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. 

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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

Categories
For Parents

Different Types of Professional Caregivers

There’s more than just one type of Nanny out there! There are a number of different types of professional caregivers, each with their own title and unique set of skills and areas of expertise. When you’re looking to hire a Nanny, it’s important to know the difference between the different types of caregivers, so that you can tell the agency exactly what you’re looking for. Below, we’ve provided a list of some of the different types of professional caregivers, along with a brief description of what each position entails.

Traditional Nanny

  • The main childcare provider in the home.
  • In charge of the children’s overall health and well-being.
  • Responsible for preparing children’s meals, tidying up their bedrooms, etc.
  • Actively engages the children daily in both indoor and outdoor play.
  • May drive children to/from school and activities, as required.

Nanny/House Manager

  • Performs the same duties as a traditional Nanny, plus:
  • Administrative duties, such as paying household bills.
  • Supervising other household staff, if applicable.
  • Running errands.
  • Grocery shopping.
  • Doing laundry.

Education Support Nanny

  • Has a teaching or education background.
  • Performs the same duties as a traditional Nanny, plus:
  • Assists with homework and project completion in physical and/or online form.
  • In charge of managing the technology for children’s online learning (e.g., websites, passwords, schedules, deadlines, etc.), if applicable.
  • Liaises with the children’s teachers regarding homework assignments, projects, tests, etc.

Nanny Educator/Tutor

  • Has specific teaching credentials (B. Ed or M. Ed.) and classroom teaching experience.
  • Hired for the specific purpose of teaching the family’s children in the home.
  • Develops the curriculum and teaching plans for the school year in accordance with local education standards.
  • Purchases all required support materials to support teaching and children’s learning.
  • Responsible for all teaching, evaluating, and progress reporting.
  • Assists with homework and project completion in physical and/or online form.
  • In charge of managing the technology for children’s online learning (e.g., websites, passwords, schedules, deadlines, etc.), if applicable.

Travelling Nanny

  • Hired on a short-term basis, specifically to travel or go on vacation with a family, or
  • Hired as a traditional Nanny for a family who travels regularly.
  • Engages with and cares for the children from morning to evening.
  • Organizes personalized activities for the children, depending on the location and according to the parents’ requirements.
  • Needs to be an experienced traveller, so as to anticipate the children’s needs and plan accordingly in advance.

Newborn Care Specialist

  • Highly specialized and trained to focus on the care and well-being of newborn infants.
  • Generally works independently with minimal guidance from parents.
  • Helps establish good feeding and sleeping habits in newborns.
  • Familiar with behaviours, appearance, and general care of newborns.
  • Understand and recognize signs of possible food allergies, intolerances, and reflux in newborns, and know ways to help.
  • Understand the value of and can support a breastfeeding parent.
  • Have an understanding of Postpartum Mood Disorders, can recognize them, and confidently address them as they arise.

Night Nanny

  • Provides all aspects of infant care during the night.
  • Bottle-feeding and nursing help, as well as burping.
  • Helps with bathing the infant and changing diapers.
  • Helps establish good feeding and sleeping habits in infants.
  • Any other infant care-related duties, as needed.

Labour Doula

  • Has specific training and certification in supporting the parents through the labour and delivery process.
  • Doulas give parents support, but do not provide medical care or deliver the baby.
  • Focus is on the family, not necessarily the newborn.

Postpartum Doula

  • Helps provide support to the family in the first few weeks following the birth.
  • Provides education, baby care, birth parent care, and household assistance.
  • Focus is on supporting the family, not necessarily the newborn.
Categories
For Parents

The Cost of Hiring a Nanny

We have been swamped with families calling to try to figure out their childcare/educational options for the summer. In an effort to help families define exactly what they need we have created a breakdown of the different types of childcare and education along with their costs.

Traditional Nanny – Cost: Depending on the city, between $20-$30hr gross
Best for families with children who are too young for school or need additional care outside of school hours.

  • Main childcare provider in the home
  • In charge of the children’s health and well-being
  • Responsible for preparing children meals, tidying up after the children.
  • Actively engages the children daily in both indoor and outdoor play
  • May occasionally help out with homework
  • May help with additional household duties such as meal preparation, errands or laundry.

