More men becoming nannies…

extracted from –

Recent economic troubles have led some men to seek nanny, or “manny,” jobs.

In recent weeks, there has been a 10 percent increase in men seeking childcare work. A spokeswoman for the website,, has seen a 30 percent increase in men advertising for child care jobs since 2008.

Some of these men are unemployed teachers or daycare workers. Some are fathers who bring their child-raising experience to the job, but have no formal background in caring of other children. Others have no experience at all.

Many, however, still view nannying and babysitting as women’s jobs, since the majority of those jobs have long been held by women and are stereotypically associated with them.

“I do continue to do this for the extra income, especially because of the way the economy has gone in the past few years,” said Travis McGowin, a fireman who works part-time as a nanny. But he also just loves working with kids.

“Kids accept people for who they are, instead of superficial things. If you have a genuine interest in what they’re doing, they’re going to be interested in you. If you show them love and interest, they’ll love you,” explained McGowin. “Kids have this whole unconditional love thing, and that’s what kept me in it the longest, more so than the money, actually.”

Why keeping a journal is important for nannies and moms

Extracted from –


When a new mom leaves her infant in the care of a nanny or newborn care specialist, what are her concerns? What does she want to know? How can a nanny help her feel more connected to her baby and help her deal with possible feelings of guilt over leaving her baby?

A new mom’s perspective
As a new mom, I was so concerned about leaving my baby with anyone else … even my husband! When I returned, I wanted to know when he ate, if he slept, and practically everything he did. Now that I have two kids, I still ask their teachers and care providers what they did during the day. It’s so comforting to have an idea of how their day went. I sent our son to a home care on a part-time basis when he was a baby. I felt frustrated by the vague answers I received when I asked about the details of his day; but I bit my tongue, felt guilty, and walked away wondering what I had missed.

It was difficult to leave my son with someone else and thereafter, leave my daughter — but I wanted to work. My career is very important to me and I knew I would be a better mom if I was able to pursue my passion. However, I still wanted to stay connected to my babies. It would have been a pleasure to receive an email, a text message, a picture, or even have the ability to log in to a website to see how my babies were doing. It would have made my life so much easier if I was assured that although they might have cried a bit when left them, they were eating well, sleeping well, learning and having fun.

I was still breastfeeding when I returned to work, and I made every attempt to time my pumping sessions so that I could nurse my babies when I picked them up. If I arrived only to find out they had just been fed, I would have to go home and pump instead of feed them, making me feel very disappointed.  On the other hand, it was nice having breastfeeding support and knowing that I had expressed enough milk for them while I was away made me feel more connected to them.

What moms want to know
In the “old days,” moms had no choice but to stay at home.  They could get advice and make decisions based on one-on-one face time with baby, family members, and friends. Nowadays, moms rely on their nannies to communicate their baby’s daily activities, issues, fussy periods, smiles, and schedules. When moms are not present, having the opportunity to review their baby’s activities at a glance in a daily journal or report is not only powerful, it helps them and their nanny make better baby care decisions. It is also a great way to provide records for their pediatricians, which can aid in making medical decisions. Here are more examples that illustrate the importance of keeping a daily journal [by using Babble Soft applications]:

