Household Staff and Covid-19 Vaccinations

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As Covid-19 vaccines across America become more and more accessible, many of our clients find themselves with an array of questions regarding their household staff. Can an employer request an employee receive the vaccine? Can a client in the middle of a job search ask to interview vaccinated candidates only? How can an employers help employees with the vaccination process? We've pulled together a list of the most frequently asked questions here. If you have any other questions regarding Covid-19, vaccinations and household staff, please don't hesitate to reach out to us directly

 

For household employers, the recent vaccine developments bring up the question: can I require my nanny to get a vaccination? See Can You Require Your Nanny to Get a COVID-19 Vaccination? from our payroll partner, GTM Payroll Services for more information.

 

Find a Vaccine Near You

Los Angeles

The COVID-19 vaccine is now available in Los Angeles to all U.S. residents 16 and older. Please note that people who are 16 or 17 years old are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

The Los Angeles Public Health website offers many ways to find vaccines near you - you can search by proximity, by appointment type, venue or vaccine offering. 

 

Miami

Individuals 18 years of age or older who work or live in Florida may receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Proof of Florida residency is not a requirement to receive the vaccine in Florida but Individuals must provide a photo identification.

The Miami Dade website has many resources for finding a vaccine near you, including drive through sites (no appointment needed), available appointments, and even free Uber rides to vaccination venues for those in need. 

 

New York

The COVID-19 vaccine is now available in New York to all U.S. residents 16 and older. Please note that people who are 16 or 17 years old are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. As of the writing of this newsletter, it has been announced that children ages 12-15 would become eligible as soon as this week. 

Use this helpful site NYC Vaccine List to find available appointments - many sites also offer walk-in vaccinations for those over the age of 16. When possible, the site offers useful information like wait time and which vaccine is being offered. 

 

Other U.S. States

Use Vaccines.gov to find appointments near any U.S. zip code. 

 

London 

Not everyone is eligible for the vaccine in London, although it will likely open to more groups before the end of the month. Currently those age 40 and over, in addition to those with pre-existing conditions and certain jobs are eligible. Click here for details on eligibility in the U.K. You can find and book appointments on the NHS website

 

CDC Recommendations for Employers 
View all CDC workplace recommendations here. 

 

Consider steps to encourage vaccination, such as: 

  • Allow employees to get vaccinated during work hours or take paid leave to get vaccinated at a community site.
  • Support transportation to vaccination clinics, such as paying fares for taxis or ridesharing services, ensuring employees can maintain social distancing. Check with your health department(s) about potential assistance, such as a mobile clinic or transportation support.
  • Some jurisdictions have screening requirements to ensure that only those who are eligible are vaccinated. Be sure to let employees know what they will need to bring with them to be vaccinated (employee ID badge or name tag, voucher, etc.).
  • Educate and help workers who are eligible for vaccination make their appointments through available channels.
  • Make sure employees know COVID-19 vaccine is provided free of charge. They should not be asked to pay any fee, including a vaccine administration fee, and cannot be denied vaccine if they do not have insurance coverage. Providers may bill their insurance plan or program for the administration fee if they have insurance.

 

Further Vaccine Resources

PBS: How to Talk to Kids About Being Patient for COVID-19 Vaccines

BBC: Covid-19 Vaccine Trials for Children - Your Questions Answered

Johns Hopkins: COVID-19 Vaccine - What Parents Need to Know

PBS: How can I help other people get the COVID vaccine?  


What Does a Live-In Nanny Do?

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Why hire a live-in nanny?

 

Juggling work and family is a never-ending cycle of deadlines and to-do lists. Your schedule is filled to the brim: working in the day, picking the children up after school, taking them to their different activities, going home, cooking, cleaning, preparing the children’s food for the next morning and when the children are asleep ordering everything online, tidying up, trying to get some sleep, then starting all over again.

 

Do you think back to the time when your calendar actually had time in it for yourself, when you could go to the gym, sleep in, or order in? Juggling children, a partner, and a job can seem impossibly hard. Well, it doesn’t have to be with the right support structure in place.

 

We recommend hiring a live-in nanny or nanny/housekeeper for busy families with school-aged children. The house will be organized, children taken to school, picked up, meals prepared, and you will have time to breathe. You can get to the gym and on weekend days maybe sleep in. It isn’t impossible. 

