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Central & Glendale in Phoenix: A reliable, kind nanny is needed to care for 2 sweet girls, ages 3 years and 4 months old. One week night per month will be needed (with advance notice depending on the parents’ schedules) and then every other weekend on either a Fri or Sat night from 5:30-10PM with flexibility. Duties include helping the girls with their evening and bedtime routine, including dinner, baths, etc. Salary: $15/hr. (REF#SGSAT)

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Ray & 101 in Chandler: A patient, kind, hard-working, loving full-time nanny is needed to care for active, energetic 3 year old twin boys for a full-time schedule of M-F, from 8AM-5PM. Must be punctual, dependable, and have great initiative. The boys’ grandfather is present at the home. Both parents work. Boys will be starting preschool 2 mornings a week. Salary: $675/week. Starts ASAP(REF#AREV)

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Who will raise your children if something happens to you? Learn to put together a Kids’ Safeguard Plan.

“I was never scared of dying, until my son was born and then I was terrified,” admitted Lori Woodward, a Gilbert  Estate Planning attorney. To help parents with similar concerns, Lori has put together a Kid’s Safeguard Plan, including:
Nominating Long Term Guardians
Nominating Short-term Guardians
Written Instructions for a nanny or caregiver.
A Family Emergency ID Card
Confidential Exclusion of Guardians
Instructions to Guardians
On July 31, 2006 nothing would ever be the same for a San Diego family who were traveling through Arizona.  The Barber family was in a tragic car accident on Highway 98 near Page, Arizona.  Melanie and Casey, the loving parents of three little boys, ages 3, 6 and 9, died.  Their family was thrown into a nightmare.

This is a true story. Mel and Casey had talked about naming guardians to provide for the care of their three sons and the money they’d leave behind. They never got around to it.  They likely thought their family would be able to work out who would care for the boys and their money, with love and grace, if anything happened.

That’s not what happened.  After the accident, the boys were in the foster care system for a short time until family members could be located.  Since then, over 1,000 pages of court documents have been filed, 9 lawyers, and tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of dollars later, the boys will live with their aunt Janine and their money will be managed by a professional charging $100/hour until the turn 18.  At which point, the boys will share $22.8 million dollars from the jury verdict in the wrongful death lawsuit of their parents and settlements with other defendants.

Is that what Melanie and Casey would have wanted?  We will never know what they would have wanted, but we can be sure they would have done everything they could to avoid what happened.  If only they knew how easy it would have been to take care of it.

It does not have to be this way.  Putting together a Kid’s Safeguard Plan is simple and can protect your kids from this unthinkable situation.

Learn from their experience!  It’s Easy to Protect Your Family and Your Assetswith the guidance of a lawyer who focuses on parents like Lori.

Don’t be one of those people who think they know what to do and leave their loved ones with a complicated mess.  Most LAWYERS don’t even know what’s necessary to keep your kids in the hands of people you know and trust.

By consulting with Lori, you can relax and rest assured your kids will never be taken out of your home or raised by anyone you wouldn’t want.

Readers of my blog, who own their own home and have minor children, can meet with Lori for an absolutely free personal Family Wealth Planning Session (normally $750) to ensure this never happens to your kids.  If you already have a plan in place, but want to make sure it adequately protects your kids (most don’t!), ask for your free plan review (normally $950).

To schedule your no-charge Family Wealth Planning Session, call (480) 788-8010now and mention my blog now.

Beth Weise

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Meeting monthly with your nanny  insures  long term success. After placing a candidate, we send the family a monthly email, suggesting they sit down and ‘clear the clutter’ and work out anything that’s bothering them. If this doesn’t happen, there can be tension in the home. The parent often doesn’t want to rock the boat, because the nanny is home with the child all day. I’ve had some Moms who are frustrated that the pan of macaroni and cheese is sitting on the counter all day, but she would rather fire the nanny and get another one, rather than confront. Moms may sign up for a nanny without realizing that they’ve signed up to be a manager.

