Does your child take Lunch Money to School? Check out this super cute idea!

Changeable Carryall Tins

Need a handy place to stash lunch money, notes, or
other small but important items? These personalized, changeable tins are just
the thing.

  • Small, empty metal box, such as the kind Altoids
    mints come in
  • Paper
  • Adhesive-backed magnetic sheet
  • Colored pencils or markers
  1. Changeable Carryall Tins - Step 1
    Trace the top of the tin onto both the paper and the magnetic sheet, then draw
    and color a design on the paper.
  2. Changeable Carryall Tins - Step 2
    Cut out both shapes, remove the backing from the magnet, and stick the drawing
    to it.
  3. Set the decorated magnet on the top of the tin, then fill the tin with all
    those very important things.

Project from Family Fun

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Berry Children Charity Drive – 100% Proceeds Donated

First Class Care has been truly touched by the Berry Family story and everything they have been through. The tragic deaths of Robin Perlo Berry and Joshua Berry and the injury of their three children, Peter, 9, Aaron, 8, and Willa, 6 is heartbreaking.We wish Aaron and Peter a speedy recovery.

First Class Care wants to help this amazing family! For the Month of August First Class Care will donate 100% of proceeds from Temp Babysitters to the Berry Children’s Fund!

To reserve your babysitter today please call 847-733-2700 or email

The agency fee of $30 will be donated per family. Families are still responsible for paying the babysitters.
Limit 1 temp day per family.

To read more about this story:

Posted in berry family | Leave a comment

National Nanny Night Out – August 13th

Nannies across the country are getting together to see THE HELP on the opening weekend.
Come see the movie and enjoy dinner afterwards.

Please contact Lisa at (708)431-0065 to RSVP
August 13, 2011

Posted in The HELP | Leave a comment

Chicago Nanny Playgroup sponsored by First Class Care, Inc.

First Class Care has joined up with Little Beans Cafe to host a MONTHLY Nanny Playgroup.

Come and meet other local nannies and let your charges make new friends and have fun while exploring Little Beans Cafe!
The last Wednesday of every month from 10am – 11am
First Playgroup is Wednesday Sept 28th, 2011Special Discounted: Half off admission ($6) and a 25% discount in the cafe.
Little Beans Cafe
1809 W. Webster
Chicago, IL 60614
Posted in nanny events | Leave a comment

Nanny CPR Now Available through Saftey Squad

First Class Care Inc. has partnered with Saftey Squad and Bubbles Academy to bring our clients and nannies CPR Classes in Chicago.

The Next Class is: Saturday, August 13, 2011 at 10:00 AM
Location: Bubbles Academy 1504 N. Fremont  Chicago, IL 60642
GET $15 off with Coupon Code: nanny15


This course features the “heartsaver CPR AED” content from the American Heart Association. It covers adult CPR and AED use (compressions with breaths) & child CPR and AED use and infant CPR, including child and infant choking. Skills are taught in a fun, dynamic group environment by using the AHA™s research-proven practice-while-watching technique, which provides students with the hands-on CPR practice time using the industry™s best manikins. This class is intended for those with limited or no medical training who need a course completion card in CPR and AED use to meet job, regulatory, or other requirements. Ideal for nannies, school teachers, therapists, personal trainers, doulas, healthclub employees, etc. Participants receive an AHA booklet to take home. A Heartsaver CPR AED card is issued at the completion of this class. The card is valid for 2 years.

Posted in chicago CPR classes, Nanny CPR | Leave a comment

Gas Reimbursement Rate Goes Up AGAIN!

The current IRS Reimbursement Rate is now  $0.55 a mile

As of July 1, 2011 the gas reimbursement rate went up to 55 cents per mile. With the gas prices close to $5 a gallon employees are calling us to ask what they should get paid to use their own car for work purposes.

Make sure you reimburse weekly for car use. This should not be part of their salary, but an additional payment based on how much they drive for your family.
Posted in nanny gas | Leave a comment

Why is First Class Care your best choice in Chicago for a Nanny Agency?

First Class Care is happy to be the ONLY APNA approved Nanny Agency in Illinois! To be a member of APNA the association verifies the agencies operating practices, reviews all applications, documents, contracts and makes sure we are abiding by the APNA code of Ethics. To be a member of ANPA is a huge honor as well as being the 2010 Agency of the Year recipient!

To find out more about APNA visit:

Posted in Best Chicago agency, Chicago nannies | Leave a comment

Smartphone App Suitable for Nannies Introduced

The US Department of Labor has introduced a new spartphone “app” to help hourly employees (nannies, housekeepers, maids and other household employees are ALL hourly under the Fair Labor Standards Act [FLSA]) track the hours they actually work. This is all a part of an effort to aide employees in independently tracking their work hours, independent of employer records, and will assist them in prosecuting claims for unpaid wages and unpaid overtime.

The free app is currently available for iPhone and iPod Touch. According to the US Department of Labor’s press release, workers without a smartphone may access the US DOL’s Wage and Hour Division’s printable work hours calendar in English and Spanish to track rate of pay, work start and stop times, and arrival and departure times. The calendar also includes easy-to-understand information about workers’ rights and how to file a wage violation complaint. Both the time card app and the printed forms are available here.
nanny overtime payThis is a huge advance for nannies, and an area of considerable risk for household employers. According to the US Department of Labor, these are the areas they routinely cite employers for failure to meet FLSA and other legal requirements:

  1. Failing to correctly classify non-exempt and exempt employees. This is the mistake investigators often target first. Household employees are non-exempt. This means they are required to be paid on an hourly basis, and that all household employees who do not live with their employers must be paid overtime. New York and Maryland extend overtime requirements to live in domestics – be sure you know your local rules and regulations.
  2. Failing to calculate overtime pay correctly.
  3. Misclassifying employees as independent contractors. According to the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division [WHD], the “misclassification of employees as independent contractors is an alarming trend.”

