questions that start like, “what would you do if….” If a nanny gives answers that make you uncomfortable or that differ from your own philosophy, this is a major red flag. Of course some disciplinary actions may be taught, but it is a good idea to hire a nanny who already closely mirrors your own ideals.

Hiring someone to look after and spend long hours with your child can be a stressful and intimidating process. For families that have the option, hiring an agency to assist in the hiring process can be of great benefit to ensuring that your nanny is trustworthy, dependable and professional. However, if you choose to hire on your own, it is important to look out for any red flags. At the end of the day, your intuition will be your best marker, so always go with your gut. Reach out to us with any questions or concerns, we would be more than happy to assist you in your search. 

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Nanny or Babysitter?

When faced with the necessity of hiring a childcare provider, families often question whether it is a nanny they need, or a babysitter. Many families assume the positions are the same, and some underestimate the difference in job description and duties between the two. However there are a few key distinctions between a nanny and a babysitter, and understanding the differences can assist families in knowing which they need in order for their household to thrive. Labeling the need for a nanny and a babysitter also distinguishes the candidate pool based on experience, education and job duties able to be performed.

Schedule

The biggest difference between a nanny and a babysitter lies in the amount of hours worked. A nanny can be full time or part time, but maintains a consistent, set schedule. A babysitter is considered more freelance and works exclusively on an as-needed basis. If your family’s needs for a caregiver are more sporadic, chances are you’re looking for a babysitter. If you need someone every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am until 1pm, you require a nanny. Based on their schedule and pay, it is also important to note that you must pay legally.

Experience

Babysitters are considered entry-level childcare providers. While it is encouraged, it is not necessary for a babysitter to have any formal training, certifications or experience in order to practice. A nanny, however, will have worked in the industry for at least five years with paid, professional, long term experience outside of looking after family members. A nanny most likely got their start in the industry as a babysitter.  

“Both nannies and babysitters, regardless of background, education or experience, have big hearts with compassionate and nurturing personalities that lend their strengths to the fostering of children.”

Education

Serious, professional career nannies often have formal training and certifications, such as Early Childhood Development credits, certifications in CPR and First Aid, and most will even have a college degree. Babysitters, on the other hand, do not have a set standard for education, as they are typically high school aged and have other priorities and ambitions outside of childcare. 

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Job Duties

Both nannies and babysitters are responsible for providing safe, caring and nurturing environments for the child to thrive in. However, there are differences in the level at which this care is provided. Nannies are educators, tutors, role models taking an active role in the child’s life and assisting in development in the long term. They transport to and from school, they make meals, they schedule doctor’s appointments and playdates, they monitor development and foster academic, social and emotional growth, they initiate good hygiene practices, and they oversee and engage in activities, crafts and sports. Babysitters’ duties are usually limited due to their experience and the inconsistency of their schedule. A babysitter’s duties are typically geared more towards the short term, like making dinner, engaging in play or watching movies, bathtime and putting children to sleep.

Career Goals

Another main difference between nannies and babysitters is in their long term career goals. Babysitters are usually out for a paycheck to support themselves in their other interests, but that doesn’t mean they are not excellent and nurturing caregivers. Nannies, on the other hand, have chosen the profession as a long term career and therefore put the investment in themselves as such. They are often a part of nannying communities, take childcare classes, attend conferences and seminars and put an active investment in their professional development

Both nannies and babysitters, regardless of background, education or experience, have big hearts with compassionate and nurturing personalities that lend their strengths to the fostering of children. Whether your family’s needs require a babysitter or a nanny, reach out to us to help you in your search for your perfect caregiver. 

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Nanny Savings - How To Plan For Your Future

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Childcare is a business like any other. We pay taxes and social security, we network, we attend workshops and take classes that better us and expand our knowledge. We invest time and money in our business, so why not use our business to invest in our financial health and start nanny savings for retirement?

For those 9-5ers out there, stocks and trading are easily accessible through water cooler talk and employee bonuses, but for those of us who work in childcare, the only investments we discuss with our co-workers are juice boxes and LOL Surprise. However, these tips and apps make saving money and investing both simple and easy. If you can get your kids to do their homework and eat their greens, trading and investing will be a walk in the park (without the stroller). Here is our top ten list of ways nannies can start preparing for retirement.

Robinhood

Robinhood is an app that allows you to buy and trade stock without having to shell out any of your hard earned date night cash on commissions or fees, making it a great option to invest more of your nanny money for retirement!

Acorns

Acorns is the best app if investing has you feeling stumped. Acorns links to your bank account, rounding up everything you spend to the nearest dollar and transferring them to your Acorns account to be invested automatically. An awesome option for nannies to plan ahead for retirement with minimal effort.

A live-in nanny has great responsibilities, and opportunities for great savings. In a place like Los Angeles where rents are exorbitant, being a live-in nanny can allow you to put all of the money you would spend on rent and commuting to work to your retirement fund instead

Switch to a Cheaper Cell Phone Plan

Do you really need that unlimited data plan? Yes it’s nice to be able to hand your kids an iPad with Baby Shark queued up for those desperate moments, but cutting back on your screen time in general will help you lead by example, and save you lots of cash for your retirement!