I frequently call to get a reference on a nanny and am told, ‘she’s a great nanny except that she’s five minutes late every day’, or ‘she left the house messy’. My next question is, ‘How did she respond when you brought it up?’  ‘Oh, I never mentioned it because she was so good with my child.’ Is this really fair to the nanny? Now she has this flawed reference and all along she thought that you really didn’t care, plus she’s bringing this bad habit into her next job.

Sometimes parents don’t want to take the time to sit and have a monthly one on one with their employee. But here’s why it pays off. When someone’s given focused time, they feel loved, appreciated. Guess who receives the overflow of that love? Your child, your home. Guess who absorbs the tension in the air if you don’t? Your child, you and your employee.

I recall when my husband and and I were not getting along.We didn’t say a word in front of them, but the kids fought constantly. Once we made up, there was amazing peace and harmony between the kids. They just knew.

It’s not easy to confront employes, but having a regularly scheduled time to go over what’s going right and what’s not makes it easier. They already know there’s something wrong, you can’t hide it. Having this time scheduled also helps avoid the slip into the realm of friendship. You’re friendly, you enjoy each other, but you’re still their employer.

When I interview nanny candidates, I recommend that if those monthly meetings aren’t happening, that they ‘manage-up’. I suggest bringing brownies and saying, “let’s sit down Thursday for a few minutes. I want to find how I can improve.”

It’s hard for the nanny to tell the employer when she’s not happy, because she has a different personality. Her perspective in life is to serve others and we purposely look for candidates with a servant’s heart. But if the employer is coming home 30 minutes late several times a week, and the nanny is receiving the same pay, this isn’t easy to bring up. Give your employee time to voice concerns.

The reason for the monthly one on ones is for the children, for long term, satisfying relationships where both sides feel valued and understood.
For the children’s sake.

Beth Weise

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As parents and children are getting bombarded with TV adds and making their holiday toy lists, let’s give thought to what make a good toy. Which toys can actually make our kids smarter? Should we just let kids be kids and not focus too much too soon on education?

Electronic toys limit creativity and disconnect children from others.
Picture a family on a road trip. The kids are each playing their own their own Game boys, watching a movie or listening to their ipod. Dad has the radio on and Mom is checking her email. Everyone’s disconnected. No one’s talking or interacting. It’s deceptive because there’s no arguing, the kids are quiet, but car time is probably your most vaulable bonding time.

When our family drove from Tucson to the farm in Iowa, we played the alphabet game, sang songs, practiced our jokes, or read.  You have a captive audience and it’s an opportunity to ask questions, listen and transmit your values.

Will that toy you’re considering stretch your child mentally, making them think and be more creative? Can it be used in different wys? Will it engender cooperation, empathy, a desire to learn more?

Or does the toy do too much? Does it simply entertain? Is there only one way to use it? Is it just something to get? Did your kids ever really play with Ferbie? Is it tactile, does this toy cause children to grow up too fast? Does it agree with your values about what’s important?

A good toy makes sure that the child does the playing that requires them to use their imaginations and interact with others.

Research shows that when children are involved in creative play their play lasts longer, is more focused, involves more children, and they cooperate more. They become more socially competent. Creative play develops focused attention, memory, logical reasoning skills, language and literacy, the ability to reflect on one’s own thinking and to take another’s perspective.

What’s so wrong with electronic toys?

They don’t engender creative play, they’re highly addictive and make life too simple. Is your child  frustrated or bored? Just push this button.
Remember tick tack toe, jacks, pick up sticks? The classic toys. Blocks, Connect 4, weaving looms? The big toy companies can’t make money on these simple toys.
A good toy:

* Expands the child

* Engages the child

* Is age appropriate

What’s really the one best toy you can give a child? A toy that is guaranteed to make him smarter? It’s you, you interacting, talking to her, asking him questions, laughing and playing with him. By spending quality time with your child,  listening attentively, playing and modeling and encouraging positive behavior. Warm, interactive parents who were on top of their children’ activities, are spending time playing and interacting, talking and listening and modeling and encouraging positive behavior and avoiding harsh discipline are most likely to have intelligent and socially favored children no matter their race, income level, or marital status.  (Infants and Children, Laura E. Berk, Fifth Edition, p.492)

It’s helpful to get toy advice from an expert. We recommend our friend Sari at The Doll House and Toy Store for age-approriate, creative, long lasting toys.

