Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Keeping Grandchildren Close to Grandparents Despite the Distance

Grandparenting Long Distance

It can be tough on families when grandparents are separated by a great distance from their grandchildren. It is only natural to want to be close to those that you love. But being a long distance grandparent does not mean that you cannot be a fully involved one. There are plenty of great ways to maintain your connection with your grandchildren. Discover some of the ways you can make your family the priority that they are without ever having to feel guilty or distressed over the space between you. Space and time does not determine the quality of love and commitment that you have for one another...


Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Monday, December 21, 2009

CT Teachers Make Math & Science More Appealing to Students

Teachers Defying Gravity to Gain Students’ Interest

NORWALK, Conn. — Before showing a video to the 11th and 12th graders in his physics class, Glenn Coutoure, a teacher at Norwalk High School, warned them that his mouth would be hanging open, in childlike wonderment, almost the whole time.

Mr. Coutoure then started the DVD, showing him and other science teachers floating in an airplane during a flight in September. By flying up and down like a giant roller coaster along parabolic paths, the plane simulated the reduced gravity of the Moon and Mars and then weightlessness in 30-second chunks.


Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Encouraging Seniors to Stay Healthy and Active

Encouraging Wellness
Written By : The Caring Space

No matter the age, anyone can experience the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Senior citizens are prone to experiencing certain conditions, like heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and diabetes. To reduce the risk of these conditions, it is important that senior citizens exercise and eat a healthy diet. Those involved in the elder care of senior citizens should encourage and try to facilitate these healthy practices.....

Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Helping Children Deal with Stress

Helping Our Children With Stress
By Lisa Belkin

Every year the American Psychological Association takes our emotional temperature with its report titled Stress in America. This year, for the first time, children were also asked about their stress levels. The conclusion? Not only are our kids feeling it, we parents aren’t noticing.


Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Friday, October 23, 2009

LEGO Kids Fest in Hartford November 20-22

Coming to Hartford, Connecticut November 20-22, the LEGO KidsFest will be an energetic 3-day show filled with interactive, creative and educational activities for the whole family.


Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Suggestions for Introducing the New Nanny to Your Children

I read this article from nanny.com and there are some good suggestions about easing the transition to choosing a new or first time nanny.

Introducing a New Nanny? Seven Steps for Ensuring a Smooth Transition

Introducing your child to a new nanny, whether this is your child’s first nanny or the new nanny will be taking the place of a previous caregiver, can be stressful for everyone involved. Even with the best planning, there are sure to be unexpected bumps along the road, but a little preparation goes a long way towards smoothing the transition. Following are seven suggestions that may help:

1. Acknowledge your child’s attachment to his previous caregiver: If your child had a strong bond with his or her previous nanny, understand that in order to bond with a new nanny, your child must come to terms with the loss of the previous caregiver. Explain the reasons for the transition. Acknowledge your child’s feelings toward his beloved nanny, and if possible, continue to maintain contact with her.

2. Keep your child in the loop: If your child is old enough, get her “buy in” on the new nanny by involving her in the selection process. Ask her what she loved most about the previous nanny, and look for candidates with those qualities. If appropriate, involve your child in interview process and ask for her opinions. Explain why you are choosing the candidate you ultimately select.

3. Give the new nanny a helping hand: Give her as much information as possible about your child. Let her know what your child valued most in his relationship with the previous nanny, and provide as much information as possible about your child’s likes, dislikes, fears, interests, favorite activities, and daily schedule.

4. Be consistent: Help your new nanny to maintain a consistent structure and set of expectations for your child. Children feel most secure and comfortable when they are held to a consistent standard of behavior, regardless of who is in charge. Be clear with the nanny about your child’s schedule for meals and naptimes, and your expectation that the schedule will be followed as closely as possible. Make sure the new nanny understands what foods are permissible for meals and which are saved for occasional treats, and the limits your family enforces on time spent watching television or using the computer.

5. Spend time together: Ease the transition by inviting the new nanny to visit and play a few times before she officially starts work. Not only will this help your child to get acquainted with the new nanny, but your child will develop trust in the nanny if she sees that you trust the nanny, too. Make sure you communicate this trust verbally and through your body language towards the nanny. Try visiting a few of your child’s favorite places together, or participating in a few of her favorite at-home activities.

