Los Angeles Nannies

Hiring a nanny

Nanny dos and donts

Nanny Trial Do's and Don'ts

Nanny dos and donts

A trial run with a potential nanny is crucial for both nannies and families to ensure that personalities, belief systems and methods of discipline all match up or compliment each other in a positive way. A nanny can say they are loving and caring in the interview, but what are they really like when your child is actually crying in front of them? A family probably won’t bring their children into the interview process, but a trial run is a great way to see how the nanny blends into the home and interacts with the children. We can’t tell you how many nannies have done great in the interview but didn’t meet the family’s needs in the trial, or how many nannies were shy in the interview but absolutely flourished in the trial. The idea of a trial can feel overwhelming, but we’ve broken it down into easy steps to assist you in making sure your trial is productive and beneficial to finding your family’s next nanny. If you have additional questions or need help with any of these steps, reach out to us!

Agree on Expectations

Communication is the foundation of every relationship. Discuss expectations with your prospective nanny and have them written down and displayed in a space where they can see. Before the trial begins, go through each task or desire point by point to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Not everyone can get it right the first time, but if the nanny isn’t following instructions or taking direction well during the trial, that’s a very telling sign. But if they go above and beyond what was discussed, asking questions and taking direction well, that’s a great candidate. We have an agreement forms and checklists on our resources page to assist families in brainstorming what you may want or need from a nanny, and how to articulate those needs to maximize the relationship. Let us know if you have any questions or need help forming and articulating your expectations for your nanny’s trial.

Trials are Paid

Even if you decide not to hire a nanny, a trial is still a day spent working and they deserve to be paid for the hours given. A trial period is typically paid in the same hourly amount you are offering for the job.

communication is key! It’s imperative that both you and your nanny are open with each other about expectations

Set Yourself up for Success

Every household is different, and every nanny comes in with a different background of experiences. It’s important to communicate your expectations and have your trial period reflect what a day would be like for the nanny and your children. If your nanny is thriving, so are your children. Help your nanny help you by giving them clear instructions and information they need such as allergies, restrictions like limited screen time or snack time, information on the best ways to put them down for a nap, etc. Don’t leave your nanny to guess what you need, you want to see how they follow directions. If you are unsure what a day for your nanny would look like, reach out to us and we can help you create a schedule for both your trial and your nanny’s day-to-day life.

Speak Up

We can’t say it enough: communication is key! It’s imperative that both you and your nanny are open with each other about expectations. After the trial, ask them leading questions about what’s high on your priority list: were you comfortable driving to the park? how did you feel correcting our child’s behavior? was cooking meals too much? Inversely, be honest in answering your prospective nanny’s questions. Kindly offer suggestions on how they could do better next time, but give them the room to find their footing, it’s not easy entering someone else’s home! The communication during the trial period with your new nanny is your chance to set boundaries and groundwork for your future in working together, it’s much easier to correct behavior in the beginning and steer the course towards success than it is once you have all settled into a routine.

Make Yourself Available

Ideally, during the trail you would be able to walk your prospective nanny through the day, showing them what parks to go to, when to give snacks, where to find certain necessities, how to handle certain situations. Of course with busy schedules, it is not always possible, but you should set aside a little time to observe the nanny with your child, stepping in when needed and being there if the nanny has any questions. It is also valuable for your child to get one on one time with the nanny to give them room to see if they are a good fit for each other.

Be Honest

Even if the nanny has every qualification and seems to be everything you wanted on paper, but something in your gut says it isn’t working out – listen to it! This is what trials are all about. Maybe the right candidate doesn’t check all of your boxes in the interview, but during the trial they connect with your child like no one else has. Be honest with yourself and with your potential nanny and move forward if your gut believes it’s the right move, and let it go if it’s not.

Let us know how your nanny trials have gone! If you are interested in learning more about how to conduct a nanny trial, or are ready to begin your search for your perfect nanny, reach out to us. We are more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have, even if you are not registered with us. Let me know your trial top tips below!

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teaching children coding

How to Teach Young Kids Coding

teaching children coding

As the world moves more and more online, basic coding and technical skills are becoming increasingly valuable. From website optimization to data collecting, almost every company requires coding. If parents are looking for a fun, creative, challenging way for their kids to get a head start on getting ahead in the workplace, coding is an excellent life skill for kids to start honing. Not to mention, most coding classes can be completed online making it a great summer socially distanced activity to keep your kids engaged.

