When Jenny Riojas walked into the Caring Nannies’ office in the spring of 2011, our staff agreed unanimously that Jenny was the “It” girl we needed in our office! But Jenny had come in for a part-time nanny position, three long days per week, and at that time, she wasn’t wanting to work full-time. We definitely needed someone five days per week.
She had every quality we could ever want: 10+ years of nanny experience, 3 years of office experience,  prior experience as a Placement Consultant at ABC Nannies in Denver, Colorado. She was professional, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education,  well-spoken, warm, animated, and experienced both as a nanny and a Mom, with two boys, ages 6 and 4.  It took some convincing to get Jenny to agree to work in our office! Happily for us, the family we sent her to did not interview her fast enough–that does sometimes happen– and we worked out a compromise: she could work at home two days per week to be Mom to her boys, and in the office three days per week.

In the five years since the day she walked in, Jenny has taken Caring Nannies to new heights:  by expanding our Temporary Services to include Event Care, and Corporate Back-up Care; by initiating a new software program that saves our staff valuable hours;  by being an integral part of our education / training programs; and by continual growth of the domestic staffing side of the business. Her husband Jason has now taken over the accounting and bookkeeping as well.

Our own personal families have grown close over the past 5 years and Jenny has offered many a time to fill in the gaps with my own grandkids when I can’t be there. She brings Jason and her boys, now 11 and 9 to family parties and celebrations, where her parenting skills always bring remarks, like: “Those are the sweetest and best behaved boys I have ever met!”
At the end of 2015, Jenny purchased Caring Nannies from me after 32 years. I thought that after all that time, I would feel like it was one of my kids and miss it terribly. However, I am so busy with my second career, that I hardly have time to even think about it. I have five grandchildren that are five and under, with two more in the works. I enjoy teaching English to new refugees, going to hot yoga in the middle of the day, going on 20+ mile bike rides with friends, gardening, coordinating a class, studying, and a myriad of fun activities that don’t require me to sit at a desk all day! I think I am busier than before I retired!
I am grateful to Jenny for all the years of service she’s given our families and nannies and our corporate clients, and I’m excited to see where she takes Caring Nannies!
Beth Weise
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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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Jenny Riojas, Placement Counselor at Caring Nannies is pictured with the staff from ABC Nannies in Denver, CO and The Help Company in CA.

On October 11-13, I was privileged to attend the 2012 Association of Premier Nanny Agencies (APNA) annual conference in Washington DC with top-notch nanny agencies from all over the US. Dynamic professionals in the domestic staffing industry networked, shared, and generated ideas to better serve our families and nannies in our own Phoenix community.

We shared ideas about how to exceed client expectations, how to attract top candidates and communicate our vision, expectations and boundaries effectively with our nannies. We want to create a common feeling of pride and belonging and to detail our commitment to them. Events like this help us stay on top of the lastest background checks, providing high quality customer service, and ways to improve our service to our trusted, loyal families. Belonging to APNA (Association of Premier Nanny Agencies) and the INA (International

Nanny Association) and DEMA (Domestic Estate Managers Association) signifies an adherence to rigorous standards and ethics in the direction we take our business. Caring Nannies is continually striving to improve our offerings and give each family the top-notch help they deserve.
We have a vision to be the premier agency in Arizona and we’re so grateful to our wonderful nannies and valued families for bringing us to the place we are now.
We feel that we are not only building a business but building friendships as well.  Since we are the only agency in AZ affiliated with APNA, we have much pride in attending these national conferences and implementing all that we learn to continue to be at the top of our industry.
I reunited with old friends, made new friends, toured the sights of Washington DC, and enjoyed a fulfilling, successful weekend!

Jenny exploring the White House and DC while attending the 2012 APNA conference.

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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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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!

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.

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.

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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