The AAP, the American Academy of Pediatrics, has come out with an extention and more stringent guidelines for parents for the first year of life. But are they really new? What prompted the changes? Busy parents and caregivers need to know, but often don’t get past the scary headlines. It’s important to go a bit deeper and see why the changes were recommended, in order to make the best choices for each family’s situation.
 Actually, the only new guideline is that the rules should be followed for the first year, rather than the first six months. And, doctors are recommending that babies sleep in the same room as their parents for the first year. 
 “The new rules were created because pediatricians are seeing that parents aren’t actually following the old guidelines,” says Terian Gregory, a seasoned Phoenix Certified Newborn Care Specialist. “They realize that parents are sleep-deprived, not making good choices, and are too exhausted to follow the guidelines. They’re inadvertently taking less safe shortcuts,” she explains. Like taking baby to an armchair or couch and falling asleep. Taking baby into their bed to nurse, and falling asleep. A lot of parents have done it, but it’s risky. The result is that babies are not always sleeping in their own beds, cribs, or bassinets, with a firm surface, with no pillows, blankets or soft toys.”
 Pediatricians are recommending co-sleepers, bassinets attached to the parent’s bed or sleeping the baby in a crib in the parent’s bedroom.  Mom can pull baby out, nurse, and put baby back without even getting up or leaving the room. Terian explains that what is happening is that doctors are responding to what parents are actually doing. “The AAP often puts out recommendations when there are safety concerns.”

According to a recent NPR article, The updated recommendation, then, is that mothers feed their baby in bed and then place the baby on its own sleep surface afterward. If the mother falls asleep by accident, it’s not as hazardous as it would be on a couch. When she wakes again, she should immediately place the baby back in its own bed, since the risk of death increases with the duration of bed sharing.
 “I am struggling to find a concrete study,” Terian tells us, that shows that if parents are actually following the guidelines and sleeping their baby in the baby’s crib in the nursery vs. having babies sleep in parent’s bedroom actually  keeps a baby safer.” These parents are so sleep deprived they just aren’t making good choices. If the parents put a bassinet in their room, it simply makes it easier for parents to keep their baby safe.”
 “So what is the AAP really saying?” asks Terian? “They just extended the time of following their guidelines. They’re not just looking at SIDS, but all sleep related deaths. SUID (Sudden Unexpected Death) can include suffocation, aspirating on something, babies put in cribs with pillows, soft toys, or blankets, sleeping on tummies, on their sides. Parents are just not following the recommended practices.” Terian stressed that if a baby is sleeping through the night, some of these concerns may not apply.  “As a Certified Newborn Care Specialist, I prefer to be in the same room as the baby. That’s my job. I prefer working with a baby to develop positive fundamentals and begin with “sleep shaping/sleep learning” strategies within the first 12 weeks. I have clients who prefer to have the baby monitor on even though I’m in the baby’s room. In that case, I recommend them keeping the sound off.  Parents can see the baby better on a monitor from their room than I can staying in the same room as the baby. Babies make a lot of noise during the night.  They often grunt, pass gas and makes noises and then fall right back to sleep and when the baby is in the same room, parents tend to be over responsive. Therefore, the parents get less sleep because the baby’s noises are waking them.  The AAP recommends that parents do not use ‘Home Cardiorespiratory Monitors’.   It is important that parents understand that this is different than the typical baby monitors that allow them to hear or see their babies. A regular monitor with a baby in their own room, is very workable.”

 Terian continues by suggesting, “If a mom is nursing those first few weeks, and up every two to three hours for an hour each time, it makes sense to keep baby in the parent’s bedroom.”

 So, if you’re co-sleeping, follow the recommendations. 
 If you’ve been getting up one to two times a night for 6 months or longer, parents are in survival mode, and not typically not making good choices.
 However, If your baby is sleeping through the night, or if you can safely get up during the night and put the baby in his own crib after nursing, there is not a reason not to put him in his own room.  But, if you’re sleep deprived and not making good choices, PLEASE follow the recommendations.
 “The medical community is doing their job: saving babies lives, but sometimes these headlines feed on parent’s fears. Parents and caregivers need to dig deeper, read a little more, and make the best choice for their particular family. Parents, Nannies, and Newborn Care Specialists need to assess the particular family’s environment, physical, emotional, environmental, and assess this new information, and make the best choice for their particular situation.”
 Terian concludes with, “Caregivers need to educate themselves to make the best choice for their families. For example, how does the family plan on parenting? What’s they physical layout of the house? Is baby’s room across the house or upstairs? What is Mom’s physical condition? Is there a lot of anxiety? Is she going back to work or will she be a stay at home Mom? Our goal is to empower parents and caregivers.”
 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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Setting up a thorough estate plan is an essential element of safeguarding your family:

“I was never scared of dying, until my son was born and then I was terrified,” admitted Lori Woodward, a Gilbert  Estate attorney. To help parents with similar concerns, Lori has put together a Kid’s Safeguard Plan, including:

Planning and 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 Assets with the guidance of a lawyer who focuses on parents like Lori.

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.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.

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) 788-8010 now and mention my blog now.