  1. A new mom misses important milestones. While she is at work, baby shows off her biggest smile or makes a first attempt at crawling. Imagine a caregiver who captures the moment via a picture, includes a milestone caption, and emails it to the mom. What a way to brighten her day. Although the mom is not present physically, she can take delight in knowing that the true “first” was captured.
  1. An infant spits up often but with no discernible pattern. Both the mom and nanny are busy and jot down handwritten notes, which might be stained or misplaced by the next day! Maintaining an online daily record of the baby’s feedings (with corresponding spit-up times) can help to establish a pattern of feeding times and a correlation between the feeding quantity and spit-up periods. The mom can forward the reports to the doctor to aid in a decision regarding whether her baby needs medicine for acid reflux or if there is a need to simply change the baby’s feeding schedule.
  1. A baby has difficulty sleeping. Mom (or dad) puts the baby down in a specific manner and in a specific place during the weekends. The nanny arrives and puts the baby down in a different manner, thus she witnesses a different outcome. The baby appears confused, which results in additional stress for both the nanny and family. One solution is to review online reports that are designed to track a baby’s sleep patterns and reveal how the baby was put to sleep. The reports can serve as physical proof that specific baby sleep positions or methods work better than others for the baby. The reports can also give parents the assurance that their baby is okay, and shifting their behavior or the nanny’s behavior can make life easier for everyone.
  1. A baby needs regular medications. Administering medications is a critical part of providing childcare. Therefore, it is beneficial to have a central place where medicine doses are recorded. This procedure can allow both the mom and nanny to ensure medicine doses, reactions, and duration are properly recorded and timed. Proper daily record keeping can help to avoid accidental overdoses and ensure a dose is not missed.
  1. The nanny runs out of expressed breast milk for baby. If the mom keeps daily pumping records and both the nanny and mom keep daily bottle-feeding records, Mom can adjust herbreastfeeding and pumping schedule to ensure there is enough expressed milk for her baby.

There are many more sound reasons to keep daily records. However, the most important reasons in my opinion, are for the health and well-being of the baby, and improved communication between the nanny and family. Although moms today have many more opportunities than they did in the past, they also have more decisions to make and more balls to juggle. Keeping daily records of an infant’s activities helps nannies and moms make better baby care decisions — and it helps moms feel more connected to their baby. A happy mom means a happier baby!

Activities for nannies and kids

Extracted from –


Kids Activities

Activities for children can help parents, nannies, babysitters and kids enjoy their time together. Below is a list of children’s craft activities and songs. There are literally hundreds of ideas to entertain children. Here are just a few to get you started.

Children’s Craft Activities

Activity Items needed
Seaside Scene paint, shells, sand and glue
Animal costumes cut-out ears and tails for any array of animals and stick on with hairclips and tape!
Animal masks cardboard, crayons, glitter, feathers, fine elastic
Funny faces paper plates, paint, glitter
Easter bunny ears headband with long pink and white ears!
Crocodiles egg cartons and lots of green paint
Bracelets froot loops threaded on fine elastic
Collage glue, paper, objects
Painting with rollers, stencils, brushes, stamps, sponges
Sticker pictures stickers (eg frogs, butterflies) on coloured paper
Stencils stencils, paper, paint and rollers
Self-portrait drawing of self-portrait OR trace around entire body lying on butchers paper
Playdough Make playdough from scratch together!
Under the Sea green paper background & shapes stuck on
Puppets upturned juice boxes, icy-pole sticks, decorations
Aeroplanes paper and markers
Necklaces pasta, paint, glitter, elastic
Pet rocks rocks, markers, stick on eyes
Treasure Hunt treasures (toy jewellery) & hiding spots!
Card-making paper, paint, photos
Shakers little plastic juice bottle, filled with rice

Indoor Activities for Children

  • Reading to each other, telling stories.
  • Singing along and changing lyrics
  • Dancing to different music, your choice, their choice!
  • Music with kitchen implements!
  • Board & card games
  • Dress ups
  • Hide and seek
  • Indoor cubby house
  • Play dough making
  • Bubble blowing
  • Teddy Bear Picnic
  • Bus rides inside big boxes
  • Pretend camping with indoor tent
  • Indoor sports in the hallway (ten pin bowling with plastic cups)
  • Pretend school with rows of toy students.

Outdoor Activities for Children

  • Sand and water play
  • Treasure hunt
  • Getting muddy in the backyard!
  • Painting outdoors, roller with water on the fence
  • Gardening with herbs, watering together
  • Visit parks, go for a stroll
  • Bike rides, scooter rides
  • Ball games
  • Teddybears picnic at the park

Some more interesting Canadian Caregiver facts

Extracted from –


Family caregivers provide care and assistance for spouses, children, parents and other extended family members who are in need of support because of age, debilitating medical conditions, chronic injury, long term illness or disability.  Family caregivers are the invisible backbone of the health and long term care system in Canada.

