Hey nannies, looking for some fun things to do inside with the kids when it’s cold and wet out? see below!

Are the kids driving you, the parents and themselves crazy just from being stuck inside due to the horrible weather? If so, then see the link below for some terrific rainy and snow day activities for the children aged 6 to 10 to keep them occupied and give you some much needed quiet time!

Everything from memory and word games to cards and physical activity. The link below will provide hours and hours of fun for not only the children but the whole family!

http://fun.familyeducation.com/hobbies-and-interests/games/33402.html

 

27 games to keep the kids entertained on a roadtrip – good advice for nanny’s

Extracted from – http://www.airlinecreditcards.com/travelhacker/27-free-games-to-keep-your-kids-entertained-on-a-road-trip/

 

While the idea of driving hours with a car full of children may send shivers down the spine of even the most patient of parents, a family road trip doesn’t have to be a stressful endeavor. There are tons of games you can play with your children that will keep the “are we there yets” at bay. Best of all, they won’t cost you a thing. Here is a list of some road trip games and activities you can play with your children.

  1. The Grocery Game: Whether you want to challenge your memory or just whet your appetite for lunch, the grocery game is a great way to pass the time on your drive. One person starts with naming something that can be bought at the grocery store that starts with the letter ‘A’, such as “apples”. The next player would have to repeat the first person’s answer as well as add on a food that begins with the letter ‘B’. If you mess up, you’re out, and the game continues until only one memory-gifted player remains. If you get bored with groceries, try using another topic.
  2. The Geography Game: Help your kids refresh their geography lessons while on the road with the geography game. The game begins with a person naming any place in the world, London for example. The next person then has to come up with a place name that begins with the last letter of the first location. So in this case, the next place would have to start with an ‘N’, like Nepal for instance. The game continues on until someone gets stumped, and no place can be used more than once. The game can be played with any topic, so give celebrity names, movies, animals or anything else you can think of a try.
  3. License Plate Bingo: To play this game you’ll need to bring along a few writing utensils and have paper to use for game cards. If you’d like, you can print out game cards ahead of timehere. There are a few variations of this game, so you can either write down the names of states as your bingo squares or random letters and numbers. As players see the states or letters and numbers on passing license plates they cross them off. First player to get 5 in a row wins, and it might be a good idea to keep a few prizes on hand for the lucky winner.
  4. Card Games: Never underestimate the power of card games to keep your kids entertained. Bring along a set of cards from home and challenge kids to play their old favorites like old maid, go fish, and rummy. If you want to find new games, check out a book on card games at your local library or print out instructions for kids games here.
  5. Family Spelling Bee: See who is the best speller in the family by having an in-car spelling bee. Make sure words are appropriate for the age level of the kids in your car so no one gets discouraged. If spelling isn’t your thing, there are a number of other contests you can have as well. Try challenging your family to trivia or singing competitions as well.
  6. 20 Questions: An old favorite, 20 questions is a great game for inquisitive little ones. The game begins with one person choosing pretty much anything they can think of. The first question for the guessers is usually “animal, vegetable, or mineral?” though it doesn’t have to be. Players then go through a litany of questions trying to determine the nature of the mystery object and answers must be yes or no. The winner is whomever guesses the object first or can stump the other players with their object.
  7. I Spy: Similar to 20 Questions, I Spy is another classic travel game. One person in the car looks around and chooses an object. The guessers are given one clue: “I spy with my little eye something that is (insert first letter of objects name, objects color, or other clue of your choice)”. Players can’t choose something that is whizzing by too fast; objects must be within the car or far enough in the distance to be within sight for a few minutes. Guessers attempt to figure out the nature of the object and the winner gets to create their own mystery object.
  8. Team Storytelling: Inspire your family’s creative side by creating a group story. Someone begins by creating one line to a story (for example, “There once was a prince under a curse…”) and each person must add one line to the story as you go. If simple storytelling is too dull for you, spice it up by making the lines have to rhyme, or by pointing at players out of order to come up with a line on the spot. You can extend the game by writing down the story and having your children create illustrations for it.
  9. Word Play: Have your kids write down words they see as they’re traveling from billboards, bumper stickers, restaurants, etc. Once they get a certain amount, have them write a story, poem or song that includes all of the words they have found. When they’re done, have them read or sing their creation out loud for the rest of the family.
  10. Counting Cows: Rural countrysides can make for pretty dull window viewing, so make it more interesting by turning it into a game. Create a set distance within which players have to find as many cows on their side of the road as possible. If you have the misfortune of passing a cemetery on your side of the road, then you have to start over. If you’re not in cow country, try counting something else, like phone booths, mailboxes, or houses of a certain color.