Skip the Gym Membership

Who needs a trainer when you are surrounded by elementary-aged kids? Skip the monthly gym membership that you’re too tired to use after a long day of nannying, and schedule workout activities with your kids while on the clock. Kicking the soccer ball or shooting hoops gets your steps in while tiring them out for bed time. It’s a way to bond during play time, and, instead of spending money to keep healthy, you’re making it!

Stash

Stash is a great tool for beginner investors and especially for nannies looking to put away money. It lets you invest as little as $5 and teaches you as you go. It also has articles and tips loaded with a wealth of information on investing.

IRA's

IRA’s are a great option for nannies saving for retirement. Contributing to one of these accounts cuts your tax bill and gives you options to invest. While you’re meal prepping and picking kids up from school, your IRA is growing until you’re ready to retire.

Calculate by Hours

If you’re questioning whether or not something is worth buying, think about how many hours you have spent corralling kindergartners and changing diapers. Would you trade 4 hours of disinfecting high chairs for that new jacket? If not, don’t buy it! Instead, put away that cash for when you’ve changed the last diaper of your nanny career.

Nanny Share

Nanny shares are a great way for nannies to generate extra income for retirement without working extra hours. Team up with two families at a time and watch your nanny retirement fund grow! Not sure how nanny shares work? Reach out to us with any questions.

Consider Live-In

A live-in nanny has great responsibilities, and opportunities for great savings. In a place like Los Angeles where rents are exorbitant, being a live-in nanny can allow you to put all of the money you would spend on rent and commuting to work to your retirement fund instead. Interested in a live-in situation? Check out our job page or let us know! We would be more than happy to help you find your live-in family.

Meal Prep

Dining out can be the biggest drain on your bank account. A meal eaten out now is money taken from your nanny retirement fund. Take your meal prep skills out of your family’s house and into your home! Ask your nanny family if you could cook your own meals while cooking theirs, this way you don’t have to feel like you’re working when you’re off the clock. You can save money by eating home cooked meals and save time by utilizing their kitchen (which, let’s face it, probably has a veggie spiralizer).

Still confused as to how you can get a head start on your nanny retirement? Reach out to us with any questions or concerns and we’ll help you formulate a plan. Nannying is a rewarding and sometimes taxing career, you deserve to feel prepared for your retirement.

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Best Apps for Nannies

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When you think of your many daily nanny to-do’s, the household phrase “there’s an app for that” probably doesn’t come to mind. And yet we’ve found 8! Childcare is an ancient profession, scheduling playdates, meal prep, and communicating with parents have all been practiced for centuries without technology. However, app developers have found ways to streamline all of the things nannies do every day, so you can focus more on the things you love best about your job, like creating amazing sensory trays and teaching your charges the alphabet. Here are our favorite best apps for nannies lives easier.

Baby Connect

Baby Connect is an amazing app designed to assist specifically the parents and nannies of infants. Baby Connect is like a mood ring for baby apps, you can track and log meal times, diaper changes, feedings, sleep, naps, scheduling like appointments, and literally the baby’s mood. This way, parents and nannies can better understand and communicate about the baby’s overall health, ensuring that nothing is slipping through the cracks in terms of the baby’s care.

Daily Nanny

The Daily Nanny is every nanny’s e-personal assistant. Similar to Baby Connect, families and nannies can log all things child care to ensure consistent communication when it comes to the children. In addition, there is an in-app messaging system, the ability to share and upload photos, and a tracker for the nanny’s hours worked and ability to keep track of payment.

“Being a childcare provider is one of the most rewarding jobs, but is not without its challenges. These apps take some of the stress off of daily administrative tasks so that nannies can focus more on what is important: childcare.”

Instacart

For nannies and family assistants who also do grocery shopping for the household, Instacart is an amazingly efficient way to grocery shop. Time spent driving, loading up the cart and soothing meltdowns in the candy aisle is better allocated to the child’s development. Instacart allows you to create a grocery list from the store of your choice and delivers to your desired location in less than an hour. It also has in-app coupons making it an ideal app for nannies.

Flushd

Flushd is the Uber for public restrooms. Out on a walk with your kids and are suddenly faced with a dirty diaper? Running errands with a toddler in the throws of potty training? Flushd will direct you to the nearest public bathroom, and even tell you which ones have changing tables. An indispensable resource for nannies.

First Aid: American Red Cross

The trustworthy organization has an app to assist nannies in minor healthcare practices, providing excellent accompaniment to all First Aid training. From small cuts, burns and bruises to allergic reactions, the American Red Cross app can assist nannies and caregivers in providing the best care to children in a pinch.

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SmartICE

SmartICE, ICE being the acronym for “in case of emergency,” is an excellent app to ensure that all caregivers are prepared and have what they need to handle an emergency situation calmly and efficiently. The app contains medical profiles on each family member and can help first responders understand each person’s medical needs such as medications taken, allergies, and medical history to ensure that everyone gets the best care and quickly. 

