British American Household Staffing Resources and Events

The Super Nanny

BAHS-Nanny-versus-Babysitter.jpg

By Anita Rogers

 

The term “super nanny” is not ideal, as nannies can be “super” for a variety of reasons including loyalty, honestly, balancing nanny and housekeeping skills, and more. If a nanny meets a family's needs and support the care and growth of the children, she is super. However, the term has become popular to describe what we at BAHS call “career nannies.”

 

What is a “super nanny”?

Whether they are called career nannies or super nannies, professionals at this level have dedicated years to gaining education, training, and experience in childcare

 

General Requirements to be a Nanny

  • No criminal record, no DUI, updated CPR certificate
  • Excellent, verifiable references from a family member of the previous employers
  • Kind, loving, caring and a lot of common sense
  • Quick thinking, responsible, intelligent

 

Requirements to be a Super Nanny

  • At least five years of experience working in an HNW or UHNW home
  • A Bachelor’s degree, usually in Early Childhood Education, Psychology, or an equivalent field
  • Must be able to swim and drive well
  • A flexible schedule
  • A up-to-date passport. Green Cards can be suitable, but the nanny must be able to travel (domestically and internationally) with the family.
  • An understanding of correct and proper etiquette and how to teach manners
  • Age-appropriate experience for the position in question
  • Physically fit and healthy. A nanny should be able to physically keep up with children and promote healthy eating habits. (Note that this does not relate to a nanny's weight)
  • Well-spoken. If the family is English speaking, the nanny should have an excellent spoken and written command of the English language

 

 

Furthermore, a “super nanny” will understand the workings of an estate. They will have experience working in a fully-staffed home and understand how to dress modestly and with the correct colors required by the household, to always have a change of shoes, to not wear heavy make-up or have long nails, to wear minimal, subtle jewelry, and not wear any perfume.

 

A nanny will understand how to prepare meals for the children according to the requirements of the family. They will know how to step back at dinner parties or events in the home and how to engage politely and minimally with guests, if engaged with. They will understand correct table manners and how to keep the children engaged at the table so the adults can enjoy their evening. The super nanny will always understand and uphold appropriate boundaries, including with the parents. Knowing when to be hands on and when to step back and defer to the parent's lead is a must for successful super nannies.

 

A super nanny understands how to pack last minute for travel. Expert super nannies will have experience caring for children on a yacht. As the deep water is dangerous for children, the nanny will know the safety workings of the yacht. They also know how to dress on a yacht – a swimsuit and not a bikini, inconspicuous colors, longer dresses, and high cut tops.

 

When travelling with the family, a super nanny will work extensive hours. When traveling to exotic destinations, the nanny will work overtime, sometimes all night, as the children will not be on their regular schedule and don’t usually sleep through the night. Although it sounds luxurious, in reality, traveling is actually the hardest part of the super nanny’s job as she or he is often exhausted, and works around the clock ensuring the children get attention when they need it and help manage their sleep routines.

 

A super nanny will have a background in security training and will have experience working with a security expert on how to keep the children safe, 24/7. There is usually a security team with the family and children, but the nanny is the closest to the children so her training is vital.

 

The list goes on, but to summarize, being a super nanny is not easy but it can be very rewarding and these nannies are well-compensated and treated well. These nannies have a love for childhood development and this drives them to do the best possible job they can do. 

 

The super nannies, or career nannies, we work with at BAHS are dedicated to their career and find great fulfilment in helping families raise happy, well-educated, well-rounded and well-mannered children. We strive to match families with their perfect nanny and secure long-term placements.

 

Contact our office today to find a super nanny for your family.

 

Because of their vast experience and training, super nannies do work at a higher pay than general nannies. For more information, see where BAHS was recently featured, What It Takes to Be a $200,000-a-Year Nanny.


Why Hire An Executive Housekeeper?

find-domestic-staff.jpeg

By Anita Rogers of British American Household Staffing

 

What is the difference between an executive housekeeper and a cleaner?

An executive housekeeper is a housekeeper with extensive experience cleaning fine homes and private residences. A standard cleaner is able to scrub, clean, do basic organizing, and laundry but won’t have abilities beyond basic cleaning and clothing care.

 

An executive housekeeper will understand how to deep clean as well as how to manage detailed organizing, both creating systems and maintaining them. These tasks may include color coding wardrobes, arranging clothing by season and type, alphabetizing the pantry, and labeling children’s clothes. They will understand proper folding and storage of clothes as well.

 

An executive housekeeper will know how to properly set a formal table for a dinner or dinner party and will understand the correct way to serve; including which side to pour wine, when to take the plates away from the dinner table, how to remain invisible during dinner but be available for anything the guests may need at a moment’s notice.

 

An executive housekeeper will wear a uniform, usually chosen by the family or principal. Standard uniforms are khaki pants and a white blouse for the summer and black pants and a white blouse for the other seasons. They will know to wear a different pair of shoes inside the residence, tie their hair, wear no make-up or perfume, and wear minimal to no jewelry.

 

Both executive housekeepers and cleaners will know how to work on a team, but an executive domestic staffing team is much more sophisticated and tech-centric. Every member of staff understands their place and who to take orders from. The staff with operate similar to one in a 7-star resort. Everything will appear seamless. The principal, family, and guests will never see or hear of any issues or problems.

 

Each member of an executive domestic staffing team will know every inch of the household manual for each residence. They will understand how to work a smart home system, be capable of answering the phone politely and delivering the message when the time is right. Every member of an executive domestic staffing team is a sophisticated, well-trained member of the household while being able to be both directed and autonomous when necessary.

 

What about laundry?

This is a common question for us at BAHS. Does an executive housekeeper also do laundry? The answer is yes and no.

 

Some executive housekeepers must do laundry as the residence is a high-end home but not an estate. The latter will have an extensive staff, from estate managers to chefs and usually has a minimum of 5 housekeepers per property. A fine home of two working parents or one professional may also be a luxury home with high standards, but there isn’t the large square footage to warrant hiring a large housekeeping staff. The principals in these types of homes will still pay the competitive market rate for an executive housekeeper, as they want the home cleaned and maintained properly.

 

Some executive housekeepers prefer the idea of working in a home with less staff. They can be more autonomous and sometimes better appreciated as they are naturally closer to the family being one of a few employees in the home. These candidates know if they are going to relinquish working in an estate, they will have to take on more of an all-encompassing role in this kind of home. An executive housekeeper in these homes will not take on childcare or chef responsibilities, but they will take on general professional laundry duties.

 

What is a laundress?

In an estate, the family or principal will hire a separate laundress, whose main job description is taking care of fine clothing. The laundress will understand how to press, steam, fold, and starch. Couture clothing can carry value of up to 10 million dollars and must be cared for professionally. It can take a laundress up to 30 mins to iron one shirt, if it is to be done properly.

 

A laundress will usually have previous seamstress experience as well as experience working with fine clothing. Some men’s shirts are tailored specifically for the principal by a renowned tailor. These shirts are better maintained at home and they are rarely sent to an outside vendor. It makes sense to invest in a laundress if one has clothing of this kind of value.

 

A professional couple or principal in a luxury home as opposed to an estate will rarely require such high-level care of clothing, but they will need in-home professional laundry care. What does this entail? Excellent pressing and steaming, perfect folding and organizing of the clothing and a proper understanding of what clothes should be hand-washed or machine-washed. Your Prada cashmere sweater should not end up in the washing machine! An executive housekeeper will have enough intelligence, experience and knowledge to carry out these laundry duties.

 

What will an executive housekeeper cost me?

Prices for domestic staff are dictated by the market level for high-end hospitality as well as by supply and demand. In New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut an executive housekeeper will have an annual salary between $68,000–90,000. Many will require partial or full health insurance as well, which can be factored into their salary.

 

In San Francisco and the peninsula, executive housekeeper salaries range from $80,000–120,000 plus health insurance. San Francisco is relatively newer to wealth than New York, Palm Beach, or Greenwich. The area is also more understated, so properties and expectations are high but the need to show off isn't. This requires staff understand how to be invisible while available and how to work to a very high standard. Subsequently, a regular cleaner is not appropriate for these needs. There are less executive housekeeper candidates in the Bay Area than any other area. 

 

Los Angeles varies by area – Santa Barbara is more expensive than the general Los Angeles areas due to supply and demand. An executive housekeeper in Santa Barbara will have a salary between $70,000–90,000, sometimes requiring health insurance whereas in the inner Los Angeles areas salaries range from $60,000–80,000, rarely asking for health insurance.

 

Palm Beach is not that accessible for those whose net worth is under 2 million dollars, so many domestic positions require living accommodations. This means the supply is limited. To find high quality service, our Palm Beach families will often relocate an executive housekeeper from New York or New Jersey and pay New York rates to ensure their residence is in good hands.

 

 

Connect with our office today to discuss your needs and find the right executive housekeeper for your home.


What is the Difference Between a House Manager and a Personal Assistant?

5354168.jpg

By Anita Rogers, BAHS Founder

 

Life is made easier if you don’t have to manage the minutia. How is this done? Depending on the size of your home(s) and scope of your life, we advise hiring a personal assistant, a house manager, or both.

 

Both a house manager and personal assistant manage administration within domestic staffing. The questions we are asked frequently at British American Household Staffing is “do I need to hire both?” and “what is the difference between them?”

 

The answer depends on the size and structure of your residence and domestic staff.

 

What are the duties of a house manager?

Along with managing the daily upkeep, a house manager will oversee the domestic staff in a single home. This involves managing staff schedules, training the housekeeping staff, and keeping the household manual updated. They will make sure the home always has the necessary staffing coverage and will often deal with last minute changes, such as finding coverage or filling in themselves if a staff member is absent.

 

A house manager will deal with any gripes the domestic staff may have and keep a healthy barrier between the staff and the family or principal. They essentially act the same way a manager would in a business. Managing staff is time consuming and the responsibility increases the larger the staff in the home. A house manager will screen, hire and fire domestic staff, and manage the legalities involved. A butler often takes on these duties in a more formal home. 

 

The house manager will be in charge of events, help serve, ensure all dinners and parties are fully serviced, oversee the chef’s menu, manage the housekeeping staff, and oversee the wine management and selection. They will also assist any construction by outside vendors as well as managing interior work by overseeing and working in tandem with vendors such as interior designers.

 

Sometimes a house manager will oversee the care of the principal’s fine wardrobe and couture clothing. They will often leave with the family and staff for a holiday period, such as managing the Hamptons home and staff through the summer.

 

What does a house manager not do?

A house manager will not –

·      organize the wardrobes, draws, cupboards

·      administer payroll

·      book personal appointments such as hair, doctor’s appointments, etc.

·      do any personal shopping

·      oversee HR duties beyond scheduling the domestic staff in the one property

·      help, change, or cancel travel plans for the family

 

What are the duties of a personal assistant?

A personal assistant will sometimes manage the hiring and interviewing of domestic staff. They will advertise and source applicants, check references, and often be the first to interview. Other duties include payroll, budget management, HR duties, ensuring legalities are in place, ensuring payroll is paid according to domestic staffing law for that state (and adhere to federal law as well).

 

Other duties include gatekeeping, answering phone calls, and being available for emergencies for all the family members. A personal assistant will also oversee yacht and jet charter booking and management, managing the yacht crew, organizing vacations, and all personal appointments.

 

What does a personal assistant not do?

A personal assistant will not –

·      serve at dinner parties, oversee or train housekeeping staff, help in the kitchen

·      create schedule for the domestic staff

·      get directly involved in hospitality such as flower arranging or managing the chef or kitchen staff

·      deal directly with the complaints, problems, gripes of a large staff of housekeepers, chefs, laundresses, nannies

·      manage wine collection and make decisions on wine for the family

·      oversee the principal’s wardrobe and fine clothing management

·      travel to a vacation property with the family

·      live on property

 

 

If you own several homes with a structured domestic staffing team, you will most likely need both a personal assistant and a house manager. If your residences are large and used year-round, you will need a house manager for each property who will all be managed by an estate manager.

 

Your personal assistant will most likely work full-time from a home office or your corporate office. The personal assistant and estate and house managers work as a team to ensure the large operation runs as smoothly as possible. 

 

If you are a professional with one residence and one vacation home or similar, we suggest you hire a personal assistant to manage your family’s schedules – for your partner and children, managing your budgets, bills, payroll, travel plans and personal appointments. We suggest you either hire a housekeeper with house management skills or train your current housekeeper to oversee the house manager duties in your home. As you may only have one part time nanny, a chef who stocks your fridge and a personal assistant, the house management duties you would delegate to your housekeeper would be more wardrobe management, overseeing vendors, organizing, serving and managing any dinner parties and events. The housekeeper – house manager would work in tandem with your personal assistant.

 

 

Connect with our office today to discuss what management would be best for your home and lifestyle.


Welcome, Royal Baby!

We are happy to congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the arrival of their first child; born early this morning.

Prince Harry was beaming as he announced the news to cameras Monday, noting that "Mother and baby are doing incredibly well. It's been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined."

Harry continued by sharing that they have not yet decided on a name, but plan to make an appearance in the upcoming days to introduce the newest royal baby.

 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also made the announcement on social media:

"We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019. Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz.

"The Duchess and baby are both healthy and well, and the couple thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives."

 

A notice of birth has been framed and placed in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. The Royal Family also confirmed on social media and shared their well-wishes to the new parents.

The royal baby is seventh in line to the throne. He is the Queen's eighth great-grandchild.

 

 

Want a House Fit for Royalty? Hire Your Nanny Through British American Household Staffing


Hiring an Executive Housekeeper in San Francisco

1-chateau-de-fonscolombe-c2a9-michel-trehet.jpg

If you are thinking of hiring an executive housekeeper, regular housekeeper or laundress, contact us here

Executive housekeepers in San Francisco, especially in the Peninsula, are a hot commodity.  Due to the high cost of living and rent, finding a housekeeper near the Peninsula area is very difficult, especially a skilled executive housekeeper.  We, at British American, are solving this problem, one housekeeper at a time.  We have an in-house housekeeper training program in San Francisco.  Due to our large marketing budget we recruit high quality people with regular housekeeping skills and turn them into executive housekeepers.

What is an executive housekeeper?

An executive housekeeper is a trained, professional housekeeper for a private residence with high standards and usually multiple staff.  They understand how to clean “invisibly”, which means they are never in the same room as any of the family members and are barely seen.  Private families in San Francisco value their privacy, peace and quiet above almost anything. Well-trained staff know how to disappear and how to ensure the residence is quiet and seemingly staff-free. 

Our executive housekeepers are trained how to serve, set a table, how to create flower arrangements for dinner parties, how to stock, grocery shop and manage their time. They understand the complexities of working in a multi-staffed private residence. They usually wear a uniform, one decided upon by the principals and they even bring a change of shoes for the inside of the home.  Some executive housekeepers are laundresses as well, which means they understand how to care for fine clothing inhouse and dry-cleaning services are no longer used.  They iron, press, steam and fold better than any high-end clothing care company.

A question we ask laundress candidates when they meet us at British American is “how long does it take you to iron a man’s shirt?”. If they answer with any less than 15 minutes, we will not work with them as laundresses. Generally, a skilled laundress will take 20-30 minutes to iron a man’s shirt properly.  With extensive practice, ironing a man's shirt in 15 minutes is possible.

The standard set up in a large home in Palo Alto or Atherton, for example is as follows:

Estate Manager

Personal Assistant

3-5 Executive Housekeepers, one laundress

2 Personal Chefs

2-3 Nannies (depending on children, ages etc.)

The personal assistant or house manager will manage the schedules for all the housekeepers to ensure there is 7 day a week coverage from 7am to 8pm.  Two housekeepers will work 7am to 4pm, one or two will work 12noon to 8pm and one works on the weekends. The laundress will usually work the morning shift during the week.

The starting salary for an executive housekeeper in San Francisco is $80,000 per year, going up to $120,000 a year for a head executive housekeeper or laundress.

If you are thinking of hiring an executive housekeeper or laundress in San Francisco, contact us here


Hiring A Personal Assistant

Umbria_Villa_Italy.jpg

Personal Assistant Services

Why hire a personal assistant? Do you feel your days are filled with seemingly unimportant tasks that take time away from your more important goals? Are you booking appointments, running errands, organizing, arranging, cancelling? Is your inbox clogged with emails you never seem to be able to answer properly? A professional personal assistant will solve these problems and help your life run more smoothly.  Most importantly, the right personal assistant will give you peace-of-mind and free you up to enjoy your life and family.

A personal assistant can work out of your home, office or remotely.  They understand how to manage personal duties from organizing your family’s appointments, booking travel, helping with any large projects like moving, renovating, and more. They will manage your inbox and help you feel more in control of your life by understanding your needs and managing them in a professional way.  A quality personal assistant will understand how to communicate properly so you know what is getting done but they manage the details.  A professional personal assistant will also manage your staff and help you hire, train or fire domestic staff in a legal, diplomatic way.

Some personal assistants have a background in accounting and they can manage investments and finances, others are accustomed to managing budgets and invoicing using Excel or QuickBooks.  Other personal assistants are used to managing all aspects of a principal’s personal life, from all errands, personal shopping, gift purchases, organizing parties for friends and family.  Everything runs like clockwork and all events and parties are arranged and organized in advance.  Your house will be organized, your daily duties will minimize, parties and events will be arranged down to the smallest detail and budgets will be managed.

Does this sound impossible? It isn’t if you make the right hire.  British American has a roster of experienced, trained and professional personal assistants in New York, Connecticut, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Palm Beach and London. Contact us today to discuss hiring the best personal assistant for you.  Email here or call 212 966 2248 to speak to learn more 


Hiring An Estate Manager

UK_Mansion.png

By Anita Rogers at British American Household Staffing

Contact us today to discuss an assessment of your homes or to hire an estate manager.

 

What Is an Estate Manager?

“What does an estate manager do? Should I hire an estate manager?”

An estate manager is in charge of managing the organisation and day-to-day upkeep of multiple fine estates. On the rare occasion the estate manager will be working with only one estate, the estate itself is large and already has a house manager, several housekeepers, grounds men and one or two chefs.

Once a family has multiple estates at this level, a director of residences or chief of staff is hired and they oversee the estate managers at each estate. If a chief of staff is not in place, the estate manager is the highest role in the home and responsible for communicating and carrying out the principals’ desires.

The estate manager must have experience in the following for them to be qualified to run a large estate or smaller properties efficiently and properly:

Managing domestic staff
This includes hiring, training, and managing household staff; often housekeepers, chefs, nannies, domestic couples, landscapers, butlers, personal assistants, etc.

Working with the family office or financial team
An estate manager should be able to coordinate and oversee budgets for the properties and all domestic staff under their charge. This extends to working with family lawyers when setting up salaries for exempt and non-exempt employees.

Creating household manuals for each property
A complete household manual will hold updated information on the day-to-day management of the home; including schedules, contacts for vendors and maintenance, operating manuals for appliances, inventory of home items, and any other relevant  information.

Understanding of domestic staffing rules and the governing body
In NY, CT and NJ this is the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Great references from the previous employers and past staff members they managed
Having this information will give insight into their management style and work ethic.

Experience stepping into roles of the domestic staff
This is an indicator the estate manager is a team player and can oversee domestic staff properly as they understand the nuances of the specific job.

 

Working with a Domestic Staffing Agency

If you are a family with an estate or multiple estates and you are looking to hire a director of residences or estate manager, British American Household Staffing will personally help you throughout this process by visiting the properties to evaluate the existing structure and recommend ways to optimize your staff. We work on under-hiring, restructuring if necessary, and budget management.

Some multiple properties or larger estates are overstaffed or badly staffed and incorrectly structured, expenditure is often high, and domestic staff are not being utilized properly or need to be replaced. We have helped replace or reduce the staff in homes while ensuring the estate runs smoothly.

This creates a home environment that is cost efficient, free of stress, and staffed with competent employees that are discreet and committed to long-term positions. We are available to recommend resources for domestic staffing laws in your state and, most importantly, ensure the family is legally protected.

 

Contact our office today to hire domestic staff that perfectly complements your home.


The New Luxury Living: How Household Staff Support Opulent Lifestyles

AdobeStock_72650507.jpeg

The idea of employing “help” is not reserved for the ultra-wealthy or Downton Abby anymore. For many of today’s families, having household staff is essential to their lives; whether its childcare, home management or the supervision of multiple properties.

 

Beyond necessity, families staff their home to support a luxury lifestyle and a 5-star hotel quality atmosphere. The expectation of luxury has changed, and in some ways democratised, with the prevalence of technology and changing employment markets. More and more individuals are reaching ultra-high-net-worth status with the tech boom on the US West Coast. Families with established worth and also modernizing with new tech and younger generations coming of age.

 

For these individuals and families, the quality of their lives depends on the quality of their domestic staff. When the home is in disarray and staff are doing bare minimum work, the quality of life in that home suffers. In these instances, the home is another source of stress and not a safe place to rest and recuperate from busy life. Proper decorum and well-cared for furnishings make for an orderly and happy home.

 

Working with a domestic staffing agency can ensure expert attention is given to the details of hiring the best domestic staff. British American Household Staffing is able to provide high-quality candidates that will support a high-end lifestyle and perform luxury service.

 

How to Have the Right Household Staff for Your Lifestyle

 

The organisation and make-up of your domestic staff is unique to your individual needs and lifestyle. Having the right support in place saves you time and worry, and it ensures the smooth running of your homes to the highest standard.

 

See more on the importance of hiring the right number of staff.

 

The most common first hires after the estate manager are a personal chef and housekeepers.  Depending on the size of an estate, the domestic staff needed are usually hired in the following order:

  1. Estate Manager
  2. House Manager or Butler acting as a House Manager
  3. Personal Chef
  4. Three to six Executive Housekeepers
  5. Laundress
  6. Childcare (if required), Baby Nurse, Nanny, Tutor
  7. Domestic Couple to live on property and maintain the grounds
  8. Personal Assistant
  9. Houseman
  10. Landscapers

 

In England, most estates hire a butler and a lady's maid for the principals, but British domestic staffing is very traditional. Most butlers have studied at a Butler school, hold a degree in hospitality and are often trained chefs and wine sommeliers.  A lady's maid is often a housekeeper and laundress, understands formal service and maintains the lady's fine clothing. Most British nannies in an estate are also governesses, with degrees in teaching, education and finishing school, which teaches speech, manners, posture and formal home etiquette.

 

Contact our office today to hire domestic staff that perfectly complements your home.

 
Commitment to Service: David Salvatore of Red Jacket Residential

 

Even though the face of luxury may be changing, British American Household Staffing and our partner, David Salvatore of Red Jacket Residential, are committed to providing high-quality assistance in finding, designing, and staffing your dream home.

 

David Christopher SalvatoreThe Red Jacket, has a New York heritage reaching back nearly 200 years with the arrival of his maternal ancestors to Manhattan. Whether surveying the land for his real estate clients or doing research for his home staging design business, this heritage based, deep-rooted knowledge of New York City is the power behind The Red Jacket mystique. David’s branding expertise continues to receive acclaim from many of New York’s leading luxury purveyors, collaborating to execute unique opportunities and superb events, including his appointment as Contributing Editor of the luxury heritage magazine, "Magnifissance". Red Jacket Luxury continues as David has partnered with COMPASS - the first modern real estate platform. The Exclusive Red Jacket Collection for COMPASS at The Carlyle includes 179 custom-tailored short or long-term suites – each with their own unique look, layout and lavish design. The Red Jacket represents the finest of what makes New York, New York.


Hiring Multiple Domestic Staff: Why You Don’t Want One “Jack-Of-All-Trades” Employee

1-chateau-de-fonscolombe-c2a9-michel-trehet.jpg

Running a home is like setting up a small business. The same structure, hiring, and operational complexities are involved when it comes to domestic staffing. For many of today’s families, having household staff is not a luxury but an essential part of their lives; whether its childcare, home management, or the supervision of multiple properties.

 

The organisation and make-up of your home staff is unique to your individual needs and lifestyle. Having the right support in place saves you time and worry, and it ensures the smooth running of your homes. However, a common problem families face in staffing their home is not hiring enough domestic employees.

 

What Happens When the Jack-Of-All-Trades Burns Out

 

It’s tempting to want to find that one magical employee that can take care of everything; from kids’ meals to scrubbing floorboards to managing household renovations. The truth is, that magic employee will burn out quickly and leave you with work unfinished or improperly completed. When they do leave, you will be back at the beginning of a hiring search.

 

Much like managing your own busy schedule, when you try to do everything and don’t delegate tasks, the final outcome can be compromised. Above all, you want staff that are focused on their tasks and providing quality service to your life.

 

That is not to say, you should hire staff that aren’t adaptable and flexible to life’s many twists and turns. For example, nannies sometimes take on general house cleaning or errand running while the children are in school. Housekeepers may prepare a small meal or serve guests.

 

These are reasonable responsibilities that a household worker can take on, as long as it is outlined in the initial hiring contract. A housekeeper hired to clean and care for your home and fine furnishings, may not be open to, or skilled in, cooking. Try to think about what your needs are at the outset of your search, so that you will recognize the perfect staff when you meet them and not overwhelm them after they have begun their position.

 

Being respectful of each staff members unique skills and duties will result in happier staff that are more invested in your home and will remain in your employ for years to come. For example, you may be tempted to have your nanny scrub the bathroom while she is “on-the-clock” to maximize her time, but your nanny is hired and compensated for her expertise in childcare and that should be her focus.

 

How to Structure Your Household Staff

 

It can be difficult to fully grasp how much work is involved in household positions. For larger homes, a house manager will be able to assess the home and determine what staff is appropriate, as well as manage the hiring and training process. When working with BAHS, our recruiters will work with you to understand your home and recommend the best solutions for your staffing needs.

 

A good way to begin determining what staff your home needs is to divide tasks into three main categories: childcare, cleaning, and management.

 

Childcare

Childcare encompasses any position dealing primarily with the children. This includes nannies, governesses, tutors, newborn care specialists, and maternity nurses. Again, some general tidying and meal prep as it relates to the children are perfectly reasonable expectations for these roles, but no deep cleaning or home management.

 

A nanny will have a substantial amount of childcare experience and will sometimes hold a degree related to childhood education, such as Early Childhood Development or a Master’s degree in Education. Some specialize in specific age groups such as infant or school age. Those who specialise in school age children are often closer to the governess category and will often be qualified to tutor certain academic subjects.

 

Nannies that specialize in newborn care have extensive training and experience with newborns, infants and toddlers. They will understand the specific needs of each child’s development stage and be able to navigate each stage’s unique challenges. Newborn nannies are often referred to as newborn case specialists, maternity nurses, or baby nurses.

 

Cleaning

Cleaning fine homes is a very specialised skill. Common duties for a housekeeper include: laundry, pressing, ironing, cooking, clothing care, wardrobe care and maintenance, couture clothing care and household organizing. Basic cooking or meal prep responsibilities are sometimes given to a housekeeper as well as general errand running.

 

The difference between a housekeeper and a cleaner is the housekeeper’s ability to organise closets by color and season, organise the home in general, and a deep understanding of clothing care (steam, dry clean and hand wash). They will understand formal service, which includes serving, formal table setting, and flower arranging. An executive housekeeper will have experience working on a team and managing other staff, usually in a formal townhouse or other similar large high level residences.

 

A lady’s maid is a female valet who attends to the needs of the lady of the house. Her duties range from helping with dressing, makeup and hair care to maintaining fine clothing, shoes, while keeping her room and study in perfect order.

 

A houseman’s responsibilities could include maintenance and other general work around the home, cooking and stocking the kitchen, wardrobe maintenance and travel packing and serving guests.

 

Management

Management positions are necessary for larger homes with multiple moving parts and staff members. A house manager will be able to coordinate renovations, plan events, and train other staff.

 

Where there are large, multiple homes, the estate manager is the "Chief of Staff" of the entire household, carrying out the wishes of the principals at each location. Estate managers will have broad policy making authority over all household and estate operations, and manage extensive property and staff issues on a daily basis.

 

A domestic couple is commonly hired to look after a seasonal or secondary property. Their responsibilities include (but may not be limited to): maintenance, cooking, serving and driving. They are either given a separate cottage or provided a separated living area for the full year. Together a domestic couple can run one large home successfully and can often save the employer from needing to hire multiple staff.

 

A house manager is typically responsible for all staff in a single property. Their responsibilities may also overlap with those of a butler, property manager or personal assistant. They deal with vendors, preempt maintenance issues and ensure the smooth running of the household.

 

Professional butler duties often vary and may include, but are not limited to, managerial responsibilities, keeping accounts, marketing, and maintaining the wardrobe for the principals of the residence.

 

A personal assistant role can vary from managing the family calendar, being in charge of personal shopping, planning events, paying bills and arranging travel to handling investments and philanthropic accounts, and even working in the office of the family business.