Education Minded/High End Nanny – Cost: $25-$35/hr (depending on location)

  • Main childcare provider in the home
  • In charge of the children’s health and well-being
  • Responsible for preparing children meals, tidying up after the children.
  • May have an ECE, Bachelor of Education or Masters of Education
  • Is passionate about education and learning
  • Actively creates a learning environment to positively influence the children’s minds
  • Incorporates learning into the children’s everyday activities.

Education Support Childcare – Costs: $25-35/hr (depending on location)

  • Best for families who are sending their children to school in person or online.
  • In addition to all the other traditional nanny duties:
  • Has an education background (assistant, aid, tutor or practicum experience)
  • Assists with homework and project completion for children in physical and/or online school settings.
  • In charge of managing the technology for the children’s online learning (websites, passwords, schedules, deadlines) if applicable.
  • Liaises with the children’s teachers regarding homework assignments, projects, tests, etc.

Private Educator – Costs: $35hr+ gross

  • Best for families who are choosing to pull their children from the traditional school and homeschool full time.
  • Hired for the specific purpose of teaching the family’s children in the home on a full-time basis:
  • Has specific teaching credentials (ECE, Bachelor of Education or Masters of Education)
  • Develops the grade curriculum and teaching plans for the school year in accordance to provincial education standards
  • Adapts lessons to your child’s needs
  • Responsible for purchasing all required support materials to support teaching and children learning (within a budget set by the family)
  • Responsible for all teaching, evaluating and progress reporting.
Categories
For Nannies

Oversharing at Work

 

When you’re working in a highly personal setting, like someone’s home, it’s easy to forget that you’re still at work and have to maintain a certain level of professionalism. Sometimes, the line between personal and professional is crossed, and you may end up oversharing with the family you work for. In fact, oversharing is one of the most common complaints we hear from families about the nannies they hire. So, what is oversharing and how can we avoid doing it? Read on to learn more about how to avoid the dreaded T.M.I. (too much information).

What is oversharing?

Oversharing is the act of disclosing an inappropriate amount of information about one’s personal life. In the context of the nanny/family relationship, this can show up in a number of ways and at any stage of the hiring and employment process. For example, during a job interview with a family the nanny may say something along the lines of “I’m just nannying until I can open my own daycare” or “I’m only nannying until I can land an acting role”. That’s oversharing and it makes the family (the employers) question your level of commitment to the job. Oversharing can also look like engaging in a friendly conversation with one of the parents, where they’re sharing details of their personal life — their marital issues, workplace drama, gossip about the neighbours, etc. — and the nanny reciprocates by disclosing intimate details about their own life. It’s common to develop a closeness with the family that you work for, but it’s important to remember that, at the end of the day, they are your employers. Would you tell your boss at any other workplace about your dating life, a messy breakup, or that party you went to over the weekend? Probably not.

How to avoid it

The first step to avoiding oversharing with your nanny family is to set boundaries right from the onset of the work relationship, and to maintain those boundaries throughout your employment. These boundaries can centre around what information you choose to share with your employers, which topics are off limits to talk about, whether or not you “friend” or “follow” your employers on social media, personal rules about not having a drink with your employers, and so on. Another way to avoid engaging in oversharing at work is to ask yourself “is this helpful for my employers to know?” and “will this make them question my childcare abilities?”. If the information is not useful or pertinent to your role as a professional childcare provider, it probably doesn’t need to be shared with your employers. If the information could make the employers view you in a negative light and question your abilities, it definitely doesn’t need to be shared with them.

Remember, it’s important to be authentic and give your nanny family the opportunity to bond with and get to know you. By avoiding oversharing, you’re simply ensuring that they get to know the best version of you!

Categories
For Nannies

Wondering what to do with your ECE background? Become a Nanny!

 

An increasing number of Early Childhood Educators are leaving the daycare world and are finding professional jobs working as nannies in private homes. Parents want the best for their children and many families are choosing to hire in-home educators to provide one on one learning throughout the day.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the reasons why ECEs are transitioning from working in a group environment to becoming professional Nannies.

Nannying gives you the opportunity to continue using your education
Do you have a diploma or degree in Early Childhood Education or Child and Youth Care? Being employed as a Nanny is a wonderful way to make use of that education. Nannies are not glorified babysitters; they are caregivers, teachers, and a source of support and guidance for children during their most formative years!

