Categories
For Nannies For Parents

Happy Pride Month

 

“Happy Pride” from the The Nanny Solution team! It’s Pride month and we want to celebrate all of our wonderful LGBTQ families, nannies, and staff. We are in awe of all that you have stood up for and achieved over the years, and we are here to offer our support as the fight for equality continues. Every day, you remind us that love and acceptance is what truly makes a family! 

This week, we’ve put together a list of children’s books for parents and nannies to share with little ones to help teach them about the history of Pride and to celebrate all genders and sexual orientations.

Books about Pride (Click on the image for more details)

 

“Stonewall: A Building, an Uprising, a Revolution” by Rob Sanders

“Rainbow: A First Book of Pride” by Michael Genhart

“This Day in June” by Gayle E. Pitman”

“Love is Love” by by Michael Genhart

Books about same-sex parents / families

 

“And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell

“Mommy, Mama, and Me” & “Daddy, Papa, and Me” by Leslea Newman

“Love Makes a Family” by Sophie Beer

“Stella Brings the Family” by Miriam B. Schiffer

“A Family is a Family is a Family” by Sara O’Leary

Books about LGBTQ children

 

“Phoenix Goes to School” by Michelle & Phoenix Finch

“Sparkle Boy” by Leslea Newman

“Jack (Not Jackie)” by Erica Silverman

“Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress” by Christine Baldacchino

Books about LGBTQ characters

 

“Red: A Crayon’s Story” by Michael Hall

“King & King” by Linda de Haan

“Princess Princess Ever After” by Katie O’Neill

“Jerome By Heart” by Thomas Scotto

If you have any other LGBTQ children’s book recommendations, we’d love to add them to our own lists. Feel free to email us at info@thenannysolution.ca Happy Pride!

Categories
For Nannies Newborn Care Specialist

How becoming a Newborn Care Specialist Can Help Your Career

 

The Nanny Solution is delighted to announce that we are now adding newborn care to the professional childcare services we offer! If you’re not already a trained and certified Newborn Care Specialist, but you love working with newborns and want to help support new parents, you can complete your training online through the Newborn Care Solutions Institute.

Why should I become a certified Newborn Care Specialist?

Newborn Care Specialists support parents by assisting with sleep, feeding schedules, and infant development during the first weeks of their newborn’s life. NCS have a lot of autonomy in their role, and often work independently with minimal guidance from the parents. They are hired as baby whisperers and parent lifesavers — and they are in high demand! If you already have a passion for working with newborns and infants, getting trained and certified as a Newborn Care Specialist can help you turn that passion into a professional career.

How will this help my professional childcare career?

As Newborn Care Specialists are hired to support families during the first 3 to 6 months of their newborn’s life, they are hired on short-term contracts and able to work up to 4 or 5 placements in a single year. The more placements you are hired for, the higher your earning potential. In addition, just like in any other field, completing more training and gaining experience puts you in a position to earn a higher rate of pay. As such, NCS typically earn a higher salary than a traditional Nanny — sometimes $3-$8 more per hour than the average Nanny rate.

How do I become a Newborn Care Specialist?

There are many several different training and certification programs available, some of which are online/virtual and some that are in-person. When you’re looking for a program to enrol in, look out for ones that 1) will specifically prepare you for NCS certification, 2) are accredited by an independent organization, 3) are taught by an instructor teaching evidence-based practices, 4) have positive reviews from past participants, and 5) provide you with the option of becoming a certified NCS, rather than simply offering a certification of participation. You may also want to consider getting additional specific childcare training in areas such as sleep conditioning, breastfeeding/chestfeeding, lactation training, and/or Postpartum Doula training, as this training will make you an even more qualified and desirable NCS candidate.

For more information about the newborn care services we will be offering or how to become a Newborn Care Specialist, feel free to email us at info@thenannysolution.ca or Contact Us for more details.

Categories
For Parents

Hiring for the Long-Haul

 

We often hear from parents that they want a Nanny who will stay with the family for several years, someone who will become a part of their family and care for the children through all their ages and stages. What many parents don’t realize is that it’s not only who they hire, but also how they communicate, compromise, and work together with the Nanny that determines their longevity.

So, what can parents do to make the Nanny want to stay with their family for years to come? We’ve gathered information from Nannies across the country, and put together a list of their suggestions below.

Respect
In any workplace, employees are more likely to report higher job satisfaction and want to stay in their position if they feel that they are respected and given recognition for their work. Being a Nanny is no different — Nannies want to be treated as valued and respected employees.

