For a family-friendly company like Edward Jones, the Childcare for their Regional Conventions is a priority. This June, Caring Nannies has been busy making sure that the children at two Edward Jones Regional Conventions with 45 and 48 kids  is memorable! We have gotten rave reviews from our Maritz Travel team members and parents, who told us that in the last 12 years, they have not seen such a well-run program. The events took place at at the relaxing Sedona Hilton and the luxurious Montelucia in Phoenix. Jenny Riojas and her team have been  planning art activities and games, shopping for supplies, evaluating ratios, and staffing the events. We love the Edward Jones conventions, because the kids are amazing–respectful, smart, focused, and a joy to be with.

Here are some pictures from the last two weekends. Thank You, Maritz Travel and Edward Jones and all you terrific kids and parents and the amazing staff at The Sedona Hilton and the Montelucia!

Nannies team will make it even more fun with our on-site childcare services. Whether you are putting on a corporate event, company meeting, wedding or a party, we have you covered. We can come with toys, blocks, memorable crafts and active games to transform a room into a welcoming environment for children ages 0-14, fully staffed with our energetic team. Contact us for a customized proposal and pricing and to schedule your event.

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When should your child start swim lessons? Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1-4 than any other cause except birth defects. For children ages 1-14, drowning is the main cause of accidental death after car accidents.
There are three main causes of drowning.

1.Lack of swimming ability. Formal swimming lessons can start with babies, and for years, pediatricians recommended age 4. New studies suggests the earlier the better. Studies also point out other benefits, such as close bonding with parents or caregivers and getting ahead in cognitive, physical, social and emotional development

2.A Lack of barriers. Pool fences which are four-sided, separated from the house and yard reduces the risk of drowning by 83% compared to three-sided fences, so the pool is accessible from the house. Locked and spring-loaded gates prevent children from getting into the pool area without an adults knowledge. The only Certified Professional Childproofer in the state of Arizona is at Arizona Childproofers, our trusted partners, a family owned and operated business in Scottsdale and experts in pool fencing.

3.Lack of close supervision: Drowning is quiet and happens quickly, even in the presence of pool-watchers, adults and lifeguards. Any pool party needs a designated Pool-watcher with a special shirt or hat. This job needs to be rotated every 15 minutes. This May, even 13 and 17 year old teenagers drowned in pools, one during a party.

What does research tell us?

1. Swim Lessons help. Formal swim lessons reduces the risk of drowning in children ages 1 to 4. Sandra Jackson has been teaching Survival Swim Lessons for over three years, and we interviewed her to find out what works. She does 12 to 15 minute swim lessons in parent’s back yard pools for four to six weeks, four days a week. She teaches babies, toddlers and preschoolers to swim, roll to a float, and float on their backs. They practice getting to the side of the pool from the center. Call Sandra at 480-221-0271 to schedule private or group lessons.
2. Every second counts–learn CPR. Nannies have to get certified every two years, and parents and grandparents should too. If you mention Caring Nannies, AERT gives classes for only $24. Too busy? Review a video and practice on a doll or stuffed animal.
3. Remove toys from the pool area when swimming is over. Toys attract children. Pick up floats, balls and toys and store them away from the pool.
4. Practice “touch supervision” be within arms length of your child
5. Don’t use air-filled toys, noodles or water wings for life jackets. They are not designed  to be life jackets.
6. Don’t drink while supervising children.

Beth Weise

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What do you do for Father’s Day when memories are painful or empty?

My Dad knew the secret of happiness. He gave the illustration frequently, of a candle burning itself out in the service of others, and that was how he spent his life. And as a result, he was immensely blessed. He held nothing back. Since he was thrifty and consistent, and not afraid to take an opportunity or do extra work, he made sure we were all well cared for. But he gave freely of himself to others with his time and money. He consistently chose the best action that would produce the greatest good. My Dad was shy, because he came from a verbally abusive home, so he was never able to give us verbal affirmation. But he taught us to work all

we can, save all we can, and give all we can. When he arrived home for dinner, he gave me a big hug and since we sat next to each other at the dinner table, he played “toes” with me. I knew he loved me. He gave us six kids an amazing example and was a leader in our community and well-loved by hundreds of people. As he got older, he became sweeter and sweeter, and in his old age, his passion for following God shone out of him.

 My kids didn’t get to experience what I did. Their Dad wasn’t able to be there for them. He was blocked and broken and died way too young, at age 48.

Dr Dobson tells the story of Hallmark cards going into the jails on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to give free cards to inmates. For Mother’s Day, everyone was on deck, but on Father’s Day, only a few were takers.

