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Keeping the best nanny around

Top Tips to Keep The Perfect Nanny Around

Keeping the best nanny around
There are many routes to go down to find your perfect nanny, and like your nanny is a unique asset to your family that reflects your household’s needs, so too will be the journey to find them. Whether you’re new or a seasoned nanny employer, starting the search for a nanny can seem like a daunting and endless process. Then there’s the matter of keeping your perfect nanny. In a place like LA where nannies often have other priorities over caregiving, and the market is flooded with many other high paying positions constantly becoming available, how can you ensure that the nanny you hire will stay yours? Here are some tips on finding and keeping your perfect nanny:

How to Find Your Nanny

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

1. Referral:

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

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

2. Online Search:

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

3. Agency:

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

Knowing Your Nanny is the Right Fit

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

Keeping your Nanny

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

Craft and sign a work agreement. 

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

Provide benefits. 

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

Pay over time. 

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

Pay your nanny on the books. 

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

Performance reviews. 

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

Acknowledge your nanny.

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

Communicate frequently. 

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

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

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How to become a newborn care specialist.

How to become a Newborn Care Specialist

How to become a newborn care specialist.

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

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

What is an NCS?

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

Schedule

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

How to become an NCS

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

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

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quitting my job

When to Quit Your Job – 12 Signs You Should Resign

quitting my job
Only 54% of Americans are happy in their current position. That means 46% of us are out there, spending 40+ hours a week of our waking lives doing work we don’t want to do. Of course even dream jobs have their ups and downs, and sometimes a dream job on paper turns out to be a nightmare in the home. How can you know whether to stick it out or throw in the towel? Here are 10 signs you need to quit your job.

Your Gut Wants Out

Your body communicates with you through emotions and physical sensations. If you get a knot in your stomach every time you hop in the car to go to work, or you are filled with a sense of doom when you enter the home, it’s time to leave your job. No one should feel daily dread at a position. Same goes for if you’re bored at work. If you find yourself watching the seconds tick by on the clock, scrolling through social media and the kids are driving you crazy, your job is no longer bringing you joy and that means it’s time for a change. Yes, you’re making money and supporting your life financially, but you shouldn’t trade your emotional and physical wellbeing for a job that inherently stresses you out.

If you start experiencing job creep, aren’t being appreciated for your efforts, and are constantly being overlooked or disrespected no matter how hard you work and how much you accomplish, it’s time to leave.

The Family’s Values Don’t Match Your Own

If your morals, ethics or core values are not in alignment with those of the family, it may be time to move on. If you’re working 40+ hours a week, contributing your energy and talents towards something you don’t believe in, that can be detrimental to your mental health. Think about what inspires you, what you want to contribute to the world and start searching for something that you believe in whole heartedly.

The Position Lacks Job Security

At the earliest signs that you may be let go, jump ship and start looking. Some telltale signs of job insecurity are if your hours constantly change, if other employees are being let go or if the family let you leave earlier and ask you to come in later everyday. Usually changes like this mean the family may be gearing up to clean house. It’s imperative that you start looking for new opportunities and keep your options open.

The Culture is Toxic

Toxic workplace environments can be caused by any number of factors; manipulative managers, difficult coworkers, or systemic flaws. Many times a toxic environment can be difficult to explain or even pinpoint the cause as there is usually gaslighting present. Complaints are ignored, voices are suppressed and the family lacks any sense of connection to you. If your work environment makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable for any reason, it’s time to leave. 

There’s No Room to Grow

Besides paying your bills, a huge reason for choosing a specific position is for opportunity for growth both in the job and as an individual. Most people take lower paid positions because they may get something out of it like a skill or experience in certain specific areas that they can take to their next family. Others choose jobs because they offer a clear chance to move up with the family. If you are done learning all you can from a position and there’s no room for promotion, you’re staying stagnant. No one is going to come hand you a raise and promotion from thin air. Add your new skills and experiences to your resume and look for your next family elsewhere.

You’re Being Taken Advantage Of

If you start experiencing job creep, aren’t being appreciated for your efforts, and are constantly being overlooked or disrespected no matter how hard you work and how much you accomplish, it’s time to leave. If your planned reviews keep getting pushed off or you feel like you don’t have a voice, quit sacrificing your integrity for a family that doesn’t care about you and move on to where you are valued and appreciated.

The Cons Outweigh the Pros

If you’re experiencing any of the above but are still thinking “but wait…” practice the oldest trick in the book and make a list of pros and cons. If the cons outweigh the pros, or some of the cons carry more weight than those in the pros list, it’s time to move on. There is no sense in wasting your time, talents and efforts on a negative experience. 

Quitting your job should not be taken likely. However, if you’re reading this, that may be sign enough that it’s time for you to make a change. If you feel comfortable, speak to your employer about the feelings you have regarding your job. Perhaps something can be done to make your position more satisfying. If not, or if your supervisor is one of the toxic ones, it’s time to quit your job. Reach out to us for any transitional assistance you may need. 

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Nanny Burnout

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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.

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

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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.

 You've Hired A "Less Than Ideal Nanny"

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

 

You Incur Fines and Penalties For Not Following the Law

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

 You Get Audited By The IRS

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

 

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

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

Reasons-You're-Not-Getting-Hired-And-What-to-do-About-Los-Angeles-Nannies-Jobs-apply-logo-professional-educated-nanny- you-got-this

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

You're not being proactive.

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

Your lack of passion shows.

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

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

You're not selling yourself.

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

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

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

You conveyed a sense of entitlement at the interview.

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

You’re overqualified, or underqualified!

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

You’re not connected in the industry.

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

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

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

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How to be a live-in-nanny

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

Communication

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

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries!

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

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

Set monthly meetings and check-ins

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

Be mindful of your free time

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

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Nannies, Families, and Love Languages

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

What are the 5 Love Languages?

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

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

How can I apply this to my child?

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

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

Where does my nanny come in?

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

Speaking to your child’s love language

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

How to find out your love language

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

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

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

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Nanny Red Flags to Look out for

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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.

They give conflicting information

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

You do not connect with their personality

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

Their childcare philosophy does not align with yours.

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

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

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Nanny or Babysitter?

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

Schedule

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

Experience

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

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

Education

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

Job Duties

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

Career Goals

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

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

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