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Nanny Burnout

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

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

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

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

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

What can I do?

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

Engage in Self Care

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

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Practice Mindfulness

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

Draw Clear Boundaries

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

Reach Out

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

Accept Your Situation

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

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Why You Need to Stop Nanny Pay Under the Table Today

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

Your Nanny Gets Hurt on the Job

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

Your Nanny Files For Unemployment

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

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

Your Nanny Sues For Not Withholding Taxes

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

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 You've Hired A "Less Than Ideal Nanny"

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

 

You Incur Fines and Penalties For Not Following the Law

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

 You Get Audited By The IRS

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

 

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

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Nanny Red Flags to Look out for

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

 

The nanny blanks on activities

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

The nanny avoids questions about past employers

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

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

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

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

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They give conflicting information

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

You do not connect with their personality

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

Their childcare philosophy does not align with yours.

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

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

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Childcare Philosophies

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When looking for a nanny for your child you may find yourself more concerned with scheduling and transportation than with child rearing philosophies. However, understanding the philosophy that would best work for your family can greatly assist in finding the right nanny, and for ensuring that your child has consistent care. Once you understand which philosophy works best for your family, you can skew your nanny search based on this philosophy, creating consistent and optimized care for your child. Below are the top early developmental child care philosophies.

Montessori

Montessori is one of the most popular childcare systems. Founded in 1907 by Maria Montessori, the idea is that children are in control of their own education, with teachers acting as aids or guides. On a daily basis, children participate in hands-on activities in which toys are tools designed for specific purposes to guide their learning about a specific subject. Montessori also encourages children to take personal responsibility for their wellbeing, fostering independence by making their own snacks, taking care of their own belongings and cleaning up after themselves. Children learn at their own pace, focusing on individual learning and creating a healthy atmosphere.

RIE

Resources for Infant Educarers or RIE is the philosophy that the most important education in a child’s early life is the care and connection that they feel with their caregivers. The idea is that the foundation of a child’s learning is based off of how safe and respected they feel. Educating a child through caring allows them to learn about themselves, to feel seen and understood, and feel like they matter in the world. RIE is not only designed to educate children but parents and caregivers as well. Through caring for the child, parents learn to trust themselves and their child, creating a strong bond between the two.

“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!”

Waldorf

The Waldorf method focuses on dependable routine. Teachers are often with the same group of children for up to eight years, creating and nurturing trusting and secure relationships. Through comfortable furnishings and play areas, the Waldorf atmosphere is intended to feel like home. There is also a heavy emphasis on creative learning, such as arts, crafts, music, theater and cooking. The idea is that children thrive in comfort, and the Waldorf method uses the home-like atmosphere and dependable routine to allow children to thrive.

Reggio Emilia

Similar to Montessori, children are their own agents in learning with Reggio Emilia. Children are encouraged to explore their interests while teachers guide them to create projects based on their enthusiasms. The focus is also on creativity and the arts, with projects and daily play documented so that parents and caregivers can remain on the same page and monitor their child’s development.

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High/Scope

High/Scope is the inverse of Waldorf where the emphasis is placed not on social or emotional development but academic success. Instead of creative pursuits, children are directed more towards mathematics and linguistics. Children learn collaboratively with teachers and it is an excellent route for children who work best one on one and for children with special needs.

Bank Street

Bank Street was founded in 1916 based off of the philosophies of Lucy Sprague Mitchell and is great for children who learn best in an environment lacking structure. In Bank Street teaching, the classroom is the world around us and is considered to be the biggest tool in a child’s learning. Children are regarded as active learners as lessons are focused on the social sciences; history, geography and anthropology. Artistic and scientific lessons are taught within the context of cultural applications, creating an integrated curriculum. Children are encouraged to exercise their imaginations, and have the opportunity to choose to work alone or in groups, with teachers acting as guides rather than leaders. 

Religious

If faith-based learning is right for your family, many churches and religious schools offer preschool programs. The philosophy followed in any given religious school may differ, and the religious content taught may vary. Be sure to speak to the school about the program offered, as well as details on their curriculum and philosophy.

