The-Alphabet-Scoop-Logo- Blog by Educated Nannies


Establishing Deep Connections With Children

Establishing deep connections with children helps them feel safe, supported, and deeply invested in.  By building quality connections with your child you demonstrate that you value your relationship and want to protect it at all costs.  Another benefit of building strong connections with your child is that it will foster a cooperative attitude. The child will be more likely to cooperate because he/she values connection and doesn’t want to lose it.  

The list below offers helpful tools to increase the connection you have with your child:

Ask open-ended questions.  Open-ended questions foster connection with children because it encourages them to engage in conversation. Close-ended questions such as “How was your day?” are not specific and won’t get much more than a one word response.  Instead, try asking questions like:  “Who did  you play with today?” or “What was something cool you learned about today.”  As your child shares what’s important to him/her, you will feel more connected with one another.  

If you do something wrong, apologize.  We all make mistakes. When we do it causes a disconnect in the relationship with the one we hurt. When you fail, apologize to your child and ask for their forgiveness.  Apologizing will help repair the relationship, build trust, win their heart, and restore your connection.  

Create an environment of connection by seeking to understand and not react.  It can be really difficult to respond with empathy when your natural response is to lecture your child when you disagree. If you can resist the urge and instead seek to understand your child’s point of view, you will strengthen your relationship.  Your child will remember your desire to connect over winning an argument.  

Identify how your child feels loved.  Gary Chapman wrote a book called The 5 Love Languages and in the book he identifies 5 different ways people receive love which he calls love languages.  By identifying your child’s love language and speaking it you will connect with her heart and strengthen your connection.  To take the love language quiz click here.

Let your child know you’re on his/her side.  In the classic book by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish titled, “How To Talk To So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk” the authors encourage parents to communicate you’re on your child’s side even when you set a limit.  If your three year old is yelling for Cheerios but his older sibling just finished the last bite, let him know you would give him a bowl if you had more, but you ran out.  Sometimes children, especially toddlers, simply need to know you’re on their side, connected to their desires, and you care about them.  This stops many a tantrum!

If you have connection tips, please feel free to email us at and we will share them in a future blog post!

(photo credit :  bossip)

Employing a Nanny Legally

Employing a Nanny Legally

Finding that perfect nanny for your child can be an overwhelming process in itself. Add in payroll, taxes and the idea of being a household employer for new parents and it gets to be daunting. Educated Nannies has teamed up with our experts at HomePay to make sure you have all the resources you need to hire a nanny, and take away some of that fear. Here are some great tips for employing a nanny legally!

Your Tax Responsibilities

As a household employer, you must withhold Social Security, Medicare and California state disability insurance taxes from your nanny’s paycheck each pay period if she earns $2,000 or more in a calendar year. Federal and state income taxes are optional to withhold, but we highly recommend it so your nanny doesn’t end up with a large tax burden or underpayment penalties at the end of the year.

Additionally, you’ll be required to pay the employer’s portion of Social Security and Medicare, as well as federal and California unemployment insurance taxes, and the California Employment Training Tax. The threshold for having to pay unemployment insurance taxes is $750 in a calendar quarter, so even if you hire a short-term nanny, you may be responsible for these taxes without having to pay Social Security or Medicare taxes.

The good news is, when you do all of this correctly, you’ll be eligible for tax breaks can offset a large portion of these taxes. Many families that use HomePay save more than $2,000 each year and we’re happy to help you do the same!

Hourly Pay & Overtime

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), your nanny is classified as a non-exempt worker. This means she must be paid on an hourly basis and receives overtime. Combining federal and California state law is a little tricky with determining when overtime is required, so hopefully we can help explain it:

  • Nannies should be paid at least 1.5 times their regular hourly rate (time-and-a-half) for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
  • California daily overtime law requires nannies to be paid overtime for all hours worked over 9 in a day.
  • If the nanny is a live-in employee, overtime is required if they work more than 9 hours in a day and/or 45 hours in a 7-day workweek.

Note: There are additional overtime requirements for nannies that work 12 or more hours in a day or 6 or 7 consecutive days in a workweek. Please call HomePay at (888) 273-3356 for details if this employment situation arises for you.

Mandatory Paid Sick Time

Household employers in California are required to provide up to 3 days (24 hours) of paid sick time each year as long as their employee works at least 30 days. Sick time accrues at 1 hour for every 30 hours worked, but families can choose to offer the full amount upfront if they choose. Unused sick time can roll over to the next year, but families can cap their nanny’s total paid sick time to 48 hours. Families do not need to pay for unused sick time if the nanny is terminated and they can begin using their sick time 90 days after they begin working.

This all may seem like a lot of information to take in, but HomePay is here to help you make it easy to manage. We understand every family has different payroll, tax and HR needs and we’re happy to provide a personalized consultation so you feel comfortable paying your nanny on the books. Just give us a call at (888) 273-3356 or visit us online at for answers to all your questions.


(photo credit :  TWI Copy)

How Kids Benefit From Making Resolutions!

How Kids Benefit From Making Resolutions!

Cheers to 2017! For many of us, the New Year means reflecting on the past year and making positive changes for the upcoming year.  Children can also benefit from self-reflection and by setting goals for the future.  Educated Nannies has some tips to share on how kids benefit from making resolutions!