  11. Rock, Paper, Scissors: This classic game makes it easy to keep kids occupied. Players put their hands behind their backs and pull one out to reveal either rock (closed fist), paper (flat hand) or scissors (first and middle fingers in a “v”). Scissors beats paper, paper beats rock and rock beats scissors. Kids can get creative and think up three other competing things (cowboy, ninja, and bear for instance).
  12. License Plate Lingo: You can use the license plates of the cars around you to provide entertainment for your kids. The goal of this game is to come up with a phrase using the letters on passing license plates. For example, if you see a plate with the letters “EIC,” your phrase could be “eat ice cream.”. You can make this game as silly or as serious as you’d like.
  13. Travel Scavenger Hunt: Keep children occupied with a travel scavenger hunt. Compile a list of objects for each child to find along the road. For example, you could have things like “brown cow” or “water tower”. Anything that comes to mind that you might be passing will work, or you can use prepared lists like this. You can also turn this game into a form of bingo with a game card like this. The winner is the first one to find everything on his or her list.
  14. The Banana Game: Single out yellow vehicles with the banana game. Players get points for each yellow car they point out passing. Double points are awarded for buses and larger yellow vehicles. Be prepared, this could get competitive!
  15. String Figures: You wouldn’t think a simple piece of string could keep a kid entertained for hours, but in some cases it can. Pack a piece of string or yarn tied into a circle for your child and challenge them to learn to make string shapes like Jacob’s Ladder, Kitty Whiskers or to play Cat’s Cradle. If you don’t know much about string games, you can check out a book from the library or print out some instructions from a string game website.
  16. Fortune Teller: Keep your kids giggling with a fortune teller. Fold up your own using theseinstructions or use a preprinted version. Once folded, you can write colors and numbers and various fortunes on the flaps or turn them into cute animal puppets.
  17. Find the Vehicle: Challenge your kids to find a list of different types and models of cars. Children interested in cars will find this game particularly enjoyable. You can make it more challenging by specifying a color for more common models of cars or types of cargo for semis.
  18. Slug Bug: While the name implies a certain amount of violence, it can also be played much more peacefully. Have your kids count on their fingers or gently tap their seatmate every time they spot a Volkswagen Bug. The specifics of the rules are up to you, but you can make old bugs worth more than new, or certain colors worth more than others.
  19. Map Monitors: One easy way to keep children entertained on the road is to engage them in the process of travel. Give each child a map of your trip and allow them to keep track of your progress using stickers, coloring or something else your child enjoys.
  20. Mad Libs: Mad Libs are a fun and silly way to keep your reading-age kids entertained on a long trip. You can make up your own or use free versions from the Web. Give your kids the worksheets, have them come up with nouns, verbs and adjectives to fill them in, and then have them read their new stories aloud to one another.
  21. Road Trip Math: Have a budding math lover in your car? Entertain them by having them figure out math problems based on your travel. For instance if you pass a sign telling you the next rest stop is 20 miles away, have your child figure out how long it will take you to get there based on your current speed. It might not sound like the most fun, but it will keep your child engaged and learning. Rewards for work well done won’t hurt either.
  22. Fortunately-Unfortunately: Help your children learn to think positively with the game Fortunately-Unfortunately. One player begins with an unfortunate statement like, “Unfortunately, there is a bat in the car.” The next player has to counter with something more fortunate like, “Fortunately, I brought along bat repellant.” Players continue to alternate between unfortunate and fortunate things until you’ve exhausted a particular topic.
  23. Treasure Bottle: You’ll need a little preparation ahead of time, but a treasure bottle can be a great way to keep younger children entertained and engaged. Use a 2 liter bottle or large plastic container with a lid. Fill it 2/3s full with rice or birdseed, then add small “treasures” from around your house like paper clips, bolts, pennies, Legos and any other small things you might have lying around in your junk drawer. Keep count of how many items you put in and write the number on the outside of the bottle. Have kids roll around the bottle until they find everything hidden inside. Just make sure the lid is extra secure so there aren’t any mid-trip messes to clean up.
  24. Who Am I?: Keep your kids guessing with this easy and fun game. Think of someone you and your children know: a family member, neighbor, or friend, and give clues to the person’s identity like their hair color, sex, or whether or not they wear glasses. Let each person guess and if no one gets it, continue giving clues until your kids figure it out.
  25. Find 100: Occupy your kids with counting using Find 100. Choose a color or object and keep counting until you reach 100. Try counting flags, statues, churches, red cars or anything else you can think of. Mix it up by giving each player a different object to find 100 of and race to see who can finish first.
  26. Official Count: Change up the usual counting games by taking an official count. Pick out objects to keep a tally of like motorcycles or vans. Keep a tally of what you see, including the color. At the start of the trip, have your kids make their own predictions about what they think will be the most popular colors or styles of these kinds of vehicles and compare the predictions to the results at the end of your trip.
  27. That’s My Car!: Compete with your fellow passengers to see who can get the sweetest ride. Have each kid choose a car from the next 5 that you pass or that pass by you to be his or her “own” car. All players mutually decide who has the best car of those that are “owned” and that person is the winner.