With the existing health human resource shortages and a growing aging population in Canada, the contribution of caregivers is essential.



4-5 Million




There are at least 2.85 million Canadians providing care for a family member with long-term health problems (Cranswick, K. 1997 “Canada’s Caregivers,” Canadian Social Trend).   As this statistic is derived from 1997 data, it is believed that 4 – 5 million would more accurately reflect the number of caregivers today.



Contribute $5 billion in unpaid labour to our health care system


Caregivers provide more than 80 percent of care needed by individuals with ‘long-term conditions’ and it is estimated contribute more than $5 billion of unpaid labour annually to the health care system (Fast, J., Niehaus, L., Eales, J., & Keating, N. 2002a, A profile of Canadian chronic care providers).   The changing demographics and aging population are expected to place further burdens on caregivers.



Majority are women, between 45 to 64



In 2002, more than 1.7 million adults aged 45 to 64 provided informal care to almost 2.3 million seniors with long-term disabilities or physical limitations. Most of these caregivers were also in the work force, with 7 out of every 10 caregivers in this age range were employed, and many were women(Statistics Canada 2002, Balancing career and care).



Spend $80 million / year on caregiving expenses




More than one third of caregivers report extra expenses due to their caregiving responsibilities (Cranswick, K. 2003, General Social Survey, Cycle 16: caring for an aging society).   Two-thirds of these caregivers are spending more than $100 per month on caregiving (Health Canada 2002, National Profile of Family Caregivers in Canada – Final Report).This is conservatively translated to an annual cost to Canadians of $80 million.



Economic value of $6-9 billion


The economic value of caregivers’ unpaid eldercare to the Canadian economy is estimated to be over $5 billion and between $6-9 billion for all caregivers (chronic and palliative care) unpaid work. (Fast, J., Niehaus, L., Eales, J., and Keating, N. 2002a, A profile of Canadian chronic care providers).



Impact our economy


All employers can expect to have employees who will assume caregiving responsibilities which will have an impact on the employment relationship. Individuals providing four hours or more of care per week were more likely to reduce their work hours, change their work patterns or turn down a job offer or promotion. Among this group, 65% of women and 47% of men who were working over 40 hours were substantially affected (Statistics Canada 2002, Balancing career and care).

Why it’s bad to cheat a nanny…

Extracted from –


Trish Crawford

Nannies shovelling driveways and mowing lawns.

Nannies being hired at $1,600 a month but getting $900.

Nannies spending their “vacations” babysitting at the cottage.

These are just some of the ways Canadians try to save a buck when it comes to their caregivers.

In the U.S., this nickel-and-diming has cost some public figures plum political appointments – including U.S. President Barack Obama’s nominee for chief performance officer, Nancy Killefer, who failed to pay employment taxes for a household worker and removed her name for consideration.

Others’ transgressions include employing illegal immigrants or those without work permits and failing to pay social security taxes.

Now, at tax time, it is imperative that Canadians – who have escaped their own Nannygate scandal so far – pay the proper taxes for employing a nanny.

Entrepreneur Michelle Bacani-Lim hired a live-in nanny in July to help with her two children, ages 3 1/2 and 1 1/2. Working from home at the time, she found she couldn’t handle work and child care without a pair of helping hands.

“She’s fantastic,” says Bacani-Lim, of Brampton, who now works in sales in the fitness industry. She and her nanny share a Filipino background.

Having a nanny in her home isn’t something she takes lightly, Bacani-Lim says. “It’s very daunting to look at yourself as an employer.”

She turned to consultant Deborah Shure’s tax service nannytax.cabecause she wanted everything to be above board.

“I didn’t want to have to worry.”

Shure, a mother of three young children who has employed three nannies from the Philippines over the past seven years, says many people miss the serious implications of hiring someone to live and work in their home.