6. Consider adjusting the schedule if needed: For some young children, maintaining a consistent daily schedule can help smooth transitions. Some children find it confusing to be in a nanny’s care occasionally – say three times a week for a full day – and are happier going for shorter periods Monday through Friday. If your work schedule permits it, you might want to consider shifting your hours if your child is having trouble adjusting to an inconsistent daily schedule.

7. Know how to say “goodbye”: Make “goodbyes” easier by finding the right time and place to say them. It may be easier for some children to say “goodbye” if they are outside, or getting ready to go for a walk, as this may give them a sense that they are the one leaving for a fun activity. Just make sure your child understands that you are leaving, too, either by getting into your car or being dressed for an outing, so that he’s not disappointed when he returns home to find you gone. Make goodbyes quick, and let your child know when you’ll be home.


Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When a Parent’s ‘I Love You’ Means ‘Do as I Say’

This article explores new research about "conditional parenting". I found it interesting and wanted to share it.

Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Children's Museums & Other Attractions for Family Fun in Connecticut

A list of local museums, performance arts centers and other attractions for the children in the Fairfield County and surrounding areas in CT. You may also want your nanny to visit some of these attractions with your children. Enjoy!


THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM 950 Trout Brook Drive, West Hartford, CT (860) 231-2824 http://www.thechildrensmuseumct.org/ A one-of-a-kind science and nature museum providing rich learning experiences through hands-on exhibits, over 100 live animals, digital planetarium shows, science demonstrations and a variety of educational programs. We feature the only science-based preschool in CT and the Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton.

COCO KEY WATER RESORT Holiday Inn, 3580 East Main St., Waterbury, CT (203) 706-1000 http://www.cocokeywaterresort.com/ A real Key Water adventure. From the thrilling Shark Slam, Gator Gush and Barracuda Blast water slides, to the Coral Reef Cavern activity pool, Dip in Theatre, Coconut Grove adventure river, Palm Grotto indoor/outdoor spa, Parrot Perch’s interactive play island, Pizza Hut Express and snack bar, there is something for everyone!

THE DISCOVERY MUSEUM 4450 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT (203) 372-3521 http://www.discoverymuseum.org/ A hands-on, brains-on interactive museum for kids of all ages, located on the Fairfield/Bridgeport border. The museum offers exciting exhibits, thrilling planetarium shows, the Challenger Learning Center, the area’s only CineMuse High Definition Theatre and the Kids at Work preschool activity area.

THE MARITIME AQUARIUM AT NORWALK 10 North Water Street, Norwalk, CT (203) 852-0700 http://www.maritimeaquarium.org/ Families will have a great time while learning about the vital natural resource just off our shore. Explore at your own pace. Thirty-four exhibits featuring more than 1,200 marine animals of 259 species. A Touch Tank and nose-to-nose interactions bring close encounters with our friends of the sea. Movies at IMAX Theater as well.

MATTATUCK MUSEUM ARTS & HISTORY CENTER 144 West Main Street, Waterbury, CT (203) 753-0381 http://www.mattatuckmuseum.org/ The museum brings the past, present and future together through exhibits and collections showcasing the history of the region and art of Connecticut. View great works by American Masters, experience the “you-were-there” history of the Waterbury region and explore the 10,000 buttons on display.

NATURE'S ART & DINOSAUR CROSSING 1650 Route 85, Oakdale, CT (860) 443-4367 http://www.thedinosaurplace.com/ A day of prehistoric fun awaits at Nature’s Art, aka the Dinosaur Place. Indoors enjoy hands-on science and nature activities such as mining for gemstones and excavating a dinosaur skeleton. Outdoors encounter more than 25 life-sized dinosaurs set amid walking trails, romp in Monty’s Playground and enjoy ice cream.

QUASSY AMUSEMENT PARK Middlebury, CT 1-800-FOR-PARKhttp://www.quassy.com/ Affordable family fun close to home. Rides, “Saturation Station” water play area, entertainment, food, arcade, special events.

SHORE LINE TROLLEY MUSEUM 17 River Street, East Haven, CT (203) 467-6927 http://www.bera.org/ Savor the atmosphere of the trolley era. Ride the historic Branford Electric Railway, the oldest continually operating suburban trolley in the United States. Anational historic site. Days of operation: Memorial Day to Labor Day, Daily. Hours:10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sat. & Sun. in May, Sept., Oct. Abbreviated schedule in Nov. & Dec.