Less children = more time to form quality relationships
When you’re working one on one with a child, rather than with a group of children, you are able to develop a special relationship with them. You will form a close bond that they will likely remember and carry with them for the rest of their lives!

Competitive Wages
Nannies with ECE diplomas and backgrounds in Education are currently being paid $23-30 gross per hour.

Not paid “under the table”
As a Nanny, you are hired as an employee. You will receive a payslip, have taxes deducted from your pay, and receive a T4 at tax time. This also makes you eligible for Employment Insurance and other applicable government financial supports and subsidies.

Not required to do housekeeping
Nannies are not required to do housekeeping. Their primary purpose is to provide care for the child and ensure they are safe. Aside from tidying up after any meals or activities they may do with the children, Nannies do not need to do any cleaning for the family. In fact, many of our clients also hire housekeepers to take care of that.

Paid vacation
That’s right, Nannies get paid vacation, and often receive 2-6 weeks of paid vacation! Do you even need another reason to make the switch?

Health and safety
Working in a private home, as opposed to a daycare centre, means you’re exposed to far less bugs and viruses. You’re able to limit exposure and better protect yourself and any “at risk” people in your life, which is especially important in light of the recent global pandemic.

Appreciative parents
When you work for a family, the parents come to depend on you and regard you as part of the parenting team and family unit! You are invaluable to them and that level of appreciation sure feels nice.

More autonomy and independence
As a Nanny, the parents are your employer. Aside from that, you have autonomy and the ability to work independently without constant supervision. The family trusts that you know what’s best for the children and can make decisions and plan around that.

No workplace politics
When you work in a private home, there’s none of the usual workplace drama. No conflicts with co-workers, unfair power dynamics, lack of cooperation and communication, etc. When you’re just working with the family, the structure is far more simple.

It’s free to register with an agency
Working with an agency comes at absolutely no cost to the Nanny! The families pay the agency a finder’s fee.

Opportunities for fun field trips and activities
Taking the children out for a field trip or even to the park for an afternoon doesn’t require extensive planning, waivers, and coordination when you’re just working with one family. Think of all the fun places you can explore and activities you can do with the children in your city! When the weather is nice, you get to spend the days outside in fresh air.

World-wide travel (if that interests you)
Some families hire Nannies to travel or go on vacation with them as well. They cover the expenses and you have the opportunity to visit new places while also getting paid to do so!

Categories
For Parents

Onboarding a New Nanny

 

Hiring a Nanny and getting them acquainted and comfortable with your family and home no small task! Each family does things a little differently, and no matter how many years of experience the Nanny has, it will take them some time to get familiar with a new family. Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can help make the on-boarding process as easy and effective as possible.

Family Manual
A family manual is a binder or e-document with everything the Nanny needs to know about working with your family. It includes important information such as emergency contacts, medical needs and allergies, dietary information, house rules, the family’s schedule, parenting approaches, and so on. Not only is a family manual helpful when the Nanny is first starting out, it is something they can refer back to at any time.

Written notes and lists
Nannies may choose to carry a notebook around with them to record important information shared with them during their first few shifts. They may also continue to use one to write down to-do lists, grocery lists, and other noteworthy items from the day. We strongly recommend that families do the same.

Schedule
Similarly, it is helpful to have a daily and/or weekly schedule for the Nanny to follow as well. The schedule should outline the Nanny’s tasks and responsibilities, as well as scheduled nap times, activities, appointments, etc.

Shared calendar
Having a shared calendar is also a useful tool, as it allows busy families to keep track of activities and appointments, vacations, and the Nanny’s work schedule. You may choose to have a wall calendar visible somewhere in the house or to share an online calendar, such as Google Calendar or iCalendar.

Communication book
We always recommend that families use a book or diary (one day per page style) to communicate with the Nanny. A communication book is where everyone can record and relay day-to-day information, such as how the child napped, diaper changes, upcoming appointments for the children, parents, and Nanny (e.g., “I have a concert on Wednesday evening, so I must leave no later than 6 PM”, “Spirit Day at school”, “I have an early meeting on Tuesday, so you will have to arrive at 8 AM”).

