Choosing a nanny to take care of your kids is not an easy task. Indeed, you will trust a new person that you do not know yet with what is the most important to you in the world. It is therefore a time to be cautious and careful and to follow a proven process to put all the chances on your side in the search for the perfect nanny.
During the hiring process, you should be on the lookout for red flags alerting you that you should not select a candidate.
To help you, we have listed the signs that should make you think twice before hiring a nanny candidate:
- Lack of professionalism: the candidate arrives late; she does not wear appropriate clothing and doesn’t look “tidy” instead wears too much jewellery and perfumes, in short she does not match what is expected of a nanny; her phone rings during the interview and she answers it; she criticizes her former employers; her grammar or vocabulary leaves too much to be desired; she talks more about her personal life than her work.
- Questionable integrity: the candidate doesn’t have references, refuses a background check; never stayed with the same family for a long time; does not look at you in the eyes.
- Affinity with children: If your little ones are present during the interview, the potential nanny is not paying attention to them; the candidate does not ask questions about the kids she will take care of, but only about salary and job specifics.
Of course, in itself none of these signs should necessarily be a reason to exclude a candidate, but they are red flags to remind you to be careful and have a long list of positive things about this babysitter before hiring her, even for a trial period.
And when in doubt, listen to your mom instinct that is often more reliable than all the certificates in the world.
Article by: Halima Benmiloud for OurKids.net, Canada’s trusted source for camps and schools.
Do you think your child may have trouble concentrating? Is he or she constantly glancing around or off into space when they should be studying or focusing more closely on a given task?
If impulsiveness, inattention, aggression, learning difficulties, hyperactivity symptoms seem to describe your child then it’s likely you are one of tens of thousands battling this common childhood problem.
Focus and concentration difficulties are the source of much aggravation for parents, teachers and other children alike. The consequences of lack of concentration can lead to children being easily distracted, easily irritable, difficulties with reading and writing, and forgetfulness.
The following are just a few ways to improve your child’s concentration levels:
- Promote a healthy diet— Nowadays, children have an increased intake of processed foods, saturated fats and sugary foods. Studies have shown that a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and veggies will help your child’s brain functions. As well, studies have shown that parents should shy away from foods that have food colouring in them, as they may increase hyperactivity in children.
- Set Routines—It’s a great thing to have a routine (time for sleep, chores, homework), a ritual of things for your child to do. Your child will get into a pattern and patterns help children know what is supposed to happen next, making them think less about how to possibly entertain themselves and therefore lose concentration on the present. Figure out a regular routine that will suit you and your child, and make sure your nanny or after-school caregiver respects it too.
- Control the use of television and electronics—Experts agree that kids under two years old should not watch TV at all and children that are older than two should be only allowed one to two hours a day. The same rules should be applied to your older children because too much TV and electronics can prevent them from doing intellectual and physical activities like, reading, doing homework, playing outside, and interacting with friends and with family.
- Exercise more often—Both mental and physical exercise are very important to help your child concentrate better. For mental exercises, try playing board games that stimulate your child to think strategically and focus. Guessing games or even allowing them to help you cook by reading or following recipes. For physical exercise, it has been scientifically proven that children that do at least 30 minutes of exercise per day are more likely to do well in school, focus better and generally be more positive.
- Help children with scholastic pressure—Don’t be an absentee homework parent. When your child comes home from school with homework, sit down and do their homework with them. Turn it into a game, where if they get a certain amount of answers right they get a prize. The quality time with you and the joy that you put into the act of doing homework will make them concentrate better.
- Organize daily activities—While this is not always possible, try to plan different activities for your child as often as possible, so that each day they have something to look forward to. One night invest in a piñata, another have family game night. When they know they have something exciting to look forward to, they will be happier during the day and often participate more in class. Better yet, tell them that they will only get to participate in this new daily activity once they finish their homework, chores…etc.
- Be honest and open with your child—Your children pick up on everything whether you believe they do or not. If something is going on within the family, talk to your child about his or her feelings. The stress of the tension that might or might not be going on within the household could cause your child to act out in school and could be the leading cause of the lack of concentration.
- Supplement with proper essential fatty acids—Studies have shown that children who supplement their diet with essential fatty acids (EFA’s) such as EPA, DHA and GLA, have a better chance of avoiding neurological disorders and learning disabilities like ADHD, depression, anxiety, dyslexia and dyspraxia. Children that are already deficient in EFA’s are susceptible to have cardiovascular problems, abnormalities of the liver and kidney, reduced growth, dry skin, reduced immune system functions and various psychological disorders. The right EFA supplementation can help with inattention, writing and reading, cognitive problems, and other behavioural difficulties like concentration and ADHD symptoms. Make sure to purchase a supplement that offers at least 500 mg of EPA and 150 mg of DHA in its daily dose, with a EPA/DHA/GLA ratio of 9:3:1.
