The After-School Childcare Dilemma

For millions of families across the country the after school childcare dilemma is something parents dread on a daily basis. What are the kids going to do after school until we can get home from work? Do we find an after school program? A babysitter? A nanny? A neighbor?  Why is this such a constant area of stress?

Owners Erin and Steve Krex of First Class Care, a domestic placement agency and After School Sitters, an online resource have figured out 3 great options that could suit any family’s needs!

What are the options of childcare for older kids?

Option 1: Full Time Nanny Manager
A full time Nanny Manager duties include childcare, light housekeeping, organizing, laundry, errands, grocery shopping, schedule appointments, light cooking, manage any household vendors, driving kids to activities and help with homework.  This option offers parents full flexibility of having full time help  when the kids are sick or off of school.

Option 2: Full Time Housekeeper / Nanny:
A full time Housekeeper Nanny duties include full cleaning, childcare for school age kids, organizing, laundry, errands, light cooking, and driving kids. This option offers parents the same full flexibility so when the kids are sick or have a day off of school you have someone to care for them as well as have full cleaning of your home completed while the kids are in school.

Option 3: After School Sitter:
Hiring an after school sitter is a great option if you truly only want to  hire someone part time for the hours you need. Typically the type of candidate this will be is a collage or high school student who has after noons free. Professional nannies usually do not want just afternoon hours so finding someone with a flexible schedule like a student is key. The duties of an after school sitter are usually pick up the kids form school, driving to activities, homework help and possible meal prep.

How do I find the option I am looking for?
For option 1 and 2:
If you try to hire someone directly, it’s very time consuming and tough to find the right fit. You must go through the process of checking each candidate’s references, experience, performing background checks, etc. It is an arduous task to sort through all the applicants. By going through a professional agency like First Class Care, a parent knows that each applicant has already been carefully screened, interviewed and reference-checked. First Class Care accepts less than 3% of applicants. They send only the best matches for your job. First Class Care takes care of the interview scheduling as well as provide ongoing support during and after the placement.

For option 3:
Using a website like www.afterschoolsitters is a great resource as the site is very specific to your needs. Although the candidates are not fully screened, the site gives you all the tools to be successful or you can use First Class Care’s a la carte services help you out.

Tip for Parents:
If you want to go through a search try to allow at least 2 – 4 weeks for the process. Hundreds of great candidates are available, but you need to have the time to interview, which for working parents is usually only in the evening or weekends. To prepare yourself for your search make a list of expectations, duties and schedule. Use the tools provided to you to help with interview questions, contracts and reviews. Communication is the key to any domestic relationship!

 

By: Erin Krex
President of First Class Care, Inc.
www.firstclasscare.com

President of After School Sitters
www.afterschoolsitters.com

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Are you going away this Summer? Tips for properly packing luggage wrinkle free

Check out these great tips from our friend Charles MacPherson!

Video of Charles and his great packing

Charles the Butler shows us three packing methods for a creaseless and pleasant packing experience.

Before you even begin to pack, no matter what method you will be using to pack, lay everything out that you need first.

  • Coordinate outfits
  • Prepare toiletries, Consider if your luggage is going on board with you or with checked luggage as this affects liquids and ultimately how much you can take with you
  • Remember you are only going away, you will return home THUS you don’t need your entire closet; you can wear the same jeans or shoes twice!

Rolling Method

  • Everything should be tight so that there is no movement
  • Stuffed things inside each other to save space and avoid wrinkles
  • Lighter things on top, heavier things on bottom
  • Soft sided suitcases are best for the rolling method

Layering Method

  • Lots and lots and lots of tissue paper. You can never have too much tissue paper, remember you can re-use this over and over again, so its not to be thrown out when you unpack!
  • Lots and lots of dry cleaner plastic. You can never have too much dry cleaner plastic.

Hanging Method

  • When using a garment bag you can double or triple clothes if necessary on one hanger
  • Each and every hanger must be covered in a plastic sheet (dry cleaner plastic)
  • This method is ideal for delicate clothing, for example a wedding dress

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Super Helpful Food Allergy Labels and Products to Keep Kids Safe

www.allergyapparel.com

Did this school year go as fast for your family as it did for mine?  It seems that just when everyone is settled into the routine it’s time to change it up again.  As we gear up for summer camp and the open days of playdates and pool time, communication between nanny and parents is paramount.  And, when it comes to taking care of children with food allergies, it’s vitally important to make sure every person, especially nannies,  camp counselors and staff, are educated about the specific needs of the child.

