Play dough Recipe

When my children were little we used to love making this recipe. The best part is watching the mixture change from a goo to a solid ball of play dough. The kids played with it right out of the pot and enjoyed the warmth on their hands as they kneaded it out. Give them some plastic cutlery or a cookie cutter to help them with their creations.

Read More »

Nanny Share Tips

How to Delight Your Family and Your Child

A nanny share can be a delightful solution to your child care needs. However, without proper planning, the arrangement may pose some challenges for you, your nanny and the other family involved. Ensure your nanny share brings happiness to all involved with these tips designed to enhance your caring environment.

Discuss Your Schedules Often

One of the most stressful elements of a nanny share occurs when families don’t sync their schedules or communicate changes with the nanny and the host family. Avoid any uncomfortable or inconvenient situations by hosting a monthly meeting to pair up your schedules.

Determine early on which family will host the nanny and the children and communicate your work schedules and activities clearly. Know that in order for a nanny share to work, you may have to compromise one week or month when your schedule is less hectic than the other family’s schedule. Create a plan, too, for how to change the daily schedule. For instance, instead of an impromptu announcement that you will be late one day each week, ask the nanny and your partner family for advice on how your needs can be met.

Outline the Terms of Your Nanny’s Employment

Again, communication is crucial to a successful nanny share. Create a contract prior to hiring your nanny that includes a detailed pay schedule, an outline of your children’s needs and a daily pick up and drop off schedule. Stipulate whether or not your nanny will care for the children of both families in one home or a split arrangements between the homes of both families. In some instances, it may be necessary for the nanny to watch the children during different hours. This information is crucial for all parties to know prior to the start of your nanny share.

Make sure that the nanny you choose understands your family values, discipline preferences and the needs of each individual child. Communicating how your child responds and interacts with both adults and other children can help your nanny provide the best care on a daily basis.

Consider Additional Costs

Although families are encouraged to work out all costs prior to the agreement, it is possible that additional costs incurred will add up during the nanny share. Anticipate the cost of food, entrance into museums when on field trips and transportation fees that will need to be provided for your nanny. If you have children in diapers, discuss whether or not each family will provide supplies for the nanny or if the host family will provide wipes, diapers and ointments.

Anticipate Challenges

Just when your nanny share seems to be a well-oiled machine and an enjoyable experience for everyone, something may throw a wrench into the arrangement. Anticipate how you and your partner family will handle illnesses, sharing of toys and the use of electronics. When you consider what could go wrong and make a plan, you are providing your nanny with a clear route to provide the best care for your children.

Know that you are not alone when embarking on a nanny share when you have Nannies on Call as your primary resource. Get more information on how we can help you make this arrangement a delight for everyone involved by contacting us today.

 

How to Make a Nanny Share Work?

Tips for Forging a Successful Arrangement

While a nanny share seems like a perfect arrangement for your family, the share requires ample effort on the part of the families and the nanny in order to deem it a success. In order to spend your days thankful for the opportunity to join forces with another family and a nanny who your children adore, take these steps to ensure the arrangement is secure and in line with your values and needs.

Carefully Choose Your Nanny

Although you may see a nanny candidate as the ideal choice, when in the midst of creating a nanny share, it’s important that both families are happy with your caregiver. Start out by getting to know your partner family and compare your parenting and discipline styles to determine if the share is a solid fit. Then, make a list of qualities you both seek in a nanny. Compare your notes and begin interviewing candidates in your home to make the interview seem more personalized.

Ask detailed questions when discussing child care with your nanny candidates. For example, inquire about her background, experience and strategies for caring for children of multiple families. Investigate whether or not your nanny has participated in a nanny share before and ask her to describe the experience.

Once you have narrowed down your choices, invite each nanny to visit the host home for a trial run. Leave your children with her for just a few hours and ask for feedback from your partner family, your children (if they are old enough) and your nanny. Know that you may not find the right fit right away, but it is better to explore your options before making a permanent commitment.

Thoroughly Explore Payment and Tax Options

When engaged in a nanny share, both families are treated as separate employers. This means that you must first determine the amount of money each family pays the nanny, payment deadlines and tax implications. Discuss appropriate allocations or benefits you plan to provide for the nanny with the other family so cost or taxes do not become an issue down the road and interfere with the care of your children. Families who solidify a permanent agreement regarding pay and payroll schedules, make the job much easier for nannies, who primarily want to focus on catering to your little ones.