Make it a Family Tradition:  The best way to teach children the importance of New Year’s resolutions is by making it part of the family tradition.  Educated Nannies encourages families to sit down with your children and reflect on the past year. Take the time to talk about your accomplishments and goals both as individuals and as a family.  As part of your discussion, talk about ways you can make a difference within your family, school, or community.

For older children, encourage them to make a list of their own accomplishments and goals.  For the littler ones, they can draw a picture, or you can jot down their ideas.  Resolutions for the family might include unplugging from electronics during dinner and sharing daily highlights, being more physically active on the weekends, or committing to volunteer a few times a year.  Your child’s resolution might include helping to clear the table, making sure to write thank you notes for gifts they receive, or helping a younger sibling with their homework.

Be a Role Model: It’s important for parents and nannies to be role models. If children see you picking up trash off the ground, donating to a cause, using kind words, and exercising, they are more likely to join in.  If you lead by example, children will understand the value of setting and keeping goals. Celebrate the small victories in life! If your goal is to drink more water, cheer each other on. If your child’s goal is to improve upon his/her reading skills, make it a priority to have 20-30 minutes of reading time each night. Encouraging one another goes a long way!

Keep Things Positive: When making New Year’s resolutions with your children, it’s important to keep things positive.  You don’t want to create a laundry list of things your children need to change or a list of items that are too hard to accomplish. Focus on the positive things they have accomplished last year and ask them, “What are some of the things you did that you are most proud about this year?   Is there something you think you could do better?   How can you make a difference not only in your life, but for your family and the community?”

Celebrate Accomplishments: We all know that feeling of meeting a goal. Your heart starts to beat faster. You feel this sense of pride. You may even experience perma-grin!  Children also relish that thrill of accomplishment, especially when their parents are acknowledging it!  It’s important to remember to praise your children for meeting their goals along the way.  This will help them to stay focused, and continue to work on their resolutions throughout the year.

What are some of your New Year’s resolutions or traditions you share with your family?  How do you make sure you stay on track throughout the year? What do you do to celebrate your accomplishments?   Please comment below. Educated Nannies want to know!

Holiday Gift Ideas For Your Nanny

Holiday Gift Ideas For Your Nanny

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, housekeeper, teachers, and tutors. Educated Nannies has some great holiday gift ideas for your nanny this holiday season! 

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. 

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.

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 kids, 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 weeks’ vacation at your time-share, a gas card or helping to buy a 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 (cash or gift), 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 We are always happy to help and be of service!




Teaching Children About Gratitude

Teaching Children About Gratitude

As the season of gratitude and giving is upon us, this is a wonderful opportunity to remember to take the time to teach our children the importance for being grateful.  The concept of thankfulness can be difficult for a child to embrace, and especially put into practice.  How can we, as parents and caregivers, help our children learn to be grateful? Here are a few tips about teaching children about gratitude.

While we might believe that we all have a natural inclination toward thankfulness, for most of us, gratitude is learned.  By teaching our children to be grateful, they learn to become more sensitive to the feelings of others, more empathic, and have increased self-esteem.  Furthermore, they are happier, more social, and have deeper friendships.

So how do we instill gratitude in our children?  It’s certainly not a lesson that can be taught in a single example or learned overnight.  It’s not a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude.   We can teach our children in the ways we role model gratitude in our day-to-day interactions with our family, friends, and the community.  Remembering to say “please” and “thank you” to our children, the cashier at Trader Joe’s, or the stranger that held the door open for us is a small, yet powerful gesture for children to learn by example.

In addition, especially around the holidays, when the focus is on receiving, we can incorporate family traditions of volunteerism and the joy of giving.  Being of service can be part of a child’s life from a very young age. You and your family can volunteer at a local charity, adopt a family for the holidays, or collect toys and clothing for a local shelter.

We can also remove the emphasis on presents and focus more on celebrating; visiting with family, baking cookies, decorating the tree, lighting the menorah, or attending services.

Families can continue service oriented projects throughout the year by getting our children involved in writing thank you notes, baking cookies for a local fire department, or donating our belongings to a woman and children’s shelter.

Our client Rebecca, shared with Educated Nannies a family tradition she started when her daughter, Ava was two and half years old.   “Each night, before bed, we reflected on the day and shared a highlight.  Sometimes it was a simple as having ice cream after dinner.  As Ava grew older, her highlights were centered more around what she did for someone, rather than what she received.”   Another client, Adam and his family share their daily gratitudes during dinner time.  “Our family begins with a prayer, followed by what each of us is thankful for before we begin eating.”  “This helps our boys to focus on the little things.” he continued.

What are some of your traditions or ways by which you teach your children to be thankful?  Educated Nannies wants to hear from you.

Wishing each and every one of you a THANKful Thanksgiving!

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Welcome To The Blog!

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As one of the premier nanny referral agencies in greater Los Angeles and as parents ourselves, the safety and happiness of children is always our priority. On this nanny blog, we further our commitment to strengthening families by sharing resources and nanny articles we hope you’ll find helpful. We will also let you know when we’re having upcoming events, because we’d love to see you! Thanks for reading!

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