 This week, my Mom suggested my two oldest boys should call their Uncle Grant, who invested in them during their adolescence, flying them to Missoula and giving them jobs at his rambling Axemen Store. My four brothers also invested in my boys, shooting off rockets, even taking them along on dates. Family friends reached out to my kids, including them in their family parties, taking them out to do fun things or just to talk.

 So what do you do when you don’t have a Dad to honor for Fathers‘s Day? If your Dad was absent, remote, distant, even abusive? Bitterness can quietly poison a person, and even if no one knows about it, the poison leaks out and affects the ones you most want to protect.

Who could you call today and thank? Who invested in you? Thankfulness is life-giving and healing. Tell them a memory of time you spent together that meant a lot to you. Tell them how you are like them today because of the time they shared with you. I’d love to hear back from you if you make that call.

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Does your nanny drive your children? It can be nerve-wracking for families to hand over the driving to their nanny and it takes time to develop that trust. But 97% of nannies drive as a part of their job. If you do your homework up front, you’ll be able to relax knowing that you’ve done your due diligence and your child(ren) are in safe hands.

Some families have a Nanny Car for the sole use of the nanny. This is the best solution, because it will be a safe, updated, well-maintained vehicle and safety features to keep your little ones safe. If she’s using your car, have you added her to your policy? If there’s an accident, they won’t cover it is she isn’t on the policy. If she’s under 25, your premium may go up, depending on her driving record.

If there’s a fender bender in your car and it’s below your deductible rate, it will come out of your pocket, so decide in advance how this will be paid for and what, if any percent she should pay for, if it’s her fault.

If a Nanny Car is impractical for your situation, here are some key things to consider before letting your nanny drive.

Do you require evidence of regular preventative maintenance? Have a trusted mechanic inspect her car.

Monitor the tires monthly and be sure they’re inflated properly.

Does she have additional insurance required for using her car for business?

Typically, there will be a small increase in the premium.

If so, who covers the cost of this additional insurance?

If it’s not a recent model, how difficult are the car seats to install?

Do you have car seats you can give her so that they can just stay in her car?

If they’re coming in and out, make sure she knows how to click them into place and remove them.

Watch her get the children locked in. Did she do it correctly? One common error is failure to pull the clip high enough on the child’s chest.

How does she keep track of her mileage?

Are you paying her the IRS standard mileage reimbursement rate of 56 cents per mile for business miles driven? This covers wear and tear and gas when she drives for business.

Talk about rules for driving and review them frequently. Talk about speed limits and talking or texting on the phone while she’s in the car.

Consider trying Canary, a $9.99 app for iPhone and Android phones that can monitor texting and calling habits, speeding and car location. There’s a seven day free trial.

With a new nanny, have her do a test run to pick up the children while you’re in the car with her.

When nannies come to interview with us, we get a copy of their Driver’s License, a three year MVD Report, and current Auto Insurance. When your hire a permanent nanny through ACN, we send you a copy of her Driver’s License and three year driving record and current insurance. You may want to check her Insurance during your semi-annual Performance Reviews.

When we check references, we ask specifically about how comfortable past families felt with her driving.

It is hard letting your children drive with someone else, but if you do your homework up front, you’ll have a better partnership with your nanny, and your children will reap the rewards of your diligence.

Beth Weise

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Taking your nanny on vacation can add a lot to your trip if you plan well and communicate expectations. It’s not a vacation for her. It’s a business trip. If she were on vacation, she’d be with her friends and family. Pay her the regular hourly rate she receives at home, and if she’s working more hours than normal, include a bonus. Expect to pay all her travel expenses, including airfare, lodging and a meal stipend, just as you receive that from your employer when you to travel for them.

Give her some free time and give her extra money to go exploring on her own, just as your employer adds perks to your business trips. Give he a day off after a long day of travel to scope out the vacation spot and relax before she starts sitting… a day apart will be refreshing for everyone. Taking care of children is a lot of work. Plan ahead what hours she’ll be on deck, and when she’s free. Make a calendar and the hours she’s needed.

A private room for her is essential. This will enable you to be alone with your family as well. Don’t expect her to bunk up with the kids. She needs all her energy and mental availability for the daytime schedule. Having a nanny allows you to have some adult time and do some spur of the moment activities and to spend special one on one time with each child separately, maybe go water-skiing with an older child and leave her with the younger  ones.