 

 

The Benefits of Working with a Domestic Staffing Agency

 

Having the right support in place saves you time and worry and ensures the smooth running of your homes. For some homes, especially larger estates or families with multiple members, the best support may be achieved by hiring multiple professionals to work in your home.

 

Because every family’s needs are different, our commitment as your domestic staffing agency is to provide expert service that saves you time, ensures all details are in order and matches household staff that compliments your home and unique needs. We believe that if both sides of the placement - family and staff - are satisfied in their placement, the relationship will be happier, more successful, and longer-lasting.

 

Contact our office at info@bahs.com or begin your hiring process here.


Should I Hire A Night Nurse? Newborn Care Advice From British American Newborn Care

New_Mom.jpeg

Hiring A Night Nurse For Your Newborn 

Anita Rogers, British American Newborn Care

If you are considering hiring a night nurse, contact us here

You have a baby on the way.  You and your family are excited, exhilarated, over-the-moon. Most new mums and dads start organizing everything in preparation for the birth as soon as the pregnancy test is positive.  The questions you ask yourselves are endless: What will the baby be like? Are we ready? Should we move? Should our parents or family come and stay with us for the first few months? Can I handle my family living with us for the first few months? Will I be able to leave the baby and exercise? Should I study more about sleep training? What about breastfeeding? Should I pump? What if I can't? The questions continue. What many parents don't know is how much a night nurse or newborn care specialist (often called a baby nurse) can help your new baby as well as the parent or parents. A good night nurse or baby nurse will make sure you get enough sleep. Even more importantly, the night nurse or baby nurse will ensure the baby is on a schedule, feeds properly, regularly and correctly, helps the baby stay calm, reduces anxiety in the parents, which subsequently reduces anxiety in the newborn.  An excellent baby nurse or newborn care specialist will understand how to make sure the baby rests but feeds enough to put on weight.  They are experts. They teach the parents how to structure their baby's days and nights, resulting in a baby who enjoys the benefits of a sleep routine from very early on, which in return, will help them as a young-adults with sleep, structure and routine, invaluable for school age children, pre-teens, teens and later, adults. The baby nurse or newborn care specialist will keep your baby safe and teach you everything they know, giving you peace-of-mind when caring for your baby.  The cherry on the top is that you, as parents, are able to be well-rested and enjoy the development of your baby without being sleep-deprived, anxious and exhausted.

There are several schedules and categories of newborn care specialists, sometimes referred to as "baby nurses", “night nurses” or "maternity nurses":

Night nurse:  a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works 12-14 hours overnight only

24/5, night and day nurse: a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works throughout the night and day, takes a four hour break each day to rest and two days at home each week.

24/7, night and day nurse: a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works throughout the night and day and takes a four hour break each day to rest.  They usually go home for one day every two weeks to sleep enough to return in good form.

Almost all newborn care specialists or baby nurses are hired for a minimum of three months.  The reason for this is sleep training, which is done using the light, not with feeding schedules, cannot be attempted until the baby is double the birthweight, according to the American School of Pediatrics. A baby is considered a newborn up until the baby is two and a half months old.  Only when the baby reaches their correct weight can a newborn care specialist or baby nurse no longer feed the baby on demand and allow the baby to sleep through the night. The newborn care specialist or baby nurse understands infant whimpers and cries and they know when to allow the infant to self-sooth or when to rub the baby's back or when to actually pick the baby up, which means sleep-interruption. Most clients who work through British American keep their newborn care specialists or baby nurses for six to eight months, sometimes longer. 

British American Newborn Care is known for only representing a select few of the best in the industry.  Some are British but legal to work in the USA, many are educated in the USA and some do not hold degrees but have a resume, experience and references to match the more educated newborn care specialists or baby nurses on British American's roster.  All of our newborn care specialists or baby nurses are the most sought after in the industry and have numerous excellent references from our previous clients. All of our candidates are fully background checked, in all US states and internationally (when they have lived abroad), have had their SSN researched, their driving checked and credit checks are conducted in states we are legally allowed to do so. 

If you are a new parent, expecting parent or parents-to-be again, do not hesitate to reach out to our educated childcare specialists at British American.  We have childcare specialists in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  They all hold degrees in Childhood Eduction, have extensive nanny experience with newborns and understand the intricacies of newborn care development.  We are newborn care and childhood development experts. We understand how to choose the highest quality and how to find the best newborn care specialist for new and expecting parents.

If you would like to speak to one of our in-house childcare specialists, contact us here or call 212 966 2248.  We are happy to speak in person at one of our offices below:

BAHS NY

15 Greene Street, Suite B

New York, NY 10013

BAHS SF

680 Mission Street, A1/A2

San Francisco, CA 94105

BAHS LA

7083 Hollywood Blvd, 512

Los Angeles, CA 90028

Welcome, Royal Baby!

We are happy to congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the arrival of their first child; born early this morning.

Prince Harry was beaming as he announced the news to cameras Monday, noting that "Mother and baby are doing incredibly well. It's been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined."

Harry continued by sharing that they have not yet decided on a name, but plan to make an appearance in the upcoming days to introduce the newest royal baby.

 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also made the announcement on social media:

"We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019. Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz.

"The Duchess and baby are both healthy and well, and the couple thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives."

 

A notice of birth has been framed and placed in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. The Royal Family also confirmed on social media and shared their well-wishes to the new parents.

The royal baby is seventh in line to the throne. He is the Queen's eighth great-grandchild.

 

 

Want a House Fit for Royalty? Hire Your Nanny Through British American Household Staffing


Hiring an Executive Housekeeper in San Francisco

1-chateau-de-fonscolombe-c2a9-michel-trehet.jpg

If you are thinking of hiring an executive housekeeper, regular housekeeper or laundress, contact us here

Executive housekeepers in San Francisco, especially in the Peninsula, are a hot commodity.  Due to the high cost of living and rent, finding a housekeeper near the Peninsula area is very difficult, especially a skilled executive housekeeper.  We, at British American, are solving this problem, one housekeeper at a time.  We have an in-house housekeeper training program in San Francisco.  Due to our large marketing budget we recruit high quality people with regular housekeeping skills and turn them into executive housekeepers.

What is an executive housekeeper?

An executive housekeeper is a trained, professional housekeeper for a private residence with high standards and usually multiple staff.  They understand how to clean “invisibly”, which means they are never in the same room as any of the family members and are barely seen.  Private families in San Francisco value their privacy, peace and quiet above almost anything. Well-trained staff know how to disappear and how to ensure the residence is quiet and seemingly staff-free. 

Our executive housekeepers are trained how to serve, set a table, how to create flower arrangements for dinner parties, how to stock, grocery shop and manage their time. They understand the complexities of working in a multi-staffed private residence. They usually wear a uniform, one decided upon by the principals and they even bring a change of shoes for the inside of the home.  Some executive housekeepers are laundresses as well, which means they understand how to care for fine clothing inhouse and dry-cleaning services are no longer used.  They iron, press, steam and fold better than any high-end clothing care company.

A question we ask laundress candidates when they meet us at British American is “how long does it take you to iron a man’s shirt?”. If they answer with any less than 15 minutes, we will not work with them as laundresses. Generally, a skilled laundress will take 20-30 minutes to iron a man’s shirt properly.  With extensive practice, ironing a man's shirt in 15 minutes is possible.

The standard set up in a large home in Palo Alto or Atherton, for example is as follows:

Estate Manager

Personal Assistant

3-5 Executive Housekeepers, one laundress

2 Personal Chefs

2-3 Nannies (depending on children, ages etc.)

The personal assistant or house manager will manage the schedules for all the housekeepers to ensure there is 7 day a week coverage from 7am to 8pm.  Two housekeepers will work 7am to 4pm, one or two will work 12noon to 8pm and one works on the weekends. The laundress will usually work the morning shift during the week.

The starting salary for an executive housekeeper in San Francisco is $80,000 per year, going up to $120,000 a year for a head executive housekeeper or laundress.

If you are thinking of hiring an executive housekeeper or laundress in San Francisco, contact us here


Hiring A Personal Assistant

Umbria_Villa_Italy.jpg

Personal Assistant Services

Why hire a personal assistant? Do you feel your days are filled with seemingly unimportant tasks that take time away from your more important goals? Are you booking appointments, running errands, organizing, arranging, cancelling? Is your inbox clogged with emails you never seem to be able to answer properly? A professional personal assistant will solve these problems and help your life run more smoothly.  Most importantly, the right personal assistant will give you peace-of-mind and free you up to enjoy your life and family.

A personal assistant can work out of your home, office or remotely.  They understand how to manage personal duties from organizing your family’s appointments, booking travel, helping with any large projects like moving, renovating, and more. They will manage your inbox and help you feel more in control of your life by understanding your needs and managing them in a professional way.  A quality personal assistant will understand how to communicate properly so you know what is getting done but they manage the details.  A professional personal assistant will also manage your staff and help you hire, train or fire domestic staff in a legal, diplomatic way.

Some personal assistants have a background in accounting and they can manage investments and finances, others are accustomed to managing budgets and invoicing using Excel or QuickBooks.  Other personal assistants are used to managing all aspects of a principal’s personal life, from all errands, personal shopping, gift purchases, organizing parties for friends and family.  Everything runs like clockwork and all events and parties are arranged and organized in advance.  Your house will be organized, your daily duties will minimize, parties and events will be arranged down to the smallest detail and budgets will be managed.

Does this sound impossible? It isn’t if you make the right hire.  British American has a roster of experienced, trained and professional personal assistants in New York, Connecticut, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Palm Beach and London. Contact us today to discuss hiring the best personal assistant for you.  Email here or call 212 966 2248 to speak to learn more 


Should I Hire A Night Nurse? Newborn Care Advice From British American Newborn Care

New_Mom.jpeg

Hiring A Night Nurse For Your Newborn 

Anita Rogers, British American Newborn Care

If you are considering hiring a night nurse, contact us here

You have a baby on the way.  You and your family are excited, exhilarated, over-the-moon. Most new mums and dads start organizing everything in preparation for the birth as soon as the pregnancy test is positive.  The questions you ask yourselves are endless: What will the baby be like? Are we ready? Should we move? Should our parents or family come and stay with us for the first few months? Can I handle my family living with us for the first few months? Will I be able to leave the baby and exercise? Should I study more about sleep training? What about breastfeeding? Should I pump? What if I can't? The questions continue. What many parents don't know is how much a night nurse or newborn care specialist (often called a baby nurse) can help your new baby as well as the parent or parents. A good night nurse or baby nurse will make sure you get enough sleep. Even more importantly, the night nurse or baby nurse will ensure the baby is on a schedule, feeds properly, regularly and correctly, helps the baby stay calm, reduces anxiety in the parents, which subsequently reduces anxiety in the newborn.  An excellent baby nurse or newborn care specialist will understand how to make sure the baby rests but feeds enough to put on weight.  They are experts. They teach the parents how to structure their baby's days and nights, resulting in a baby who enjoys the benefits of a sleep routine from very early on, which in return, will help them as a young-adults with sleep, structure and routine, invaluable for school age children, pre-teens, teens and later, adults. The baby nurse or newborn care specialist will keep your baby safe and teach you everything they know, giving you peace-of-mind when caring for your baby.  The cherry on the top is that you, as parents, are able to be well-rested and enjoy the development of your baby without being sleep-deprived, anxious and exhausted.

There are several schedules and categories of newborn care specialists, sometimes referred to as "baby nurses", “night nurses” or "maternity nurses":

Night nurse:  a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works 12-14 hours overnight only

24/5, night and day nurse: a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works throughout the night and day, takes a four hour break each day to rest and two days at home each week.

24/7, night and day nurse: a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works throughout the night and day and takes a four hour break each day to rest.  They usually go home for one day every two weeks to sleep enough to return in good form.

Almost all newborn care specialists or baby nurses are hired for a minimum of three months.  The reason for this is sleep training, which is done using the light, not with feeding schedules, cannot be attempted until the baby is double the birthweight, according to the American School of Pediatrics. A baby is considered a newborn up until the baby is two and a half months old.  Only when the baby reaches their correct weight can a newborn care specialist or baby nurse no longer feed the baby on demand and allow the baby to sleep through the night. The newborn care specialist or baby nurse understands infant whimpers and cries and they know when to allow the infant to self-sooth or when to rub the baby's back or when to actually pick the baby up, which means sleep-interruption. Most clients who work through British American keep their newborn care specialists or baby nurses for six to eight months, sometimes longer. 

British American Newborn Care is known for only representing a select few of the best in the industry.  Some are British but legal to work in the USA, many are educated in the USA and some do not hold degrees but have a resume, experience and references to match the more educated newborn care specialists or baby nurses on British American's roster.  All of our newborn care specialists or baby nurses are the most sought after in the industry and have numerous excellent references from our previous clients. All of our candidates are fully background checked, in all US states and internationally (when they have lived abroad), have had their SSN researched, their driving checked and credit checks are conducted in states we are legally allowed to do so. 

If you are a new parent, expecting parent or parents-to-be again, do not hesitate to reach out to our educated childcare specialists at British American.  We have childcare specialists in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  They all hold degrees in Childhood Eduction, have extensive nanny experience with newborns and understand the intricacies of newborn care development.  We are newborn care and childhood development experts. We understand how to choose the highest quality and how to find the best newborn care specialist for new and expecting parents.

If you would like to speak to one of our in-house childcare specialists, contact us here or call 212 966 2248.  We are happy to speak in person at one of our offices below:

BAHS NY

15 Greene Street, Suite B

New York, NY 10013

BAHS SF

680 Mission Street, A1/A2

San Francisco, CA 94105

BAHS LA

7083 Hollywood Blvd, 512

Los Angeles, CA 90028


An Evening with the Association of Celebrity Assistants, Los Angeles

Find a Celebrity Personal Assistant

British American Household Staffing had the pleasure of hosting the Association of Celebrity Assistants, Los Angeles chapter on March 28th at the Montage hotel in LA. Our California team met with members of the organization for a cocktail hour and presented some expert advice for career advancement in the private industry; including how to work with an agency to hire for one’s employeer and expectations when working in a private home. Early arrivals were able to network and have one-on-one access to our recruiting team before the event began.

 

If you are looking to become a personal assistant or are an experienced PA looking to advance to a higher level position in a private home, see our top tips.

 

 

The Association of Celebrity Personal Assistant’s Mission 

 

To provide important information to our members by showcasing unique and high level service providers and resources. To empower our members through professional development programs, provide networking opportunities and a forum for the exchange of ideas.

 

Visit the ACPA’s website for more information on the organization and to apply to be a member.

 

 

 

Find a Personal Assistant with BAHS

 

When you begin your search for a personal assistant, take a general inventory of your needs. Different personal assistants will be experts in particular industries and tasks. So your search should focus on those that will best meet your particular needs. Do you travel often and need someone who can arrange and troubleshoot travel arrangements remotely? Do you own your own business that could benefit from having hands-on support? Could your family and household staff benefit from having a professional to maintain order? Do you need someone familiar with busy, celebrity lifestyles that can provide seamless, on-the-go support?

 

Whether you are a busy celebrity, need support for your business or family or are organizing your private estate, our recruiters will work to find you a qualified and professional personal assistant to support your life.

 

Our Hollywood office serves all of Los Angeles, including Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Santa Barbara and Montecito. Contact our Los Angeles office to find a LA personal assistant.

 

Our San Francisco office serves the California Bay Area including San Francisco, Presidio Heights, Nob Hill, Noe Valley, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Woodside, Atherton and Mountain View. Contact our San Francisco office to find a Bay Area personal assistant.

 

-----

 

British American Household Staffing services the NY and CT areas, including 10013, 10012, 10003, 10023, 10024, 11211, 10014, 10021, 06807, 06831,  06836, 06870,06878, 06830

As well as the San Francisco Bay Area, including 94027, 94028, 94061, 94062, 94301, 94302, 94020, 94129, 94123, 94115, 94109, 94114, 94131, 94105

As well as the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Malibu areas, including 90210, 90069, 90028, 90263,90264, 93101, 93109, 93121, 90291,90401, 90409, 94513, 90272, 90402

As well as Palm Beach and Miami, including 33480, 33111, 33109, 33139, 33401, 33407, 33402, 33405, 33409

As well as London, England, including SW7 1DG, W1J 8LR, W1J 8 A J, W1J 8NL, W1J 8ET, W1J 8ET,  W84 AP, W84 AS, W8 4AQ, W8 4 AE, W8 4 AA, W8 4BA, NW3 1AA, NW3 1AL NW3 1AW


Hiring A Domestic Couple

00-lede-kate-prince-william.jpg

A Wise Domestic Staffing Hire From British American 

Do you have a second or third home you need maintaining? The question many multiple home owners ask me is "what is the best domestic staffing hire for my vacation home?".  The best choice is to hire a domestic couple.  Why is hiring a domestic couple a better choice than a single housekeeper? A domestic couple is a long-term hire.  They are usually married with grown children and they are seeking a position to take them into retirement.  Once a domestic couple accepts a position, they often live on property or nearby and create a life for themselves in the area and they rarely leave the position for other opportunities.  

 

There are two types of domestic couples, the most common being a housekeeper/cook and a houseman or maintenance man.  Both parties usually drive, and they are able to maintain a large home together.  This kind of domestic couple do all of the housekeeping, laundry, cooking, grounds man duties, they take care of the external and internal work needed in the home. The houseman or maintenance man will take care of the landscaping, any plumbing or HVAC issues, and he will be in charge of the structure of the home and he is able to keep the home maintained and safe, concentrating on the upkeep.  The housekeeper/cook will manage all cleaning and stocking and the housekeeper/cook will cater to parties, help prepare and serve meals in a formal or informal setting.  If there is a large dinner party, the housekeeper/cook will assist the chef for preparation and the housekeeper/cook with usually serve and have a strong background in formal serving.  When the family is in residence the domestic couple of this type will work many hours and keep all aspects of a busy home running.  Laundry, deep cleaning, shopping, stocking, organizing, cooking and serving.  Both parties are able to drive the family and any guests if this is needed.

The other category of domestic couple is an estate couple.  They typically work in larger estates overseeing staff.  They do not deep clean or serve but they will manage the staff in the home, oversee and manage schedules, organize the staff to prepare them for any extra guests and dinner parties, manage the financial aspect if needed.  One member of an estate couple will often be a chef and can prepare specialty meals for guests, family or just the principal.   An estate couple may have worked on a yacht together and they will want to settle down and retire on land.

To summarize, a domestic couple is an excellent hire for any vacation home or large estate. They maintain the property on both a micro and macro level, depending which type of domestic couple is hired.  The likelihood of longevity is high.  They have often relocated to live on property for the job position and as they are usually a married couple, they tend to make the area and job their life. The domestic couple typically aim to retire in a job position where they are able to work together. If you have a home or estate you need managing, we highly recommend hiring a domestic couple for peace of mind. This is the ideal domestic staffing hire for a second or third property or large estate.

More information on hiring a domestic couple here


What Is the Process of Hiring Household Staff?

find-domestic-staff.jpeg

Running a home is like setting up a small business. The same structure, hiring processes, and operational complexities are involved when it comes to employing domestic staffing.

 

Just like a business, legal issues and logistical details are important when bringing on new employees. In the United States, domestic staff are required to pay taxes and report their income. This means complying with federal and state labor laws. These laws can be complex and are often overlooked. Hiring undocumented workers or not paying household staff in a legal and fair way may lower the immediate bottom line, but have serious legal and financial consequences.

 

 

What Constitutes Household Staff?

 

 

Household staff are hired to work in a private home. What differentiates domestic employees from contract workers is how autonomously they work. An independent contractor will work within their own schedule, use their own tools and operate within their own guidelines. For example, a plumber would be an independent contractor. Domestic employees work on a set schedule and process determined by the employer or homeowner. For example, your housekeeper working to your schedule and using the tools provided would be a domestic employee. This distinction applies whether an employee is live-in or live-out, part-time or full-time, hourly or salary.

 

Common staff positions in large and small homes are:

Estate Manager – individual managing multiple large properties and all land, vineyards, private jets and yachts.

House Manager – individual managing a single property and all staff employed there.

Chauffeur – individual hired to drive a principal and family. A chauffeur may also have a background in security.

Lady’s Maid – individual that attends to the lady of the house.

Private Chef – individual that prepares meals on a long term basis for a household. A private chef may also manage other kitchen staff and plan events.

Butler – individual in the home dedicated to service. Duties of a butler may range from household management to wardrobe care.

Houseman – individual provides deep cleaning for the home and serves a single, usually male, principal.

Personal Assistant – individual working to support a single principal or family. A personal assistant will be able to run errands, book appointments and travel and manage accounts.

Executive Housekeeper – individual who manages other house cleaning staff. An executive housekeeper may also coordinate vendors and repairs for the property.

Housekeeper – individual responsible for cleaning the home. A housekeeper will be well-versed in maintaining fine furniture, caring for artwork and antiques and cleaning and ironing fine clothing.

Nanny – individual dedicated to caring for the children of the home.

Governess – individual dedicated to caring and educating the children of the home. A governess will have a background in education and focus on teaching and instruction as a primary responsibility.

Private Jet Staff

Private Yacht Staff

 

See more information on duties and responsibilities for these and other domestic staffing positions.

 

 

What Are the Benefits of Having Household Staff?

 

 

The organization and make-up of your home staff is unique to your individual needs and lifestyle. Having the right support in place saves you time and worry and ensures the smooth running of your homes.

 

The idea of employing “help” is not reserved for the ultra-wealthy or Downton Abby anymore. For many of today’s families, having household staff is essential to their lives; whether its childcare, home management or the supervision of multiple properties.

 

Working with a domestic staffing agency can ensure expert attention is given to the details of hiring. British American Household Staffing is able to provide advisement on salaries, benefits, schedule and any relevant tax information in your state.

 

 

What Are Tax and Labor Laws for Household Staff?

 

 

Your household staff is employed by you. Many families organize payroll and taxes through their business office or a third party service. Whether you operate with a home office, business office or third party, you must have an employer identification number, confirmation that the employee is allowed to work and all relevant tax forms completed for each member of your staff. This includes W4 and I-9 forms.

 

For tax or legal guidance specific to your estate and state’s laws, please consult your financial team. For example, some states require worker’s comp to be provided for all domestic staff. Most states require detailed records of payroll and income to be kept. Setting up your hiring process the correct way will save time and money for all future hires and ensure that you avoid any legal issues in the future.

 

New York labor laws for domestic staff

California labor laws for domestic staff

 

 

How To Set Up Your Household Staff?

 

 

Once your household staff is hired, it is important to begin the relationship in the best way. Using an employee contract that is signed by all parties can eliminate miscommunication and establish clear expectations.

 

The nature and atmosphere of your home or estate is unique to your family and lifestyle. Some homes require formal staff with white glove service, while others operate best with a relaxed and easy-going setting. No matter the level of formality, it’s important for both you and your staff that clear boundaries are in place. Smooth running residences operate with clear and specific expectations for all staff.

 

Delegating staff management to an estate manager or house manager can eliminate difficult situations between employer and employee. A qualified manager will be able to assess your staffing needs and desires, outlining the positions you need filled, and screen and hire the ideal staff for the size of the home. They will be able to address problems as they arise and lead by example. For other staff, a trustworthy manager is a great asset to communicate the wishes of the principal and set clear expectations.

 

*This introduction is presented as a resource for staffing your home. For tax or legal guidance specific to your estate and state’s laws, please consult your financial team.


Setting Up Your Residence With The Right Domestic Staff - Hiring An Estate Manager

Are you upgrading your home? Relocating or just thinking of restructuring? Here is an article to help you make the right choices so your residence runs as smoothly as possible.  Running homes well is like setting up a small but growing business.  The same structure, hiring and operational complexities are involved when it comes to domestic staffing.  Setting up homes isn’t unlike setting up a corporation.

First hire an estate manager, the right one will depend on the size of your home and the numbers of homes you need managed.   This person is the equivalent to a CEO for the residence/s. 

An estate manager will work on setting up a sold structure for your home and understand how to hire correctly and implement processes to ensure the daily structure covers all areas necessary.  The estate manager will assess your needs by discussing your desires and necessities such as nannies, housekeepers, chefs, house managers, personal assistants and more.  The estate manager will know how to screen and hire the ideal staff for the schedules and size of home.  The best executive housekeepers tend to work 8 hour days, 5 days a week and slot in with each other.  To attract the best housekeepers you want to pay market rate or above market rate and ensure you hire housekeepers on a live-out schedule, as those are the best candidates (good candidates have more choice and will choose the job position that appeals to them the most). Market rate for a good executive housekeeper is $35 an hour, for 8 hours a day and health insurance after 3 months of employment.  The estate manager will understand how to structure your home with the ideal schedules and amount of housekeepers so the cleaning is done well, correctly and all shifts are covered.  Examples are two or more housekeepers on Monday to Friday, 7am to 3pm, one housekeeper from 11am to 7pm or Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm to 8pm and a weekend housekeeper to cover the weekends, which are traditionally busy and often involve dinner parties, which call for later shifts on the weekends to cover serving a clean-up.  An estate manager will use a top-tier domestic staffing agency to send them the best candidates.  They will understand how to screen several housekeepers to ensure they work well together, and understand how to manage laundry, organizing, serving, art and antique care and deep cleaning.  Once the housekeepers are set up, the estate managers will work on childcare, if needed.  This is a more complex hire and the parents are usually more heavily involved in this hire.  Career nannies have experience working in larger residences.  They understand childhood development and will ensure the right nannies are hired for the principal’s needs.  These could be specific languages, special needs experience, twin experience, infant experts or school age and tutoring experience.  Nannies are hiring with expertise in the age group of the children in the home. These nannies will often have experience working with families who fly privately and often last minute, so organizing the children and packing correctly is something these nannies do swiftly and well.  Yacht travel experience is also something a career nanny will have experience doing and they will be expert swimmers and understand how to correctly and dress on a yacht, how to manage children safely on a yacht and is able to help the children with sleep schedule issues that usually occur when traveling to a different time zone.  The best nannies are found by appealing to the schedules and salary they are able to get.  Depending on the number of children, the ideal nanny set up is one career nanny, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.  A nanny housekeeper to help the children set up for school form 7am to 3pm.  Another career nanny to work on weekends if that is needed. Live out is ideal and live in for all nannies when traveling.  It is best to pay a weekend nanny very well, as good nannies don’t like giving up their weekends.  Ideally, a live out weekend nanny could be a teacher or completing her PhD or Master’s degree, so the weekend schedule is ideal for them. A full-time career nanny salary ranges from $80,000 a year to $150,000 a year, depending on their experience and skill-set.  A French speaking career nanny is always heavily in demand so offering them a competitive salary and schedule is the wisest approach.  Sometimes and evening back up babysitter is a good option to slot in with the weekday nanny and weekend nanny.   An estate manager will understand how to hire the ideal nannies for the set up necessary and number and ages of children.  Hiring chefs can be challenging and the estate manager will hire a chef or chefs who specialize in the dietary needs of the family.  This could be a chef experienced in Paleo, Vegan, Low calorie, pure foods, French, Italian, Austrian and more. The estate manager will hire the chef once they have done a trial tasting for the family to ensure the food is top-notch.  The estate manager will also hire the chef depending on the personality, to ensure they are flexible and easy to work with.  This goes for all staff types, nannies, housekeepers – a good estate manager will hire on personality, references as well as skill set and experience. Many homes are unhappy homes due to one or two difficult personalities in the home.  The estate manager will ensure this doesn’t happen. Lastly, after setting up the home with the correct staff, the estate manager will do the same for other residences you may home.  The estate manager will manage current staff, deal with any gripes and fire and rehire if necessary.  It is important you listen to the estate manager and they will see a difficult or ineffective staff member who may be close to one of you/the principals and not show you their real self.  The estate manager will have an open dialogue with all the domestic staff and know where the issues lie.  Lastly, the estate manager will hire a housemanager for the larger residence/s to oversee schedules and daily issues like vendors, parties, overseeing the daily details of the staff, report problems back to the estate manager and manage all the detail overseeing of housekeepers and nannies.  The housemanager’s job is to report back to the estate mangers, who will ensure the problems are solved.  A butler is often a housemanager while he also looks after service, serving, the principal’s wardrobe needs and more.   The estate manager then oversees all homes, the payroll, legal issues and financial concerns outside of the family office and accountants.  They will create, implement and continuously update processes and operations.  The household manuals for each home will be in place and updated according to the growth and needs. The estate manager also managers private planes, yachts and car collections to ensure all these are up to date, safe and well maintained. If you want a smooth-running home, start by hiring a top-quality estate manager and this set up will ensure you don’t feel or hear of any problems and the home runs like a 7 star resort.  The secret to a happy home is having the right person in the estate manager seat to oversee hiring, training, implementation of processes and constantly overseeing legal compliance.  Estate Manager salaries range form $150,000 to 400,000 a year.  If you want to hire the best domestic staff, contact British American Household Staffing and we can start fixing any issues to ensure your home is perfectly optimized. www.bahs.com


This mom creates amazing and educational DIY activities for her kids

By Chelsea Frisbie for WYFF4.

Andrea Yi studied engineering in college, then spent a decade working with fashion designer Donna Karan. After having her fourth son, she realized there was a gap in the marketplace for fun, educational activities that incorporated both the left and right brain.

About a year ago, she was having so much fun creating activities involving both sides of the brain with her boys Nate, Dylan, Oliver and Alexander that she decided to share them online. She created “Raising Dragons,” a website dedicated to helping other parents and educators come up with fun science, technology, engineering, art and math activities.

Most of her science experiments are modern updates on the classics, like the baking soda volcano. The materials she uses are usually items she finds around the house.

Her kids still use technology, like tablets and other gaming devices, but she says they’re only allowed a little bit of screen time each day. “Yet another reason why I like doing these STEAM activities — to give them other options than screen time.”

Out of all of the projects, Andrea’s kids like the science experiments the most. “One of my sons asks me to make potions every day. He loves to mix different liquids and powders and see what happens,” she said. 

Andrea enjoys sharing her family’s ideas with others, but they’re not all winners. 

“I try to feature simple activities I think most people would be able to pull together in a few minutes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a cool craft or activity, and by the second step, I’m like, ‘Nope, too difficult.’ I try to keep mine super simple so busy parents will say, ‘I can do this,’” she said.

Doing these homemade STEAM activities has even helped kids in the classroom. “It’s gotten them much more interested in science, and for my five-year-old, it has definitely helped him learn his letters and numbers,” Andrea said.

Since the creation of the blog, Raising Dragons has amassed nearly 500,000 followers. Their videos have been viewed more than 50 million times by over 100 million people. Andrea recently published a book called “STEAM for Babies,” which became the No. 1 new release in the STEM category in its first week on Amazon. 

We can’t wait to see what Andrea and the kids come up with next!


10 Must-Watch Documentaries That Will Inspire Your Kids to Change the World

Best-Documentaries-Kids.jpg

By Sara Ahmed

If your kids have any kind of device — phones, gaming systems, tablets, what have you — it can feel like you're constantly fighting for their attention. It becomes harder and harder to share experiences with them, but one thing they usually can't deny? Movies. Sure, watching a big blockbuster is always fun, but documentaries can be an incredible way for a family to connect.

Watching these films with your children is a compelling way to help nurture their sense of curiosity and compassion without feeling tedious (or, God forbid, educational). From inspiring stories of Muslim high school football players in Michigan to the haunting tale of Tilikum, the killer whale in captivity, a good documentary can alter your child's perception through the power of empathy. Keep reading for a list of the most powerful documentaries to watch with your kiddos during your next movie night.

  1. He Named Me Malala: 

    He Named Me Malala tells the poignant story of a young Pakistani girl and her fight for education. Your kids won't fuss about going to school after watching this documentary.

    Appropriate For Ages: 12+

  2. March of the Penguins: 

    This harrowing and stunning documentary shows penguins during their annual march from Antarctica. The beautiful narration from Morgan Freeman just adds to the majestic quality of the film. 

    Appropriate For Ages: 6+

  3. Fed Up: 

    This is a must-watch for all parents struggling with their children's sugar habits (so, pretty much everyone)! Your kiddos won't beg for any dessert after watching the perils of what sugar does to our bodies.

    Appropriate For Ages: 10+

  4. Wings of Life: 

    Disney's documentary about pollinators such as bees, bats, butterflies, and birds is a riveting surprise.

    Appropriate For Ages: 6+

  5. Bully: 

    An intense but important documentary for teens to watch about the effects of bullying.

    Appropriate For Ages: 12+

  6. Planet Earth II: 

    This sequel to BBC's incredible series about our planet continues to show breathtaking wonders from around our world.

    Appropriate For Ages: All ages

  7. Blackfish: 

    This heartbreaking tale of a killer whale is not an easy watch but is definitely life-altering.

    Appropriate For Ages: 13+

  8. I Am Eleven: 

    A lovely documentary that offers incredible insight through the eyes of 11-year-olds from around the world.

    Appropriate For Ages: 10+

  9. Dancing in Jaffa: 

    This tells a beautiful story of interfaith compassion when Palestinian and Israeli children come together for a dance in the world's most religiously torn city: Jerusalem.

    Appropriate For Ages: 12+

  10. Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football: 

    Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football is a captivating documentary that shows the love a Muslim-American community has toward football, country, and God.

    Appropriate For Ages: 12+

     

     

Hiring an Executive Housekeeper in San Francisco

1-chateau-de-fonscolombe-c2a9-michel-trehet.jpg

If you are thinking of hiring an executive housekeeper, regular housekeeper or laundress, contact us here

Executive housekeepers in San Francisco, especially in the Peninsula, are a hot commodity.  Due to the high cost of living and rent, finding a housekeeper near the Peninsula area is very difficult, especially a skilled executive housekeeper.  We, at British American, are solving this problem, one housekeeper at a time.  We have an in-house housekeeper training program in San Francisco.  Due to our large marketing budget we recruit high quality people with regular housekeeping skills and turn them into executive housekeepers.

What is an executive housekeeper?

An executive housekeeper is a trained, professional housekeeper for a private residence with high standards and usually multiple staff.  They understand how to clean “invisibly”, which means they are never in the same room as any of the family members and are barely seen.  Private families in San Francisco value their privacy, peace and quiet above almost anything. Well-trained staff know how to disappear and how to ensure the residence is quiet and seemingly staff-free. 

Our executive housekeepers are trained how to serve, set a table, how to create flower arrangements for dinner parties, how to stock, grocery shop and manage their time. They understand the complexities of working in a multi-staffed private residence. They usually wear a uniform, one decided upon by the principals and they even bring a change of shoes for the inside of the home.  Some executive housekeepers are laundresses as well, which means they understand how to care for fine clothing inhouse and dry-cleaning services are no longer used.  They iron, press, steam and fold better than any high-end clothing care company.

A question we ask laundress candidates when they meet us at British American is “how long does it take you to iron a man’s shirt?”. If they answer with any less than 15 minutes, we will not work with them as laundresses. Generally, a skilled laundress will take 20-30 minutes to iron a man’s shirt properly.  With extensive practice, ironing a man's shirt in 15 minutes is possible.

The standard set up in a large home in Palo Alto or Atherton, for example is as follows:

Estate Manager

Personal Assistant

3-5 Executive Housekeepers, one laundress

2 Personal Chefs

2-3 Nannies (depending on children, ages etc.)

The personal assistant or house manager will manage the schedules for all the housekeepers to ensure there is 7 day a week coverage from 7am to 8pm.  Two housekeepers will work 7am to 4pm, one or two will work 12noon to 8pm and one works on the weekends. The laundress will usually work the morning shift during the week.

The starting salary for an executive housekeeper in San Francisco is $80,000 per year, going up to $120,000 a year for a head executive housekeeper or laundress.

If you are thinking of hiring an executive housekeeper or laundress in San Francisco, contact us here


Hiring A Personal Assistant

Umbria_Villa_Italy.jpg

Personal Assistant Services

Why hire a personal assistant? Do you feel your days are filled with seemingly unimportant tasks that take time away from your more important goals? Are you booking appointments, running errands, organizing, arranging, cancelling? Is your inbox clogged with emails you never seem to be able to answer properly? A professional personal assistant will solve these problems and help your life run more smoothly.  Most importantly, the right personal assistant will give you peace-of-mind and free you up to enjoy your life and family.

A personal assistant can work out of your home, office or remotely.  They understand how to manage personal duties from organizing your family’s appointments, booking travel, helping with any large projects like moving, renovating, and more. They will manage your inbox and help you feel more in control of your life by understanding your needs and managing them in a professional way.  A quality personal assistant will understand how to communicate properly so you know what is getting done but they manage the details.  A professional personal assistant will also manage your staff and help you hire, train or fire domestic staff in a legal, diplomatic way.

Some personal assistants have a background in accounting and they can manage investments and finances, others are accustomed to managing budgets and invoicing using Excel or QuickBooks.  Other personal assistants are used to managing all aspects of a principal’s personal life, from all errands, personal shopping, gift purchases, organizing parties for friends and family.  Everything runs like clockwork and all events and parties are arranged and organized in advance.  Your house will be organized, your daily duties will minimize, parties and events will be arranged down to the smallest detail and budgets will be managed.

Does this sound impossible? It isn’t if you make the right hire.  British American has a roster of experienced, trained and professional personal assistants in New York, Connecticut, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Palm Beach and London. Contact us today to discuss hiring the best personal assistant for you.  Email here or call 212 966 2248 to speak to learn more 


Should I Hire A Night Nurse? Newborn Care Advice From British American Newborn Care

New_Mom.jpeg

Hiring A Night Nurse For Your Newborn 

Anita Rogers, British American Newborn Care

If you are considering hiring a night nurse, contact us here

You have a baby on the way.  You and your family are excited, exhilarated, over-the-moon. Most new mums and dads start organizing everything in preparation for the birth as soon as the pregnancy test is positive.  The questions you ask yourselves are endless: What will the baby be like? Are we ready? Should we move? Should our parents or family come and stay with us for the first few months? Can I handle my family living with us for the first few months? Will I be able to leave the baby and exercise? Should I study more about sleep training? What about breastfeeding? Should I pump? What if I can't? The questions continue. What many parents don't know is how much a night nurse or newborn care specialist (often called a baby nurse) can help your new baby as well as the parent or parents. A good night nurse or baby nurse will make sure you get enough sleep. Even more importantly, the night nurse or baby nurse will ensure the baby is on a schedule, feeds properly, regularly and correctly, helps the baby stay calm, reduces anxiety in the parents, which subsequently reduces anxiety in the newborn.  An excellent baby nurse or newborn care specialist will understand how to make sure the baby rests but feeds enough to put on weight.  They are experts. They teach the parents how to structure their baby's days and nights, resulting in a baby who enjoys the benefits of a sleep routine from very early on, which in return, will help them as a young-adults with sleep, structure and routine, invaluable for school age children, pre-teens, teens and later, adults. The baby nurse or newborn care specialist will keep your baby safe and teach you everything they know, giving you peace-of-mind when caring for your baby.  The cherry on the top is that you, as parents, are able to be well-rested and enjoy the development of your baby without being sleep-deprived, anxious and exhausted.

There are several schedules and categories of newborn care specialists, sometimes referred to as "baby nurses", “night nurses” or "maternity nurses":

Night nurse:  a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works 12-14 hours overnight only

24/5, night and day nurse: a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works throughout the night and day, takes a four hour break each day to rest and two days at home each week.

24/7, night and day nurse: a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works throughout the night and day and takes a four hour break each day to rest.  They usually go home for one day every two weeks to sleep enough to return in good form.

Almost all newborn care specialists or baby nurses are hired for a minimum of three months.  The reason for this is sleep training, which is done using the light, not with feeding schedules, cannot be attempted until the baby is double the birthweight, according to the American School of Pediatrics. A baby is considered a newborn up until the baby is two and a half months old.  Only when the baby reaches their correct weight can a newborn care specialist or baby nurse no longer feed the baby on demand and allow the baby to sleep through the night. The newborn care specialist or baby nurse understands infant whimpers and cries and they know when to allow the infant to self-sooth or when to rub the baby's back or when to actually pick the baby up, which means sleep-interruption. Most clients who work through British American keep their newborn care specialists or baby nurses for six to eight months, sometimes longer. 

British American Newborn Care is known for only representing a select few of the best in the industry.  Some are British but legal to work in the USA, many are educated in the USA and some do not hold degrees but have a resume, experience and references to match the more educated newborn care specialists or baby nurses on British American's roster.  All of our newborn care specialists or baby nurses are the most sought after in the industry and have numerous excellent references from our previous clients. All of our candidates are fully background checked, in all US states and internationally (when they have lived abroad), have had their SSN researched, their driving checked and credit checks are conducted in states we are legally allowed to do so. 

If you are a new parent, expecting parent or parents-to-be again, do not hesitate to reach out to our educated childcare specialists at British American.  We have childcare specialists in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  They all hold degrees in Childhood Eduction, have extensive nanny experience with newborns and understand the intricacies of newborn care development.  We are newborn care and childhood development experts. We understand how to choose the highest quality and how to find the best newborn care specialist for new and expecting parents.

If you would like to speak to one of our in-house childcare specialists, contact us here or call 212 966 2248.  We are happy to speak in person at one of our offices below:

BAHS NY

15 Greene Street, Suite B

New York, NY 10013

BAHS SF

680 Mission Street, A1/A2

San Francisco, CA 94105

BAHS LA

7083 Hollywood Blvd, 512

Los Angeles, CA 90028


Hiring A Domestic Couple

00-lede-kate-prince-william.jpg

A Wise Domestic Staffing Hire From British American 

Do you have a second or third home you need maintaining? The question many multiple home owners ask me is "what is the best domestic staffing hire for my vacation home?".  The best choice is to hire a domestic couple.  Why is hiring a domestic couple a better choice than a single housekeeper? A domestic couple is a long-term hire.  They are usually married with grown children and they are seeking a position to take them into retirement.  Once a domestic couple accepts a position, they often live on property or nearby and create a life for themselves in the area and they rarely leave the position for other opportunities.  

 

There are two types of domestic couples, the most common being a housekeeper/cook and a houseman or maintenance man.  Both parties usually drive, and they are able to maintain a large home together.  This kind of domestic couple do all of the housekeeping, laundry, cooking, grounds man duties, they take care of the external and internal work needed in the home. The houseman or maintenance man will take care of the landscaping, any plumbing or HVAC issues, and he will be in charge of the structure of the home and he is able to keep the home maintained and safe, concentrating on the upkeep.  The housekeeper/cook will manage all cleaning and stocking and the housekeeper/cook will cater to parties, help prepare and serve meals in a formal or informal setting.  If there is a large dinner party, the housekeeper/cook will assist the chef for preparation and the housekeeper/cook with usually serve and have a strong background in formal serving.  When the family is in residence the domestic couple of this type will work many hours and keep all aspects of a busy home running.  Laundry, deep cleaning, shopping, stocking, organizing, cooking and serving.  Both parties are able to drive the family and any guests if this is needed.

The other category of domestic couple is an estate couple.  They typically work in larger estates overseeing staff.  They do not deep clean or serve but they will manage the staff in the home, oversee and manage schedules, organize the staff to prepare them for any extra guests and dinner parties, manage the financial aspect if needed.  One member of an estate couple will often be a chef and can prepare specialty meals for guests, family or just the principal.   An estate couple may have worked on a yacht together and they will want to settle down and retire on land.

To summarize, a domestic couple is an excellent hire for any vacation home or large estate. They maintain the property on both a micro and macro level, depending which type of domestic couple is hired.  The likelihood of longevity is high.  They have often relocated to live on property for the job position and as they are usually a married couple, they tend to make the area and job their life. The domestic couple typically aim to retire in a job position where they are able to work together. If you have a home or estate you need managing, we highly recommend hiring a domestic couple for peace of mind. This is the ideal domestic staffing hire for a second or third property or large estate.

More information on hiring a domestic couple here


Setting Up Your Residence With The Right Domestic Staff - Hiring An Estate Manager

Are you upgrading your home? Relocating or just thinking of restructuring? Here is an article to help you make the right choices so your residence runs as smoothly as possible.  Running homes well is like setting up a small but growing business.  The same structure, hiring and operational complexities are involved when it comes to domestic staffing.  Setting up homes isn’t unlike setting up a corporation.

First hire an estate manager, the right one will depend on the size of your home and the numbers of homes you need managed.   This person is the equivalent to a CEO for the residence/s. 

An estate manager will work on setting up a sold structure for your home and understand how to hire correctly and implement processes to ensure the daily structure covers all areas necessary.  The estate manager will assess your needs by discussing your desires and necessities such as nannies, housekeepers, chefs, house managers, personal assistants and more.  The estate manager will know how to screen and hire the ideal staff for the schedules and size of home.  The best executive housekeepers tend to work 8 hour days, 5 days a week and slot in with each other.  To attract the best housekeepers you want to pay market rate or above market rate and ensure you hire housekeepers on a live-out schedule, as those are the best candidates (good candidates have more choice and will choose the job position that appeals to them the most). Market rate for a good executive housekeeper is $35 an hour, for 8 hours a day and health insurance after 3 months of employment.  The estate manager will understand how to structure your home with the ideal schedules and amount of housekeepers so the cleaning is done well, correctly and all shifts are covered.  Examples are two or more housekeepers on Monday to Friday, 7am to 3pm, one housekeeper from 11am to 7pm or Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm to 8pm and a weekend housekeeper to cover the weekends, which are traditionally busy and often involve dinner parties, which call for later shifts on the weekends to cover serving a clean-up.  An estate manager will use a top-tier domestic staffing agency to send them the best candidates.  They will understand how to screen several housekeepers to ensure they work well together, and understand how to manage laundry, organizing, serving, art and antique care and deep cleaning.  Once the housekeepers are set up, the estate managers will work on childcare, if needed.  This is a more complex hire and the parents are usually more heavily involved in this hire.  Career nannies have experience working in larger residences.  They understand childhood development and will ensure the right nannies are hired for the principal’s needs.  These could be specific languages, special needs experience, twin experience, infant experts or school age and tutoring experience.  Nannies are hiring with expertise in the age group of the children in the home. These nannies will often have experience working with families who fly privately and often last minute, so organizing the children and packing correctly is something these nannies do swiftly and well.  Yacht travel experience is also something a career nanny will have experience doing and they will be expert swimmers and understand how to correctly and dress on a yacht, how to manage children safely on a yacht and is able to help the children with sleep schedule issues that usually occur when traveling to a different time zone.  The best nannies are found by appealing to the schedules and salary they are able to get.  Depending on the number of children, the ideal nanny set up is one career nanny, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.  A nanny housekeeper to help the children set up for school form 7am to 3pm.  Another career nanny to work on weekends if that is needed. Live out is ideal and live in for all nannies when traveling.  It is best to pay a weekend nanny very well, as good nannies don’t like giving up their weekends.  Ideally, a live out weekend nanny could be a teacher or completing her PhD or Master’s degree, so the weekend schedule is ideal for them. A full-time career nanny salary ranges from $80,000 a year to $150,000 a year, depending on their experience and skill-set.  A French speaking career nanny is always heavily in demand so offering them a competitive salary and schedule is the wisest approach.  Sometimes and evening back up babysitter is a good option to slot in with the weekday nanny and weekend nanny.   An estate manager will understand how to hire the ideal nannies for the set up necessary and number and ages of children.  Hiring chefs can be challenging and the estate manager will hire a chef or chefs who specialize in the dietary needs of the family.  This could be a chef experienced in Paleo, Vegan, Low calorie, pure foods, French, Italian, Austrian and more. The estate manager will hire the chef once they have done a trial tasting for the family to ensure the food is top-notch.  The estate manager will also hire the chef depending on the personality, to ensure they are flexible and easy to work with.  This goes for all staff types, nannies, housekeepers – a good estate manager will hire on personality, references as well as skill set and experience. Many homes are unhappy homes due to one or two difficult personalities in the home.  The estate manager will ensure this doesn’t happen. Lastly, after setting up the home with the correct staff, the estate manager will do the same for other residences you may home.  The estate manager will manage current staff, deal with any gripes and fire and rehire if necessary.  It is important you listen to the estate manager and they will see a difficult or ineffective staff member who may be close to one of you/the principals and not show you their real self.  The estate manager will have an open dialogue with all the domestic staff and know where the issues lie.  Lastly, the estate manager will hire a housemanager for the larger residence/s to oversee schedules and daily issues like vendors, parties, overseeing the daily details of the staff, report problems back to the estate manager and manage all the detail overseeing of housekeepers and nannies.  The housemanager’s job is to report back to the estate mangers, who will ensure the problems are solved.  A butler is often a housemanager while he also looks after service, serving, the principal’s wardrobe needs and more.   The estate manager then oversees all homes, the payroll, legal issues and financial concerns outside of the family office and accountants.  They will create, implement and continuously update processes and operations.  The household manuals for each home will be in place and updated according to the growth and needs. The estate manager also managers private planes, yachts and car collections to ensure all these are up to date, safe and well maintained. If you want a smooth-running home, start by hiring a top-quality estate manager and this set up will ensure you don’t feel or hear of any problems and the home runs like a 7 star resort.  The secret to a happy home is having the right person in the estate manager seat to oversee hiring, training, implementation of processes and constantly overseeing legal compliance.  Estate Manager salaries range form $150,000 to 400,000 a year.  If you want to hire the best domestic staff, contact British American Household Staffing and we can start fixing any issues to ensure your home is perfectly optimized. www.bahs.com


The Phenomenon Of Baby Nurses

sleeping_newborn.jpg

By SARA BERMAN | March 11, 2008
5816

Tomorrow will be my baby nurse's last day with my family. I'm not sure whom I feel worse for: myself or the baby. Six weeks into this gig, I hope the baby hasn't become completely accustomed to twice-daily baths, around-the-clock attention, careful burping, and long massages. But Nate, like his brothers and sisters before him, will survive on fewer baths, fewer massages, and — there's no delicate way to say this — far, far less attention.

According to an agency that places baby nurses in the tristate area (British American Newborn Care) a baby nurse is a non-medical newborn specialist who is highly experienced in infant care. Baby nurses work in private homes and care for newborns typically from the day the baby arrives home through a period of several weeks or months. Normally, they provide 24-hour care and "assist new and experienced parents in every aspect of newborn care and may also help establish eating and sleeping patterns."

In other words, they're glorified, uniform-clad nannies who diaper, burp, bathe, swaddle, rock, and if you want, feed the baby 24 hours a day. They are not — in case you were confused — nurses.

If there is one peculiar element to having a baby in a certain slice of New York, it is the assumption that you will have a baby nurse. If you type the words "baby nurse" into any search engine, you will see that the majority of the links are in the tristate area. They may have baby nurses in California and Georgia, but those baby nurses are, in fact, likely to be registered nurses — and their employers are more likely to be having triplets than single births.

At roughly $200 a day, though, having a baby nurse can really add up.

"Worth every penny," an acquaintance told me about her baby nurse. "We could barely afford our rent when we had our first child. But neither of us had any family in New York. And neither of us had ever changed a diaper. The grandparents pooled together and gave the baby nurse as a gift. It was the best gift ever."

Cramped city living, not exactly conducive to having the in-laws move in for a week or two, is compatible with a baby nurse, who shares the room with the newborn. Giving the gift of a baby nurse is one way to make nice with your daughter-in-law.

One couple with far greater means never let the baby nurse go. "The baby was going to be a year old," the father of three said about his first child, "and we still had the nurse. The nurse would go on and on about what a hard night she had had with the baby, and I'm thinking, suuure you did. Finally, I convinced my wife that enough was enough. But sure enough, when we had our second child, the same baby nurse just moved back in. This time, she stayed for eight or nine months. I'm pretty embarrassed to admit that," he said, while calculating how much he paid the baby nurse over the course of his three children: at least $200,000.

My question is this: Who assists new and experienced parents in every aspect of newborn care across the rest of the country?

"When I was pregnant with my first, I had heard of people using baby nurses," a friend who had her first two children in Chicago said. "But I didn't really know any myself. My mom came and stayed with us for the first week or two. She showed me how to diaper and bathe the baby. And then my mother-in-law came for a few days. I've never been so sad to see my mother-in-law leave. All of a sudden, I was on my own, and it was pretty brutal."

A mother of three who lived in different parts of the South when she had her children said that no one she knew used a baby nurse. "Having a lot of help is normal in New York, but it isn't in most parts of the country," she said. "That's partially economic and partially cultural. I had help when I had my third baby, but that meant I had someone come to clean my house, or baby-sit my other children."

There are plenty of New Yorkers who'd rather spend the money on anything but a baby nurse. "I don't really understand why people have baby nurses," an Upper West Side mother of three said. "The baby and baby nurse sleep all day, while you cook and clean and look after the other kids. For a lot less, you could find someone who does a lot more."

I happen to think that if you can afford it, a good baby nurse does wonders to smooth the transition for the first few weeks of a baby's life — for the baby and for the entire family.

A few weeks ago, my 5-year-old daughter, Kira, heard the baby nurse coo to Nate, "You are so cute, I could eat you up."

"Go ahead," Kira said, deadpan. When the baby nurse later teased that she was going to take Nate home, you can imagine Kira's response.

"Good," she snarled.

Perhaps it is Kira's mental state that I should be worried about on Thursday — not the baby's.

bababynurses.com 


Your Newborn: 30 Tips for the First 30 Days

From parents magazine

Breastfeeding

It's been six weeks since our daughter, Clementine, was born. She's finally sleeping better and going longer between feedings. She's also becoming more alert when she's awake. My husband and I, on the other hand, feel like we've been hit by a truck. I'm amazed that we've muddled through. Here are tips from seasoned parents and baby experts to make your first month easier.

Hints for Nursing

Babies eat and eat and eat. Although nature has done a pretty good job of providing you and your baby with the right equipment, in the beginning it's almost guaranteed to be harder than you expected. From sore nipples to tough latch-ons, nursing can seem overwhelming.

1. Women who seek help have a higher success rate. "Think of ways to ensure success before you even give birth," suggests Stacey Brosnan, a lactation consultant in New York City. Talk with friends who had a good nursing experience, ask baby's pediatrician for a lactation consultant's number, or attend a La Leche League (nursing support group) meeting (see laleche.org to find one).

2. Use hospital resources. Kira Sexton, a Brooklyn, New York, mom, says, "I learned everything I could about breastfeeding before I left the hospital." Ask if there's a nursing class or a lactation consultant on staff. Push the nurse-call button each time you're ready to feed the baby, and ask a nurse to spot you and offer advice.

3. Prepare. At home, you'll want to drop everything to feed the baby the moment she cries for you. But Heather O'Donnell, a mom in New York City, suggests taking care of yourself first. "Get a glass of water and a book or magazine to read." And, because breastfeeding can take a while, she says, "pee first!"

4. Try a warm compress if your breasts are engorged or you have blocked ducts. A heating pad or a warm, wet washcloth works, but a flax pillow (often sold with natural beauty products) is even better. "Heat it in the microwave, and conform it to your breast," says Laura Kriska, a mom in Brooklyn, New York.

5. Heat helps the milk flow, but if your breasts are sore after nursing, try a cold pack. Amy Hooker, a San Diego mom, says, "A bag of frozen peas worked really well for me."

6. If you want baby to eventually take a bottle, introduce it after breastfeeding is established but before the 3-month mark. Many experts say 6 to 8 weeks is good, but "we started each of our kids on one bottle a day at 3 weeks," says Jill Sizemore, a mom in Pendleton, Indiana.

Sleeping

If your infant isn't eating, he's probably sleeping. Newborns log as many as 16 hours of sleep a day but only in short bursts. The result: You'll feel on constant alert and more exhausted than you ever thought possible. Even the best of us can come to resent the severe sleep deprivation.

7. Stop obsessing about being tired. There's only one goal right now: Care for your baby. "You're not going to get a full night's sleep, so you can either be tired and angry or just tired," says Vicki Lansky, author of Getting Your Child to Sleep...and Back to Sleep (Book Peddlers). "Just tired is easier."

8. Take shifts. One night it's Mom's turn to rock the cranky baby, the next it's Dad's turn. Amy Reichardt and her husband, Richard, parents in Denver, worked out a system for the weekends, when Richard was off from work. "I'd be up with the baby at night but got to sleep in. Richard did all the morning care, then got to nap later."

9. The old adage "Sleep when your baby sleeps" really is the best advice. "Take naps together and go to bed early," says Sarah Clark, a mom in Washington, D.C.

10. What if your infant has trouble sleeping? Do whatever it takes: Nurse or rock baby to sleep; let your newborn fall asleep on your chest or in the car seat. "Don't worry about bad habits yet. It's about survival -- yours!" says Jean Farnham, a Los Angeles mom.

Soothing

It's often hard to decipher exactly what baby wants in the first murky weeks. You'll learn, of course, by trial and error.

11. "The key to soothing fussy infants is to mimic the womb. Swaddling, shushing, and swinging, as well as allowing babies to suck and holding them on their sides, may trigger a calming reflex," says Harvey Karp, MD, creator of The Happiest Baby on the Block books, videos, and DVDs.

12. Play tunes. Forget the dubious theory that music makes a baby smarter, and concentrate on the fact that it's likely to calm him. "The Baby Einstein tapes saved us," says Kim Rich, a mom in Anchorage, Alaska.

13. Warm things up. Alexandra Komisaruk, a mom in Los Angeles, found that diaper changes triggered a meltdown. "I made warm wipes using paper towels and a pumpable thermos of warm water," she says. You can also buy an electric wipe warmer for a sensitive baby.