Footer: Give your kids the best school experience this year. Find top schools across the country at http://www.ourkids.net/school/
Guest article by: Jake Roth for OurKids.net, Canada’s trusted source for camps and schools.
Have you heard of Family Camps? They do exist and are much fun for parents and children. Read on to find out more from OurKids.net, a great resource to find camps.
With summer fast approaching, many parents have already begun the search for the right camp for their child. For some kids, this may be the first time they’ll be away from their parents for an extended period of time and the prospect is sometimes overwhelming, especially for younger campers. Other families may just be looking to spend some time away together with a bit more structure than a typical campground. So why not check out a family camp as an option?
Family camps allow kids to attend camp with the entire family! These camps provide many traditional programs, activities, and facilities such as windsurfing, kayaking, land sports, and tents. When you would like time to yourself or to enjoy adult-geared programs, counsellors will look after your kids (usually ages one and higher) and keep them active. Typically, families enroll for one week (or less) at camps, many of which offer a designated family week.
Aruna Ogale, former executive director of the Ontario Camps Association, says, “I think that more and more families want to spend time together, but they also want to have some structure for their children. So it’s a good way for parents and kids to do an activity together, yet in a setting that’s very child focused.” Now, here are some of family camp’s benefits that may account for this growing popularity.
Family Bonding and Activities
Family camps allow families to spend time together and bond in the midst of nature. Elisa Van Wagner, a third-generation director of Camp Nominingue in Quebec’s Northern Laurentians, states, “There is family programming where the whole family can take part.” Such activities include baseball, sailing, mountain biking, wall climbing, and day canoe trips that require you and your family to work together.
Camp Fun for the Kids
“There’s always something for someone to do,” Van Wagner exclaims, while noting that programs run until as late as ten at night. Your children, who will inevitably make new friends, will not be bored! “We call our staff programming geniuses.”
Cam Green, the family camp coordinator at YMCA Wanakita in Haliburton, Ont., sees family week as an introduction to the camp experience. In short, most of the kids at family camp would be too young for a regular overnight camp. Therefore, attending family week is an occasion to acclimatize them to the camp experience.
Camp Fun for Parents
Ogale points out that attending family camp is a way for parents to relive their past camp experiences. “Or, if you’re a parent, like me, who maybe didn’t get a chance to go to camp, here’s your opportunity to see what camp’s all about.”
Van Wagner explains that camp allows parents to enjoy themselves in adult ways. At Camp Nominingue, you can send your child to “kids’ club” and then enjoy time to yourself. “We have adult programs, like a film festival and wine and cheese . . . A lot of parents say, boy, camp sounds fun, I wish we could go.”
A Carefree Atmosphere at Family Camp
Van Wagner views family camp as a chance for you to take a break from many of your regular responsibilities, or go on a vacation. You need not cook, do dishes, or clean. The camp takes care of everything for you. You just have time to relax!
Meeting Other Families
At family camp, you will meet plenty of families, most of which will be in the same life stage as you are. “You know your neighbour” and will often spend a lot of time with them. It’s a great opportunity to develop new friendships!
Footer: Give your kids a Summer Camp experience this year. Find top camp for kids and teens at www.ourkids.net/camp.
This post was originally shared on Chantal Saville’s Blog
When I was born in 1972, there was no maternity leave. No benefits, no time off.
My mom, being the primary breadwinner in our house, would have been in a really bad position if it had not been for her ability to negotiate to take the summer off from work AND to plan my birth for Spring. She’s really something, my mom. I honestly think that she could affect the earth’s rotational axis, if she really put her mind to it.
But a few months later, she had to find someone to take care of me. There was no Internet back then, no way to quickly find a database of potential candidates. Daycare? Not so much.
Through French au pair girls and a variety of other people, she was able to piece together a childcare system that worked most of the time. After I started preschool, she found this wonderful woman named Nancy. Actually, she had found her daughter first, but Andrea didn’t want to continue babysitting so her mother offered to take over: after school and during holidays.