“What many people don’t understand,” says Shure, “is that they are a real employer. When you employ a nanny, you are an employer.”

That means an array of federal and provincial income taxes, Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, and Workplace Safety and Insurance Board premiums must be paid on the employee’s behalf, Shure says.

Under Canada’s live-in caregiver program, families sponsor a nanny, who is eligible to apply for permanent resident status after working 24 months (which could include a number of employers) within a three-year time span.

The nannies’ contracts clearly spell out hours and wages (usually a 40-hour week at minimum wage of $9.25 an hour) with a deduction for room and board of $369 a month.

With all the proper deductions, including an employer contribution for both the pension and workplace insurance, the nanny nets about $1,000 a month, Shure says.

Thousands of nannies, mostly from the Philippines, have come to Canada under this program, launched in 1992, and many continue to work in the field after they become citizens.

From 2002 to September 2008, more than 49,000 live-in caregivers were given permission to work in Canada, while 34,000 received permanent resident status.

An employer’s costs are much higher for nannies who choose not to live with the family, Shure says, because there’s no deduction for room and board.

Also, live-out nannies, expect to work for more than the minimum wage, Shure says. Some who drive cars may expect to pocket $1,600 to $2,000 a month. (Daycare costs, in comparison, are roughly $1,400 a month for an infant, $850 a month for a pre-schooler and $600 a month for after-school care.)

No matter what deal is struck between the family and the nanny, all taxes still have to be paid, Shure says. The family will not be able to claim child-care costs without proper documentation.

Parents can claim yearly child care costs of $7,000 per child younger than 7, and $4,000 for those ages 7 to 16, which help offset the salary costs.

Yes, this is complicated. Yes, it is expensive to hire care. But, as Shure says, you are teaching your children a valuable lesson by properly compensating the person who takes care of them all day.

“You are telling your children something important,” says Shure, whose nanny eats with the family and is included in special events.

You must spell out paid sick days and vacation days in any contract, Shure says. Two weeks vacation after a year’s work and five sick days a year are common.

“I encourage my nanny to take a day off when she’s sick. I don’t want her to get more sick and the kids to get sick, too,” Shure says.

Tova Rich, who runs Family Matters Caregivers Inc.and goes to Hong Kong four times a year to hire Filipino nannies there, says $1,600 a month gross pay is the average arrangement with a Canadian family. The sponsoring family pays the agency fee of about $1,000 and the candidate pays the cost of flying here.

Rich says she interviews potential employers and won’t make any placements for people she doesn’t think will treat their nanny right.

“I can spot them a mile away – who will underpay and overwork their nanny. We are very strict about what is the law. You can’t negotiate out of it.”

People are wrong-headed if they try to cheat their nanny in any way, she says. “A happy nanny means a happy child.”

The biggest mistake employers make, Rich says, is thinking the nanny can just fit into a Canadian household without being acclimatized. Her firm offers one free cooking class to new nannies as part of its package. She says the No. 1 complaint she hears from employers is, “She doesn’t even know how to make Kraft dinner.”

Live-out nannies are asking for $500 a week after deductions, Rich says, and they may also want a Metropass. Someone recently asked for a live-out nanny for $400 a week and Rich replied, “You won’t find someone for that.”

Rich monitors the nannies after they arrive.

In one case, she removed a nanny from a home when the pay sank to $900 a month “because that’s all they could afford.”

In another case, a petite nanny was being asked to shovel snow and mow the lawn.

Rich says she hears horror stories from nannies placed by other firms. Once, she found out a nanny was asked to work in a home-based daycare (which is strictly forbidden under federal rules). Another time, a nanny told her she was sleeping “like Harry Potter” under the stairs.

Andrew Lederman, who owns Nannies on the Hill, says he has had only one bad placement in three years. It involved a family that argued horribly all the time.

After a week, he picked up the nanny, who had begun to fear for her safety, and found her another home.

“I’m the middle man, the interested third party and social worker,” says Lederman, who charges roughly $950 per placement.

Employers are responsible for treating their nanny with respect, Lederman says, and to pay proper wages and all relevant taxes.

“Remember,” he says, “these people are going to be Canadian citizens.”

And it’s the law.


A number of U.S. cabinet appointees have had problems over irregularities with their home-care workers.

2009 Nancy Killefer, nominated as chief performance officer, withdraws for failing to pay employment taxes for a household worker.

2009 Treasury secretary nominee Timothy Geithner’s housekeeper had expired immigration papers, but he survives the nomination process.

2004 Bernard Kerik withdraws as homeland security secretary, admitting his Mexican nanny may have been in the country illegally and that he didn’t pay her employment taxes.

2001 Labour secretary-designate Linda Chavez withdraws for providing housing and money to an illegal immigrant.

1995 California governor Pete Wilson’s presidential campaign suffers after he admits hiring an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper and not paying her employment taxes.

1993 Zoe Baird withdraws nomination for attorney-general following employment of two illegal immigrants and failing to pay their social security taxes. Bill Clinton’s second choice for attorney-general, Kimba Wood, is also dropped for employing an illegal nanny.

Rainy day activitiues for nannys

Extracted from  –

Rainy days with a toddler or preschooler can be a caregiver’s nightmare! What do you do when you cannot watch Disney’s Aladdin one more time? Read on for ideas.

Bake! Children love breaking eggs, measuring, learning the difference between flour and sugar, as well as eating the results! Favorites include brownies, chocolate chip cookies (love that electric beater for the 4-6 year old crowd!), muffins, and even pizza bagels.

Declare RED DAY or Squares and Circles. Toddlers and preschoolers can practice finding their favorite color throughout the home, or in old magazines. Hunting shapes can be just as much fun. Keep a record of what they find to share with mom and dad at the end of the day.

Go Camping! Use sheets or blankets and the kitchen table/chairs to make a ‘tent.’ Get pillows, blankets, and read stories, make funny faces and sounds, or just take a nap.

Bring on the theatre! Old unmatched socks make great puppets. Or dress up and do your own show. Children’s books offer plenty of story-line inspiration. Learn the macarena or a line dance to show mom.

Scavenger hunting! Either hide some treats and give the child/ren a list of clues, or make a list of things to ‘find.’ How about a red sock, block with the letter A, anything purple, or a picture of a blue car? Use your imagination and your charges will too.

Have a picnic – all you need is a blanket and lunch. Who says you have to eat at the table ALL the time?

Take a walk – a warm summer rain doesn’t have to stop you. Pull out the rain coats, umbrellas, and boots and go on a walk. Find puddles, search for worms, catch the water coming out of the rain spout, just have a good time. A warm bath and a set of fresh clothes later and that claustrophobic feeling is gone.

Pull out the book on kitchen science -try Kid Science : Kitchen Science Experiments (Kid Science) by Q. L. Pearce or Simple Kitchen Experiments : Learning Science With Everyday Foods by Muriel Mandell or The Science Chef : 100 Fun Food Experiments and Recipes for Kids by Joan D’Amico. A vinegar and baking soda volcano will chase the blahs away. Especially for the preschooler and elementary school crowd.

Ideas for a nanny resume

Extracted from –


Whether you are an experienced nanny looking for a long-term relationship with a family or a student looking for a part-time, in-home, child care job, a well-crafted resume can help you convey your sense of professionalism. Generally, a resume for a nanny is similar to that for any other professional position. Order it chronologically, with new child care jobs and educational experiences listed first.

  1. Education and Training

    • If you have a degree in education, child development, social work or child psychology, this can be a strong selling point and a good way to make you stand out from other applicants. Even if you do not have any education that directly relates a nanny position, include it anyway. This can be a way of highlighting your intellectual versatility. Additionally, list any non-academic training that may help you on the job, such as CPR or first aid classes, along with the dates and places that you received the training.

    Child Care Experience

    • The bulk of a nanny’s resume should list information about her child care experience. Nannies should list the names, dates and locations of each child care facility or family for whom she has worked. Underneath each entry, list the general responsibilities of the position, the ages of the children and any special duties you performed, such as cooking, housework or academic tutoring.