Don’t ask her for more hours than usual, unless you arrange for that and pay accordingly. Don’t pay $50 extra and expect 24/7 availability. Pay her from the moment she arrives at your home until you reach your destination and the kids are settled.

If she enjoys herself on vacation, that’s a benefit to the whole family. It strengthens the relationships and makes her feel good about her job. You may not want to take a brand new nanny traveling, because the adjustments can be overwhelming. You don’t want to damage the relationship you have with your nanny.

It is expensive to bring your nanny with you on vacation but it can be well worth it. It gives you the best of both worlds–family time during the day, and some adult time in the evening! It can be nerve-racking to hire a stranger in a new city, and with all the changes your kids are going through, new surroundings, new activities, it’s comforting to have that familiar face at nap and bedtime. The more you plan ahead and communicate expectations, the more enjoyable the experience will be.

Beth Weise

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BEING PAID UNDER THE TABLE CAN DELAY RETIREMENT
When a nanny, housekeeper or senior caregiver is paid legally, they are entitled to certain benefits that are earned through the payroll and tax process. But because many household employees are younger in age, sometimes they don’t realize how important these benefits are. In this edition of The Legal Review, the Hanson family finds themselves in a big mess after their long-time nanny decides she’s ready to stop working.

The Situation

The Hanson family lives in upstate New York and has employed a nanny named Bonnie for the past four years. Unlike most nannies, Bonnie was 60 years old when the Hansons hired her, but had a wealth of experience with childcare as she was a stay-at-home mom for most of her life. Before working for the Hansons, the only job Bonnie ever had was working in a local retail shop for 8 years. With her upbeat personality and her love for children, she was a great fit for the Hansons after their first child was born and they were ecstatic to hear she would take on the challenge of a second child two years later.

The Mistake

When the Hansons first hired Bonnie, they asked their neighbors how they handled hiring a nanny for their kids. The Hanson’s neighbors explained they paid their nanny like they would a babysitter and gave her cash at the end of each week. Bonnie agreed with this arrangement and she was paid in cash every Friday for four years.

The Law

When a family hires a household employee to work in their home, they are required to withhold Social Security & Medicare (FICA) taxes from their employee’s pay each payperiod. Federal and state income taxes – while not explicitly required to be withheld – should be deducted as well to ensure the employee does not get stuck with a large tax bill during tax season. The family is also required to pay a matching portion of FICA taxes, as well as federal and state unemployment insurance taxes. Some states, like New York, also require additional taxes to either be withheld from an employee or paid by an employer. Please visit our state-specific pages for details on the taxes in your state.At the end of the year, the family is required to prepare a W-2 for their employee so they can file their personal income tax return. The family is also required to file Form W-2 Copy A and Form W-3 with the Social Security Administration and prepare a Schedule H to attach to their personal income tax return.

The Mess

After four years of working for the Hansons, Bonnie was 64 and nearing the age for retirement. In trying to prepare for this exciting time, she enlisted the help of a local CPA to gauge what her benefits would be so she could budget for the next chapter of her life. Unfortunately, when the CPA learned Bonnie had no employment records for the previous four years, he had to be the bearer of bad news and told her she was ineligible for Social Security benefits. This is because the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires a minimum of 40 credits (or 10 years of work) to be accrued before a person can earn retirement benefits – and Bonnie could only prove she had eight years in retail.

Bonnie was confused and asked the CPA how she could get credit for the last four years of her working career so she could retire at the end of the year. The CPA explained that the Hanson family would need to catch up on four years’ worth of payroll reporting and tax returns in order for the SSA to approve Social Security benefits for her. With this information in hand, Bonnie approached the Hansons, who were understandably embarrassed and guilt-ridden at the thought of their long-time nanny not being able to retire on her schedule.

The Outcome

The Hansons wanted to help Bonnie in any way they could. After four years working in their home, she was a valued member of their household and a grandmotherly figure to their children. The CPA Bonnie consulted with happened to have a couple of clients with household employees and told the Hansons to contact Breedlove & Associates about the late tax returns. While he knew the steps they needed to take to make everything right for them and Bonnie, he wasn’t interested in taking on four years’ worth of payroll and taxes.

The Hansons called Breedlove & Associates the next day and we were able to get them caught up on their employer taxes. We set them up as household employers with the IRS and the state of New York, gathered the four years’ worth of payroll information for Bonnie, filed the late tax returns, and best of all, sent tax information for the family and Bonnie to the Social Security Administration so Bonnie could get the working credits she needed for retirement. The family unfortunately incurred thousands of dollars in back tax payments and interest, but we were able to get the state of New York to waive the majority of the penalties they assessed. Bonnie will turn 65 in November and she’s now set up to retire just in time for the holiday season.