Nancy became a second mom to me. She was so important in my life. She introduced me to fruit cocktail. She watched Mighty Mouse with me, every afternoon. We weeded her garden and she didn’t say anything when I yanked out handfuls of non-weeds! Her husband John used to tease me about my speaking in French some of the time, though neither Nancy or John spoke a word of it.
Except ‘cochon strips’. John always joked that we would have scrambled eggs and cochon strips for lunch (bacon, in case you didn’t get it). To this DAY, my actual mom and I still call them that, using awful fake French accents.
She included me in many of her life events, including her daughter’s wedding. She even made me a beautiful dress to wear. For HER daughter’s wedding: as if she didn’t have enough to do, she took the time to do this for me.
I was sad the day I stopped going to Nancy’s — Mom had started freelancing from home — but we kept in touch. She always called on my birthday and we visited on occasion. She came to the first ever Christmas party that we had at my parent’s house. When Pierre and I got engaged, she came to the Jack & Jill BBQ we had and to the wedding. It was so great to have someone like her in my life, a constant.
When I had Nikki, she came to visit at my mom’s house, to see her and bring her some presents. Two years later, during another visit, my daughter covered her in stickers while we chatted. She actually walked home like that: covered in those silly stickers. I implored her to take them off before she left, but she was adamant: “No! I’ll take them off later. I like Nikki’s stickers.”
She was more than a babysitter. More than a caregiver. She was and is an important influence in my life and while we lost John only just over a year ago, she is still going strong and living her life. When I turned 40 last year, she called, as always. She asked what I was doing for my big day and I told her we were taking Nikki to a cottage up north for a fun weekend.
She said: “Well, don’t forget the cochon strips!”
About Chantal Saville: Mother. Wife. Daughter. Publisher. Editor. Writer. www.chantalsaville.ca
We are sooo pleased to announced that we are now offering discounted memberships to the Families and members of the Canadian Forces. From the news, everyone knows of overseas deployment that may of the Forces face in their career, but, did you also know that when they are in Canada, the frequently must change the location of their domicile for their duty calls? It is a known fact that the military personnel and their families struggle with the work / life balance just like most, but they also deal with uncommon stress from often having one family member on assignment abroad and from dealing with frequent relocation from base to base. Each relocation means a loss of the local support network.
The sacrifice that the whole family goes through can be alleviated by having an easy way to find experienced help around the house in the new location. SOSsitter is proud to provide support to our troops in recognition of their sacrifices and dedication. We now offer discounted memberships to Canadian Forces personnel and their families.
Pass the word out!
We recently had an interesting discussion with our friends at OurKids Media about our children’s self control. They had interesting views and solutions and we asked them to share them with our readers on our blog. So here ii is – an insightful article about self-control written by Nancy Parker for OurKids.net, Canada’s trusted source for camps and schools.
Sometimes, it seems like children around us are more and more out of control every year. Toddlers run screaming through the grocery store, middle-schoolers shoplift, and high schoolers turn to drugs and alcohol. What’s gone wrong? What are children missing? What are parents and caregivers forgetting? The answer is just one thing: self-control.
So why is it missing? What went wrong? Well, for one thing, children are being taught that it is not their job to control themselves. They always have an excuse for their behavior. They have ADD, or they’re tired, or hungry, or under-stimulated, or over-stimulated. Whatever the excuse, parents are giving children an ‘out’.
In the long term, excusing children’s behavior is very detrimental to their mental and physical health. If they don’t learn to control their bodies when they are young, they will have a much harder time when they are older. What do you think drives teen’s need for drugs and alcohol? Their desire to escape. Escape pain, escape responsibility, escape life. But why? Why do they have such a hard time doing what generations before them have done? They have little self-control.
I’m not saying that every addiction or bad behavior stems from a lack of self-control, but it is a significant percentage of the problem. Because children have been taught to rely on things outside themselves for control: teachers, parents, nannies and babysitters, police or sometimes even medication - they are lost when they get into a situation where that presence is missing.
Self-control also affects confidence. How can you be confident if you are not even in control of your own body? Confidence stems from security, and out of control people are not secure. They flail around, blown by every wind and word, drawn to every fad and new presence that enters their life promising control. Even cutting, a very self-destructive behavior, comes from a desire to control.
If you don’t teach children self-control, they will suffer. And so will you. As a parent to an out of control child, you will have to fight to control them in every circumstance. Instead of them policing themselves, you will have to watch them like a hawk. Or, like some parents, you will eventually give up on them. And then they will have to learn self-control through suffering, though some never learn at all.
