Come See Us at the Kidz Expo!

hannaford kidz expoThe 2015 Hannaford Kidz Expo is this Saturday, March 7th from 10am-5pm at the Empire State Plaza concourse in Albany, and this year, A New England Nanny will be there too!

Among the usual entertainment and fun activities for kids this event offers, a new feature has been added for this year – the Toddler Zone! This will be an area for the smaller kids to run around and play in a contained environment. We will have an information table set up in the Toddler Zone, and some of our caregivers will be on  hand to provide supervision for the kids.

So come meet us, come meet our child care professionals, and make it a fun day in downtown Albany with the kids! For more information about the event, click here. Hope to see you there!

Child Care for Weddings

child care for weddingsMany couples today hope to find a balance between what they want for their wedding day, while staying considerate to the needs of their families and friends. One issue that may arise is whether or not children should be invited. While some couples may wish to avoid any screaming tantrums or general disruptiveness that young children may provide, they also know that friends or family members may find it difficult to attend the wedding if they cannot bring their kids. This can make for an awkward and uncomfortable situation.

With A New England Nanny, the happy couple doesn’t have to make that choice! As the only fully licensed and insured child care agency in the Capital Region, A New England Nanny has been providing loving, thoroughly screened caregivers to local families for over 23 years. We work with wedding planners, brides, and hotels to ensure that their guests’ child care is covered by our experts. Now you can let your guests bring their children to your wedding, comfortable in the knowledge that they are being well-cared for away from your ceremony!

Contact us at (518) 348-0400 and tell us how we can help make planning your big day a little easier.

Senior Care Interview Questions

senior care interview questionsHiring senior care workers mirrors that of hiring nannies and other household help. In fact, it is much of the same thing—entrusting the care of your loved one and home to another. In the end, you want a safe, happy, and comfortable home for all who live there, and, as with all household employees, the senior caregiver wants to be in a happy workplace. That means doing it right.

While we at A New England Nanny pre-screen and interview candidates before passing them along to our families, we also encourage conducting your own interviews for the candidates we suggest. After all, it’s your home and family! Please see the list below for a sampling of interview questions you might want to ask a senior caregiver.

Questions to ask a Senior Caregiver Candidate

  • Why are you interested in at-home senior care/what attracts you to the job?
  • How long have you been working with the elderly?
  • What are your hobbies and interests?
  • What caregiving practices are you trained in, who trained you and when? (Does your training include special dementia or Alzheimer’s training? If so, by whom and what did the training cover?  Do you recognize the signs of stroke, heart attack and the onset of many illnesses?)
  • What did your past at-home care experiences entail—what kind of care did you provide and what type of experiences did you have? What was the most difficult experience with senior care that you’ve dealt with and how did you resolve it? What is your average day like when caring for an elderly loved one in-home?
  • Are you currently caring for a senior? Why did you leave your last position?
  • Have you ever been fired from a job—explain? Have you ever been convicted of a crime, or is there a felony charge pending against you? (Please take care in how you ask the applicant certain questions – you must adhere to EEOC law, see chapter 13.)
  • Can I check at least three references? (How recent are these references?)
  • What is your schedule like/how flexible is it—what hours are you available to care for my loved one? How much time can you commit to this position?
  • What is your hourly fee/what do you charge? Are charges more for night or weekend care?
  • Do you know CPR? (When were you certified? Last re-certified?)
  • Are there duties described in this position that are difficult for you to do or that you will not do? Along with caring for my elderly loved one, are you willing to perform household tasks such as meal preparation and light housekeeping?
  • The home is a non-smoking environment—are you okay with this?
  • Would you be available to provide care in an emergency? Have you handled emergencies in the past—if so, what did you do then and what would you do in an emergency now? What would you do if my loved one fell, choked on food or stopped breathing?
  • How do you handle a situation in which a senior resists your care/what would you do if my loved one became hard to manage?
  • What will you do if you are ill and cannot care for my loved one that day?
  • How do you report what occurs—is there a daily log, report or other documentation that must be completed?

Remember to allow the candidate to do most of the talking—you are trying to learn whether he or she is right for the job, your family, and household. It is important for you and your loved ones to feel comfortable with the caregiver, so don’t be afraid to move on to another candidate if it’s not the right fit.

