Assurance that your child is safe and secure is imperative for all parents yet especially so for working parents who entrust a nanny alone with their child throughout the day. Even after carefully interviewing and diligently checking a nanny’s background and references, true trust in your caregiver will only develop after time spent building a relationship and a consistent track record of good and responsible behavior.
While a nanny camera is a great way to keep a watchful eye on your child from inside, many parents question how they can protect their children outside of the home. Is your nanny going where she says? Is she doing what she promised? Is your child’s best interest kept in mind?
Verizon recently released the GizmoPal by LG, a wristwatch styled location tracking and communication device, for kids.
With the GizmoPal, parents have the ability to set their preferences for communication through an app on their smart phones. They can register two phone number that the child or nanny can call anytime by pushing a single button and the child can receive incoming calls up to four phone numbers of the parent’s choosing. It can be programmed with the option of a silent or a high volume ring tone as well as an automatic pick up function in the case that no one responds.
It also comes with a GPS tracking system that can be accessed through the app so that you can pinpoint your child’s location on a map at anytime. You can also create scheduled notifications to remind yourself to check in at times such as: when the nanny will take the child out for a walk, a class, or a playdate. Although this gadget was made for kids 4 years old and up, I believe it can be repurposed for a stroller or diaper bag as a great tool for parents to track their nannies and young children’s movements. It can also be used to plan a few surprise visits at their location just to make sure that everything is going as you prefer.
The GizmoPal is water resistant, durable and comes in both blue and pink. The cost is $79.99 and is only $5 a month when added to your Verizon MORE everything phone plan (no contacts or activation fees). Check out more information on the Verizon LG GizmoPal HERE.
Unfortunately there is still not a foolproof system to safeguard your children at all time and places but knowing where they are and how much time they spend in a location is a great place to start! What do you think of a location tracking system for your child? A necessity? A luxury? Or over the top and controlling?
A Valentine's day present gifted to your nanny is most likely not anticipated or expected but rather just a nice gesture to let your caregiver know that she is dear to your family. Surprising her with a thoughtful gift is a great way to keep the employment relationship strong and to show your nanny that she is appreciated and cared for.
While many people love the idea of gift giving, it can be tricky to find just the right thing at a cost that won't break the bank. Of course flowers, chocolate, a handmade card from your kids or a gift card to her favorite restaurant will be a welcomed surprise but if you are looking for something just a little bit different here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing!
Does your Nanny....
...head to the gym after work?
Consider gifting a pass or package to check out a new gym class such as: Cycling, Zumba, Yoga, Pilates, or Barre.
... always look for ways to better herself as a nanny?
Subscribe her to the Nanny Magazine which has a tons of creative craft, book, educational, and meal ideas along with articles specifically geared to support professional nannies.
... do a lot of baby wearing or sit on the floor to play with young kids all day?
A 60 minute back or a foot massage at a nearby spa may be just the ticket for your nanny!
...like arts and crafts?
Pick up a gift card to a local art store or make a gift bag of inspiring art supplies.
...enjoy getting fixed up and pretty?
Treat her to a gift bag of new nail polish, eyeshadow, or lipstick colors for spring.
...pride herself in her job?
Gift her a "Love, Teach, Inspire" necklace that signifies her important role in your children's lives.
Whatever you decide to do just be sure to say.... "We love having you as our nanny! Happy Valentine's Day!"
Join Brooklyn BabyFEST for a FREE webinar with Holly Flanders of Choice Parenting. Holly is a childcare consultant that teaches parents best practices to find, hire, and maintain a quality daycare, nanny, or nanny-share. Her professional experience as a nanny, director of children’s programming, a parent coach, nanny trainer, and as a director and head teacher at an early childhood learning center helps parents navigate childcare and gain the support and information needed to confidently find the best suited caregiver for their unique family.
The webinar is 45 minutes long and includes plenty of time for Q&A.
Date: Wednesday, February 11th
To register click here: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EB54DD87814839
Your best friend may swear by nannies, while your sister believes that daycare is preparing her children for the Ivy League, but how do you choose which type of care is best for your family? Because your family is like no other, you need to make your choice based on your unique family's needs, wants, budget, personality, lifestyle, and parenting philosophies. So what should you be considering?
Group care and “schooling” at a young age can be an incredible and valuable experience for many children and families. Daycares are often more affordable and boast quality care with structured classroom learning. They also provide the opportunity for socialization and experiences that are hard to recreate in a home environment with only one child. On the other hand, daycare can be a struggle for parents who are passionate about their child’s care being handled with a specific childrearing approach and on a schedule of their choosing. Also, some children may struggle with minimal one-on-one attention, over-stimulation, and health concerns in a daycare.
One of the main advantages of a nanny is that she is able to focus her attention and affection solely on your child’s needs, while complying with your instructions and beliefs for education. A nanny can work on a schedule that best fits your life, and may assist in keeping your home environment in order, allowing you to spend your time on the things that matter most. But keep in mind that this situation is only as good as the nanny herself! Parents need to consider that it can be more expensive and complicated to have an in-home employee. Time and effort needs to be invested into the hiring and training process ensuring that you find the best fit caregiver and work is required throughout the period of employment for maintaining healthy communication.
So, is daycare or a nanny better for your family?
Here are three tips to deciding which type of care is right for you:
Assess your family
Because there is no right or wrong answer to the nanny vs. daycare debate, you need to consider the lifestyle and culture of your unique family. This will help you think through the type of care your family will need as well as what types of caregivers will best blend with your family dynamics. Go beyond the basics of your schedule, needs, and budget to ask questions such as:
Do your research
After you have carefully assessed your family's needs, research the childcare market in your area and interview both daycare and nannies. Talk to seasoned parents to understand the benefits, challenges, and feasibility of the different options and how they may or may not apply to your family. Find out the standard industry rates for nannies in your area, your legal obligations, best practices for interviewing and hiring, and the benefits that many quality nannies expect to determine what will fit your family’s budget.
Go with your gut
The bottom line is you may never truly "know" and even once you have a plan in place you may find yourself revisiting the decision. So after assessing your family and researching you options, follow your "mommy (or daddy) intuition", knowing that there is no right or wrong but rather a choice to be made!
Do you need more assistance or have questions? Let Choice Parenting guide you through your search for quality childcare! We offer one-on-one coaching session or group classes in your home, office or phone to help you navigate childcare. www.choice-parenting.com
Hi! I am Holly...
For over a decade, my career focus has been centered in and around NYC in the childcare, education, and family support industries.