STEPPING STONES MUSEUM FOR CHILDREN Mathews Park, 303 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT (203) 899-0606 http://www.steppingstonesmuseum.org/ Join the crew and discover building basics with Stepping Stones' newest exhibit, Build It! Help finish a two-story home under construction. Children can build walls, apply siding and decorate with carpet squares and wallpaper. Learn about the building process and take a sneak peak at Stepping Stones' expansion plans for 2010.


EDGERTON CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS 5151 Park Avenue, Fairfield, CT (203) 371-7908 http://www.edgertoncenter.org/ The Edgerton Center, a 776-seat theatre located on Sacred Heart University’s Fairfield campus, is dedicated to presenting professional family theatre, with an educational emphasis, to Connecticut’s younger audiences.

PLAYHOUSE ON THE GREEN 177 State Street, Bridgeport, CT (203) 333-3666 http://www.playhouseonthegreen.org/ The Playhouse presents Project Broadway, a summer theater program for children in gr. 1-8. Work as a team with professional artists to create a Broadway style musical! Weeklong programs in July & Aug. Project Broadway @ Night for gr. 9-12 is a five-week program, which will result in a production of Romeo and Juliet!

QUICK CENTER FOR THE ARTS Fairfield University(203) 254-4010http://www.quickcenter.com/ Presenting the finest in family-oriented events, including plays and musicals, children's summer theatre camps, and interactive workshops. Ask about special group discounts and free birthday parties.

RIDGEFIELD PLAYHOUSE80 East Ridge Road, Ridgefield, CT (203) 438-5795 http://www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org/ Features live events and first run movies for children and adults alike. The Children’s Series features nine exciting performances one Saturday per month through May. For information call the box office at 203-438-5795.


1 Civic Center Plaza, Hartford, CThttp://www.hartfordciviccenter.com/


Home to the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack, and host to a wide array of family shows, concerts & sporting events. Box Office Info Line: 860-727-8010; Event tickets (Ticketmaster): 860-525-4500; Hartford Wolf Pack tickets & Birthday Parties: 860-548-2000; Hartford Wolf Pack Kid’s Club: 860-246-7825.

Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ideas For Summer Fun With The Grandkids

Summer Fun With Your Grandchildren
By G. Grigor

10 Fun Ideas to do With Your Grandchildren This Summer

Are you looking for ways to have some summer fun with your grandchild? Summer is a time when most children get to go to their grandparents house for a day, a week, or longer. So finding ideas to help keep summer fun can be daunting.

We are going to offer ten fun ideas to help get you started. Many of these ideas cost little or no money, but the memories that you can build will last a lifetime.

1. Plan a day that you can go on a nature walk and pack a picnic. You do not have to go any farther than your own back yard or to your local park. Take along a book that identifies different birds, plants, insects, or other animals. While picnicking, talk about what you have seen and read about them from the books that you have brought along.

2. Do you have a favorite family recipe? Or does your grandchild have a favorite meal? Spend time with them in the kitchen helping them learn to cook or bake. Then sit down and share that dinner. Eating a meal cooked together makes the meal taste extra yummy.

3. Go to a pick your own farm to pick strawberries, berries, or other fruit. Then bake a pie or other yummy fruit dessert. You could even make your own ice cream to top it off.

4. Do you live near the beach? Go collect shells or build sand castles. If you live near a lake, try rowing a boat, fishing, or canoeing. If this isn't possible, set up a small wading pool in your yard and splash to your heart's content. Yes, you too!

5. Set up a lemonade stand and let your grandchild chose how to spend the profits or save it.

6. Go camping in your backyard. Set up a tent, fire up the grill, make s'mores or roast marshmallows and tell campfire stories or have a sing-along. Catch fireflies in a jar. Point out different constellations, or just gaze at the stars before falling asleep.

7. Make a small area of your garden specifically for your grandchild. Get gardening tools that are their size and let them plant flowers or vegetables and care for this section by themselves. Or get a pot or window box and do the same.

8. Go to the local library if you do not have children's books around your house any more, and choose books that the two of you can read together. Start off by each reading a sentence, then a paragraph, a page and so on. This is an excellent way to keep a child reading and ready for the next school year.

