Los Angeles Nannies

After-school care

How to become a newborn care specialist.

How to become a Newborn Care Specialist

How to become a newborn care specialist.

While the welcome of a new addition into the family is the most wonderful and special time in a family’s life, it is also the most exhausting. Newborns are beautiful bundles of joy that also completely deplete a parent’s ability to get any sleep. Parenting is difficult enough as it is, but lack of sleep elevates normal challenges to seemingly life or death levels. Nannies are excellent tools for assisting parents to balance their work-life balance during the day, but what can parents do after hours? 

Many nannies have a passion for newborns, they love everything ‘newborn’ and they’re passionate about helping new families create a seamless transition. Of course, babies grow up fairly quickly and become toddlers. How can nannies use their passion for newborns longterm? 

What is an NCS?

Newborn Care Specialists, or NCS, are formerly known as Baby Nurses. The term Baby Nurse is no longer used, as while NCS have extensive expertise and training to certify their abilities, they are not actually registered nurses. A NCS is responsible for all things baby. They are experts in sleep training and sleep conditioning, breastfeeding or formula feeding, and managing and understanding colic and reflux. Many new parents especially have a hard time understanding what is and is not normal behavior for a newborn. Newborn Care Specialists are experts in all things baby and can recognize any concerning patterns right away. Newborn Care Specialists are also there as support systems for new parents during the tumultuous time. An NCS can assist parents in understanding Postpartum Mood Disorders, assist in breastfeeding issues, and can set parents up with a beneficial schedule to follow. 

Schedule

Newborn Care Specialists have unique schedules as compared with other caregivers. An NCS will usually arrive in the evening to take care of the nighttime schedule for a baby. Depending on a family’s needs, an NCS will arrive to feed the baby to assist the mother feed, and will bathe and dress the child for bed. The NCS takes care of all things sleep-related for a baby. They will use special skills and exercises to get the baby to go to sleep. Should the baby wake up crying, the NCS will administer care.

How to become an NCS

Not anyone can just decide to be an NCS. While an NCS is not a nurse, they still undergo strict training and classes to become certified experts in their field. There are many online and in-person classes to train candidates on becoming certified, but interested parties should do their research to ensure they are paying for an accredited class. When in doubt, check with the International Nanny Association and their list of credentialed organizations. To become certified, one will take courses in swaddling, sleep training, formulas, breastfeeding, reflux and colic, warning signs, safety precautions, early development, and dealing with postpartum. 

If you are interested in becoming an NCS or are an NCS looking for their next family, reach out to us! If you are a parent, or soon to be one, looking for a Newborn Care Specialist we would love to assist you in your search any way that we can.

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Best Apps for Nannies

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.

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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Working from home with a nanny around

Despite shelter in place orders being lifted by local officials, many companies have discovered the benefits of having employers work from home. With low to no cost workspaces, increased productivity, and 100% show-up-for-work-on-time rate, it’s no wonder employers are happy to continue working from home. Many parents, however, are now faced with new challenges. As work from home goes from temporary to permanent, parents are struggling with both finding childcare, and making it work effectively. However, it can be done. Plenty of nannies have done their jobs well with parents working from home even before the pandemic. Here are our top tips on how to effectively work from home with a nanny. 

Set Boundaries

If you’re hiring a new nanny during this time, it’s important to disclose that one or both parents will be working from home during the nanny’s working hours. It may help to seek out a nanny who has experience caretaking while parents are home, as they may even have tips or advice on how to make it work more smoothly and put parents at ease. If working with a longterm nanny, have an open discussion where you can brainstorm how to make the transition work effectively for your family. Nannying is already fraught with challenges, but attempting to contain children while their parents are just in the other room is incredibly difficult, and some nannies may not want to take on that challenge. If your nanny seems hesitant or is uncomfortable working in that type of arrangement, you should mutually part ways and seek out a nanny who is.

Communicate Guidelines

Once you and your nanny have decided to move forward, ensure that you both are on the same page about everything related to your children. Children need consistency, especially if they have multiple caretakers under the same roof at once. Be sure to communicate your parenting and disciplinary styles so that you and your nanny can both adhere to the same set of guidelines. If you set the boundary with your children that your office is off-limits during working hours but they barge in any way and you don’t remain consistent with discipline, children will continue to push the boundaries and make it incredibly difficult for your nanny to effectively provide care, and for you to get work done. Consider your nanny a partner in your child’s care so that they don’t continue to attempt to defer to you. 

