Caring Nannies is proud to present the first annual SPARK Awards for Excellence in Nanny Care. The SPARK Awards celebrate everyday nannies doing extraordinary work to support parents, care for children and strengthen families. Each of the two award categories, Enthusiastic Newcomer and Seasoned Veteran, showcase individual excellence in nanny care demonstrated by exceptional childcare, impactful work, and a positive, encouraging attitude.

Winners will be chosen through a combination of online public voting and a selection commitee. They will be honored at their local National Nanny Training Day event on Saturday April 20th. Each SPARK Award winner will receive a gift package including a cash prize.

Select Association of Premier Nanny Agencies across the nation have generously come together to be the collective sponsors of the 2013 SPARKS Awards. APNA’s commitment to exceptional client service and quality nannies are the perfect companion to the mission of the SPARK Award.

What qualities are we looking for?

A nanny with SPARK:
has a Service-minded or “How can I help?” outlook.
acts in a Professional way.
has a positive Attitude about her job and her role as a nanny.
is Resourceful and knows where to go for information, ideas and support.
is Knowledgeable and understands how to foster a child’s healthy development.
Anyone can nominate a nanny, including herself. Just go to the nomination form and provide the nanny’s name, city and state and email address. She’ll receive an email letting her know she’s been nominated and inviting her to complete the nominee submission form and submit the necessary supporting materials. Let her know so she’ll be looking for the email. Contact our office or laura Brawley of Nanny Biz Reviews if you need help. All forms, including a two minute video entry are due by Wednesday, April 3 and voting closes on Friday April 5th.

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Children under five need at least 12-14 hours of sleep but generally, they’re not getting it.  Sleep is the only time their brains are developing, and 95% of growth only occurs during sleep.

There are 5 big hurdles the older baby faces.

1. Consistent bed-times

Consistency is your friend. If a toddler gets to bed at 9:30 PM, she’ll be up and down at night, up early in the morning and cranky all day. Like creates like, and if a toddler doesn’t get enough sleep, they learn to run on hormones. They are in survival mode and the parents are also. They’ll go into a a second wind, a third wind, then crash deeply. As crazy as it sounds, an overactive toddler likely hasn’t had enough sleep
It’s a completely different scenario from a happily energized toddler with 12 hours of sleep plus a two to three hour nap. A sleep deprived toddler is hyperactive, has a shorter attention span, is moody, intense, lacks patience, and shows other signs that they’re deeply over tired. It can take three to seven days to get them back on track.

Bad habits breed bad sleep patterns. It’s up to parents and nannies working together to come back to the schedule. Do it gradually. If a toddler has been going to bed late, work towards moving it 15 minutes earlier. Keep that schedule for three nights, then move it forward another 15 minutes. They immediately respond to consistency just like adults. If bedtime is the same every night, it’s much easier to go to sleep.  A consistent bedtime is really important for a newborn but equally crucial for toddlers.

2. Electronic Stimulation

In the car, at home, we have the radio, TV, computer, phone  and ipad on day and night. When Dad’s home, the TV may be on more. There’s constant stimulation. Children are being overstimulated and we’re raising a generation who doesn’t know how to be quiet or alone. We’re gradually losing the art of personal intercommunication.

If your child isn’t sleeping well, cut back on the stimulation. Teach them how to sit and flip book pages, play by themselves, or play quietly with a train set. Have a quiet relaxing bath. Do the same routine every night. 

It takes an hour after screen time before they’re chilled out enought to sleep.

We know this is hard because lots of people use the TV as a way to distract children so they can get things done.

For adults, this is even more important than for children. Impose the ‘no electronics’ rule for one hour before everyone’s bedtime. Nothing decreases deep REM sleep more than electronic stimulation, and it takes that long for the mind to process the stimulation so it can rest.  People who watch TV while falling asleep get 40% less REM slelep. The brain needs time to process all the incoming information and work everything out. Electronics are much more stimulating than reading or a conversation, and it’s really important to let your mind decompress before sleep.

A famous author once wrote, “Lay on thy bed and commune with thine heart”. No external sources, just lay on your bed, process the day, give your mind and body a break from constant stimulation.