With a little creativity and planning, you can keep your kids entertained mile after mile and keep your sanity intact. Try out a few of these suggestions on your next trip and you’ll create both on-the-road entertainment and memories to last a lifetime.

Babysitter’s arrest highlights background check confusion…

Babysitter’s Arrest Highlights Background Check Confusion

“Nationwide” Computer Checks NOT What They Seem

 

APNA raises this issue in light of this week’s news that two Glendale, California brothers may have been sexually molested by a 19-year-old babysitter. Investigators say the suspect may have communicated with more than 100 families using online childcare sites.

 (December 1, 2011) – “Online babysitting sites give families a false sense of security by stating things such as the applicants are ‘mom approved’ or have gone through a nationwide background check, “says Daryl Camarillo of Menlo Park, California’s Stanford Park Nannies and president of the Association of Premier Nanny Agencies – A Household Staffing Alliance (APNA). “Most online services are just electronic bulletin boards and the computerized background checks they suggest are not enough to ensure a family’s safety.”

“What most parents don’t know is that the quick and inexpensive computer background searches offered online can easily miss a problem,” adds Judi Merlin, owner of the Atlanta, Georgia nanny placement agency A Friend of the Family and an APNA board member.

“I’ve found that most nanny candidates with criminal records have committed misdemeanors which rarely show up on the low-cost, nationwide computer searches that are offered online. Felonies are more likely to be listed. So, the nationwide computer check sounds good, but it probably won’t find a person’s minor run-ins with the law which can tell you a good deal about their past and their character,” says APNA sponsor member Lynn Peterson whose Oakland, California company, PFC Information Services, offers comprehensive background checks.

“Because of the danger to families, APNA has worked for years to try to educate the public about the effectiveness of different types of background checks,” says Camarillo. “Hiring a professional background check company is the safest way.” While the cost is higher (hundreds of dollars typically), it is just one of the ways APNA agencies screen candidates before referring them to work in a home environment with young children.

Among the issues that can arise with an online background check:

1.) It might not cover every state (some post disclaimers listing the exempted states).

Top notch nanny agencies will require that applicants’ social security numbers are traced to identify every state in which they have lived. That information is used to check records in those states.

2.) Misdemeanor records that are supposed to be forwarded to state or national databases are not sent, get lost or misfiled.

A record search of each county where the person has lived is more likely to find them

3.) No personal screening

Professional household staffing agencies meet with each job candidate in person and know how to analyze resumes for red flags and ask the right questions during a reference check.

Concludes Camarillo, “After screening, my agency chooses to represent only about 15 percent of the people who come through our door looking for work. Most online sites will represent anyone who can fill out the form.”

Contacts:

•Daryl Camarillo, APNA president, (650) 462-4580 or apna@spnannies.com

•Judi Merlin, APNA ethics chair, (770) 725-2748 or judim@afriend.com

•Go to www.theAPNA.org to find an APNA agency in your community and valuable information for families and people seeking household employment

APNA is a self-regulating organization that helps set the bar for industry standards and practices. APNA member agencies have their contracts, applications and business practices scrutinized by peers to ensure they know and follow all applicable laws. You are dealing with a quality household staffing service when you see the APNA seal.

###

Things your nanny won’t tell you…

Extracted from – http://www.rd.com/family/9-more-things-your-nanny-wont-tell-you/

 

By Jennifer Steil


1. I have my own family. Many of us have kids in other countries. We’d like to see them, but we need vacation time.

2. If your child bites me, don’t reward her. One parent actually said “Oh honey, are you hungry?” to her child while ignoring my bleeding face.

3. Don’t come home drunk or on drugs in the middle of the night, wake up your children to play with them, and then wake me up to put them back to bed. Don’t do drugs if you’re going to be around kids, period. And don’t wake me up in the middle of the night just because you’ve partied too hard to care for your own children.