Establish an Office

Kids require boundaries in all areas of life to better understand their role and where they fit in. Having their parents suddenly around all day is an exciting new facet for them that they want to take advantage of, and will at whatever costs and no matter how hard your nanny tries to keep them out of a parent’s office. To combat this, parents must establish a home office area equipped with a “Do Not Disturb” sign. Make it clear to your children that when Mom or Dad is in their office they are not to be interrupted and that the nanny is fully in charge. Ideally, this office space would be in a private room, not out in the open where kids can stop by; out of sight out of mind. To minimize distractions, keep a mini-fridge and coffee maker inside of your office to limit sightings and therefore curb disruptions in the children’s schedules. If there are any toys or clothes stored in the room you’ve repurposed for your office, make sure to remove them before starting your day.

Create a Plan

As with boundaries, children thrive with a clear routine. Understanding what is coming next and what is expected of them will greatly assist parents and their nanny while you work from home. If parents are expecting an important meeting, have the nanny take the children for a walk or play the quiet game to ensure minimal distractions. It is also a good idea to schedule time during the day, like lunch or snack time, in which you do see your children. Knowing that they will get to see their parents at a certain time will help quell their need to barge in willy nilly and will give them something to look forward to (as well as a much-deserved break for your nanny). 

Let Go

After you’ve set up and communicated all of your boundaries, you have to let your nanny do their job, just as you should focus on your own. You hired your nanny because they were trustworthy, dependable, warm, caring and the best fit for your children. Trust that they can handle the situation to the best of their ability. Refrain from checking on them unannounced as this can disrupt their activities. If you hear a tantrum or crying, resist the urge to check, this sends the message to your children that you don’t trust your nanny’s ability to take care of them. If it is something serious, your nanny will inform you. In the presence of your children, make sure that you uphold the nanny’s authority. If your child asks your nanny for a treat but your nanny says no, and your child then defers to you and you say “yes” then you’ve just set a precedent. Now every time your nanny says something your child does not like, they will come seeking you. If you disagree for some reason with your nanny’s choices, speak to them about it away from your children. You want your children to trust and respect your nanny, and you must lead by example. 

We don’t have to reiterate that we are living in strange times with uncharted territory. We are all learning new ways to cope and adjust every day. Los Angeles Nannies is here for you should you require any advice or have any questions about working from home with your nanny, or if you are searching for a new one. We’d love to hear how your work from home stories!

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.

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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Kids Jokes

Real Funny Jokes for Kids

Kids Jokes

They say laughter is the best medicine (besides medicine) and right now we could all use a hefty dose of laughter. Besides being a joyous way to connect with your children, comedy is also a great creative outlet for kids. It allows them to express themselves and their world view while tangibly connecting with others. Humor instills kids with a playful, light attitude towards life and can be especially positive in a time like this. Learning proper joke structure to play with is also a useful tool for kids to learn not just how to entertain, but to release tension and improve social situations. Here are some of the best jokes ever for kids!

Q: What do you call a bear with no teeth? 

A: A gummy bear!

Q: What do you call a cow with no legs? 

A: Ground beef!

Q: What do you call a fly without wings? 

A: A walk!

Q: What animal needs to wear a wig? 

A: A bald eagle!

Why can’t you give Elsa a balloon? 

A: Because she will let it go!

Q: Why did the math book look so sad? 

A: Because it had so many problems!

Q: Can a kangaroo jump higher than the Empire State Building? 

A: Of course! The Empire State Building can’t jump!

Q: What kind of nut has no shell?

A: A doughnut.

Q: What does a spider’s bride wear?

A: A webbing dress.

Q: What does a nosy pepper do?

A: It gets jalapeño business! (all-up-in-yo business)

Q: What time is it when people are throwing pieces of bread at your head?

A: Time to duck.

Q: What did one firefly say to the other?

A: You glow, girl!

Q: Why are elephants so wrinkled? 

A: Because they take too long to iron!

What did one hat say to the other? 

A: Stay here, I’m going on ahead.

Q: What are the two things you can’t have for breakfast?

A: Lunch and dinner.

Q: Where does the chicken like to eat?

A: At a rooster-ant!

Q: What did the tree say to the wind?

A: Leaf me alone!

Q: Why are cats so good at video games?

A: Because they have nine lives.

Q: How do you know if there’s an elephant under your bed? 

A: Your head hits the ceiling!

Q: What kind of key opens a banana? 

A: A mon-key.

Q: What do you give a sick lemon?

A: Lemon aid.

Q: Why did the dinosaur cross the road?

A: The chicken hadn’t evolved yet.

Q: What do you call a dog who goes to the beach in the summer?

A: A hot dog.

Q: When do you go in red and stop on green?

A: When you are eating a watermelon.

Q: Why is there a fence around a cemetery?