Free Coding Classes

Coding is a great skill for your kids to have on their resume, and many organizations offer scholarships for enthusiasm and skill in programming. Here are some free, accredited coding courses:

Code Monster

Code Monster is a great tool to help kids practice or learn coding by doing. Its game-like interface has two boxes, one featuring the code, the other demonstrating what that code does. Kids can edit and change the code while seeing exactly what their edits create.

code.org

code.org is a nonprofit dedicated to helping kids get started in programming. It flaunts apps, resources, and a database for local schools that teach coding. 

Scratch

This site easy to use site gets kids excited about coding. Created by MIT students, kids code by arranging Scratch blocks. Instead of maneuvering lengthy, hieroglyph code, kids can manipulate data as if they were virtual Tetris pieces, building anything they can think of. It also has an age-appropriate online forum for kids to chat about ideas.

Khan Academy

In addition to math instruction, Khan also has lessons on programming basics such as creating animations, interactive images, and graphics. They’ve recently partnered with Pixar, which inspires kids on how to use coding to become animators.

Swift Playgrounds

Helmed by Apple, this app helps kids learn coding by solving puzzles.

Low-Cost Coding

A solid understanding of even the basics of coding can turn out to be a life long investment in your child’s education and future. 

Codemoji

Starting at $7 a month, Codemoji is a super fun, user-friendly resource for kids to learn coding by using emojis to substitute for HTML or CSS codes. 

Lightbot

For only a one time charge of $2.99, Lightbot is a puzzle game designed to teach kids coding while they play.

Kodable

Kodable is one of the top coding resources used in schools. After a free trial, parents can pay $6.99/month or $59.88/year for a fleshed-out programming curriculum for kids.

While it may seem counterintuitive to encourage children to play and learn online, coding is an incredibly valuable skill for children to learn at a young age. Asides from being a great way for kids to express themselves creatively, have an opportunity to earn a scholarship, and form strong connections and friendships, it’s also a great start to a lucrative career. The average beginner programmer makes around $85k annually. If you are interested in learning more about how your child can learn to code, reach out to us!

Agree on Expectations

Communication is the foundation of every relationship. Discuss expectations with your prospective nanny and have them written down and displayed in a space where they can see. Before the trial begins, go through each task or desire point by point to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Not everyone can get it right the first time, but if the nanny isn’t following instructions or taking direction well during the trial, that’s a very telling sign. But if they go above and beyond what was discussed, asking questions and taking direction well, that’s a great candidate. We have an agreement forms and checklists on our resources page to assist families in brainstorming what you may want or need from a nanny, and how to articulate those needs to maximize the relationship. Let us know if you have any questions or need help forming and articulating your expectations for your nanny’s trial.

Trials are Paid

Even if you decide not to hire a nanny, a trial is still a day spent working and they deserve to be paid for the hours given. A trial period is typically paid in the same hourly amount you are offering for the job.

communication is key! It’s imperative that both you and your nanny are open with each other about expectations

Set Yourself up for Success

Every household is different, and every nanny comes in with a different background of experiences. It’s important to communicate your expectations and have your trial period reflect what a day would be like for the nanny and your children. If your nanny is thriving, so are your children. Help your nanny help you by giving them clear instructions and information they need such as allergies, restrictions like limited screen time or snack time, information on the best ways to put them down for a nap, etc. Don’t leave your nanny to guess what you need, you want to see how they follow directions. If you are unsure what a day for your nanny would look like, reach out to us and we can help you create a schedule for both your trial and your nanny’s day-to-day life.

Speak Up

We can’t say it enough: communication is key! It’s imperative that both you and your nanny are open with each other about expectations. After the trial, ask them leading questions about what’s high on your priority list: were you comfortable driving to the park? how did you feel correcting our child’s behavior? was cooking meals too much? Inversely, be honest in answering your prospective nanny’s questions. Kindly offer suggestions on how they could do better next time, but give them the room to find their footing, it’s not easy entering someone else’s home! The communication during the trial period with your new nanny is your chance to set boundaries and groundwork for your future in working together, it’s much easier to correct behavior in the beginning and steer the course towards success than it is once you have all settled into a routine.

Make Yourself Available

Ideally, during the trail you would be able to walk your prospective nanny through the day, showing them what parks to go to, when to give snacks, where to find certain necessities, how to handle certain situations. Of course with busy schedules, it is not always possible, but you should set aside a little time to observe the nanny with your child, stepping in when needed and being there if the nanny has any questions. It is also valuable for your child to get one on one time with the nanny to give them room to see if they are a good fit for each other.