 How the Whole Thing Could Have Been Avoided

If the Hansons had verified what their neighbor said via an accountant or even a simple Google search, they would have realized paying Bonnie in cash was not the right course of action. When families become household employers for the first time, they often have a laundry list of questions. It’s important that they are steered toward a resource that can set them up for success. We’re always available for your clients when they need this initial consultation and it’s free for them to call. Sometimes a ten minute conversation can save a family like the Hansons thousands of dollars.
Thank you to our partners at Breedlove for this guest blog. Here at Caring Nannies, we have a story of our own about nannies ready to retire after a 40 year career, with no Social Security benefits and with poor health. Obama has made it a wash for families who deduct taxes. Check it out with Breedlove and you’ll be surprised how inexpensive it is to do it right. You’ll sleep better at night and if your nanny needs to purchase a new car or a home, she can do it because she has a valid job.

Built by household employers exclusively for household employers, Breedlove & Associates provides a no-work, no-worry solution to paydays, tax time and all points in between.  If you have any questions about household employment or want to take advantage of our complimentary New Employer Orientation, just give us a call.   We’re here to help.

Beth Weise

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What is the difference between a Nanny and a Babysitter? The easiest way to tell the difference between a nanny and a babysitter is to give some examples. If two children are fighting over a riding toy, a babysitter will simply swoop it up and distract the children with another activity.

But a Nanny will see this as a learning opportunity and will as questions, like: “What did you do?” or “What was wrong with that?” or “What would have been a better way to handle that situation?” or “Can you tell your brother you’re sorry and ask him to forgive you?” to get the children thinking about their behavior and how they could have done things differently. She is thinking about the whole child, their character, manners, and values.

A Nanny comes in with a plan. She’s thinking about small muscle, large muscle development, social, emotional, cognitive, and language development. She’s thinking about the age the child is now and what to expect three months out, and how to accelerate development through art and crafts, books, asking questions, outdoor activities, finger plays, music, books and field trips. Her main priority is the child’s character, especially to develop qualities like creativity, attentiveness, kindness, honesty, courage, self-discipline resilience and a joy in living, all foundational to success.

A Nanny uses the entire day as a learning opportunity. If a two year old discovers an earthworm under some new sod, the Nanny may start a worm farm in a quart jar, get a library book about worms, do art projects about worms and do music and movement and talk about how important worms are to us. (There would be no food on the earth without the hard work worms do for us!)

If a toddler is eating blueberries, she may ask him to count them, and count agin when one is eaten. If he can cut a banana slice in half, she’ll be talking about halves and quarters.

A Nanny has years of professional experience and possibly an educational background and sees herself as a teacher. She usually becomes a part of the family and is considered almost a third parent. She may have more experience than the parents and can give parents insights about ages and stages. She may spend more time with the child than the parents and keeps a log or reports about the child’s day. She works full or part time, but has a regular salary or hourly pay, and gets paid 52 weeks per year. She usually gets paid holidays and vacations and has a written working agreement with her family. This is a career for her.

babysitter usually comes when needed, is on call, and keeps the child safe, fed and puts them to bed. She is paid hourly.

If you are mostly an at-home parent and only work 10-15 hour per week, a babysitter may be a good option for your household. But if parents are both in demanding full-time positions, a nanny can be an essential element of your child-rearing strategy.

One more difference. A Nanny oftentimes has down time during naps or when a child is in preschool. She may throw in a load of laundry or get dinner started. She will often grocery shop or pick up a gift for the weekend birthday party. This way, the family has more quality time to capture those fleeting cherished relationships.

Beth Weise

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MOTHER NEEDED! JOB DESCRIPTION: Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often-chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.

Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls,  maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.

Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION:

Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE:

None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION:

Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and this wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS:

While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MOM! Thanks for responding to the “AD!”
And thanks to my brother James who wrote this blog and is the one on Mom’s lap in the photo. He’s the pastor of Living Christ Fellowship in Chandler, and on the Board of Home on the Way in Phoenix.

  James

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When you have a child, you start thinking about what you want to leave them. Naturally, we think of a college education, money or a home. But far more important, is the legacy of values you give them. My friend Marjorie Desmond, a Phoenix estate planning attorney, suggests writing a legacy letter for your children. Since we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, she recommends parents write a letter for a child or grandchild’s home-leaving, graduation, a special birthday, wedding, birth of their first child or your own funeral. Marjorie’s mom, now deceased, wrote her a poem when she left home, and now with her daughter getting ready to leave for college, she was able to share this poem with her.

