nanny blog

Being Paid “On the Books” Pays off- Part 2

As we discussed in Part 1 of this series, being paid legally and knowing the basics of the tax law, are an important part of being treated as a professional. In this section we are going to show you some real world examples of why being paid professionally pays off! Read more »

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Nannies, Families and Lice!

Lice have been plaguing human kind since the dawn of civilization.  This unfortunate fact still exists today and can affect any family, any time. We recently heard from a nanny that was drawn into the battle on behalf of her family. She turned to us for some advice, and we decided to put a bunch of resources together in one place!

For a funny movie view, check out Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Kate in the movie I Don’t Know How She Does It:

Read more »

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Thoughtful Answers from Nannies

As part of the process to be represented by Annie’s Nannies, we ask that all of our Nanny candidates answer twenty essay questions. The questions are designed to gain a deeper sense of a candidate’s childcare philosophy and personal experience working with children and supporting families. It’s an opportunity for the candidate to speak in her own voice and the answers often become a dynamic narrative that augment the linear format of a typical resume.

We look for heartfelt and thoughtful answers that convey wisdom and a genuine love of children.

We’d like to share answers we think particularly exemplify this!

Nanny Andrea H. answered the following two questions:

Describe a specific time when you positively affected the life of a child.

Kindergarten Obst“At the time, I was the part time nanny to a little boy who had just started Kindergarten. He was struggling greatly with the first homework assignment which was to memorize and be able to write his first and last name, home phone number, and address. He had struggled with ADHD, and the parents and I were trying alternatives to medication because he was so young. Sitting down and writing/studying after school was difficult for him, so I devised an alternative plan. I made an obstacle course around the living room and family room with physical movements (running, jumping, somersaults, etc) mixed with stations where he said his phone number, wrote his address on a chalkboard, and spelled his name. We spent the afternoon going around and around the course with me as his coach reminding him of the next step and cheering him on.

When we finished we were jumping up and down and cheering together, and he gave me a double high five and a hug. He told me I was even cooler than his teacher. After a couple days using our new study-course, he was able to say and write his information on his own at school, and was so proud of his achievement!”

Describe a specific difficult situation that you have had with a child and how you handled it.

“The most difficult situation I have had with a child occurred at the park with the 3 year old boy I cared for at the time. He was shy with other children, and usually needed encouragement to play, but that day a little girl really wanted his attention. He was making faces at her and saying “go away.” When the little girl was far enough away I asked him why he didn’t want to play, and emphasized speaking to others with kindness. He told me he didn’t want to play with her because of the color of her skin. Having never heard this kind of talk from him or other children before, I immediately removed both of us from the situation so that the girl and her mother wouldn’t hear or be hurt by what he may say. 

kids playingWhen we got home, we talked about how people’s color of skin, hair, and other physical traits do not determine the kind of a person they are, and that our differences are what make the world interesting and beautiful. I provided some examples and talked about how the sun changes his skin in the summer time. When his mother got home at the end of the day, we had him play while we discussed the day. I let her know gently what had happened, and that I knew his words were not a reflection of anything that they had taught him. It was an emotional and difficult conversation, but a very important one. We then discussed how to move forward together to teach tolerance and appreciation for everyone. 

I planned the rest of the week with a multi-cultural theme, and went to the library to find books for children about acceptance of others, as well as books for me about teaching tolerance to pre-school aged children. We were consistent in talking more about the subject as the months went on, and I am happy to say this was never a problem again.”

Thank you for sharing these with us Andrea. Well done!

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Nannies, Take Good Care!

We know that our Nannies often put the needs of others before their own needs. After all, a Nanny’s profession is centered around the care of others, the children they love, and the family they support. This is good and meaningful work! It is often loads of fun but it can also wear you out! In order to stay strong and happy (and engaged in your job), it’s important to also take the same care for yourself.

The following “55 Gentle Ways To Take Care of Yourself When You’re BUSY BUSY BUSY” is a nice list of practices. My favorites include anything to do with getting enough sleep or rest, exercise and eating well, pursuing creative endeavors, meditating, and being goofy!

This article differentiates between Self-Care, Self-Pampering (Ok!) and Self-Indulgence. Something to think about!

Take what you like and discard won’t doesn’t work for you. Make your own self-care list, do what you can, and don’t beat yourself up for not doing everything on your list.  Lastly, talk to yourself with kindness and care for your own needs the way you would the children you care for!

self-care

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Natural Disaster Preparedness

Hurricane Sandy got us to thinking, are our Nannies prepared for a natural disaster in Seattle? We all know that just a few inches of snow can be considered a “disaster” over here, but it’s always good to have a plan of action.

 Regarding Nannies has an excellent post about Nannies, Working and Inclement Weather which has information about Nannys traveling to work in intense weather conditions.

 Best Nanny Newsletter posted about Hurricane Sandy a couple days ago and has some great information on how to prepare for a natural disaster, including must-have emergency supplies from FEMA.

 We are hoping that those on the East Coast are staying safe and hope that all of our friends in Seattle are being thankful for our weather! :)

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50 Fun Fall Activities for Kids!

The leaves are turning red and orange, there is a chilly breeze in the air, and you’re looking for something fun to do with the kiddies!  Creative Play Plus has some great Fall activity ideas for all ages!  

  • Go apple picking at a local orchard.
  • Bake a treat with the apples you just picked from #1: a pie, galette, applesauce, etc .
  • Rake leaves, make a huge pile, and jump right in!
  • Go on a hay ride.
  • Roast marshmallows over a bonfire.
  • Make yummy s’mores with your roasted marshmallows from #5.
  • Play a neighborhood game of touch football.
  • Attend a local football game, whether it’s college, high school, or pee wee.
  • Enjoy a mini tailgating party before the football game from #8.
  • Plant fall flower bulbs that will bloom next spring: tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, etc.
  • Tour a scary haunted house.
  • Visit a pumpkin patch.
  • Carve the biggest pumpkin you bought at the patch from #12.
  • Bake a treat with the smallest pumpkin you bought at the patch from #12: pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, etc.
  • Attend a fall festival.
  • Host a weenie roast over an open fire.
  • Go through a corn maze.
  • Iron colorful leaves between two sheets of waxed paper. Display on fridge.
  • Make a fall wreath.
  • Go raspberry picking.
  • Make a treat with your raspberries from #20: a pie, mousse, jam, etc.
  • Start your holiday shopping.
  • Drink hot apple cider.
  • Do a fall craft.
  • Make leaf rubbings.
  • Take a brisk walk in the woods, fields, or city park.
  • Stuff a scarecrow.
  • Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa.
  • Make homemade marshmallows to top off your hot cocoa from #28.
  • Buy or bake old-fashioned cake doughnuts to enjoy with your hot cocoa from #28.
  • Identify leaves by using a good guidebook.
  • Sew your own Halloween costumes.
  • Visit a local candle shop and buy a fragrant, fall-scented one.
  • Make an acorn necklace.
  • Make a pine cone bird feeder covered with peanut butter and birdseeds.
  • Read a fall-themed book (see suggestions below).
  • Make a hearty soup.
  • Host a clambake.
  • Go bike riding, either around the block or on a bike trail.
  • Watch a fall night sky.
  • Take a walk on a beach (which will probably be empty) and build a sandcastle.
  • Play a game of Frisbee.
  • Make a list together of all the things you’re thankful for.
  • Go on a fall picnic.
  • Buy fall vegetables at a farm stand.
  • Make something delicious with the vegetables you bought from #45, such as a carrot smoothie, squash ravioli, spinach salad, etc.
  • Write a fall-themed poem together.
  • Make a scrapbook about all the fun things you did together over the summer.
  • Skim rocks across a pond or stream. Feed the ducks while you’re at it, too.
  • Participate in a charity walk.

 http://www.creativeplayplus.com/2011/10/03/50-fun-fall-activities-for-kids-or-lots-of-cool-cool-weather-things-to-do/

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Health Insurance for Nannies

We often get questions from families and nannies about making health insurance part of the overall compensation package. Typcially nannies secure an individual health insurance plan and then the family will pay all or a portion of the monthly premium. There are tax incentives for families and nannies. Here is some more information to get you started:

Health Insurance Premiums Are Considered Non-Taxable Compensation

Because health insurance is critically important, the government uses tax incentives to encourage employers to provide coverage for their employees. Therefore, household employers can provide health insurance premiums and have it be considered non-taxable compensation. This means the entire amount of the premium is tax-free to you and also tax-free to your employee – making it a great way to increase the “take-home” pay for an employee without increasing your out-of-pocket costs. Read more »

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Nanny Community

Greetings Nannies!  As we all know, being a nanny can be isolating sometimes.  We encourage you all to make connections with other nanny’s through playgroups, nanny associations, and online nanny communities.  Here are some great links of places you can connect and share! Read more »

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Annie's Nannies, Inc. / 2236 NW 58th St Suite 101 / Seattle, WA 98107 / PHONE: (206) 784 - 8462 / FAX: (206) 789 - 1921