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Webinar Date/Time and Info
Part One: Respect
Sunday September 15, 2013
Time: 6pm PST/6

TEACH RESPECT: It is not what you say,  but how you say it! Back to school means back to basics with character building skills. Kids and adults need help to interact respectfully. Dr G gives concrete tips and tools to teach respectful behavior towards others and oneself!

Registration for the first of three Doctor G webinars, “Part One: Respect” will end today.

Learn more and register today athttps://www.nanny.org/doctor-g-webinar

Beth

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This is a good time for our families to compare their nanny salary and benefits package to the national average.
Nanny Pay.

  • Half of nannies are paid hourly, one third are paid weekly
  • The average hourly wage is $17.44 and the median is $16
  • 36% of nannies are not compensated for overtime

Nanny Profile

  • Only 10% of nannies are live-in.
  • 71% of nannies have some college education

Nanny Benefits

  • 66% of nannies get paid holidays
  • 64% of nannies get paid vacation (89% get two weeks)
  • 13% of nannies get no benefits
  • The average holiday bonus was $324

Aspects of nanny job

  • 72% of nannies get paid when employer does not need them
  • 11% of nannies care for special needs children
  • 76% of nannies have been with their current employer more than three years
  • 79% of nannies work for couples where both parents are working
  • 66% of employers withhold federal taxes
  • 3% of nannies are paid through a payroll service
  • 66% of nannies say they earn more than they did in 2008

Click here to see the entire survey

Beth

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An after-school nanny can be the perfect solution for working parents if children are in sports, have appointments, music lessons or just need extra help with homework. She can help the entire family, having the homework, shopping, dinner, laundry and errands completed by the time the parents walk in the door. A nanny can provide a customized solution and quality family time at day’s end.

Follow these key steps to make sure you get a perfect fit for your family and a long-term solution. Give some thought to what your needs are and bring a detailed list of expectations and needs to the interview and ask each candidate the same questions.

What qualities and skill sets are most important ?

Does she need to be able to do algebra or go on the internet and monitor school assignments?

Is she a good role model? Find out what her values are, and during the interview, ask to see her Facebook page. School-aged children are very alert to the values of their nanny and tend to admire them because they are closer to their own age. Nannying is different from all other childcare positions in that the nanny is largely unsupervised. Look for someone who will make the right choice when no one’s looking.

What household chores is she willing and able to do well?

What were her responsibilities in her last position?

Involve your children in the interviewing process Do they like her personality? They’re old enough to voice their opinions now.

Does the nanny agree with your parenting style

How would she settle sibling squabbles? A dynamic and energetic leader with a good sense of humor helps

Does she show a preference for one age or sex over another?

Can this be a long-term match?

Frequently a college student makes a good choice, since they’ll have similar school holidays and can help in the summer with longer hours. Is she able to keep her job her top priority and work her classes around the family schedule for a year of two? Usually a freshman or sophomore can give a longer commitment than an upperclassman.

How’s her Driving? Is she a responsible driver?

Ask for her three-year Motor Vehicle Record

Is she mature enough to handle an emergency?

Has she driven children before? Ask her last employer about her driving. During a trial week, have her drive to the children’s school and back and see how carefully she drives.

What’s the cost of an after-school nanny? $15 per hours seems to be the going rate for an after school nanny working 20 hours per week in the Phoenix area. Caring Nannies follows the recommendation of the IRS to reimburse nanny mileage at the current rate of 56.5 cents per mile. If you’re paying a household employee over $1800 per year, the IRS requires that a 1040-ES is filed along with a 1040 tax form and a W-2 form. Best to pay via check or direct deposit and not cash so that you have accurate documentation. If both parents are working, your cost should be a wash.