Shadowing
It can be very useful to have a “shadow day” with a new Nanny, where they spend a day with one of the parents or another caregiver (such as a relief Nanny or a previous Nanny whose contract is ending). This gives the Nanny an opportunity to get acquainted with the home, experience a typical day with the children, and learn about details that may otherwise be overlooked.

Trial shifts
We also highly recommend having the Nanny do a trial shift with your family to ensure that it is a good fit. This is especially important if the initial interview took place virtually and you haven’t had a chance to meet the Nanny in person yet. It’s hard to get a true sense of someone you’ve only ever met through a computer screen. A trial shift gives both your family and the Nanny the opportunity to assess whether the relationship will work or not before making a commitment.

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COVID For Parents

It’s Time to Check In with the Nanny

 

It’s not an easy time to be a Nanny! The ongoing global pandemic is creating unique challenges for professional childcare providers, which is leading to high rates of burnout and mental health struggles among those in the field. Nannies’ roles have changed drastically in order to abide by social distancing measures. They are now expected to be teachers helping children learn in their virtual classrooms; quiet coworkers and behavior management experts for parents who are working from home; and endlessly creative in coming up with new activities and projects to do with children while libraries and playgroups are closed. While they are dealing with the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic themselves, they are also the ones helping children cope with the confusion and feelings of loss associated with the “new normal”. Nannies are doing all of this — and more — without the usual support of their other Nanny friends and, often, without any additional praise or financial compensation from their employers. It’s no wonder they are feeling overwhelmed, under-appreciated, and undervalued! 

Families, it’s time to check in with the Nanny! Make a genuine effort to find out how they’re doing — how they’re really doing. Discuss ways to better support them. Show that you appreciate them, in any way you can. Keep communicating and checking in on a regular basis. Let them know they can be open with you and ask for additional support. They’ve been there for you and your children throughout the pandemic — show them that you’re there for them too. After all, we’re all in this together! 

* Thank you to Nanny Care Hub (Nanny Care Hub website, Facebook) for reminding all of us here at The Nanny Solution and Nannies on Call just how important it is to show the Nannies that we care! You have inspired us to write this post and to check in with the wonderful Nannies in our lives.

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For Nannies For Parents

Introducing The Nanny Solution

 

This month, Nannies on Call is celebrating its 20th birthday. To celebrate, we wanted to share the story of how it all began, and introduce you to our new sister company, The Nanny Solution!
 

Our story:

When working mom-of-two, Michelle Kelsey, started Nannies on Call in 2001, it was out of necessity — she couldn’t find trustworthy, high-end childcare for her daughters and it was impacting her life in a negative way. So, she created what she had longed for — a professional, easy-to-use, reliable Nanny service. Since then, Nannies on Call has pre-screened over 18,000 Nannies and provided 1,552,310 hours of on call childcare to families. Our Placement Team has connected over 26,000 families with exceptional Nannies and placed over 1,800 Nannies.

In 2021, twenty years later, Nannies on Call has had to evolve and adapt to the ever-changing needs of both clients and Nannies. We recognize that there is an increased need for safe, health-conscious, reliable child care. At the same time, parents’ and Nannies’ roles have also changed — they have to be educators, as well as caregivers. While many families are familiar with our on call babysitting services, they may be unaware that we also offer full-time and part-time Nanny placements to fulfill their ongoing child care needs. Our Nannies on Call team assessed the situation and saw an opportunity to provide a solution — The Nanny Solution.

The Nanny Solution is made up of the same knowledgeable, experienced staff and offers the same high-quality Nannies on Call service. We recruit educated, engaging, and experienced Nannies, and offer families personalized childcare solutions to fit their unique lifestyles.
 

About the Nanny Solution:

The Nanny Solution is dedicated to providing families with trustworthy, high-end childcare that is tailored to fit their unique needs and lifestyle.

Nannies who are hired have impressive skill sets, up to date certifications, and varying personalities. All our Nannies are educated, engaging, and adaptable. You tell us your situation, and we find you your personalized Nanny Solution.
 

All our Nannies have:

  • Clear Criminal Record Checks
  • Valid First Aid and CPR certification
  • A minimum of 2 years child care experience
  • Verified references

 

If you’re looking for a personalized childcare solution to fit your lifestyle, book a consultation with one of our Placement Managers to find out if The Nanny Solution has the right fit for your family.

