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Welcome to the year of silver linings! 2020 has certainly been a challenging one, but we are choosing to embrace the uncertainty and chase the rainbows as much as we can. One of our favorite silver linings from this pandemic is the fact that we can work from home. We can certainly all celebrate not commuting to an office every day. That perk alone gives us some new found time to spend with our families, squeeze in some exercise, or even have a proper breakfast. However, we understand that by now, you may have a bit of WFH fatigue. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up our top 10 tips to help make your life as a work from home parent a little sweeter. We hope this blog brings a bit of understanding and perspective to your day. We are in this together!
Prioritizing is by far your best asset when working from home. If you can analyze your day ahead of time and plan out the most important tasks to be done while the kids are occupied, you’ve just nailed working from home. This may mean adjusting your schedule a bit to make important meetings coincide with a quiet activity, giving you the peace and space you need to be productive. You may also have to wake up an hour earlier to work or answer emails after the children go to bed, as this may be the only quiet part of your day. If prioritizing your work means hiring a nanny, we can certainly help you there!
Be open and honest about your situation with your boss. Chances are they are in the same boat and will be understanding and even accommodating. Laying it all out there will give you peace of mind (and perhaps even a chuckle) when your 2-year-old son bursts into your Zoom meeting to tell you he just went pee-pee on the potty!
3. SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Sit your family down and explain how your work day looks. Perhaps share the times in they day where you know you’ll be available to them. Having structure will give the children an idea of what is expected and will help map out times where you can be most productive. If you need to be in a meeting, explain ahead of time what that looks like, maybe do a mock Zoom call and have them be a part of it.
4. TAKE BREAKS
During a normal day at the office, you may sit down and work for several hours before getting out of your seat. While working from home, taking small, frequent breaks will be beneficial for all. This could look like working for 50 minutes and then taking a 10 minute break to check in with your children. Or check in with yourself by doing a 5 minute meditation. A short break is a sure way to get everyone back on track.
5. SET BOUNDARIES
Make sure your family (and your nanny if you have one), understands that working means actually getting work done. Have the children make you a sign for your door, one side can say “quiet please” while the other side says “visitors welcome.” Make your work day a game for the children so that if you get all of your work done, they get to have your full attention later.
6. PRACTICE GRATEFULNESS
It’s easy to despair when situations get tough, so practicing gratefulness is a simple way to stay positive. Try thinking about about how lucky you are for your family to be safe and together during this time. Or jot down a quick list of all of the things you are grateful for. You will find that keeping your mind in a state of gratefulness will do wonders for your mental health. After all, even during life’s toughest times, we all have things we can be grateful for.
7. REWARD GOOD BEHAVIOR
Did you just make it through an entire virtual meeting or phone call uninterrupted? Woo hoo! Reward your children with praise, thank them for their cooperation and perhaps even spend a bit of time with them to show your appreciation. If you have older children that may respond better to a more tangible reward, maybe you give them 20 minutes of screen time. Toddler learning shows and Math Prodigy are fun ways to reward children while also giving you some time to work.
8. ASK FOR HELP
Tap into your resources for people who can help out with the kids. Do you have a partner in the home that can tag team throughout the day with you? Perhaps there is an older child at home that would love to earn a few extra dollars. Or even a trusted neighbor that would love to give you a break. Think “Village” and tap into it but remember we are always here for you with Educated Nannies that are ready to help if needed.
9. THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX
Think about how to maximize your time working while limiting stress. This may mean working when the children are not around. Talk to your boss about ways to be flexible with your hours and workday. Is there a project that you can work on after the children go to sleep? Do you have a client on another coast or across the globe that can Zoom in the early mornings when the house is still quiet? Your employer will appreciate your willingness to be flexible and you will appreciate the uninterrupted time, win-win!
10. DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
Under “normal” circumstances you may limit or even forbid screen time during the day. While we’d all love our children to read more and watch less, sometimes we just need some peace and quiet! Working from home during a pandemic is one of those times where worrying less about screen time is 1000% allowed. We will all survive and thrive and if that means a little more Daniel Tiger in our lives, so be it.
WE HOPE YOU THIS HELPS YOU STRESS LESS AND ACCOMPLISH MORE WHILE YOU NAVIGATE WORKING FROM HOME!
If you are interested in hiring an educated nanny, please visit us at www.educatednannies.com
2020 has been a year of challenges, reflection, gratitude, and celebrating our joys. Having a nanny is one of those joys to celebrate! As National Nanny Recognition Week approaches, we’d like to celebrate and honor all nannies for making our lives easier and bringing joy to our children! While it’s always important to thank our nannies for all that they do for our families, National Nanny Recognition Week (September 20-26), is a perfect time to recognize and honor them. In the era of Covid-19, celebrating your nanny may look different than years past. Here are some ideas on how you and your children can show them your appreciation while also keeping them safe!
1. A SPECIAL MEAL
Food is always a great way to honor someone for National Nanny Recognition Week! Prepare their favorite meal for them and have your child(ren) act as servers to make it fun and extra special. If cooking is not your thing, you can also order take-out from DoorDash, Grubhub or UberEats, and have food delivered right to their homes. Take it one step further and order a week’s worth of easy to prepare meals from a meal delivery service like HelloFresh.
2. SURPRISE PAID TIME OFF
NNRW is a fabulous time to give your nanny an extra paid day off. We all know how flexible nannies are especially right now. Wouldn’t it be so much fun to call your nanny the night before they are scheduled to arrive and say, “Tomorrow, take a paid day off!” and hear them cheer in delight? Better yet, you could give them some advance notice so they could have a three day weekend. Nannies will appreciate this extra day to enjoy time with loved ones. They also have the opportunity to finish those tasks that sit a little too long on the To-Do list like renewing their driver’s license. Let’s be honest, they may just take a day to sit in front of Netflix and do absolutely nothing in their favorite jammies.
3. CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS OF THANKS
Have your children express their thanks in their own creative ways. If your children are musical, have them sing a song or write a poem using their own lyrics to thank your nanny and record them expressing their gratitude. If they are artistic, have them draw a special card and use their own sweet words. Not only will this bring a smile to their face, but it is something they will cherish forever.
4. GIFT OF FUN
Has your nanny expressed an interest in learning a new hobby, or trying a new work-out class? Many companies have been offering fun things to do at home. How about gifting them a truffle-making class? The ingredient kit is sent directly to their doorstep and the class is done in the comfort and safety of their own homes. If fitness is their thing, gift them a month (or year) of online yoga and fitness classes. Then they don’t have to worry about leaving the house to get their workout in! Win-win!
Write a letter of appreciation to your nanny and then gift them a bonus! Maybe they’ve been saving up for something special like a class with Newborn Care Solutions or membership to the INA? This would give them just enough to finally splurge on themselves! Additionally, it shows them how grateful you are to them for being such an important part of your lives.
6. WORDS OF KINDNESS
Thank your nanny and tell them how wonderful they are and highlight some of their best qualities. It feels good to be loved and hear positive things about yourself! Words of kindness go a long way and can really make a person feel appreciated. Above all, words of kindness make the world a better place! Read some of our testimonials and the kind words our families have said about their nannies here.
7. A SMALL GIFT
Who doesn’t love to receive a small gift as a token of appreciation? Maybe they love coffee, or jewelry, or could use some new gear for camping? Perhaps due to Covid-19, they want to limit interactions in stores, so Amazon is their new best friend. No matter what you choose, a little gift lights up a nanny’s day!
8. A BEAUTIFUL BOUQUET
It feels so great to receive a bouquet of fresh, beautiful flowers, doesn’t it? Send a vibrant bouquet from La Petite Gardenia to brighten their day or show your appreciation all year long by enrolling them in a monthly flower subscription from Bouqs.
9. A VIRTUAL ADVENTURE ABROAD
Do you have a nanny that loves to travel, and is missing that invigorating feeling of being immersed in a different culture? Urban Adventures has got just the thing to beat those travel blues. You can send them on a virtual adventure to the country of their choice all via Zoom!
10. VIRTUAL PAINT PARTY WITH FRIENDS
Is your nanny missing her friends? Do you have an artistic nanny who is super creative with your children and who loves to paint? If so, this experience would be an awesome surprise! Paint The Town offers a fun way to engage with friends while letting the creative juices flow during a private online painting party.
HAVE A FABULOUS WEEK CELEBRATING YOUR EDUCATED NANNIES FOR NATIONAL NANNY RECOGNITION WEEK!
If you are interested in hiring an educated nanny, please visit us at www.educatednannies.com
With school starting online in a few weeks, parents are trying to figure out what options they have to set up their children for success. We are so fortunate to have Attorney Lisa Pierson Weinberger as our consultant for all things Covid-19. Here she helps us navigate some of the most frequently asked questions that we are getting from parents right now about private educators and learning pods.
1. Are you creating COVID waivers for families and private educators?
If a family employs a private educator, that person is their employee. As a matter of public policy, employers cannot ask employees to waive their right to a safe work environment. For this reason, employment waivers are not enforceable. However, I do recommend that families create a COVID-related protocol with their domestic employees (including private educators) that is included in an employment agreement.
2. Are you open to working with families who are creating pods of 4-5 kids?
Yes. The largest pods that I’ve worked with to date have included four children.
3. HomePay advised these pods are okay to do as long as everyone makes the educator a W2 employee of the household. People would like to know how to correctly set up the pods for employment purposes.
I agree with HomePay that private educators will almost certainly be properly classified as employees (and not independent contractors). Employers must also ensure that they are complying with all federal, state, and local employment-related laws, which is why having a robust employment agreement is essential.
4. Anything else you would like to add?
It can be tempting to take advice from friends and google, but every situation is different, and it’s really important for families to get advice from a professional about their particular circumstances. This is not a plug for my services but is really just a reminder that, even though things feel heightened right now and everyone wants to have this problem solved (to the extent possible), the right approach (or document) for one family does not always translate to what is best for someone else. As a working mom, I completely understand how stressful this is, and don’t want anyone’s stress to be multiplied by rushing into a situation without thinking through all of the proper considerations.
Are you ready to hire a private educator to support your family? We are happy to answer any of your questions and hold your hand through this process. We know it can be overwhelming, but we also know YOU CAN DO THIS! Please visit Hire a Private Educator or call 310-857-4985 to learn more.
Back to school? Typically when writing about this topic, we get excited and end our sentence with an exclamation point! Today, we have chosen to end it with a question mark. With the uncertainties of traditional schooling during Covid-19, complicated social distancing school rules put into place, as well as the confusion many parents are feeling as no school plans have been officially announced, parents are being forced to make tough decisions. While the American Academy of Pediatrics is urging schools to open in the fall with in-person learning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising remote learning as the safest option. Schools are creating hybrid schedules of days in school and days distance learning and parents are scrambling to figure out childcare and educational support.
Below are some of the phone calls we received from parents:
How on earth is this schedule going to work with two parents who work?
I am a single mom who has to work to support my family. How am I supposed to work and help my child learn?
I am a teacher. I don’t want to go back to school because I am afraid of getting Coronavirus, but I have to so I need someone to teach my daughter.
I am NOT a teacher. I cannot do this. Are you kidding? My child doesn’t listen to me. He won’t even sit still for me for two seconds!
My child refuses to Zoom. She only connects with people in-person. I need a teacher to come to our home.
We saw a problem and created a solution. Hire a private educator! Since 2015, Educated Nannies has been placing private educators in households, but we typically only receive a handful of requests each year. Hiring a private educator was a popular choice for parents of actors or musicians on tour, or families who like to travel and have bi-coastal homes. This option has now become a common request amongst parents who are searching for personalized education, safety, continuity, and flexibility. Here are the top five benefits of hiring a private educator during Covid-19.
IT’S SAFE AND CHILDREN WON’T HAVE TO WEAR A MASK.
By hiring a private educator, the family is able to limit the amount of germ exposure a child comes into contact with. The home becomes a controlled environment minimizing the risk of coming into contact with Covid-19. Children are able to be free and not have to wear masks in their own homes. They are not exposed to poor air circulation and parents will not have to worry about daily potential exposure to this virus. They will be able to play with any toys of their choosing and read any books that transform their imagination into a world of wonder. Children can even wear pajamas or costumes while learning! Let’s be honest. Raise your hand if you are currently in pajamas or athleisure reading this?
CURRICULUM OF YOUR CHOICE
When hiring a private educator to homeschool children, parents will be able to create a flexible educational plan. They get to choose a personalized curriculum as well as devote time to individual learning styles. While one child may be a kinesthetic learner another child might be an auditory processor. A private educator can create stimulating activities for both children to thrive. Parents can collaborate with private educators to have child-lead learning. For example, if a child is interested in coins, the private educators can teach about presidents, banking, The U.S. Mint, history, money, sorting, jewelry, metals, collecting, good luck pennies, create crafts and read books about coins. Children are more inclined to learn if a topic inspires them. Making up stories about the topic always sparks the imagination. There are also opportunities for children to learn about other topics in life such as racial diversity and inclusion, and financial literacy. Children get to learn at their own pace, and they are less inclined to be bored. A private educator can support children who are accelerated learners and those who need accommodations to excel. Plus you can take healthy snack breaks, go on scavenger hunts, tell Alexa, “Play Hamilton!” and have dance parties throughout the day! Oh, and the kids can too.