Fortunately, the process is made somewhat easier thanks to the amazing food allergy

www.mabelslabels.com

community and some totally awesome products.   For example, check out www.allergyapparel.com for an impressive selection of COOL bracelets and other items that can be personalized with health and allergy info. (trust me- your kids will wear these!)  Mable’s Labels (yes- the camp label people!) also have great products to label food containers and other items that kids need at camp. (www.mabelslabels.com)

Another great site is www.allergymoms.com with terrific tips and advice for parents of food allergic children.

One of my personal favorite blogs is the Food Allergy Mama because her recipes are awesome and she’s a tireless advocate for food allergy awareness.  (http://foodallergymama.com/)

Below is a list of links.  Set aside quiet time to talk to your nanny about how to communicate your child’s safety needs, especially as the child’s schedule changes.  Clear communication- both verbally and written—is key here.  These products make it all a little easier.

Food Allergy Labels, Websites and Related Products:

www.allergyapparel.com

http://www.allergyapparel.com/His-Silicone-Peanut-Allergy-Wristbands-HISPEANUTBAND-3.htm

http://www.allergyapparel.com/Silicone-Alert-Band-SILICONE-BLK.htm

http://www.allergyapparel.com/Go-Green-Food-Allergy-Alert-Lunch-Box-LUNCHBOX-BIGDOTS-GRN.htm

http://www.allergyapparel.com/Zak-Nut-Allergy-Button-BUTTON-ZAKNN.htm

http://allergymoms.com/index.php

http://www.foodallergymama.com/

http://www.mabelslabels.com/products/allergy+alerts

http://www.namebubbles.com/labels/dishwasher-safe-waterproof-labels/alertbubble.html

www.allergyapparel.com

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What is an appropriate Nanny Summer Wardrobe?

Do you have a dress code for work? Do you have a “uniform” you are required to wear?  Even if your employer does not make you wear a specific uniform, you should have a “Nanny Uniform” for yourself and know the “do’s” and “don’ts”, especially when it comes to summer attire.

A uniform does not have to mean a starched dress, hat and formal gloves like the Norlan Nannies wear in the UK. Although they look classic, the look is not for your typical US household, and not always the most functional. You could create your own Nanny Uniform with just Khaki shorts and a polo shirt.

Although being a nanny requires you play on the floor, run outside or go to the park, that doesn’t mean you can roll out of bed and head to work.  You should always be appropriately dressed as a professional nanny and even keep an extra set of clothes in the car for those unforeseen accidents.  Not only are you representing yourself, you’re also a reflection of the family and the child(ren) you’re taking care of. You can dress in comfortable, but professional clothes without breaking the bank.

 

 

Great places for Nanny wardrobe essentials:
www.gap.com

www.hm.com

www.target.com

www.oldnavy.com

A great general rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t wear it in front of your grandparents, don’t wear it to work?

If you have questions on suitable attire, it is always appropriate to ask the the families you’re working with, or call First Class Care.

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Why You Should Send Your Nanny to National Nanny Training Day!

First Class Care, Inc. is excited to be the Chicago sponsor of National Nanny Training Day! We are having a full day of training featuring several amazing speakers in a variety of categories to help you increase your skills.

Along with all 6 great training sessions, we will have raffle prizes, goodie bags and an amazing lunch provided by First Class Care and our sponsors. You will go home with a certificate indicating your participation in National Nanny Training Day 2014.

All nannies and childcare providers are welcome!

Why You Should Send Your Nanny to National Nanny Training Day!

Learn Today, Use Tomorrow Sessions:
Your nanny will learn new strategies and solution to challenging behaviors and ages and stages transitions. She’ll leave a more confident and competent nanny!
Job Satisfaction:
Connecting with other like-minded nannies, learning new ways of doing things, being appreciated for great work she does all lead to a renewed sense of enthusiasm and commitment.
Develop Local Network:
Your nanny will meet other nannies from the local area. This is a great way to find play groups, learn about kid-friendly activities and places plus build a professional network of other dedicated nannies.

AMAZING VALUE (tickets are $55)
What do you get for the price of admission?
6 GREAT Sessions which will help your nanny in her career
Networking with other Professional Nannies
Full Buffet Lunch and Snacks
AMAZING Swag Bag full of products, information and coupons
(each bag is worth over $40)
Access to OVER $4,000 in raffle prizes including a MINI iPAD!
A FUN day for your Nanny!