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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 I drove with my three youngest children in the back seat, I put them through their Spanish vocabulary words. When they didn’t get the right answers, my arm flew back involuntarily as if to wop one of them in the back seat, but of course I hit the bucket seat next to me. “What just happened?” I said to myself, stunned by what I had just done. “Was I going to hit one of my kids because they didn’t know a vocabulary word? Was that me?”

I’m not a yeller, not a hitter, not an angry person. So what triggered that crazy action? It never happened again, but I began wondering about my bottom line. Was I a needy Mom? Was my kid’s job to make me look good? I slowly began to realize that my significance was enmeshed in: 1. How well they did and 2. How good they looked. When my youngest moved out, I shifted to finding my self worth in my business.

In the movie Chariots of Fire, an athlete was going for gold in the 100 yard dash. “Why are you working so hard?“,  he was asked. “When that gun goes off, I have 10 seconds to justify my existence,“ was his reply. “I want to know that I’m justified being here. I want to know that my life counts, is worth something, that my existence is justified. The gold medal he wins is his justification. It makes him feel validated, worthy, accepted.

A newspaper reporter interviewed movie producer Sydney Pollock  just before he died in 2007, and although the grueling movie making process was wearing him down, he couldn’t stop working.  “Every time I make anoher picture, I earn my stay for another year or so”, was his explanation. What’s he saying? The same thing as the runner. ‘I feel I need to earn my stay. Here’s why my life is worthwhile, acceptable, valid.’

A writer, feeling his career wasn’t progressing, and wondering what value his life had, shared in a newspaper article, “When I look at my two little daughters, then I know that my existence is justified.”

There are parents, a lot of parents,  who look at their children and think, “There really isn’t anything I do that makes me feel valuable, that justifies my existence. My life is worthwhile because of them. I’ve always said: “I’m writing five books.” Meaning, my life is all about the five kids I’ve raised.

Parents who make their children the focus of their lives will be disappointed. Their passion for their children’s success is basically selfish. Children will disappoint us. This misguided focus is actually one of the causes of child abuse. We need something bigger, higher to give us significance.

But this is the “default mode” of the human heart. Our computers run in default mode automatically unless we deliberately program them to do something different.

We habitually and naturally look to outside things to justify our significance and give us security: work, approval from others, power, influence, possessions, children, marriage. We may think we don’t, but on a deeper level these things are the foundation of security and significance. Therefore, we’re driven by fear, a lack of self-control and anger.

The truth is that we’re valuable just because we are.

Change comes as people realize their own value and worth. Knowing their inestimable value gives remarkable status–one that power and money and even family cannot give. One thing that makes an object valuable is being one of a kind. Each person is unique. There’s no one on the planet like me, even if I’m an identical twin.

Consider the love we have for a newborn–an infant who brings us endless work, sleepless nights and the loss of thousands of dollars. They poop, pee, eat, cry, keep us up all night and don’t contribute in any way to the household. They haven’t performed a sonata or won a scholarship to Harvard, yet our hearts are amazed by the torrent of joy and love we feel.

You are that beloved infant.

We don’t need work, children, or marriage to give worth. Knowing our own intrinsic value will restructure our motivations and identity. A child-centered world view puts unhealthy pressure on  children to play the role of being the perfect child and it destroys them. Children aren’t going to always make wise decisions and will inevitably disappoint us. Our unspoken expectations push them away.

With the truth of his own value centering him, a parent has a winsome, peaceful attitude, because he no longer needs the child to give him meaning and worth.

A single, pregnant Jewish Mom in New York was about to put her signature on a rental application, when the landlord mentioned, “By the way, you’ll be glad to know we don’t accept Jews here.” She quietly put down her pen and said, “Actually I’ll take my business elsewhere.” She resolved then that if she had a boy she would name him Yehudi, which means “The Jew” because she wanted him to be proud of his heritage. Yehudi became one of the greatest violinists of the 20th Century. When asked how he played such beautiful music, he answered, “To play great music you have to keep your eye on a distant star, something beyond yourself, something transcendent.”

Reach for the heavens, as it were, keep your eyes on something bigger than yourself, something bigger than a star, than a child. You’ll make beautiful music in your home.

It’s all right if your child is the center of your universe. All children are the apple of their parent’s eye. But while you’re responsible for your child’s happiness, your children are not responsible for yours. You need to love them for who they are, not because they  complete you.

Are You a Needy Parent? Take this Free Test  and see how you rate!

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How to have a Great 4th of July with Your Family. Make plans today to not let this July 4th be just another day. Create a memorable celebration for your family.

1. Plan a 4th of July party. Invite another family over or a bigger crowd. We found some fun crafts and simple desert recipes online.

Find a patriotic movie to watch together.

2. Share your feelings of gratitude for living in the USA, like many families do at Thanksgiving. Go around the table and ask each person to share two reasons why they’re grateful for America.

3. Find a story from history to share with the children, or if they’re older, give each one an assignment and ask them to share a picture and some facts about their hero for your Independence Day celebration.