Write a legacy letter. Think of everything you’d want to tell your spouse and children if you knew you had two weeks to live, and put it all in a letter to them. Tell your daughter, or granddaughter what you felt when she was born. The kind of man you want her to marry and why. You express to your spouse how happy they’ve made you and your desire for them to be free to be happy when you’re gone.

Share the meaning of your life, beliefs and the lessons life has taught you. This can be done in a letter, an audio recording, or a video. You can make a scrapbook with photos and written stories. You can say at your son’s graduation, “Scott, my heart overflowed with joy at the realization of how all your hard work is now paying off. I am so proud of you!” This part of the letter is a way of telling your unique story, including your accomplishments, how you’ve tried to live your life and what your family will take from you. You can encourage your children to make wise choices.

Include your family history. “My Grandpa was born in Oklahoma territory and we know very little about his family history,” lamented Marjorie. “We see 69% of people die without any estate planning at all. The most important part of a legacy is the values, words of wisdom and life lessons you carry with you. You don’t want your family to learn the hard way.”

Marjorie has a passion to help other families because of her own legacy. Her Grandpa, a Slovenian immigrant, served in the Army Air Corps during WWII as a medical doctor. In early 1945, his plane crashed and he died. At the age of seven, Marjorie’s Dad was told, “You’re the man of the house now,”and he helped raise his younger brother. Because an uncle received the death benefits, Marjorie’s grandmother had to live frugally. She went back to school and become a teacher.  Marjorie’s dad was also a medical doctor who was drafted to serve in Vietnam.  Thankfully, he returned safely, but life is often uncertain.  Don’t miss an opportunity to share your values with your family. This is why Marjorie is passionate about helping other families plan their legacy. From the age of eight, she knew she wanted to be a lawyer.  She has a passion for making sure we pass on what we want to, to whom we want, when we want, and these things we pass on start with our values.

“No one is getting out alive,” Marjorie reminded me. “Don’t you want to leave your child a love letter?”

If parents take the time to write these legacy letters, they’ll be much more likely to express gratitude and joy on a daily basis to their loved ones.

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How can parents guarantee that the values they are diligently pouring into their children will stick?

How can you ensure that they won’t be inclined to exchange the blessings of your home life for the cheap thrills they will surely be offered, that can take them decades to recover from?

Talk to your children.

This may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many parents don’t do this. While we need to be careful not to speak with them like they’re our buddy so they don’t respect us, and we need to speak to them on their level, yet we need to be friends with our children so that they feel free to come and talk to us about anything. If they’re having a problem understanding why your family does things in a certain way, talk to them about it. If they’re acting oddly, talk to them. Talk to them and listen to what they’re telling you. Give them undivided attention. We want our children to share their hearts without feeling that we’ll condemn them. If they can’t talk to you, you can be sure they’ll find someone else to talk to.

Give your children a sense of purpose for their natural talents.

Sometimes, children have an aptitude for a calling that is not deemed acceptable by the parents. It’s our job as parents to spot the gifts and talents that our children have and nurture them and channel them in the right direction. Failure to do this can leave children bitter. Guard against having unrealistic expectations for your children.

Encourage your children.

Encourage means to give courage. Do this by loving them exactly the way they are. Praise them, not for the things they accomplish, but for the character qualities displayed while they achieved something. “You worked really hard on your room today!” or “your diligent practice paid off  when you scored today.”

Give yourself to your children.

It is possible to go days and even weeks without realizing you’ve been so wrapped up in your “adult stuff” that you’ve hardly even noticed these little ones around you. You suddenly notice that they’re longing for your attention but you’ve been too busy or selfish to give them what they want most. Ask them to forgive you and resolve to give yourself to your children. Go play with them. Get down on their level. Cuddle with them. Tell them how much you love them. Treat them as real people with thoughts, feelings and hopes. Be interested in them. If you lose your temper, ask them to forgive you. Play together as a family. Wrap them in a blanket and tell them they are your little burrito and that you’re going to eat them!

Roughhouse with your kids.

Here’s a great article for you to check out if your parents didn’t roughhouse with you. It gives them resilience, makes them smarter, builds social intelligence, teaches them morality, gets them physically active, and builds the father-child bond.

Our children should so come to love the atmosphere and fragrance of joy and hope that resonates through our homes and their lives, that the thought of exchanging those blessings for cheap thrills leaves them frigid.

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