Nanny V Childcare – The pros and cons..

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  1. Cost: It is one of the most affordable options for childcare.
  2. Your child’s care provider is in a supervised environment with many adults present.
  3. Daycare centers must meet minimum state safety and sanitary regulations.
  4. You maintain your privacy. You do not have to open up your home to anyone.
  5. Your child will have more opportunity to socialize with other children.


  1. It is very likely that your child will be sick more frequently.
  2. Shipping your child to a daycare center can be inconvenient. Packing baby supplies, bundling kids up in the winter and getting yourself ready for work can be very time consuming.
  3. It is a fact of life that daycare centers pay their employees very low wages. Consequently, turnover is high. If consistency in care providers is important to you, this may not be the best option.
  4. If your child is very ill, daycare centers will not allow your child to attend. You will need to find back up care or be prepared to take days off from work.
  5. Many daycare centers dictate when your child should be off the bottle, pacifier, take naps etc. If the idea of someone else calling the shots with your child’s routine turns you off, you may not like this form of care for your child. On the other hand, some parents like the idea of the daycare center doing the “dirty work” and appreciate someone else getting their toddler to give up his comfies.
  6. If your work hours are longer than the standard hours of operation for the daycare center, you will need to arrange for drop off and/or pickup by either a family member or another childcare provider.

Nanny Care


  1. One-on-one care for your child. This is especially desirable in the infant years. Babies are held more often, comforted when crying.
  2. Your child is cared for in a familiar and comfortable environment, your home.
  3. More convenient for parents. Parents do not have to dress and pack up kids to transport them to outside care.
  4. Less illness. Children do not catch every illness that is going around. Parents are not required to find sick care for their child or to take as much time off to care for a sick child.
  5. Many times, parents enjoy a more flexible schedule. If parents need to leave early in the morning and can not return by the standard closing time of a daycare center, nanny care is sometimes a much better alternative.
  6. More control over values, rules your child is exposed to. Parents can communicate to Nanny the way things are done and ask that Nanny follow family rules, teach family values, etc.


  1. Cost: Nannycare is the most expensive form of childcare. Recruiting a nanny can be costly when using a Nanny agency. Weekly salaries for nannies are 2 to 3 times the cost of a week of daycare. Cost becomes more comparable to daycare when 2 or more children are cared for by the nanny.
  2. Turnover: Finding the right nanny can be challenging. Some families go through many nannies until they find the right match. This lack of consistency is difficult on the children and the parents.
  3. Lack of Privacy: Some families do not like the idea of having a “stranger” in their home all day. And, when a live-in is involved, the lack of privacy spills over to evening and weekend hours as well.
  4. Lack of Security: Everyone has heard the stories of abusive nannies. Even though this is not the norm, many families feel the risk is just too high to trust someone with their child.
  5. Hassle: Employing someone in your home does come with some added “hassles.” Calculating and paying payroll taxes, providing benefits such as paid vacation time, health insurance, sick days. All of these things are imperative if you want to keep your nanny and keep her happy. But, when holding down a full time job and taking care of your children when you are home, taking care of nanny too, can sometimes be difficult for families to remember.
  6. Back up care. You will still need to arrange for back up care when nanny is sick or takes vacation time.


10 ways to get the kids to eat their veggies!

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(CNN) — As a parent, you might look at the government’s new nutrition icon and think, “Really?”

The image is a dinner plate divided into sections. Half the plate is full of fruits and vegetables.

That’s right — half of what your child eats is supposed to be fruits and vegetables. Not hot dogs, not hamburgers, not chicken nuggets, but broccoli, squash, Brussels sprouts, and other things that come from the ground.

“It’s extremely tough to get your child to eat half a plate of fruits and vegetables,” says Jessica Seinfeld, author of two books on cooking for kids. “I’ve talked to thousands and thousands of parents, and most of them can’t get their kids to try them.”

Statistics show kids aren’t getting nearly enough fruits and veggies. Only 22% of children ages 2 to 5 meet government recommendations for vegetable consumption, according to a 2009 study by researchers at Ohio State University.

It only gets worse as children get older: Just 16% of children ages 6 to 11 meet the government’s guidelines, and only 11% of those ages 12 to 18.

In the study of more than 6,000 kids and teens, about a third of vegetable consumption was fried potatoes (potato chips, french fries, etc.), and a little more than a third of the fruit consumption was juice — so if you don’t include those, the percentages get even lower.

There’s no one way to get your kids to eat more fruits and veggies, but here are ten tips straight from moms.

1. Get them while they’re hungry.

From Dr. Ann Kulze, family physician, author of “Eat Right for Life,” and mother of Liz, 21, Frazier, 20, Jack, 19, and Lucie, 16.

If they’re hungry, they’ll eat. Before dinner, serve an appetizer of colorful vegetables, such as carrots, cucumbers, and red bell peppers, along with a hummus or low-fat salad dressing, Kulze suggests.

2. Institute the “no thank you bite” rule.

From Amy Traverso, Yankee Magazine’s lifestyle editor and mother of 3-year-old Max.

Tell your child he has to take a bite before vetoing something on his plate.