Why would you want your child to suffer? Why would you want your child to be unproductive and unsuccessful in life? You don’t. So, teach them self-control, they can learn it. An ADD child can be taught to use medication as a tool. It assists them in their ability to stay in control, but it does not control them. A toddler can learn to sit quietly, even when hungry or tired. Not for an hour, but at least for a few minutes.
Parents, too, have issues with self-control. Some can’t keep a job, some can’t control their spending, and some can’t control their temper. But the wonderful thing about self-control is that it can be learned at any time. All that’s needed is practice. After all, children emulate their parents. If the parent is out of control, then how will the child learn what self-control looks like?
Our Kids Media is an organisation that offers great resources on Schooling and Camps. In February, they will be hosting a Summer Camp Expo in Toronto. Meet with top camps across Ontario and Quebec: athttp://www.ourkids.net/campexpo/
This post was originally shared on Multiple Mayhem Mamma blog.
Gone are the days when you waited for New Year’s Eve with excited anticipation. No, you are in a different stage of your life now. You are a parent of children. Young children. Ones that can’t be left alone while you party hardy with your friends. New Years Eve and kids are a combination that requires a bit more planning, some patience and perhaps – just perhaps – a tip of wine (or champagne)
Though it may seem this way as you approach December 31st with the family, all hope is not lost. There are things that you can do with the kids to where you and the little ones can enjoy the celebration.
1) Special Dinner – It’s the end of the year so celebrate! The kids will surely in a celebratory mood so why not get them involved in cooking? Get some family-friendly recipes that the children can help you make (including baking a cake or cookies for dessert). Timing is everything: start the baking in the afternoon, the dinner preparation in early evening and sit down for a nice meal a bit later than normal. Do your New Years Eve with the kids early if the children are on the younger side. If they’re old enough to stay up late, let them. This night is not the night to insist that they follow their usual bedtime rules. It’s New Years Eve and staying up to see midnight is part of the fun, after all.
2) Games Tournament – How about some old-school entertainment for the family? You can always turn off the TV or XBox and gather around the dining room table for a Monopoly championship. If your kids are old enough, consider playing this classic game as it is not only fun, but it takes time (at least a couple of hours) and will get them thinking and strategizing – which is always a good thing. If the kids are on the younger end of the spectrum, card games are always a favorite, with Go Fish, Crazy Eights and Concentration as great games to keep the little ones occupied.
3) Movie Night – How about a themed evening of entertainment? After the homemade dinner (see point #1), sit the family down to some old classics as well as some new faves. New Years Eve can be a wonderful time for families to bond together over the dinner table (see above) and a good movie. As with anything, plan in advance and have your mix of movies ready to go for the big night. That way no time will be wasted deciding on a film that everyone will like.
4) City Festivals and Parties – The dilemma of “what to do with the kids” has finally sunken in and now most cities have family-friendly activities and entertainment events planned. Whether it’s at the city hall grounds, a popular park or similar landmark, for the most part, these fetes are free. Better yet, they are catered to both adults and children, so you’ll be guaranteed to have activities that will be enjoyed by the whole family. If you’re in a part of the world where it’s cold on New Year’s Eve, make sure to bundle up the kids so that frostbite doesn’t ruin your night out. If you’re in a warmer climate, what could be better than ringing in the new year on a beach, or somewhere outside, without a jacket?
5) Museums and Galleries – Most cities have museums and art galleries that offer special new year events that are specifically geared towards families. Many of these locales offer kid-friendly parties, arts and crafts and live entertainment, often at a discounted rate. Best yet, they often start early in the evening and wrap up just in time to get the kids in bed so that you and your significant other can ring in the new year alone. Check your local listings and make a date with the family for December 31st.
6) Family Party With Friends – There’s strength in numbers/surround yourself with like-minded people/misery loves company Whatever the platitude, you can enjoy New Year’s Eve. There are many, just like you, who are dealing with their kids and wondering how to entertain them on the last night of the year. How about a party – with kids? One of the things that many adults miss when they become parents is the social aspect of getting out. This is often due to the lack of a babysitter, lack of funds or lack of energy. New Years Eve is the perfect time to reconnect with friends – those with kids – who you may not have seen for some time. Invite them and the whole family over for a mini-party (if you don’t want it to get too crazy) and get your groove on! Put some movies or music on for the kids, set up some games, have some goodies out, serve some easy buffet-style food (e.g. chili, pizza, etc.) and have fun! Just because you’re a parent it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a good time.
New Year’s Eve should be a celebration, mom and dad. With some simple planning you can have lots of fun ringing in the new year with the kids.