4. Nannies from other cultures need orientation. Tell me which foods are fancy gourmet foods to be used sparingly and which are everyday foods. I kept eating up the best caviar and spitting it out in the trash, thinking it had gone bad.

5. We’re appalled when you feed your children junk. Seriously—give your kids a vegetable once in awhile! If you don’t keep junk food in your house, your kids can’t eat it. You can give them choices without destroying their health.

6. Don’t misrepresent yourself to an agency. If you don’t have an extra room for the nanny, say so. Don’t claim to have a bedroom and bathroom for her, and then ask her to sleep with your child.

7. Pay us well. Value your child a little more and cut corners elsewhere.

8. I am not paid enough to be a substitute parent for your child all the time. If you do not have the time or patience to raise a child, don’t have one.

9. Treat your nanny with respect and as an equal, and you will have a loyal friend for life. Most of us become lifelong friends of the babies we helped raise, as well as their parents.

10 things childcare providers won’t tell you…

Extracted from – http://green.yahoo.com/blog/guest_bloggers/109/10-things-childcare-providers-won-t-tell-you.html

 

By Mother Nature NetworkPosted Mon Apr 4, 2011 2:31pm PDT

You leave your child with them day in and day out, and you trust them completely. But there are some things even your childcare provider won’t tell you — about your child, your peers, and maybe even yourself.

The following are 10 things your baby-sitter, nanny, and day-care operator won’t tell you. (To protect their anonymity, some of the childcare providers interviewed asked that we identify them only by first name.)

1. The way you treat your childcare provider matters

You might be in a rush to drop off your child at daycare or pick them up on your way home, but that’s no reason to not take a moment to be kind to your childcare provider. “The parent should speak to the childcare provider in the way they want their child to act: Courteous, use pleases and thank-you’s,” said Mathilda Williams, who runs an in-home childcare facility in New Jersey. “Yes, the childcare provider works for you, but that doesn’t mean they can be treated without respect. If the child sees his mom or dad speaking to the provider without respect, this is what he will learn.”

2. Timing is important

Being on time to pick up your child matters not only to your daycare provider, but also to your children. “The child may think that he doesn’t matter, because his mom or dad makes no effort to pick him up on time,” says Williams. “Children learn very soon that their friends are picked up early or on time, and they are only picked up after everyone else has gone home already. They will resent that. ”

3. Nannies are not maids

Lisa, a nanny in Greenville, S.C., said she was fired when she refused do housework. “Because I didn’t feel like cleaning the bathroom, they decided to put [the child] in daycare,” she said. Nonetheless, families can confuse the role of a nanny. For her part, Tina Carey, a full-time nanny in the Boston area, once quit a job because she didn’t want to polish the family’s silver. “I said, ‘No, ma’am. If you’re looking for a housekeeper, that’s not me.'”

“Nannies don’t mind cleaning up the house,” said Candi Wingate, president of Nannies4Hire, “But it’s discouraging when another mess is waiting for them when they report to work the next morning. It is reasonable to expect a nanny to clean up after the children, but it is not customary to expect nannies to be responsible for all housecleaning tasks.”

4. They see other nannies yelling at — or ignoring — other children

For every childcare provider who engages her charges at the park, there are countless others chatting on their cell phones or talking with friends. Carey said she once witnessed a little boy nearly get hit by a car while his nanny napped on a blanket at the park. “There used to be a caregiver I would see at the school … who would constantly scream at and berate the child she looked after,” said a nanny named Jennifer. “I wondered how the child’s parents could have hired a woman like that.”

5. A little thanks goes a long way

Don’t skimp on the person who ties your children’s shoelaces, fixes them a snack, and wipes their tears. “I spend five to seven days a week helping her raise her kids and for Christmas, I got a re-gifted mud mask,” said Lisa. “I totally cried,” she said. “I didn’t even write a thank-you note.”

Speaking of thank-you notes, you might want to send one from time to time. “When the nanny goes above and beyond, a thank-you note or little perk is a nice touch,” said Wingate. “Nannies, like everyone else, need to feel that their good work does not go unnoticed.”

6. You need to discipline your children

“Some parents don’t believe in discipline,” said Carey. But giving in to temper tantrums essentially tells kids that yelling and screaming will get them what they want. “Kids are smart,” Carey said.

Of course, your kids might be better behaved when you’re not around. “Why does your kid listen to me and not to you? Because I set firm rules and stick by them,” said certified preschool teacher Dionne Obeso. “You’re a softie, and your kids know it.”