3. Daytime Naps

Children need naps til the age of five, even if it’s just uninterrupted quiet time in their room. If young children aren’t sleeping at least 12-14 hours per day, their growth and deleopment is slowed. They still need that mid-day nap. They’re too young to go without it. It can just be an hour of lying in bed with a book, but they need to develop the life skill  of down time.

If your toddler isn’t napping, sit in bed with them, quietly read books, sing favorite songs,  talk to their stuffed animals, make a little nest in their bed, give them a water bottle, and do the same routine each time. Scheduling is still as important as when they were infants, and they need consistent naps. If you’re running errands and see your toddler yawning, cut your trip short, or you’ll miss that ‘magic moment’ and that nap won’t happen. Rubbing eyes or pulling ears are additional clues

Here’s the kicker: If they don’t get daytime naps they won’t sleep well at night. Remember this mantra: “Sleep begets sleep.” If they go to bed too late at night, or their sleep is interrupted, their circadian rhythm is thrown off and if they go to bed late they will still wake up at the same time in the morning.This is why, when parents say, “We’re staying out late so the babysitter needs to keep them up late so we can sleep in”, it never works, and everybody’s miserable the next day. They’ll wake up earlier than usual.

4. Cutting molars

One of the toughest challenges may be teething, which can cause lots of sleepless nights with pain and discomfort. If you’re going trhough a sleepless phase, it’s the 19 month to age three that they could be cutting two-year molars. If you’re in a wierd sleep phase, get them into the dentist. There are 20 teeth starting to cut through. “I’d rather go through a c-section than have my child go through molars again,” my daughter Erika exclaimed. Her munchkin is now three, so she’s at the tail end of it. “If they’re experiencing pain, they’ll scream, cry, wake up at night, act irrational, act like they have night terrors, and maybe you can’t see molars coming through yet, so you have no clue what’s bothering them.” Calms Forte, a natural herb produced by Hyland, also produces teething tabs. After each molar ordeal, get back on track.

Erika just discovered a 20th molar, and gave a sigh of relief. Now she knows there’s an end in sight, the pain will be subsiding, and she can cut back on the Motrin at night. A pediatric dentist can tell you if those last teeth are coming through. Then you’re done.  If you’re not sure whats going on, the dentist can at least rule out other problems, and it’s a good time to introduce a toddler to the dentist. A tooth cutting through is not just a physical, but a behavior problem.

5. Seasonal and other changes

Circadian rhythms, or the sleep-wake cycle, are regulated by light and dark, so as our days lengthen, toddlers need to go down when it’s still light outside. This can wreck the schedule and it’s harder to get them to sleep. In the circadian rhythm, the body picks up on light and dark.

One solution is to train them to sleep in the light and it’s a smart idea to train them to sleep anytime, anywhere. It can make life easier to never put infants or toddlers down in a pitch black room. You can re-train a baby or toddler in three to five days, just do it gradually and consistently.

The main message is to just be aware of what your child is going through. Very few people read the parenting books on toddlers because life is suddenly so busy and they don’t have the time or energy. Be as consistent as possible during teething, potty training, moving into a toddler bed or length of day. Keep that nap or “quiet time” til age five. I always called it ‘Mother’s Mental Health Break’. They are developing key lifetime skills: the ability to be alone with oneself without being pluggd in or entertained, self soothing and developing their own life rhythms. Developing these skills skyrockets children’s self confidence and will result in better grades in school, happiness, and good health. One of the best gifts parents can give their child is a parent who has had 8 hours of sleep.

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We’re excited to share the news that Caring Nannies made Kudzu’s Best of 2012 list and are the #1 service in Child Care and Best Nanny Agency in the Scottsdale and greater Phoenix area! We take much pride in the fact that we represent such high caliber nannies and are so fortunate to work with such amazing families.
Kudzu users have spoken and Kudzu has awarded the Best of 2012 based on thousands of votes. Click here to see some of the heartfelt reviews we’ve received recently!
We’re so grateful for the opportunity to serve children and families for nearly 30 years!

Jenny Riojas and Beth Weise

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If you live in Phoenix year round or are coming to get out of the snow and ice for a few weeks, make the most of your time here. Spring is a beautiful time to visit Phoenix so here’s a fun list of things to do.

Arabian Horse Show Feb 14-24 at Westworld in Scottsdale-Since 1955, the Arabian Horse Show is the largest event of it’s kind in the world and has grown from 50 horses to 2400, bringing the top owners, trainers and breeders from around the world. A win in Scottsdale means lots of attention in the breeding barns.