Lisa Bruce – Book a consultation
BC, Alberta and Nationwide Searches
Ext 104
lisa@thenannysolution.ca

Kate McGeachin – Book a consultation
Ontario and Nationwide Searches
Ext 108
kate@thenannysolution.ca

Find us:
The Nanny Solution
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Categories
For Parents

Nanny Search Discrimination

 

In our 20 years of experience as a professional Nanny agency, we have heard clients make every request in the book. For the most part, we try our absolute best to accommodate families’ requests and help them find a Nanny that’s the right fit for their specific needs. On occasion, however, we do encounter clients making discriminatory requests, which we are absolutely not willing to accommodate.

What are discriminatory requests?

  • Requests for Nannies of a certain race or ethnic background (or Nannies who are not of a certain race or ethnic background)
  • Requests related to the Nanny’s gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • Requests for Nannies of a certain age group.
  • Requests related to the Nanny’s size or body type.
  • Requests related to the Nanny’s physical appearance.

What are you actually looking for in a Nanny?

Before specifying that you want “a Filipino Nanny” or that you don’t want “someone under the age of 25”, take a moment to reflect. What specific qualities do you value in a Nanny who is _____? Is the request you’re about to make based on a preconceived idea or stereotype about a specific group or demographic? What is it that you’re actually looking for, and how might you phrase it differently?

Below, we’ve listed some of the qualities that families desire in a Nanny. This language may be helpful for reframing your request, so that we can help you find a Nanny that’s the right fit.

  • Language skills (For example: “We would like a Nanny who is fluent in _____” or “we prefer a Nanny who also speaks _____”.)
  • Energetic
  • Active
  • Experienced
  • Mature
  • Patient
  • Engaging and attentive
  • Caring and nurturing
  • Communicative
  • Fun and enthusiastic
  • Creative
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Reliable
  • Punctual, good time management skills
  • Organized
  • Housekeeping skills
  • Meal preparation and cooking skills
  • Positive discipline skills

 

But, why?

We understand that, as parents, you only want what is best for your child(ren). Most of the time, there are no negative intentions behind the requests that are being made, however, they are often based on a preconceived notion or stereotype the client has in mind. Stereotypes (even seemingly “positive” stereotypes) can be harmful, as they result in people having implicit biases toward a specific group or demographic. These biases may then lead us to deny opportunities to those belonging (or not belonging) to that group. As an agency, we are not willing to deny highly qualified candidates the opportunity to apply for a position simply based on a family’s prejudice.

Although we do, unfortunately, encounter racial biases with some clients, we are not speaking exclusively about race and ethnicity. We also often receive requests based on ageism — for example, clients who don’t want a Nanny under the age of 25, or who don’t want someone over the age of 50. When we inquire as to why they would prefer someone older, more often than not, we learn that their real concern is that the Nanny will not be hardworking or that they will be on their phone all day. Conversely, some clients would prefer a younger Nanny, as they feel that someone older won’t have the stamina to keep up with their energetic children. In our experience, age does not determine whether someone is a good Nanny or not — work ethic, energy, and enthusiasm do. We’ve placed 19-year-old Nannies with families who have reported that they were the most hard-working, responsible employee they’ve ever hired. We’ve also placed Nannies in their 50’s who can carry twins up and down multiple flights of stairs all day, and who run marathons in their spare time. When it comes to being an exceptional child care provider, age is truly just a number!

We also sometimes have clients requesting a Nanny who is “thin” or “in good shape” (yes, this does happen). Quite often, what they are actually requesting is a Nanny who is active and energetic, and can keep up with their children. Unfortunately, as a society, we often equate size and body type with level of fitness. If you need a Nanny that has the stamina to keep up with your busy family, we will find you that Nanny! The Nanny’s physical appearance, however, will not be a deciding factor in our search.

Where can I learn more about being inclusive?

Here are some informative resources to check out:

7 Ways to Be More Inclusive in Your Everyday Life
Guide to Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Gender-Neutral Pronouns 101: Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know
Types of Discrimination
The Terrifying Power of Stereotypes – and How to Deal with Them
3 Reasons Positive Stereotypes aren’t that Positive
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack