Charles MacPherson, who specializes in training staff for private residences, met with Jenny Riojas and Beth Weise at the DEMA Inaugural Convention in Los Angeles this weekend. DEMA, the Domestic Estate Managers Association, has been operating for the past 5 years, and their first national convention was a great showcase of what this top notch group of organizers can accomplish!
Beth and Jenny learned and networked with top estate managers, personal assistants, premier vendors and national agencies from across the country. Caring Nannies is not just a nanny agency. We also place home managers, personal assistants, business assistants, housekeepers, housemen, couples, estate managers, chefs, and butlers.

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There was a loving, matronly family friend named Amy, who came over to babysit us six children. She read to us, made sure we brushed our teeth and put us to bed, so my hardworking Mom could get her one night a week out for choir practice.

 BETH AND BROTHERS
One night, she put my younger brother and sister to bed, and the rest of us were playing tag and hide ‘n seek in the front yard. When it got dark, she called us in. We were surprised at first that she couldn’t see us in the deepening shadows of our Tucson lawn, but when we realized that, we all instantly and mischievously crouched down in the dark, and then we were even more surprised that she gave up and went inside, probably to call my parents. Without a second thought, we just instantly took off running. The four of us ran through the neighborhood for quite a while. We weren’t bad kids, it was just a group impulse. I don’t recall what punishment we had, I’m sure we had to apologize to Amy, but I still recall the thrill of the moment.
Now I can imagine what Amy went through, since I’ve raised my own five children and babysat for my eight grandchildren.
What would we do without our nannies and babysitters and baby nurses and helpers!

 It’s National Nanny Recognition Week and a great time to let your nanny or babysitter know how much you appreciate their invaluable partnership in raising your children. I interview nannies every week in the office, and I love hearing their passion for children like the one today: “I have a passion for children. I just love children. I’m interested in what they’re learning. I love teaching them new things.”
 They are teachers, singers, rockers, chauffeurs, band aid and comfort dispensers, cooks, potty trainers, laundresses, toy safety inspectors, playmates, mentors, role models,  mediators, counselors, and so much more!
 Tell the nanny in your life or the ones in your past how grateful you are for them loving you or your children! It’s great to give them a card or gift, but even more important is to let them know just how much they mean to you. Thank them for their dedication, patience, insight, understanding and flexibility, developmental know-how, and interaction. Tell them how much you appreciate their ongoing commitment to you and your own relationship with them.
  You could give her a card signed by every member of your family, or if you’d like, give flowers, a weekend at your vacation home with her family, or a spa day.

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Did you know
that a FABULOUS FIELD TRIP awaits you?
No appointments needed?
Come any hour of the day?
It only takes a half hour?

Firefighters are BORED?
TODAY IS THE DAY TO TAKE YOUR CHARGES TO YOUR LOCAL FIRE STATION!!!
343 FIREFIGHTERS died on 9-11.

Have your children bring them some flowers from the yard or paper flowers, a thank you note or a few cookies to let them know how much you appreciate them putting their lives on the line for you every day!

If you can’t make it today, just remember those firefighters are bored and they love to show off their shiny trucks to little ones!
Look up the closest station to you, and head out to visit your local BRAVE FIREFIGHTERS.

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NATIONAL NANNY RECOGNITION WEEK IS SEPTEMBER 23 TO 29 and we wanted to do something special for all of our amazing nannies!

I just spent 60+ hours with my busy and entertaining 2.5 year old grandaughter while her parents attended a wedding in San Francisco. The last day, I was truly looking forward to that two hour nap time break, but she just would not nap at all. It happens some times. It was a very special and fun packed, memorable weekend, with bike rides to the park, swimming, library story hour, but it was intense! I am used to having more ‘space’, more time to do my own thing.

I now have a much greater appreciation of what our nannies do day in and day out!

Do you have a wonderful, loving creative, patient nanny in your life who loves your kids like they were her own, builds forts with them in the living room, gets them to eat their brocolli, and comes up with amazing crafts and art projects? Has she taught them manners, to pick up their toys, potty trained them, made up songs with them?

Tell us about your WONDERFUL NANNY in a short essay–just a few paragraphs, and photos if possible, telling us how she has made your family life richer, easier and happier, and made a lasting impact on your family, and she’ll be entered into our contest! The winning nanny will receive a $50 cash gift as well as a free ticket to our 2013 National Nanny Training Day. Three runner-ups will receive tickets to the Conference.

The best hours of our week are doing follow up calls and hearing all the great stories of the difference our nannies have made in your lives, so lets all take this opportunity given to us by National Nanny Recognition

Week 2013to let our nannies know how much we appreciate them!

Check out the rules below and then tell us about your nanny! Send them to me at beth@acaringnanny.com.

Rules:
The Nanny needs to have been placed by Caring Nannies, and the essays and photos can be used by Caring Nannies. The deadline for submission is September 20.

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Caring Nannies is a proud member of DEMA,
the Domestic Estate Managers Association, and Jenny and Beth will be attending the FIRST ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN Los Angeles on September 28th & 29th. We encourage all private service professionals to join us! We’re looking forward to fantastic speakers and presentations by industry leaders and this is a great way to network with other professionals and top tier agencies from around the country. Check out the website below to find out why you should be there!

Caring Nannies Professional Training
The Domestic Estate Managers Association has become the leader in professional and personal development for the Private Service Community. DEMA’s reach goes well beyond our current membership and is recognized throughout the industry. Our approach to raising industry standards is unique, we don’t leave anyone out of the communication circle when it comes to managing estates and residences. Our goal is simple, to provide continuing education and resources to the Private Service Community. This will ensure more secure careers for our members and more protection & preservation of the estates or residences they manage.

The 2012 DEMA Convention is designed to advance the professional development and resources of all attendees. All attendees will leave with more knowledge to help them continue in their careers and businesses by utilizing our convention workshops and privileged information shared by our speakers & educators.

What is included in the ticket price?
The short answer is, all of it! The speakers, networking, workshops, best practices, advice, panel discussions, support and even all of your meals are all included in the ticket price. The 2012 DEMA Convention offers the most value ever seen at any Private Service convention. Don’t delay, register & reserve your hotel room today and become an active participant in this one-of-a-kind convention.

Convention Features:
This year’s event has been specifically designed to cater to the needs of our members based on the feedback that DEMA has spent years obtaining through actively listening & supporting the membership. Our local Board of Directors in each chapter throughout the country have also been on a mission to learn what our members are looking for in chapter meetings, educational offerings on the association website and now ultimately this convention. So, no matter what reason you have to attend this convention, we will have your needs covered!

Offerings:
Welcome Reception: Things will kick off with the Friday night Welcome Reception at our host hotel, Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles. This will be a chance to unwind and get settled in for the massive amounts of education being offered throughout the weekend. Grab a bite to eat, take care of registration, network with your peers and make new friends or even catch up with old ones.

Meal Functions & Breaks:
We have designated meal functions and breaks in the education so attendees can network and learn from our exhibitors in the marketplace. Attendees will discover innovation, discussion and awareness in every corner of the convention.

Awards:
Our awards committee is planning a great ceremony to spotlight members in all six of our membership categories! It’s time to bring respect, appreciation and support to members that are providing outstanding service to their Principals, clients & businesses everyday throughout the year.

Educational Offerings:
Keynote & Featured Speakers: Over the years DEMA has been instrumental in pulling together great speakers and experts to share their knowledge at meetings and special events throughout the country on a monthly basis. The 2012 DEMA Convention will not disappoint by providing the best speakers ever seen at one event for Private Service! Principals, first class Private Service Consultants, Protocol & Etiquette Experts and industry specific leaders are already lined up to speak in September with many more to come. Stay tuned for announcements in the coming months.

Panel Discussions:
Be in attendance to see unique panels discuss different situations and interact with the audience to come up with solutions to challenges facing our members on a daily basis. DEMA will create an environment similar to the Townhall Meeting that took place in 2011.

Workshops:
Currently there are over 25 workshops planned that will take place on Saturday and Sunday on a variety of topics. Please make your voice heard and let us know what topics you would like to participate in by contacting us at info@domesticmanagers.com

Career Services & Job Fair:
On Sunday afternoon we will turn the Grand Ballroom into a career center featuring experts to help with any resume, interviewing techniques or advice that attendees may need support with. There will be many agencies in attendance who will be sharing any opportunities that they currently have available in September.

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Scottsdale Insurance saw our campaign on Facebook and collected 17 backpacks from their small office!!!!
The children at Excellencia and Larkspur schools will be thrilled with their new backpacks! Thank you Scottsdale Insurance!

Our wonderful nannies helped also!!! Thank you Alison!!!

And leaving backpacks at our door!

Thank you to all of our awesome nannies and business community!

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It’s that time of year again!  Summer has come to an end in the Valley and another school year has begun. Now that you’re into the fall schedule, and over the first two weeks, here are some tips I use at home.

If your busy household is anything like mine, back to school can mean frazzled, stressful days of preparation leading up to the first day, and then crazy, rushed mornings with the kids who are reluctant to get back into the daily grind of school.

Here are 5 helpful tips I use at my home with my 2nd grader and kindergartener to alleviate the chaos that often comes with back-to school preparations.

1. Beat the crowds at the stores by shopping for school supplies early in the morning when stores first open.  Or wait until just before the store closes.  Teachers often send home longs lists of required school supplies and if you go in the middle of the day when everyone else is shopping, you’ll be fighting over that last box of markers, and standing in long check out lines

2. Include the kids in choosing a few important school items but not all.  I suggest having a special shopping trip with the kids in which you allow them to pick out a new backpack, lunch box, and first day of school outfit.  Any other supplies needed are best to get when shopping without the kids. That helps eliminate battles over what the kids want to put in the cart and what the school supply list requires

3. Get organized the night before.  In my household, I have my 8 and 5 year old boys pick out their outfits and lay out their clothes and shoes for the next day.  Backpacks are packed and ready by the door.

4.Pack lunches the night before and plan breakfast for the next morning.  That way you are not scrambling eggs in a hurry while also trying to slap together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

5.Have a designated place in your home where everything goes.  Kids should know when they walk in the door after school where to hang their backpacks, put lunch boxes, set out homework, and so forth.  I have a bench by my front door with a cubby for shoes, a hook for back backs and then each child has a basket on the kitchen counter for important school papers and homework.
Organization is key for a stress-free school year.  Have a wonderful new school year!


Jenny Riojas

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When my girls were ages one and two,

I’d been teaching preschool, teaching swim lessons, but I didn’t want to get a regular job that took me away from them full time. A friend gave me the idea of starting a nanny referral service, so in July, 1983, I began.  Initially it was mostly family day care homes, so every Thursday, Grandma babysat, and I made a loop around Phoenix, inspecting providers and their homes. Ten years later, the State of Arizona started offering free day care home referrals, CCR&R, no screening included, so I felt we were undone. But at the same time, nannies suddenly become popular. We called them “Traveling Babysitters” and charged a whopping $45 placement fee.

The rest is history but what makes Caring Nannies special?

What we do every day in our Scottsdale office

is part art and part science-it’s a craft. It’s primarily fueled by who we are as persons, our values, our passion, plus three decades of experience finding top-notch candidates. Our goal is to match that right one for each family. That’s the mastery of the craftsperson. We have developed a knowingness about the character and personality qualities that bring nurture into a family. It’s an art that we’ve polished and polished, as though with our hearts.

Young children will model the character and personality of the people they spend time with. That’s why character is our benchmark. Humility, joyfulness, creativity, punctuality, confidence, attentiveness, teachableness, a heart to serve, dedication, and reliability.

A caregiver with a PhD but without passion can’t teach a child nearly as much as someone with less schooling but with passion. Breakfast becomes an instant classroom as a two year old practices slicing a banana with a plastic knife, then cutting the circles into semi circles and quarters. Blueberries are added or subtracted as they are eaten.

A backyard becomes a nature lab
as earthworms are discovered, worm farms are stocked and library books and artwork revolve around learning about these simple creatures without which we could not exist.

We want you, our families
to be freed up to do the things that give you the life you want, so you can achieve the satisfaction and sense of fulfillment you deserve. A family that really works and works well!

What does your family need?
Peace of mind? Order? Time? Freedom? Expertise?
And remember, we’re more than a nanny service we also place domestic staff!

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As a young girl, I played guerilla warfare with my five brothers in the arroyos and vacant lots of our Tucson neighborhood. A playmate and I were enamored with detailed toy horses and even pretended that we were horses, practicing different ‘gaits’ in the desert barefoot, so we could harden our ‘hooves’.

My girls, raised in the 80’s, played with dolls till they were nine years old. Our Fisher Price doctor kit was used continually, with simple homemade costumes and willing patients. The back yard was turned into a primitive village for a few weeks, a complete girl’s house plus one for the boys, including kitchens and bathrooms. The boys got in trouble when they took part of that too literally.

All this because I read widely to them every night, and was too busy working half days from my home office to meddle much.