Be Honest

Even if the nanny has every qualification and seems to be everything you wanted on paper, but something in your gut says it isn’t working out – listen to it! This is what trials are all about. Maybe the right candidate doesn’t check all of your boxes in the interview, but during the trial they connect with your child like no one else has. Be honest with yourself and with your potential nanny and move forward if your gut believes it’s the right move, and let it go if it’s not.

Let us know how your nanny trials have gone! If you are interested in learning more about how to conduct a nanny trial, or are ready to begin your search for your perfect nanny, reach out to us. We are more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have, even if you are not registered with us. Let me know your trial top tips below!

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Cover letter and resume

How To Write a Nanny Cover Letter

Cover letter and resume

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. Below we’ll show you how to write a nanny cover letter.

What to include

Cover letters are a great way to bring your resume to life for a family. Cover letters should be kept short and sweet. When writing your cover letter, it is helpful to break it down into three main groups: the name and nature of the position you are applying for, explain how the skills and jobs listed on your resume apply to the position, and finish with a call to action. In the end it should read something like this.

Get Specific

You must tailor your cover letter to each job you apply for. Emphasize specific experience from your resume that directly relates to the job description (link to resume blog). Not only does this help in filling in any gaps, but shows you took the time to read the description. The fact that you tailored your cover letter to the job specifically also shows your level of interest.

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. 

Fill in the gaps

Think critically about the position and use past experience from your resume to explain how you could benefit the family in ways they never even dreamed of. If a job description for a family mentions that they have two children, describe the position you had previously where you were the lead teacher at a preschool, supervising a dozen toddlers at once, and how this experience has left you more than capable to handle two children. 

Be Professional

Proof read! Make sure there aren’t any typos or grammatical errors in your nanny cover letter. If you are unsure, have a friend or family member edit your work. Typos make one look careless, and if you are applying for a job where you will be assisting a child with their homework, parents want to make sure you won’t be as indifferent with their child.

Be Positive

When summarizing your experience, it is important to highlight the joys of each position held. If you come across as negative or entitled when discussing your work, it will repel families. Families want to know that you enjoy being a nanny and that you left your previous positions on excellent terms.

Call to action

When concluding your cover letter, be sure to include a call to action. Say something like, “if you would like to know more about my experience, I am available by phone Monday – Friday from 8am until 5pm.” Make sure that your contact information is present so they can reach out to you should they decide you are a great fit.

A properly formatted, beautifully written cover letter can be the difference between blending in and standing out in a large pool of applicants. If you have any questions or concerns about crafting your cover letter, reach out to us! 

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Nanny

What Your Nanny Is - And Isn't

Nanny

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of a nanny is “a person… employed to care for a child in its own home.” A nanny’s main responsibility is to care for a child’s emotional, physical, intellectual and social wellbeing, yet many nannies are often asked to perform household duties that are outside of the childcaring sphere, such as cooking, cleaning, scheduling and shopping. 

What is acceptable to ask your nanny to do?

When thinking about the job duties you wish to ask your nanny to accomplish, it is imperative that you ask yourself whether or not that duty will contribute to or detract from their ability to care for your child. 

Cooking

It is well within your nanny’s responsibility to feed your child at appropriate and necessary times during their scheduled shift. A nanny may prepare multiple meals and snacks for your child throughout their working day. The grey area begins however, when the nanny is asked to cook for your whole family. It is one thing to request that a nanny prep for your dinner while a child is at school or napping, but if a nanny is forced into the responsibility of preparing and cooking for a family of four while also assisting the child with their homework, it is easy to imagine that the immediacy of the meal takes precedence and the homework suffers. The nanny is there first and foremost to assist in the development and rearing of the child, and if cooking takes away from that responsibility, then it should be forgone.

Cleaning

Many families ask their nanny to engage in light housekeeping. This is completely acceptable when the duties are related to the child. Sanitizing and organizing toys, tidying and disinfecting the high chair and surrounding areas, loading the dishwasher after snack and meal time, restocking and cleaning the changing table, and even the child’s laundry are all things that are reasonable and even encouraged to ask your nanny to do. Having your nanny tidy your child’s room with your child present is a great way to teach your child by example the importance of organization and cleanliness. Most light cleaning tasks regarding the child can be done during your child’s nap or while they are at school. It is important to reiterate that any cleaning that takes away from your caregiver’s ability to nurture and comfort your child to the best of their ability should not be asked of them.