Phoenix Spring Training For the fans, Spring Training means great games, great players, jumbo hot dogs, cheap tickets, and the opportunity to get up close and personal with the athletes. Scottsdale is home to the San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies, and Arizona Diamondbacks. Cactus League Spring Training The Angels will host the Chicago Cubs at Diablo Stadium in Tempe for their Spring Training and the Angels take on the Texas Rangers. Camelback Ranch in Glendale is hosting the White Sox and Dodgers and the Peoria Complex is hosting the Mariners and the Padres. The Surprise Stadium is the home of the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals.

Kayaking on  Tempe Town lake This is an urban lake just North of ASU and the Mill Avenue district in Tempe. They also have rowboats and paddle boats. The lake is just two miles long and there’s lots of skateboarding, biking, walking and horseback riding paths.

Arizona Science Center This fun interactive museum is great for ages 2 through adults. I brought my two year old granddaughter and my out of town company there and she kept busy for hours, but we had fun learning too!

Take a hike! Our family hiked in the Superstitions and my eight year old son said: “Oh, this is the desert!” It’s high desert and much more beautiful than in the alley, asd stunning in the Spring and the rock formations and Spring flowers are fabulous! Another short but fun hike is the Hieroglyphic Trail in the superstitions.

The Musical Instrument Museum in North Scottsdale is one of a kind, with instruments from all over the world, and has an interactive room where you can try out some instruments yourself.

Destination Station at the Arizona Museum of natural history runs through March 24 and is an interactive exhibit showing the inside of America’s orbiting lab and revealing the vast array of science and research being done in low earth orbit.

Arizona SCITECH festival 2013 Spearheaded by ASU, U of A, and the Arizona Science Center, this festival is a celebration of science, technology, engineering and math has expos, workshops, and tours in neighborhoods throughout Phoenix  for ages 3 to 103 now through March 17th.

If you’re staying at one of our charming Phoenix resorts, call for one of our trusted nannies to entertain the children while you enjoy a quiet dinner.

Beth

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We’ve been to the moon and back, but we’re still cleaning the way we did 100 years ago, and those habits are hard to change. We think it’s not clean unless we get that chemical smell, but what no one told us is that there are no regulations for cleaning products. Good mothers use  Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo, we thought. They just came out with this concession, to remove all toxins by 2015.

The famous ’10 Americans’ study in 2004 of 10 umbilical cords, tested for 413 toxins and environmental pollutants. The chilling test results showed that the 10 cord blood samples contained 287 toxins and chemical pollutants, 200 on average per baby, including 212 industrial chemicals that were banned 30 years ago! The chemicals included waste products coming out of incinerators and smokestacks, and ingredients from pesticides, like flame retardants, teflon chemicals and pesticides.
Of these chemicals

  • 134 are linked to Cancer
  • 151 are associated with Birth Defects
  • 154 cause Hormone Disruption
  • 186 cause Infertility
  • 130 are Immune System Toxicants
  • 158 are Neurotoxins such as lead, PCBs, and mercury that can have far-reaching effects on developing children’s intelligence and coordination.

Leading researchers believe industrial chemicals have brought a silent pandemic in children.

In November 2012, a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics outlines the harmful effects on children and makes recommendations on how to reduce exposure. A new report this week stated that ADHD is on the rise. One in five children have autism, ADHD, ADD, or allergies, 7.3 million American couples have trouble getting pregnant or carrying to term, up 20% in the past 10 years. Cancer is on the rise.

Chemicals are taken in via inhalation, ingestion and absorption. Cleaning sprays can be inhaled, a crib or high chair cleaned with lysol can be ingested or absorbed through the skin. Safe levels of chemicals over a long period of time equals a level that is too high. Nearly all traditional cleaning products have chemicals that are bad for humans and for the earth. Find your favorite cleaning product in this list.

What can we do?
We can’t avoid all exposure. Some people just love their cleaning products. This is a challenge for many. I shared this with my 93 year old mother who still cleans her own windows, and she just laughed, “I’ve been using amonia and window cleaner all my life and I’m not dead yet!”

The average home has 62 toxic chemicals.  Eighty-five percent of housekeepers die within one year of retirement. And when these toxins are used, it’s putting more chemicals into the environment.