 

Some families ask “why not an au pair?” Au pairs are popular ideas, but finding a good caregiver is like winning the lottery. You could win a good one but most of the time they are almost young enough to be your own child and as carefree as when you were a late teen. Au pairs do not require the same amount of training or experience as a nanny. While this can be an adequate addition to your family, it’s better to make one hire that will last long-term and be an investment in your children’s development and success.

 

So, how does a family hire a live-in nanny or nanny/housekeeper and how are weekends covered, too?

 

What is a live-in nanny’s schedule?

 

For younger children (ages infant to five), a career nanny is the better choice. A career nanny will have education and experience in childhood education or psychology. They will have experience with your children’s age groups and be able to set boundaries, teach through creative play, understand sibling rivalry, and work to ensure the children develop into happy, well-rounded teens and adults.

 

After the age of 6, a nanny/housekeeper is appropriate as your children will be learning in school. They are in school longer and won’t benefit as much from a career nanny as a younger child would with more hours at home. 

 

A nanny/housekeeper won’t have the developmental experience with children but they will be loving, safe, and reliable while keeping the house clean.

 

The standard schedule for a live-in nanny and live-in nanny/housekeeper is a structured Monday through Friday. You may want them to stay long-term as your children get attached, but everyone needs two days away from their workplace to recoup and feel a work-life balance, nannies included. Another reason not to opt for the au pair option, which is seven days in your home.

 

Lastly, to cover the weekends you should hire a separate weekend nanny. This is usually a student with nanny experience due to their availability on weekends. They will keep your children engaged, tutor them if needed and wake up and play, make sure homework is done, and give you a couple of mornings to sleep in.

 

See more information on How to Hire a Nanny: What to Know and How a Nanny Agency Can Help

 

How to pay your live-in nanny?

 

You may negotiate a lower hourly pay because you are providing room and board for your nanny full-time or through the weekdays. However, it’s important to keep in mind the flexible schedule your live-in nanny will have. Unless you are militant about on and off hours, a live-in nanny will inevitably work well over 60 hours a week. In some instances, because of the convenience of the nanny always being on-call, we recommend maintaining payment in line with market rate. Honoring the nanny’s time through structured time-off or financial earnings will be an investment in long-term satisfaction for you and your nanny.

 

Outlining the work schedule and boundaries is an important step in hiring any live-in household staff. Because they will be in your home 24 hours at a time, we recommend settling details in writing like what their time off looks like, when you may request extra care, and appropriate behavior in your home. Our expert recruiters will be happy to guide you through this process and recommend the best structure based on your unique needs and lifestyle.

 

See more information on 5 Common Legal Mistakes to Avoid When You Hire a Domestic Staff

 

Life with a Live-In Nanny

 

Does this sound too good to be true? It is all possible. Many professional families hire this specific set up with help from BAHS. They get their balance back, and even go out with their partners on a Friday night when either the week nanny or nanny/housekeeper stays late or when the weekend nanny comes over, after work on Friday. 

 

Make the right choice for yourself, your marriage, and your children. Get your time back and actually sleep more! Connect with BAHS today to discuss hiring a live-in nanny or nanny/housekeeper or a weekend nanny.


Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week

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The last year of lockdowns have been turbulent to say the least but they’ve also resulted in an outpouring of praise from those having to homeschool their kids - celebrities included!

 

Teachers have never been shown as much gratitude and acclaim as they have recently due to parents everywhere realising the magnitude of round the clock education and keeping their youngsters occupied, focused, and on schedule with their learning.

 

It’s not as easy as we all assumed!

 

Jimmy Fallon declared “Teachers should make a billion dollars and get more vacation time,” while strumming his guitar on The Tonight Show.

 

The Late Late Show With James Corden host echoed his sentiments admitting that school closures had been rough on his family. “The homeschooling thing is a nightmare. My respect for teachers is through the roof” he praised.

 

"How most teachers are being viewed right now is right up there with health care workers," said Ruth Faden, a professor of biomedical ethics at Johns Hopkins University. "Now is the time to give the biggest possible shout-out to teachers."

 

British American Household Staffing CEO & Founder Anita Rogers told British Telegraph, “Covid happened and suddenly everybody wants a governess! Which makes sense, when you think about the gaps in schooling and structure so many kids have faced over the past few months.

 

Many have either a degree in education or multiple teaching certificates in specific subjects, such as music, a language and teaching English. Some families who hire governesses are not first-language English speakers. A governess must be able to teach written and spoken English at a high level, both for the native English speaking children under their care as well as non-native speakers.” She continues: “Governesses typically look after school-age, preteen and teenage ranges. A governess is occasionally hired for an infant so the infant can get a head start.

 

As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, we join you all in the gratitude to those who have been teaching from home in isolation, creating lessons remotely and patiently persevering throughout the pandemic to ensure students still receive sessions to maintain their grades and learning momentum.

 

We are in turn, very proud to provide the most exceptional nannies and governesses for your home to enrich your family with exquisite care and education for your children and their future.

 

We all love an uplifting story of a teacher who believes in their students so much they go that extra mile to make a difference to their lives.

 

Here are our top 5 teacher movies:

Dead Poet’s Society (1989)
128 min | Comedy, Drama

English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke

 

To Sir, With Love (1967)
105 min | Drama

An idealistic engineer-trainee and his experiences in teaching a group of rambunctious white high school students from the slums of London’s East End.

Director: James Clavell
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Judy Geeson, Christian Roberts, Suzy Kendall

 

Mr Holland’s Opus (1995)
143 min | Drama, Music

A frustrated composer finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher.

Director: Stephen Herek
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss

 

Precious (2009)
110 min | Drama

In New York City’s Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.

Director: Lee Daniels
Stars: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique

 

Matilda (1996)
102 min | Comedy, Family

Story of a wonderful little girl, who happens to be a genius, and her wonderful teacher vs. the worst parents ever and the worst school principal imaginable.

Director: Danny DeVito
Stars: Danny DeVito, Mara Wilson


Expecting and New Parents: Resources for Welcoming a New Baby

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This week, the team here at British American Household Staffing has put together a collection of resources for new and expecting mothers, based both on personal experiences and years of working with new parents. 

And, of course, should you require a newborn care specialist, nanny or any other household staff to help ease the transition of welcoming a little one into your home, don't hesitate to reach out to us at anytime

 

Recommended Items for the Home and Nursery

BÉABA Baby Food Maker: This French, sleek, small and minimal appliance is a must-have for new moms. It can steam and purée fruits, vegetables, meat and fish to the right consistency for any age.

 

Baby Björn Bouncer: While it may be pricier than others, this bouncer is well worth it. It is elegantly designed, takes up minimal space and comes in several materials and colors. Plus it's lightweight, easy to fold and move - it's useful whether you're using it to soothe your baby while you take a quick shower or packing it in the car for a weekend getaway.

 

Snoo Bassinet and Smart Sleeper: Snoo is a baby bassinet that helps babies achieve longer and better quality sleep by reproducing many of the sensations of the womb. The sleeper gently rocks the baby, provides calming white noise, and allows for safe swaddling. It automatically responds to the baby's movements and sounds to provide the best experience - and this can all be monitored with an app that provides daily sleep reports and more. 

 

Baby Brezza: Baby Brezza has a solution for all your milk and formula needs. The Formula Pro Advanced Baby Formula Dispenser is a must-have for families using formula; the appliance makes a warm, formula bottle instantly and works with all brands and bottle types. We also love their baby bottle sterilizer and dryer; it sterilizes all bottles, pump parts and accessories using natural steam. 

 

Aden & Anais: We love every item from this Australian company but the muslin swaddles are our top favorite. Founder Raegan Moya-Jones actually introduced the first muslin swaddle blanket to the United States in 2006; the fabric is great for its breathability, durability, and softness. They have tons of beautiful prints to complement any nursery, including fun collaborations with Harry Potter, Mickey Mouse and more. 

 

Nanit Baby Monitor: Nanit offers a wide range of products and solutions to monitor your baby's activities, growth and safety. Choose from smart and simple-to-use baby monitors, swaddles and pajamas that allow you to monitor your baby's breathing from the app without any sensors - the system can track breathing by monitoring movements in the fabric’s custom pattern. 

 

Seraphine: We love the skin to skin clothing from this female-owned company.  Not only do they have multiple styles and colors of skin to skin shirts for women but they also make men's skin to skin clothing to allow for important bonding between the new father and baby. Shop in the next week to enjoy 20% off for Mother's Day. 

 

Huckleberry App: Use this app to track feedings, sleep schedule, diapers and growth - plus you can easily toggle between children's profiles to track data for multiple children. There's even a helpful tool that predicts the next time your child will be ready to sleep.

 

Resources

Tribeca Pediatrics: Spend some time exploring the site of one of the top pediatric providers in New York City to find tons of guidance, FAQslive virtual classesrecommended vaccine schedules for children, and even their very own podcast

 

BBC Tiny Happy People: This free, online site offers resources to help build children's language and communication skills, from birth until school years. The site has activities for all ages (even suggestions for expecting parents), tips for raising multilingual children, ways to bond with new babies and much more. 

 

The Motherland Podcast: On the UK's number one family podcast, mother and founder Zoe Blaskey interviews guests each episode on the challenges and joys of parenthood. She features stay-at-home parents, doctors, CEOs, wellness guides, authors and more. 

 

Informed Pregnancy Podcast: This podcast, led by Dr. Elliot Berlin, aims to empower women with knowledge about pregnancy and childbirth so all parents can make informed decisions about their body and the birthing process. The format varies and the show broaches everything from interviews about pregnancy with celebrities such as Mandy Moore and Hilary Duff to conversations with experts on child water safetypostpartum depression and elective cesarians


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

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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 it's 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 specialise 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 care 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 organising. 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 to begin your hiring process here.


Celebrate Earth Day: Eco-Friendly Favorites for Children and Home

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Happy Earth Day!  To celebrate, we've gathered a selection of our top choices for eco-friendly products you can easily make the switch to in your life to make a difference every day. In all of the cases below, we think the eco-friendly alternatives are better in quality than the traditional alternatives.

We also recommend talking to children about the various initiatives your family is taking to be greener and lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. The more they understand, the more interested and proactive they will be. Answer children's questions as best you can and reassure them that every little bit we each can do to help makes a difference. 

 

Eco-Friendly Brands for Children 

Oli & Carol

Available through Rose and Rex (a teacher curated toy store we adore), we recommend these 100% plant-based rubber Oli & Carol teethers for babies. They're available in playful styles, like origami paper boat and a brightly colored radish. They act as teethers and as toys (and float in the bathtub) and are designed without a hole to prevent build up from teething. 

 

Eco-Kids

This Maine-based family business sells eco-friendly art and project supplies made with all-natural ingredients in recyclable and/or reusable packaging. We love their signature Eco-Dough (a non-toxic all-natural colorful dough alternative made using flour and essential oils), natural beeswax candle making kit, and origami kit

 

Burt's Bees Baby

Made with 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, Burt's Bees pajamas are environmentally friendly, soft and great for sensitive skin. Plus they come in adorable patterns - we love their recent solar system onesie for babies and the freshly picked oranges and hello moon patterns for toddlers.  They also sell burpees, bassinet sheets, quilts, blankets and more. 

 

For the Home

Blueland

This female-owned company helps reduce plastic waste, shipping costs, and saves space at home. Buy their glass spray bottles just once then order and drop in one of the cleaning or soap tablets, combine with water and start cleaning! As of this year, the company is Climate Neutral Certified. Try the Starter Kit  and sign up for a subscription service or order tablets only as you need them. 

 

Bee's Wrap

We absolutely love this new product; this plastic wrap alternative is made from organic cotton and sustainably harvested beeswax. They come in many sizes to accommodate anything from wrapping half a lemon to covering a large bowl. We adore the colorful patterns; our favorites are Meadow Magic and Monarch, and they're all washable, reusable and compostable! 

 

Bloomist 

This company makes beautiful, small batch, high quality home goods using environmentally responsible practices. We love the simple pitcher and spoon set from Guatemala and elegant hand-crafted bud vases from Portland, Oregon. If you see something you like, act fast - they are having an Earth Day sale today! 


Hiring Household Staff After Coronavirus

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As vaccinations become available and we continue to ease restrictions and closures, more domestic staff are able to return to work. If you have been isolating at home or elsewhere for the past year, your family may be ready to return to your normal schedule. Whether you are bringing back existing staff, hiring for the summer, or making changes to your home's structure, we would be happy to assist your family.

 

We recommend interviewing remotely, offering living accommodations if possible, and following all CDC guidelines when hiring new household staff. Even with relaxed restrictions, these practices will ensure the health and safety of your family and staff.

 

Some of your domestic staff may have been able to maintain their roles remotely. Personal assistants, house managers, and other managerial workers can easily do most of their work with little direct contact with your family, and you may find that is an ideal structure for your life moving forward. However, hands-on help like housekeepers or nannies must be in your home to perform their jobs.

 

See the links below for more information on recommended protocols and cleaning instruction.

Return to Work Protocols (ASA)

Cleaning and Disinfection for Households (CDC)

Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (EPA)

 

 

What Are the Benefits of Having Household Staff?

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 ensures the smooth running of your homes.

 

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?

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

 

 

Hire New Domestic Staff with BAHS

Due to our tech-savvy culture, reviewing candidates and interviewing can be done seamlessly.

Our expert recruiters can assess your needs and recommend the best course of action for keeping your current staff or hiring during this time. Connect with your local office today to discuss your options and begin implementing structure.


Quick Getaways: Easy and Safe Weekend Trips

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Whether you're planning for Memorial Day Weekend next month or just looking to get out of town for the weekend, we've compiled our list of top quick getaway destinations that make the most of the warmer weather.

 

Catalina Island, California 

Take the 1-hour high speed ferry from California's Long Beach, San Pedro, Dana Point, or Newport Beach to visit the picturesque car-free (golf carts are very common!) island of Catalina. IEX Helicopters also offers chartered flights to Catalina in under 20 minutes or any private plane of your choice can fly into Catalina’s Airport in the Sky. Book a room at the historic Mt Ada hotel (the property will be 100 years old this year); the concierge will pick guests up from the ferry or airport and back to the property, the island's only Forbes 4-Star hotel. All rooms feature stunning ocean views, breakfast, lunch and cocktail hour; many boast patios and indoor fireplaces. Spend your time on the island playing golf, fishing, swimming, touring on a glass-bottom boat, or simply enjoying good food and taking in the views. 

 

Big Sur, California 

Just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from San Francisco or a 70-minute flight from Los Angeles, Big Sur is great choice for families looking to enjoy everything nature has to offer, including spectacular views, unmatched hikes, beaches, state parks, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and more. We love the Post Ranch Inn - the hotel just might offer some of the most incredible views in the country. Choose from ocean or mountain view suites, featuring private gardens, patios with dramatic views, soaking tubs, fireplaces and more. Note that the hotel is open to adults only. If you're traveling with children, consider L'Auberge Carmel, a lovely, historic hotel less than an hour from Big Sur and in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea. 

 

Boca Raton, Florida 

Less than an hour drive from Miami and under a three-hour flight from New York City, Boca Raton can feel like a world away. Book a room at the stunning Boca Raton Resort and Club (a Waldorf Astoria Resort) to enjoy golf, tennis, surf lessons, a private beach, 356 lush acres, and three waterfront pools. Children will love the nearby Butterfly World, the largest butterfly park in the world (about a 25-minute drive from the resort); the park features over 20,000 butterflies, as well as tropical flowers, plants and a selection of colorful birds soaring overhead. Adults and older children may enjoy a visit to the Boca Raton Museum of Art - be sure to check the calendar frequently as they often offer free admission on special holidays, such as Earth Day and Father's Day. 

 

Palm Beach, Florida  

Drive a little over an hour from Miami to reach Palm Beach, also a quick three-hour flight from New York City. We love The Breakers, a 125-year-old Italian Renaissance style property offering multiple restaurants, golf, tennis, swimming, and an easy walk to the Flagler Museum. Adventurous children may enjoy a visit to the nearby Panther Ridge Conservation Center; the non-profit features 20 cats of nine different species, including leopards, jaguars and cheetahs. Daily tours of various lengths and themes are offered. 

 

Watch Hill, Rhode Island

While we do love Newport, this year we are choosing Watch Hill, a beautiful coastal town about half an hour closer to New York City than Newport. Once home to Clark Gable, Henry Ford and even Taylor Swift, the historic town offers an array of small art galleries, antique stores, boutiques and cafés. We love the Ocean House; the hotel offers a 650-foot private white-sand beach, a putting green, croquet lawn, and a shuffle board court. Check the resort calendar to choose from a range of activities, including movie screenings, yoga and cooking classes, evenings around the fire pit and live music. 

 

Lenox, Massachusetts 

Just under a 3-hour drive from New York City and 2 hours from Boston is the town of Lenox, Massachusetts in the Berkshires. Visit author Edith Wharton's home and gardens, MASS MoCA, and Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. We recommend booking a room at the Wyndhurst Manor and Club (formerly known as Cranwell); the elegant 11-room Tudor-style mansion sits on top of a hill with beautiful views, a golf course, spa, and two excellent restaurants.

 

Bath, United Kingdom 

In just over an hour, you can escape London and find yourself in the historic city of Bath. We love The Bath Priory (open now for dining and day visits, opens for overnight stays in mid-May); the stunning ivy-covered hotel features sprawling English gardens, multiple pools, Roman baths, and the U.K.'s only  L'Occitane spa. 

 

Thornbury Castle, United Kingdom

Reopening May 17, Thornbury Castle is a truly one of a kind destination. Located under 3 hours from London in Gloucestershire, the property takes guests back to the 1500s in a historic English castle once owned by Henry VIII. Stay in a luxurious room with a 4-poster bed, tapestries and fireplace; explore the grounds and try croquet, archery or falconry. The castle welcomes children over 8-years old. 


Summer Camp 2021: In-Person and Virtual Options

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Spring may have just started but it isn't too soon to start thinking about summer plans for your children. Many in-person summer camps are reopening this summer and deadlines to sign up are quickly approaching. We anticipate that many of the top choices will fill up early as most have limited capacity and increased demand this year. Before making any summer decisions, be sure to consider what Covid-19 precautions the camps are taking, the health status of your family members and others you regularly see, and your child's comfort level with attending in-person or virtual camps this summer.

 

In-Person Camps

If your family is ready to return to in-person activities this summer, we've gathered some of our favorite options for sports, creative, and educational camps. All share several Covid-19 precautions they will enforce but we recommend reaching out directly to your camp of choice with any concerns or questions. A good staff will be happy to discuss their plans to keep all campers safe, healthy, and having fun while in their care. 

 

New York 

92 Street Y's Camp K'Ton Ton: For ages 3-5, Camp K'Ton Ton offers half to full day programs with a wide variety of activities, including music, movement, gymnastics, sports, games and science. With three outdoor play spaces and two outdoor swimming pools (led by Red Cross-certified instructors), this is a fun and safe option for NYC children. 

 

The Art Farm NYC: For creative campers ages 3-11, consider this art focused camp hosted at Trevor Day School's East Campus on the Upper East Side. Here, children will learn about plants and vegetables in the patio garden, participate in farm-to-table cooking lessons and do daily art projects. This year, the program has partnered with Mad Science to bring engaging science activities to the older campers, as well. 

 

Dwight Summer Camp offers various options for children in grades Pre-K through 6. We love the Sports Camp for grades 1-6; the camp offers daily swimming, a huge variety of other sports, plus an emphasis on nutritional education. The camp also offers a daily elective - children can choose from a range of activities, including chess and drawing.

 

Los Angeles

Tech Revolution at UCLA: Children ages 6-14 will love this STEM based camp. With a variety of topics, including robotics, game design, YouTube video production, digital art, coding, 3-D printing and more, there is sure to be something for every curious child. 

 

Cali Camp: For campers seeking outdoor adventure, we love this camp for ages 3 to 15 hosted on over 21 acres in Old Topanga Canyon. Children can choose from a seemingly endless array of activities, including rock climbing, gymnastics, go-karts, swimming, horseback riding and martial arts. 

 

Miami

Frost Science: The Frost Museum is hosting weekly themed camps for grades Pre-K- 5. Themes include paleontology, marine biology, the solar system and engineering. 

 

Real Food Academy: Miami's number one culinary camp for kids teaches nutrition, cooking fundamentals, cupcake decorating, international cuisine and more to ages 5 through 16. 

 

Greater Miami Youth Symphony: This creative camp focuses on music, color, timbre, texture, and culture. Activities range from tie-dying T-shirts to making musical instruments. Choose from a 6-week camp exploring a different part of the world each week or shorter craft-focused options for younger campers. 

 

The Hamptons

Hamptons Art Camp: Led by leading contemporary artists, including Virva Hinnemo, this Sag Harbor camp offers a new art activity every day, including drawing, painting, printmaking, mask making, beading, pottery, sculpture, sewing, and collage. 

 

Barefoot Kids: With options for ages 2-12, this lovely outdoor-focused camp in Bridgehampton encourages imaginative, open ended play. 

 

Hamptons Baseball Camp: Children ages 4 through 14 will love to spend time outdoors practicing their swing at this daily camp in Water Mill. The program offers various scheduling options, including weekly and daily rates. 

 

London 

Camp Beaumont: With age-appropriate camps for kids 3 through 16, this camp offers a huge variety of activities. Our favorites include Bee Bot Basic Robot Coding for the youngest campers, Aqua Olympics and Movie Making Basics. 

 

Virtual Camps 

Taste Buds Kitchen: This kitchen offers a live 2-hour cooking class every day for ages 6 through 15. All recipes are vegetarian and many can be adjusted to be gluten-free, dairy-free or egg-free. Certain cities (New York, Palo Alto and more) offer in-person options as well. 

 

Teach Me Wall Street: For older children (grades 9 and up), consider this crash course in finances. The camp includes course options on budgeting, financing, investing and cryptocurrency. 

 

Designer Camp: Choose from two sessions - the first focuses on interior design, fashion, and marketing, while the second is a photography intensive in partnership with Leica Cameras. 

 

Interlochen Online: In addition to the traditional in-person program this year, the famed Michigan center for the arts will offer 3-week virtual summer camps for children in grades 2-12. Children can choose between various live classes in music, visual arts, creative writing, dance, filmmaking, theatre, and interdisciplinary arts. 


Hiring Summer Staff for Your Hamptons or Florida Home

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With record-breaking vaccine rollouts, many states are making their way back to a sense of normalcy. This allows families to plan to expand their lives once summer comes, which very often includes hiring more household staff for the season.

 

There are many options for hiring and onboarding household staff for the summer during this time. Our expert recruiters are happy to guide you through your options and find the right solution for your family. It could be that you continue to interview remotely, implement quarantines for you and your staff before moving, and verify vaccination before a new staff member comes into your home. A large home with only essential staff will still require a house manager, housekeeper(s), chef, and nannies for the children.

 

This summer may need an all-hands-on deck approach and staff that are happy to be flexible with duties and schedules. While the decision to overlap roles is understandable in our current situation, we encourage that your family still maintain boundaries and help domestic staff avoid burnout.

 

If you do select to hire hybrid household staff to take on the duties of multiple roles, be clear about what should be the priority and what your expectations are. A nanny may be happy to help keep your home tidy, but her utmost priority should always be the care of the children. Communicate clearly and openly about day-to-day changes as they come. We are working our way back towards some sort of normal, but there will still be days for you and your family that are more difficult. Give your staff the opportunity and space to adjust accordingly and complete their work. 

 

The most common hybrid role for Hamptons household staff is the housekeeper/cook. This will not be a professional chef hire, but many housekeepers are happy to prepare meals and cook for the family. If you prefer a professional and dedicated chef, we recommend hiring a chef that can perform meal deliveries.

 

For safety or convenience, you may elect to have your staff live on your property for the summer. If you have never provided living accommodations for staff, whether in your home or elsewhere, see our tips to help make the transition smooth.


 

As always, we are here to help you and your family. Contact our office today to discuss your needs and find the best domestic staff to support your family this summer.



 

Find more help in your search:

 3 Questions to Ask When Deciding What Household Staff to Hire

What Is the Process of Hiring Household Staff?

How to Maintain Structure at Home During Uncertain Times

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