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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 is excited to announce the launch of nanny workshops and classes through a partnership with the Austin Nanny Academy!

“We’ve been waiting a long time to be able to do this and do it right, and this academy is truly a wonderful resource for new and veteran nannies, as well as young people starting out in babysitting,” said Rebecca D’Amico, Nannies from the Heart owner. She said the agency will be noting completed courses on its nanny applications, and that will give parents and added level of comfort knowing that these nannies are striving to expand their knowledge of childare. “We will highly encourage NH nannies to attend relevant classes to expand their knowledge,” she said.

Austin Nanny Academy Renee Sollock

Renee Sollock

Renee Sollock founded the Austin Nanny Academy in the summer of 2015 to provide a place for nannies to acquire the skills needed to appropriately meet a child’s physical, mental and emotional needs. Sollock began her career in the childcare industry in 1989 and has worked as a preschool teacher, nanny, household manager and governess. She earned a degree in child development in 1990 and is a certified Newborn Care Specialist. “A nanny with the proper tools and information can challenge and empower the child,” Sollock said. “Creating a safe place for a child creates trust. Behavior challenges tend to decrease when a child trusts their caregiver. Being educated about the child will offer the nanny the opportunity to give him or her what is truly needed.”

Austin Nanny Academy Babysitting 101Sollock will facilitate two classes in the upcoming weeks. Babysitting 101 will be held on Saturday, February 27, from 9 a.m. to noon. This class is geared toward 12 to 16-year-olds and is a fun, interactive way to learn or review babysitting basics. Students will leave with lots of goodies made during the class including a magic bag, first aid kit and a boo-boo bunny. Interactive stations will include diapering, bottle assembly, swaddling and healthy snack preparation.

Austin Nanny Academy Newborn CareThe Newborn Care Class will be held the following week on Saturday, March 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This class is designed for current nannies who desire more specialized training. Many families look for nannies who have expertise in certain areas. This class will cover everything from nursery necessities to breastfeeding, infant sleep and nanny ethics. Sollock explained the importance of learning to navigate the nanny/employer relationship. “Being a nanny is a very personal job and you’re part of someone’s family,” she said. “However, there are certain boundaries that cannot be crossed. Finding that balance is the key. And when it’s found, everyone is happy.”

Nannies from the Heart will provide breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and lunch at noon both days. Classes will be held at Soma Vida located at 2324 Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78702. Online enrollment is now open!

Whether your kids are toddlers or teens, the start of a new school year offers the opportunity for a fresh start and a chance to do things differently.

If you’re feeling some anxiety around all the transitions, scheduling, juggling and driving that usually accompany a new school year, take a deep breath, you’re not alone. Then, pause and consider the following ideas. Adopting even one of these strategies could make a huge difference in how you experience this potentially hectic time. Start with compassion and a “baby steps” mindset as you consider the following:

  1. Identify what’s #1 for your family this fall. What values or new ways of being are most important to you in the coming months? Perhaps creating a calm morning routine, eating dinner together more often, identifying “screen free” zones, developing a good homework routine or mapping out a game plan for regular communication between family members? Decide what’s at the top of your list and then enlist family member’s help to make this a priority.
  2. Set yourself up for success by enlisting a support team. What type of support do you and your family need to feel grounded and balanced as you transition into the new season? Perhaps a tutor or parenting coach, a new carpool team, a source for ready-made healthy meals, a neighbor that can help out in a pinch or a couple of back-up baby sitters? Line up help now and post your “support team” list and numbers in your kitchen where the whole family can see it.
  3. Schedule replenishing nature respites. Being in nature elicits a relaxation response; it helps us shed worries and restore and replenish our bodies and minds like nothing else. Pull out your calendar and schedule some family hikes, a father/son camping trip, a visit to a country cabin or lake house over a holiday break, or a potluck at a nearby park with your neighbors or friends.
  4. Do less to experience more. In our office, we love the mantra, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” A key cause of stress is ambition and trying to do too much. Researchers in the field of positive psychology say we’re happiest when we have fewer options and decisions to make. What can you say “no” to so you can simplify your family’s life? Our quality of life is enhanced not by adding things, but by letting go of that which we don’t need.
  5. Reign in technology use. In a recent survey on emotional health, families across the U.S. said overuse and misuse of technology was the top culprit for derailing their family’s well-being and sense of connectedness. Create some clear media guidelines for how and when your kids can be online, play video games or use other devices. Consider turning off all devices and putting them to “bed” at 8:30 p.m. each night (this applies to parents, too!). Maybe designate “screen free zones” or times in your home. Many families also are finding having a landline helps with screening calls and preserving precious family time in the evenings and on the weekends (we love our land line!). Lastly, don’t be afraid to change or update these policies often.
  6. Decide how you’ll communicate as a family. Regular, open, heartfelt communication is key to people feeling heard, seen, safe and secure and knowing their ideas matter; especially when schedules are full. Some families have weekly communication meetings (post an agenda on the fridge and have your children add items to the list that they want to cover), some parents have Sunday evening planning meetings after the kids go to bed and others adopt practices as simple as everyone sharing a “thumbs up and thumbs down” at dinner each night. When and how you communicate will vary from family to family.
  7. Designate weekends for rest and relaxation (as best you can!). While it’s easy to stack our weekends with errands, household cleaning, social activities, sports and more, weekend time is sacred. The primary purpose of this 48 hour break is to rejuvenate and restore your energy reserves so you can return to work and school Monday with a fresh, excited outlook—ready to learn and take on new projects. While spending the weekend in a hammock may be unrealistic, realize rest and relaxation are essential to problem solving, idea generation and creativity for both adults and kids. At least a portion of your weekend—and maybe all day Sunday– should be devoted to physical and emotional renewal.

Now is a great time to mindfully reflect on what worked and didn’t work for your family last fall. Then, together explore how you might implement some of these strategies—or others—now so you enter the new school year feeling cool, calm and connected.

More ideas, exercises, mediations and inspiration on how to reconnect, stress less and experience more balance and harmony in everyday life in Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life (New World Library) by Renee Trudeau.


Renée Peterson Trudeau is an internationally-recognized coach/speaker/author and president of Career Strategists. The author of three books on balanced living, including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal, her work has appeared in the New York Times, Good Housekeeping and more. On the faculty of Kripalu Center for Yoga & Wellness, and Omega Institute and Esalen Institute, she lives in Austin, TX with her husband and 13 year-old son. www.ReneeTrudeau.com

Stress less this fall by joining Renee Sept. 10-Oct. 1 for a brand new telecourse designed for women age 40+: Embracing the Wild Unknown: Nurturing Yourself in Midlife & Beyond.

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