Make your own green cleaning recipes. 

Work with your nanny or domestic staff to  mix up simple green cleaning recipies using vinegar, lemon, borax, liquid soap, olive oil.

Don’t use aerosols
They are easier to inhale and the particles are smaller. The particles go deeper into your lungs. Some aerosol particles stay in the air for up to two days and a baby can ingest it. A trigger spray is better.

Use gloves
Your skin is one big absorbing sponge.

Think about ingestion.
Did you use fabric softener on that baby blanket? Then baby sucks on the blanket. Nervous system disorders are linked to  dryer sheets.

Beware of flame retardants
Hidden hazards tested 20 popular new foam baby products for toxic flame retardants linked to serious health problems

No one is using disinfectants properly.
Beth Bittenbender of Pure Strategies spoke to the DEMA Domestic Estate managers Convention last September, explaining that, “For a disinfectant like lysol to work properly, the surface needs to be cleaned first, then sprayed with the Lysol and allowed to sit for 10 minutes, then wipped off. But who takes the time to do this? This procedure  can kill 99.9% of germs. However that .1% may adapt and become a superbug.”

Great tools to use:

  • Microfiber rags and water give better results than chemicals.  Cotton is food for germs.
  • Use a sealed HEPTA vacuum for allergies.
  • Electrolyzed water changes the PH of water. Electrolyzed water was discovered over 150 years ago. Table salt and tap water are infused with electricity into water, and it cleans and disinfects and degreases food, tables, counters and sinks. Electric tea pot sizes are available as well as wall mounted units at Pure Strategies
  • Liquid Ozone (O3) kills bacteria 3,000 times faster than bleach.
  • Dry Steam Vapor is a high heat, low moisture process using minerals and can be used as a pesticide against any insect from bedbugs to scorpins.
  • Increase your indoor air quality with plants, especially in the nursery. Plants pull toxins out of the air.
  • Install self cleaning surfaces, called nano-coating. Chandelliers and windows can be coated so they can be cleaned with a dry rag.
  • UV lights can be installed in the HVAC systems to kill microbes.

These products can be used with pets,  animals, in pools and hot tubs.

Do what you can and don’t worry about the rest.
My daughter-in-law showed me all the toxins in toothpaste, so I quit using it. My two year old granddaughter looked at me  a couple weeks later and said, “Grandma, your teeth look yucky!” so now I’m back to poisoning myself at least once a day.

Knowledge is power

  • Your goal is not to get rid of all germs. Desensitizing children to germs, makes them less able to fight back normal levels of infection.
  • Don’t feel overwhelmed, start small.
  • Reduce your chemical footprint. When getting rid of your old cleaning compounds, bring them to a city recycling event like  the one in Tempe April 20 

Here are some other programs we found:
City of Scottsdale Hazardous Waste Options
City of Phoenix Hazardous Waste Schedule
City of Chandler Hazardous Waste Schedule
City of Gilbert hazardous Waste Schedule
City of Mesa toxic waste recycling
City of Peoria hazardous waste recycling
Fountain Hills hazardous waste recycling
Carefree hazardous waste recycling
Cave Creek hazardous waste recycling

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A pundit once described genius as the ability to take two seemingly unrelated subjects and “mash them up” to make something wonderful. A great example of this is Josh Vietti’s Hip Hop Violin Medley. It’s simply outstanding, especially the last two minutes. Well worth the watch.
Want to teach creativity like this to your kids? It doesn’t just come by accident. It must be cultivated. Here are 10 ways to develop creativity in your child.
Being a father is your most important job and unlike many other responsibilities, you don’t get any breaks and you work at it seven days a week. So All Pro Dad and NFL Player Engagement have teamed up to bring you the WeekEND Zone, a new resource to help you engage with your children on the weekends and create new family memories.
WeekEND Zone Activity:
Couch Potato Kickoff