7. Your child might be a bully

“If your children are getting into fights regularly, they are probably starting them,” said Obeso. If you see bites or bruises on your child, ask your childcare provider who is actually hitting whom. They might be afraid to tell you on their own.

8. Your kids need more attention … from you

Lisa works for a family where both parents travel often. “The kids do miss them,” she said. But parents also need to be present when they are home. The 10-year-old boy she babysits was trying to read his father a story he wrote recently. “The dad had his face in his Blackberry and was like, ‘Uh huh, uh huh.'” Lisa said the boy acts out when he’s missing his parents. “He wakes up every night, at least twice in the night and asks for his mom. He starts to cry,” she said.

9. Your kid has a developmental problem

No parent wants to hear that something is wrong with her kid, but caring for Little Johnny for 10 hours a day makes a babysitter pretty observant. “Being a parent myself, it’s a sensitive subject,” said Carey. “You want the best for your child, but you don’t want to hear that.”

10. You get what you pay for, and what you seek

Childcare providers might not be willing to market themselves based on price alone, but “you most certainly get what you pay for in terms of childcare,” says Melody Rubie, owner and president of Smart Start Sitters and Nannies in New York City. “I recommend parents cut back on less crucial items, such as pricey enhancement classes, rather than paying less for a less qualified caregiver who could significantly impact your child’s budding self-esteem and restrict their experiential learning for many hours each week.”

If you’re expecting someone who will teach your young child, make sure they’re qualified, or that they’re actually going to provide the services you assume they are going to provide. Children’s book author Jennifer Lynn Pereyra found that out when she put her oldest daughter into childcare. “We were expecting that when she was three that they would start to teach her letters and numbers. Well, we came to find out that this particular center believed strictly in learning through play and not doing any type of structured learning.”

With her second daughter, Pereyra observed two things about the center they had chosen: The employees had all been there more than 10 years, which showed her they were happy in their jobs. “I chalk this up to solid management practices,” she said. “I firmly believe that good management equals happy, tenured teachers, and happy teachers produce happy children.”

Creative Nanny Cam disguise ideas…

Extracted from – http://nanny-cam-review.toptenreviews.com/creative-nanny-cam-disguise-ideas.html

By Alina Bradford

In photography, the best way to get candid footage is to film someone who doesn’t know they are being filmed. The same is true for filming with a nanny cam. The best way to get the most truthful footage is by hiding the fact that you are filming the person. The key to hiding your camera is with a great disguise. There is no need to make your own, though. Some of the most high-tech cameras on the market come with their own disguises. All you have to do is choose which one works best for your home.

Clocks
One of the most common disguises for hidden cameras is the alarm clock. In fact, the cameras with the most features and highest resolution tend to be hidden in some form of clock. The lens of the camera peeks through the front of the clock, but is cleverly hidden by the plastic casing.

If you want to do your monitoring in a bedroom, this is one of the best camera disguises. Of course, it may stick out in a baby or toddler’s room, because they really don’t have any use for an alarm clock, do they? For rooms with younger children, it would be best to choose another camouflage idea.

IPod Speakers
The iPod speakers camera is one disguise that would work in a baby’s room or any room in the house. They are usually a fully functioning iPod dock and speakers, so if the nanny decides to turn on some music, her suspicions won’t be raised when the dock doesn’t work. For the thrifty consumer, the duel-function of this type of hidden camera just may justify the expense of buying a camera to spy on your nanny.

Electric Outlet and Motion Detectors
Electric outlet and motion-detector disguises mount to the wall and look very inconspicuous. Most people don’t get up close and personal with a wall outlet or a motion detector, so there wouldn’t be any chance of them finding the camera.

The only downside is that the camera would be at plug height, which is normally a few feet off the ground. This means you’ll get a lot of footage of knees or buttocks. This may not be helpful in your quest for damming footage.

For the most effectiveness, make sure that the outlet or the motion detector actually works. If a nanny tries to plug something in or sees that the motion detector doesn’t come on when she passes by, that may raise her suspicions. Even worse, she may just throw the non-functioning item away.

Smoke Detector
In many areas, it is against the law not to have a smoke detector. So, a camera masked by a smoke detector cover wouldn’t be too suspicious. The only problem with this disguise is that these types of camera usually don’t work as functioning smoke detectors. This means that you’ll have two smoke detectors in the same room, which would look suspicious to anyone on the lookout for surveillance items.

On the other hand, smoke detector cameras are installed high on the wall, giving you bird’s-eye-view footage of the room.