Samantha Kemp-Jackson is the mother of four, (including three-year-old identical twin boys) and the voice behind the blog, Multiple Mayhem Mamma. The blog is a humourous and insightful look at the inanities of parenting from a not completely sane point of view.
The end of the year brings many things: cold weather, long lines at stores, and a lot of extra stress. However, it also brings the holidays and long-awaited quality time with your family.
If you’re like most people, you’re so busy with shopping for gifts, planning parties, and doing everything you can to make the holiday season special for your loved ones that you may have lost sight of what’s really important: the time you spend with them.
So if you’re looking for ways to make your family happy, why not try some traditional activities that all of you can do together? Here are a few ways to ensure that everyone has fun this season (including you)!
1. Deck the halls. Decorating your home for the holidays shouldn’t be a solo mission. Gather the whole family to trim the tree, make a wreath, hang lights, and put out all the traditional decorations that make this season special for your family. You can remember holidays past and make some new memories for years to come.
2. Get sweet. Most people would agree that the sweet treats that come with the holidays are one of the best parts of celebrating. And you can use the temptation of these sugary goodies to entice even the most anti-social of teens into spending time with the family. Pull out the recipes for everyone’s favorite cookies and fire up the stove to start feeling festive.
3. Sing your heart out. There’s no better way to spread the joy of the season than by going caroling. So tune up and head out to sing for your neighbors. If your family is fairly gifted, you can practice up a bit to get some harmonies going. If the best you can do is carry a tune, think about inviting other family and friends along. What you lack in vocal stylings you can make up for with gusto.
4. Tell a tale. Watching a movie can definitely help to pass the time, but why not try something a little different (and less mindless) by reading a traditional holiday story by the fire? Cuddle up with mugs of hot chocolate and settle in for a long winter’s nap with a recital of The Night Before Christmas. Or if you’re looking for longevity, read A Christmas Carol over several nights leading up to the holiday.
5. Hone your craft. Rather than purchasing impersonal manufactured gifts for your family and friends, go the extra mile and make something instead. The whole family can get creative and put their skills to use to make ornaments or other handmade gifts for grandparents, aunts, uncles, and so on that will appreciate the sentiment. Here are some cheap and easy holiday craft ideas.
6. Do a good deed. Use the season of giving as a reason to do a good deed by making a donation of your time. Collect boxes of food or gifts to take to the local shelter, volunteer to cook and hand out food, or use your singing skills to lift the spirits of those who are less fortunate this season.
Give your kids the best school experience this year. Find top schools across the country at http://www.ourkids.net/school/
Article by: Michelle Eisen for OurKids.net, Canada’s trusted source for camps and schools.
Teaching children healthy eating habits can not only help them maintain a healthy weight and normal growth for their age, it can also have a dramatic effect on their cognitive growth and help them do better in school too!
Children require healthy food to concentrate, to develop and maintain self-regulation, to have full function of their short and long-term memory, and to ensure proper cognitive and behavioural functioning necessary for academic achievement.
Consuming refined sugar allows for a short spike in alertness, followed by a drop in energy and concentration. Providing your children with balanced and healthy meals will allow them to stay focused and alert in school throughout the day. Many parents express challenges in providing healthy meals for their children from lacking cooking skills, to their child refusing to eat vegetables. Luckily, there are quick and easy solutions to many of the challenges you may be facing in your quest to providing healthy options for your child.
Five easy ways to break down the roadblocks to healthy eating:
- 1. Involve the kids—Children love to learn. What better life lesson to teach, than how to shop and cook with health in mind. As you make your way through the produce aisles, ask your child what fruits and vegetables look interesting to him. Perhaps he is excited by the vibrant colours of a dragon fruit, or the interesting shapes of a squash. Don’t be afraid to purchase new types of foods. By bringing home and eating the produce that spikes your child’s interest, you are promoting his excitement about eating fresh and healthy food! Even better, have your child help prepare the foods that he has chosen. There are many great websites such as The World’s Healthiest Foods (www.whfoods.org), devoted to providing easy-to-follow recipes for each type of fruit and vegetable. Cooking is a great way to increase your child’s self-efficacy in working with different foods in the kitchen—increasing the likelihood that he will cook healthy meals for himself later on in life.
- 2. It’s all about the presentation—Believe it or not, we begin eating with our eyes at a very young age. When we think about children’s favourite candies, they are often bright, vibrant colours. A neatly presented, colourful plate of food will entice your youngster to dig in!