9. Do you knit, sew, crochet, or paint? Teach your hobby to your grandchild. If you are not a crafty person, get two plain white t-shirts to decorate. You can paint them, attach "rhinestones", or tie dye them. Have a fashion show of your designed shirts. Just have fun, worry about the mess later.

10. Get some chalk and draw on the sidewalks or your driveway. Re-learn how to play hopscotch, draw your family, favorite animals, or a story.

This is just a small outline of things that you can do with one grandchild or ten grandchildren. Just remember to take lots and lots of photos of the time you spend together.

Something that you can do together or you can do alone is to put together a scrapbook of the time that you shared. If you do it by yourself, you can give the scrapbook later as a birthday or Christmas gift as a reminder of the great time that you had.

The most important thing is to spend time with them and have tons of FUN. To a child it is not important how much money is spent in the pursuit of fun; it is the quality of the time spent together.

For more grandparenting ideas, you can visit: http://www.grandparentscafe.com. This site offers information on grandparent's rights, distance grandparenting, as well as photos, stories, games, and more.

One of my favorite quotes that I have found since becoming a grandma is as follows: "If your baby is beautiful and perfect, never cries or fusses, sleeps on schedule and burps on demand, an angel all the time...you're the grandma."~Theresa Bloomingdale

Gillian is the proud grandmother of two 9 year olds and a new grandbaby boy.

Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Toddler-Friendly Summer Celebrations

Some cute ideas for enjoying a little summertime fun with the children.

Toddler-Friendly Summer Celebrations
By Robin McClure

Flip-Flop Fun
For fashionable summer fun, you and your child can make a unique pair of flip-flops for a caregiver, babysitter, or friend. Have your youngster help you pick out some ribbon and gemstones or other decorative items to add to a pair of flip-flops. Cut a 19-inch strip of ribbon (you can always trim the ends shorter, depending on the style and size of flip-flop selected) and fashion a pretty bow from it. Trim the ends off at a diagonal. Use a hot-melt glue gun to fasten the ribbon onto the Y-part of the flip-flop (adults need to do this part, please). Add a charm, stone, or other item to the center of the bow (not using anything is okay too).
Your toddler will get a kick out of making them, and will love giving them as a gift even more.

Ice Cream in a Bag
Who needs to wait for hand-cranked homemade ice cream when kids can create their own individual, serving–size creation in no time and with no mess! This homemade ice cream recipe uses a toddler’s energy for a delicious outcome!

1 cup milk (use chocolate milk if preferred)
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-quart resealable bag
1-gallon resealable bag
several spoonfuls of rock salt enough ice to cover the small bag Place milk, sugar, and vanilla into the small bag and zip the bag securely. Put the small bag into the larger bag. Add ice and salt. Let your toddler shake the bag gently for about 5 minutes. When it is done, the ice cream will have the consistency of soft serve. Enjoy!

Made in the Shade
Establish a shady outdoor area for special summer reading. Grab some chairs or a blanket and establish this as your special reading area. Find books about summer that involve outdoor activities, vacations, or just ways to soak up the sunshine and read them with your child.

Painting Van Goghs
It’s summertime, so why not let your little artists showcase their talent outdoors? Set up a large sheet of paper (or even use the large roll-sheets found at craft supply and teacher supply stores) either on an easel or on a flat surface. Dress your toddler in a swimsuit or old clothes, provide selections of water-based paint, and let the art begin! To encourage artistic expression, look at some simple art books together beforehand.

Tepee Hideout
Build your toddler a simple tepee for hours of backyard fun. Materials
3 white PVC pipes (8-foot pipes work best)
rope, canvas tarp, cloth, or blanket Using the rope, tie the PVC pipes together about 20–24 inches from the tops and then stand them up like a tripod. If possible, dig out an area of the ground so that the pipes are planted firmly. Cover the tepee frame with tarp, cloth, blanket, or whatever you have available.

Watermelon Cookies
Cut a seedless watermelon into 1/2-inch slices. Place the slices on a flat surface outdoors (to avoid a mess in your house) and use cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes. Kids will love eating their tasty “cookies,” and the shapes make the fruit easier to handle!

Robin McClure is currently the author of 5 parenting books.

Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Greenwich Nanny's Arrest Prompts Hiring Advice

On June 1, 2009, the "Stamford Advocate" reported on the arrest of a live-in nanny working in Greenwich, Conn. She was charged with first-degree larceny, eight counts of third-degree forgery, eight counts of fraudulent use of an ATM card and breach of peace. The article discusses how the woman would ace her job interviews, get hired and then go on to defraud her employers. Apparently, she became very adept at her practice as she moved from family to family applying her deceitful trade.

We are always dismayed to read about the “bad apple” getting picked for such an important job. “When you allow someone into your house, you should know who they are,” said Detective Pasquale Iorfino
of the Greenwich Police Department. We could not agree more. Unfortunately, more often than not, extensive screening and background checks are not properly conducted or done at all. We were disappointed (at the risk of sounding self-serving) that the article quotes the owner of a Web based "nanny" site for tips on screening and hiring a nanny. Mr. Lambert, the founder of Enannysource, stated that "screening is the most important part of the hiring process." That is absolutely true. However, these online listing sites by their very structures are unable to thoroughly screen a candidate. In fact, Web based sites contribute to many parents false sense of security in hiring a nanny. In effect, they are online databases with no barriers to entry. Anyone can post their profile and hold himself or herself out as an experienced and qualified caregiver. They merely list available jobs and caregivers and then offer an a la carte background check. Furthermore, many online sites advertise "National Criminal Checks" which can be very misleading. Those checks will often only determine if the subject was incarcerated in a state prison. Many online sites omit to inform you that those searches will not turn up persons that were convicted of a crime but not imprisoned or that served time in a county jail. Therefore, depending on the state, a county by county or statewide criminal check should also be done where the domestic worker has been shown to reside.

Since the hiring process can be overwhelming to a lot of families, we wanted to offer some additional practical advice. Most importantly, it is vital to meet and get to know the potential nanny in person. Together you should go over a detailed employment application and zero in on gaps in work history, discuss previous jobs and gauge responses to gently probing questions. For example, last week we had a nanny come in to register who seemed perfect. She was charming, sweet, athletic, a college graduate and had a recent six-year reference working with 3 children in the Tribeca section of Manhattan. However, the reference fell apart because the candidate told us she always lived in with the family but property records showed the apartment was only 600 square feet. Not a very likely scenario for a live-in job with a supposed family of five. Do online nanny sites expect a potential employer to think about that scenario or research it?

We understand it is difficult to properly vet a potential in house employee without being a seasoned interviewer. Therefore, it’s imperative to be able to recognize some common red flags from the prospective employee and/or her references. They include: 

  • Past employers who do not have a landline and can only be reached on a cell phone.
  • Past employers who do not reside in areas employing a high concentration of nannies and other domestics.
  • Tenuous explanations for wide gaps in employment.
  • Unstable work history.
  • Inability to provide authentic and valid federal and state photo identification.
Oddly enough, in my experience I have found that if a candidate is too perfect or throws around high profile names of previous employers, it’s usually a red flag that warrants a lot more digging. The stakes are too high to trust without verifying first.

Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Helping Children Maintain Good Nutritional Habits During the Summer Months

Enjoyed this article from last year about helping children keep up good nutritional habits during the summer.

School Is Out, and Nutrition Takes a Hike

Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dealing with Young Children's Changing Emotions

The Emotional Roller-Coaster
By Playskool Advisor Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD

I was baby-sitting my niece once when she was around two years old. She had a hard time saying goodbye to her mom and dad and a hard time settling in to play or have fun with me. I went to hold her and comfort her but she ran under the table and told me to go away. I asked her if I could come under the table with her to keep her company and she said no, I should leave the house. I said I couldn't do that, but I would move farther away. I stepped back a little and sat on the floor and asked if that was far enough away. She said yes, and began to cry a little. After a few minutes she came out from under the table and said, "The tears just popped out." "They certainly did," I said, and we both smiled. "Let's watch Cinderella," she said, "that wicked stepmother is really mean. She says, 'hold your tongue!'"

I think the lesson from this story is that it can be confusing to us what to do as young children's emotions change dramatically about a thousand times during each day. They can swing from happy to sad to scared to worried to happy to everything in between. And they don't just feel their feelings. They feel them, extravagantly, like they just invented that emotion. Fortunately, our job as adults is not to keep them happy all the time, or to protect them from every tough feeling. Our job instead is to help them learn the skills they need to ride that roller coaster without flying off--to manage their emotions.