BUY YOUR NANNY A TICKET TODAY!

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Nanny Delia – Candidate Spotlight of the Week

Delia is a college graduate and has 6 years of nanny experience with newborns and up including TWINS. She is organized, loyal and dependable.

Delia is seeking a full time Nanny position.
She is VERY flexible.
Gross hourly rate?  $18.00 – $25.00

 

What childcare tasks are you willing to perform? Bathe Children · Clean Children’s Room · Clean Children’s Bathroom · Make Children’s Beds · Organize Play Areas · Children’s Laundry · Children’s Bed Linens · Children’s Meals · Read to Children · Art Projects · Outdoor Sports · Arrange Play Dates · Purchase Children’s Clothes · Supervise Outdoor Play · Play Music

What household tasks are you willing to perform? Vacuum · Dust · Cook for family · Grocery Shopping · Run Errands · Pet Care

Why do you think you are qualified for this position? I am qualified for this position because I have extensive experience with multiples, infants and toddlers.I am a graduate from Loyola Univ. of Chicago. I have a solid educational background. I also have recently just graduated from nursing school.I have over 7 yrs of nursing experience and 10 yrs of babysitting.I worked as a certified nursing assistant. My experience has given me the skills to work with infants to grade school age children w/ various conditions and which helps me provide the best care possible.

 

What Delia’s References Said about her…
She is our nanny mary poppins! She is super organized.when I come home everything is clean and dinner is ready. She doesn’t have any weakness…shes a superhero in our family!

Delia is a diamond. If you get her consider yourself like you won the jack pot.

If you would like to find out more about Delia and many more amazing nannies please contact us at 847-733-2700

 

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National Nanny Training Day Registration is OPEN

First Class Care, Inc. is excited to be the Chicago sponsor of National Nanny Training Day! We are having a full day of training featuring several amazing speakers in a variety of categories to help you increase your skills.

Along with all 6 great training sessions, we will have raffle prizes, goodie bags and an amazing lunch provided by First Class Care and our sponsors. You will go home with a certificate indicating your participation in National Nanny Training Day 2014.

All nannies and childcare providers are welcome!

For complete details visit:  NNTD2014 Registration

 

Check out this video from last years event!

 

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Win a family ticket to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago

Nannies and Moms, it’s your chance to win a family ticket to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago. The ticket grants one family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids) access to all of the Legoland Discovery Center’s fabulous attractions.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center is made up of a series of interactive features to immerse kids into a world where their imagination can run wild with creative inspiration at every turn.  Featuring a whole host of exciting attractions from the Kingdom Quest ride to an amazing recreation of the Chicago’ most iconic buildings, the Center not only provides fun for LEGO fans young and old, but fantastic educational benefits too.

To learn more about the rides and kids attractions at the Center, visit WEBSITE

 

 

For a chance to win a wonderful family day; enter the contest today on the First Class Care Facebook Fan Page http://woobox.com/4xgaac

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FREE WINTER SAFETY INSPECTION

Does your Nanny use her own car to drive your kids?
Make sure she gets her car checked out for WINTER!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FREE WINTER SAFETY INSPECTION at DUXLER

Check Includes:
Tires
Breaks
Suspension
Battery
Radiator
Hoses
Wipers
Coolant
Level
Tops off all fluids

Make an appointment TODAY!
http://www.duxlerautocare.com

Additional Nanny Coupon Offer:
$20.95 standard oil change (up to 5 qts standard weight oil),, or a 5% off one line item for repair/maintenance, $100 maximum savings (excludes tire purchases, tax is not included)

Make sure and print out this post or show on your phone when you arrive to your appointment.

 

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Top 5 Stocking Stuffers for Your Nanny

Make your nanny feel special this holiday with a fun filled stocking!

  1. Subscription to Nanny Magazine
    Nanny Magazine is a unique magazine just for nannies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Ticket to National Nanny Training Day 2014
Send your Nanny to the Training event of the YEAR!
She will not only have a great time, but also be learning.

 

 

 

 

3.  Membership to INA (International Nanny Association)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Gift Cards (Amazon, Starbucks, Movies, Massage)

 

 

 

 

5. Ornament made by the kids special for the nanny!
Have the kids make something special that the nanny can treasure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the holidays with your nanny!

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