When thinking about the job duties you wish to ask your nanny to accomplish, it is imperative that you ask yourself whether or not that duty will contribute to or detract from their ability to care for your child. 

Laundry

Issues arise around the job duties when expectations are not made clear from the get-go. Many nannies expect and even welcome the task of doing the child’s laundry, as folding warm, clean clothes while the child is napping is sometimes considered a cherished repreve. However, the idea of washing their employer’s underwear can make some nannies, extremely uncomfortable. The addition of expensive clothing that needs extra precautions during the washing process can add unnecessary stress and time to the nanny’s day as well. It is one thing if you are in a pinch and ask your nanny if they are comfortable doing a load of your own laundry, it is different to consistently throw in your washing without having had a clear discussion beforehand. There are many simple and cost efficient ways to get one’s laundry done.

Pet care

A nanny is a childcare provider, not a dog-walker or cat-medicine-administrator. If a nanny has to be thinking about the dog’s needs while a child is having a tantrum, it can be difficult for the nanny to give the child the full attention and care that they need while the dog is endangering a priceless rug or a corner of the couch. Letting the dog out in the backyard or refilling it’s water is one thing, but asking a nanny to groom is not within their job title. Some nannies may be allergic to pets or even have a fear of animals. It is important to discuss your pet care needs with your nanny prior to starting so that everyone can be on the same page.

Many domestic issues can be sorted out simply by having a clear discussion about expectations upon hiring. Ask your nanny during the interview process what they are comfortable with and what their domestic strengths are. If you lay out the expectations from the get-go, it will greatly avoid any awkwardness or resentment down the road.

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Nanny doing many job duties

Nanny Job Creep

Nanny doing many job duties at work
A nanny’s top priority, outside of nurturing the safety and development of the children, is to provide service. A great nanny will make themselves irreplaceable by efficiently and proactively being able to do what is asked of them. Nannies take pride in their ability to be adaptable and multitask for their employers, but sometimes this can be taken advantage of, even from the most well-intentioned parents. Many nannies have experienced job creep, a “phenomenon in which employers continually require increasing amounts of work relative to the normal requirements of their operations”. What does job creep look like, and how can families ensure they continue to respect their nanny’s work load?

Job Creep

There’s a fine line between the occasional favor that a nanny can perform for a family happily, and the increasing and consistent add ons of job duties that would require a pay increase. Nannies love to help, but this willingness to provide service should not be taken advantage of. Nannies are not catch all trays for a parent’s odds and ends. In all positions of service there can be a disconnect in what is or is not a respectful consideration of the workload. Childcare is a vastly rewarding but also incredibly challenging position in its own right, and can be made more so by tedious tasks that would normally be delegated to a housekeeper or house manager. When nannies are spread too thin, their ability to provide for the child is greatly diminished, so it is in each parent’s direct interest to be mindful of their nanny’s work load.

Define “Nanny”

Understand what does and does not fall under the category of nanny. Some families may need a house manager, and some nannies may be both house manager and nanny, but this is an important distinction that needs to be made, and compensated for accordingly. House managerial duties are anything that have to do with the running of the household, while a nanny is anything that has to do with the children. Sometimes these two inherently overlap, but when responsibilities end up crossing the line to stocking the house and scheduling for parents, that is house manager territory and a nanny deserves higher compensation.

“There is some flexibility between house manager duties and nanny duties, but they need to be agreed upon in advance, and they cannot take precedence over or interfere with the caretaking of the child.”

Reasonable Nanny Duties:

  1. Provide childcare 
  2. Prepare meals and snacks for children
  3. Clean children’s dishes and eating area
  4. Provide transportation for children to and from school and activities
  5. Basic clean up of children’s areas and toy disinfecting
  6. Basic errands for children like groceries
  7. Provide homework and tutoring help
  8. Assist in hygiene routines

Reasonable House Manager Duties:

  1. Scheduling appointments
  2. Pet care
  3. Manage family calendars including doctor’s appointments, personal and work events, maintenance, etc.
  4. Event planning
  5. Managing and scheduling vendors
  6. Responsible for correspondence and communications 

Setting Expectations

There is some flexibility between house manager duties and nanny duties, but they need to be agreed upon in advance, and they cannot take precedence over or interfere with the caretaking of the child. If a nanny works with older children who go to school and a nanny has free time during the day, it is reasonable to ask a nanny to do laundry or cleaning. But if a nanny has charge of younger children who are with them all day or only have shorter nap times, it does not make sense for a nanny to have any responsibilities that would inhibit their ability to safely monitor the child. If parents have tasks that are essential for the nanny to perform that would be difficult to complete with the child, set aside time before parents need to leave in the morning or after they get home at work for the nanny to finish the task without the need to supervise the children.