If I had left the room, my niece would have been all alone with her sadness. If I had moved in too close, she would have been mad at me for crowding her. If I had tried too fast to cheer her up, she would have felt invalidated about her feelings. But what happened instead is that she was able to cry about the separation, while knowing I was nearby. That made it possible for her to make the transition to enjoying herself. Many adults say that it hurts to cry. But when my niece said that the tears "just popped out" she was expressing how easily tears can flow if you aren't trying to shove them back in.

Here are some tips for helping children regulate their emotions as they grow--but don't expect them to learn it quickly!

Help them name their emotions, but do this a little bit tentatively so that we aren't telling them what they feel, we're just helping them find words for what they feel. As they get older, expand their emotional vocabulary beyond mad, sad, and scared. ("It looks like maybe you're kind of frustrated.")

Welcome a full expression of the feeling before moving into the "cheer up" phase. ("Tell me all about it.") We might think they are upset over a small thing, but to them it is big and deserves a lot of feelings. If they can truly finish expressing themselves, they are better able to truly cheer up.

Tell bedtime stories and play make-believe games with characters that have strong emotions, and who struggle a little with what to do with their emotions. ("Prince Ulrich was so mad he could scream, and he didn't know what to do. Do you have any ideas for him?")

It turns out my niece was right about that mean stepmother in Cinderella. "Hold your tongue" is just about the worst thing you can say to a child. In order to learn how to handle their emotions, they need a chance to speak up, let the tears flow, and explore what it means to be a person with the full range of human feelings.

Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Nannies and Social Networking Sites

The Nanny’s Guide to Facebook


Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Summer Nannies FAQ's

Summer Nannies: Seven Frequently-Asked Questions About Working as a Summer Nanny, or Hiring One

With summer right around the corner, many families are making plans for summer vacation. As kids look forward to a break from the school-year routine, parents are faced with an array of decisions about summer child care and how to balance the needs of their children with the demands of their jobs. Families also think about vacations, and the challenge of planning a family trip that is fun and interesting for kids and adults alike.

Summer nannies – often students or teachers – frequently figure into these plans. Sometimes families with older children, who do not need a nanny during the school year, choose to hire a nanny for the summer because their children would prefer not to go to summer camp, or because the camp schedule doesn’t cover their needs. By hiring a nanny for summer child care, the parents make it possible for the children to spend unstructured time at home, playing with neighborhood children, taking advantage of local activities, or perhaps just enjoying some down time.

For other families, particularly those with babies or small children, a summer nanny enables them to take a family vacation that meets the needs and expectations of kids and adults alike. By taking a nanny with them on vacation, parents are able to spend some time along together, enjoy a leisurely meal at a nice restaurant, and relax, knowing that their children are well cared for.
Whether you’re thinking about hiring a nanny for summer child care, or you’re interested in working as one, you’ve probably asked the following questions:

1. What do summer nannies do?Summer nannies may be full-time, part-time, live-in, or live-out. Like full-time, year-round nannies, they may be asked to manage light housekeeping duties in addition to taking care of children. Summer nannies and families should be sure to discuss these expectations, as well as salary and pay schedule, in advance of committing to work together for the summer.

2. How do families find summer nannies?Parents can find summer nannies through nanny agencies, as well as through the recommendations of friends and colleagues. Some resort and family travel destinations may be able to help you find short-term nanny services. In some cities parents will find nanny agencies that specialize in providing temporary nanny services with complete background checks. At destinations popular with families, the hotel may be able to help.

3. How can summer nannies find jobs?As for nannies, there are many ways to find summer nanny jobs, including through nanny agencies and through word of mouth. If you’re looking for work as a summer nanny, be sure to tell everyone you know of your interest in finding a summer nanny job. If you’re a student, check campus bulletin boards, the school paper, and any other places where families might advertise for a nanny.

4. How should expenses be handled when a nanny travels with a family? It’s important to remember that when a nanny accompanies a family on vacation, no matter how lovely the locale, the nanny is still working. The nanny and parents should discuss and agree on a schedule for the trip in advance, making sure that the nanny’s needs are met in terms of time off and breaks.
Families should be prepared to cover all of the nanny’s travel expenses, including airfare, lodging, meals, and admission to attractions which he or she visits with the family. If the nanny does not eat all meals with the family, s/he should be given a meal allowance to purchase meals.