At Los Angeles Nannies we source and vet a wide range of nannies with differing backgrounds who have extensive experience in early childhood education. Let us know which childcare philosophy works best for you and we can find a nanny who is an expert and a perfect match for your family.

 

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How To Write a Nanny Cover Letter

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. 

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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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How to become a private homeschool teacher

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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.
 
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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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Employment Rights All Nannies Need to Know

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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.

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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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Homeschooling / How to Homeschool Nanny Kids

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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.
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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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UPDATE YOUR EDUCATOR NANNY RESUME TO INCLUDE YOUR TEACHING SKILLS

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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
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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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Creating a Return to Work Plan for Your Nanny

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As zoom classes come to an end and the open abyss of a summer vacation with an empty calendar looms on the horizon, parents who are still working from home are beginning to wonder how they are going to manage it all. Shelter in place orders are being lifted, many businesses are beginning to plan to return to work, and many families are getting ready to bring their furloughed nannies back into their homes. How does a family bring a nanny back while the pandemic is still reeling? Here are some tips on how to prepare a return to work plan for your nanny:

Know the Risks

While parents may be at their wits end trying to be an entertainer, educator, parent, and work their own full time job while also managing the psychological tole of living through a pandemic, the decision to bring a nanny back must be an educated one. Now that we are a few months in, we know a little more about COVID-19 than we did originally. We know the virus is spread by close contact, specifically through the respiratory route like any other cold or flu, the main reason why we have all been social distancing for the past two months. An infected person can carry the virus for up to 14 days before they even begin to show symptoms, and can be picked up through shared air vents, contact on the street, or on high traffic surfaces. If you are a parent reading this, you may be reaching for that “How To Do it All” self help book, but if you remain vigilant, and take strong, proactive actions, you can absolutely make your nanny’s return to work safe and beneficial for all parties.

Be Honest

The first step towards a safe, healthy and happy new work agreement is honesty. It is imperative that you and your nanny are both are honest about your social activities within the last 14 days of coming back to work. If you are explicit about who you have been seeing and where you have been going, it will inspire your nanny to do the same. It is important that you both understand the risks going in and can be prepared. Set a date to work together again, and encourage that both your family and the nanny stay as quarantined as possible to reduce risk of spreading the infection. Make sure you continue to social distance even after your nanny has returned, just because you regain some sense of normalcy after a few weeks of working together does not mean you should relax in your protocol.

“A nanny’s eligibility for benefits depends greatly on the reason for unemployment, and the state will be taking a careful look at the details. You can expect to be contacted by an Unemployment Officer to tell your side of the story, as will your former employer.”

Consider Live-In

If you have a guest house or guest room, it is a great idea to extend the invitation for your nanny to live-in temporarily. This way you will both have a better understanding of where each has been and the risk of transmission will be far less. Living-in is a great way to promote bonding with your nanny and strengthen the relationship they have with your children. They can work longer hours with less of a commute and become more of an integrated role to help you and your family. It’s also a great opportunity for your children to have some much needed extra social interaction.
 

Be Realistic

Just because you and your nanny have decided to work together again does not mean that all has gone back to normal. Make sure that you are still using strict precautions, especially if the nanny is not living with you. Your family and your nanny should still be washing their hands for at least 30 seconds, avoiding sharing food and drinks, continuing to practice social distancing outside of your household, refraining from touching eyes, nose and face, and regularly cleaning and disinfecting high touch areas. As long as your family and your nanny are taking proactive actions against the spread of the virus, there should be no reason that your nanny can’t come back to work safely.
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For the Future

 The CDC has recommended social distancing for a reason, but nannies are essential workers and there are ways in which your nanny can come to work safely. Continue to practice social distancing and wear your mask when you leave the house, wash hands regularly and disinfect high traffic areas. Remember to treat your nanny with respect, as they are human beings who both want to work, and want to be safe. Looking to hire a nanny?  Reach out to us  to get your search started!

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