14. You'll need other tricks, too. "Doing deep knee bends and lunges while holding my daughter calmed her down," says Emily Earle, a mom in Brooklyn, New York. "And the upside was, I got my legs back in shape!"

15. Soak to soothe. If all else fails -- and baby's umbilical cord stub has fallen off -- try a warm bath together. "You'll relax, too, and a relaxed mommy can calm a baby," says Emily Franklin, a Boston mom.

Getting Dad Involved

Your husband, who helped you through your pregnancy, may seem at a loss now that baby's here. It's up to you, Mom, to hand the baby over and let Dad figure things out, just like you're doing.

16. Let him be. Many first-time dads hesitate to get involved for fear of doing something wrong and incurring the wrath of Mom. "Moms need to allow their husbands to make mistakes without criticizing them," says Armin Brott, author of The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First Year (Abbeville Press).

17. Ask Dad to take time off from work -- after all the relatives leave. That's what Thad Calabrese, of Brooklyn, New York, did. "There was more for me to do, and I got some alone time with my son."

18. Divvy up duties. Mark DiStefano, a dad in Los Angeles, took over the cleaning and grocery shopping. "I also took Ben for a bit each afternoon so my wife could have a little time to herself."

19. Remember that Dad wants to do some fun stuff, too. "I used to take my shirt off and put the baby on my chest while we napped," say Bob Vonnegut, a dad in Islamorada, Florida. "I loved the rhythm of our hearts beating together."

Staying Sane

No matter how excited you are to be a mommy, the constant care an infant demands can drain you. Find ways to take care of yourself by lowering your expectations and stealing short breaks.

20. First, ignore unwanted or confusing advice. "In the end, you're the parents, so you decide what's best," says Julie Balis, a mom in Frankfort, Illinois.

21. "Forget about housework for the first couple of months," says Alison Mackonochie, author of 100 Tips for a Happy Baby (Barron's). "Concentrate on getting to know your baby. If anyone has anything to say about the dust piling up or the unwashed dishes, smile and hand them a duster or the dish detergent!"

22. Accept help from anyone who is nice -- or naive -- enough to offer. "If a neighbor wants to hold the baby while you shower, say yes!" says Jeanne Anzalone, a mom in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

23. Got lots of people who want to help but don't know how? "Don't be afraid to tell people exactly what you need," says Abby Moskowitz, a Brooklyn mom. It's one of the few times in your life when you'll be able to order everyone around!

24. But don't give other people the small jobs. "Changing a diaper takes two minutes. You'll need others to do time-consuming work like cooking, sweeping floors, and buying diapers," says Catherine Park, a Cleveland mom.

25. Reconnect. To keep yourself from feeling detached from the world, Jacqueline Kelly, a mom in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, suggests: "Get outside on your own, even for five minutes."

Out and About with Baby

26. Enlist backup. Make your first journey to a big, public place with a veteran mom. "Having my sister with me for support kept me from becoming flustered the first time I went shopping with my newborn," says Suzanne Zook, a mom in Denver.

27. If you're on your own, "stick to places likely to welcome a baby, such as story hour at a library or bookstore," suggests Christin Gauss, a mom in Fishers, Indiana.

28. "Keep your diaper bag packed," says Fran Bowen, a mom in Brooklyn. There's nothing worse than finally getting the baby ready, only to find that you're not.

29. Stash a spare. Holland Brown, a mom in Long Beach, California, always keeps a change of adult clothes in her diaper bag. "You don't want to get stuck walkingaround with an adorable baby but mustard-colored poop all over you."

30. Finally, embrace the chaos. "Keep your plans simple and be prepared to abandon them at any time," says Margi Weeks, a mom in Tarrytown, New York.

If nothing else, remember that everyone makes it through, and so will you. Soon enough you'll be rewarded with your baby's first smile, and that will help make up for all the initial craziness.

Heather Swain is a mother and writer in Brooklyn, New York. Her novel is Luscious Lemon (Downtown Press).

more in baby care basics


Interview with Anita Rogers on Goop.com

staffing.jpg

article from Goop 

photo from Goop

Anita Rogers, founder of household staffing agency British American, has more than a decade’s experience in pairing families with household staff, from nannies and butlers to personal assistants and estate managers. She’s earned a reputation for finding successful matches–and also for helping to handle any situation that may arise in the working household. Here, she shares her insights on why hiring for your childcare or home needs is profoundly personal, and how a staffing agency can help with the process.

A Q&A with Anita Rogers

Q: What are the upsides to using an agency?

A: An agency helps you determine what kind of help you really need, and devises the way in which you want your staff to fit your lifestyle. It also saves you time and keeps you safe during the interview process. Some families have limited experience interviewing and hiring childcare and household staff, which makes it easy to miss signs of danger, red flags, or dishonesty. We enforce strict standards as we interview thousands of candidates each year. This has allowed us—and other reputable agencies—to become experts at spotting dishonest references and to be able single out specific personality traits and potential challenges. A staffing agency has seen how similar traits have played out with other candidates, which lends to its ability to find the best fit for you, your family, and your household.

Q: What are the biggest misconceptions about household staffing?

A: Both parties must be willing to give and take in order to find the best match. Often people think they can hire a candidate if they offer a competitive or high salary. Or if a nanny or butler has excellent experience, they might assume they can get a higher salary and an ideal schedule. But staffing is a matchmaking process, and both parties must be satisfied with the relationship and the circumstances in order for it to work.

Q: How do you recognize good talent?

A: It’s a long process—and it’s so much more than just a great résumé and reference letters. We look for candidates that have a balance of experience, training, and education in their field and glowing references from past employers. Other indicators we look for include personality, attitude, flexibility, grammar, responsiveness, and confidence.

The résumé is always the first indicator of talent, where we look at formal level of experience, age appropriate childcare experience, the types of homes an individual has worked in, longevity in previous jobs, and demonstrated professionalism and willingness. We screen all résumés and references and do extensive state, federal, and international background checks, as well as a thorough screening of their social media.

Q: What’s the secret to finding a good match between a family and nanny?

A: Everyone must be on the same page from the very beginning of the process. One family’s dream nanny could be another’s nightmare. It’s imperative that the candidate and the family have a similar approach to raising children, as well as complementary personalities. Someone who is really laid back isn’t going to work well in a formal home that thrives on structure. (The reverse is true as well.) The perfect nanny and family pairing has similar philosophies about discipline, education, and responsibilities. There has to be a mutual respect between the parents and the nanny regarding the decisions made concerning the child. As a parent, if you feel like you have to micromanage and instruct your nanny on how you’d like every situation handled, you will become frustrated and resentful of the situation.

One of the most important factors to consider during the process of finding a good match is assessing the needs and expectations of the family. There’s a huge difference between a parent looking for an extra set of hands to help with driving, activities, and meals and a working parent who needs someone to be the child’s primary caregiver. A take-charge, independent, problem-solving nanny with sole-charge experience isn’t going to thrive as a helper. In the same way, a nanny without the confidence to make decisions on his or her own and proactively foresee situations isn’t the best choice for a family where the parents are gone most of the day. 

Q: Once the hiring process is done, what other support do clients typically need?

A: It depends upon the family. Clients will often come to us for help with communicating with their new employee, especially during the transition process while the employee settles in. We always encourage regular, open and honest communication between both parties. On occasion, we will go into the home as a “manager” and help iron out any small issues that may exist. A relationship between a family and their household employees needs to be nurtured and carefully built, as this is a private home, where discretion is of utmost importance. We encourage clear communication and a weekly sit-down between a family and staff.

Q: If a match doesn’t work out, what is your advice for handling a potential change (or parting ways)?

A: We suggest that each party be gentle but honest about their feelings. The parting should be done with kindness and care so that everyone involved understands that it isn’t a personal attack, just a relationship that has outlived its potential. When hiring staff, you are creating a business in your home. I have seen people distraught if something isn’t working out because they don’t want to offend someone, they don’t want to hurt their feelings.

In certain situations, we’ll go into the residence and let the candidate go so that we can assure it’s done with delicacy. Every situation is very different. We’ve learned it’s best to never point fingers and to make everyone feel good. We directly address and try to resolve any problems, serious or minor, that are brought to our attention, and to support the client or candidate. The ending of a professional relationship can be emotional, particularly if it involves an intimate household setting, so we work to minimize any potential animosity a much as possible.

Q: Is there a difference between a nanny and a career nanny?

A: Most definitely. A typical nanny is different from a career nanny in that they often have a lot of experience with families, but no background or education in child development. Other nanny candidates are great with children and may have teaching degrees or other formal education, but limited in-home experience (typically part-time babysitting work).

A career nanny is someone who has chosen childcare as his or her profession. Most often, these candidates have formal education in child development and/or psychology. This can include a college degree in education or or training from previous jobs. Career nannies also have an employment history of long-term placements in private homes, understand the dynmics of working in a home environment and are great with children. A career nanny knows how to anticipate needs, respect a family’s privacy and space, and handle the logistics of high-end homes. Being in a home is very different than working in a school or daycare; there is no way to prepare or train someone for it, it’s something you learn and understand only after having experienced it.

Q: How have staffing agencies changed over the years?

A: Historically, many agencies have been run by only one or two people. Today, the amount of work it takes to verify backgrounds, interview candidates, and create and nurture relationships is impossible with such a small team. This is a time-intensive business, which is why a larger team with modernized and strict processes is essential.

 

http://goop.com/work/parenthood/how-a-staffing-agency-can-help/


Buy Time Not Stuff!

Kristen_Solecki_for_NPR.jpeg

image by Kristen Solecki for NPR

article by Allison Aubrey for NPR

Money can't buy happiness, right? Well, some researchers beg to differ. They say it depends on how you spend it.

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencessuggests that when people spend money on time-saving services such as a house cleaner, lawn care or grocery delivery, it can make them feel a little happier. By comparison, money spent on material purchases — aka things — does not boost positive emotions the way we might expect.

Think of it as a way to buy back what has become for many Americans a scarce resource: free time.

Yet, in a culture where many people are quick to buy the latest model phone, a big-screen TV or a fancy pair of shoes, those same people are often resistant to spending money on time-saving services.

"Contemplating paying somebody else to do something you're perfectly capable of doing yourself may provoke feelings of guilt," says Elizabeth Dunn, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia and an author of the study.

Dunn and her colleagues had a hunch that if people spent money to hire out some of the unwanted tasks on their to-do list, they might feel more satisfied with their quality of life.

"We hypothesized that people would be happier if they spent money to buy themselves out of the things they don't like doing," she says.

As a test, she and her colleagues designed an experiment: First, they recruited 60 adults under the age of 70 from Vancouver, British Columbia. The researchers gave the volunteers a little cash and asked them to spend it in two different ways, on two consecutive weekends. 

"On one weekend we gave them $40 and asked them to spend it in any way that would give them more free time," Dunn explains. Participants in the study chose a variety of services — everything from meal delivery to a cleaning service to help with errands.

Then, on the other weekend, the participants got another $40 to spend on a material purchase. They could choose anything they wanted within that budget. "One person bought polo shirts," Dunn says. "Another participant bought wine that she described as fancy." 

After each weekend purchase, the researchers called the participants and asked how they were feeling. The participants reported how much "positive emotion" they'd been experiencing and how much "negative emotion," Dunn explains. 

When the study participants spent money on time-saving services, they reported more positive emotion.

"Buying yourself out of [tasks] like mowing the lawn or cleaning the bathroom — these were pretty small, mundane expenditures, and yet we see them making a difference in people's happiness," Dunn says.

But how much happier? A separate part of the study helped to answer this question.

The same researchers surveyed a group of 6,000 people across a wide range of incomebrackets in the U.S., Canada and Europe. (The median household income for U.S. residents in the survey was $75,000, but the study also included working adults who made about $30,000 per year and some European millionaires.)

Respondents completed survey questions about whether they spent money each month to increase their free time by paying someone else to complete unenjoyable tasks, and if so, how much they spent.

In addition, the respondents were asked to rank their own level of happiness on a 10-point scale of life satisfaction. Think of the scale as a happiness ladder with 10 rungs.

"What we found is that people who spent money to buy time reported being almost one full point higher on our 10-point ladder, compared to people who did not use money to buy time," Dunn explains. People from across the income spectrum benefited from "buying time," she adds.

Moving up one rung on the happiness ladder may not sound like much, but the researchers say they're very excited by their results.

"Moving people up on the ladder of life satisfaction is not an easy thing to do," Dunn says. "So, if altering slightly how people are spending their money could move them up a full rung, it's something we really want to understand and perhaps encourage people to do."

Emanuel Maidenberg, a clinical professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA who was not involved in the study, tells NPR he was a little surprised by the results.

He says it's an intriguing possibility to think about time-saving services as a "stress-management tool." But there are still some unanswered questions, he says. For instance, is the boost in positive emotions sustainable, "or is it just an immediate response?" Maidenberg wonders.

The authors are "presenting enough data to justify a more careful look into this," Maidenberg says. "It's exciting."


Hiring Seasonal Domestic Staff

Hiring the right temporary domestic staff for your summer home is a large project for any principle or family. This article discusses why this can be so challenging and offers potential solutions to common problems I have seen every season. I am someone with extensive experience in the luxury hospitality and staffing industry and I have run British American Household Staffing and British American Yachts, the leading domestic staffing and yacht crew agency in the USA and UK as well as British American Newborn Care, which works with the best childcare professionals in the USA and UK. Most agencies have a roster of recurring staff in all the domestic staff categories. The earlier you start the hiring process the more likely you will secure the most qualified candidates. If you have very specific requirements and early start will help you find the ideal person for a potentially harder match to find.

A family looking for a live-in housekeeper-cook for their Hamptons home should look at contacting agencies in New York as well as the Hamptons, but nowhere too far for the housekeeper-cook to travel back and forth to on their days off (for instance New Jersey is too far from Easthampton, one full day off will be used for traveling). A live-in housekeeper-cook for the Hamptons will have to drive so this is a challenging order as many domestic candidates don’t want to live in and many housekeepers do not like to cook, especially cook the volume needed for the summer season, which is typically filled with parties and extra guests.

The best solution is to do the following: - Start the hiring process early - Contact high end agencies only, both local and non-local (as it is live in) - Set a salary range that is generous to allow you to find the best fit more easily - Make sure you have set an appealing schedule so you open-up the pool of qualified candidates. The schedule should always have 2 consecutive days off and usually a Sunday is given as a day off, in conjunction with Monday or Saturday - Phone screen the candidates first - Check their level of experience - Check they have been a flexible worker in the past.

One of the most common recurring issues for larger estates lies in the team of domestic staff. Staffing a larger home or estates is like running a small business in your home. The pyramid model works well for estate staffing. Start by hiring a house manager or a butler house manager. This person can then help you screen the rest of the staff, which helps them establish their authority with the staff you decide to hire for the summer that this house manager will be overseeing. This is the most important hire you will make over the summer, so screen this person for the following qualities:

- Ask their management style and ask for two or more references from staff they managed previously - Find out why they are looking for the summer only - Hire someone who has experience in the area they will be working - Ensure they have estate staff management experience - Once you hire them, hire the domestic staff with them and keep an open line of communication with the staff in case there are revolving door problems and it is the fault of the house manager - Make sure they have relationships with the top agencies in the area and ask who they liaise with at those agencies - Ensure they understand scheduling for staff - Pay them very well with the promise of a bonus at the end of the season In case you are doing the hiring alone or with a remote house manager, you will need to know how to attract the best staff (housekeepers, chefs and nannies) for your summer home Housekeepers: - Other than nannies, most high quality domestic are looking for a secure full-time job position, preferably with benefits. This is something every principle hiring only for the summer with deal with and lose staff too.

The best solution for this is to hire the best local candidates on a lower full time salary, offer benefits and give them a bonus at the end of the summer. This is the best solution for retaining top talent in a seasonal area such as the Hamptons - Housekeepers, more than any other domestic staff category, like a regular schedule with overtime, which is the law. A constant live in or Wednesday to Sunday schedule is always unpopular, but more-often-than-not needed for summer hires, especially in the Hamptons. Hire one more extra housekeeper than you need so each housekeeper gets one weekend of a month. This will attract the best talent - A standard and suggested formal housekeeper salary is $70,000 plus benefits and overtime.  A seasonal housekeeper is $35 to $40 an hour.

 

Chefs: -

Chefs often like a temporary position that helps them earn a solid income and allows them more freedom to freelance during the year, or travel etc. - Yacht chefs are some of the best chefs you can find and they are accustomed to short-term gigs, long schedules, catering to large formal parties in a small space and working 7 day or more stretches. I would recommend this direction if you can accommodate a live- in chef. - Use an agency that works with both yacht and domestic staff - Top chefs are often happy to do the Hamptons in between jobs. Again, starting this search early and constantly checking in is an excellent way of increasing your chances of securing the best private chef for the summer - Suggested salary for a summer chef is $8-12,000 a month.

Nannies: -

Nannies fall into many different categories: 1. Career nannies 2. Mother’s helpers 3. Nanny/housekeepers 4. Second language nannies 5. Newborn Care Specialist nannies 6. Travel nannies Childcare is the most delicate of all domestic hires to make, as they need to be fully-qualified for your particular childcare situation. I recommend using an agency with a specialized childcare department. Screen the head of the department and make sure they are qualified in childhood education and development and hold the appropriate degrees (and newborn care specialist should be an expert in their field and should have experience training, screening and offering certificates to newborn care specialists). If your children are older (3 and up) a travel nanny or student nanny could be a great option. These nannies are often students, actresses, singers, writers or have another unrelated career during the year. They must be experienced nannies with your children’s age group and this should be screened by the agency childcare branch. This can be a good option if they are able to tutor and educate your children over the summer, or teach them a musical instrument etc. This is the more economical option, with a salary usually starting at $25 an hour plus overtime. Travel pay is not a legal prerequisite but overtime pay is. If you have an infant, or infant twins, a certified and educated newborn care specialist or baby nurse is the best option. A regular nanny (career nanny, nanny/housekeepers, second language nanny, mother’s helper or suchlike) will be looking for a permanent position, so they are harder to pin down for the summer. If you do, the career nannies will likely be expensive at $35-45 an hour. Some will accept a summer position in between jobs but this is rare. For all childcare positions we highly recommend going through the childcare division at a reputed agency. Again, screen the person who heads this branch.

 

Examples are British American Household Staffing (bahs.com) and British American Newborn Care (bababynurses.com). Ashley Mundt and Katie Morin are both childhood and infant development specialists and highly certified, their bios below. For more information on domestic staffing, temporary or permanent, feel free to reach out to me at: info@bahs.com

By Anita Rogers www.bahs.com www.babynurses.com

 

Childhood development specialist and nanny hiring specialist for British American Household Staffing

Ashley Mundt, M.Ed., CCLS Nanny Consultant Ashley is our child development expert and nanny specialist. She has a strong academic background and years of hands on experience working with children and families in private and group settings. She received both a B.A. in Sociology and Youth and Human Services from Pepperdine University and an M.Ed. in Applied Child Studies from Vanderbilt. Her training as a Certified Child Life Specialist enables her to support and guide children and families during medical interventions, chronic illness, and family/home crisis situations. Although she has worked in many different settings throughout her career (including homes, schools, camps, and hospitals), her passion, and bulk of experience, is working directly with families in private homes. Over the past 15 years, she has worked as a highly sought after nanny, childcare consultant, parent educator, and caregiver trainer. Ashley's background of extensive developmental education and hands on experience in luxury homes puts her in a unique position to understand the needs of families, caregivers, and (most importantly) children.

 

Infant development specialist and baby nurse and newborn care specialist hiring specialist for British American Household Staffing and Newborn Care Katie Morin, ACNCS, NCSE Newborn Care Consultant and Placement 

Katie began her career in childcare over 20 years ago. She has been extremely fortunate to have worked with some amazing families along the way. One of her first and most memorable experiences with multiples (a set of newborn triplets) was 28 years ago. It was then that she realized her passion for working with children. It was then that she also realized her passion for caring for multiples. Katie has a degree in Child Development and Psychology and has countless certificates including being Advance Certified through the Newborn Care Specialist Association. Through the years, Katie has been a career nanny, a daycare owner, a preschool teacher and a Certified Newborn Care Specialist. She also has had great success in matching NCS candidates with amazing families worldwide. She does not consider these positions just a job, they are a passion and what she loves to do. It allows her to meet incredible people, all with different personalities and aspects of life. This experience gives her the ability to educate and assist new parents during the most amazing part of their life. To date she has worked with over 40 sets of twins, 9 sets of triplets and quadruplets. She has also worked with dozens of preemies (some born as early as 26 weeks) as well as newborns with special needs.   

 

www.bahs.com

www.bababynurses.com

www.bahsyachts.com

Should I Hire A Night Nurse? Newborn Care Advice From British American Newborn Care

New_Mom.jpeg

Hiring A Night Nurse For Your Newborn 

Anita Rogers, British American Newborn Care

If you are considering hiring a night nurse, contact us here

You have a baby on the way.  You and your family are excited, exhilarated, over-the-moon. Most new mums and dads start organizing everything in preparation for the birth as soon as the pregnancy test is positive.  The questions you ask yourselves are endless: What will the baby be like? Are we ready? Should we move? Should our parents or family come and stay with us for the first few months? Can I handle my family living with us for the first few months? Will I be able to leave the baby and exercise? Should I study more about sleep training? What about breastfeeding? Should I pump? What if I can't? The questions continue. What many parents don't know is how much a night nurse or newborn care specialist (often called a baby nurse) can help your new baby as well as the parent or parents. A good night nurse or baby nurse will make sure you get enough sleep. Even more importantly, the night nurse or baby nurse will ensure the baby is on a schedule, feeds properly, regularly and correctly, helps the baby stay calm, reduces anxiety in the parents, which subsequently reduces anxiety in the newborn.  An excellent baby nurse or newborn care specialist will understand how to make sure the baby rests but feeds enough to put on weight.  They are experts. They teach the parents how to structure their baby's days and nights, resulting in a baby who enjoys the benefits of a sleep routine from very early on, which in return, will help them as a young-adults with sleep, structure and routine, invaluable for school age children, pre-teens, teens and later, adults. The baby nurse or newborn care specialist will keep your baby safe and teach you everything they know, giving you peace-of-mind when caring for your baby.  The cherry on the top is that you, as parents, are able to be well-rested and enjoy the development of your baby without being sleep-deprived, anxious and exhausted.

There are several schedules and categories of newborn care specialists, sometimes referred to as "baby nurses", “night nurses” or "maternity nurses":

Night nurse:  a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works 12-14 hours overnight only

24/5, night and day nurse: a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works throughout the night and day, takes a four hour break each day to rest and two days at home each week.

24/7, night and day nurse: a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works throughout the night and day and takes a four hour break each day to rest.  They usually go home for one day every two weeks to sleep enough to return in good form.

Almost all newborn care specialists or baby nurses are hired for a minimum of three months.  The reason for this is sleep training, which is done using the light, not with feeding schedules, cannot be attempted until the baby is double the birthweight, according to the American School of Pediatrics. A baby is considered a newborn up until the baby is two and a half months old.  Only when the baby reaches their correct weight can a newborn care specialist or baby nurse no longer feed the baby on demand and allow the baby to sleep through the night. The newborn care specialist or baby nurse understands infant whimpers and cries and they know when to allow the infant to self-sooth or when to rub the baby's back or when to actually pick the baby up, which means sleep-interruption. Most clients who work through British American keep their newborn care specialists or baby nurses for six to eight months, sometimes longer. 

British American Newborn Care is known for only representing a select few of the best in the industry.  Some are British but legal to work in the USA, many are educated in the USA and some do not hold degrees but have a resume, experience and references to match the more educated newborn care specialists or baby nurses on British American's roster.  All of our newborn care specialists or baby nurses are the most sought after in the industry and have numerous excellent references from our previous clients. All of our candidates are fully background checked, in all US states and internationally (when they have lived abroad), have had their SSN researched, their driving checked and credit checks are conducted in states we are legally allowed to do so. 

If you are a new parent, expecting parent or parents-to-be again, do not hesitate to reach out to our educated childcare specialists at British American.  We have childcare specialists in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  They all hold degrees in Childhood Eduction, have extensive nanny experience with newborns and understand the intricacies of newborn care development.  We are newborn care and childhood development experts. We understand how to choose the highest quality and how to find the best newborn care specialist for new and expecting parents.

If you would like to speak to one of our in-house childcare specialists, contact us here or call 212 966 2248.  We are happy to speak in person at one of our offices below:

BAHS NY

15 Greene Street, Suite B

New York, NY 10013

BAHS SF

680 Mission Street, A1/A2

San Francisco, CA 94105

BAHS LA

7083 Hollywood Blvd, 512

Los Angeles, CA 90028


Hiring A Domestic Couple

00-lede-kate-prince-william.jpg

A Wise Domestic Staffing Hire From British American 

Do you have a second or third home you need maintaining? The question many multiple home owners ask me is "what is the best domestic staffing hire for my vacation home?".  The best choice is to hire a domestic couple.  Why is hiring a domestic couple a better choice than a single housekeeper? A domestic couple is a long-term hire.  They are usually married with grown children and they are seeking a position to take them into retirement.  Once a domestic couple accepts a position, they often live on property or nearby and create a life for themselves in the area and they rarely leave the position for other opportunities.  

 

There are two types of domestic couples, the most common being a housekeeper/cook and a houseman or maintenance man.  Both parties usually drive, and they are able to maintain a large home together.  This kind of domestic couple do all of the housekeeping, laundry, cooking, grounds man duties, they take care of the external and internal work needed in the home. The houseman or maintenance man will take care of the landscaping, any plumbing or HVAC issues, and he will be in charge of the structure of the home and he is able to keep the home maintained and safe, concentrating on the upkeep.  The housekeeper/cook will manage all cleaning and stocking and the housekeeper/cook will cater to parties, help prepare and serve meals in a formal or informal setting.  If there is a large dinner party, the housekeeper/cook will assist the chef for preparation and the housekeeper/cook with usually serve and have a strong background in formal serving.  When the family is in residence the domestic couple of this type will work many hours and keep all aspects of a busy home running.  Laundry, deep cleaning, shopping, stocking, organizing, cooking and serving.  Both parties are able to drive the family and any guests if this is needed.

The other category of domestic couple is an estate couple.  They typically work in larger estates overseeing staff.  They do not deep clean or serve but they will manage the staff in the home, oversee and manage schedules, organize the staff to prepare them for any extra guests and dinner parties, manage the financial aspect if needed.  One member of an estate couple will often be a chef and can prepare specialty meals for guests, family or just the principal.   An estate couple may have worked on a yacht together and they will want to settle down and retire on land.

To summarize, a domestic couple is an excellent hire for any vacation home or large estate. They maintain the property on both a micro and macro level, depending which type of domestic couple is hired.  The likelihood of longevity is high.  They have often relocated to live on property for the job position and as they are usually a married couple, they tend to make the area and job their life. The domestic couple typically aim to retire in a job position where they are able to work together. If you have a home or estate you need managing, we highly recommend hiring a domestic couple for peace of mind. This is the ideal domestic staffing hire for a second or third property or large estate.

More information on hiring a domestic couple here


Setting Up Your Residence With The Right Domestic Staff - Hiring An Estate Manager

Are you upgrading your home? Relocating or just thinking of restructuring? Here is an article to help you make the right choices so your residence runs as smoothly as possible.  Running homes well is like setting up a small but growing business.  The same structure, hiring and operational complexities are involved when it comes to domestic staffing.  Setting up homes isn’t unlike setting up a corporation.

First hire an estate manager, the right one will depend on the size of your home and the numbers of homes you need managed.   This person is the equivalent to a CEO for the residence/s. 