A: People are dying to get in.

Q: What state has a lot of dogs and cats?

A: Pets-Sylvania.

Q: What is the dog’s favorite button on a remote?

A: Paws.

Q: What do you call a pig that does karate?

A: A pork chop.

Q: Why can’t a bicycle stand up by itself?

A: Because it’s two-tired!

Q: How does Darth Vader like his toast? 

A: On the dark side.

Q: What do Alexander the Great and Winnie the Pooh have in common?

A: The same middle name.

Q: How do you make a tissue dance?

A: Put a little boogie in it.

Q: What did one toilet say to the other toilet? 

A: You look flushed.

Q: Did you hear the joke about the roof? 

A: Never mind, it’s over your head.

Q: How does a train eat?

A: It goes chew chew.

Q: Why are fish so smart?

A: Because they live in schools.

Q: What do porcupines say when they kiss?

A: Ouch.

Q: What does a cloud wear under his raincoat?

A: Thunderwear.

Q: What do birds give out on Halloween?

A: Tweets.

Nothing builds a child’s self-esteem like making someone laugh. Knock-knock jokes are great because kids learn wordplay which translates academically and also the give-and-take structure encourages teamwork. Here are some great knock-knock jokes to tell and to teach.

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Little old lady.

Little old lady who?

Wow, I didn’t know you could yodel!

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Atch.

Atch who?

Bless you.

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Radio

Radio, who?

Radio-not, here I come!

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Wooden shoe.

Wooden shoe who?

Wooden shoe like to hear another joke?

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Doris.

Doris who?

Doris locked, that’s why I’m knocking!

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

I love.

I love who?

I don’t know, why don’t you tell me!

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Dishes.

Dishes who?

Dishes a nice place you got here.

Knock, knock. 

Who’s there? 

Cows go. 

Cows go who? 

No, cows go MOO!

Got any additions to our list of best jokes ever for kids? Send them our way to be included on our blog! We’d love to hear from you.

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.

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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Rota Nanny

Rota Jobs 101

Rota Nanny

You’ve probably seen the occasional job posting for ROTA positions or have met a nanny at the park who says they work ROTA. But what does ROTA entail, and how does it work? 

What is a ROTA nanny?

A ROTA nanny is essentially a live-in nanny on steroids, often working 24 hours a day for 7 days a week. ROTA positions are essential for extremely busy parents who work long hours with often unpredictable schedules needing childcare accommodation at a moment’s notice. ROTA positions should not be taken lightly as nannies will essentially assume the role of parents during their time on the clock.

Schedule

ROTA is short for rotational. Nannies who work ROTA positions usually are on the clock for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for up to two weeks at a time. This is where the rotation comes in, parents usually have at least two nannies to rotate between, ensuring constant care for their children. A nanny will then have two weeks off, at which point a second nanny will assume their time on duty, rotating typically on a biweekly basis, or whatever the needs of the family are. While nannies have unlimited flexibility with what they do with their time while off the clock, it’s difficult for nannies to have responsibilities outside of their nanny children during their two weeks on, and changing up the schedule on a whim is usually not acceptable. 

Duties

While no nannying position is a walk in the park, ROTA nannies face additional challenges. For two weeks at a time, a ROTA nanny assumes all of the childcare responsibilities. Transportation, discipline, meal prep, hygiene routines, bedtime and morning rituals, tutoring, and scheduling. A ROTA nanny must communicate with the additional nannies to ensure seamless care for the children. During their two weeks on, nannies will often not have much time for breaks unless the children are in school.

Why work ROTA?

While ROTA jobs have their challenges, they also have their perks. ROTA is great for nannies who want to travel or enjoy having longer breaks. Nannies who are extremely passionate about childcare will thrive in a ROTA position, nurturing more deep connections with the children than a typical 40-hour workweek. Because of the intensive 24 hour days, ROTA positions typically offer higher salaries with benefit packages.

How to be a successful ROTA nanny

While two weeks off at a time may sound like the best thing ever, it’s important to consider what life will be like during your two weeks on. ROTA nannies have to be excellent at remaining balanced and grounded, ensuring that their emotions or mood levels do not interfere with the care of the children. A ROTA nanny’s best skill will be the connection they have with the children. ROTA nannies need to have excellent organizational and communication skills making sure that nothing falls through the cracks between their care, the other nanny’s care, and the parents.

While ROTA positions are challenging, they are also extremely fulfilling. If you are a nanny interested in your next ROTA opportunity, reach out to us!

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.