The key to a good nanny cam disguise is finding one that has dual-functions and fits in seamlessly with its environment. Hopefully, this list has given you some good ideas for nanny cam disguises in your home.

Less people qualifying for live in caregiver program…

Extracted from – http://www.torontoliveincare.com/2011/11/25/fewer-people-qualifying-for-live-in-caregiver-program/

 

To those in the industry, the confirmation that there are less people entering the Live-In Caregiver program is not a surprise, but Immigration Minister Jason Kenney disclosed this information in an article recently posted here on Canada.com.

The government also is expecting a decline in the number of people who come to Canada as part of the live-in caregiver program “because fewer people are qualifying,” he said.

The overall point of the article is to stress the positive moves the Conservative government is making to shape the type of immigrants that Canada welcomes.  However, we are still seeing a vital, urgent and necessary need for child care solutions in Canada ignored.

 

In fact, we’ve found that families are being denied access to sponsorship for trivial reasons and are generally being given the run-around by Service Canada.

One thing for sure is that the demand for Live-In Caregivers has not decreased.  Agencies represented by the Association of Caregiver and Nanny Agencies Canada (ACNA) still report that the demand is far outweighing the supply of locally available candidates.  Overseas sponsorship is becoming even less of an option to fill the lack of labour already in Canada because of timelines that typically double the posted processing times on Citizenship and Immigration’s website.

It can also be argued that maybe caregiver from outside of the country are choosing other places to go in the world because of the dysfunctional nature of the Canadian Live-In Caregiver program.  Once finished a 24 month program (required to be completed within 48 months), there are currently 36 months of processing to finalize Permanent Residency, and even more time if they are sponsoring family members.  You read that right: it takes 3 years of processing after completing a two year program here.

Despite backlash from caregiver groups and advocated, culminating in a large meeting in Mississauga, Ontario earlier this year, the government has broken promises and ignored the community it relied upon for support in the last Federal election.

Canadian families feel they are also being ignored when the need for these caregivers is absolutely crucial and their government representatives are doing nothing to ensure that supply meets the demand.

Child proofing…how do I do it?

Extracted from – http://anannyonthenet.blog.com/?p=11

One of the most important Nanny responsibilities is to make sure your charge is in a safe environment. One method used to accomplish this is by childproofing. The following checklist is meant to be a general guide for you to follow when childproofing.

Each home situation is different, and Nannies should be flexible when approaching the family in this matter.  Not every family will want to remove furniture with sharp edges when their infant begins to be mobile, just as every family may not use a bouncy seat or swing.  If you are in a Nanny position with a first-born infant, the new parents may not know all they need to childproof their home.  In this case, it is suggested that you approach the family with your ideas, presenting them in a gentle, informative way. They will appreciate you for your guidance and concern.

Checklist for Children from Birth to 4 years

In every room:

  • Child-resistant electrical outlet covers.
  • Curtain or blind cords should not hang where your charge can reach them. Shorten them or pull them higher.
  • Have smoke alarms outside every bedroom, and on each floor of the house.
  • Keep baby belted when in a bouncy seat, swing or high chair.
  • Keep all furniture away from windows—children love to climb.
  • If possible, use corner bumpers on furniture and fireplace hearth edges.
  • Be aware of the houseplants, in case your charge decides they are food to eat. Many houseplants are poisonous when ingested (See further information in the Poison Prevention module)
  • Remove the plastic end caps on doorstops or replace them with a one-piece design to prevent choking.
  • Ask parents to keep guns and ammunition safely locked away.
  • Keep cigarettes, matches and lighters out of children’s reach

Kitchen:

  • Keep chairs and stools away from counters and the stove. Again, children love to climb, and can be harmed on the stove or perhaps find sharp knives on the counter.
  • Install child-resistant safety latches on cabinets where cleaning supplies and plastic bags are kept. There are magnetic ones available, with a ‘key’, that are quite effective. The ‘key’, which is simply a magnet that unlocks the latch, can be put up high on the refrigerator when not being used.
  • Keep knives well away from children’s reach.
  • Never leave cooking food unattended.
  • To avoid fires, have any frayed electrical cords replaced.

Bathrooms:

  • Install a child-resistant lock or latch on the medicine cabinet.
  • Keep all vitamins, supplements and medicines in the locked medicine cabinet. Small children are curious about every bottle. Buy child-resistant bottles when possible.
  • Check to be sure that the household water temperature is at or below 120 degrees, to avoid scalding. Always test the water before bathing your charge.
  • There are many non-stick appliqués available in stores, to be placed in a bathtub.
  • Never leave a young child alone in the bathroom.
  • Use electrical appliances (hair dryers, etc.) carefully around water.