Communicate Often

Communication is at the heart of a successful nanny share. Anticipate that you may need to discuss schedules or activities with both your nanny and your partner family on a regular basis. Set up regular meetings or get-togethers with the host family and bring a list of questions or issues you may be facing with the nanny share.

Open communication helps to make both your nanny and your children feel more comfortable about the arrangement. When you tackle concerns directly, you are able to move forward and continue taking advantage of the benefits of a nanny share.

Learn how to successfully execute a nanny share with the help of Nannies On Call. Our professionals are available to help you through the process and choose a nanny that is right for both of your families. Contact us today for more information.

 

Top 10 Reasons Nannies Should Use a Nanny Agency

 

Have you ever wondered why you should use a full service, professional nanny agency when you can easily find a job on your own? If you haven’t used an agency before the benefits might not be clear to you. Here are 10 reasons why finding a job through an agency might just land you the best nanny job you have ever had.

It’s free! – Nanny agencies charge the families a fee to find them a nanny. There is no charge for nannies to find a job. In fact, it is illegal for agencies to charge someone to find a job. If anyone asks you to pay a fee to find a job you should find another agency to work with.

Pre-screened families – If you have ever tried to find a job through an online site you know it is often like finding a needle in a haystack. The families who work with the agencies have been pre-screened and only those who are serious make the cut. Some of the families may be repeat clients and the agency will have the previous nanny’s feedback and tips on making the new placement successful. You won’t have to waste your time with families who want to pay minimum wage, pay you under the table or have you do heavy housekeeping, household management, and every other task under the sun.

Top private jobs – Agencies often have jobs that are not even posted online. These jobs are saved for the top nannies who are registered with the agency. They are usually with repeat clients who have top paying jobs and trust the agency to find them the most qualified nannies.

Fair wage – Are you tired of interviewing with families that you love only to find out that they are only offering to pay a fraction of the going rate?!  Discussing wage expectations and advocating for yourself can be tricky, even when you’ve found a family with whom you really connect.  Since agencies pre-screen their families, they make sure that the families are able to pay a competitive and fair wage. The agency also spends time educating the families about what is an acceptable rate for a professional, educated nanny and negotiating on your behalf.

Feedback – Agencies will provide you with after-interview feedback that is important to your professional development. How many times have you interviewed with a family and you just never hear back? That will never happen with a nanny agency as they are in constant contact with the families and will provide feedback if there were any issues at the interview.

Professional Presentation – Agencies make sure that your file is complete and professional before sending your documents to a family. This means the family is left with the best first impression.  Half the battle is just getting a family to interview you!

Best Nannies and Families – Professional agencies have a reputation for having the best nannies and families. When you work with an agency, families are trusting you based on the agency’s reputation for finding and placing great nannies. Agencies often have high end clients who don’t trust the internet to find them a professional nanny.

Support – After getting placed in your fantastic position the agency is always there to help with any issues or questions that come up. Nannies often work alone without any co-workers and the support of agency staff is worth its weight in gold. Sometimes you just need somebody to lend an ear or to help get everyone back on the same page should any issues arise.

Employment Standards and Revenue Canada-  The agency staff is extremely knowledgeable about your rights as an employee and will ensure that you are well protected and treated fairly.  Some agencies even offer a free payroll service to the families to ensure that the nannies’ deductions and pay calculations are correct. It is tough to advocate for yourself if you are not aware of the rules and your rights.  

A solid contract – Agencies have templates of contracts that have been tweaked numerous times over the years.  The contracts have been constructed to protect both parties from incidents that may have arisen in the past. Also, there are some practices that are standard in the nanny industry that may not be in other industries and these have been added to the contract as well.

Nanny agencies have the nannies’ best interests in mind and they will treat you well.  Agencies are grateful and appreciative of nannies who do great work!   Do yourself a favour and call one today – they will be happy to hear from you!

By Michelle Kelsey and Kate McGeachin – Nannies on Call

 

Nanny of the Month – Helen


Helen is a wonderful nanny who comes with over 25 years of experience caring for children of all ages.  She is a playful and fun nanny and all children love to be around her.