They constructed a large houseboat out of spools and planks I had scrounged after taking a boat ride on Lake Powell.

Their favorite was a club created in our attic after we had an attic ladder installed. They added carpet scraps, signs, rules, and spent winter days up there in full colonial costume.

How much should children play?

All this because I read widely to them every night, and was too busy working half days from my home office to meddle much.

As you watch your children play, what toys do you find that have less bells and whistles and encourage creative play? I’d love to hear from you since I have three new grandchildren two and under!

If it’s trueasresearcherstell us that imaginative play allows children to make their own rules and practice self-control, what can parents do to augment the benefits of truly creative play?

What we do know is that children entering school now will be retiring in 2065. We can barely recall how life was like 5 years ago, much less five years from now.

Indoors and outdoors, children need large blocks of time for playaccording toJill Englebright Fox, Ph.DResearchers Christie and Wardle (1992), found that large blocks of time of 30-60 minutes are needed to develop mature and complex play, giving the benefits of problem solving, determination, compromise, planning, and collaboration.

I’ve been conducting my own private survey among Moms, asking: “What toys do children really play with a lot?” Train sets? Well, yes maybe, but usually not the way they were intended.

Read ideas from Vikki Valentine in her NPR article The Best Kind of Play for Kids.

It wasn’t until 1955, according to Howard Chudacoff, a professor at Brown University, that almost overnight, children’s play switched from activities, to things—the toys themselves.

Does commercialization of children’s play actually shrink children’s imagination, as Chudacoff claimsin his 2008 book?

Of course safety is an issue now. Kids can’t go roaming through the neighborhood as when I was a kid. As preschoolers, ages 4 and 5, my brother and I were sent to the grocery store to pick up bread for lunch.

Flower soup and flower tea Alison Gopniksays that children are little scientists, and those who are better at pretending are better at thinking of different possibilities. Pretend play is under attack right now because of the onslaught of media and busyness. But pretend play is a crucial part of what makes us so smart. Don’t fear a bit of boredom initially. They will soon come up with ideas. Maybe your goal is to be raising the next Bill Gates.
Beth Weise

David Derbyshire chronicles how children have lost the right to roam in four generations. When George Thomas was eight he was allowed to walk six miles to his favorite fishing haunt without an adult, but his eight year old grandson Edwards is allowed no more than 300 yards from home. You can see the diminishing map here.

As a boy raised in the south, my husband left home as soon as he woke up in the summer, and was off to the swimming/fishing hole till dark.

How can we best prepare them for the real world? it seems like from the first day of Kindergarten or even preschool, we’re getting them primed for that college entrance exam.

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It can be difficult to find someone to nanny for just three hours a day from 2:30-5:30 pm, plus you have to worry about all those random no-school days or sick days.Caring Nannies generally asks for a 20 hr per week minimum because we want to make it a win–win solution for both parties. Our goal is a nanny who stays long term, because we don’t want people coming in and out of your child’s life.

Is an After School Nanny the Answer?
After school nannies are some of our hardest working employees. They pick up children, often from different schools, tidy up, keep the laundry going, run errands, grocery shop, prepare nutritious snacks, supervise homework, monitor online school progress, ferry children to after school activities or appointments, or shop for that weekend birthday party gift

How about a split shift nanny?
Some families want the nanny to come before and after school, which is problematic because it doubles the driving for your caregiver, and the morning shift is commonly only two hours long. We don’t recommend this scenario, because we want nannies have a four hour minimum each time they come to the home. All our requirements are geared to promote longevity in the relationship. If a split-shift is agreeable to the nanny, we recommend reimbursing her for mileage (55.5 per mile) for two of the trips, or using a family car.

What could a full-time Nanny/Manager Do?
Many of our families utilize a third solution, keeping their nanny full time and expanding her duties to include housekeeping, personal assisting or other home management chores. Part-time pay is generally higher than full time so for just a little more, you can have the advantage of full coverage. If you have a home business, she can sort mail, take on more of an assistant role, send out shipping, fill in for your school volunteer assignments or charities, and organize home or office, scrapbook, make travel arrangements, set appointments, pet and house sit when you’re out of town, deal with vendors, or cook dinner for the family. The key is to find out what she’s great at, then utilize her creative talents to make your life easier. You can pay a lower hourly rate, since she is full time, and she’ll tend to stay longer. You win because when you arrive home, all the pressing needs of the day will have been attended to and you need only enjoy the children and your peaceful and organized home.

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