- 3. Hide the vegetables—Through my research, I have found that the older the child, the more stubborn he becomes towards changing his eating habits—this stubbornness brings us right into adulthood. How did I get a group of 16-20 year olds to try new vegetables? I hid them. Purchasing a good-quality juicer is a great investment which will cost you between $100—$180. Juicing allows for easy consumption of micronutrients; and when paired with flavourful fruits, the presence of vegetables can be masked. Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower can all be concealed by pairing them with the right fruits! Visit www.FeedingTheNeedToSucceed.blogspot.com for effective vegetable-concealing recipes.
- 4. You can’t eat what’s not there—When children are hungry, most opt for the snacks rich in salt, processed flour, and sugar, such as chips, chocolate, donuts, cookies with icing, etc. By keeping these types of foods out of the home, you have installed a foolproof, prevention plan. Without these foods in the house, parents do not have to feel guilty for caving in to their child’s sugary wants, and children will feel more compelled to reach for a fruit or vegetable for a day-time snack.
Did you know? It is actually possible to train your child’s taste buds. As in sports or learning to play an instrument, it is much easier to train at a young age. Children as well as adults learn to crave the foods they are used to eating, which is why it is so difficult for a child used to a diet low in vegetables, to become accustomed to eating vegetables on a daily basis. With persistence, however, taste buds can be retrained. Allowing children the opportunity to relate eating healthy to feeling great through personal experience, will provide them with a hunger for nutritious food.
- 5. Read the label—When deciding on which juice, granola bar, cereal, or any other pre-packaged food to buy, it is important to read the label. Ingredients are listed from most to least abundant. If you are finding any form of sugar within the first three listed ingredients, there is a much healthier option out there—keep looking. There are a few other tips for reading labels parents should keep in mind. Keep an eye on sodium levels. Depending on their ages, children should not consume more than 1200 mg of sodium per day. Avoid foods with artificial sweeteners, including sucralose and aspartame, as studies have shown that they may not be safe for brain-development in children.
As schools play a crucial role in the development of your child, encourage your school to provide nutrition workshops for their students, as Appleby College’s nutritionist, Norine Khalil, provided for hers.
Just as you teach your child to be polite, and responsible, teach your child to love healthy foods and all of the benefits that go with it. Together, you can enjoy learning and feeling your best.
For free advice on healthy eating, EatRight Ontario provides free consultation from Registered Dieticians. Visit their website at Ontario.ca/eatright or talk to a registered dietician for free at 1-877-510-5102.
For more information on how you can provide your child with healthy options, contact Michelle Eisen at FeedingTheNeedToSucceed@gmail.com.
Give your kids the best school experience this year. Find top schools across the country at http://www.ourkids.net/school/
The people who take care of, and in many cases, have a special relationship with your children and your family should be on your list; this is a chance to show them just how much you appreciate the care they give your children and how important their work and their presence are.
We have compiled some advices and suggestions about the presents to give:
Gift cards are a good alternative if you are not comfortable with cash and there are lots of options depending on your nanny’s needs:
- Same as cash cards- Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal
- Ecommerce sites – Apple/iTunes and Amazon
- Stores chains – The Bay, Sears, Winners, Wal-Mart
- Gift cards from your nanny’s favorite stores and restaurants
- Gift cards from grocery stores
The key is to be as versatile as possible so if you’re unsure, a mall gift certificate is often better than a gift card to a specific store.
Christmas bonuses are usually for nannies who live in your home and/or work full time, whilst occasional nannies and babysitters usually get a gift or smaller bonuses.
The rules of thumb are:
- 1 weeks pay for 1 year with your family
- 2 weeks pay for 2 years with your family
- 3 weeks pay for 3 or more years with your family
- Prorate for less than a year
- 1 day if occasional days
Creative Gift Giving
If you are worried about money this season, there are some creative gifts that you can give your nanny:
- Air miles to fly your nanny home to see her family
- Previous generation computers (with prepaid internet and Skype set up)
- Refurbished iPhone and iPad
- Extra paid vacation / time off if your schedule is flexible enough to allow it.
- Watch sites like Groupon for deals on everything under the sun.
Personal gifts from parents and the kids
It is always nice to give a small personal gift if you are giving cash as a main gift like a video or collage of pictures throughout the year of the nanny and the kids together can be much appreciated.
Extra copies for the nanny to send home is also a nice touch.
But what makes a truly special gift is one given by the children themselves. It can be a small gift chosen and wrapped by your child. Homemade gifts – be it cookies and cakes, crafts and cards.