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Why is it that babies of Mexican immigrants in the US have lower infant mortality in the first few weeks of life than average American women? In rural Mexico, Hispanic mothers also avoid postpartum depression, compared to 15 percent of US mothers. What are they doing differently? One reason is the “cuarentena” — 40 days of completely compulsory nurturing for the new Mom. For the first six weeks, family and neighbors come together to ensure the mother eats, sleeps and bonds with the new baby. There’s no cleaning, cooking, or errands. The outcome? A happy mother and a happy baby.
New mothers we see using our agency are typically sucessful professionals between 30 to 40, independent, with successful careers, used to being in control of their lives and overcoming challenges. Bringing home a new baby is overwhelming, and nothing can prepare her for that first one. Hospitals are not designed for sleeping, so by the time she arrives home with baby, she’s utterly spent. Not used to asking for help, her whole identity has radically morphed into how successful she feels she is at mothering. When I had my

firstborn, I’d never changed a diaper! How did that happen? In our culture, we live far from parents and extended family, and we think we should be able to do it all.
When my second baby was born, I had the blues. I wasn’t feeling any emotion towards my baby, and I’d run out of diapers. I stared out the window at the clean ones fluttering on the line. This was 1968 and dryers had yet to be invented. I was so emotionally spent, I couldn’t go get one. I finally got up to get a diaper, and a few months later, my emotions returned, but that experience has given me an inkling of understanding of what others go through.
Three causes of non-medical postpartum depression are a lack of sleep, poor diet, and clutter or disorganization. People used to a perfect environment are now unable to keep up with housework and making balanced meals.
Sleep is crucial now, but hard to get. Be sure the new mom naps during the baby’s nap. Get someone to take the baby at least a couple of hours a day so she can rest. The tiredness is intense.
Get some help. Being a new mom can be lonely and isolating if dad is back to work and family isn’t close by. A friend who can come over and fold some laundry or spend time with the new baby so Mom can get a nap or a shower, is invaluable. This isn’t so crucial for new moms, because they can sleep when the baby sleeps day and night, but after a second child, it’s helpful for a friend to come and take the older child on an outing. It’s pretty rough being dethroned by a new baby, and the older child needs some special attention.
Supplying meals for a new mom is so helpful. New moms need lots of veggies, foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and B vitamins such as Riboflavin to bolster against postpartun depression. Friends can send a gift certificate for your favorite resturant, or bring a home cooked meal that can be warmed up or frozen for later. Mealbaby.com is the perfect way to organize meals! It’s free and easy!
If Grandma can’t help or if you need space from family, hire a mother’s helper, a newborn specialist  or baby nurse for help at night, or a doula. A newborn specialist can be 24 hours 7 days per week, or just nights. A doula is there more for the mom, preparing meals, taking over baby care for a period, preparing meals, doing housework, or a full night shift. Both are helpful for answering questions, hands on education, and reassuring the new mom that she’s doing a good job.
If there’s someone doing housework, mom will feel free to rest, since naps are her only time to get caught up.
Listen. Care. Validate her feelings. She may break down and cry, feeling inadequate. What she needs now is understanding, listening, caring. Let her vent. Ask questions. Be curious. Don’t try to solve the immediate problem but aks more about how she’s feeling, giving her your time, and lelt her know you care. Most of all, she needs to know  she’s doing a wonderful job with her newborn.
Help her connect with a mom’s group or friends she can go on play dates with.
Offer to run errands for her or babysit so she can get out of the house by herself, or offer to run errands with her. Go with her for her six week check-up. Or offer to babysit she she can go out with her husband for a few hours.

Beth

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Why is it that babies of Mexican immigrants in the US have lower infant mortality in the first few weeks of life than average American women? In rural Mexico, Hispanic mothers also avoid postpartum depression, compared to 15 percent of US mothers. What are they doing differently? They don’t have insurance or top notch medical care or education. One reason is the “cuarentena” — 40 days of completely compulsory nurturing for the new Mom. For the first six weeks, family and neighbors come together to ensure the mother eats, sleeps and bonds with the new baby. There’s no cleaning, cooking, or errands. The outcome? A happy mother and a happy baby.
New mothers we see using our agency are typically sucessful professionals between 30 to 40, independent, with successful careers, used to being in control of their lives and overcoming challenges. But bringing home a new baby is overwhelming, and nothing can prepare her for that first one. Hospitals are not designed for sleeping, so by the time she arrives home with baby, she’s utterly spent. Not used to asking for help, her whole identity has radically morphed into how successful she feels she is at mothering. When I had my firstborn, I’d never changed a

diaper! How did that happen? In our culture, we live far from parents and extended family, and we think we should be able to do it all.