At some point, we may go on lockdown again. We may be asked to comply with the Safer at Home mandate. Parents may be asked to pay full tuition for schools and their children may not get the attention they deserve. The school may get shut down completely when someone tests positive for Covid-19. Emotional stability is the goal! Hiring a private educator means the children will understand their boundaries and expectations in the comfort of their own homes. Private Educators can also live in the home. This is a wonderful option for families who have a guest house or an extra bedroom and bathroom in the home, and the private educator is comfortable helping with nanny duties. Children will have continuity in their lives and be cared for by one person who gives them undivided attention. They will not have to deal with the uncertainty of their choices and live in fear or a constant reminder of the “yucky germy.” That’s what my kids call it anyways. Wash your hands do-do-do-do-do-do.
OPPORTUNITY TO TRAVEL AND HAVE A FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE
Some families are fortunate to have dual residences and it’s nice to know that a private educator is available to educate their children in different locations! For example, if COVID cases are on the rise in Los Angeles, a family may decide to relocate to their home in Wyoming. They may decide to go on a spontaneous family road trip for 3 weeks in a Subaru with two kids and a dog and visit all of the places on their United States bucket list. Oh, was that just me? Imagine the conversations that were sparked from visiting Mount Rushmore. There is so much to unpack there! The best news is families do not have to conform to one schedule. They can choose to educate their children for short days, longer days, weekdays, weekends, and in a variety of locations. They get to incorporate these incredible life experiences and languages into their child’s education. A private educator can help plan out day trips and create fun lesson plans to enhance the experience. The children can journal, and create a photo book filled with memories that will last a lifetime.
When children are homeschooled with a private educator they have the opportunity to create pods or micro-schools with peers who inspire them or treat them with kindness. Families are able to form mini-villages and children are seeing the benefits of quality time as well as being embraced with unconditional love. Private educators can also focus on character building and social skills. The children get the choice of who they would like to invite into their backyard and there is less pressure to fit in. It’s unfortunate, but many children will face bullying online and in public places throughout their life. Children who experience bullying typically struggle with depression later in life. When a child develops a healthy sense of worth and identity, they establish resiliency. Let’s create a generation of kids who are mindful, kind, self-sufficient, and problem solvers!! Alright… It’s midnight and this mama needs to get bed before one of my children climbs into my bed or wakes me up because they peed the bed. Ahhh night potty training…….
Are you ready to hire a private educator? We are happy to answer any of your questions and hold your hand through this process. We know it can be overwhelming, but we also know YOU CAN DO THIS! Please visit Hire a Private Educator or call 310-857-4985 to learn more.
Welcome to COVID-19 summer. With schools remaining closed for unknown periods of time, and summer camps being canceled, many families are searching for options to help bridge their child care gap during COVID-19. As with hiring any household employee, and especially on a short-term basis, families tend to get overwhelmed with the unknown. Here we team up with HomePay to help you figure out how to properly classify a temporary nanny and pay them legally.
Is a temporary caregiver an employee or an independent contractor?
When a family hires a caregiver – either on a short or long-term basis – an employment relationship exists. The determination is based on the nature of the work being performed, and the IRS has ruled definitively that caregivers working in a family’s home are employees of the family – not independent contractors. However, if you pay your household employee less than $2,200 in a calendar year, you qualify for an exemption from the tax withholding and reporting requirements. Keep in mind that federal and state labor laws still apply in all employment situations.
What are the tax and labor law requirements for household employers?
The requirements vary by state. Our partners at HomePay have a detailed tax and labor law compliance checklist that you can access on their website.
What happens if I don’t comply?
Now more than ever, it is critical that families comply with their employer obligations when hiring a caregiver or other household worker. Failure to do so will result in issues if the employee needs to access important financial safety nets, such as unemployment insurance, in the future. Additionally, if the wages are paid under-the-table, the family will not be able to take advantage of tax breaks.
How much does it cost to comply with household employment tax and payroll laws?
Household employment compliance obligations can feel overwhelming for busy families. The good news is paying legally is not as difficult or expensive as it seems. HomePay handles all the compliance details and there are tax breaks that typically offset most of the employer costs – especially in short-term employment situations. Here is a sample budget scenario we put together for a family considering the option of hiring a nanny to provide care from May through September:
Nanny Gross Pay $9,600.00
Employer Taxes $1,021.40
Cost Before Tax Breaks $10, 621.40
Tax Breaks $-2,200.00
Employer Cost After Tax Breaks $8,421.40
For an estimate of your tax costs – and your tax breaks – you can use HomePay’s free Employer Budget Calculator or contact them to run a specific budget scenario for your family.
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