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxSXAECbV64[/youtube]
The leading cause of death for children four and under after birth defects is accidents. After auto accidents, drowning is the leading cause of death for young children.Being at the pool or the beach in the summer sun is definitely fun, but it comes with some risks. We’ve made it through half of the summer and there have been several toddler pool-related deaths already.
Here are 7 key safety tips to take into the last weeks of summer.
1. Like the amazing 16 month toddler in the video, teach your children water safety as early as possible.  Some gyms have indoor pools and teach lessons year round.
2. Take a CPR class.
3. The main cause of adult distraction is needing to run into the house for food, sunscreen, a towel, answer the phone or door. Always insist that the child come out of the pool and take them with you into the house.
4. Assign one person to be the lifeguard, who has no phone or magazine, and is preferably in the pool with the child. In 46 percent of drownings, a child was under supervision of both parents.
5. Don’t depend on floaties. They give a false sense of security, but can pop or slip off. Use them sparingly.
6. Clean up all floating toys every time you’re done swimming and do not use chlorine floating dispensers that look like toys. Children are attracted to them.
7. Emphasize pool risks to the babysitter and remind her of the need for continual watchfulness

Beth Weise

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In our family, we started reading to our children from the time they were babies. It created strong bonds, sped them towards academic excellence, accelerated their speech and communications skills, logical thinking, and increased concentration and discipline.  NPR recently reported that high school student’s reading levels are stuck in 5th and 6th grade levels and older students are not tackling more difficult material. Reading to children is by far the best way to help children be successful in school and in life.

Why do some books stay popular for generations? George McDonald, the 19th Century Scottish storyteller, said that the best children’s books are the ones where parents are looking over their kids shoulders.

When your toddler  is at the stage when they want the same book read 12 times a day, it had better be fun for you to read!

Here are a few of our all time family favorites that met that test.

PAT THE BUNNY

This classic book is so interactive that neither babies nor their parents ever tire of touching the bunny, feeling Daddy’s beard or trying on Mommy’s ring.

GOODNIGHT MOON
This classic book delights every child and they never tire of it’s sparse words at the end of the day. It becomes their cue that it’s bedtime and they settle down and easily slip into sleep and parents enjoy it just as much as the babies.

WHERE IS BABY’S BELLY BUTTON?

This is newer than the books I enjoyed with my own children, but my grandchildren love it.

Babies and toddlers don’t realize that things exist when they’re hidden, so they are surprised every time you uncover a hidden belly button or toes.

THE VERY HUNGRY CATEPILLAR

After finding a huge green hornworm as big as my finger, eating our pepper plants last Spring, I brought him in a jar to show my two year old grandaughter. We made a green catterpillar and  fruits and vegetables out of playdoh and re-enacted the story.

GREEN EGGS AND HAM

The wonderful Dr Seuss rhymes and outrageous stories and pictures is one most parents were raised on and continue to enchant toddlers today.

CORDUROY

The lonely teddy bear that had to live in a department store until a young girl was able to save up her allowance and bring him home is endearing to parents and children alike and makes children feel loved and cared for.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

Maurice Sendak died just last year and he left a wonderful legacy of his love for children with this book. We read this book over and over as our children were growing up and they love the wildness of it and that it was all peaceful by the time bedtime came.

THE SNOWY DAY

Great for reading this summer-Kids get out of school for a day of frolicking in the snow. Another Caldecott Award winning treasure.

CARS, TRUCKS AND THINGS THAT GO.

All of Richard Scarey’ books are favorites. Children enjoy the detailed pictures with so many interesting things going on.

THE SNOWY DAY

Great for reading this summer-Kids get out of school for a day of frolicking in the snow. Another Caldecott Award winning treasure.

THE LITTLE HOUSE

This wonderful book is by the same author, Virginia Lee Burton,  and shows how a lovely farm  home becomes encircled by the big city. The granddaughter finds it and rescues it and moves it out to the country. The detailed pictures show the seasons changing as well and the countryside, families growing up. Another award-winning book.

Our family spent many hours reading books together, and now they are buying these favorites for their children. All five of them have loved reading and are lifetime learners.

Beth

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