Before arriving in Canada 26 years ago, Helen attended Art College in her small hometown in the North of England. She loves to engage children in wonderful, play based learning experiences and is known to create amazing artistic masterpieces with children. Helen also has her ECE Certificate and Diploma in Massage Therapy.

Nanny Helen is a valued part of our team at Nannies on Call. We are very lucky to have her working with us!

Previous employers have this to say about the wonderful Nanny Helen:

“She had excellent rapport with the children. She was always engaging them in crafts and creative activities.” – Janet

“Helen’s capabilities are exceptional and she has so much to offer. Her creativity is amazing and she is loving and warm!” – Leslie
Keep up the great work Helen!  We appreciate you!

What is the difference between a Nanny and an Au Pair?

If you are planning on working in Canada as a nanny from overseas, it is important to understand the differences between applying as a nanny or as an au pair.

 What is a live-out Nanny?

  • A nanny has several years of experience caring for children and often, this is the nanny’s chosen career
  • Some nannies have other certification, such as teaching degrees, nursing degrees, or Early Childhood training certificates
  • A nanny goes to a family’s home each day and leaves at the end of the day
  • A nanny is responsible for the children during a set weekly schedule, depending on the family’s needs
  • In Canada, nannies are paid $16 to $25+ per hour and this rate depends on the nanny’s experience and the job’s responsibilities.  The rate can also vary depending on where in Canada the nanny is working
  • A nanny must have a working holiday visa

 What is an Au Pair?

  • An au pair may have little to no childcare experience
  • An au pair is often younger and looking for a cultural experience
  • Au pairs provide help with childcare and light housekeeping in exchange for room, board, and pocket money
  • An au pair gains cultural and childcare experience though the family
  • Often, an au pair is looking to learn another language while in the family’s home
  • Au pairs are not necessarily looking for a career in childcare
  • An au pair must have a working holiday visa

Although the jobs have many similarities, if you already have at least two years of childcare experience, you will be better compensated when you apply to work as a nanny in Canada.

If you are interested in becoming a nanny in Canada, please contact Nannies on Call atresumes@nanniesoncall.com or 877-214-2828.

The Financial Side of a Nanny Share

Finding affordable childcare can be one of the biggest struggles that parents face.  One solution that is gaining momentum is a Nanny Share.  This means that one nanny is caring for the children from two (or possibly three) families at the same time.  This allows for the families to enjoy the benefits,  flexibility and ease that a nanny offers, at a reduced rate.
Nannies earn more when working in a nanny share agreement. This typically is about 20-30% more than her rate when working for one family. For example, if the nanny charges $18 per hour for one family, she would charge $21-23 per hour for a nanny share, and the parents would split this, thus each family having to pay $10 or $12 per hour.

Payments to the nanny can be handled in 2 ways, says Deborah Shure from Nanny Tax.

1) The families can create a partnership, where there would be one pay stub, one T4, etc.  The two families split the amounts and claim what they have each paid.  One thing to bear in mind is that in a partnership, if one partner is negligent in paying, the other partner becomes liable.

2) The other option is for each family to pay the nanny separately.  With 2 different sole proprietorships, the liability is not an issue, but the employers/employee need to make sure that the taxes are done correctly.  If the employee ends up getting treated as if each is the only job, he/she could end up owing a lot of money on their tax return.  For example, if the nanny earns $15,000 with each family, almost no tax would be deducted from each pay cheque.  At the end of a year, the total of $30,000 should have had over $3,000 deducted which would mean that this is owed by the nanny to the CRA at tax time. The other important point is that each family needs to ensure that they are paying at least minimum wage, even if the nanny is earning far above minimum wage when the pay slips are combined.  To avoid this, it is recommended that the families split the hours, rather than the wage.

If you have questions surrounding Nanny Shares, please contact Kate McGeachin at Nannies on Call or Deborah Shure at Nanny Tax. We love to help!

Gap Year in Canada

Are you thinking about taking a gap year but don’t want to go broke on your year away?  Becoming a nanny in Canada could be the perfect solution for you!  You can make a great salary while experiencing Canada and making loads of new friends.  There are many families across Canada interested in hiring foreign nannies and nannies from Australia, New Zealand, England, and Ireland are especially popular.