For more information, contact us at (518) 348-0400.

Hiring a Nanny on Your Own: The Real Cost

hiring a nanny on your ownIf you have considered using an agency like ours to hire a nanny but you also want to see about doing it on your own, know what you are getting into and budget your time and money accordingly.

The worksheet below, provided by our affiliate company GTM Payroll Services, will help you figure out the real cost of hiring a nanny or other employee on your own.

The Real Cost of Hiring on Your Own (click for printable version)

Do It Yourself Hiring Task COLUMN A: Hours it would take (suggested hours) COLUMN B: Value of your time*, per hour Total cost of your time, multiplied by number of hours to complete task (column A x column B)
Time invested in preparing job  description and advertisement. __________ hours (e.g. 3 hours) $_________ per hour $_________
Time taken to perform background checking. __________ hours (e.g. 10 hours) $_________ per hour $_________
Time to select 10 candidates for phone interview. __________ hours (e.g. 2 hours) $_________ per hour $_________
Time to prepare interview questions. __________ hours (e.g. 2 hours) $_________ per hour $_________
Time to schedule and phone interview best candidates. __________ hours (e.g. 5-10 hours) $_________ per hour $_________
Time to arrange and conduct home interviews of 3 most desirable candidates. __________ hours (e.g. 5-10 hours) $_________ per hour $_________
Time to schedule and phone previous employment and educational references. __________ hours (e.g. 3 hours) $_________ per hour $_________
Time taken to make job offer and prepare rejection letters for unsuccessful candidates. __________ hours (e.g. 1 hour) $_________ per hour $_________
Time to prepare work agreement. __________ hours (e.g. 5 hours) $_________ per hour $_________
Time to research salary, tax, insurance compliance information. __________ hours (e.g. 5 hours) $_________ per hour $_________
Time to research employment laws relevant to location and type of work. __________ hours (e.g. 3 hours) $_________ per hour $_________
Time to investigate human resources information and personnel policies. __________ hours (e.g. 2 hours) $_________ per hour $_________
Time to research all necessary legal, tax, insurance, and payroll forms for hire. __________ hours (e.g. 5 hours) $_________ per hour $_________
TOTAL __________ hours (e.g. 61 hours) $_________ per hour $_________

 

*To calculate the value of a stay-at-home spouse when using this worksheet, salary.com estimates that a stay-at-home parent with two preschool children has a national median salary of $115,431 per year. Divided by 52 weeks, divided by 40 hours, this is approximately $55 per hour.

Please note that if a household employer does not want to invest all the time calculated above, working with an agency like A New England Nanny to hire an employee will save a lot of time, as will working with a household payroll company like GTM when it comes to knowing the relevant tax and labor laws and handling the complicated payroll and tax process.

For more information, contact us at (518) 348-0400.

Conference & Event Child Care and Planning

conference and event child careDo you know someone coming to town for a conference or event and needs child care services? As you know, A New England Nanny has been providing screened, caring, professional caregivers to families across the region since 1991. Our families and partners can enjoy peace of mind knowing they have a trusted, reliable child care resource.

Our experienced sitters will provide an exciting and memorable experience for the children at conferences and events. We can keep it simple and send our staff into an already kid-friendly event just to provide child care, or we can have our sitters arrive at the location with lots of games and activities at the ready.

Need help planning an event? We can do that too! A New England Nanny’s event planners have years of experience working with private families, corporations, and wedding planners. Need someone to put together a party for you? We can take your vision and make it happen! We can assist with:

  • Weddings/receptions, rehearsals/dinners
  • Party planning
  • Conference and event child care
  • Kids’ camps – designed to be fun and educational during multi-day conferences where child care is needed.
  • Corporate functions

Please contact us at (518) 348-0400 to discuss your needs and request a quote. We look forward to hearing from you!

National Nanny Training Day 2015

national nanny training day 2015

National Nanny Training Day 2014 – First Aid Training

National Nanny Training Day is an initiative to promote awareness of the important connection between nanny training and quality of care. On Saturday, April 18th, over 1,000 nannies in more than 30 cities across the country will gather in their local communities at training events designed to meet their unique needs. A New England Nanny is inviting nannies from across the Capital Region to attend our very special, FREE event!