Yard:

  • Store tools, lawn and garden supplies and equipment in a locked closet or shed.
  • Avoid mowing the yard with a power mower when young children are present.
  • Keep children away from a chemically treated lawn for at least a day.
  • Be aware of any poisonous trees or plants in the yard, such as poison oak or ivy.
  • Families with swimming pools should have a fence separating the pool from the house. A childproof gate is also recommended, or is even prescribed by law in some locales. Never leave a child unattended in the pool or in a yard with a pool. There are alarms and whole systems available for pool owners, that can alert you if a door or gate leading to the pool is opened.
  • Never leave a barbecue grill unattended. And warn children to keep a safe distance from it when in use.

Nursery/Child’s Room:

  • The crib should be away from all drapery, windows and electrical cords.
    • The crib should meet the standards for slat-width: no more than 2 3/8 inches between them. Most new cribs today meet or exceed these guidelines.
  • Crib sheets should fit snugly, and bottom sheets only.
    • A firm bumper is preferred, with at least 6 ties. The ties should be no longer than 6 inches to prevent strangulation.
    • The crib mattress should be firm, and tight fitting in the crib. No spaces where baby can get trapped!
      • Be sure all hardware supporting the crib has not disengaged or become loose, thus endangering the baby.
      • Once your charge can reach the mobile or any hanging toys, they should be removed.
      • Children under 1 year should sleep on their backs. (See further information in Back to Sleep/SIDS Awareness)
      • If you use a night-light, it should be placed at least 3 feet away from the crib or bed.
      • Never leave baby unattended on a changing table. Even when bending to put a soiled diaper away or reaching for a fresh diaper, keep one hand on your charge.
      • Use side rails on beds for children making the change to a ‘big’ bed.
      • When children’s bedrooms are not on the ground floor, be sure to have a fire escape ladder in each room.
  • Know the fire evacuation plan. Review and practice it often with the family.

Checklist for Children 4 to 8 years old

Nannies don’t just care for infants and toddlers. Charges ages 4 to 8 are still not mature enough to use good judgment, so don’t assume you no longer need to supervise them closely. Here are a few guidelines for childproofing for older children:

  • Make bathtime safe. We know not to leave babies and toddlers alone in the tub, but many children bathe alone after 4. Experts stress that you need to be near them and be sure the water temperature is set to a maximum of 120 degrees. At this age, they are able to turn the water on and off, and need to be taught about scalding hot water.
  • Kids this age can still tumble out windows! They may also be curious about an overhang outside the windows. Keep beds and chairs away from windows. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends windows not be open more than 4 inches. There are guards and locks available to implement this safety guideline.
  • Exercise caution. Kids can get their fingers caught in exercise equipment, and free weights can drop on their toes. Warn your charge of the dangers, but the best bet is to keep the equipment in a room that is officially off-limits.
  • Children often can’t tell if they are playing too roughly with a pet. Even the most docile pet can bite if provoked. Supervision is recommended, indoors or outside.
  • Children under 10 do not have the cognitive ability to judge the speed and distance of oncoming traffic. They still lack self-control. If an ice cream truck is across the street, your charge might run to it without remembering to look both ways. Watch at all times when they are near a street.
  • Make it a house rule that children never light the stove, turn on the oven or use the microwave without an adult in the room. Unplug small appliances and coil the cords out of sight. Outlet covers are child-resistant, not childproof. There is no substitute for supervision!
  • Young children can strike matches before you expect them to, so make sure they are locked up and out of reach. A lesson or two on fire safety is not a bad idea, either.
  • Continue to store cleaning solutions, batteries, medications and other hazardous materials out of the children’s reach.
  • As much as is possible, secure high dressers and bookcases to the wall and teach your charge never to climb on furniture at a very early age.

At this age, your warnings and lessons may fall on deaf ears.  The key with children is consistency and repetition.  Make your Safety Lessons stick by offering explanations of the dangers. Work warnings into your daily routines. If you’re putting away medication, remind your charge of the danger if he or she takes too much or the wrong kind and that only an adult may give it. If you are lighting the grill, tell them that matches start fires that hurt people. Your charge won’t adopt safe habits overnight. You have to let it happen gradually, naturally. For instance, your charge may not yet be allowed to cross the street alone, but he or she may be ready to cross without holding your hand or with you just watching.