    Often, the WHD adds, “workers are deprived of overtime and minimum wages, forced to pay taxes that their employers are legally obligated to pay and left with no recourse if they are injured or discriminated against in the workplace.”

    When the WHD finds cases of misclassification, it may refer the cases to state agencies and the IRS. Nannies ARE NOT independent contractors and employers who incorrectly treat them as such do so at considerable peril.

  4. Failing to pay for work during missed meal and rest periods. Wage-and-hour laws require employers to pay non-exempt employees for all time worked. Most nannies, and many household employees work without meal breaks or rest periods, and employers are required to pay for the time. If the nanny is not free to leave the premise on meal and rest periods, they must be paid. And when the extra time results in an employee putting in more than 40 hours in a workweek, the employer also owes overtime pay.
  5. Failing to pay for certain on-call time. If an employer engages an employee to wait to be put to work, the individual must be paid for the on-call time. Nannies who are required to be available during hours a child is in pre-school or in an organized activity such as sports practice session are considered on-call.
  6. Failing to keep required records. Federal law requires employers to keep accurate and contemporaneous time tracking records. So if there is a dispute with an employee about hours and pay and the employer is unable to show accurately recorded time records, courts will favor the employee’s claims and records. This new smartphone app makes it easy for the nanny to track work hours.
  7. Substituting comp time for overtime pay. Under federal law, compensatory time off or comp time in place of receiving overtime pay is generally only legal for government employees. Federal law generally requires that employees get paid overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a seven-day workweek established by the employer. (Note: Some states such as California require overtime pay for hours worked over eight in a day.)
  8. Taking unauthorized deductions from paychecks. An employer can only legally deduct from an employee’s earned pay the amounts required or authorized by law (such as Social Security, income tax deductions, and court-ordered garnisheed amounts) as well as deductions authorized by the employee (such as deductions for insurance premiums and loan payments).

    Examples: A household employer cannot deduct amounts from a nanny or household employee’s pay to cover damages to household property, including an auto provided for the nanny to transport the children or damage/breakage while cleaning, cooking, etc. And an employer cannot withhold a departing nanny’s final paycheck as a way of collecting an amount the individual owes on a loan previously obtained from the employer — unless the nanny has given authorization in advance.

  9. Failing to abide by state laws. States may have their own version of federal wage and hour rules. So employers need to be aware of and comply with the laws in the states where they have employees.

Article provided by:

Posted in Nanny Taxes | Leave a comment

Nannies: IRS Mileage Reimbursement Rate Goes Up!

Effective July 1, 2011, the IRS standard mileage reimbursement rate will increase to 55.5 cents per mile. The rate for January 1 – June 30 2011 is 51 cents per mile.

Nannies who use their personal vehicle for work purposes – driving children to school, appointments and activities for example – typically have their business use of their personal vehicle reimbursed at the IRS standard mileage reimbursement rate in effect at that time. We recommend that this be part of your nanny work agreement, linking to the current rate so nanny and family receive the adjustments as available. This rate is usually set on a calendar year basis. This is the 2nd time in the last decade that a mid-year increase has occured. This is a response to the dramatic increase in the cost of gasoline.

Article provided by:

Posted in nanny gas | Leave a comment

Quick Tips For A Smoother Transition Into A Summer Schedule

Many children perform best when they follow a schedule and have a consistent routine. School is coming to an end and summer is approaching, which also translates to a less structured schedule and, potentially, a less productive day. Here are a few suggestions to make the most out of your summer routine:

Visual Schedules:
• At school, many children follow a picture schedule that lets them know what activities they will be participating in that day. Summer is a great time to let kids be kids and allow them to learn through play and gain independence while choosing what toys and activities they want to do on a daily basis. If your child craves predictability and struggles with transitions, try making a summer picture book. Take pictures of your child’s toys, games, books, and places they enjoy playing (backyard, park, pool, etc.) and allow them to create their own plan for the day.

Play Dates:
• Play dates with peers are a great summertime activity. Be sure to swap information with the parents of your child’s friends at school before the end of the year. Children learn a lot through playing together, including skills such as negotiating, compromise, taking turns, communication and imaginative play.

• See the “Building Social Skills through Play Dates” blog for tips on how to add structure for a successful play date. Host “family camp” or “neighborhood camp”

• Participate in sports, obstacle courses or sprinkler races as a family. Add fun teams, like girls vs. boys or parents vs. kids.

A few quick tips for a smoother transition to summer camp:
■Discuss the similarities of camp and school: you bring a lunch and backpack, you’ll be with a teacher or counselor, many of your friends will be there, there’s the excitement of meeting new friends.
 ■Find out if your summer camp has an orientation night where the counselors meet with parents and kids so everyone knows who their camp counselors are.
 ■If applicable, reassure your chid that her older or younger siblings will be at the same camp and that they will be arriving and leaving together.
 ■Pack a transitional item in her backpack that can comfort her throughout the day.
 ■Create a social story that explains what summer camp is all about, what she can expect and what kinds of activities she will be participating in.  Read it with her frequently.

Article by Meghan Orenchak

Meghan Orenchak received her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University. Her pediatric experience includes working as an OT at an outpatient clinic and working for North Shore Pediatric Therapy. Meghan has also gained OT experience with the pediatric population throughout her schooling, specifically, leading a social skills group for school age children and administering an applied behavior analysis (ABA) program while obtaining a minor in psychology.


Posted in kids summer, transitions | Leave a comment