The goals of NNTD are to:

  • Promote awareness of the importance of training for nannies. Training and education of caregivers is one of the most important factors associated with the quality of the child care they provide.
  • Encourage nanny-related businesses and organizations to become actively involved in providing and/or promoting quality nanny training in their local communities.
  • Provide accessible and affordable quality training opportunities to nannies throughout the country.
  • Raise the overall quality of nanny care through a well-trained nanny workforce.

Our event will feature:

  • Emergency preparedness training from the Red Cross
  • Information and discussion on bullying
  • CPR certification class

We will also provide lunch and hear from an inspiring speaker!

What: National Nanny Training Day 2015

When: Saturday, April 18th; 9am – 4pm

Where: Comfort Inn; 981 New Loudon Road, Latham

Who: Part-time and full-time nannies from the Capital Region

Cost: Free!

Space is limited, so please click the button below to reserve your spot for this fun and educational event! And did we mention it was FREE to attend? Please contact us at (518) 348-0400 for more information. Hope to see you there!

Eventbrite - National Nanny Training Day 2014

Top 5 Reasons for Having an Employee Handbook

reasons for having an employee handbookLike any employer, household employers must establish fair personnel practices and policies, and apply them equally to all staff. Providing each employee with a household employee handbook that explains the household workplace’s rules, practices, and policies is a necessity, and presents clear advantages to the employer. An employee handbook lets employees know what the rules and practices are within the household. Here are the top 5 reasons for having an employee handbook:

1. Communicates to Employees What is Expected of Them
A well-written handbook provides household employees with a clear understanding of their responsibilities. The handbook also serves as a compass for the household’s policies and procedures. For example, it advises employees what the procedures are for requesting time off or a vacation, as well as calling in sick. The handbook also communicates an employee’s general responsibilities regarding safety, timekeeping, reporting, and so on. By providing this clear, accessible information, handbooks ensure families continue moving in the right direction.

2. Helps Ensure Policies are Clearly and Consistently Communicated
No policy is effective if it is practiced inconsistently. A handbook will accurately communicate your family’s policies regarding employment, conduct and behavior, compensation, and other policies and procedures your may have implemented. Most importantly, employers can refer to the handbook when answering questions or making decisions regarding policies.

3. Showcases the Benefits You Offer
Do you offer vacation time, 401K, health insurance, paid parental leave, or other benefits to your employee? Make sure they know about these policies and the eligibility requirements by communicating them in the handbook. A benefits package can help you retain your best employees, so be sure they know about all of your offerings by communicating these in the handbook.

4. Ensures Compliance with Federal and State Laws
No matter which state you live in, or how many employees you have, you will be subject to state and federal employment laws. Your handbook not only communicates these various entitlements and obligations to employees, but is useful in demonstrating that you strive to be compliant with these regulations. For example, if your employee is called away to active-duty military service, you will want to be sure they understand their rights and obligations when communicating their need for leave to you. Similar policies should communicate rights and obligations regarding state disability leaves, federal FMLA leave, and other government mandates.

5. Helps Defend Against Employee Claims
Unfortunately, there is always a possibility an employer will face a lawsuit or similar challenge from a current or former employee. When this happens, one of the most useful documents you can provide your attorney or third party investigator will be a copy of your handbook. A thorough and compliant employee handbook will help to show that you exercised “reasonable care” toward your employees. The employee’s signed acknowledgement page will show that the employee had an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the household’s policies, a chance to ask related questions, and agreed to follow the terms and conditions of employment.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact us at (518) 348-0400.

Nanny Agencies vs. Online Agencies

nanny agencies vs online agenciesA good agency is a helpful resource in finding a nanny or other household employee. After all, household employers hire staff to make life more convenient, easier, and fun—enabling the employer to direct his or her energies toward enjoying his or her family or home.  Online nanny agencies have become more popular in recent years, and while both traditional agencies like A New England Nanny and online ones each have benefits, there are many differences that may help an employer to decide which route to take when hiring a nanny or other employee.

Our comparison chart below shows the general differences between us and online agencies.

   A New England Nanny
 Online Agencies
 Time Savings
  • All searches assisted by agency staff.
  • Job postings managed by agency staff.
  • Agency staff assist in job description and work agreement development, may provide interview questions and other necessary paperwork.
  • Agency will assist in scheduling interviews.
  • Agency will generally offer a select few qualified candidates, helping employers to immediately target the best candidates.
  • Search on your own.
  • Do the selection process yourself for your preferred candidates.
  • Post jobs yourself.
  • Develop job description and work agreement yourself (some sites offer templates or articles to help).
  • Perform background checks on your own (unless included).

Note: There can be even more effort involved on your part, and therefore the process can take longer.

 Turn-around Time
  • Depending on our current pool of candidates, this could be fast, or you may need to wait for a list of qualified candidates.
  • Can help you find a large number of prospective candidates in a matter of minutes, which may lead to your selection of candidates for interview.
 Cost
  • Because you are engaging a consultant with staff and many included services, you will be paying a higher fee.
  • Membership to online sites tends to be less expensive, however there can be “additional fees” in add-on services.
 Screening
  • Pre-screened applicants.
  • Phone and face-to-face interviews conducted before family interviews
  • Reference and employment checks verified.
  • Full background checks provided.
  • You may have to conduct all pre-screening and interviews.
  • You conduct your own reference/employment checks.
  • You conduct background checks (unless included).
 Expert Assistance
  • Assistance and guidance with job offer.
  • Job description development.
  • Compensation package.
  • Experience based on agency selected.
  • No personal guidance.
  • You are responsible for job offer.
  • Limited resources for employment policies.
  • Limited guidance on fair hiring/compensation.
 Tax, Payroll, and   Insurance Advice
  • Agency provides compliance education and materials.
  • Referrals for detailed advice and free consultations.
  • You decipher compliance requirements.
  • Some sites do refer to a tax and payroll service, such as GTM.com.
  • Some sites do post articles on tax and payroll issues.
 Post-placement Support
  • Ongoing support after placement.
  • Managerial advice and job coaching.
  • Temporary babysitting services.
  • Emergency backup care for unexpected absence of primary caregiver.
  • No managerial or personalized support after hiring.
 Guarantee
  • Usually an agency will guarantee a placement by providing a replacement or an extended membership so you can use its services again for free.
  • Limited or no guarantee.

 

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact us at (518) 348-0400.

Valentines Day 2015

valentines day 2015

Traveling With Your Nanny

traveling with your nannyHow to Compensate Your Nanny on a Family Vacation

Before a family hires a nanny, the nanny’s compensation should be detailed fully, including the rate of pay for attending family vacations and any mileage or expense reimbursement that may occur. It is important for families to remember that their vacation time is not the same as their nanny’s vacation time. A nanny who travels with a family and performs work responsibilities should be paid accordingly. Here are some quick tips on how to compensate your nanny for your family vacation:

  • Before the vacation begins, outline exactly what the nanny’s job responsibilities will be during the trip and the hours she will work.
  • Your nanny needs to be paid for all travel time to and from the destination.
  • All travel expenses are to be covered by the employer. This includes flights, accommodations, meals, and any other travel related expenses.
  • Your nanny needs to be paid her normal salary for all hours they are responsible for the children.
  • You do not need to pay the nanny for rest time as long they have appropriate sleeping accommodations, receive 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a row, and receive a total of 8 hours rest time.

For example, if the children and the nanny go to bed at 9 pm, and the children need assistance at 1:30 am for 15 minutes and awake at 7 am, you will need to pay her for the 8 hours she was supposed to be resting. If the children and the nanny go to bed at 9 pm and wake up at 3 am, she tends to them for 15 minutes and then goes back to bed until 6 am, you are able to deduct the 8 hours because she received 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

  • You do not need to pay the nanny for any hours where she is free to go off on her own, and not be responsible for the children.
  • In accordance with the FLSA, any weekly hours over 40 need to be paid as overtime pay (one and a half times the regular hourly pay).

For more information, please contact us at (518) 348-0400.