You can convey your respect for the Nanny by being mindful of their time, upholding their boundaries, speaking to them in a kind and respectful manner, and avoiding taking them for granted. If Nannies don’t feel like they’re getting the respect and recognition they deserve, they may look for work elsewhere!

Communication
Open, honest communication is essential to any relationship, and your relationship with the Nanny is no exception. Keep the lines of communication open with face-to-face conversations, texts, emails, and written notes.

We recommend keeping a communication book in the home for both the parents and the Nanny to write in. We also suggest having regular scheduled check-ins with the Nanny, so you can give and receive constructive feedback, talk about any changes or decisions that need to be made, and gain a better sense of how both parties are doing. In addition, if any issues arise, it is always best to address them in a timely manner, so you can work to resolve them together, rather than having frustration or resentment build over time.

Expectations
Be realistic in your expectations of your Nanny. Remember that there are only so many hours in the day and, aside from naps and school or scheduled activities, they are spending the majority of those hours looking after your children. Nannies are responsible for caring for the children’s basic needs, as well as keeping them entertained and engaged.

When you’re making a list of duties and responsibilities for your Nanny, ask yourself what’s more important: coming home to happy children who are well-cared for, or coming home to a spotless home and a clean pile of laundry? Nannies may be expert multi-taskers, but they’re also human. There are going to be days when they simply can’t do it all.

Flexibility
One of the complaints we hear most frequently from Nannies is that they don’t like to feel like they’re being micromanaged. Nannies are professional childcare providers — you’ve hired the Nanny to care for your children, so you need to trust that they know how to do so. This means letting go of some control and giving the Nanny the space and flexibility to do their job. As long as they have an understanding of your parenting philosophy, and your approach to things such as discipline and rewards, you have to have confidence that they will do what’s in your children’s best interests.

Boundaries
Having personal boundaries is an essential part of any working relationship. It is equally important to establish boundaries with the Nanny and to respect the Nanny’s own personal boundaries. Those boundaries are in place in order to ensure that the Nanny is able to maintain a work/life balance, and to avoid being in a position where they are being taken advantage of, or not having their time or privacy respected.

Upholding boundaries involves ongoing communication and clarification from both parties. It can be challenging to set and maintain boundaries at times, but as long as it is done in a respectful and gracious manner, boundaries can actually help to strengthen the relationship between the Nanny and your family.

Appreciation
A Nanny who feels valued and appreciated is more likely to stay with a family than one who does not. It is important to find ways to show your appreciation and express your gratitude for all the Nanny does for your family. This can be as simple as saying “thank you” to the Nanny, writing them a card, or giving them a bonus on their paycheque. For more ideas on how to show the Nanny your appreciation, see our previous blog post. A little recognition goes a long way!

The work environment
It seems like it should go without saying, but it’s worth mentioning anyway — respect your Nanny’s work environment. Yes, we are referring to your home. We understand that parents are busy, and there will be times when it’s impossible to stay on top of housekeeping, but would you like to consistently come into a cluttered office with dishes piled up in the sink and no clear surfaces? Probably not.

Even if light housekeeping is on the Nanny’s list of duties, it is important to be mindful that this is their work environment too. If you want the Nanny to stay with your family long-term, it helps to make it a comfortable and desirable place for them to work.

Categories
For Nannies

The one thing that makes all the difference in an interview

 

Over the past 20+ years, our agency has noticed that there are some Nannies who get every single job they interview for. Are they the most qualified? Do they have the most experience? Is their resume overly impressive? Not always. So, what is it that sets these Nannies apart? Why do they always seem to get hired over the other qualified applicants? It comes down to one thing — emotional intelligence.

Okay, but what is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (EQ) refers to one’s ability to perceive, evaluate, and control emotions both in themselves and in others. EQ is often thought of in contrast with cognitive intelligence (IQ), and some experts even believe that it is more important than IQ in determining your overall success in life. 

It is thought that there are 5 key elements that make up emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social skills

How can these 5 elements help in a job interview? 

Self-awareness
Self-awareness refers to your ability to recognize and understand your own emotions, and the effect that they have on others. This is a useful skill to have in a job interview, as it helps to know how you’re presenting yourself, and how you’re being perceived by those interviewing you. A Nanny who is self-aware, and knows how to control their emotions and respond appropriately, is going to make a better impression than one who doesn’t recognize their own emotions and how others are reacting to them.

Self-regulation
Self-regulation involves managing your emotions and knowing how to express them appropriately. Those who have strong self-regulation skills are able to be flexible and adaptable to change, remain calm in stressful situations, and express their emotions in a healthy manner when/where it is appropriate to do so. In a job interview, which may be considered a “high stress” situation, the ability to self-regulate and remain calm is essential for making a good first impression.