5. What accommodations should be provided?If at all possible, the nanny should have a separate bedroom, not one shared with the children, so that the nanny has a place to rest and relax when off duty.

6. How much does a summer nanny earn? Salaries for summer nannies vary tremendously depending on the number of children in their care, the number of hours they work, the responsibilities they’re given, their level of experience and education, and the region of the country where they are employed. Ballpark guidelines range from $8 to $22 per hour. The best way to find out what’s typical in your area is to ask a nanny agency, or to ask several friends or colleagues who have either hired nannies or have worked as a nanny.

7. What about taxes?Remember that summer nannies are subject to the same tax regulation as year-round nannies. For more info, see: Year-end Tax Tips for Employees

This article was published on nanny.com newsletter, April 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Teaching Children About the Health Benefits of Water

Adding school water fountains, distributing water bottles in classrooms and teaching kids about the health benefits of water can lower a child’s risk for becoming overweight, a new study shows.

Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Treatment Shows Promise for Children with Severe Peanut Allergies

A medically supervised daily dose of peanuts may help children with peanut allergies greatly increase their tolerance to the food, according to two new studies that raise the possibility of a cure for this potentially life-threatening condition.


Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rewarding Children for Academic Achievement

Good article from NYT Science section about the ongoing debate of rewarding children for academic achievement.


Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Research Discussing the Importance of Playtime and Nature Time for a Child's Education, Health & Development

New Research discussing the importance of playtime and nature time on a child's academic experience and on behavior and concentration.

The 3 R’s? A Fourth Is Crucial, Too: Recess

Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Inspiring Artice about Mom and the Girls

I loved this article from the Escapes section of the NYT about building memories and teaching wonderful lessons to your daughters. It's so wonderful when my children and I are immersed in something larger than ourselves and just experiencing the moment. It inspires me to think of what I have to look forward to with my little girl.


Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Increased Dangers Children Face when Using Cell/Smart Phones While Crossing Streets

January 30, 2009

For Children, Talking and Walking May Be Dangerous

Preteens participating in an unusual interactive simulation were more likely to suffer a virtual accident if they talked on the phone while they were crossing a street, researchers have found.
Children aren’t the most skilled street-crossers to begin with, researchers said. But in the simulation, talking on the phone increased the odds of being hit or almost hit by a virtual car from 8.5 to 12 percent, a 43 percent increase in risk.

The report was published in the February issue of the journal Pediatrics. The study comes on the heels of several others that have shown that talking on the phone takes a toll on the attention and visual processing skills of drivers, and may increase the risk of an automobile accident four-fold.

“Crossing the street is very complicated, if you stop and think about it," said senior author David C. Schwebel, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Preteens aren’t able to do it nearly as well, he said, when talking on the phone.
Dr. Schwebel and his colleagues placed 77 children in a virtual reality environment that mimicked an intersection, standing across the street from a school with cars passing by in both directions. Researchers asked the 10- and 11-year-olds to decide when it would be best to cross. The children stepped off a platform roughly the height of a sidewalk curb when they thought it was safe.

Each child made a dozen virtual street crossings, half while talking on cellphones. About half of the children were talking during their first six crossings, while the other half received calls during the second six crossings.

Although performance improved with time and practice, the psychologists found, the phone calls distracted the children, making them less attentive to traffic. While on the phone, they more often hesitated before stepping off the virtual curb and left themselves too little time before another car drove by, leading to more close calls and more collisions.
The virtual environment did not imitate life in one important way: it did not allow for children to pick up the pace and run across the street, nor could a car slam on the brakes or swerve to avoid an accident, Dr. Schwebel said.

On the other hand, using a cellphone wasn’t new to any of the children, Dr. Schwebel noted. All of them had used the phones before.

“If you’re a parent, you should probably tell your kids not to be texting or talking on the phone, or listening to an iPod for that matter, when crossing an intersection," said David Strayer, professor of psychology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and an expert on cellphone safety.

“This is consistent with what we know about how the mind works when people are driving,” Dr. Strayer added. “You do need your mind to navigate through the world, whether you’re biking or driving or rollerblading or walking.”
To play a video showing the virtual simulation, visit Dr. Schwebel’s Web site at the University of Alabama.


Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency