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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Hanukkah and the Christmas holiday season is quickly approaching, and many parents are still searching for that perfect holiday gift for their nanny. Educated Nannies have some great holiday gift ideas to share with you!
Year-End Bonus (most popular): A bonus for a nanny is an extra special “Thank you!” for dedicating time all year long to your most precious littles. A typical bonus is either one or two weeks pay depending on how long the nanny has been working with your family. If you aren’t able to afford the same bonus as you gave last year, have an open conversation with your nanny. Any monetary gift is much appreciated!
Gift Cards: Is there a special restaurant, retail or online store your nanny likes to shop at? Would she enjoy an afternoon at the spa or getting a mani or pedi, but would never splurge on herself? Gift cards make the perfect gift for a nanny who is always putting the needs of others first!
Lessons or Memberships: Does your nanny enjoy dancing, drawing, or learning a second language? Does she/he workout, enjoy cooking, or taking photographs? Gym memberships, enrichment classes or lessons are another way of treating your nanny. You may even want to gift your nanny a membership to the International Nanny Association or pay for the conference in Montreal in 2020.
Unique or Homemade Gifts: Etsy offers a variety of unique gifts for everyone. Perhaps a homemade scarf and matching hat? Maybe a special pair of earrings or a necklace that will remind her of your family. Framed photos of the children, or a Shutterfly photo book filled with memories shared with your family.
Fun Holiday Options: If your budget permits, fun holiday options include: frequent flier miles so she/he can go home for the holidays, a week vacation at your time-share, a gas card or help to buy a new iPad or computer. If your budget is limited, consider a gift of time and pop home a few hours early to take over for your nanny so she/he can get a jump start to their weekend.
Last but not least, remember the taxes: While this can sometimes be overlooked, please keep in mind that all bonuses are taxable income to the employee and must be reported on all employment tax documents.
If you have any questions regarding holiday, year-end gifts or bonuses for your nanny, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always happy to help and be of service!
Every nanny who is searching for a new position is looking for their ideal nanny family! When you finally get the opportunity to interview with an incredible family with a job description that is exactly what you’ve been dreaming of, how do you show them that you are the ideal nanny for their family? As you’re reading through available jobs, maybe you are noticing a trend: If most families who have a toddler want someone who has some background or training in child development, how can you broaden your skillset? If you notice that a lot of families are looking for a nanny who can cook, but that’s not one of your strong points, how can you grow your confidence in the kitchen? Read on for some tricks of the trade that may help you along the way!
- Resume: Having a resume that showcases your skills, abilities, work experience, and strengths can make all the difference in helping a family feel connected to you from the get-go! A photo is optional, and if you’d like to have a photo on your resume, make sure it looks professional. You can even have a friend take it if you keep the following in mind: make sure you have a well-lit wall behind you that’s a neutral color such as gray, beige, or white, dress professionally in a color that flatters you, keep your hairstyle simple, wear light make-up, smile and be yourself.
- Certifications: It is an industry-standard for every nanny to be certified in CPR and first aid. We also require all of our nannies to comply with California law and be TrustLine certified upon hire.
- References: Make sure you have at least three excellent references, and that your former families know that they will be getting calls soon to get their feedback about their time working with you. If your references make it easy to contact them, it will speed up the interviewing process, and help you land your favorite nanny position!
- Social media: Potential families will most likely Google you. You want to present yourself in the best way possible. Be sure that your social media reflects who you are in a positive light.
- Dress Professionally. We recommend clothing choices that are clean, simple, and modest. You will want to look polished, yet ready to jump right in with the kids by wearing dress pants or dark jeans, a polo or collared shirt, and flats. Keep your hair simple and make-up light. Avoid wearing perfume or scented lotions as some clients may have allergies. Don’t forget to be yourself!
- Arrive on Time! It’s always better to arrive early and be outside waiting in your car than to arrive even a couple of minutes late. Show how much you value a potential employer’s time by being punctual from the start.
- Stay positive. Talk about why you love being a nanny, and why you love working with children! Share some wonderful things about past families you’ve worked for without over-sharing or gossiping. This will build trust with the family. Talk about some fun, enriching or educational activities you love to do with children. Showcase your strengths. If you love to cook or have been a math tutor in the past and they have a child who is in school and may need help with homework, let the family know! Don’t forget to try to connect with the family during the interview. Ask them about their family, where they are from, what a typical day in their house looks like, what they are looking for in a nanny, etc. If you get the chance to meet the children during the interview, try your best to get down on their level to interact with them. Make sure you wash your hands before holding a baby, and ask the parents for permission before picking up a baby or toddler. Jump right in if it feels appropriate: If you arrive and dad is unloading groceries from the car, offer to help bring them into the house! Safety first: If a child starts to do something that is not safe such as riding a scooter without a helmet, remind the child of what is safe. When the interview is over, be sure to thank the family.
Keep evolving as a nanny and add more qualifications and/or training to your bag of tricks!
- Take local child development classes. If you are in the Los Angeles area and you’re interested in learning more about the RIE philosophy, Jill Getto Lee teaches an incredible course that is taught specifically to nannies called Nurturing Nanny Course: http://www.jillgettolee.com/
- Do you love working with newborns? If you are interested in becoming an NCS (Newborn Care Specialist), one of the most highly-vetted NCS training companies is the foundational and advanced courses offered by Newborn Care Solutions. https://newborncaresolutions.com/?wpam_id=19
- Attend an International Nanny Training Day through Nannypalooza. http://www.nannypalooza.com/about-nntd.html
- Become a member of the INA (International Nanny Association), and attend an INA conference. https://nanny.org/
- Check-out some popular child development books at your local library to expand your knowledge and to help empower yourself on the job! A few excellent reads include The Whole-Brain Child by Dr. Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, and The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary.
- Listen to a free child development podcast on the go such as Respectful Parenting: Janet Lansbury Unruffled. Her short, enriching episodes on integrating the RIE philosophy into your daily childcare routine are sure to help you on the job!
As you continue to improve yourself as a nanny, you are not only going to be the best that you can be, you will also be affecting the special little lives in your circle for the better! Isn’t that what being a nanny is truly all about?
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” -Audrey Hepburn
It’s time to celebrate your nanny! National Nanny Recognition Week is September 22-28. This is a special week set aside every year to honor your nanny and show her how much you appreciate everything she does for your family. It’s a time for your children to show gratitude to their nanny for being such a positive role model. Remembering to say “Thank you” to your nanny throughout the year is so important, and here are some ways to make her feel extra special this week!
1. CREATIVE APPRECIATION
If your children are musical, have them sing a song or write a poem to thank your nanny. It will make her smile and it’s super creative for the kids to write their own lyrics. Have them record this so she may cherish their sweet voices for life.
2. DRAW A THANK YOU CARD
Are your children great artists? Do they love to draw? Help them create a special thank you card for your nanny.
3. PAMPER YOUR NANNY
Is your nanny working a long shift? Is she caring for many children? Gift your nanny a relaxing day at the spa or treat her to a massage.
4. GIFT OF EDUCATION
Has your nanny always wanted to take a special class to add to her list of skills or learn another language? Sponsor her to attend the International Nanny Association conference, Save a Little Life CPR Class, take a cooking class, or attend a local RIE child development class.
Tell your nanny how much you appreciate her, and then gift her a bonus or a health insurance stipend to contribute to her well-being.
6. WORDS OF KINDNESS
Simply say thank you and tell your nanny how wonderful she is. It feels good to be loved and hear positive things!
7. PAID DAY OFF
Treat your nanny to a paid day off. Many nannies work long hours, so they will really appreciate finding the time to visit the dentist, get a haircut, or you could even treat them to a mani/pedi. Feeling polished is a win/win for everyone
8. THROW A NANNY PARTY
Decorate the house, make some cupcakes, put on your nanny’s favorite music, and celebrate her awesomeness!
9. DINNER AT A FAVORITE RESTAURANT
Many times nannies spend hours preparing meal plans for the week, grocery shopping, and cooking delicious meals. Treat your nanny to a night off from cooking and send her out to her favorite restaurant.
10. MAKE A DONATION
Do you already spoil your nanny and treat her like part of the family? Maybe there is a cause that is near and dear to your nanny’s heart? You and the kids could donate your time or make a kind donation? Get creative and think outside of the box!
11. MAKE YOUR NANNY A MEMORY BOOK
You and your children could enjoy putting this book together as a family activity. Take pictures and create a special memory book that the nanny can cherish forever. What a special idea!
12. GIVE YOUR SPECIAL NANNY A GIFT CARD
Does your nanny have a favorite store, theme park, or restaurant they like to visit? Surprise them with a gift card to this location!
HAVE A FABULOUS WEEK CELEBRATING YOUR EDUCATED NANNIES!
Thanks to our friends at HomePay, we are happy to share some helpful tax advice for household employers. Here is a brief overview of the laws for household employers in California:
When a family hires an individual to perform duties in or around their home, they are considered a “household employer.” The IRS views the worker — whether a nanny, health aide, housekeeper, gardener, cook/chef, personal assistant, estate manager, etc. — as an employee of the family. Misclassifying an employee as an “independent contractor” is considered tax evasion.
If a household employee is paid more than $2,100 in a calendar year, the household employer is required to withhold and remit payroll taxes to the state and the IRS. If a household pays an employee less than the threshold in a calendar year, payroll taxes are not required to be withheld and remitted; however, the household is still legally considered an employer and, therefore, must adhere to federal and state labor laws.
WHAT ARE THE FINANCIAL AND LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES FOR HOUSEHOLD EMPLOYERS?
- Household employers are required to withhold taxes from their employee’s paycheck each pay period:
- Social Security & Medicare
- State Disability Insurance
- Federal Income Tax* (the amount withheld is based upon the employee’s withholding selections on Form W-4)
- State Income Tax* (the amount withheld is based upon the employee’s withholding selections)
*It is not legally required that income taxes be withheld. However, we strongly advise it so that the employee does not have a large tax burden at the end of the year.
- Household employers are required to pay federal and state employer taxes:
- Social Security & Medicare
- Federal Unemployment Insurance
- State Unemployment Insurance & Employment Training Tax
These taxes must be reported and remitted along with the employee’s tax withholdings throughout the year. The good news is there are tax breaks that can offset most — if not all — of the employer’s tax costs. For an estimate of your taxes — and your tax breaks — visit our free Employer Budget Calculator.
- Household employers are required to prepare and file special year-end paperwork. In addition to providing Form W-2 to each employee, household employers are required to file Form W-2 Copy A/Form W-3 with the Social Security Administration and file Schedule H with their federal income tax return (Form 1040).
- Household employers in California are required to carry Workers’ Compensation. Workers’ compensation is not part of the tax process; it’s an insurance policy that provides your nanny with financial assistance for lost wages and medical expenses in the event of a work-related injury or illness. It also provides legal protection since workers who accept benefits forfeit their right to sue — regardless of fault. Some level of workers’ compensation is usually provided in homeowners insurance. You should contact your insurance provider to see if your current plan is sufficient. If not, you can usually add an enhancement to cover your employee. If you have difficulty obtaining a policy, please contact us and we can guide you to a solution.
- Household employers must meet federal and state labor law requirements. Household employees must be paid overtime for hours worked over 40 in a 7-day workweek. The rate for overtime pay must be at least 1.5 times the regular hourly rate. According to Wage Order 15 and the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, “personal attendants” (someone that spends at least 80% of their time caring for another individual, i.e. nannies and senior caregivers) must be paid overtime for all hours worked over 9 in a day and 40 in a week. For employees who are not personal attendants, overtime kicks in for hours over 8 worked in a day and 40 in a week. A separate set of rules apply for families that hire a live-in employee. Please call for details. Additionally, most household employers must provide at least 48 hours of paid sick time to their employee in Los Angeles.
THE BENEFITS OF COMPLIANCE
Compliance provides three significant benefits to families and their employees:
1) Audit & Lawsuit Prevention. Families who pay legally don’t have to worry about legal disputes levied by disgruntled former employees or IRS audits or charges of conspiring to commit tax evasion — a serious charge that carries fines up to $25,000 and potential jail time and loss of professional license. Think of it as insurance against tax and legal problems.
2) Tax Breaks. There is a common misperception that compliance is expensive. The truth is that most families — regardless of their income level — qualify for tax breaks that offset the majority of the employer tax costs. There are two tax breaks available to families: a) Dependent Care Accounts (aka Flexible Spending Accounts) allow families to pay for up to $5,000 of dependent care expenses using pre-tax dollars. Depending on the marginal tax rate, this can save household employers up to $2,300 each year; b) Child or Dependent Care Tax Credit (IRS Form 2441) allows families to itemize up to $3,000 per child per year (maximum of $6,000). For most families, this tax break will yield an annual savings of $600 for one child and $1,200 for two or more children. Note: Families who have access to a Dependent Care Account and have 2 or more children may be able to capitalize on both of these tax breaks — providing a savings of up to $2,500 per year.
3) Professional Benefits. When a family pays legally, the employee receives important short-term and long-term benefits, such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, healthcare subsidies disability and an ability to obtain loans/credit. These benefits and protections have a dramatic impact on the perceived professionalism of the position and, therefore, the quality and duration of the employment relationship.
Since 1992, we’ve been eliminating the work and worry for busy families by providing comprehensive management of payroll and taxes — as well as unlimited guidance and support from our team of tax and labor law experts — for a small, tax-deductible quarterly fee.
Our focus on the unique needs of household employers (rather than business employers, which have different obligations, different forms, different deadlines and different labor laws) has helped us create a simple, affordable service that has been heralded in numerous publications, including Kiplinger, Working Mother, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, CPA Practice Advisor and The New York Times.
Here’s a summary of the compliance process for households — all of which we handle for our clients with guaranteed accuracy and timeliness:
- Register for federal and state tax accounts
- Complete and file a New Hire Report
- Calculate the correct amount of federal and state taxes to withhold each pay period
- Track gross pay, net pay, federal and state taxes withheld, and federal and state employer taxes
- Prepare state employment tax returns quarterly and remit both employer and employee taxes
- Prepare federal tax estimates four times per year and remit both employer and employee taxes
- Prepare year-end tax forms (W-2, W-3, Schedule H and State Annual Reconciliation)
- Respond to IRS and state requests/inquiries
- Monitor ever-changing household employment tax law
The IRS estimates that the entire compliance process takes the average individual about 50-55 hours per year. Let us take these tasks off your plate and eliminate all your work, worry and risk.
Please visit our company page to learn more! http://www.myhomepay.com/EducatedNannies
As a new school year is about to commence, it can be helpful for the whole family to get back into the swing of things ahead of time. Going back to school can be an exciting, enjoyable time if we are all ready for go time. Don’t forget to make room for fun in the process. Here are some valuable tips for you and your family!
Get them back into their bedtime routine
Dialogue with your kids about going back to school
Get yourself ready
Help get them excited for a new beginning
Rekindling last years friendships
Connecting with new teachers
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