Motivation
Your motivations are what causes you to act. Extrinsic motivation is when we perform a behaviour or engage in something because we want to earn some sort of reward (e.g., praise, recognition, payment, etc.) or avoid negative consequences (e.g., disappointing others, losing our job, not being able to pay bills, etc.). Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is when you engage in a behaviour because you find it rewarding. In this way, the behaviour itself is the reward. Intrinsic motivation is another emotional intelligence skill. Those with high intrinsic motivation take initiative, are goal-oriented, and are always looking for ways to improve — qualities that every employer values!

Empathy
Empathy (not to be confused with sympathy) refers to your ability to put yourself in others’ shoes and understand how they’re feeling. It involves active listening, considering things from the other person’s perspective, and responding appropriately. Empathy is essential in all social relationships, and if you’re able to convey it during your job interview, your potential employers are going to notice! 

Social skills
Social skills refer to your ability to interact and communicate with others in an effective way. These skills include active listening, verbal and nonverbal communication, appropriate body language and eye contact, and showing an interest in others. It may seem like the most obvious element of EQ, but it is often the one that is lacking during a job interview. If you know that social skills are something that you sometimes have difficulty with, we recommend practicing for your interview by getting a friend or partner to run through questions and give you constructive feedback before the actual interview. 

You may have the most impressive resume in the pile and years of experience under your belt, but without emotional intelligence, that is only going to get you so far in an interview. So, before your next interview, check in with yourself and evaluate where you’re at with the 5 key elements, and how you could improve in those areas. Demonstrating your EQ is always an asset in interviews!

Categories
For Parents Newborn Care Specialist

Establishing healthy sleep habits in newborns

 

Many new parents don’t realize that you can start implementing strategies that will help their newborn establish healthy sleep habits right from day one. We can’t guarantee they will get your little one sleeping through the night on day one (how incredible would that be?), but they will help them establish a routine and form better sleep habits in the future.

Lori Wade from Newborn Care Solutions has shared her 5 tips for helping your newborn establish healthy sleep habits with us.

Black-out curtains
Black-out curtains, not room-darkening curtains, ensure that there is no natural light entering the room while the baby is sleeping, allowing your baby to sleep for longer periods of time.

Red lights
Using red light bulbs in your baby’s room can be beneficial, as do not act as a stimulant the same way blue, white, or other light hues do. Red light also does not block melatonin production, so it can help your newborn transition into a more restful sleep. It is also recommended to turn off all electronics (phones, tablets, computers, televisions, etc.) before bed, as these devices delay the body’s circadian rhythm (internal clock), suppress the release of melatonin, and make it more difficult to fall asleep.

Sound machines
It is important to avoid overstimulation, especially at bedtime, and using a sound machine that emits white noise can be very helpful. White noise contains different frequencies that mask or block out other sounds. Unlike other “soothing sounds”, white noise frequencies are equal in intensity and provide an even sound that does not disrupt sleep. You can turn on the white noise machine 15-20 minutes before starting the bedtime or nap routine and leave it on, or you can leave it on continuously throughout the day and night. This way, every time you go into the baby’s room, they will already be conditioned to start the wind down process.

Swaddling
Swaddled babies tend to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer than unswaddled babies. This is because swaddling mimics the environment that babies were used to in the womb, and it keeps the Moro (startling) reflex from waking or startling a sleeping baby. It is also recommended as a safe sleep practice that may reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

Laying them down early
It is recommended to lay your baby down when they are drowsy, but not fully asleep. Once they have been fed, burped, changed into a clean diaper, and showing signs of sleepiness, it is a good time to put them down in their crib or bassinet. That way, your baby will start to know what to do, and by around 12-16 weeks of age, many babies can easily fall asleep on their own, as well as fall back to sleep when they wake up.

We hope that you find these 5 tips helpful for establishing healthy sleep habits in your little one. Having a baby that sleeps through the night benefits not only the infant, but the whole family!

Categories
For Parents

Why a Teacher Can Make a Great Nanny Too

 

We often hear from parents they’re not sure about whether to consider an educator for a Nanny position or not. Many are concerned that a Teacher may not want to stay with a family long-term, or that they haven’t had enough experience dealing with the day-to-day routine of working in a close-knit home environment. The Nanny Solution advises families not to discount Teachers from their list of candidates. We believe that many Teachers would make exceptional Nannies, if provided with the opportunity. Here’s why…

Education matters
Since March 2020, parents have had to make countless difficult decisions regarding their children’s education. Some parents have decided to home-school their children, others have hired in-home educators, some have reluctantly sent their children back to school either full- or part-time, and more children than ever are having to attend school virtually. Having a Teacher as a Nanny is one way to ensure that your children are still getting the educational support and guidance they need, no matter where their schooling is taking place. Having a Nanny that can help with homework and tutoring takes some of that pressure off of the parents!

Large classroom vs. Family unit
The fact that many Teachers decide to continue working with children and commit to one individual family, rather than changing career fields altogether, is telling in itself. In some cases, Teachers wish to leave the large classroom environment and enter into an arrangement with one family, so they can work consistently with the same children as they grow and develop. While many teachers enjoy the classroom setting and working with larger groups of children, others would like to be part of a smaller, family-like environment, as they appreciate the bonding opportunities that being a Nanny can offer.

Structure
If you’re a parent looking for someone to bring more structure into your home, a Teacher could be a terrific addition to your family! They’ve already worked with multiple children in an environment where they were the only adult keeping everything under control, so creating a daily and weekly schedule for your kids should be no problem. Elementary-level Teachers most likely know plenty of arts and crafts, games, and physical activities to keep the children busy. Homework help shouldn’t be an issue either, when you have a Teacher as your Nanny.

One-on-one time
The home situation allows for more one-on-one time for the Teacher to help your children learn, as they will be caring for them on a daily basis, as opposed to helping multiple children in a busy classroom setting. They can spend more time helping kids learn how to tie their shoes, recite the alphabet, or solve math problems. They’re also able to give the children more one-on-one attention during outdoor playtime than they would be able to at a school.

Finally, The Nanny Solution believes that Teachers make great Nannies, and many Nannies would make great Teachers, because it really comes down to one thing: they have a passion for working with children! Contact us if you would like more information about hiring a Teacher. 

Categories
For Parents

What is a Night Nanny? And why do you need one?

 

Caring for a newborn, establishing sleep schedules, and navigating the many challenges of being a new parent is no easy task, especially when you’re sleep-deprived! It’s no secret that having a newborn interferes with the number of hours of sleep you get each night and the quality of that sleep. In fact, if you ask a new parent how they’re feeling, 9 times out of 10, their answer will be “tired”. Fortunately, there’s a solution for that — hire a Night Nanny!

So, what is a Night Nanny?

You are likely familiar with a traditional Nanny, someone who is hired to care for children throughout the day while the parents are at work or otherwise occupied. A Night Nanny, on the other hand, is hired to care for newborns and infants throughout the night, allowing new parents to get some much needed rest, so that they are better able to function and care for their little one throughout the day.

Night Nannies typically work with a family starting from the day their newborn arrives and/or is brought home from the hospital, and stays for the first 8 to 12 weeks. They often arrive at the family’s home in the evening, provide child care throughout the night, and then leave the following morning. Night Nannies provide all aspects of infant care during the night, including bottle-feeding and nursing help, burping, changing diapers and bathing, and any other infant care-related duties, as needed. They also help to establish good feeding and sleeping habits in infants, and can help implement a regular sleep schedule.

Why do I need one?

Many new parents report not being able to sleep through the night, not just because their infant isn’t sleeping soundly, but also because they are concerned about their infant stopping breathing in the middle of the night or suffering from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). With a Night Nanny, you have the peace of mind of knowing that your little one is safe and being cared for by someone who is trustworthy and qualified, allowing you to get a few hours of restful sleep. In addition, Night Nannies have a wealth of knowledge and experience, and can help support and educate new parents as they navigate the challenges of parenthood. Finally, they can help infants establish habits that will help make the parents’ lives easier in the long term.

What’s the difference between a Night Nanny and a Newborn Care Specialist?

Newborn Care Specialists are highly specialized and trained child care professionals who focus on the care and well being of newborn infants. They are trained and certified to care for newborns, and often work independently with minimal guidance from parents, either during overnight shifts or around the clock care (usually a 20-hour shift). They may also have experience working with preemies and multiples, which many Night Nannies do not. In addition to the child care services that a Night Nanny provides, Newborn Care Specialists are familiar with behaviours, appearance, and general care of newborns, and are able to understand and recognize signs of possible food allergies, intolerances, and reflux in newborns, and know ways to help. They also have an understanding of Postpartum Mood Disorders, can recognize them, and confidently address them as they arise.

A Newborn Care Specialist can help new parents by providing support with sleeping, feeding, and infant development during the first few months. They can also set up and execute a successful plan for getting your newborn to sleep through the night and nap well. Newborn Care Specialists also understand the value of, and can support, a breastfeeding or chestfeeding parent. Most importantly, Newborn Care Specialists can help educate and build up parents’ confidence in carrying out their newborn, while also supporting their values.