An estate manager will work on setting up a sold structure for your home and understand how to hire correctly and implement processes to ensure the daily structure covers all areas necessary.  The estate manager will assess your needs by discussing your desires and necessities such as nannies, housekeepers, chefs, house managers, personal assistants and more.  The estate manager will know how to screen and hire the ideal staff for the schedules and size of home.  The best executive housekeepers tend to work 8 hour days, 5 days a week and slot in with each other.  To attract the best housekeepers you want to pay market rate or above market rate and ensure you hire housekeepers on a live-out schedule, as those are the best candidates (good candidates have more choice and will choose the job position that appeals to them the most). Market rate for a good executive housekeeper is $35 an hour, for 8 hours a day and health insurance after 3 months of employment.  The estate manager will understand how to structure your home with the ideal schedules and amount of housekeepers so the cleaning is done well, correctly and all shifts are covered.  Examples are two or more housekeepers on Monday to Friday, 7am to 3pm, one housekeeper from 11am to 7pm or Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm to 8pm and a weekend housekeeper to cover the weekends, which are traditionally busy and often involve dinner parties, which call for later shifts on the weekends to cover serving a clean-up.  An estate manager will use a top-tier domestic staffing agency to send them the best candidates.  They will understand how to screen several housekeepers to ensure they work well together, and understand how to manage laundry, organizing, serving, art and antique care and deep cleaning.  Once the housekeepers are set up, the estate managers will work on childcare, if needed.  This is a more complex hire and the parents are usually more heavily involved in this hire.  Career nannies have experience working in larger residences.  They understand childhood development and will ensure the right nannies are hired for the principal’s needs.  These could be specific languages, special needs experience, twin experience, infant experts or school age and tutoring experience.  Nannies are hiring with expertise in the age group of the children in the home. These nannies will often have experience working with families who fly privately and often last minute, so organizing the children and packing correctly is something these nannies do swiftly and well.  Yacht travel experience is also something a career nanny will have experience doing and they will be expert swimmers and understand how to correctly and dress on a yacht, how to manage children safely on a yacht and is able to help the children with sleep schedule issues that usually occur when traveling to a different time zone.  The best nannies are found by appealing to the schedules and salary they are able to get.  Depending on the number of children, the ideal nanny set up is one career nanny, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.  A nanny housekeeper to help the children set up for school form 7am to 3pm.  Another career nanny to work on weekends if that is needed. Live out is ideal and live in for all nannies when traveling.  It is best to pay a weekend nanny very well, as good nannies don’t like giving up their weekends.  Ideally, a live out weekend nanny could be a teacher or completing her PhD or Master’s degree, so the weekend schedule is ideal for them. A full-time career nanny salary ranges from $80,000 a year to $150,000 a year, depending on their experience and skill-set.  A French speaking career nanny is always heavily in demand so offering them a competitive salary and schedule is the wisest approach.  Sometimes and evening back up babysitter is a good option to slot in with the weekday nanny and weekend nanny.   An estate manager will understand how to hire the ideal nannies for the set up necessary and number and ages of children.  Hiring chefs can be challenging and the estate manager will hire a chef or chefs who specialize in the dietary needs of the family.  This could be a chef experienced in Paleo, Vegan, Low calorie, pure foods, French, Italian, Austrian and more. The estate manager will hire the chef once they have done a trial tasting for the family to ensure the food is top-notch.  The estate manager will also hire the chef depending on the personality, to ensure they are flexible and easy to work with.  This goes for all staff types, nannies, housekeepers – a good estate manager will hire on personality, references as well as skill set and experience. Many homes are unhappy homes due to one or two difficult personalities in the home.  The estate manager will ensure this doesn’t happen. Lastly, after setting up the home with the correct staff, the estate manager will do the same for other residences you may home.  The estate manager will manage current staff, deal with any gripes and fire and rehire if necessary.  It is important you listen to the estate manager and they will see a difficult or ineffective staff member who may be close to one of you/the principals and not show you their real self.  The estate manager will have an open dialogue with all the domestic staff and know where the issues lie.  Lastly, the estate manager will hire a housemanager for the larger residence/s to oversee schedules and daily issues like vendors, parties, overseeing the daily details of the staff, report problems back to the estate manager and manage all the detail overseeing of housekeepers and nannies.  The housemanager’s job is to report back to the estate mangers, who will ensure the problems are solved.  A butler is often a housemanager while he also looks after service, serving, the principal’s wardrobe needs and more.   The estate manager then oversees all homes, the payroll, legal issues and financial concerns outside of the family office and accountants.  They will create, implement and continuously update processes and operations.  The household manuals for each home will be in place and updated according to the growth and needs. The estate manager also managers private planes, yachts and car collections to ensure all these are up to date, safe and well maintained. If you want a smooth-running home, start by hiring a top-quality estate manager and this set up will ensure you don’t feel or hear of any problems and the home runs like a 7 star resort.  The secret to a happy home is having the right person in the estate manager seat to oversee hiring, training, implementation of processes and constantly overseeing legal compliance.  Estate Manager salaries range form $150,000 to 400,000 a year.  If you want to hire the best domestic staff, contact British American Household Staffing and we can start fixing any issues to ensure your home is perfectly optimized. www.bahs.com


Which 30 Retailers Are Protecting Your Family From Toxic Chemicals?

Courtesy of Mamavation

The Top Grades For Safer Chemicals Go To…

 

This time, some retailers were rushing to make sure that safer chemicals were used in both products and packaging. Winners with a grade of B+ or better included:

  • Apple–A
  • Wal-Mart Stores/Sam’s Club–A- (up from a B+ last year and is in position #2. Way to go, Wal-Mart!)
  • CVS Health–B+
  • IKEA–B+
  • Whole Foods Market–B+
  • Target–B+ (Graded up from a B, now ranks #6. Come on Target…You know you want to beat out Walmart…let’s do this!)

This is great news and shows that retailers of nearly every stripe can get on board to ensure shoppers can bring home moms safer products for our families.

But that’s not all the good news. Amazon, who received that “F” grade last year, Walgreens and Staples are all developing chemicals policies, and Kroger is reviewing options for future chemical policies as well. Now on to the not-so-good news…

Middle of the Road Retailers:

Some retailers scored in the middle range, with Best Buy getting a B and Home Depot getting a C+. We’re happy to learn that both Costco Wholesale and Albertsons/Safeway/Vons have now received solid C- scores, improving a lot over last year’s “F” grade. Let’s hope they move up to B range next year!

  • Best Buy–B
  • Costco Wholesale–C+
  • Albertsons–C-
  • Safeway–C-
  • Vons–C-

Unfortunately, a large group of solid D grades came from the following brands:

  • Rite Aid–D
  • Buy Buy Baby–D
  • Bed Bath & Beyond–D
  • Cost Plus World Market–D
  • Staples–D [the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) offgassing in this store gives me a headache everytime btw]
  • Amazon–D: an improvement from F, but they could do better as Costco and Albertsons have proven. (Note this grade is separate from the grading of Whole Foods Market, which they recently acquired. Let’s hope that is step in the right direction for Amazon.)
  • Sephora–D
  • Dollar Tree–D
  • Family Dollar–D
  • Kroger–D
  • Harris Teeter–D
  • Ralphs–D
  • Walgreens–D
  • Lowe’s–D
  • Ulta Beauty–D
  • Macy’s–D
  • Bloomingdales–D
  • Bluemercury–D

Retailers That Are Failing:

The bad news? Across all the retailers graded, the average grade was a D+. In fact, two-thirds failed to implement safer chemical policies for our families. Overall, 40% of the retailers earned “D” grades, and 30% earned “F” grades.

Who were scored the worst? The following companies got a 0 out of a possible 135 points! In other words, these companies are to date taking no steps to protect you from unsafe chemicals and I’d recommend you tell them this is important to you:

  • Ace Hardware–F
  • Food Lion–F
  • Stop & Shop–F
  • GIANT–F
  • Dollar General–F
  • Kohl’s–F
  • Office Depot–F
  • Office Max–F
  • Sally Beauty–F
  • TJX Companies–F
  • TJ Maxx–F
  • Marshalls–F
  • HomeGoods–F
  • Toys”R”Us / Babies”R”Us–F
  • Trader Joe’s–F

Grading Criteria for Retailers:

You might be upset upon seeing your favorite stores on that failing list, but what does this report card really mean? Let’s take a look at some of the criteria that Mind the Store grades retailers on, to get a better idea of what stores are doing or not doing to protect consumers and keep our families safe. Retailers were scored on whether or not they are taking action on the following basic items:

1. Creating and writing policies to avoid chemicals of high concern (CHCs). These are chemicals that are technically legal to use but are not individually tested for safety can pose health problems. Retailers should also be aiming to reduce or eliminate these chemicals from their shelves within 3 years.
2. Engaging key staff to implement those policies.
3. Making sure their supply chain and any third party providers also adhere to safer chemical standards as well as requiring suppliers to report the chemicals that they use.
4. Evaluating safer alternatives to CHCs without inserting a substitute that is just as dangerous.
5. Demonstrating transparency and public disclosure so that consumers know they are moving in a positive direction and can keep them accountable.
6. Evaluating their own chemical footprint for improvement.

These criteria are broken out into 9 categories for scoring. Mind the Store also grants “extra credit” points for the following:

  • Joint public announcement of a commitment to safer chemicals.
  • Continuous improvement towards their goals, like Costco and Albertsons.
  • Programs in place to promote safer products in stores and/or website.
  • Actively collaborates with others to promote safer chemicals.
  • Invests financial resources into research supporting safer alternatives or green chemistry solutions.

 

Regrettable Substitions and Cheating the System:

Another issue that this year’s report uncovered is called regrettable substitutes. This is when a company or industry removes a toxic substance and replaces with something just as bad or even worse, like when BPA is replaced with BPS or BPF. Mind the Store found that very few retailers at all did well on this, with only Apple scoring the full set of points.

However, Target did write Mind the Store that it “aspires to make breakthrough progress on safer alternatives.” They said they will work on contributing resources and expertise to this and committed to support innovation through green chemistry, by investing up to $5 million to that end by 2022. Yeah Target! Thank you!

 

Different Sectors, Different Grades:

You might have gathered by looking at the grades that not all types of stores graded the same. The retail sectors that did the best were drugstores, electronics, furniture/home goods and groceries.

Unfortunately, baby and children’s product, apparel and beauty/personal care products averaged a D+. The worst industries were home improvement, office supplies, dollar stores (not surprising) and department stores. It should be concerning to all moms that baby stores and personal care products have shown no initiative in pursuing safer chemicals in their products. Babies are the most are the most vulnerable of our population so protecting them from hormone disrupting chemicals is of the utmost importance.

 

Are Our Retailers Protecting Us?

With so many American children suffering chronic diseases, the rise in allergies, and all the behavioral issues that may be caused or triggered by environmental toxins, parents need to be vigilant about what products they buy. In fact, it’s estimated that medical costs and loss of productivity due to endocrine disrupting chemicals is costing the United States over $340 BILLION per year. Shouldn’t we also be diligent in supporting those companies that care about our health and safety too?

The bottom line is that while a few retailers are working hard on ensuring that safer chemicals are on their shelves, most still have a long way to go. Some of our largest retailers, like last year’s top scorers Wal-Mart and Target as well as last year’s failing scorers, Albertsons and Costco, are leading the way and racing ahead to ensure safer chemicals can be found on their shelves. While this is great news, with so many retailers doing very little or nothing at all, we to keep pressure on these companies in order to protect our families.


Bilingual Baby: Second Language Boosts Cognitive Skills

GettyImages-530067769-5995dae8845b340010c40701.jpg

By Chaunie Brusie for Very Well Family

Many families are choosing to raise their children to know how to speak two languages, whether that be for cultural reasons, educational purposes, or to enrich their life experience. And while having two languages under your belt might be a wonderful skill to have in general, one study has shown that it also has a major benefit for babies' brains especially.

Benefits of Being Bilingual

Previous studies have confirmed that there are benefits to being bilingual, such as that it boosts cognitive ability, especially problem solving.

Knowing two languages also has economic, social, and communicative benefits. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association lists several important advantages of being bilingual that are especially helpful for babies such as:

  • The ability to pick up new words quickly
  • Skill with rhyming words
  • Teaching how to break down words by their sounds as they learn to speak and read
  • Boosting the ability to learn new information
  • Category-grouping
  • Problem solving
  • Improved listening skills
  • Empathy and connectedness to others who speak the same language

Currently, about 12 percent of people over the age of 5 are bilingual, but experts predict that the number of individuals who speak two languages will only to continue to grow. So it only makes sense that parents may want to consider teaching their baby a second language very early on, because studies have shown that learning a second language is much easier at an earlier age.

It's easier for a baby to learn two languages at once than it is for an adult to try to learn a second language later on in life.

Can You Teach Your Baby to Be Bilingual?

While many parents and experts recognize the benefits of having their children learn two languages (or more!), actually teaching children to learn two languages can be a little challenging.

Babies that grow up in households where two languages are spoken by their parents or caregivers tend to learn a second language very easily and naturally. But babies who don't have the advantage of bilingual parents or caregivers can still get the benefits from learning two languages.

To try to determine exactly how much exposure to a second language a baby actually needs to learn the language, experts in Madrid, Spain conducted a study on children who ranged in age from 7 months to 33.5 months old to see how teaching them English affected their language development. The experts studied children at four public infant education centers in Madrid, where the babies were given daily hour-long group English sessions from tutors who spoke English as a first language. The sessions ran over a period of 18 weeks total.

The study found that children in the group sessions did better than other methods of teaching English and the infants retained the new words and comprehension of the English language longer than their peers as well, even as long as 18 weeks after the study was completed.

How Babies Learn To Be Bilingual

Studies show that the earlier you can introduce your baby to a second language, the greater their chance of being bilingual is.

One study found that even by 12 months, babies' perception of how to hear words narrows down to their first language. Babies are born with the ability to hear sounds from all types of languages, but as they near their first birthday their focus narrows down so they start to only "hear" the sounds of their primary language.

The key to learning a second language during your child's baby years is that their brain's networks and pathways haven't fully formed yet, so their brain is able to set up the "network" for both languages at once while they are babies, something that adult brains just can't do.

Thus, it's important to expose your baby as early as possible to both languages that you want him or her to learn, especially before his or her first birthday. If you've missed that deadline, however, don't worry. Children who are exposed to two languages before the age of 5 also reap some major benefits in their brain development.

Teaching Children to Be Bilingual

So we know that being bilingual is great and that it's best if babies can pick up on a second language from birth, but how exactly do you teach a child to be bilingual?

Researchers have found that a baby learns to be bilingual through both the quantity and quality of the second language being spoke around them. Babies learn best in person-to-person setting as opposed to a video or streaming service that teaches a second language. And as the study demonstrated, babies 9 months and under do especially well in play-based language sessions with a live tutor just as well as they would by learning the language in a natural environment at home.

How much exposure in a group session would your child need? Previous studies have found that 12 sessions over 5 weeks—a total of only 6 hours of foreign language exposure—was all babies needed to start setting those brain development pathways down to learn a second language. (Yes, babies' brains are amazing.) There seems to be a major link between a social setting and the language, so babies love to learn in a social or playful environment.

The tutors in this study also used infant-directed speech, that infamous "parentese" that parents and caregivers naturally use when talked to babies that has simple grammar, a higher voice, and long-drawn out vowels. This natural way of speaking to babies actually helps their brains learn language better. Babies' brains tend to focus on sounds at first, so the higher pitch and exaggerated, slower sounds makes it easier for them to learn those sounds first, which are then translated into words.

For older infants, aged 7 months and up to 33.5, the Madrid study found that 1 hour daily play sessions in a social environment with English tutors for 18 weeks led to "highly significant gains in foreign language comprehension and production." Perhaps most importantly, the researchers re-tested the babies 18 weeks after they completed the tutoring sessions and after they had had no other exposure to English and found that their brains were still able to retain the knowledge, new words, and sounds that they had learned. This showed that early exposure in a play-based setting with a tutor helped boost the brain's ability to retain language too.

In short, all it took was one hour a day of a baby playing with someone else who spoke a different language to learn.

A Word From Verywell

Teaching your baby a second language can benefit him or her in many ways. Not only will you set your baby up for success later in life with the skill of having a second language, something that is very desirable in a global economy and can set a job candidate apart, but being bilingual changes the way your baby's brain develops too.

If you can, it is best to expose your baby to two languages as early as possible in infancy, as babies' brains start focusing on one type of language by the age of one. However, children's brains are still able to learn and retain language better by the age of five. All children will benefit from increased brain development if they are exposed to two languages, so don't be afraid to encourage your child to learn a second language no matter what age they are. Babies learn best through play, and a group session or tutor session with a real person is the most effective way to teach your baby to learn a second language if you don't speak a second language yourself.

Sources:

Ferjan Ramirez, N. and Kuhl, P. (2017), Bilingual Baby: Foreign Language Intervention in Madrid's Infant Education Centers. Mind, Brain, and Education, 11: 133–143. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mbe.12144/full

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2017). The advantages of being bilingual. Retrieved from http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/The-Advantages-of-Being-Bilingual/


What The Screen Time Experts Do With Their Own Kids

102116_ls_screentime_free.jpg

By Anya Kamenetz for nprEd

Parents today struggle to set screen time guidelines.

One big reason is a lack of role models. Grandma doesn't have any tried-and-true sayings about iPad time. This stuff is just too new.

But many experts on kids and media are also parents themselves. So when I was interviewing dozens of them for my book The Art of Screen Time, I asked them how they made screen time rules at home.

None of them held themselves up as paragons, but it was interesting to see how the priorities they focused on in their own research corresponded with the priorities they set at home.

House Rules for the research pediatrician:

Dr. Jenny Radesky is the lead author of the most recent revision of the guidelines on media and children from the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is also the mother of two young boys, and as she says, "We're not a tech-averse household."

She and her husband both grew up watching "tons of TV" and playing video games. "We have a big flatscreen TV," Radesky says. "I have a smartphone."

In fact, she says, as a doctor she may be more prone to distraction than he is: "My husband's really good. His stuff is always just on the kitchen counter and he hardly checks it unless it rings. But if I'm on call I have my pager on. If something is an emergency that's how I can be found."

For the kids, since they started school, the rule is "no media on weekdays." They unplug at family dinner and before bed. They have a family movie night on Fridays, which is an example of the principle Radesky touts in her research, of "joint media engagement," or simply sharing screen time.

On weekends, they allow the kids cartoons, apps and games like Minecraft. But more than just limiting time, says Radesky, "I try to help my older son be aware of the way he reacts to video games or how to interpret information we find online." For example, she tries to explain how he is being manipulated by games that ask him to make purchases while playing.

House Rules for the sleep researcher:

Lauren Hale is a sleep researcher at Stony Brook University in New York. She sums up her findings from over a decade of research: "As kids and adults watch or use screens, with light shining in their eyes and close to their face, bedtime gets delayed. It takes longer to fall asleep, sleep quality is reduced and total sleep time is decreased."

Hale is also the mother of two young children. She strictly enforces these rules: No screens in the hour before bed, no screens in the bedroom and no screens as part of the bedtime routine. It seems to be sinking in. When he was 4 years old, her son told his grandmother: "You don't want to look at a screen before bed because it tells your brain to stay awake."

House Rules for the anti-obesity doctor:

Tom Warshawski, a pediatrician in Canada and founder of the Childhood Obesity Foundation there, has been involved in education efforts to get parents to cut back on media time.

His materials promote the formula 5- 2- 1- 0. That means five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, no more than two hours of screens, one hour of physical activity, and no sugary beverages.

He and his wife, also a doctor, split their pediatrics practice when their son and daughter were young so that one of them could always be home.

"We limited TV to an hour on weekdays after all other homework was done," he says. "We said categorically no video games — my daughter didn't care, but my son thought it was extremely oppressive and unfair. Then he resigned himself. Ultimately, both of them have thanked us."

House Rules for the media and violence researcher:

Douglas Gentile, a professor at Iowa State University, has two nearly grown daughters. He says when they were younger, he "pretty much followed AAP guidelines: one hour a day in elementary school, two hours as they got older. But I'm much more strict on content than I am on time."

Not surprisingly, he doesn't rely on ratings. Instead, he would watch something himself before allowing his girls to see it. They were big fans of the Harry Potter books; they would wait for each movie to come out on video and then watch it in short bits, fast-forwarding through the scary parts.

But, he says, being the strict dad did once backfire in a funny way. He's a huge Star Wars fan. "I was 13 when the original movie came out. I waited 10 years, ever since she was born, to share this pivotal, important movie with my older daughter."

Based on his description, though, she wasn't having it.

"She says, 'No. All they do is fight all the way through it.'

" 'Oh, please?'

" 'No, Dad.' "

Reluctantly, Gentile saw her point: "She had learned the lesson — if the movie is just about people fighting, it's not going to make her feel happy. She's not going to enjoy it."


On Having an Only Child

baby-smooch_3.jpg

By Joanna Goddard for A Cup of Jo

How many children do you hope to have? For some families, one is the magic number. So! We asked nine parents about having only children — the pros, cons and how they decided — and here are their thoughtful, funny answers…

Prioritizing Space

Shirim (Eli, 15):

Am I allowed to say we like our two-bedroom apartment and did not want to be cramped? In truth I always grew up wanting two things: to live in an apartment, not a free-standing house, and to have only one child. I have never, ever regretted either.

I have been lucky not to have had pressure from friends or family to have more kids. Economically, it also did not make sense to me. My husband would have liked another, but was a good egg about it. Having cousins live so close has been really helpful for Eli in terms of having sibling-like relationships.

Trusting Your Gut

Erin (Reed, 3):

I guess the main thing is: We feel like our family is whole with our son. People often say the second or third or fourth child was the final piece of the puzzle. I’ve always felt as if we have all of our pieces. 

Chris (2-year-old son):

My husband and I became fathers to our amazing son through domestic open adoption. Is it weird that the phrase only child now bothers me? When people say it, they lean into the only. I am a gay man in my early 40s. Even one child is so much more than I ever expected to have a few years ago, and more than my teenage self would have said I had the right to ask the universe for. Then our son’s birth mom chose us to be dads, and everything changed for our family.

Stacey (Dash, 7):

I was never one of those women who always knew I wanted a baby. My son wasn’t really planned, but we weren’t working hard to *not* get pregnant, either. After having Dash, we’d have brief conversations about more children, but they were mostly around my not wanting to push my luck after having such an awesome kid.

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but here in Brooklyn people love to comment on everything. It’s like constantly being booked on a talk show. My least favorite is when someone says something to Dash like, “Don’t you want a little brother or sister?” Not up to you, person, and not up to my seven-year-old, either! I guess the headline here is there is no right answer, so trusting your instinct is enough.

Raising a Child With Special Needs

Kate (Ocean, 7):

When Ocean was born, we were so in love with him, but it was hard. He was the kind of baby who needed to be held upright and bounced all the time. He didn’t sleep much. Nursing was hard. He dropped off his weight curve around six months. I had concerns about his development. He was so adorable and joyful, but there were red flags. 

When Ocean was one, I remember sitting John down one night, shaking. I was terrified of having sex because I couldn’t go through it all again: pregnancy, but especially that first year. I was worried that John would be disappointed, but he got it.

Our pediatrician suggested physical and occupational therapy, and I began to scramble down the rabbit hole of special education. As Ocean evolved into the extraordinary and challenging person he is, I couldn’t see room in our lives for more. I felt completely fulfilled and completely overwhelmed at the same time. I’ve become his advocate. Our family feels just right. 

People did ask a lot at first. I’ve always been ready with one-liners. First it was: “Well, this one was a miracle, so…” Then: “Having Ocean is kind of like having two kids.” Now it’s just: “Yup, one and done!” with a big smile showing off my wrinkles.

Reagan (Piper, 10):

I grew up in a big Mormon family, so I was surprised myself when stopping after one felt so right. It made more sense the more I thought about it, and letting go of that expectation gave me a lot of sweet relief.

My child also has serious physical disabilities that prevent her from being able to live at home with me, so I do sometimes mourn the loss of having a more typical family setup. For a long time, I thought having more kids would help heal some of the heartbreak of what she and I have gone through and what we’ve missed out on, but it feels too scary and uncertain to do.

The pro is that I get to have a very special relationship with Piper, and devote as much time as possible to her. Anything left over can go to my relationship with my fiancé, my career and any projects I feel passionate about.

The decision was also tricky at first because of my Mormon family. When I was little, having children was my main goal in life. There are tons of Mormon kids’ songs about motherhood, and I remember singing this one at four years old: “Of all the jobs, for me I’ll choose no other. I’ll raise a family. Four little, five little, six little babies of my own.” Many of the lessons I was learning at my church heavily emphasized developing motherhood skills — sewing, cooking, organizing, cleaning, crafting, even decorating. It was a challenge to break out of those expectations, versus what I really wanted.

Striving for Balance

Janna (Harley, 3):

My husband and I both come from two-child households, and before becoming parents we talked about having two. And then there was that huge recalibration of life that occurs after you have a child. It took us years to get into the groove where we each got the family time, alone time and social time that we needed to thrive. For us, this balance is what makes us good parents.

With one child, we can be spontaneous. When we take turns being on duty, the other gets to be totally off duty. We’re able to be present for Harley when we’re together — he has all of us. We live in a family-filled neighborhood, so he has playdates constantly. He is very independent, and he’s comfortable with a group of all adults or kids. We also can travel more easily with one child. We went to Barcelona for a week and ate and drank our way through the city, just the three of us. We had a blast.

I do often wonder if I’ll regret not having another child, and there’s no way to know. I’ve sought counsel from older friends who have only one child, and their continued happiness with it makes me feel confident in our decision.

Confronting Infertility

Melissa (Sammy, 7):

It took seven years — and five miscarriages — to have our child. When our healthy baby boy was born, we felt like we’d hit the jackpot. Going through the stress of trying to have another seemed absurd to us. My husband and I felt like our dreams had finally come true. I will say that our son LOVES being an only child and getting all the attention, and actually begs us not to have any more. (I’m 47, so I tell him not to worry!)

Sandy (Margot, 4):

Raising an only child was never my plan. My daughter was born in early 2013, and I conceived her sibling a year and a half later. But as I neared the end of my first trimester, I learned something: my baby’s heart had stopped beating at nine weeks gestation. That little love of mine had let go. I was pregnant one day, and then, without any prior warning, suddenly the next I was lying in an operating room while my uterus was hollowed out by a team of masked professionals. Six months later, I was diagnosed with secondary infertility. 

I’ll never forget the moment my next-door neighbor commented on the size of our house, telling me we needed to have more kids to fill up the bedrooms — nor the time when a woman next to me on a plane assured me that even though I’d lost a baby, another one would come soon enough. “No, unfortunately, I’ve been told that won’t happen,” I replied.

As for pros, my daughter gets every ounce of my attention, and I get to bury her in a thousand kisses every single day. My daughter is my heart on two feet, and there’s not a con in the world about getting to raise that sweet person!

I’ve learned over these past three years that grief is anything but linear. I can go weeks with my head held high, and then, out of nowhere, a pregnant woman’s swollen belly or the sight of two car seats in the back of a car knock me right over. 

But never until now have I typed this or said it aloud: I’m just now finally feeling the light of acceptance warming my face. It’s new, it’s unfamiliar, and it’s a beautiful thing.


A Guide to the Moral Development of Preschoolers

iStock-507032862-596f79f69abed50011a455aa.jpg

By Amy Morin, LCSW for Very Well Family

As your little one grows, he’ll develop a sense of morality—those principles that affect how he treats other people and how he views justice. His core beliefs, temperament, and life experiences are just a few things that will influence his sense of morality.

Every day, your preschooler is surrounded by people and situations that will guide his moral development. Whether it’s another child on the school playground or a plot line on a favorite TV show, his experiences shape his views.

As a parent, you probably want to have some influence on how he develops his sense of right versus wrong and instill the values that you deem to be important. However, it’s not always easy to know what’s age-appropriate when it comes to guiding your child morally—or even how to start.

What Parents Should Know About Early Moral Development

Around age 2, children start to feel moral emotions and understand—at least somewhat—the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong. Your child might also start to feel empathy if he sees another child who is upset, though that development is more likely to appear closer to age 4 or 5.

Toddlers and preschoolers are motivated by the threat of consequences. Therefore, early on in their moral development, you might see that they’re more concerned about being punished rather than the feelings of another person.

Don’t worry if your toddler doesn’t seem to care if he hurt someone.

With some guidance from you, empathy will come in due time.

How to Recognize the Moral Choices Preschoolers Make

 

Although preschoolers aren’t making life-altering life decisions, they do make small moral choices every day. Here are a few moral decisions your preschooler may be faced with:

  • Do I share my toy with a friend even though I don’t want to?
  • Do I hit the person who won’t play with me?
  • Should I take my sister's toy from her because I want to play with it?
  • Do I cut in line because I don’t want to wait my turn?
  • Do I sneak a cookie when Dad’s not looking?

While your child will violate your moral codes quite often, each time he steps out of line is an opportunity to help him learn. The discipline strategies you employ, combined with the proactive strategies you use to teach him right from wrong, will guide your preschooler’s moral development.

Be Clear About Morals

Research shows kids begin to understand the 'moral of the story' around age 5 or 6. But, preschoolers are less able to grasp a life lesson from a story about someone else. The concept is too abstract.

So it's important to be very concrete about morals. Say specific things like, "We don't take other people's belongings because it's wrong to take things that don't belong to us. It hurts other people's feelings when we do that and our job is to be kind to people, not hurt them."

As your child's understanding of morals increases, begin to ask him to identify the life lessons in a story. Read books and watch stories with various moral lessons and check for your child's understanding of how he can generalize that lesson to his own life.

Additionally, monitor closely what your child is exposed to. TV shows, books, or video games that violate moral codes without teaching a lesson may have a negative influence on your child.