4. Use what you have on hand, like hands and feet, to create this 4th of July flag as a team effort.

The favorite traditions for our family of six kids growing up for the 4th were homemade ice cream, watermelon seed spitting contests, and sitting on the roof to watch the fireworks. From our home in North Tempe, we could see the big fireworks from ASU, SRP Pera Club, and three to four other locations.

Have a wonderful Independence Day and family day!

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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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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Caring Nanny article in the East Valley Tribune on May 28th, 2013
  • Thursday, May 30th starting at 7:00 PM and ending at 8:00 PM MST

May 30 – FREE Seminar for Parents on ‘How to Hire a Summer Nanny’ at The Play Factory
For parents of babies, toddlers, and young children who are considering hiring a professional nanny, or a temporary “Summer Nanny” for their children this summer, The Play Factory at Desert Ridge Marketplace will host a helpful and free information seminar on Thursday, May 30, from 7 to 8 p.m. Guest speaker will be Beth Weise, owner of Caring Nannies staffing agency in Scottsdale. Weise will teach parents how to hire a nanny and explain what the most important questions to ask are.
Nannies are paid $13-$15/hour or an average of $400 to $500 per week, depending on the number of hours and job duties. Advanced registration is required by May 29. All attendees will also get a chance to win a $100 gift basket that includes: a certificate for a free nanny for up to four hours, two Harkins movie tickets with popcorn, a bottle of wine and two wine glasses.
The Play Factory is located at 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix. To register, call Caring Nannies at (480) 946-3423.

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Thinking About Hiring a Nanny?

The Play Factory Will Proudly Host a

FREE Information Seminar for All Parents & Expecting Parents

Thursday, May 30, from 7 to 8 p.m.

Guest speaker will be Beth Weise, Owner of

Caring Nannies  – and Ashley Zehring, nanny recruiter, the largest and most respected nanny and household-staffing agency in Phoenix.

30 years in business!

Learn How to Hire a Nanny & What the Most Important Questions to Ask Are!

Advanced registration is required by May 29th. All attendees will have an opportunity to win a $100 Gift Basket including:

Certificate for a Free Nanny for 4 hours!!!
2 Harkins Movie tickets with popcorn
Bottle of Wine & 2 wine glasses

To register, please call Caring Nannies at (480) 946-3423

For more information, visit

The Play Factory is located in The Desert Ridge Marketplace,

21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix –

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The Arizona Republic posted this article about Summer Nannies and how they can contribute  to your child’s having a creative, fun, educational summer and develop individualized interests that could make a lifelong difference!

For parents of babies, toddlers, and young children who are considering hiring a professional nanny, or a temporary “Summer Nanny” for their children this summer, The Play Factory at Desert Ridge Marketplace will host a helpful and FREE information seminar on Thursday, May 30, from 7 to 8 p.m. Guest speaker will be Beth Weise, owner of Caring Nannies staffing agency in Scottsdale. Weise will teach parents how to hire a nanny and explain what the most important questions to ask are.

Advanced registration is required by May 29. All attendees will also get a chance to win a $100 gift basket that includes: a certificate for a free nanny for up to four hours, two Harkins movie tickets with popcorn, a bottle of wine and two wine glasses.

The Play Factory is located at 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix. To register, call Caring Nannies at (480) 946-3423. For more information, visit

Summer Nannies Do Much More Than Just Supervise Children at Home

Summer Nannies do much more than just supervise children. They can plan and implement daily curriculum, monitor your child’s development, and plan fun games and activities at home. During the school year, many children certainly have hectic, busy schedules outside of the home, and the summer heat is a natural cue to slow down, give them time to swim, dream, think, read, draw and paint in the quiet comfort of their own home.

Children are in large groups of 20 to 30 children during the school year so sometimes it’s very refreshing to give them some quiet “alone time” just to relax and slow down. A Summer Nanny allows children to safely be at home and also gives kids time to play with their siblings and simply enjoy being home.

Summer nannies can also help children to write and illustrate their own books, create and record their own music, make movies, grocery shop, and then cook together. A summer nanny can take children to the local museums, the zoo, field trips to the candy factory and fire station, and get them involved in the local library reading program.

Nannies Can Also Help Run the Summer Household More Smoothly

A Summer Nanny can help take an older child to a summer sports camp, and then allow the child to be home the rest of the day. During down time, she can keep up with the laundry, shopping and dinner preparation, or organize the pantry, so when parents come home at the end of the day, they can relax knowing that the day’s most pressing needs have been met.

Cost: Summer Nannies are paid $15/hour or an average of $400 to $500 per week, depending on the number of hours and job duties.

Also, in addition to sending out year-round nannies and Summer Nannies, the renowned Caring Nannies staffing agency – which has been in business for 30 years now – also employs the following:Baby Nurses, Newborn Specialists, Sleep Trainers, Mother’s Helpers, Nanny/Managers, Post-surgery Assistance, Housekeepers, Executive Housekeepers, Chefs, Personal Assistants, Estate Managers, Couples, Butlers, Event Care, Party Childcare, Corporate Backup Care and more. Candidates can be live-in or out, full or part-time or temporary.

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