Create a Job Contract

If you don’t have one already, create a work agreement for your nanny. Write down everything that was agreed upon upon hire including hours, schedule and daily tasks required. Write a separate list of everything that has become a consistent additional responsibility outside of what was originally agreed upon. A happy nanny is one that works hard for a long time and your nanny will appreciate feeling looked after and respected. A work agreement will also help families in the long run in case of a discrepancy with a nanny having to file for unemployment, worker’s comp or if you need to fire your nanny.
 
Nanny job creep is real and is detrimental to the working relationship you have with your nanny, and can affect the care your child receives. Los Angeles Nannies will be able to help you form a work agreement, regardless of whether you have a new hire or a longterm nanny. As always, reach out to us with any questions or concerns!

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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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Nanny-Video-Interview-Tips-COMPETITIVE-NANNY-JOB-MARKET-Los-Angeles-Nannies-Jobs-apply-logo-professional-educated-nanny

Nanny Video Interview Tips

Video interview tips for nannies

Everyone knows that interviews are your window into the job of your dreams, but what happens if that window is Google Chrome and the interview is a video? More and more busy families are moving towards video calls to interview nannies. Even the most tech savvy individual can have reservations about participating in a video interview, which is why we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you get through the monitor and into your next nanny home.

  1. Background

When prepping for your nanny video interview, find a quiet, well-lit room away from any distractions. Make sure your webcam frame is set up against a neutral background to ensure that you will have your interviewer’s full attention. Take steps to ensure that you will not be interrupted by family, roommates or pets. You don’t want to lose your train of thought while cataloging your nanny experience during the interview, and you want to impress interviewers with your ability to prepare. Don’t be this man (and after you’re hired, don’t be the nanny that let this happen!):

  1. Tools

Don’t sign up for your childcare video interview only to realize two minutes before you’re supposed to start that you don’t have the necessary tools. Generally, you will need a computer or tablet with a built in microphone and webcam, headphones with a microphone and internet connection with bandwidth at least 1 megabits per second. If you are missing any of these, check out the resources at your local library, ask a friend or rent equipment. To ensure optimal internet speed, clear your history and empty caches. Closing unnecessary windows or applications is also a big help to boost your connection. You don’t want to be lagging or pixelated during your nanny video interview.

  1. Dress Professionally

There is a novelty of interviewing from the comfort of your own home, but this isn’t something you should abuse. You may have the urge to wear sweatpants with your blazer, who would be able to tell? But if you feel professional you will act professional, and you never know if you will need to stand up at any point. Shy away from bold colors or prints as they can be distracting or even glitchy depending on the connection. Once you are hired it may be acceptable for you to dress in athleisure (or even a full on smock to avoid juice stains and pasta ricochet) but during your interview it’s best to present yourself in the best light and dress well.

  1. Body Language

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. If you talk with your hands, do that! If you are hyper aware of your movements,you won’t be able to be fully present and explain why you would be the best fit for their nanny. Just be yourself! Your body language should stay the same even though you are on camera.

  1. Troubleshooting

Before the day of the interview, be sure to ask for a number to call in case you have any technical difficulties or unforeseen issues. You don’t want the family to think you just didn’t show up.

Video interviews are becoming increasingly popular with families looking to hire a nanny. Be ahead of the curve and be prepared to interview virtually by setting the scene, gathering all of the necessary tools, dressing professionally, maintaining body language, and covering your bases by troubleshooting any issues. If you have any further questions or would like specific advice and training in video interviewing, let us know! We’d be happy to provide a mock interview and help you find your next nanny family.

Cooking

It is well within your nanny’s responsibility to feed your child at appropriate and necessary times during their scheduled shift. A nanny may prepare multiple meals and snacks for your child throughout their working day. The grey area begins however, when the nanny is asked to cook for your whole family. It is one thing to request that a nanny prep for your dinner while a child is at school or napping, but if a nanny is forced into the responsibility of preparing and cooking for a family of four while also assisting the child with their homework, it is easy to imagine that the immediacy of the meal takes precedence and the homework suffers. The nanny is there first and foremost to assist in the development and rearing of the child, and if cooking takes away from that responsibility, then it should be forgone.