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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reference checks

References and Job Verification are more important than ever

reference checks
As state and local officials begin to re-open businesses, despite what COVID-19 numbers are doing, many parents are heading back to work and looking to hire new nannies. While many amazing and qualified nannies who would otherwise never be on the market for long are now available, parents need to be extra cautious when it comes to hiring post-pandemic. While indeed many nannies have been laid off due to the virus, parents should beware. References are always imperative during the hiring process, but parents should be extra judicious during this time.
 
Double-Check
The candidate pool is flooded with wonderful, experienced career nannies and parents are lucky to have the pick of the litter. However, a global pandemic could be an easy out for nannies who were fired around the same time for a very different reason. Be skeptical of anyone who says that their last job ended “due to COVID-19.” Of course, this may be the case for many, but parents should contact the previous employer in question to find out more about your candidate’s reason for leaving. A nanny who was chronically late or had issues taking direction would happily use COVID as a coverup for their misdeeds.
 
What to Ask a Reference
References are hard to track down, parents spend days trying to get a candidate’s previous employer on the phone. Once you get them, what do you say? How do you know what to look for? Here are a few good leading questions to get to the bottom of a candidate’s history:
 
  1. Tell me about your time with ______
  2. What was _____ like on an average day?
  3. Do you trust them with your children?
  4. Would you recommend them to another family?
  5. Would you hire them again?
  6. What was their reason for leaving?
  7. Was there anything you would have them improve upon?
 
Parents should take notes during a reference call, especially if they are interviewing more than one nanny at a time. 
 
Red Flags
If a nanny lists a previous employer that refuses to provide a reference, this is not a good sign. The same goes for a reference who is short, evasive, or refuses to elaborate. References who withhold information could just be busy or “like that”, but they could also have had a negative experience with a nanny that for some reason they wish not to divulge. Have a nanny’s resume in front of you when you call a reference to cross-check and confirm information. Ask a reference for the dates the nanny worked for them, the ages of the children, and any other basic information listed on their resume. If there are discrepancies, your nanny is likely unreliable or even untrustworthy. 
 
Letters of Recommendation
It’s very common for nannies to leave a job with a letter of recommendation from their previous family in hand. They are a great tool to consider along with a nanny’s resume, but should not replace a reference call. Often, letters of recommendation are signed with the date and contact information of the person doing the recommending. Parents should look out for letters that do not have contact information, and inquire with the nanny. Letters of recommendation should never be taken for fact and their validity should always be confirmed via phone call. 
 
Hire an Agency
If you’re hiring a nanny, chances are you may not have time to do the deep dive into background checks that the interview process deserves. Agencies take all of the stress of finding and verifying nannies off of a parent’s plate. Agencies hunt down references, ask the right questions, know what to look out for, and perform background checks so that parents can rest easy when leaving their child with their new nanny.
 
While many parents looking for nannies may be overwhelmed with golden candidates, they should not skip the very important step of checking references. If you are a parent searching for a nanny and have any questions or concerns regarding background checks or reference checks, reach out to us.
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.

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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Learning apps for preschool and toddlers

Best Free Apps for Preschooler / Toddlers

Learning apps for preschool and toddlers
We’ve all been there or seen it happen: a parent or nanny is trying to get through a simple transaction at the grocery store or library when their toddler starts fussing. The situation escalates quickly and suddenly every interaction becomes a DEFCON encounter. Parents and nannies have an easy tool in their pocket to quickly deescalate a tantrum, but the question is, is it ethical? Should children be exposed to it? If so, for how long and with what parameters? We are of course referring to the smartphone.
 
Up until 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation was that children under 2 should never be exposed to screens. Technology is never inherently good or bad. The polarity represents itself in it’s how it’s used, and there are many beneficial ways for parents to utilize smartphones to assist in the early developmental learning of their child. Caretakers can monitor screen time by setting boundaries, by engaging children with the apps used, and being smart about the types of apps they allow their children to engage with. 
 
We think that when used correctly, apps can be essential tools in assisting children’s early developmental skills and can create a foundation for early education. However, learning apps should never take precedence over time with a caretaker and should be used for an hour a day at the max. Apps should also be actively educational rather than passive content. To reap the full benefits of these games, children to have agency over their actions and choices. 
 
Here are our picks for the best educational apps for toddlers:
 
Shapes is a game where toddlers identify different colors and shapes and differentiate between different sizes.
 
In this top-rated sensory app, kids use the touch screen to direct brightly colored balls that produce sound effects and mix colors. This app is great for sensory and color learning.
 
Tots can choose from several different stimulating matching and memory games. Colorful fish form different numbers, shapes, and letters, and children are encouraged to identify them.
 
This simple app by Fisher-Price teaches children about animals by learning the sounds they make.
 