    Specialized Skills

    • Stephanie Felzenberg of the “Best Nanny Newsletter” recommends integrating your hobbies into your nanny resume. For example, if you play a musical instrument well or are skilled in a sport, add this to your resume. Not only do these skills make you stand out from the pool of applicants, families may be willing to pay you extra to provide their children with private lessons, explained Felzenberg in an interview with “U.S. News and World Report.” Similarly, if you have a college degree and feel comfortable providing academic tutoring services, list this on your resume.

    Supplemental Portfolio

    • “U.S. News and World Report” suggests that nannies create a supplemental portfolio to highlight projects, skills and documents that do not fit in with a traditional resume format. A nanny portfolio may include samples of projects you have worked on with the children and photographs of you and your previous clients. Likewise, your portfolio is a good place to include contact information for your professional references and copies of your work authorization, driver’s license and any professional licenses that you currently hold. If you have letters of recommendation from previous clients, consider adding these to your portfolio as well.

Read more: Ideas for a Resume for a Nanny |

Immigration rules changing for caregivers

extracted from ––thompson-immigration-rules-changing-for-caregivers

Q I am hearing this rumour about the live-in caregiver program, that as of April, newcomers arriving through the caregiver program can no longer apply for permanent resident status after three years of working. My daughter-in-law’s papers are in process to come and work in Canada as a live-in-caregiver. Is this rumour true?

A: First, you should know the rumour is not true, at least not the way you heard it. The live-in caregiver program will continue to allow temporary workers who come here through that program to apply for permanent resident status in Canada after two years of work. The rumour you heard was probably sparked by a few recent regulation changes for temporary workers that did have an impact on live-in caregivers.

In March, the government announced that as of April 1, 2011 and onward, most temporary foreign workers allowed to enter Canada to work will be subject to a cumulative time limit of four years of temporary work. That means that after four years of temporary work, they will have to leave Canada unless they are well into the process of obtaining some kind of permanent status. The rule change was not retroactive, but applied only to new temporary foreign workers who entered Canada after April 1.

So your daughter-in-law would fall into the category of those affected by the new four-year limit. But, live-in-caregivers who complete a total of 24 months of authorized full-time employment as a live-in caregiver (it doesn’t have to be continuous, but could be blocks of time added together) will still be allowed to apply for permanent resident status.

The important thing is that if a live-in caregiver has applied for permanent resident status and has been approved in principle when the four-year deadline comes along, they will be allowed to stay. There was another change in 2010 to the live-in caregiver program.

Effective April 1, 2010, live-in caregivers working in Canada under the program were given two options for calculating their work experience to be eligible to apply for permanent residence:

• Twenty-four months of authorized full-time employment, or

• A total of 3,900 hours (within a minimum of 22 months which may include a maximum of 390 hours of overtime) of authorized full-time employment

Live-in caregivers, including those who were already in Canada when this change came into effect, have a maximum of four years from their date of arrival in Canada under the Live-in Caregiver Program to complete the employment requirement to be eligible to apply for permanent residence.

Q: I was born in the United Kingdom (England) and my parents immigrated to Canada in 1948 when I was 2 years old. Can I claim dual citizenship and carry a British passport as well as a Canadian passport?

A: Yes, you almost certainly carry British nationality as well as Canadian. You can apply for a passport through a centre established by Britain in Washington to handle all passport applications in North America. Check the website of the passport centre for further details.

Q: I was interested in your recent response to the inquirer who had asked about how much money one could take into the U.S. without declaring it. The inquirer had heard the limit might be $6,000. You responded by saying that arriving and departing passengers must report to U.S. Customs any money or other monetary instrument exceeding $10,000 (U.S.).

I don’t know whether a credit card is considered to be a monetary instrument but I am wondering whether I would be required to let them know that my credit card has a limit in excess of $10,000, say $13,000 for example?