Cleaning

Many families ask their nanny to engage in light housekeeping. This is completely acceptable when the duties are related to the child. Sanitizing and organizing toys, tidying and disinfecting the high chair and surrounding areas, loading the dishwasher after snack and meal time, restocking and cleaning the changing table, and even the child’s laundry are all things that are reasonable and even encouraged to ask your nanny to do. Having your nanny tidy your child’s room with your child present is a great way to teach your child by example the importance of organization and cleanliness. Most light cleaning tasks regarding the child can be done during your child’s nap or while they are at school. It is important to reiterate that any cleaning that takes away from your caregiver’s ability to nurture and comfort your child to the best of their ability should not be asked of them.

When thinking about the job duties you wish to ask your nanny to accomplish, it is imperative that you ask yourself whether or not that duty will contribute to or detract from their ability to care for your child. 

Laundry

Issues arise around the job duties when expectations are not made clear from the get-go. Many nannies expect and even welcome the task of doing the child’s laundry, as folding warm, clean clothes while the child is napping is sometimes considered a cherished repreve. However, the idea of washing their employer’s underwear can make some nannies, extremely uncomfortable. The addition of expensive clothing that needs extra precautions during the washing process can add unnecessary stress and time to the nanny’s day as well. It is one thing if you are in a pinch and ask your nanny if they are comfortable doing a load of your own laundry, it is different to consistently throw in your washing without having had a clear discussion beforehand. There are many simple and cost efficient ways to get one’s laundry done.

Pet care

A nanny is a childcare provider, not a dog-walker or cat-medicine-administrator. If a nanny has to be thinking about the dog’s needs while a child is having a tantrum, it can be difficult for the nanny to give the child the full attention and care that they need while the dog is endangering a priceless rug or a corner of the couch. Letting the dog out in the backyard or refilling it’s water is one thing, but asking a nanny to groom is not within their job title. Some nannies may be allergic to pets or even have a fear of animals. It is important to discuss your pet care needs with your nanny prior to starting so that everyone can be on the same page.

Many domestic issues can be sorted out simply by having a clear discussion about expectations upon hiring. Ask your nanny during the interview process what they are comfortable with and what their domestic strengths are. If you lay out the expectations from the get-go, it will greatly avoid any awkwardness or resentment down the road.

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Nanny employee rights

Employment Rights All Nannies Need to Know

Nanny employee rights

Since nannies work in the private homes of their employers it’s often mistakenly assumed that they are not protected by labor and tax laws. While not all labor and tax laws apply to household employers because they employ less than the minimum number of employees required before they kick in, many of them do; and it’s great to know your employment rights.

According to the International Nanny Association, all nannies, whether they are legally authorized to accept employment in the United States or not, are protected by these 10 basic employment rights. 

Nannies must be paid for every hour that they work.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, whether live-in or live-out, nannies must be paid for each hour that they work.

‘If a nanny files a claim for unpaid wages or abuse, an employer may not turn their nanny in for an immigration violation. The Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration & Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) has written rules that prohibit their interference in labor disputes.’

Nannies are entitled to be paid minimum wage.

All nannies are entitled to be paid at the state or federal minimum wage rate, whichever rate is higher.

Live-out nannies, and some live-in nannies, are entitled to overtime pay.

Live-out nannies are entitled to be paid overtime at the rate of 1.5 times their hourly base rate for all hours worked over 40 in a seven day period. Live-in nannies, in some states, are also entitled to be paid overtime.

Nannies must receive a W-2 form at the end of each year.

Nannies are not independent contractors; they are employees of the families for whom they work. Nannies who earn more than $1,800 per calendar year (2012 threshold) must be given a form W-2 and not a form 1099.

Nanny employers are required to withhold payroll deductions.

These deductions include Social Security and Medicare and state taxes. Income taxes and other benefits, such as contributions to health insurance premiums, may be withheld if the nanny and employer agree.

Nannies are entitled to be paid regularly.

Each state determines the maximum number of days between payroll dates and the maximum delay an employer may place on a nanny’s periodic payroll. Some states even dictate the frequency in which nannies must be paid. The employer must keep accurate payroll records, including the dates and hours worked, for three years.

Nanny employers are required to have Workers’ Compensation policies in states that require it.

Workers’ Compensation provides financial assistance to nannies who are hurt on the job. Most states require nanny employers to have a Worker’s Compensation policy, though not all of them do.

Nanny employers are entitled to work in an environment free from abuse.

Federal and state laws protect nannies from physical and sexual abuse by their employers.

Nanny employers cannot confiscate a nanny’s passport or any other identifying documentation.

Nanny employers cannot take and keep a nanny’s passport, Social Security card, work permit, or driver’s license.

Nanny employers are not allowed to retaliate against nannies from workplace grievances by turning them into immigration.

If a nanny files a claim for unpaid wages or abuse, an employer may not turn their nanny in for an immigration violation. The Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration & Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) has written rules that prohibit their interference in labor disputes.

Want to share a story with us regarding your employment rights? Comment below.

Homework Solutions is our preferred payroll provider and has mountains of resources for domestic employers and employees

The International Nanny Association is a non-profit educational association. For more information about nanny employee rights, click here 

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Nanny Interview Tips

5 Nanny Interview Questions that should not be skipped

Nanny Interview Tips

Searching for the right nanny for your family can be a daunting task, especially if it’s your first time finding someone to entrust your child’s safety to. How do I find the right nanny? How do I know if a nanny is the right fit? What questions should I ask a nanny in the interview? If you’re a first time nanny-hunter (or even a nanny looking for a job and a way to brush up on your interview skills), these childcare interview questions can help you find the perfect fit for your family (or your next job). If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! If you sign up for our newsletter, you can get weekly tips like these directly to your inbox.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

This is a great opening interview question. It allows the candidate to focus on something they know a lot about (themselves) and ease them into the slightly intimidating process of interviewing. It also gives you a great jumping off point for future questions, as well as a sense of their personality. Are your kids high energy? Does the candidate mention they love to work out, swim or go on hikes in their free time? These are hints that you could be a great fit for each other. We have a long list of extra questions available in our on-boarding packet for new families, just ask to see more!

If you are a nanny and get asked this question, try not to talk too much about your qualifications at this point, the family wants to get a sense for who you are when you’re not watching their kids or working.

Why did you choose to become a nanny?

Some people fall into childcare, others seek it out. There is a big difference in the kind of care you receive from someone who genuinely loves making a difference in a child’s life compared to someone who is looking for what they deem to be an easy paycheck and fridge access. This interview question narrows down your nanny candidates.

Nannies, when asked this question in your interview, be honest! Describe what you love about working with kids and what you find rewarding about the job. When the parents see the glow in your face when you talk about watching a child grow or the opportunity to play and be creative, you’re bound to score major points with your prospective employers.

“Are your kids high energy? Does the candidate mention they love to work out, swim or go on hikes in their free time? These are hints that you could be a great fit for each other. We have a long list of extra questions available in our on-boarding packet for new families, just ask to see more!”

What do you think is the most important aspect of a nanny job?

This is a big one to ask in the interview with your nanny applicants that will weed out the worthy from the paycheck seekers. An obvious truth is keeping the child safe from danger, but the more deeply a candidate goes into their commitment to the emotional / social well-being and development of the child, the more they will allow your child to thrive with them. Their answer to this question will give you insight into the candidate’s priorities. Does the candidate place emphasis on rule-following or freedom to explore? Does the nanny believe in forming a firm bond with the child and promoting development and trust? This interview question and the answers given will help you get a better sense of who this nanny will be in your home.

If you are asked this question in your nanny interview, start by saying something like “my extensive experience as a childcare provider has shown me that of the many essential aspects of nannying, the ones I place the most importance in are….” You can also give examples of past childcare experiences and how you’ve aided a child’s growth to give the family you’re interviewing with a better sense of your priorities.

What are the qualities children see and like in you?

This nanny interview question will give you a greater insight into the personality of the candidate. Do they like to get down and play pretend, or are they more reserved? Are they silly and energetic or more nurturing and compassionate? Each child has different needs, and as a parent you know more than anyone what your child needs to thrive, and this question will help you find the perfect nanny for your child. If you aren’t sure what exactly you’re looking for from your next nanny, reach out to us and we can help you articulate your needs with a no-obligation consult.

Nannies, when asked this question, refer to your strengths like your sensitivity to the demands of children or your patience and understanding. However, be truthful! If you say in your interview that kids love you because you like to craft with them, but in reality you have no idea which end of the glue stick to use (spoiler alert – it’s the sticky part), you’d be better off leading with how you played soccer in college and kids love to play sports with you.

What do you consider to be the major challenges of a nannying job?

This is another very telling question to ask in your nanny interview. If the candidate responds saying they never have challenges with children, they either aren’t working hard enough or have never spent significant time with a child. We all know it takes a village! This question is another way of understanding the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. If they say they have a hard time communicating or discipline is hard for them, you can know what to expect later on down the line. Care also has some great questions to ask.

If you are asked this question in your interview for a nanny position, mention an example of a past situation that challenged you, and how you overcame it. One of the most challenging parts of being a nanny is how you constantly need to adapt to different situations and different children with their many ever-changing needs. If you can show potential employers how you handle adversity and overcome it, you’re scoring major points.

We hope these nanny interview questions are of some assistance to you!

Families – have additional questions or comments about interviewing a nanny? Let us know! We would be more than happy to assist you in your interview process.

Nannies – have you had to answer some totally random interview questions? Leave a comment below!

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student, typing, keyboard, los-angeles-nannies-UPDATE-YOUR-EDUCATOR-NANNY-RESUME-teaching-child-classroom-skills-caring-professional-educated-mannies-la

UPDATE YOUR EDUCATOR NANNY RESUME TO INCLUDE YOUR TEACHING SKILLS

Updating nanny resume

As businesses begin to open back up and work from home families open their doors to their nannies, many caregivers are gathering their materials, arming themselves with their certifications, letters of recommendation, and most importantly, their resumes. In this new, extremely competitive job market, it’s imperative that nannies highlight their unique skill set in order to market themselves. After months of zoom classes and the possibility of a continuing online school year, nannies need to highlight their ability to educate as well as care, in order to stand out in a sea of applicants. The best way for nannies to rise above the rest is to highlight their educator experience in their resume.

Comparative Analysis 1

This doesn’t mean that nannies need to throw their current CV’s into the wind, but rather they need to tweak what’s already there to showcase their ability to be both nanny and tutor. Most nanny resumes are formatted as follows:
 
The Example Family, Culver City, 2010-2020
Ages of children upon hire: 3 and 7
  1. Transported children to and from school
  2. Assisted in scheduling and provided help with homework when needed
  3. Provided meals
The new, educator targeted resume edition should look like this:
 
The Example Family, Culver City, 2010-2020
Ages of children upon hire: 3 and 7
  1. Assisted in tutoring in math, science and reading
  2. Used education level appropriate tutoring techniques to help child reach targeted grades in all subjects
  3. Provided emotional and educational support, lifting child’s confidence and helping them raise their GPA by one whole letter grade
  4. Assisted with school projects that resulted in 33% average improvement in the child’s grades
  5. During the summer months, created and instructed child in fun and engaging curriculum to ready them for the school year

Comparative Analysis 2

In this example, the nanny is simply placing the attention on their educational background, rather than the overall range of care they provided.  

The key to crafting your nanny resume is in polishing what is already there. You absolutely should not fabricate any part of your resume, but you should be able to apply emphasis where needed. The same can go for coaching or art instruction:
 
Instead of:
  1. Played backyard sports
  2. Monitored arts and crafts
Try:
  1. Provided pointers and engaged the child in fun drills and exercises to improve overall skill and ability in soccer. After weeks of targeted practice, the child went from bench playing to starting in games.
  2. Based on the child’s interest in the ocean, researched and created exciting nautical crafting projects for the child to create. 

“In this new, extremely competitive job market, it’s imperative that nannies highlight their unique skill set in order to market themselves. After months of zoom classes and the possibility of a continuing online school year, nannies need to highlight their ability to educate as well as care, in order to stand out in a sea of applicants. ”

To bolster your nanny resume to highlight your educator skills, it would also behoove you to mention your own academic experience. Were you part of a peer mentoring group in high school? Did you graduate Cum Laude? Have you taught a sport or art class? Get creative! Think back on your past experiences to what parents would most like to know about how your educational experience can assist in their child’s development. If you feel like you may be lacking in this area, or you simply want to give your resume the extra push forward, sign up for an online educator class, and add it to your resume.

In Conclusion

The new nanny job market is going to be a learning curve for many nannies to navigate. Highlighting unique educational experience will be what helps many nannies stay on top of the applicant pool, and make sure that they are the first to be hired. If you are a nanny struggling with their resume, reach out to us!

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