Kids identify animals, emotions, and behaviors.
 
This app is full of fun, age-appropriate learning games.
 
Kids use the touch screen to create mess-free virtual masterpieces.
 
This game is geared towards learning letters and beginning to spell.
 
Kids can earn virtual stickers by playing games to find the correct letter or shape.
 
In this app, kids learn about patterns and number recognition through age-appropriate puzzles and games.
 
Kids can watch educational video content.
 
Kids create food and feed it to a silly monster.
 
Kids learn musical basics like notes, rhythm, and pitch.
 
While technology and children is still an area that has yet to be conclusively studied with definitive answers in regards to how it affects early development, it’s hard to argue that educational games that teach and stimulate could have negative effects. While you should still be mindful of the games your child interacts with, the above are a great starting point to providing your child with educational screen time. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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private teacher homeschool

How to become a private homeschool teacher

private teacher homeschool
If you’re a longterm Gossip Girl or Elite fan, you’ll understand why the role of private school teacher is a coveted and sought after position. For many nannies who have worked in high profile homes, taught after school classes, or have tutored or home educated, becoming a teacher in a private school is a logical, if not challenging, next step to take. In the current climate with schools largely operating at home, becoming an at-home private teacher may be the perfect route for a nanny with plenty of at-home work experience. So how can one become a private school teacher – at home? 

Understanding Private Schools

First, take a look at what makes a private school private. Public schools are funded by the government, with strict budgetary limitations based on each district’s tax allocations. A private school is privately funded, allowing teachers and students access to more resources not typically found in public schools. These resources range from athletic equipment, extracurriculars, classes in the arts and music, the latest technology, field trips, and classroom necessities. Nannies know exactly what it’s like to have their efforts funded directly by the family, however, families that homeschool often are eligible to receive money from the government for education. This homeschool fund is allocated for supplies, curriculum, time spent educating, and in some cases, for hiring a homeschooling teacher.
 

“The road to becoming a private school / homeschool teacher is long and winding, but the benefits are many. Increased salary, one-on-one learning, job security, and immense freedom in curriculum are just a few perks private homeschool teachers can expect from their jobs.!”

Responsibilities of a Private School Teacher

Private school teachers can expect more freedom in terms of funding and academic life, but they are also expected to participate in student life more heavily than a public school teacher would. Teachers can expect to be required to participate in extracurriculars such as coaching sports, providing mentorship and tutoring, sponsoring student clubs, liaising between the school and community, and participating in fundraising events. As parents are the ones funding the school and therefore each teacher’s salary, they will expect more opportunities for growth for their child and they will also expect more control over their education. This is especially true of teachers who provide at home education. Homeschooling teachers can expect to be directly collaborating with parents to create their child’s curriculum. Because the teacher will be in the child’s home working one-on-one, they will also be heavily involved in the development of the child’s social and emotional life, not just academic. Parents expect homeschooling teachers to be more than just educators. They are required to be mentors, role models, problem solvers, and life coaches. For at-home private teachers, life becomes a lesson. There are teaching opportunities in everything, and teachers can be much more creative in terms of creating lesson plans and field trips to better enrich the child’s learning. With extra funds, private homeschooling teachers can get extremely creative with the child’s academic program by taking trips, creating fun projects, or purchasing the latest educational technology. Homeschool teachers can also expect a more rewarding experience through creating a solid bond with the child.

Qualifications

Because a private school has more money and therefore more resources, the qualifying requirements of it’s teachers are more robust. The same is for private homeschooling educators. Most private schools will require at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, but having a Master’s will be preferred. Each parent will have their own education requirements expected of their homeschooling teachers, but continued education is still a great idea. Teachers will have to have a broad understanding of a multitude of subjects such as math, science, liberal arts, classroom management, special education, curriculum creation, moderation expertise, and child development. For private teachers, parents may follow specific childrearing philosophies, such as Montessori or Waldorf methods and will expect teachers to have completed certifications for their designated philosophy, or to do extensive reading on the subject prior to hire.
 

Courses

While there is no standardized testing requirement necessary to become a private school teacher, it could not hurt one’s standings to stand out in the applicant pool. Because many parents will have different expectations, its a great idea for homeschooling teachers to cover their bases and take as many courses as they can. Exams such as the CBEST, California Basic Educational Skills Test, the RICA, Reading Instruction Competence Assessment and the CSET, California Subject Exams Test are the most notable. Exams will vary from state to state, and each private school will have their own necessary requirements for teachers. For private teachers, reading up on homeschooling practices may be helpful as well.
 