When my second son was born, I had the blues. I wasn’t feeling any emotion towards my baby, and I’d run out of diapers. I stared out the window at the clean ones fluttering on the line. This was 1968 and dryers had yet to be invented. I was so emotionally spent, I couldn’t go get one. I finally got up to get a diaper, and a few months later, my emotions returned, but that experience has given me an inkling of understanding of what others go through.
Three causes of postpartum depression are a lack of sleep, poor diet, and clutter or disorganization. How can we nurture new mothers so they can successfully nurture their newborns?

  1. Sleep is crucial now, but hard to get. Be sure the new mom naps during the baby’s nap. Get someone to take the baby at least a couple of hours a day so she can rest. The tiredness is intense. If the Mom is nursing, she can pump for one feeding so that she gets five to six hours of sleep at night.
  2. Get some help. Being a new mom can be lonely and isolating if dad is back to work and family isn’t close by. A friend who can fold laundry or spend time with the new baby so Mom can get a nap or a shower is invaluable. This isn’t as crucial for new moms, because they can sleep when the baby sleeps day and night, but after a second child, it’s helpful for a friend to come and take the older child on an outing. It’s pretty rough being dethroned, and the older child needs some special attention.
  3. Supplying meals for a new mom is so helpful. New moms need lots of veggies, foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and B vitamins such as Riboflavin to bolster her against postpartun depression. Friends can send a gift certificate for your favorite resturant, or bring a home cooked meal that can be warmed up or frozen for later. MealBaby.com is the perfect way to organize meals! It’s free and easy!
  4. If Grandma can’t help or if you need space from family, hire a mother’s helper, a newborn specialist  or baby nurse, or a doula. A newborn specialist can be 24 hours 7 days per week, or just nights. A doula is there more for the mom, preparing meals, taking over baby care for a few hours, preparing meals, doing housework, or a full night shift. Both are helpful for answering questions, hands on education, and reassuring the new mom that she’s doing a great job.
  5. If there’s someone doing housework, mom will feel free to rest, since naps are her only time to get caught up.
  6. Listen. Care. Validate her feelings. She may break down and cry, feeling inadequate. What she needs now is understanding, listening, caring. Let her vent. Ask questions. Be curious. Don’t try to solve the immediate problem but ask more about how she’s feeling, giving her your time, and letting her know you care. Most of all, she needs to know  she’s doing a wonderful job with her newborn.
  7. Help her connect with a mom’s group or friends she can go on play dates with.

Offer to run errands for her or with her or babysit so she can get out of the house by herself. Go with her for her six week check-up. Offer to babysit so she she can go out with her husband for a few hours.
So let’s learn from our neighborns south of the border and do a better job of taking care of our mothers by making sure that they get

  • plenty of sleep
  • nutritious food
  • rest
Beth
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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

NEWS & NOTES FOR 2013

Here’s what you need to know for the new year:

  • The Payroll Tax Holiday Has Expired. The social security tax has reverted to its traditional 6.2% (it was temporarily reduced to 4.2% in 2011 and 2012 in an attempt to stimulate consumer spending).  The change will decrease take-home pay for all U.S. workers.  Your full-time nannies will see a change of about $10-$15 per week, depending on their income level.
  • The FICA Reporting Threshold Did Not Change. The $1,800 threshold has been extended through 2013.  Families who pay a worker less than that amount are absolved of the FICA reporting responsibilities under the “casual babysitting exemption.”
  • The Federal Mileage Reimbursement Rate Has Increased.  The rate for mileage reimbursement increased by one penny per mile.  It’s now 56.5 cents for each mile an employee drives on the job.

ANNOUNCING A NEW SIMPLE SOLUTION TO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE

We are very pleased to announce a major breakthrough in our long-time quest to provide families with simple, affordable  access to workers’ compensation insurance.

We’ve always educated families on workers’ comp and guided them to the best solution for their situation/state.  However, in recent years, the solution options have dwindled.  More and more families have complained that finding an affordable, stand-alone policy is difficult.  In some states, it’s next to impossible.

So, we decided to take control of the situation.  After more than a year of research and meetings and due diligence, we have teamed with PMC Insurance Group and an A-rated underwriter to help them create HomeStaffPROTECT — the first and only workers’ compensation insurance product custom-built to meet the unique needs of nanny employers.