“We figure as long as our son is tasting the food, he’ll eventually get comfortable with it,” Traverso says. “It works pretty well.”

3. Make up cute names.

From Susan Risdal, an administrator with an IT company and the mother of C.J., 38, Cedric, 36, Dan, 30, and Lars and Rebecca, 26. She’s also grandmother of Theodore, 7, Alexander, 4, Jess, 2, and Jaxon, 2 months.

Marketers do this, so why shouldn’t you? Once Risdal started calling Brussels sprouts “hero buttons,” her kids couldn’t get enough of them.

4. Shop with your kids.

From Eileen Wolter, who writes a blog called A Suburban State of Mom. She’s the mother of 6-year-old Luke and 3-year-old Graeme.

“Let them pick out the fruits and vegetables,” Wolter says. “Let them smell the produce and admire the colors.”

5. Cook with your kids.

From Shannon Duffy, mother of Dakota, 15, and Dylan, 9.

A few years back, Duffy asked Dylan to make the green beans — add some butter, sprinkle on some seasonings — while she worked on other dishes.

“When we sat down to eat, Dylan insisted on eating the green beans because, as he put it, ‘I made them.'” Two years later, he’s still eating his veggies as long as he helps prepare them.

6. Have a “veggie night.”

From Mia Redrick, who has her own blog, Time for Mom-Me, and is mother of Patrick, 13, Alexandra, 9, and Matthew, 6.

This way, there’s no competition from other types of foods.

“Serve up edamame, hummus with veggies, mushroom burgers with Swiss, etc.,” Redrick suggests.

7. Hide the veggies.

From Jessica Seinfeld, author of “Deceptively Delicious,” and mother of Sascha, 10, Julian, 8, and Shepherd, 5.

In Seinfeld’s book, she tells parents how to stealthily sneak pureed vegetables into everything from shrimp dumplings to quesadillas.

8. Make fruits and vegetables the easy option.

From Coco Peate, blogger at, and mother of Sophia, 7, Maddy, 5, Danny, 2, and 2-month old Anthony.

Take a tip from the geniuses who thought to put potato chips in single-serving bags. Stock a kid-accessible shelf in your fridge with little bags of cut fruit and vegetables, applesauce, and fruit cups.

9. Let them use fun gadgets.

From Althea Hughes Wills, blogger at Raw Mocha Angel.

What kid doesn’t love gadgets? Let them use a blender, juicer, and food processor to make smoothies and other recipes with fruits and vegetables. Use proper supervision, of course.

10. Bribe with dessert.

From Natalie Boecker, marketing executive, mother of Ali, 27, and Pam, 23.

“Didn’t want to finish what was good for them? No problem — no dessert,” Boecker says. “Maybe not the healthiest way to get them to eat vegetables, but it worked for us.”

Getting the kids to take a bath – helpful tips!

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Some kids love to take baths. But with other kids, some parents feel like they’re asking their kids to open wide to have teeth pulled out. What can you do, as a parent, to get kids to take a bath?

Before I give you a few solutions, I thought it would be fun to share some of the moments that made my wife and I laugh over the last couple of years. My personal favorite is when our two daughters were taking a bath together. Our older daughter said to the youngest, “Sweetie, don’t drink the water because I peed in the bath”. We were both just about rolling on the floor when that came out of her mouth. Another time, when my daughter was about 3, I was taking a bath with her while my wife was in the bathroom brushing her teeth. My daughter looked at my wife and said, “Mommy, did you know that Daddy has a tail?” I think the neighbors must have heard us laughing at that one.

When we give our kids baths in our home, it has been programmed in their minds that bath time is fun. We laugh. We sing. We play with toys. We talk about anything. Both of our kids love taking baths because they see it as a really good time. I think that this is the key to making sure your kids are willing participants when it comes to getting squeaky clean.

Here are a few tips to get you going in this direction:

  • Let your child sit in the bathroom while you take a bath. Put a few bath toys in the bath and play with them yourself. It seems weird but you might just get your child interested enough to want to join you.
  • Get in the tub with your kids! In the toddler years this is a normal and healthy thing to do. Splash around with your kids and take turns dumping water on each other. Laugh about it.
  • Get your child to pick a favorite toy to bring into the bath. In a really difficult situation have the child actually pick the toy out at the store him or herself, but only allow the child to play with this toy in the bath.
  • Sing songs in the bath together.
  • Give your child a straw to blow bubbles in the water with. This simple “toy” seems to really give kids a ton of pleasure. Just make sure they aren’t using it to drink the bath water!
  • Last but not least, use the language tools that I teach in the “Talking to Toddlers” audio course. Presuppositions, double binds, yes sets and reframing techniques are just a few of the tools you’ll learn in this program. They are designed to get your toddlers to agree with your requests without resistance. They really do work!

Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you understand this one simple thing – getting your kids to take a bath is best accomplished by making it fun for the child. Every child is different, so find something that works for your child. Whatever you do, remember to be flexible and try new things.

Enjoy your children,

By Chris Thompson

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!


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

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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.”


•Daryl Camarillo, APNA president, (650) 462-4580 or

•Judi Merlin, APNA ethics chair, (770) 725-2748 or

•Go to 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…

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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.