Instill Guilt, Not Shame

When your preschooler violates a moral code by hurting other people, he should have an emotional reaction to it. And while guilt is a sign of a healthy conscience, shame can be a sign of low self-worth. Here's the difference:

Shame stems from thinking, "I am bad."
Guilt stems from thinking, "I did a bad thing."

As a parent, you want to guide the child into feeling guilt rather than shame.

A child who feels guilty may recognize she's still a good person who is capable of making better choices in the future.

Guilt is a normal, healthy reaction. It means your child regrets what he’s done—and that can motivate him to make amends. Guilty feelings may also prevent him from making the same mistake in the future.

Shame, on the other hand, may cause your child to believe she’s incapable of doing the right thing. And it may take a toll on the decisions she makes in life. A child who feels shame, for example, may not resist peer pressure or may not stand up for herself when her rights are violated.

Reprimand Your Child for Bad Choices, Not for Being a Bad Person

As a parent, you can influence whether your child experiences shame or guilt after he makes a mistake. If you express anger at your child or become standoffish, he’ll be more likely to feel shame.

So avoid reprimanding your child's character by saying things like, “Bad girl!” or “I’m so disappointed in you.” Instead, focus on your child's actions by saying things like, “You made a bad choice,” or “I’m disappointed you made a bad choice.”

Additionally, correct your child’s behavior, not the emotion. So instead of saying, “Stop getting so mad,” or “There’s nothing to be upset about,” say things like, “Use an inside voice. It bothers people when you yell inside.”

Make it clear that feeling sad, mad, excited, or any other emotion is OK. But hitting people, calling them names, or treating them poorly isn’t acceptable.

Offer Praise for Prosocial Behavior

Praise your child for what she does, rather than who she is. So instead of saying, “You’re a good girl,” say, “Great job helping Grandma carry groceries. That was a kind thing to do.”

Be on the lookout for times when your child decides to share, console someone else, tell the truth, or help others. When you point out positive choices, your child will become more motivated to keep up the good work.

Teach Your Child About Feelings

Your child won't be able to understand other people's feelings and how his actions affect others until he has a clear understanding of his own feelings.

Use feeling words in your everyday conversations. Label your child's emotions by saying things like, "It looks like you feel angry right now," or "I understand you are sad that we can't play outside right now."

When your child understands his emotions, he'll be able to start understanding that other people have feelings too. And you can begin talking about how his behavior influences how other people feel.

Teach Empathy

Teach your child how to consider someone else's emotions and how one person's behavior can impact another person's feelings. Take situations from books, TV or movies and ask your child how a person in that scenario might feel.

To really reinforce the point, ask your child to show you how the person might feel. When your child makes a sad face to reflect how a character might feel after getting hurt, he’ll actually feel sad for a second. That can reinforce to him that other people have emotions too.

Model Good Morals

As the saying goes, practice what you preach. If you don’t want your children to tell lies, don’t let them see you lie. Even if you think it’s a little ‘white lie,’ your child will think dishonesty is OK.

If you want your children to help others, make sure they see you helping others. And point out what you’re doing by saying things like, “We’re going to help Grandpa clean the garage today because we love him and it’s a nice thing to do.”

Your child will learn a lot more from what you do, rather than what you say. So make sure your actions match your words.

Schedule Activities That Teach Your Child Your Morals

As long as you accompany them, your preschooler can volunteer and help others in a variety of ways. Whether you feed cats at the local SPCA together, or you collect canned food to donate to the food pantry, emphasize the importance of making the world better.

Even simple acts of kindness go a long way in developing a good moral sense. For example, make a “get well soon” card together for a neighbor who’s feeling under the weather. Then, deliver it together with a Tupperware of chicken noodle soup.

Hold Your Child Accountable for Breaking Moral Codes

Everyone makes mistakes, so it’s important to make sure your child knows that it’s OK. However, you can’t just let it go—hold your little one accountable.

Verbalize why his behavior was wrong when he makes a mistake. Say, “We don’t hit people because it hurts their feelings and their bodies.” Then, give him a consequence, such as placing him in time-out or taking away his favorite toy for the afternoon.

Forcing him to apologize isn’t likely to be helpful. He may not actually feel sorry so telling him to apologize to his brother may just be lip service.

But, you can role model how to apologize. When you make a mistake, tell your child that you’re sorry. Say something like, “I am sorry I didn’t get home in time to take you to the park. I tried to get home as soon as I could but it’s too dark to go now.”

Remember, guiding your child’s moral development isn’t something that happens in just a couple weeks. This will be a process that will last long into your child’s elementary school years and beyond.

There will be times your child will make mistakes that make you wonder if anything you’re doing actually resonates with him. Don’t worry—he hears you. With consistent guidance from you, he’ll develop a clear moral compass.


Decoding the Mysteries of a Child’s Developing Brain

By Jenna Gallegos of The Washington Post

It’s back-to-school season. Parents mark their youngsters' height on the wall and marvel at how much they’ve grown, but what’s going on just below the pencil line in that child’s brain?

We know brain development continues from infancy to adulthood, but many parents underestimate how much a child’s brain changes from year to year and how those changes can influence behavior.

Decades of scientific studies have shown even an immature brain is capable of extraordinary feats. Yet a fully developed brain is necessary for actions that adults take for granted, such as risk assessment and self-control. According to developmental psychologists, parents who better understand the stages along the way can help guide their child over the hurdles.

Babies are surprisingly good at communicating

Babies are looking, listening and imitating from the time they are born. Stick your tongue out at a baby, even one just hours old, and he or she may do the same back at you, said Sarah Lytle of the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington.

Yet many parents don’t realize how quickly infants begin to develop social and emotional awareness, said Ross Thompson, who is president of the child development organization Zero to Three and a cognitive psychologist at the University of California at Davis. “Parents underestimate how sensitive a child is to their own emotions,” he said. As early as 6 months of age, a child can be affected by a parent’s depression or anxiety and by marital squabbles.

Babies also look to their parents for guidance in uncertain situations. If you’re on a subway and start interacting with the little one next to you, the baby may turn to the parent to see how to respond to you. This process is called “social cognition” or “social referencing,” and it’s not very different from when adults at a party wait to respond to a joke when they’re unsure whether others will find it funny or offensive.

To help infants learn, parents should frequently look at what they’re talking about and change their gaze slowly, Lytle suggested. This important social cue helps with language development, she said — with babies who follow gazes closely having a more diverse vocabulary by the time they’re 2.

All languages sound the same initially to a newborn, and then a tuning process begins. By about 10 months, babies start to specialize in the language they’re used to hearing. It’s important to talk to your child during the first year, especially using “parentese,” Lytle said. This infant-directed speech is not “baby-talking,” despite its typical singsong tone and repetition, but uses real words in grammatically complete sentences.

While we typically underestimate babies' ability to understand and communicate before they begin speaking, we tend to overestimate the brain power of walking, talking toddlers.

Toddlers are mentally incapable of sharing and self-control

In a survey conducted by Zero to Three in 2015, nearly half of parents believed their children could learn to share by the time they are 2. But according to the cognitive psychologists at Zero to Three, this skill does not typically develop until a child is 3 or 4. That may be because they haven’t yet developed what’s known as “theory of mind.”

Theory of mind is the ability to differentiate one’s own perspective and preferences from someone else’s. A classic experiment in theory of mind is known as the Sally-Anne test, in which a child is told Sally has a basket and Anne has a box. Sally puts an object in her basket, then leaves. While Sally is gone, Anne moves the object to the box.

The child is then asked where Sally will look for the object when she returns. Correctly answering that Sally will look in her basket signals the child understands they have a perspective that is different from Sally's.

Theory of mind is important for developing empathy, making friends and even doing well academically, Lytle said. Parents can help their children develop perspective by talking them through scenarios like the Sally-Anne test or reading books that help them to build cognitive parallels, she said. For example, in a book where a character goes to a doctor, they can compare the situation to when the child went to the doctor and discuss how the experiences were similar or different.

According to that 2015 survey, the majority of parents also believed 2-year-olds can control their emotions and impulses. Yet children have very limited self-control abilities until they are about 4. When toddlers won’t stop throwing a fit, do something forbidden or refuse to share, “they’re not being willfully obstinate,” Thompson said. “Many parents overestimate a child’s capacity for self-control.”

Thompson recommends helping young children with self-control — for example, by distracting them with a favorite toy while passing candy in the grocery store checkout aisle. And when dealing with a tantrum, acknowledge a child's feelings by putting them into words. “A lot of their frustration is the feeling of being misunderstood,” he noted.

He also suggests giving the child the impression that they have some control. In his own case, when his young son didn't want to go to bed, Thompson would ask the boy whether he wanted to play for a few more minutes. Yes, a distinguished professor in psychology was on his knees, negotiating with a 3-year-old, but Thompson says parents who understand how their toddlers' brains work (or don’t work) will find it fairly easy to outsmart them. It’s good to tell a child “no” because they’re learning language, he added, but you can’t expect them to change their behaviors.

Teenagers don’t think with the same parts of their brain as adults

For some parents, a seemingly erratic teenager can make those long-ago toddler days seem like a walk in the park. Frances Jensen, neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania and co-author of “The Teenage Brain,” suggests understanding how teens think can improve the experience for both sides.

Connections in our brain develop from the back to the front, and those important for higher-order thinking continue to form and strengthen into a person's 20s. “Teenagers have good connectivity up to about their ears,” Jensen explained. And at this age, the midbrain, important for emotion, sexual function, learning and memory, is hyperactive.

As teens transition into adulthood, connections in the front of their brain are strengthened while those in the other regions are pruned. A fully developed frontal lobe is essential for planning, decision-making, impulse control and risk avoidance.

These stages of development showed up in a 2006 imaging experiment. Researchers discovered adults trying to identify fearful facial expressions used more of the front of their brain, while teens used the emotional centers in the midbrain — meaning teens literally think using different parts of their brain.

The finding might explain why some teen behaviors surprise adults. “Teenagers are actually more susceptible to stress,” Jensen said. If your teen comes home distraught because someone made fun of their hair, you might be tempted to say it’s no big deal. But the activity in their brain likely resembles an adult brain's response to news of a major international incident.

The plasticity of teen brains — their ability to lose, form and strengthen connections — also makes adolescents especially susceptible to addiction to everything from video games to cocaine, Jensen said. Activities such as binge drinking and chronic marijuana use can be especially damaging at this age.

Jensen recommends giving teens a “frontal-lobe assist” by helping them to plan, prepare and even rehearse for situations that require higher judgment. Help them develop and learn phrases to use as excuses to avoid making a bad decision amid social pressure, for example. And if they do make a bad decision, she suggests using the situation as a teachable moment instead of lecturing or alienating them.

Throughout a child's life, parents who understand some basics of brain development can adjust their expectations and better come up with strategies to prevent frustration for everyone. In other words, a little understanding goes a long way.


Supplements for Pregnancy & Nursing: What I Take

By Katie at Wellness Mama

Important Note: These are the supplements I chose to take after consulting with my doctor, thyroid specialist and midwife. I share these for informational purposes only and not in any way as a suggestion of medical advice. This post is strictly informational and should only serve as a starting point for a conversation between you and your medical provider about the best supplements for pregnancy in your specific case.

Why Supplements for Pregnancy?

Pregnancy and nursing are times of a woman’s life when it is important to be vigilant about getting enough nutrients to nourish her little one and supplements can be helpful. There are also some supplements that are important to avoid during pregnancy and nursing and any pregnant woman should work directly with her care provider to make sure she is taking the correct supplements for her body and pregnancy.

As someone who has quite a bit of experience being pregnant and nursing over the last decade, I’ve seen first hand how supplements can make a pregnancy (and delivery) easier!

Each woman’s dietary and nutrient needs will vary, but as a general rule, a nutrient-dense diet is the most important factor in her ability to get enough vitamins and minerals during pregnancy and supplements can’t take the place of a healthy diet and good lifestyle habits.

When I am pregnant, I focus on consuming the following:

  • Lots of high quality protein from high quality sources like grass-fed beef, free-range poultry and eggs, and wild, caught, sustainable seafood (smaller fish preferable). Organ meats from grass fed sources are also wonderful for pregnancy and nursing and can help reduce the chance of anemia.
  • Large amounts of vegetables, especially green ones! Green veggies have folate, which is important for fetal growth, and are also high in many other nutrients. They help prevent the constipation that can sometimes occur during pregnancy, and are great for making sure nursing moms are getting enough vitamins. During pregnancy, I live by the motto of “When in doubt, eat more veggies.”
  • Healthy Fats galore! Pregnancy and nursing are not times to skimp on healthy fats. Quality fats are absolutely vital for baby’s brain development, organ and tissue growth, and good milk production for mom. Sources like healthy meats, coconut oil and coconut products, olive oil, avocados, and nuts are especially good during pregnancy.
  • Other high nutrient foods like homemade bone broth, soups, fermented vegetables like homemade sauerkraut, fruit (especially berries) and green smoothies are also great for pregnancy and nursing.

 

Supplements for Pregnancy: 

Even with the most solid diet, it can be difficult to consume enough of the necessary nutrients for pregnancy, especially with our modern food supply. For this reason, I take certain specially selected supplements while I am pregnant or nursing:

  • Folate: The supplement folic acid is commonly recommended, but there is substantial difference between folic acid (the synthetic form) and folate (the natural form). This article explains the difference in detail. The dosage is also slightly different, and some sources recommend as much as 1200 mcg of folate per day for maximum benefit. This amount should include the amount in multivitamins and any additional folate supplement (be sure to check multivitamins, as many contain the synthetic form!). Folate is one supplement that has been extensively studied for use in pregnancy and is extremely effective at preventing neural tube defects. It is also very inexpensive and easy for every pregnant woman to take. NOTE: People who have a MTHFR defect will need to consult with a specialized practitioner and will probably need to take L-5-MTHF which is the methylated form of folate. I explain more in this post.

  • Prenatal Multivitamin: There is some debate on if a full multivitamin prenatal is necessary during pregnancy or not. While I don’t routinely take a multivitamin, pregnancy and nursing is one time that I do. A deficiency in a vitamin or mineral won’t make a tremendous, immediate impact on an adult in most cases, but during the intensive developmental phases of pregnancy, a nutrient deficiency can have lasting consequences for baby. A high quality prenatal is an “insurance policy” or sorts to guard against deficiencies but should accompany a high nutrient diet! Many prenatals contain iron, though this isn’t necessary if you are consuming red meat from healthy sources and organ meats. Just make sure it doesn’t contain folic acid (but folate or methyl folate). This is the brand I use.​

  • Probiotics: Probiotics are critical, especially during pregnancy. During the birth process, babies culture their beneficial gut bacteria from what the receive from mom when passing through the birth canal and from nursing in the months afterward. Unfortunately, this process doesn’t happen in the same way with cesarean deliveries, but research is finding ways to help facilitate this process. Quality probiotics (I take these) help ensure that baby will get a good dose of beneficial bacteria during a normal vaginal delivery, which can reduce risk of ear infection and illness in the first few years. Good gut health also has a tremendous impact on lifelong health, and this is one of the most important things you can do for your baby’s health. Probiotics also help mom avoid illness and constipation during pregnancy, and might reduce the risk of Group B strep. Since baby’s gut bacteria continues to culture during the nursing time, it is good for mom to continue to take probiotics during this time as well.
  • Vitamin D3: There is a lot of emerging research that Vitamin D can help reduce the risk of many pregnancy related complications including gestational diabetes. It is important for baby’s bone and hormone development and helps support mom’s immune system during pregnancy. Some research suggests that nursing babies may be able to obtain Vitamin D from the mother’s milk if mom is getting more than 5,000IU/day. I take 5,000 IU/day while pregnant or nursing, unless I’m able to get 30 minutes or more of midday sun.

    When supplementing, I only take Vitamin D3 with K2 and I occasionally test blood levels of vitamin D to make sure my levels don’t get too high.

 

 

Things I Avoid:

  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • MSG or Chemical Additives
  • Diet Sodas or foods
  • Vegetable oils and trans fats
  • Any herbs, drugs, or medicines without approval from your midwife or doctor
  • BPA and plastic containers
  • Aluminum in antiperspirants
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Artificial dyes or colors in food
  • Chemicals in laundry detergent, personal care products, and household cleaners

An Evening with the Association of Celebrity Assistants, Los Angeles

Find a Celebrity Personal Assistant

British American Household Staffing had the pleasure of hosting the Association of Celebrity Assistants, Los Angeles chapter on March 28th at the Montage hotel in LA. Our California team met with members of the organization for a cocktail hour and presented some expert advice for career advancement in the private industry; including how to work with an agency to hire for one’s employeer and expectations when working in a private home. Early arrivals were able to network and have one-on-one access to our recruiting team before the event began.

 

If you are looking to become a personal assistant or are an experienced PA looking to advance to a higher level position in a private home, see our top tips.

 

 

The Association of Celebrity Personal Assistant’s Mission 

 

To provide important information to our members by showcasing unique and high level service providers and resources. To empower our members through professional development programs, provide networking opportunities and a forum for the exchange of ideas.

 

Visit the ACPA’s website for more information on the organization and to apply to be a member.

 

 

 

Find a Personal Assistant with BAHS

 

When you begin your search for a personal assistant, take a general inventory of your needs. Different personal assistants will be experts in particular industries and tasks. So your search should focus on those that will best meet your particular needs. Do you travel often and need someone who can arrange and troubleshoot travel arrangements remotely? Do you own your own business that could benefit from having hands-on support? Could your family and household staff benefit from having a professional to maintain order? Do you need someone familiar with busy, celebrity lifestyles that can provide seamless, on-the-go support?

 

Whether you are a busy celebrity, need support for your business or family or are organizing your private estate, our recruiters will work to find you a qualified and professional personal assistant to support your life.

 

Our Hollywood office serves all of Los Angeles, including Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Santa Barbara and Montecito. Contact our Los Angeles office to find a LA personal assistant.

 

Our San Francisco office serves the California Bay Area including San Francisco, Presidio Heights, Nob Hill, Noe Valley, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Woodside, Atherton and Mountain View. Contact our San Francisco office to find a Bay Area personal assistant.

 

-----

 

British American Household Staffing services the NY and CT areas, including 10013, 10012, 10003, 10023, 10024, 11211, 10014, 10021, 06807, 06831,  06836, 06870,06878, 06830

As well as the San Francisco Bay Area, including 94027, 94028, 94061, 94062, 94301, 94302, 94020, 94129, 94123, 94115, 94109, 94114, 94131, 94105

As well as the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Malibu areas, including 90210, 90069, 90028, 90263,90264, 93101, 93109, 93121, 90291,90401, 90409, 94513, 90272, 90402

As well as Palm Beach and Miami, including 33480, 33111, 33109, 33139, 33401, 33407, 33402, 33405, 33409

As well as London, England, including SW7 1DG, W1J 8LR, W1J 8 A J, W1J 8NL, W1J 8ET, W1J 8ET,  W84 AP, W84 AS, W8 4AQ, W8 4 AE, W8 4 AA, W8 4BA, NW3 1AA, NW3 1AL NW3 1AW


Hiring A Domestic Couple

00-lede-kate-prince-william.jpg

A Wise Domestic Staffing Hire From British American 

Do you have a second or third home you need maintaining? The question many multiple home owners ask me is "what is the best domestic staffing hire for my vacation home?".  The best choice is to hire a domestic couple.  Why is hiring a domestic couple a better choice than a single housekeeper? A domestic couple is a long-term hire.  They are usually married with grown children and they are seeking a position to take them into retirement.  Once a domestic couple accepts a position, they often live on property or nearby and create a life for themselves in the area and they rarely leave the position for other opportunities.  

 

There are two types of domestic couples, the most common being a housekeeper/cook and a houseman or maintenance man.  Both parties usually drive, and they are able to maintain a large home together.  This kind of domestic couple do all of the housekeeping, laundry, cooking, grounds man duties, they take care of the external and internal work needed in the home. The houseman or maintenance man will take care of the landscaping, any plumbing or HVAC issues, and he will be in charge of the structure of the home and he is able to keep the home maintained and safe, concentrating on the upkeep.  The housekeeper/cook will manage all cleaning and stocking and the housekeeper/cook will cater to parties, help prepare and serve meals in a formal or informal setting.  If there is a large dinner party, the housekeeper/cook will assist the chef for preparation and the housekeeper/cook with usually serve and have a strong background in formal serving.  When the family is in residence the domestic couple of this type will work many hours and keep all aspects of a busy home running.  Laundry, deep cleaning, shopping, stocking, organizing, cooking and serving.  Both parties are able to drive the family and any guests if this is needed.

The other category of domestic couple is an estate couple.  They typically work in larger estates overseeing staff.  They do not deep clean or serve but they will manage the staff in the home, oversee and manage schedules, organize the staff to prepare them for any extra guests and dinner parties, manage the financial aspect if needed.  One member of an estate couple will often be a chef and can prepare specialty meals for guests, family or just the principal.   An estate couple may have worked on a yacht together and they will want to settle down and retire on land.

To summarize, a domestic couple is an excellent hire for any vacation home or large estate. They maintain the property on both a micro and macro level, depending which type of domestic couple is hired.  The likelihood of longevity is high.  They have often relocated to live on property for the job position and as they are usually a married couple, they tend to make the area and job their life. The domestic couple typically aim to retire in a job position where they are able to work together. If you have a home or estate you need managing, we highly recommend hiring a domestic couple for peace of mind. This is the ideal domestic staffing hire for a second or third property or large estate.

More information on hiring a domestic couple here


The Phenomenon Of Baby Nurses

sleeping_newborn.jpg

By SARA BERMAN | March 11, 2008
5816

Tomorrow will be my baby nurse's last day with my family. I'm not sure whom I feel worse for: myself or the baby. Six weeks into this gig, I hope the baby hasn't become completely accustomed to twice-daily baths, around-the-clock attention, careful burping, and long massages. But Nate, like his brothers and sisters before him, will survive on fewer baths, fewer massages, and — there's no delicate way to say this — far, far less attention.

According to an agency that places baby nurses in the tristate area (British American Newborn Care) a baby nurse is a non-medical newborn specialist who is highly experienced in infant care. Baby nurses work in private homes and care for newborns typically from the day the baby arrives home through a period of several weeks or months. Normally, they provide 24-hour care and "assist new and experienced parents in every aspect of newborn care and may also help establish eating and sleeping patterns."

In other words, they're glorified, uniform-clad nannies who diaper, burp, bathe, swaddle, rock, and if you want, feed the baby 24 hours a day. They are not — in case you were confused — nurses.

If there is one peculiar element to having a baby in a certain slice of New York, it is the assumption that you will have a baby nurse. If you type the words "baby nurse" into any search engine, you will see that the majority of the links are in the tristate area. They may have baby nurses in California and Georgia, but those baby nurses are, in fact, likely to be registered nurses — and their employers are more likely to be having triplets than single births.

At roughly $200 a day, though, having a baby nurse can really add up.

"Worth every penny," an acquaintance told me about her baby nurse. "We could barely afford our rent when we had our first child. But neither of us had any family in New York. And neither of us had ever changed a diaper. The grandparents pooled together and gave the baby nurse as a gift. It was the best gift ever."

Cramped city living, not exactly conducive to having the in-laws move in for a week or two, is compatible with a baby nurse, who shares the room with the newborn. Giving the gift of a baby nurse is one way to make nice with your daughter-in-law.

One couple with far greater means never let the baby nurse go. "The baby was going to be a year old," the father of three said about his first child, "and we still had the nurse. The nurse would go on and on about what a hard night she had had with the baby, and I'm thinking, suuure you did. Finally, I convinced my wife that enough was enough. But sure enough, when we had our second child, the same baby nurse just moved back in. This time, she stayed for eight or nine months. I'm pretty embarrassed to admit that," he said, while calculating how much he paid the baby nurse over the course of his three children: at least $200,000.

My question is this: Who assists new and experienced parents in every aspect of newborn care across the rest of the country?

"When I was pregnant with my first, I had heard of people using baby nurses," a friend who had her first two children in Chicago said. "But I didn't really know any myself. My mom came and stayed with us for the first week or two. She showed me how to diaper and bathe the baby. And then my mother-in-law came for a few days. I've never been so sad to see my mother-in-law leave. All of a sudden, I was on my own, and it was pretty brutal."

A mother of three who lived in different parts of the South when she had her children said that no one she knew used a baby nurse. "Having a lot of help is normal in New York, but it isn't in most parts of the country," she said. "That's partially economic and partially cultural. I had help when I had my third baby, but that meant I had someone come to clean my house, or baby-sit my other children."

There are plenty of New Yorkers who'd rather spend the money on anything but a baby nurse. "I don't really understand why people have baby nurses," an Upper West Side mother of three said. "The baby and baby nurse sleep all day, while you cook and clean and look after the other kids. For a lot less, you could find someone who does a lot more."

I happen to think that if you can afford it, a good baby nurse does wonders to smooth the transition for the first few weeks of a baby's life — for the baby and for the entire family.

A few weeks ago, my 5-year-old daughter, Kira, heard the baby nurse coo to Nate, "You are so cute, I could eat you up."

"Go ahead," Kira said, deadpan. When the baby nurse later teased that she was going to take Nate home, you can imagine Kira's response.

"Good," she snarled.

Perhaps it is Kira's mental state that I should be worried about on Thursday — not the baby's.

bababynurses.com 


Your Newborn: 30 Tips for the First 30 Days

From parents magazine

Breastfeeding

It's been six weeks since our daughter, Clementine, was born. She's finally sleeping better and going longer between feedings. She's also becoming more alert when she's awake. My husband and I, on the other hand, feel like we've been hit by a truck. I'm amazed that we've muddled through. Here are tips from seasoned parents and baby experts to make your first month easier.

Hints for Nursing

Babies eat and eat and eat. Although nature has done a pretty good job of providing you and your baby with the right equipment, in the beginning it's almost guaranteed to be harder than you expected. From sore nipples to tough latch-ons, nursing can seem overwhelming.

1. Women who seek help have a higher success rate. "Think of ways to ensure success before you even give birth," suggests Stacey Brosnan, a lactation consultant in New York City. Talk with friends who had a good nursing experience, ask baby's pediatrician for a lactation consultant's number, or attend a La Leche League (nursing support group) meeting (see laleche.org to find one).

2. Use hospital resources. Kira Sexton, a Brooklyn, New York, mom, says, "I learned everything I could about breastfeeding before I left the hospital." Ask if there's a nursing class or a lactation consultant on staff. Push the nurse-call button each time you're ready to feed the baby, and ask a nurse to spot you and offer advice.

3. Prepare. At home, you'll want to drop everything to feed the baby the moment she cries for you. But Heather O'Donnell, a mom in New York City, suggests taking care of yourself first. "Get a glass of water and a book or magazine to read." And, because breastfeeding can take a while, she says, "pee first!"

4. Try a warm compress if your breasts are engorged or you have blocked ducts. A heating pad or a warm, wet washcloth works, but a flax pillow (often sold with natural beauty products) is even better. "Heat it in the microwave, and conform it to your breast," says Laura Kriska, a mom in Brooklyn, New York.

5. Heat helps the milk flow, but if your breasts are sore after nursing, try a cold pack. Amy Hooker, a San Diego mom, says, "A bag of frozen peas worked really well for me."

6. If you want baby to eventually take a bottle, introduce it after breastfeeding is established but before the 3-month mark. Many experts say 6 to 8 weeks is good, but "we started each of our kids on one bottle a day at 3 weeks," says Jill Sizemore, a mom in Pendleton, Indiana.

Sleeping

If your infant isn't eating, he's probably sleeping. Newborns log as many as 16 hours of sleep a day but only in short bursts. The result: You'll feel on constant alert and more exhausted than you ever thought possible. Even the best of us can come to resent the severe sleep deprivation.

7. Stop obsessing about being tired. There's only one goal right now: Care for your baby. "You're not going to get a full night's sleep, so you can either be tired and angry or just tired," says Vicki Lansky, author of Getting Your Child to Sleep...and Back to Sleep (Book Peddlers). "Just tired is easier."

8. Take shifts. One night it's Mom's turn to rock the cranky baby, the next it's Dad's turn. Amy Reichardt and her husband, Richard, parents in Denver, worked out a system for the weekends, when Richard was off from work. "I'd be up with the baby at night but got to sleep in. Richard did all the morning care, then got to nap later."

9. The old adage "Sleep when your baby sleeps" really is the best advice. "Take naps together and go to bed early," says Sarah Clark, a mom in Washington, D.C.

10. What if your infant has trouble sleeping? Do whatever it takes: Nurse or rock baby to sleep; let your newborn fall asleep on your chest or in the car seat. "Don't worry about bad habits yet. It's about survival -- yours!" says Jean Farnham, a Los Angeles mom.

Soothing

It's often hard to decipher exactly what baby wants in the first murky weeks. You'll learn, of course, by trial and error.