DOL-Timesheet

DOL-Timesheet was designed by the U.S. Department of Labor to track hours and timesheets easily. For nannies who work part time, for multiple families or for busy families with many employees, it’s a great way to track exactly how much is earned and has a section to log each work day, which can help with unemployment should the need ever arise.

Triplog

For nannies who spend much of their time transporting their kids to and from school, piano lessons, soccer practice, doctors appointments and playdates, Triplog is a great resource for tracking reimbursements for mileage

Being a childcare provider is one of the most rewarding jobs, but is not without its challenges. These apps take some of the stress off of daily administrative tasks so that nannies can focus more on what is important: childcare. 

 

What are your best apps for nannies and childcare? Let us know below!

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What is a Nanny?

When we ask nannies what they look for in a family, we get one of two answers: to feel like part of the family, and to be treated with respect. Hearing stories about nannies who have been treated like subhumans in the household inspired us to create the Honest House Promise, our commitment to promoting and encouraging healthy work environments for nannies. When we hear these stories, the main reason we believe that parents treat nannies in this way is not out of malice or even on purpose. It is often because busy parents forget that the main responsibility of a nanny is to assist in the raising of their children. We think that taking a look at your household through the eyes of your caregiver can be a wonderful first step into forging a long lasting positive and healthy relationship.

The actions of adults are reflected in the actions of a child.

Children learn by example and if parents treat their nannies and employees with respect, children will do the same. Nannies are role models for children, leading by example and raising them to grow up to be wonderful, caring, compassionate and hardworking adults. If nannies feel uncomfortable or unsafe in a household, this affects their ability to do their job and take care of the children. Children are incredibly sensitive and can pick up on the emotional energies of adults. If they sense tension between their caregivers, they too will feel tense. And if a child sees their nanny being disrespected by their own parents, what does that teach a child about relating to others?

Remembering what a nanny is there for.

A nanny is not only hired to watch after the safety of a child. Their job description contains many roles; teacher, role model, and figure of comfort and compassion. ( link to what you can ask a nanny to do blog) Nannies are hired to step into the role of caregiver while parents are working. Their primary task is childcare. A nanny can do housekeeping but is not a housekeeper. A nanny can cook but a nanny is not a chef. Any additional household tasks take away from the ability of a nanny to provide the care needed for a child to thrive in the long term. A nanny is a nanny because they love children and in almost all cases, are very good at taking care of all of their needs, not just physical safety but emotional safety. Children require attention, love and care, not just a babysitter to ensure that they’re not eating glue or sticking their fingers in sockets. If a nanny is overworked in areas not pertaining to childcare, they have less availability to provide emotional support to a child who needs it most. If a parent is absent enough for the need of a full time nanny, that means most of the emotional bonding must come from a nanny. Studies show that rocking, cuddling, and smiling to a child greatly strengthen their neural pathways for learning through the stimulation of joy and being mirrored in an adult. Inversely, children who do not have these same interactions show smaller brains and a more difficult time learning, not to mention the effects on their self esteem. Nannies who are overworked cannot give the same kind of care to a child, therefore stunting their emotional and intellectual growth. 

As a professional in the childcare industry you may wonder why it would be important to create a cover letter. A cover letter in the nanny industry is just as important as in any other enterprise. A properly tailored cover letter shows a family that you are passionate, interested and assists you in standing out amongst an ocean of resumes. 

A nanny is also a teacher.

Early childhood is filled with so many important milestones. Walking, talking, potty training, making friends, colors, the alphabet, shapes, feeding independently, there is so much that a child learns before they get to school. And so much they must learn in order to be prepared for it. These important building blocks for academic learning are taught by those closest to a child in their earliest stages of life. For working parents, a nanny will most likely be the one present for those most teachable moments in a child’s early development. Children who are actively and consistently spoken to will begin to speak earlier. Children who are read to will recognize shapes and letters earlier. An investment in a happy nanny is an investment in your child’s life and future.

Nannying is hard work.

All parents know that raising a child is not always intuitive, nor easy. It takes patience, compassion, experience and the ability to nurture that is not naturally present in all people. Just like doctors and lawyers are experts in their field and expect to be respected and financially compensated for their expertise, nannies deserve to be regarded with the appreciation, consideration and dignity that they deserve. They deserve to ask for a raise when their job descriptions change, such as in the addition of a second child. They deserve to speak up and be heard when they are uncomfortable in a situation, just like in any other position. Just because they come to work in a home instead of an office does not disqualify them from the same human compassion dolled out around a water cooler.

Stay at home parents will tell you that caring for a child all day long is the most difficult job they have ever had. Shouldn’t the person you hire to take care of your child, engaging them, caring for them, teaching them the building blocks of life, be respected, appreciated and feel safe in your house? Take a moment to think about what life is like through the eyes of your nanny, who very likely is one of the only other people who can love your child as much as you do. Is your nanny respected? Taken care of? Do they have all that they need in order to give all that they have to the emotional, physical and intellectual development of your child? If the answer is no to any of these questions, reach out to us and we can solidify a plan to turn your situation into the best it can be. The reward is in your child’s future.

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