Since we worked closely with PMC Insurance Group to develop HomeStaffPROTECT, Breedlove clients will have exclusive access to this stand-alone workers’ comp product.

It will be extremely convenient.  With instant online quotes and a pre-filled online application (pre-filled from their Breedlove payroll data),  obtaining a workers’ compensation policy will take families less than 5 minutes.

If you’re wondering about cost, you’ll be pleased to know that HomeStaffPROTECT will be a low-cost leader.  PMC is a wholesale provider and Breedlove does not take any commissions or mark-ups or charge any administrative fees.  So, our mutual clients can rest assured that they’re getting the best price possible.

Finally, we’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that customer service and claim support are handled with the same level of expertise and responsiveness we deliver on our payroll service.

HomeStaffPROTECT is licensed in 24 states (which includes all of the “problem” states) with more states coming soon.  In all of the other states, we’ll continue to educate and guide as part of our setup process.  The bottom line is we can now ensure — one way or another — that families in every state have a convenient, cost-effective solution to workers’ comp.

We’re excited to bring the combination of high quality, high convenience and low cost to the workers’ compensation insurance market as a way to help families and nannies receive this important protection.

If you or your families have any questions about workers’ compensation insurance, just let us know.  We’re here to help.

Guest Blogger, Tom Breedlove

QUICK TAX FACTS

$1,800: Annual wage threshold for Social Security & Medicare (“FICA”) reporting

$1,000: Quarterly wage threshold for Unemployment reporting (some state thresholds are lower)

$2,500: Total childcare tax breaks available for families

1.5: Overtime rate of pay when work week exceeds 40 hours

$0.565: Federal mileage reimbursement rate

$7.25: Federal minimum wage (some state rates are higher)

$2: Approximate daily cost to have Breedlove & Associates handle all payroll and tax compliance duties with no work and no worry.

HELPFUL LINKS

Employee Paycheck Calculator

Employer Budget Calculator

Nanny Tax Overview

Helpful Videos

88-BREEDLOVE (888-273-3356)

www.myBreedlove.com

Connect with us online!

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Okay, so you’re the Dad. That means you want to be Mr. Generous, and you want to make sure your children have everything. Good for you.

But the best we can do for our children has very little to do with passing over the keys to a new car, hooking Jr. up with that fly pair of $200 sneakers, or making sure your offspring attend the finest schools. What loving fathers “do” is to provide a framework in which kids can grow up to be the very best young people they can possibly be.

Our opportunity, as loving All Pro Dads, is to craft the kind of environment where such growth is possible. There’s a lot we can do – and the following “10 Things loving fathers do for their children” are a great place to start:

  • Loving fathers… love their children’s mother: This is huge – possibly the most beneficial intervention dads can do on behalf of their children. Love your wife without reservation – you can’t do much more for your kids than that.
  • Love them unconditionally: Make sure that your children know you love them “no matter what.” Don’t confuse this with permissiveness – unconditional love does nothing to encourage the wrong kind of behavior. In fact, kids who are secure in their father’s love tend to act out less, not more.
  • Grow up: We’re talking about the dads here, not the kids! Children don’t want another buddy – they want a dad. They want someone who thinks things through, makes tough decisions and engages life with responsibility – someone they can count on.
  • Be there: “Quality time” is all well and good… but it has nothing on quantity time. Make the time. Everyone has the same 24 hours available. Make yours count.
  • Provide: Just do it.
    – A stable home
    – Love and affection
    – Material needs
    – Presence
  • Discipline: Children appreciate an even hand, balance, accountability and love-drenched discipline. It’s called consistency, and without clearly defined boundaries, it is very difficult to grow up.
  • Value education: Don’t just read to them – read with them. Don’t just fuss about grades – get involved with their homework. Don’t just talk about learning – be a hands-on advocate
  • Raise them to leave: The simple goal of being a family, of parenting our children, doesn’t look any more complicated than this: raise them well equipped to leave home and to establish faithful lives.
  • Teach them to take responsibility: Kids who learn how to duck responsibility and avoid cost will – sooner or later – fall flat on their faces. Loving fathers make sure their children know how to own up, clean up, and move forward.
  • Teach them to love this life: The best predictor of happiness in children is happiness in their parents. If we learn how to love this life, and then give that blessing to our kids, then they will be well prepared for satisfaction.
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