7 tips for hiring a nanny…

Extracted from – http://articles.familylobby.com/134-seven-tips-for-hiring-a-nanny.htm

It is not unusual for a family with two breadwinners to consider hiring a nanny. You don’t have to be a millionaire to be able to afford one either. The amount of work that your nanny does as well as whether she lives at your home will determine the salary that she is paid. If you are new to this territory, here are seven tips to get your from thinking about a nanny to actually employing one in your home.

1) Determine what you can afford. Call local nanny agencies or talk with neighbors that already employ them to find out what the going salary rate is. Remember that you will have to include paying health insurance and taxes as well. The total cost should not exceed 35 percent of your pre-tax salary.

2) Determine what your family wants in a caregiver. Do you want someone full time or just during the hours you are at work? Should the person be a non-smoker and a licensed driver? These are basic needs that should be addressed when you start looking for a nanny.

3) Start looking for candidates. If you are unsure about how to hire a nanny consider hiring one from an agency. A good bet is to find an agency that is affiliated with the International Nanny Association. Be prepared to pay an application fee as well as a placement fee (usually ten percent of the nanny’s salary).

4) Interview the prospective candidates. This may be the most daunting of all of the tasks. You can conduct the first interview by phone. Be sure to ask the most important question of all to avoid problems later, which is, “are you legally permitted to work in the U.S.?” On the second interview invite the candidate to your home and see how they interact with your children. You may even consider paying the nanny to work with you for a week to see how well everyone gets along before hiring them on permanently.

5) Check references completely. The person you are hiring is going to be alone with your child and will be responsible for their welfare. You don’t want just anyone taking care of your most precious possession! Call all references regardless of whether the agency has done so. Speak to the candidate’s last two employers. If you can’t reach anyone or if the references don’t want to talk, it may be a sign that her past employers weren’t too happy with her work.

6) Draw up a work agreement and figure out the payroll. Agencies often prepare the agreement whereas you may need to handle the payroll yourself. Either hire a payroll agency or hire an accountant to do this for you.

7) Introduce your child to their new nanny. If you can take time off from work during the first week of the nanny’s employment it may aide the transition for your child. Check in with the nanny by phone to make sure everything is going smoothly. Give the nanny a journal to write down things that happen during the day. When you come home you can go over the journal with the nanny. Don’t forget to ask the nanny how her day went too; this can go a long way in making her feel like a valued and respected caregiver.

So your hiring your first nanny….?

Extracted from – http://www.enannysource.com/professional-nannies.aspx

 

Professional nannies can provide a level of care for your child that is simply not available in a day care setting. Your nanny will be focused on your children and your children alone and they will not be required to divide their attention amongst many different children as it is in a daycare. Also, your children will have the opportunity to be cared for in the comfortable environment of your home and to develop a close bond with a nurturing caregiver. Remaining in the comfort of your home can help children with changes like your return to work. Minimizing changes during transitions such as these will be very helpful in keeping stress low and for your child.

There are many other things to consider when you are hiring your first nanny. You may be becoming a nanny employer for the first time and you will need to learn about the responsibilities associated with having an employee. It’s important that you think about your specific family’s needs including your cultural background and how that influences your life, as well as the activities you and your family enjoy, whether or not you have pets, also practical needs like days and hours. Additionally, you may want to think about what type of nanny do you envision in your home? A college nanny? Or a grandmotherly sort? A professional nanny? Someone whose responsibilities include other household duties such as a nanny housekeeper or will they be responsible only things child-related?

Once you find a few candidates, you’ll want to review their nanny resume and then place a call to each candidate and conduct a preliminary nanny interview over the phone. Additionally, you will want to begin employment checking as well as their personal references. Once you have a few “finalists,” you’ll want to set up an in-person interview. Having a first interview at a coffee shop near your house will help you maintain a level of privacy. The second interview should definitely take place in your home with your children.

Once you have interviewed the nanny a second time, it’s time for you to schedule a “try-out” period where your nanny comes in and completes a trial day or up to a week. After you find the right nanny, you should let the candidate know that you are interested in hiring her pending a nanny background check. Following a clean nanny background check , you should offer the position as well as develop a formal work agreement. The first 3 weeks to 3 months is a period when nannies and families are learning about each other. It’s important that during this time period you check in with your nanny on a weekly or at least monthly basis about what is working and what is not working. It’s important for you and your child that you develop a good working relationship with your nanny. The most important piece to this is good communication. Good Communication needs to start from the very beginning.

Congrats, you are on your way! The benefits of having a professional nanny are so rewarding for children. Hiring your first nanny may feel scary and you may feel as though you are in uncharted waters, however, as long as you do your homework and learn about the process, you are going to do just fine!