Interested?  Here are a few things to consider before heading overseas:

Where do you want to live?  The major cities like Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Ottawa are the best places to find high-paying nanny positions.  Plus, they are great jumping off points for travelling around the country and into the US!

How much do you want to work?  You can work a flexible on call/babysitting type job where you would work for different families.  This would give you the flexibility to travel while picking up enough shifts to pay the bills.  Or you could commit to a part-time or full-time position, working for the same family on a set schedule.  This usually pays more than the babysitting jobs and the length of the position can vary, depending on the family’s needs.

Can you commit to one year?  If you are planning on committing to a part-time or full-time position, many families would prefer a nanny who can commit to at least a year.  Are you willing to stay in one city for a year or two?  Many working holiday visas are now two years which makes committing much easier.

Do you drive?  If you drive, do the research on what it takes to convert your current license to a local driver’s license.  Many nanny jobs in Canada require driving and switching to a local license is required after you have been in the city for three months.  Driving will often get you a higher rate, as well.

Get organized.  Before you leave home, put together a nanny portfolio.  Gather copies of your childcare reference letters, criminal record check, degrees/certificates, resume, and cover letter. When applying for your Canadian visa, make sure to carefully read the requirements for working with children as you may need to get a medical before you arrive.  If you are organized, you will be able to hit the ground running when you arrive and get a job right away.

Get Certified.  Before you leave home, make sure to get your CPR/First Aid.  It is important when working with children and most families require it.

Do your research.  Find out what the going rate is for nannies in the area.  Rates can vary greatly across Canada.  If you go through a reputable agency such as Nannies on Call, you will earn a higher rate than finding a job online.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Nannies on Call before arriving in Canada.  We would be happy to help you.  We can be reached at resumes@nanniesoncall.com or 877-214-2828.

Are moms qualified nannies?

At Nannies on Call, we regularly get mothers applying to become nannies and often, these mothers do not have any childcare experience other than raising their own children.  They become frustrated when we tell them that they do not have enough experience to work with us and we hear things such as, “You’re telling me that raising my daughter for the last 4 years isn’t enough experience?” or “I have raised 3 children and 2 grandchildren and have over 20 years of experience – why isn’t that good enough?!”

While we believe that these mothers do have a lot of terrific practical experience, unfortunately, working for another family is very different than raising your own children; it comes with a whole different set of skills, expectations, and values.  Having experience with these situations is important when becoming a nanny and this is why practical experience is not quite enough.

So what are mothers with practical experience to do?  Here are a few things to consider if you are a mother trying to transition to nannying:

Volunteering.  Have you volunteered at your children’s school?  When my daughter was little, she went to a parent-participation preschool.  I spent many hours in the preschool volunteering and we also had monthly education nights where experts were brought in to teach us about discipline, crafts and development.  All of this would count towards professional childcare experience.

Babysitting.  Have you taken care of other people’s children on a regular basis?  Could you get a reference letter from one of the parents?

Coaching.  Have you ever coached your child’s soccer, field hockey, or hockey team?  This is great experience and often gives you the chance to get a coaching course under your belt, too.

Tutoring.  Have you ever tutored children other than your own?

No matter how you gain your professional experience, mothers need to think outside the box.  Consider where have you gained childcare experience outside of your own family and then tailor your resume accordingly.

If you need help please feel free to contact us. We are here to help. resumes@nanniesoncall.com or 877-214-2828

 

 

Nannyversary

Arcela D. Picture 2017

Arcela D. – 5 years

We are very happy to congratulate nanny Arcela D. on celebrating her 5 year Nannyversary with Nannies on Call this month!  Since joining our team in early 2012, Arcela has worked over 500 jobs with almost 300 families who have called her “wonderful,” “absolutely amazing,” and “one of the most capable nannies we’ve ever experienced.”  A positive, hardworking, and dependable nanny, she also works part-time at a Senior’s Care facility because she has no shortage of love and care to go around.  Never one to shy away from a challenge, she is able to keep everyone calm, engaged, and having fun, no matter what the situation.  Whether she is taking the children for a walk to the playground or a trip to the zoo, you can be sure everyone will have a fantastic day.  Congratulations, Arcela!