Internships

While getting hired by a private school right away may be difficult, it can be beneficial to ones cause to apply for an internship first. Many private schools offer internships to introduce prospective teachers to the private school industry, offering experience as well as the opportunity to make connections and relationships. Interns at private schools receive hands-on learning and are often available for mentorship by tenured private school teachers. It’s a great resume builder to stand out amongst the other applicants. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to make strong connections with individual students and family members who may be seeking an at-home private school teacher.

The road to becoming a private school / homeschool teacher is long and winding, but the benefits are many. Increased salary, one-on-one learning, job security, and immense freedom in curriculum are just a few perks private homeschool teachers can expect from their jobs. If you are a nanny looking to become an at-home educator, or a family looking to hire a private teacher for your child, reach out to us!

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Nannies in LA

Top Tips for New Nannies in LA

Nannies in LA
Los Angeles is a hub for many things, including childcare. With new opportunities for great positions opening daily, nannies flock to Hollywood for their next big nannying gig. Los Angeles Nannies are known for having big work perks like traveling with families, health benefits, and even the occasional appearance in a reality show. However, it is important for nannies to remember their priorities for being in the industry: nurturing the development and safety of the child. Here are our top tips for nannies new to LA looking to make their mark in the childcare industry.
 
Find an Agency
Many nannies coming to Los Angeles end up searching job boards wondering “where are all of the A-List jobs?” Nannies can always find perfectly stable jobs online, but the higher paying jobs with benefits and healthcare are almost always offered through the security and verifiable agency. Besides having higher paying jobs, agencies are beneficial for nannies new to an area for a number of reasons. Agencies have all of the connections to jobs already, so you don’t need to hit the ground networking for your perfect family. Agencies will also negotiate and advocate on a nanny’s behalf, even long after a nanny has been hired. In an area where nannies may not know anyone, agencies will always be there to lend an ear, give legal or pay advice, and stand up for a nanny in conflict with a family. Agencies help guarantee hours, create schedules, and mediate work agreements ensuring that each party starts off on the right foot. Agencies never take money from nannies (and if they say they do, run in the other direction)!
 
Take Your NDA’s Seriously
We’ve all seen the headlines in People magazine, “nanny of x celebrity tells all.” Do not be that nanny. Nondisclosure agreements exist for a reason, and that is to protect the family and mainly the children. Tabloids can pay a pretty penny for a good story, but selling out your nanny kid is low and will guarantee you will never work in childcare in Hollywood or any other city again. Remember that when you are a nanny for a high profile family, you represent the parent’s brand. It’s important to always behave professionally in the real world and on social media. Never post anything you would be uncomfortable with if your nanny child saw it.
 
Sign a Work Agreement
Before starting with your nanny family, make sure you have a work agreement in place with clear outlines of your duties, hours, schedule, benefits, and overtime compensation. In Los Angeles, many entry level jobs like Production Assistants, Interns and Personal Assistants end up doing many menial tasks outside of their job description. Remember that you are not on a set, you are a childcare professional with extensive experience in your field, and running errands is not your first priority. If you accept errands to be a part of your position, that’s more than fine, but if it’s not agreed upon in your work agreement prior to your start date, any additional tasks should be discussed with the possibility for a raise. There are many wonderful, caring families in Los Angeles, but like in any town, there will be parents who seek to take advantage. If you are ever asked to do something you are uncomfortable with, do not be afraid to say no. This is why it’s also beneficial to have an agency on your side. Agencies can intervene on a nanny’s behalf and have the tough discussions for you.
 
Remind yourself of your priorities
It is completely normal and manageable for nannies to have other career aspirations outside of nannying. But while on the job, the children are your first and only priority. If you find yourself looking at nanny jobs for connections or networking outside of childcare, you should not be a nanny. If you think you can do both, be warned that children pick up on everything and will sense that you have ulterior motives. This kind of behavior from their caregivers can be detrimental to a child’s development, so think twice before you use your nannying skills as leverage to further your career outside of childcare.
 
Practice Self Care
Self care is a millennial buzzword floating around hashtags, but despite it’s trendiness the sentiment is important. Taking care of your emotional and physical wellbeing is paramount to your success as a nanny. Parents in Los Angeles are busy to say the least, and you never know when a last minute meeting may pop up or a parent gets stuck in traffic, extending your day or calling you in when you were expecting a day off. Because life comes quickly for all, it’s important that you take care of yourself. If you live-in or the parents work from home and your days are long with the children, schedule a daily activity with the kids that centers you. Be it going for a walk or engaging in an art project, make sure that you fully embrace a self-care mantra so that you can come back energized and ready or anything. 
 
