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working with Nannies from the Heart. Here are some ways you can get involved:


Recent Blog Posts from Nannies from the Heart (Read the full Blog Here)

Nannies From the Heart eases parents’ minds with reliable sitter scheduling and cancellations, if necessary. We’re now partnering with a local nonprofit that takes ease of mind to a whole new dimension. Beginning this month, a portion of sitter cancellation fees will be donated directly to Wonders and Worries, an organization dedicated to helping children cope when a parent faces serious or life-threatening illness.  It is the only program of its kind in the United States, and it’s based right here in Austin.

Wonders and Worries employs certified child life specialists trained to work directly with youth. It is a six-week comprehensive, individualized counseling program for children and teens.

“Kids may come into situations where they are afraid of medical equipment, afraid they may ‘catch’ cancer like they’ve caught a cold,” said Lindsey Boyd, Director of Development at Worries and Worries. “Some kids may be angry, and  Wonders and Worries works to demystify the whole experience.”

Lindsey Boyd with Wonders and Worries, holding a specially-designed "Port-a-Cath" doll.

Lindsey Boyd with Wonders and Worries, holding a specially-designed “Port-a-Cath” doll.

From tiny X-Ray machines, IV bags, to a toy hospital, the child rooms are designed to familiarize children with the hospital or medical experience.

Teen programs may deal with an illness in the family very privately, but will open up when they see that others are going through the same thing. Teen rooms are separate from the children rooms, and Wonders and Worries provides monthly check-in groups and individualized approaches for teens. Coping kits could include aromatherapy, music, stress balls.

A former long-time employee of Nannies From the Heart, Wendy Lipe, witnessed first hand the impact of Wonders and Worries.

“My cousin passed away from cervical cancer about five years ago. While she was in cancer treatment, her oldest son, who was three at the time, went to individual counseling with Wonders and Worries,” said Lipe. “It was a wonderful organization and the counselor that I met was patient and compassionate, gentle and kind. What they do as an organization is incredible, and I am thrilled that Nannies from the Heart is partnering with them.”

A Ken doll awaits a scan in the miniature MRI machine.

A Ken doll awaits a scan in the miniature MRI machine.

Rebecca D’Amico, owner of Nannies From the Heart, already pays nannies a third of the cancellation fee, which is really rare in the nanny industry.  When looking to give another third to a nonprofit, Rebecca immediately thought of Wonders and Worries.

“They work directly with children, which seems a natural fit for a partnership since Nannies From the Heart nannies work directly with children every day,” she said. “It’s not always easy to talk to our kids about what’s going on. They take it so much further than I would ever know how to do as a parent.”

A glimpse into one of the Wonders and Worries therapy rooms for children.

A glimpse into one of the Wonders and Worries therapy rooms for children.

Wonders and Worries services are provided at three Austin locations, and if children are unable to come to an office, staff can travel to several school districts within the Austin area. In addition, they employ three bilingual staff members and have a dedicated phone line for Spanish-speaking families. Wonders and Worries is a community-based nonprofit that receives no government assistance. Through two annual fundraising events, and various business and grant support, the organization is able to offer its services at no charge to families.

To read more about Wonders and Worries, visit www.wondersandworries.org.

 

beachvacationAs many school districts in Texas gear up for Spring Break, some families may be curious how to handle travel pay for nannies. The APNA, a national organization of nanny agencies, recommends having specific language outlined for your nanny in regards to travel pay. Often this varies greatly from family to family, since travel accommodations, destinations, and existing nanny agreements are specific for each family. However, the APNA reminds families that their vacation time is not the same as their nanny’s vacation time. Your nanny needs to be paid his or her normal salary for all hours they are responsible for the children. (See APNA blog post Traveling With Your Nanny: How to Compensate Your Nanny on a Family Vacation)

You do not need to pay the nanny for rest time, as long they receive five hours of uninterrupted sleep in a row, and receive a total of eight hours rest time. For this to apply, nannies must be provided adequate sleeping facilities.  In accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), if your nanny works over 40 hours in a week – even if it’s while traveling with your family – he or she needs to receive overtime pay at one and a half times the regular hourly rate of pay.

skivacation

Having these items nailed down before your vacation adventure begins will make for a smoother time. Remember, a nanny can provide invaluable assistance while navigating crowded airplane terminals, waiting in lines, adapting to new cultural experiences, and providing parents some much-needed “adult” time while vacationing.

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