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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)

Diapers, wipes, snacks, bandaids, emergency contact names – routine items most nannies carry with them on the job. Taking it up a notch, many nannies these days tote “Nanny Bags” filled with fun age-appropriate items for kids. What makes a great nanny bag? Toys or supplies that serve as icebreakers for new kids they will be sitting or nannying for, and items that can help maintain and grow relationships.  Rebecca D’Amico recently visited the set of KXAN’s Studio 512 where she brought along a Nannies From the Heart sample nanny bag. Let’s take a quick look “inside”:

Studio512_nannybag

 

Giant sidewalk chalk can provide endless fun on summery Austin days. When the weather’s cold or rainy, a game of pick up sticks is an excellent alternative to plugging in to electronics.  Puppets promote storytelling and imaginative play, and reading is always welcomed. LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary delights young and old fans alike.  The Madeline book series, including Madeline’s Rescue, take children right to Paris.

storycubes_  Rory’s Story Cubes encourage creative story telling and artistic expression, all in a compact package and for less than $8.

These are just a few examples of nanny bag activities; the varieties are endless. It’s important for nannies to find common ground with the children they care for, no matter the age.

“Ask the children, if they are old enough, to take you on a tour of their room…they love that,” said Rebecca.

We reached out to our Facebook page fans for some more ideas on nanny bag items. Sheila B. keeps crayons and coloring books, simple boxed puzzles, card games for older kiddos, and bingo with her. If she hears that a child likes something specific she tries to bring it. She always tries to bring a simple toy for each child to a job interview as well.

nannybag

Do you have any suggestions for nanny bag items? Please comment below or share with us on Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

If you or someone you know is trying to weigh the pros and cons of hiring a nanny agency, below are 10 tips that might be helpful in the decision-making process. Nanny agencies should provide families:

  1. Human interaction. A nanny agency personally speaks with prospective families and nannies, a tenet missing from online services.  This makes for a more personable process, from the interviewing, placement, and any ongoing needs.
  2. Long-term success investment.  Nanny agencies want the best fit for your family’s childcare needs, and want their nannies to be in great environments for the long run.
  3. Time savings.  Nannies are not one-size-fits all. It takes considerable time and industry knowledge to find the right nanny fit, and an agency can take care of this for you. After all, your nanny will be an influential part of your child’s (and family’s) life.
  4. Ease of mind.  Many families appreciate having an agency’s expertise in all nanny matters, including what to do if your nanny is sick or you need last-minute care. Most nanny agencies offer reputable back-up care arrangements in case of a nanny’s illness, and have services to help accommodate last minute requests.
  5. Screening. Background checks should be required no matter what caregiver you choose, but what does a standard background check entail?  Make sure any agency you select goes beyond standard requirements and has a stringent screening system in place.
  6. Training.  Nanny agencies provide numerous professional development opportunities in order to keep nannies attuned to the latest developments in the field.
  7. Tailored Fit.  Under a trained nanny’s care, your children will benefit from consistent, individual guidance and personal attention from a nanny hand-selected to meet your family’s situation.
  8. Accreditation. As a largely unregulated industry, it’s important that an agency is registered with groups like APNA and INA, which have high standards and stringent membership requirements.
  9. Accountability. If you choose to hire a nanny yourself, the nanny answers to no one but you, which can be overwhelming. A good agency provides a ‘checks and balance’ and peace of mind.
  10. Community. Nanny agencies continually meet with families, and know the local parent community inside and out. They can be a great resource for your family as you search for anything from the best summer camps, to pediatric therapists, schools, classes and so much more.

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Rebecca D’Amico is passionate about ensuring the best nanny placements for families. As the owner of Nannies From the Heart for 14 years, she personally meets with every nanny and family and is the “human search engine” behind the Austin, Texas-based company. Her enthusiasm and dedication resonate with families, and she and her team of professionals are a great place to start your family’s nanny search. Double background checks are standard. Nannies From the Heart is a member of both INA and APNA, which provide accountability and oversight for agencies that families should expect, particularly in a highly-unregulated state like Texas that does not require nanny agencies to be monitored.

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