If you’re interested in hiring a Night Nanny or Newborn Care Specialist to help care for your little one, Click here.

Categories
Job Opportunities

Administrative Assistant Needed

 

Nannies on Call/The Nanny Solution has an opening for a friendly administrative assistant with strong organisational skills and attention to detail. This is an entry-level, remote work, administrative position with opportunity for both mentorship and growth.

Who We Are:

We are Nannies on Call/The Nanny Solution, a Canadian nanny agency with over 20 years in the industry. We cater to busy families who require professional, child-loving, education-driven, and reliable nannies.⁠

We help place extraordinary nannies in temporary and permanent, live-out childcare positions with wonderful families in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa. We exceed families’ expectations while helping nannies find the perfect family to work with.⁠

Who You Are:

  • You have at least 1 year of prior professional experience doing administrative work and are naturally comfortable with organization, multi-tasking, and solving problems calmly and creatively. Your friends and family describe you as Type A.
  • You are tech savvy and able to keep up with the latest softwares and schedulers that help make our lives easier.
  • You have a way with the written word and have excellent copywriting skills.
  • You have an impeccable phone manner, naturally at ease speaking on the phone and able to connect with clients.
  • You have a creative, outgoing, positive, “can do” nature (we are a casual office with a professional image)
  • You have a concierge type attitude towards service (client & detailed oriented).
  • You have a quiet, dedicated work space that looks professional.
  • You have a home office with lightning fast internet speed.
  • You are not looking for a rigid 9-5 schedule. This is a Monday-Sunday kind of industry, so we’re looking for someone who is flexible and who doesn’t mind sending an occasional email and monitoring their inbox over the weekend.

Your job duties will include:

  • Assistance with creating job descriptions and job qualifications.
  • Assistance with screening nanny candidates’ resumes and job applications.
  • Attend virtual meetings
  • Reference verification
  • Setting up interviews
  • Respond to client and nanny requests by phone and email, providing relatable, efficient service
  • Resolve problems at first point of contact, able to diffuse minor conflicts without escalating to management
  • Uploading documents
  • Supporting all departments in a variety of roles


Job Details:
This is a full time position, Monday to Friday, 8am-4pm PST and the salary is negotiable based on experience. This is a virtual position and you can live anywhere in Canada.

How to Apply:
In a world where you can send an email in a blink of an eye, we are looking for someone who stands out in the sea of applicants. Show us you care as much as we do.

Please send the following items to Michelle Kelsey, michelle@nanniesoncall.com as part of your application:

  • Cover letter and resume detailing relevant experience
  • A short video, no more than 3 minutes long, to introduce yourself, share why you think you would be a good fit for the position. BONUS: Mention something you learned about us from our websites.

Thank you to all who apply, however only successful applicants will be contacted for an interview.

Categories
For Nannies

Sick and Tired of the Monday Morning Mess? Nanny Tips

You leave work on Friday with the house clean. You have cleaned up the dishes from the kids lunches, tidied up the playroom and put away the crafts. Monday morning rolls around and you come into a house that looks like a bomb went off. How do you deal with it? Silent resentment? Complain to the parents again? Let’s go over some tips to help you keep your sanity.

Categories
For Nannies For Parents

What’s wrong with “manny”?

Gender InGen

You may have heard the term “manny” used to refer to a male nanny. Sure, it’s kind of cute, it’s kind of clever, but it’s also being used to gender a role/title that really doesn’t need to be gendered. The term “manny” is the masculinized version of “nanny”, which implies that “nanny” is inherently feminine. Nanny, however, is actually a gender-neutral term.

People of ALL genders can be nannies — after all, gender doesn’t determine whether or not someone has what it takes to be a professional caregiver. Using “manny” to refer to male nannies and “nanny” to refer to female nannies creates an unnecessary binary that excludes caregivers who are non-binary, transgender, intersex, or any other marginalized gender.

If this is all sounding a bit too Gender Studies 101, think of it this way… Nurse is not a gendered title. People of all genders are referred to as nurses, provided they have the training and qualifications. The same goes for teachers, chefs, pilots, and so on.

So the next time you go to use the term “manny”, consider using language that is inclusive of all genders by simply referring to them as a “nanny”. It’s really that simple!

To read more about using gender-neutral terminology, take a look at the links below:
Gender-Neutral Pronouns 101
30 Everyday Gender-Neutral Terms to Use
Guidelines for gender-inclusive language in English
An Employer’s Guide to Using Gender-Inclusive Language in the Workplace