A: A credit card with a high spending limit (lucky you), is not considered to be a monetary instrument exceeding $10,000 so you don’t have to declare it.

World Citizen appears every other week.

Writing a nanny job description

Extracted from –


Before you can begin interviewing and screening potential nannies for a nanny job, you should sit down and write out a detailed nanny job description. This description should address all of the issues surrounding your nanny’s employment. The following suggestions will help you get started.

  1. Expectations-Make a list of all the expectations surrounding a nanny’s job. These will include duties regarding the children and any additional household chores you would like to include in the nanny employment agreement.
  2. Pet peeves-Although they may seem trivial, pet peeves can damage the relationship between employer and nanny, so it’s always a good idea to lay everything out beforehand.
  3. Work schedule-You should be prepared to give a detailed work schedule, including work hours per day and off days.
  4. Vacation leave and paid holidays-Include the amount of time and specific holidays that will be covered under this nanny employment topic.
  5. Benefits-Insurance, vehicle usage, and other issues may need to be addressed.
  6. Termination or resignation notice-How should these issues be handled.

Signs of a good nanny

Extracted from –


You’ve reviewed all the resumes, interviewed the best candidates, and called references. But how do you know which nanny is really the best for you?

Experience is what counts the most, says Mary O’Connor, former president of theInternational Nanny Association, so look for it in the nannies you interview. Safety training should also rank high on the wish list, and a background in early childhood development is a definite plus. (Read about help on finding a good nanny.)

When you’ve picked a good candidate, try her out for a few days while you’re home so you can observe her. (Pay her for her time, of course.) The following list can help you evaluate a candidate — or take the measure of the nanny you already have.

You’ve snagged Mary Poppins if:

  • Your child lights up at the first sight of her. Kids look forward to the time they spend with their nanny if she’s warm, caring, and patient. And you’re doubly in luck if it’s not just the kids who like having her around. “I consider myself very lucky to have my nanny,” says Toni Lewis, a Los Angeles architect. “If she weren’t my nanny, I could see being friends with her.”
  • Your kids can’t stop talking about all the wonderful things she says and does. You may find a caregiver who can do everything well, but if she truly enjoys being in the company of children, your kids will know it. Her love will shine through every day she’s with your child.
  • She comes up with creative solutions to problems and works with you to provide the best possible care for your child. If your child has run out of paint, for example, she’ll find some household supplies your child can use to fashion an objet d’art. If your child isn’t sleeping, she’ll turn to you for advice and help. It shows that she takes her job seriously when she both takes the initiative and collaborates with you.
  • She arrives on time. Other signs she’s reliable: She gives you ample warning when she’s unable to care for your child because of an emergency, and even helps you find a substitute caregiver. She’s considerate of your needs and respects the terms of your contract. “My nanny was always there at our agreed-upon time,” says Kirsi Tikka, a professor from Port Washington, New York. “If she was sick, she let me know right away.”
  • She makes an effort to stay connected. A nanny who takes her job seriously will keep you informed of daily activities by writing you notes, filling out a daily report, or setting aside some time for the two of you to catch up. She’ll understand that you’ll want to know how your child is doing, and will keep you abreast of any problems, big or small.
  • Your child volunteers new songs and words and shows off his many projects. The best nannies are aware of and cherish children’s curiosity. They’ll try to answer questions, elicit imaginative responses, and think up creative ways to teach new skills.
  • Your child’s room is clean, and so is your child. Excellent care includes cleanliness and good health. Your nanny will practice good hygiene around your child if she truly has his welfare in mind.
  • Accidents are infrequent. Of course tumbles will happen, but a good nanny makes safety a priority both at home and when she and your child are out and about. She’ll hold your child’s hand when they cross a street on the way to the park, keep a close eye on him in the backyard, and keep the safety gate to the kitchen closed at all times. If she drives your child, you’ll want to ride with her yourself at least once or twice to see what she’s like on the road. Make sure her car is well maintained and that she always buckles up your child in the car seat.