Find Support
Coming to any new city can be an isolating experience, and finding your tribe can be the key to ensuring your happiness as well as your success in your nanny career. Connect with other nannies you meet at the park or story time or the pick-up line. Talk about your experiences (within your NDA’s) and share advice, activity ideas, and even network to help each other find new jobs. Having friends who are nannies can be a great way to feel supported and seen. There are also a number of nannying groups on social media that you can join for advice and tips. 
 
If you ever find yourself approaching that nanny burnout, make a list of all of the things you love about being a nanny. Remind yourself why you chose this unique, rewarding, playful career in the first place. Make a list of all the things you love about LA. If you are new to Los Angeles or thinking about moving here, reach out to us! We can help you make an action plan to making your time here as successful as possible.

How to Find Your Nanny

There are three main, tried and true ways to find a nanny. What works for your friends or neighbors may not work for you. Every family has different needs, and the way you search for your nanny will reflect that. 

1. Referral:

Many families find their nannies through word of mouth. Maybe your neighbors children are starting school and their nanny’s services are no longer needed. It’s important to note that even if a nanny comes recommended to you, you should still go through a hiring process. An interview, trial and checking of references is imperative, as what worked great for your acquaintance may not work for you and you don’t want to be blindsided on the very first day. 

“Nannying is a profession like any other, and they deserve scheduled performance reviews to go over any changes in their performance or duties. Performance reviews are a time where raises are expected to be discussed.”

2. Online Search:

There are numerous great resources for parents to find nannies online. Nannies can upload resumes, work history, certifications and previous letters of recommendations to online profiles for parents to peruse. It is worth noting, however, that anyone can sign up for a profile, the websites themselves do not always verify or do background checks without parent request, so it’s important to make sure you do your own background check, call references, and extensively hire candidates.

3. Agency:

It may seem like a red flag to search for a nanny online, and going through the interview hiring process may be too much work for some families to take on, which is where an agency comes in. All agencies in California are required to screen candidates through TrustLine, California’s premier background check that examines candidates on multiple different areas that most people do not have access to. Agencies do all of the legwork for families to ensure that each nanny is verified, professional and compatible for your family.

Knowing Your Nanny is the Right Fit

Now that you’ve undergone the search method that works for you and you have a solid pile of candidates to choose from, how do you know which one is the right one for your family? At Los Angeles Nannies, we like to believe that finding your nanny is a lot like dating. Take your time, review your options, discuss your priorities and expectations, and act fast when you find The One. As in dating, you want to make sure that your priorities and expectations align to ensure a happy relationship. Find out what your priorities are as a family and in the interview, ask leading questions about the candidate’s personality, morals and ethics are. Reach out to us for our comprehensive list of nanny screening questions. 

Keeping your Nanny

Now that you’ve found The One, how do you make sure they don’t become The One That Got Away?

Craft and sign a work agreement. 

Prior to your nanny’s start date, draft up a work agreement explicitly outlining your expectations, your nanny’s job duties, terms, and benefits. Include the start date, the weekly schedule, salary offered with overtime, a confidentiality agreement, and a return of property if the nanny will have use of the family car. For live-in nannies, create clear outlines of living expectations like household rules, accommodations offered, and anything else relevant for living with your family. Having a clear understanding of what is and isn’t acceptable can greatly help you both down the line should any issues emerge. No idea where to start? We have a comprehensive work agreement that can be tailored to your needs. Reach out to us for more information.

Provide benefits. 

Your nanny is an investment in your child’s wellbeing and future. Having a longterm nanny is beneficial for your child’s emotional and social development, which are the foundations of their academic success. Providing health insurance and paid sick leave and vacation time is a great way to show your nanny that they are valued and appreciated, which in turn will greatly benefit your family. A nanny who is provided for financially will work harder and longer than ones who are not taken care of. Nannies who are not financially fulfilled will burn out quicker and may seek benefits elsewhere when they become available. 

Pay over time. 

Nannies are miracle workers, but they don’t expect to do it for free. They have their own personal lives and their time should be valued and respected. If your nanny is expected to work over 40 hours in a week, by California law they are entitled to 1.5x their hourly rate.

Pay your nanny on the books. 

While it may seem like a great idea to pay your nanny under the table, it is actually in both your and your nanny’s best interest to provide legal pay. Your nanny has access to unemployment benefits and social security, and you are protected against audit should there be any need for worker’s comp or discrepancies. Paying your nanny legally communicates to them that you see them as a professional.

Performance reviews. 

Nannying is a profession like any other, and they deserve scheduled performance reviews to go over any changes in their performance or duties. Performance reviews are a time where raises are expected to be discussed. Has the nanny taken on more responsibilities that were not listed in your agreement originally? Have you had another child since they first started? These are things to be discussed in a performance review, and where having that initial work agreement comes in handy for both parties.

Acknowledge your nanny.

 In all positions, there is nothing worse than an employer who doesn’t notice your efforts. Take time to drop in and observe your nanny with your child. Compliment their approach and communicate how much you appreciate them. A happy nanny who feels respected and appreciated will want to stay with a family that values all of their hard work. If you are unsure how to broach the subject of proper nanny-employer etiquette, check out our Honest House Promise.

Communicate frequently. 

Have an issue? Talk about it! Want to make changes to your work agreement? Have a discussion! Going on vacation? Give advance notice! Need your nanny to stay late? Ask, don’t demand. Nannies are superhero childcare providers, and they’re also human beings with feelings and are capable of constructive criticism. If you disagree with something your nanny does, have an open, constructive conversation of how you’d like them to do things. Don’t avoid confrontation only to bottle up and resent your nanny.  If you don’t communicate your needs, your nanny will not know to expect to change their habits. Your nanny is not a mind reader and would love to know exactly how you’d like things done so they can do their job successfully. If you are expecting any major changes to their job duties, like having another child or changing their hours and schedule, make sure you speak to them with advance notice and ask them if that is something they are comfortable with. Changing the duties without consent while operating under a work agreement can cause trouble for you later, and your nanny will appreciate the respect you show them by communicating with them.

Finding a nanny is no easy feat, and keeping your perfect nanny is another matter. A commitment to being a respectful and ethical employer will assist you and your family greatly in keeping your super star family. If you have any questions or require assistance in any of the above steps, reach out to us.

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Homeschool and tutoring kids

Homeschooling / How to Homeschool Nanny Kids

Homeschool and tutoring kids

Many career nannies know that the time between drop off and pick up at school is sacred. The school hours are where nannies can do laundry, schedule appointments, sanitize toys, and gear up for an afternoon of homework help. We’ve seen how the recent change in the childcare industry has affected nannies with parents working from home, but homeschooling has had just as significant an impact. How can nannies navigating in this new zoom school territory succeed?

Here are some tips:

Brush up on your educator skills

Nannying while kids are homeschooling means that you will inevitably become teacher yourself. Remain patient, ask leading questions, and always help them come to their conclusions and assignments on their own. Doing tasks for them is not going to do anyone any favors. If they don’t respond to a certain explanation, try and show them another way that they will understand. The beauty of being a nanny and a teacher is that you know the kids and their interests much better than a teacher would be able to. Spark their creativity by using dinosaurs as metaphors for counting if they’re into paleontology right now. Let them practice letters by writing their favorite words. If you don’t know how to answer a certain question, there is a wonderful new invention called Google. Of course, be sly about when you look things up, kids learn by example and we can’t have them copping out via the convenience of search engines.

“We are in uncharted territory, and all of these big changes can be really difficult for children to digest. When it gets hard, remember that your focus is on being a caregiver. The child’s grades are not a reflection of you or your nannying abilities, so remain compassionate and patient, as confidence and care are the main foundations for a child’s academic success ”

Create a classroom environment

A similar issue with nannies working around work from home parents is spacial boundaries. Kids are used to having their entire homes be just that – their home. But now their sacred-kid-space has been turned into office, home and school all in one and this can become stressful and confusing for developing minds. Designate a specific classroom area where kids will do their learning. Kids need structure and boundaries in order to thrive, and knowing that the dining room or a specific section of the living room is now their “school section” of the home will help them focus their energy to that specific task. Spruce up the area maybe with posters or familiar classroom objects to help them feel more at ease. Take breaks and eat snacks away from the classroom area to better help them adjust and concentrate while they are working.

Remain compassionate

We are in uncharted territory, and all of these big changes can be really difficult for children to digest. When it gets hard, remember that your focus is on being a caregiver. The child’s grades are not a reflection of you or your nannying abilities, so remain compassionate and patient, as confidence and care are the main foundations for a child’s academic success. It is also imperative that you have patience and compassion for yourself. You are a nanny and not necessarily an educator, so it may take some time for you to get into the swing of things. Remember your first day as a nanny, and how far you’ve come since then. Your educator skills will grow exponentially as well, which is a great thing to have on your nanny resume for future opportunities.
 
Nannying has always been fraught with rewarding challenges. If you are a nanny currently providing care to homeschooling children, we’d love to hear your stories of success and struggle alike. As always, reach out to us with any questions or concerns.
eas and tips on how to make every day equally fun and educational. There are a ton of awesome nanny blogs for creative solutions, as well as nannying groups you can join on social media.

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