11. "The key to soothing fussy infants is to mimic the womb. Swaddling, shushing, and swinging, as well as allowing babies to suck and holding them on their sides, may trigger a calming reflex," says Harvey Karp, MD, creator of The Happiest Baby on the Block books, videos, and DVDs.

12. Play tunes. Forget the dubious theory that music makes a baby smarter, and concentrate on the fact that it's likely to calm him. "The Baby Einstein tapes saved us," says Kim Rich, a mom in Anchorage, Alaska.

13. Warm things up. Alexandra Komisaruk, a mom in Los Angeles, found that diaper changes triggered a meltdown. "I made warm wipes using paper towels and a pumpable thermos of warm water," she says. You can also buy an electric wipe warmer for a sensitive baby.

14. You'll need other tricks, too. "Doing deep knee bends and lunges while holding my daughter calmed her down," says Emily Earle, a mom in Brooklyn, New York. "And the upside was, I got my legs back in shape!"

15. Soak to soothe. If all else fails -- and baby's umbilical cord stub has fallen off -- try a warm bath together. "You'll relax, too, and a relaxed mommy can calm a baby," says Emily Franklin, a Boston mom.

Getting Dad Involved

Your husband, who helped you through your pregnancy, may seem at a loss now that baby's here. It's up to you, Mom, to hand the baby over and let Dad figure things out, just like you're doing.

16. Let him be. Many first-time dads hesitate to get involved for fear of doing something wrong and incurring the wrath of Mom. "Moms need to allow their husbands to make mistakes without criticizing them," says Armin Brott, author of The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First Year (Abbeville Press).

17. Ask Dad to take time off from work -- after all the relatives leave. That's what Thad Calabrese, of Brooklyn, New York, did. "There was more for me to do, and I got some alone time with my son."

18. Divvy up duties. Mark DiStefano, a dad in Los Angeles, took over the cleaning and grocery shopping. "I also took Ben for a bit each afternoon so my wife could have a little time to herself."

19. Remember that Dad wants to do some fun stuff, too. "I used to take my shirt off and put the baby on my chest while we napped," say Bob Vonnegut, a dad in Islamorada, Florida. "I loved the rhythm of our hearts beating together."

Staying Sane

No matter how excited you are to be a mommy, the constant care an infant demands can drain you. Find ways to take care of yourself by lowering your expectations and stealing short breaks.

20. First, ignore unwanted or confusing advice. "In the end, you're the parents, so you decide what's best," says Julie Balis, a mom in Frankfort, Illinois.

21. "Forget about housework for the first couple of months," says Alison Mackonochie, author of 100 Tips for a Happy Baby (Barron's). "Concentrate on getting to know your baby. If anyone has anything to say about the dust piling up or the unwashed dishes, smile and hand them a duster or the dish detergent!"

22. Accept help from anyone who is nice -- or naive -- enough to offer. "If a neighbor wants to hold the baby while you shower, say yes!" says Jeanne Anzalone, a mom in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

23. Got lots of people who want to help but don't know how? "Don't be afraid to tell people exactly what you need," says Abby Moskowitz, a Brooklyn mom. It's one of the few times in your life when you'll be able to order everyone around!

24. But don't give other people the small jobs. "Changing a diaper takes two minutes. You'll need others to do time-consuming work like cooking, sweeping floors, and buying diapers," says Catherine Park, a Cleveland mom.

25. Reconnect. To keep yourself from feeling detached from the world, Jacqueline Kelly, a mom in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, suggests: "Get outside on your own, even for five minutes."

Out and About with Baby

26. Enlist backup. Make your first journey to a big, public place with a veteran mom. "Having my sister with me for support kept me from becoming flustered the first time I went shopping with my newborn," says Suzanne Zook, a mom in Denver.

27. If you're on your own, "stick to places likely to welcome a baby, such as story hour at a library or bookstore," suggests Christin Gauss, a mom in Fishers, Indiana.

28. "Keep your diaper bag packed," says Fran Bowen, a mom in Brooklyn. There's nothing worse than finally getting the baby ready, only to find that you're not.

29. Stash a spare. Holland Brown, a mom in Long Beach, California, always keeps a change of adult clothes in her diaper bag. "You don't want to get stuck walkingaround with an adorable baby but mustard-colored poop all over you."

30. Finally, embrace the chaos. "Keep your plans simple and be prepared to abandon them at any time," says Margi Weeks, a mom in Tarrytown, New York.

If nothing else, remember that everyone makes it through, and so will you. Soon enough you'll be rewarded with your baby's first smile, and that will help make up for all the initial craziness.

Heather Swain is a mother and writer in Brooklyn, New York. Her novel is Luscious Lemon (Downtown Press).

more in baby care basics


Interview with Anita Rogers on Goop.com

staffing.jpg

article from Goop 

photo from Goop

Anita Rogers, founder of household staffing agency British American, has more than a decade’s experience in pairing families with household staff, from nannies and butlers to personal assistants and estate managers. She’s earned a reputation for finding successful matches–and also for helping to handle any situation that may arise in the working household. Here, she shares her insights on why hiring for your childcare or home needs is profoundly personal, and how a staffing agency can help with the process.

A Q&A with Anita Rogers

Q: What are the upsides to using an agency?

A: An agency helps you determine what kind of help you really need, and devises the way in which you want your staff to fit your lifestyle. It also saves you time and keeps you safe during the interview process. Some families have limited experience interviewing and hiring childcare and household staff, which makes it easy to miss signs of danger, red flags, or dishonesty. We enforce strict standards as we interview thousands of candidates each year. This has allowed us—and other reputable agencies—to become experts at spotting dishonest references and to be able single out specific personality traits and potential challenges. A staffing agency has seen how similar traits have played out with other candidates, which lends to its ability to find the best fit for you, your family, and your household.

Q: What are the biggest misconceptions about household staffing?

A: Both parties must be willing to give and take in order to find the best match. Often people think they can hire a candidate if they offer a competitive or high salary. Or if a nanny or butler has excellent experience, they might assume they can get a higher salary and an ideal schedule. But staffing is a matchmaking process, and both parties must be satisfied with the relationship and the circumstances in order for it to work.

Q: How do you recognize good talent?

A: It’s a long process—and it’s so much more than just a great résumé and reference letters. We look for candidates that have a balance of experience, training, and education in their field and glowing references from past employers. Other indicators we look for include personality, attitude, flexibility, grammar, responsiveness, and confidence.

The résumé is always the first indicator of talent, where we look at formal level of experience, age appropriate childcare experience, the types of homes an individual has worked in, longevity in previous jobs, and demonstrated professionalism and willingness. We screen all résumés and references and do extensive state, federal, and international background checks, as well as a thorough screening of their social media.

Q: What’s the secret to finding a good match between a family and nanny?

A: Everyone must be on the same page from the very beginning of the process. One family’s dream nanny could be another’s nightmare. It’s imperative that the candidate and the family have a similar approach to raising children, as well as complementary personalities. Someone who is really laid back isn’t going to work well in a formal home that thrives on structure. (The reverse is true as well.) The perfect nanny and family pairing has similar philosophies about discipline, education, and responsibilities. There has to be a mutual respect between the parents and the nanny regarding the decisions made concerning the child. As a parent, if you feel like you have to micromanage and instruct your nanny on how you’d like every situation handled, you will become frustrated and resentful of the situation.

One of the most important factors to consider during the process of finding a good match is assessing the needs and expectations of the family. There’s a huge difference between a parent looking for an extra set of hands to help with driving, activities, and meals and a working parent who needs someone to be the child’s primary caregiver. A take-charge, independent, problem-solving nanny with sole-charge experience isn’t going to thrive as a helper. In the same way, a nanny without the confidence to make decisions on his or her own and proactively foresee situations isn’t the best choice for a family where the parents are gone most of the day. 

Q: Once the hiring process is done, what other support do clients typically need?

A: It depends upon the family. Clients will often come to us for help with communicating with their new employee, especially during the transition process while the employee settles in. We always encourage regular, open and honest communication between both parties. On occasion, we will go into the home as a “manager” and help iron out any small issues that may exist. A relationship between a family and their household employees needs to be nurtured and carefully built, as this is a private home, where discretion is of utmost importance. We encourage clear communication and a weekly sit-down between a family and staff.

Q: If a match doesn’t work out, what is your advice for handling a potential change (or parting ways)?

A: We suggest that each party be gentle but honest about their feelings. The parting should be done with kindness and care so that everyone involved understands that it isn’t a personal attack, just a relationship that has outlived its potential. When hiring staff, you are creating a business in your home. I have seen people distraught if something isn’t working out because they don’t want to offend someone, they don’t want to hurt their feelings.

In certain situations, we’ll go into the residence and let the candidate go so that we can assure it’s done with delicacy. Every situation is very different. We’ve learned it’s best to never point fingers and to make everyone feel good. We directly address and try to resolve any problems, serious or minor, that are brought to our attention, and to support the client or candidate. The ending of a professional relationship can be emotional, particularly if it involves an intimate household setting, so we work to minimize any potential animosity a much as possible.

Q: Is there a difference between a nanny and a career nanny?

A: Most definitely. A typical nanny is different from a career nanny in that they often have a lot of experience with families, but no background or education in child development. Other nanny candidates are great with children and may have teaching degrees or other formal education, but limited in-home experience (typically part-time babysitting work).

A career nanny is someone who has chosen childcare as his or her profession. Most often, these candidates have formal education in child development and/or psychology. This can include a college degree in education or or training from previous jobs. Career nannies also have an employment history of long-term placements in private homes, understand the dynmics of working in a home environment and are great with children. A career nanny knows how to anticipate needs, respect a family’s privacy and space, and handle the logistics of high-end homes. Being in a home is very different than working in a school or daycare; there is no way to prepare or train someone for it, it’s something you learn and understand only after having experienced it.

Q: How have staffing agencies changed over the years?

A: Historically, many agencies have been run by only one or two people. Today, the amount of work it takes to verify backgrounds, interview candidates, and create and nurture relationships is impossible with such a small team. This is a time-intensive business, which is why a larger team with modernized and strict processes is essential.

 

http://goop.com/work/parenthood/how-a-staffing-agency-can-help/


Hiring Seasonal Domestic Staff

Hiring the right temporary domestic staff for your summer home is a large project for any principle or family. This article discusses why this can be so challenging and offers potential solutions to common problems I have seen every season. I am someone with extensive experience in the luxury hospitality and staffing industry and I have run British American Household Staffing and British American Yachts, the leading domestic staffing and yacht crew agency in the USA and UK as well as British American Newborn Care, which works with the best childcare professionals in the USA and UK. Most agencies have a roster of recurring staff in all the domestic staff categories. The earlier you start the hiring process the more likely you will secure the most qualified candidates. If you have very specific requirements and early start will help you find the ideal person for a potentially harder match to find.

A family looking for a live-in housekeeper-cook for their Hamptons home should look at contacting agencies in New York as well as the Hamptons, but nowhere too far for the housekeeper-cook to travel back and forth to on their days off (for instance New Jersey is too far from Easthampton, one full day off will be used for traveling). A live-in housekeeper-cook for the Hamptons will have to drive so this is a challenging order as many domestic candidates don’t want to live in and many housekeepers do not like to cook, especially cook the volume needed for the summer season, which is typically filled with parties and extra guests.

The best solution is to do the following: - Start the hiring process early - Contact high end agencies only, both local and non-local (as it is live in) - Set a salary range that is generous to allow you to find the best fit more easily - Make sure you have set an appealing schedule so you open-up the pool of qualified candidates. The schedule should always have 2 consecutive days off and usually a Sunday is given as a day off, in conjunction with Monday or Saturday - Phone screen the candidates first - Check their level of experience - Check they have been a flexible worker in the past.

One of the most common recurring issues for larger estates lies in the team of domestic staff. Staffing a larger home or estates is like running a small business in your home. The pyramid model works well for estate staffing. Start by hiring a house manager or a butler house manager. This person can then help you screen the rest of the staff, which helps them establish their authority with the staff you decide to hire for the summer that this house manager will be overseeing. This is the most important hire you will make over the summer, so screen this person for the following qualities:

- Ask their management style and ask for two or more references from staff they managed previously - Find out why they are looking for the summer only - Hire someone who has experience in the area they will be working - Ensure they have estate staff management experience - Once you hire them, hire the domestic staff with them and keep an open line of communication with the staff in case there are revolving door problems and it is the fault of the house manager - Make sure they have relationships with the top agencies in the area and ask who they liaise with at those agencies - Ensure they understand scheduling for staff - Pay them very well with the promise of a bonus at the end of the season In case you are doing the hiring alone or with a remote house manager, you will need to know how to attract the best staff (housekeepers, chefs and nannies) for your summer home Housekeepers: - Other than nannies, most high quality domestic are looking for a secure full-time job position, preferably with benefits. This is something every principle hiring only for the summer with deal with and lose staff too.

The best solution for this is to hire the best local candidates on a lower full time salary, offer benefits and give them a bonus at the end of the summer. This is the best solution for retaining top talent in a seasonal area such as the Hamptons - Housekeepers, more than any other domestic staff category, like a regular schedule with overtime, which is the law. A constant live in or Wednesday to Sunday schedule is always unpopular, but more-often-than-not needed for summer hires, especially in the Hamptons. Hire one more extra housekeeper than you need so each housekeeper gets one weekend of a month. This will attract the best talent - A standard and suggested formal housekeeper salary is $70,000 plus benefits and overtime.  A seasonal housekeeper is $35 to $40 an hour.

 

Chefs: -

Chefs often like a temporary position that helps them earn a solid income and allows them more freedom to freelance during the year, or travel etc. - Yacht chefs are some of the best chefs you can find and they are accustomed to short-term gigs, long schedules, catering to large formal parties in a small space and working 7 day or more stretches. I would recommend this direction if you can accommodate a live- in chef. - Use an agency that works with both yacht and domestic staff - Top chefs are often happy to do the Hamptons in between jobs. Again, starting this search early and constantly checking in is an excellent way of increasing your chances of securing the best private chef for the summer - Suggested salary for a summer chef is $8-12,000 a month.

Nannies: -

Nannies fall into many different categories: 1. Career nannies 2. Mother’s helpers 3. Nanny/housekeepers 4. Second language nannies 5. Newborn Care Specialist nannies 6. Travel nannies Childcare is the most delicate of all domestic hires to make, as they need to be fully-qualified for your particular childcare situation. I recommend using an agency with a specialized childcare department. Screen the head of the department and make sure they are qualified in childhood education and development and hold the appropriate degrees (and newborn care specialist should be an expert in their field and should have experience training, screening and offering certificates to newborn care specialists). If your children are older (3 and up) a travel nanny or student nanny could be a great option. These nannies are often students, actresses, singers, writers or have another unrelated career during the year. They must be experienced nannies with your children’s age group and this should be screened by the agency childcare branch. This can be a good option if they are able to tutor and educate your children over the summer, or teach them a musical instrument etc. This is the more economical option, with a salary usually starting at $25 an hour plus overtime. Travel pay is not a legal prerequisite but overtime pay is. If you have an infant, or infant twins, a certified and educated newborn care specialist or baby nurse is the best option. A regular nanny (career nanny, nanny/housekeepers, second language nanny, mother’s helper or suchlike) will be looking for a permanent position, so they are harder to pin down for the summer. If you do, the career nannies will likely be expensive at $35-45 an hour. Some will accept a summer position in between jobs but this is rare. For all childcare positions we highly recommend going through the childcare division at a reputed agency. Again, screen the person who heads this branch.

 

Examples are British American Household Staffing (bahs.com) and British American Newborn Care (bababynurses.com). Ashley Mundt and Katie Morin are both childhood and infant development specialists and highly certified, their bios below. For more information on domestic staffing, temporary or permanent, feel free to reach out to me at: info@bahs.com

By Anita Rogers www.bahs.com www.babynurses.com

 

Childhood development specialist and nanny hiring specialist for British American Household Staffing

Ashley Mundt, M.Ed., CCLS Nanny Consultant Ashley is our child development expert and nanny specialist. She has a strong academic background and years of hands on experience working with children and families in private and group settings. She received both a B.A. in Sociology and Youth and Human Services from Pepperdine University and an M.Ed. in Applied Child Studies from Vanderbilt. Her training as a Certified Child Life Specialist enables her to support and guide children and families during medical interventions, chronic illness, and family/home crisis situations. Although she has worked in many different settings throughout her career (including homes, schools, camps, and hospitals), her passion, and bulk of experience, is working directly with families in private homes. Over the past 15 years, she has worked as a highly sought after nanny, childcare consultant, parent educator, and caregiver trainer. Ashley's background of extensive developmental education and hands on experience in luxury homes puts her in a unique position to understand the needs of families, caregivers, and (most importantly) children.

 

Infant development specialist and baby nurse and newborn care specialist hiring specialist for British American Household Staffing and Newborn Care Katie Morin, ACNCS, NCSE Newborn Care Consultant and Placement 

Katie began her career in childcare over 20 years ago. She has been extremely fortunate to have worked with some amazing families along the way. One of her first and most memorable experiences with multiples (a set of newborn triplets) was 28 years ago. It was then that she realized her passion for working with children. It was then that she also realized her passion for caring for multiples. Katie has a degree in Child Development and Psychology and has countless certificates including being Advance Certified through the Newborn Care Specialist Association. Through the years, Katie has been a career nanny, a daycare owner, a preschool teacher and a Certified Newborn Care Specialist. She also has had great success in matching NCS candidates with amazing families worldwide. She does not consider these positions just a job, they are a passion and what she loves to do. It allows her to meet incredible people, all with different personalities and aspects of life. This experience gives her the ability to educate and assist new parents during the most amazing part of their life. To date she has worked with over 40 sets of twins, 9 sets of triplets and quadruplets. She has also worked with dozens of preemies (some born as early as 26 weeks) as well as newborns with special needs.   

 

www.bahs.com

www.bababynurses.com

www.bahsyachts.com


Taverna Rebetika Greek Music Evening on January 28th, 6pm

Taverna_Rebetika_2017.png

A private event for Anita Rogers Gallery and British American will take place on Saturday, January 28th at 77 Mercer Street, 2N, Soho NY 10012.  There will be live Greek music and dancing from 1930s Greece. Anita is singing with her Rebetiko group "I Meraklides" for the evening.  There is unlimited Greek food, wine and kefi for all guests.

Anita Rogers Gallery is showcasing three Greek-related artists that evening: George Negroponte, Brice Marden and Jack Martin Rogers, who all lived and painted in Greece.

Please RSVP to info@anitarogersgallery.com  Come and celebrate Greece and life and join the Greek and British American communities in Soho, NY.  We will confirm if your RSVP is confirmed. 

Μια μοναδικη βραδυα με Ρεμπέτικα και Σμυρνεικα τραγούδια σας περιμένει στις 28th January  2016 στην "Ρεμπέτικη Ταβερνα", πλαισιωμένη με άφθονη ρετσίνα και μεζεδακια.

Με ζωντανή μουσική και τραγούδια του Τσιτσάνη, Βαμβακαρη και Παπαϊωάννου, που έχουν τραγουδηθεί από τις αξέχαστες φωνές της Μαρίκας Νίνου, της Ρόζας Εσκεναζυ και της Σωτηρίας Μπελλου, θα εντυπωσιαστειτε με την αμεσότητα και την απλότητα που περιέγραψαν την εποχή τους οι πατέρες του Ρεμπετικου.

Οι Μερακλήδες σας περιμένουν
Anita Rogers: τραγουδι
Dimitris Mann: τρίχρονο μπουζουκι-τραγούδι
Vasilis Kostas: κιθάρα -τραγούδι
Beth Bahia Cohen: βιολί και κιθαρα

Warm regards,
Anita Rogers
Director and Founder
Anita Rogers Gallery

www.anitarogersgallery.com


What type of childcare is the best fit for your family?

What type of childcare is the best fit for your family? 

By Ashley Mundt of BAHS (www.bahs.com)

 

As all parents know, there is “one size fits all” approach to pretty much anything related to children. Each child is born with their own temperament, into your family’s unique circumstance, and with varying abilities.

 

Your idea of ideal childcare, like so many other things, will depend on your child, your family, your beliefs, and your needs. What is the perfect fit for one family may be a nightmare for another. There are many things to consider when hiring someone to help look after your kids and offer support to you as a parent.

 

The type of care provider is one of the most important factors to look at. Below are the different types of care providers and what you can expect from each:

 

Babysitter: This type of caregiver is often associated with date nights or occasionally standing in with the primary caregiver isn’t available. Babysitters are typically students or have other full-time jobs. They are great at entertaining your children and keeping them safe in your absence. This is not a caregiver who necessarily understands the full picture of your child or family dynamics or contributes to your child’s development in a meaningful way. Typically babysitters are hired as needed and found through referrals from friends and neighbors. 

 

Mother’s Helper: Sometimes you just need an extra set of hands. Whether it is because you have multiple children going in different directions or you have obligations outside the home, even the most dedicated stay at home moms can need some help. A mother’s helper usually works alongside you and follows your lead. You are still making the decisions about the schedule, meals, and rules and should expect to provide direction and oversight. A mother’s helper typically has a set schedule and can be full-time or part-time. They may expect guaranteed hours each week or might be ok with working a flexible schedule. This type of support is often found through other parents, school referrals, or an agency (more common for full-time positions).

 

Nanny: The most common form of childcare of in-home childcare is a nanny. This is typically a caregiver who works full-time for your family. The education, experience, and abilities vary greatly in this group. A nanny will be more autonomous than a mother’s helper and be trusted to make decisions, take initiative, and be responsible for many child related duties (often including laundry, scheduling classes, and meals). Often, nannies won’t have formal education in childcare, but years of experience with other families or may be a parent themselves. Most nannies work 40-55 hours/week and depend on their salary as their main source of income.

 

Career Nanny: A career nanny has chosen to provide full-time, in home care as their career of choice. They are typically a primary caregiver who spends significant time with their charges. Often they have an educational background in education, development, or psychology. Their experience and knowledge makes them a valuable resource for advice and ideas. They should be able to not only promote and nurture your child’s development, but also articulate the reasoning behind what they do. They will also have previous experience working in private homes and are accustom to taking initiative, anticipating needs, and managing all things kids related. As a professional, They should be capable of contributing to your child’s development in a meaningful way while providing organization, consistency, and fresh ideas to your home. This is their full-time job and they will depend on a set salary (paid on the books) and benefits. These nannies are in high demand and almost always found through quality employment agencies.

 

No matter what type of caregiver is the best fit for your family, its always important to make sure they are CPR certified and passed a standard criminal background and DMV check (if they’ll be driving your child).

 

If you have questions about what type of caregiver will provide the best support to your family, we would love to help. At British American Household Staffing, we specialize in matching experienced, educated full-time nannies with families like yours. For families seeking the highest quality career nannies or more personalized guidance through the process, we offer consulting services as well.


Ashley Mundt, M.Ed, CCLS
British American Household Staffing (www.bahs.com)
Nanny Consulting and Specialized Placements
Caregiver Education
917-975-0364


Common Sense C.P.R.

cpr_baby_2.jpg

British American Household Staffing is now offering a C.P.R. class in collaboration with Birth Day Presence

Common Sense C.P.R. will teach Infant CPR plus Relief of Choking to expectant and new parents, grandparents and caregivers. 
You will learn:

Infant CPR (age 0-11 months). You are encouraged to come while pregnant, but may come after the baby is born.
Relief of Foreign Body Airway Obstruction (Choking)
Taxicab and Car-Seat Guidelines
Extensive Baby Safety Tips

Each student will have a mannequin for ample hands-on practice. Students will leave with helpful handouts to keep at home. Babies who have not yet started crawling are welcome. To sign up: https://birthdaypresence.com/shop/infant-cpr-and-safety-ages-0-1-soho-2/

British American represents baby nurses in New York who are fully trained, vetted with excellent references and certifications.  They help both the parents and the newborn (infant) with development, care, sleep training and feeding.  Some baby nurses have doula certifications.  A high quality baby nurse will work with the infant and parents on sleep training when the doctor deems appropriate timing and the infant is the correct weight. Professional and high quality baby nurses support the mother in areas such as lactation, breastfeeding, lactation, latching and more.  Please contact info@bahs.com for more information regarding hiring a baby nurse in NYC and in the USA and UK.


Infant CPR

cpr_baby_2.jpg

British American Household Staffing is now offering a C.P.R. class in collaboration with Birth Day Presence

Common Sense C.P.R. will teach Infant CPR plus Relief of Choking to expectant and new parents, grandparents and caregivers. 

You will learn:
Infant newborn CPR (age 0-11 months). You are encouraged to come while pregnant, but may come after the baby -infant is born.
Relief of Foreign Body Airway Obstruction (Choking)
Taxicab and Car-Seat Guidelines
Extensive baby infant Safety Tips

Each student will have a baby infant mannequin for ample hands-on practice. Students will leave with helpful handouts to keep at home. Babies and infants who have not yet started crawling are welcome.

Baby nurses and newborn care specialists are trained and certified infant and newborn caretakers.  British American represents baby nurses in New York who are fully trained, vetted with excellent references and certifications.  They help both the parents and the newborn (infant) with development, care, sleep training and feeding.  Some baby nurses have doula certifications.  A high quality baby nurse will work with the infant and parents on sleep training when the doctor deems appropriate timing and the infant is the correct weight. Professional and high quality baby nurses support the mother in areas such as lactation, breastfeeding, lactation, latching and more.  Please contact info@bahs.com for more information regarding hiring a baby nurse in NYC and in the USA and UK. 

Click here to sign up.

*Use code bahscprmaysingle for $25 off to individuals* 

*Use code bahscprmaycouple for $50 off to couples*

Interview with Anita Rogers on Goop.com

staffing.jpg

article from Goop 

photo from Goop

Anita Rogers, founder of household staffing agency British American, has more than a decade’s experience in pairing families with household staff, from nannies and butlers to personal assistants and estate managers. She’s earned a reputation for finding successful matches–and also for helping to handle any situation that may arise in the working household. Here, she shares her insights on why hiring for your childcare or home needs is profoundly personal, and how a staffing agency can help with the process.

A Q&A with Anita Rogers

Q: What are the upsides to using an agency?

A: An agency helps you determine what kind of help you really need, and devises the way in which you want your staff to fit your lifestyle. It also saves you time and keeps you safe during the interview process. Some families have limited experience interviewing and hiring childcare and household staff, which makes it easy to miss signs of danger, red flags, or dishonesty. We enforce strict standards as we interview thousands of candidates each year. This has allowed us—and other reputable agencies—to become experts at spotting dishonest references and to be able single out specific personality traits and potential challenges. A staffing agency has seen how similar traits have played out with other candidates, which lends to its ability to find the best fit for you, your family, and your household.

Q: What are the biggest misconceptions about household staffing?

A: Both parties must be willing to give and take in order to find the best match. Often people think they can hire a candidate if they offer a competitive or high salary. Or if a nanny or butler has excellent experience, they might assume they can get a higher salary and an ideal schedule. But staffing is a matchmaking process, and both parties must be satisfied with the relationship and the circumstances in order for it to work.

Q: How do you recognize good talent?

A: It’s a long process—and it’s so much more than just a great résumé and reference letters. We look for candidates that have a balance of experience, training, and education in their field and glowing references from past employers. Other indicators we look for include personality, attitude, flexibility, grammar, responsiveness, and confidence.

The résumé is always the first indicator of talent, where we look at formal level of experience, age appropriate childcare experience, the types of homes an individual has worked in, longevity in previous jobs, and demonstrated professionalism and willingness. We screen all résumés and references and do extensive state, federal, and international background checks, as well as a thorough screening of their social media.

Q: What’s the secret to finding a good match between a family and nanny?

A: Everyone must be on the same page from the very beginning of the process. One family’s dream nanny could be another’s nightmare. It’s imperative that the candidate and the family have a similar approach to raising children, as well as complementary personalities. Someone who is really laid back isn’t going to work well in a formal home that thrives on structure. (The reverse is true as well.) The perfect nanny and family pairing has similar philosophies about discipline, education, and responsibilities. There has to be a mutual respect between the parents and the nanny regarding the decisions made concerning the child. As a parent, if you feel like you have to micromanage and instruct your nanny on how you’d like every situation handled, you will become frustrated and resentful of the situation.

One of the most important factors to consider during the process of finding a good match is assessing the needs and expectations of the family. There’s a huge difference between a parent looking for an extra set of hands to help with driving, activities, and meals and a working parent who needs someone to be the child’s primary caregiver. A take-charge, independent, problem-solving nanny with sole-charge experience isn’t going to thrive as a helper. In the same way, a nanny without the confidence to make decisions on his or her own and proactively foresee situations isn’t the best choice for a family where the parents are gone most of the day. 

Q: Once the hiring process is done, what other support do clients typically need?

A: It depends upon the family. Clients will often come to us for help with communicating with their new employee, especially during the transition process while the employee settles in. We always encourage regular, open and honest communication between both parties. On occasion, we will go into the home as a “manager” and help iron out any small issues that may exist. A relationship between a family and their household employees needs to be nurtured and carefully built, as this is a private home, where discretion is of utmost importance. We encourage clear communication and a weekly sit-down between a family and staff.

Q: If a match doesn’t work out, what is your advice for handling a potential change (or parting ways)?

A: We suggest that each party be gentle but honest about their feelings. The parting should be done with kindness and care so that everyone involved understands that it isn’t a personal attack, just a relationship that has outlived its potential. When hiring staff, you are creating a business in your home. I have seen people distraught if something isn’t working out because they don’t want to offend someone, they don’t want to hurt their feelings.

In certain situations, we’ll go into the residence and let the candidate go so that we can assure it’s done with delicacy. Every situation is very different. We’ve learned it’s best to never point fingers and to make everyone feel good. We directly address and try to resolve any problems, serious or minor, that are brought to our attention, and to support the client or candidate. The ending of a professional relationship can be emotional, particularly if it involves an intimate household setting, so we work to minimize any potential animosity a much as possible.

Q: Is there a difference between a nanny and a career nanny?

A: Most definitely. A typical nanny is different from a career nanny in that they often have a lot of experience with families, but no background or education in child development. Other nanny candidates are great with children and may have teaching degrees or other formal education, but limited in-home experience (typically part-time babysitting work).

A career nanny is someone who has chosen childcare as his or her profession. Most often, these candidates have formal education in child development and/or psychology. This can include a college degree in education or or training from previous jobs. Career nannies also have an employment history of long-term placements in private homes, understand the dynmics of working in a home environment and are great with children. A career nanny knows how to anticipate needs, respect a family’s privacy and space, and handle the logistics of high-end homes. Being in a home is very different than working in a school or daycare; there is no way to prepare or train someone for it, it’s something you learn and understand only after having experienced it.

Q: How have staffing agencies changed over the years?

A: Historically, many agencies have been run by only one or two people. Today, the amount of work it takes to verify backgrounds, interview candidates, and create and nurture relationships is impossible with such a small team. This is a time-intensive business, which is why a larger team with modernized and strict processes is essential.

 

http://goop.com/work/parenthood/how-a-staffing-agency-can-help/


Hiring Seasonal Domestic Staff

Hiring the right temporary domestic staff for your summer home is a large project for any principle or family. This article discusses why this can be so challenging and offers potential solutions to common problems I have seen every season. I am someone with extensive experience in the luxury hospitality and staffing industry and I have run British American Household Staffing and British American Yachts, the leading domestic staffing and yacht crew agency in the USA and UK as well as British American Newborn Care, which works with the best childcare professionals in the USA and UK. Most agencies have a roster of recurring staff in all the domestic staff categories. The earlier you start the hiring process the more likely you will secure the most qualified candidates. If you have very specific requirements and early start will help you find the ideal person for a potentially harder match to find.

A family looking for a live-in housekeeper-cook for their Hamptons home should look at contacting agencies in New York as well as the Hamptons, but nowhere too far for the housekeeper-cook to travel back and forth to on their days off (for instance New Jersey is too far from Easthampton, one full day off will be used for traveling). A live-in housekeeper-cook for the Hamptons will have to drive so this is a challenging order as many domestic candidates don’t want to live in and many housekeepers do not like to cook, especially cook the volume needed for the summer season, which is typically filled with parties and extra guests.

The best solution is to do the following: - Start the hiring process early - Contact high end agencies only, both local and non-local (as it is live in) - Set a salary range that is generous to allow you to find the best fit more easily - Make sure you have set an appealing schedule so you open-up the pool of qualified candidates. The schedule should always have 2 consecutive days off and usually a Sunday is given as a day off, in conjunction with Monday or Saturday - Phone screen the candidates first - Check their level of experience - Check they have been a flexible worker in the past.

One of the most common recurring issues for larger estates lies in the team of domestic staff. Staffing a larger home or estates is like running a small business in your home. The pyramid model works well for estate staffing. Start by hiring a house manager or a butler house manager. This person can then help you screen the rest of the staff, which helps them establish their authority with the staff you decide to hire for the summer that this house manager will be overseeing. This is the most important hire you will make over the summer, so screen this person for the following qualities:

- Ask their management style and ask for two or more references from staff they managed previously - Find out why they are looking for the summer only - Hire someone who has experience in the area they will be working - Ensure they have estate staff management experience - Once you hire them, hire the domestic staff with them and keep an open line of communication with the staff in case there are revolving door problems and it is the fault of the house manager - Make sure they have relationships with the top agencies in the area and ask who they liaise with at those agencies - Ensure they understand scheduling for staff - Pay them very well with the promise of a bonus at the end of the season In case you are doing the hiring alone or with a remote house manager, you will need to know how to attract the best staff (housekeepers, chefs and nannies) for your summer home Housekeepers: - Other than nannies, most high quality domestic are looking for a secure full-time job position, preferably with benefits. This is something every principle hiring only for the summer with deal with and lose staff too.

The best solution for this is to hire the best local candidates on a lower full time salary, offer benefits and give them a bonus at the end of the summer. This is the best solution for retaining top talent in a seasonal area such as the Hamptons - Housekeepers, more than any other domestic staff category, like a regular schedule with overtime, which is the law. A constant live in or Wednesday to Sunday schedule is always unpopular, but more-often-than-not needed for summer hires, especially in the Hamptons. Hire one more extra housekeeper than you need so each housekeeper gets one weekend of a month. This will attract the best talent - A standard and suggested formal housekeeper salary is $70,000 plus benefits and overtime.  A seasonal housekeeper is $35 to $40 an hour.

 

Chefs: -

Chefs often like a temporary position that helps them earn a solid income and allows them more freedom to freelance during the year, or travel etc. - Yacht chefs are some of the best chefs you can find and they are accustomed to short-term gigs, long schedules, catering to large formal parties in a small space and working 7 day or more stretches. I would recommend this direction if you can accommodate a live- in chef. - Use an agency that works with both yacht and domestic staff - Top chefs are often happy to do the Hamptons in between jobs. Again, starting this search early and constantly checking in is an excellent way of increasing your chances of securing the best private chef for the summer - Suggested salary for a summer chef is $8-12,000 a month.

Nannies: -

Nannies fall into many different categories: 1. Career nannies 2. Mother’s helpers 3. Nanny/housekeepers 4. Second language nannies 5. Newborn Care Specialist nannies 6. Travel nannies Childcare is the most delicate of all domestic hires to make, as they need to be fully-qualified for your particular childcare situation. I recommend using an agency with a specialized childcare department. Screen the head of the department and make sure they are qualified in childhood education and development and hold the appropriate degrees (and newborn care specialist should be an expert in their field and should have experience training, screening and offering certificates to newborn care specialists). If your children are older (3 and up) a travel nanny or student nanny could be a great option. These nannies are often students, actresses, singers, writers or have another unrelated career during the year. They must be experienced nannies with your children’s age group and this should be screened by the agency childcare branch. This can be a good option if they are able to tutor and educate your children over the summer, or teach them a musical instrument etc. This is the more economical option, with a salary usually starting at $25 an hour plus overtime. Travel pay is not a legal prerequisite but overtime pay is. If you have an infant, or infant twins, a certified and educated newborn care specialist or baby nurse is the best option. A regular nanny (career nanny, nanny/housekeepers, second language nanny, mother’s helper or suchlike) will be looking for a permanent position, so they are harder to pin down for the summer. If you do, the career nannies will likely be expensive at $35-45 an hour. Some will accept a summer position in between jobs but this is rare. For all childcare positions we highly recommend going through the childcare division at a reputed agency. Again, screen the person who heads this branch.

 

Examples are British American Household Staffing (bahs.com) and British American Newborn Care (bababynurses.com). Ashley Mundt and Katie Morin are both childhood and infant development specialists and highly certified, their bios below. For more information on domestic staffing, temporary or permanent, feel free to reach out to me at: info@bahs.com

By Anita Rogers www.bahs.com www.babynurses.com

 

Childhood development specialist and nanny hiring specialist for British American Household Staffing

Ashley Mundt, M.Ed., CCLS Nanny Consultant Ashley is our child development expert and nanny specialist. She has a strong academic background and years of hands on experience working with children and families in private and group settings. She received both a B.A. in Sociology and Youth and Human Services from Pepperdine University and an M.Ed. in Applied Child Studies from Vanderbilt. Her training as a Certified Child Life Specialist enables her to support and guide children and families during medical interventions, chronic illness, and family/home crisis situations. Although she has worked in many different settings throughout her career (including homes, schools, camps, and hospitals), her passion, and bulk of experience, is working directly with families in private homes. Over the past 15 years, she has worked as a highly sought after nanny, childcare consultant, parent educator, and caregiver trainer. Ashley's background of extensive developmental education and hands on experience in luxury homes puts her in a unique position to understand the needs of families, caregivers, and (most importantly) children.

 

Infant development specialist and baby nurse and newborn care specialist hiring specialist for British American Household Staffing and Newborn Care Katie Morin, ACNCS, NCSE Newborn Care Consultant and Placement 

Katie began her career in childcare over 20 years ago. She has been extremely fortunate to have worked with some amazing families along the way. One of her first and most memorable experiences with multiples (a set of newborn triplets) was 28 years ago. It was then that she realized her passion for working with children. It was then that she also realized her passion for caring for multiples. Katie has a degree in Child Development and Psychology and has countless certificates including being Advance Certified through the Newborn Care Specialist Association. Through the years, Katie has been a career nanny, a daycare owner, a preschool teacher and a Certified Newborn Care Specialist. She also has had great success in matching NCS candidates with amazing families worldwide. She does not consider these positions just a job, they are a passion and what she loves to do. It allows her to meet incredible people, all with different personalities and aspects of life. This experience gives her the ability to educate and assist new parents during the most amazing part of their life. To date she has worked with over 40 sets of twins, 9 sets of triplets and quadruplets. She has also worked with dozens of preemies (some born as early as 26 weeks) as well as newborns with special needs.   

 

www.bahs.com

www.bababynurses.com

www.bahsyachts.com


Art Exhibition: Cannon Hersey’s Silk Route

Anita_Artist_Reception.png

British American Household Staffing's first major art exhibition event was a great success, with over 50 potential buyers viewing Cannon Hersey's 22 moving pieces.

Starting at 6 PM, guests started arriving to view the art and mingle with fellow fans of the artist’s work.  Friends, family and British American Household Staffing clients alike gathered to see his new work and hear about the creation process and deeper meaning of all of his culturally provocative work.  7 PM marked the private tour that revealed a cohesive and provoking thought process behind all of his diverse body of work.  Wang Rouying was kind enough to play the piano for the event; at only 13 years old, she performed a complex Rachmaninoff piece. The remainder of the event consisted of some wonderful socialization and discussion about the pieces.

Interview with Anita Rogers on Goop.com

staffing.jpg

article from Goop 

photo from Goop

Anita Rogers, founder of household staffing agency British American, has more than a decade’s experience in pairing families with household staff, from nannies and butlers to personal assistants and estate managers. She’s earned a reputation for finding successful matches–and also for helping to handle any situation that may arise in the working household. Here, she shares her insights on why hiring for your childcare or home needs is profoundly personal, and how a staffing agency can help with the process.

A Q&A with Anita Rogers

Q: What are the upsides to using an agency?

A: An agency helps you determine what kind of help you really need, and devises the way in which you want your staff to fit your lifestyle. It also saves you time and keeps you safe during the interview process. Some families have limited experience interviewing and hiring childcare and household staff, which makes it easy to miss signs of danger, red flags, or dishonesty. We enforce strict standards as we interview thousands of candidates each year. This has allowed us—and other reputable agencies—to become experts at spotting dishonest references and to be able single out specific personality traits and potential challenges. A staffing agency has seen how similar traits have played out with other candidates, which lends to its ability to find the best fit for you, your family, and your household.

Q: What are the biggest misconceptions about household staffing?

A: Both parties must be willing to give and take in order to find the best match. Often people think they can hire a candidate if they offer a competitive or high salary. Or if a nanny or butler has excellent experience, they might assume they can get a higher salary and an ideal schedule. But staffing is a matchmaking process, and both parties must be satisfied with the relationship and the circumstances in order for it to work.

Q: How do you recognize good talent?

A: It’s a long process—and it’s so much more than just a great résumé and reference letters. We look for candidates that have a balance of experience, training, and education in their field and glowing references from past employers. Other indicators we look for include personality, attitude, flexibility, grammar, responsiveness, and confidence.

The résumé is always the first indicator of talent, where we look at formal level of experience, age appropriate childcare experience, the types of homes an individual has worked in, longevity in previous jobs, and demonstrated professionalism and willingness. We screen all résumés and references and do extensive state, federal, and international background checks, as well as a thorough screening of their social media.

Q: What’s the secret to finding a good match between a family and nanny?

A: Everyone must be on the same page from the very beginning of the process. One family’s dream nanny could be another’s nightmare. It’s imperative that the candidate and the family have a similar approach to raising children, as well as complementary personalities. Someone who is really laid back isn’t going to work well in a formal home that thrives on structure. (The reverse is true as well.) The perfect nanny and family pairing has similar philosophies about discipline, education, and responsibilities. There has to be a mutual respect between the parents and the nanny regarding the decisions made concerning the child. As a parent, if you feel like you have to micromanage and instruct your nanny on how you’d like every situation handled, you will become frustrated and resentful of the situation.

One of the most important factors to consider during the process of finding a good match is assessing the needs and expectations of the family. There’s a huge difference between a parent looking for an extra set of hands to help with driving, activities, and meals and a working parent who needs someone to be the child’s primary caregiver. A take-charge, independent, problem-solving nanny with sole-charge experience isn’t going to thrive as a helper. In the same way, a nanny without the confidence to make decisions on his or her own and proactively foresee situations isn’t the best choice for a family where the parents are gone most of the day. 

Q: Once the hiring process is done, what other support do clients typically need?

A: It depends upon the family. Clients will often come to us for help with communicating with their new employee, especially during the transition process while the employee settles in. We always encourage regular, open and honest communication between both parties. On occasion, we will go into the home as a “manager” and help iron out any small issues that may exist. A relationship between a family and their household employees needs to be nurtured and carefully built, as this is a private home, where discretion is of utmost importance. We encourage clear communication and a weekly sit-down between a family and staff.

Q: If a match doesn’t work out, what is your advice for handling a potential change (or parting ways)?

A: We suggest that each party be gentle but honest about their feelings. The parting should be done with kindness and care so that everyone involved understands that it isn’t a personal attack, just a relationship that has outlived its potential. When hiring staff, you are creating a business in your home. I have seen people distraught if something isn’t working out because they don’t want to offend someone, they don’t want to hurt their feelings.

In certain situations, we’ll go into the residence and let the candidate go so that we can assure it’s done with delicacy. Every situation is very different. We’ve learned it’s best to never point fingers and to make everyone feel good. We directly address and try to resolve any problems, serious or minor, that are brought to our attention, and to support the client or candidate. The ending of a professional relationship can be emotional, particularly if it involves an intimate household setting, so we work to minimize any potential animosity a much as possible.

Q: Is there a difference between a nanny and a career nanny?

A: Most definitely. A typical nanny is different from a career nanny in that they often have a lot of experience with families, but no background or education in child development. Other nanny candidates are great with children and may have teaching degrees or other formal education, but limited in-home experience (typically part-time babysitting work).

A career nanny is someone who has chosen childcare as his or her profession. Most often, these candidates have formal education in child development and/or psychology. This can include a college degree in education or or training from previous jobs. Career nannies also have an employment history of long-term placements in private homes, understand the dynmics of working in a home environment and are great with children. A career nanny knows how to anticipate needs, respect a family’s privacy and space, and handle the logistics of high-end homes. Being in a home is very different than working in a school or daycare; there is no way to prepare or train someone for it, it’s something you learn and understand only after having experienced it.

Q: How have staffing agencies changed over the years?

A: Historically, many agencies have been run by only one or two people. Today, the amount of work it takes to verify backgrounds, interview candidates, and create and nurture relationships is impossible with such a small team. This is a time-intensive business, which is why a larger team with modernized and strict processes is essential.

 

http://goop.com/work/parenthood/how-a-staffing-agency-can-help/


Hiring Seasonal Domestic Staff

Hiring the right temporary domestic staff for your summer home is a large project for any principle or family. This article discusses why this can be so challenging and offers potential solutions to common problems I have seen every season. I am someone with extensive experience in the luxury hospitality and staffing industry and I have run British American Household Staffing and British American Yachts, the leading domestic staffing and yacht crew agency in the USA and UK as well as British American Newborn Care, which works with the best childcare professionals in the USA and UK. Most agencies have a roster of recurring staff in all the domestic staff categories. The earlier you start the hiring process the more likely you will secure the most qualified candidates. If you have very specific requirements and early start will help you find the ideal person for a potentially harder match to find.

A family looking for a live-in housekeeper-cook for their Hamptons home should look at contacting agencies in New York as well as the Hamptons, but nowhere too far for the housekeeper-cook to travel back and forth to on their days off (for instance New Jersey is too far from Easthampton, one full day off will be used for traveling). A live-in housekeeper-cook for the Hamptons will have to drive so this is a challenging order as many domestic candidates don’t want to live in and many housekeepers do not like to cook, especially cook the volume needed for the summer season, which is typically filled with parties and extra guests.

The best solution is to do the following: - Start the hiring process early - Contact high end agencies only, both local and non-local (as it is live in) - Set a salary range that is generous to allow you to find the best fit more easily - Make sure you have set an appealing schedule so you open-up the pool of qualified candidates. The schedule should always have 2 consecutive days off and usually a Sunday is given as a day off, in conjunction with Monday or Saturday - Phone screen the candidates first - Check their level of experience - Check they have been a flexible worker in the past.

One of the most common recurring issues for larger estates lies in the team of domestic staff. Staffing a larger home or estates is like running a small business in your home. The pyramid model works well for estate staffing. Start by hiring a house manager or a butler house manager. This person can then help you screen the rest of the staff, which helps them establish their authority with the staff you decide to hire for the summer that this house manager will be overseeing. This is the most important hire you will make over the summer, so screen this person for the following qualities:

- Ask their management style and ask for two or more references from staff they managed previously - Find out why they are looking for the summer only - Hire someone who has experience in the area they will be working - Ensure they have estate staff management experience - Once you hire them, hire the domestic staff with them and keep an open line of communication with the staff in case there are revolving door problems and it is the fault of the house manager - Make sure they have relationships with the top agencies in the area and ask who they liaise with at those agencies - Ensure they understand scheduling for staff - Pay them very well with the promise of a bonus at the end of the season In case you are doing the hiring alone or with a remote house manager, you will need to know how to attract the best staff (housekeepers, chefs and nannies) for your summer home Housekeepers: - Other than nannies, most high quality domestic are looking for a secure full-time job position, preferably with benefits. This is something every principle hiring only for the summer with deal with and lose staff too.

The best solution for this is to hire the best local candidates on a lower full time salary, offer benefits and give them a bonus at the end of the summer. This is the best solution for retaining top talent in a seasonal area such as the Hamptons - Housekeepers, more than any other domestic staff category, like a regular schedule with overtime, which is the law. A constant live in or Wednesday to Sunday schedule is always unpopular, but more-often-than-not needed for summer hires, especially in the Hamptons. Hire one more extra housekeeper than you need so each housekeeper gets one weekend of a month. This will attract the best talent - A standard and suggested formal housekeeper salary is $70,000 plus benefits and overtime.  A seasonal housekeeper is $35 to $40 an hour.

 

Chefs: -

Chefs often like a temporary position that helps them earn a solid income and allows them more freedom to freelance during the year, or travel etc. - Yacht chefs are some of the best chefs you can find and they are accustomed to short-term gigs, long schedules, catering to large formal parties in a small space and working 7 day or more stretches. I would recommend this direction if you can accommodate a live- in chef. - Use an agency that works with both yacht and domestic staff - Top chefs are often happy to do the Hamptons in between jobs. Again, starting this search early and constantly checking in is an excellent way of increasing your chances of securing the best private chef for the summer - Suggested salary for a summer chef is $8-12,000 a month.

Nannies: -

Nannies fall into many different categories: 1. Career nannies 2. Mother’s helpers 3. Nanny/housekeepers 4. Second language nannies 5. Newborn Care Specialist nannies 6. Travel nannies Childcare is the most delicate of all domestic hires to make, as they need to be fully-qualified for your particular childcare situation. I recommend using an agency with a specialized childcare department. Screen the head of the department and make sure they are qualified in childhood education and development and hold the appropriate degrees (and newborn care specialist should be an expert in their field and should have experience training, screening and offering certificates to newborn care specialists). If your children are older (3 and up) a travel nanny or student nanny could be a great option. These nannies are often students, actresses, singers, writers or have another unrelated career during the year. They must be experienced nannies with your children’s age group and this should be screened by the agency childcare branch. This can be a good option if they are able to tutor and educate your children over the summer, or teach them a musical instrument etc. This is the more economical option, with a salary usually starting at $25 an hour plus overtime. Travel pay is not a legal prerequisite but overtime pay is. If you have an infant, or infant twins, a certified and educated newborn care specialist or baby nurse is the best option. A regular nanny (career nanny, nanny/housekeepers, second language nanny, mother’s helper or suchlike) will be looking for a permanent position, so they are harder to pin down for the summer. If you do, the career nannies will likely be expensive at $35-45 an hour. Some will accept a summer position in between jobs but this is rare. For all childcare positions we highly recommend going through the childcare division at a reputed agency. Again, screen the person who heads this branch.

 

Examples are British American Household Staffing (bahs.com) and British American Newborn Care (bababynurses.com). Ashley Mundt and Katie Morin are both childhood and infant development specialists and highly certified, their bios below. For more information on domestic staffing, temporary or permanent, feel free to reach out to me at: info@bahs.com

By Anita Rogers www.bahs.com www.babynurses.com

 

Childhood development specialist and nanny hiring specialist for British American Household Staffing

Ashley Mundt, M.Ed., CCLS Nanny Consultant Ashley is our child development expert and nanny specialist. She has a strong academic background and years of hands on experience working with children and families in private and group settings. She received both a B.A. in Sociology and Youth and Human Services from Pepperdine University and an M.Ed. in Applied Child Studies from Vanderbilt. Her training as a Certified Child Life Specialist enables her to support and guide children and families during medical interventions, chronic illness, and family/home crisis situations. Although she has worked in many different settings throughout her career (including homes, schools, camps, and hospitals), her passion, and bulk of experience, is working directly with families in private homes. Over the past 15 years, she has worked as a highly sought after nanny, childcare consultant, parent educator, and caregiver trainer. Ashley's background of extensive developmental education and hands on experience in luxury homes puts her in a unique position to understand the needs of families, caregivers, and (most importantly) children.

 

Infant development specialist and baby nurse and newborn care specialist hiring specialist for British American Household Staffing and Newborn Care Katie Morin, ACNCS, NCSE Newborn Care Consultant and Placement 

Katie began her career in childcare over 20 years ago. She has been extremely fortunate to have worked with some amazing families along the way. One of her first and most memorable experiences with multiples (a set of newborn triplets) was 28 years ago. It was then that she realized her passion for working with children. It was then that she also realized her passion for caring for multiples. Katie has a degree in Child Development and Psychology and has countless certificates including being Advance Certified through the Newborn Care Specialist Association. Through the years, Katie has been a career nanny, a daycare owner, a preschool teacher and a Certified Newborn Care Specialist. She also has had great success in matching NCS candidates with amazing families worldwide. She does not consider these positions just a job, they are a passion and what she loves to do. It allows her to meet incredible people, all with different personalities and aspects of life. This experience gives her the ability to educate and assist new parents during the most amazing part of their life. To date she has worked with over 40 sets of twins, 9 sets of triplets and quadruplets. She has also worked with dozens of preemies (some born as early as 26 weeks) as well as newborns with special needs.   

 

www.bahs.com

www.bababynurses.com

www.bahsyachts.com


Taverna Rebetika

Greek_Event_FINAL.jpg

Live traditional Greek music from 1940's Greece on Thursday, December 10th at 77 Mercer Street, 2N, SoHo: From 6PM to 2AM where there will be plenty of Retsina, Greek food, and space to dance.

Traditional Rebetiko:  Anita Rogers is singing, Dimitris Mann plays the bouzouki, Beth Bahin Cohen plays the violin and Vasilis Kostas plays the guitar.

Μια μοναδικη βραδυα με Ρεμπέτικα και Σμυρνεικα τραγούδια σας περιμένει στις 10 Δεκεμβρίου 2015 στην "Ρεμπέτικη Ταβερνα", πλαισιωμένη με άφθονη ρετσίνα και μεζεδακια.

Με ζωντανή μουσική και τραγούδια του Τσιτσάνη, Βαμβακαρη και Παπαϊωάννου, που έχουν τραγουδηθεί από τις αξέχαστες φωνές της Μαρίκας Νίνου, της Ρόζας Εσκεναζυ και της Σωτηρίας Μπελλου, θα εντυπωσιαστειτε με την αμεσότητα και την απλότητα που περιέγραψαν την εποχή τους οι πατέρες του Ρεμπετικου.

Οι Μερακλήδες σας περιμένουν
Anita Rogers: τραγουδι
Dimitris Mann: τρίχρονο μπουζουκι-τραγούδι
Vasilis Kostas: κιθάρα -τραγούδι
Beth Bahia Cohen: βιολί και κιθαρα

 

-----

 

British American Household Staffing services the NY and CT areas, including 10013, 10012, 10003, 10023, 10024, 11211, 10014, 10021, 06807, 06831,  06836, 06870,06878, 06830

As well as the San Francisco Bay Area, including 94027, 94028, 94061, 94062, 94301, 94302, 94020, 94129, 94123, 94115, 94109, 94114, 94131, 94105

As well as the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Malibu areas, including 90210, 90069, 90028, 90263,90264, 93101, 93109, 93121, 90291,90401, 90409, 94513, 90272, 90402

As well as Palm Beach and Miami, including 33480, 33111, 33109, 33139, 33401, 33407, 33402, 33405, 33409

As well as London, England, including SW7 1DG, W1J 8LR, W1J 8 A J, W1J 8NL, W1J 8ET, W1J 8ET,  W84 AP, W84 AS, W8 4AQ, W8 4 AE, W8 4 AA, W8 4BA, NW3 1AA, NW3 1AL NW3 1AW


Italian Opera and Business

Maria_Callas.JPG

British American Household Staffing's president, Anita Rogers performed Italian classical arias with Craig Ketter for the Italian Chamber of Commerce and the BAB (British American Business) on April 7th, 2015.  The event was a huge success with an audience of over 150 attendees.  Craig Ketter is a well-known pianist as well as one of the top vocal operatic coaches in the United States, specifically well-known in New York.  He often collaborates with the Metropolitan Opera and works with some of the best-known principal voices of today.  Anita sang Vaga Luna, Che Inargenti by Vincenzo Bellini and Io T’Abbraccio by G.F. Handel from the opera Rodelinda with Heidi Skok.  

Anita Rogers, a mezzo-soprano, had performed and trained classically in England, Italy and Ireland prior to coming to the United States twelve years ago where she has performed opera and lieder extensively, as well as more esoteric repertoire.  Heidi Skok has been singing at the Metropolitan Opera for twelve years and is now pursuing a solo career in opera as a mezzo-soprano.  Heidi has performed throughout the United States and is currently recording an album.  Craig Ketter is a well-known pianist as well as one of the top vocal coaches in the United States.  He often collaborates with the Metropolitan Opera and works with some of the best-known principal voices of today.  

The evening was a celebration of the arts through business, and British American Household Staffing, known for placing the best quality domestic staff in New York and California, is proud to continue the tradition of supporting the New York’s arts world.  The audience and artists enjoyed cocktails, networking, and a live opera recital as they met new contacts in the stylish setting of one of the largest luxury apparel showrooms in New York.


1/10 Greek Music Event

greek_music.jpeg

British American Household Staffing hosted an informal late afternoon and evening of Greek music and dancing on January 10th, 2015.  

Beth Bahia Cohen and Adam Good played live music, and Anita Rogers sang and played the guitar. The group played a large selection of Rebetika and Smyrnaika while the party of over 100 attendees danced late into the evening hours. Traditional Greek food and drink was provided by Pi, a Soho, New York based Greek restaurant. 

This evening was a great success for British American Household Staffing and represented one of many artistic ventures British American Household Staffing aims to support and promote. 

British American Household Staffing is a proud patron and supporter of the arts and supports an eclectic selection of artistic forms, ranging from fine art and opera to folk and historic music traditions. 

domestic staffing domestic staffing domestic staffing