Travel the World from Home

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As the world is home now more than ever, the travel industry has swiftly adapted and is bringing the world's best destinations to the computer screen. The team at British American Household Staffing put together a list of recommendations for when a change of scenery is much needed. Whether you're picking a location for a future trip, educating your little one on other cultures or just daydreaming, these virtual adventures make wonderful afternoon getaways. 

 

Invite an Italian Chef into your Kitchen 

There are now plenty of ways to bring a taste of Italy into your kitchen any night of the week. We love Pasta and Live Opera in the Kitchen, one of AirBnB's most popular online experiences; the package offers a live private pasta making class (no special tools required!) via Zoom with a chef in Florence. As a bonus, she sings opera too! Nonna Live is another excellent resource; the site offers 2-3 hour online cooking intensives led by an Italian grandmother in Rome. 

If you can't commit to a scheduled time, try Massimo Bottura's on-demand Masterclass in Italian cooking; the owner of Osteria Francescana, the three-Michelin-star restaurant based in Modena, covers everything from basic doughs to broths, fish dishes and desserts. For a free option, NYC's Eataly offers an online course in pasta making with Nicoletta Grippo, the chef at La Scuola di Eataly. 

 

Take a Trip Through the Swiss Countryside

The internet offers a huge variety of virtual train trips, from the mountains of Japan to a trip on Peru's Ferrocarril Central Andino! from Matucana to San Mateo. However, our favorite is the journey from St. Moritz, Switzerland to Tirano, Italy. Expect a huge variety of stunning sites, from small villages to dazzling blue water and gorgeous mountain views. The virtual trips are great educational tools for curious children or for adults looking to unwind. 
 

Visit the Beaches of Bermuda 

Google Earth's Discover feature makes it easy to virtually explore a destination while learning about the culture, local customs and more. We love the tours of Bermuda, which allow virtual visitors to discover the pink sand beaches, crystal caves and historic villages. 


Wildlife Encounters

Explore.org has the largest selection of wildlife live cameras on the internet. With options ranging from the Tau Waterhole in South Africa to a penguin beach to puppy playtime, there is sure to be something for every child missing the outdoors. 

 

Meditate with a Buddhist Monk
A Japanese Buddhist monk from Osaka's Shitennoji Temple is now offering an online meditation class via Zoom set among the lush forests of Japan. Prices start at $10 per session with no minimum number of sessions. 

 

Family Crafts in Barcelona

Transport your family to a small village with few more than 200 inhabitants in in the middle of Spain's Montseny Natural Park with this AirBnB experience. There you'll be told ancient legends and led in a simple family-friendly craft project using common household supplies. 


Visit Hogwarts
 

For Harry Potter fans of all ages, Google Earth offers tours of the real life locations used in the Harry Potter films. For young wizards in training, we recommend this Harry Potter Digital Escape Room created by Pennsylvania's Peters Township Public Library. Finally, J.K. Rowling herself has helped launch Wizarding World, a "Harry Potter at Home Hub," featuring free puzzles, quizzes, activities and more related to the series. 
 

As always, we're here to assist with all your household staffing needs during this challenging time. Both childcare and cleaning professionals are considered essential workers and we have implemented strict protocols to make sure your family is as safe as possible. Contact us today to learn more


How to Maintain Structure at Home During Uncertain Times

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In life change is inevitable, but consistency is what we are craving most during this unprecedented time. Taking stock of what is in your power to control is a good way to manage stress and provide structure for your family. 

 

How to Maintain Consistency with Your Household Staff

 

Many families have already made the difficult decision to furlough or let domestic employees go. It’s important to remember, however, that these times will end. Life will return to a sense of normalcy and your home and family will need to return to the same level of care as before.

 

So it’s important to keep your staff if possible, either by having them live-in with you, accommodate strict quarantines, or adjust to remote work for the time being. Last week, we outlined some tips for how to acclimate to having your staff live-in with you during this time

 

Remember everyone’s life has been disturbed, and members of your household staff may be feeling anxious about work and income. Communicate openly about your plans and needs and be flexible. Replacing staff is a long and stressful process, and it is ideal to maintain your current staffing situation so the transition out of isolation can be easier.

 

What to Discuss with Your Domestic Staff

 

GTM Payroll Services recommends the following questions to discuss with any household employees:

  • What if your employee may be sick and you don’t want them to come to work? Or your employee needs to care for a family member, like a child or parent, who is sick?
  • What if your employee doesn’t want to come to work at your home because they’re afraid they will get infected?
  • Does your work agreement address paid time off and sick leave?
  • What types of government relief are available to my employee if I can’t continue to pay them or terminate employment?
  • What can we do if my employee hasn’t been paid legally and government relief like unemployment and paid sick leave laws are not available?
  • What if my children or someone in my home is sick and I don’t want my nanny to come to work?
  • What if I need to work from home and I still want my nanny to care for my children?
  • What if I work in a job that is a high risk for exposure (such as at a hospital) and my employee is uncomfortable coming to work?
  • What should your employee do if they are working and start to feel ill?
  • How will your nanny’s routine change if your children are home from school for an extended period?
  • What if I’m considered an essential employee (doctor, nurse, first responder, etc.) and need to go work and rely on my nanny for childcare?


 

Changes in your Household Staff

 

If you are in a position to hire more staff, it’s even more important than ever to evaluate your unique needs. Now that you are working from home, do you see any inconsistencies in your staff? Would an additional part-time housekeeper relieve some of the workload? Is your estate manager stretched too thin managing multiple homes? Take time to consider how additional staff can help optimize the care of your home.

 

Due to our tech-savvy culture, reviewing candidates and interviewing can be done seamlessly. Once you have a candidate you’d like to hire, options for self-quarantine and isolation before their start date are available. Depending on the area in which you live and your unique situation, testing may soon be available to ensure your family and staff stay safe and healthy.

 

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.


Our Top Suggestions for Offline Children’s Activities

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With a wealth of extraordinary new digital resources available to us during this time, it is easy to rely on these tools to entertain and teach your child each day. However, it is still vital to make sure your child spends plenty of time away from the screen each day. The team at British American Household Staffing put together this list of our top suggestions for children's offline activities. 

 

Movement and Mindfulness 

GoNoodle is a great educational site for kids with new activities and themes uploaded weekly. Each activity has an online option, an offline activity and a printable worksheet. Activities include kid-friendly yoga, children's workout videos and meditation for the whole family. All activities encourage engaging the brain and the body to keep children moving and thinking during their time at home. In addition to physical activities, the free site also offers crafts and recipes.  

 

Reusable Eco-Friendly Coloring Cloths

The Modern Cloth Company manufactures 36" x 36" printed eco-friendly cotton clothes that can be colored on again and again. Their stated mission is to "empower children to develop fine motor skills, increase creativity and escape constant screen time." With a selection of fun patterns, including ABCs, dinosaurs, cars and jungle animals, there is something for creative children of all ages. 

 

At Home Science Experiments

Elemental Science offers over 80 free at-home science experiments that will keep children busy and learning for hours. Some of our favorites include The Science of Fingerprints, which requires little more than ink and a magnifying glass, How to Make an Indoor Rainstorm (with very little mess!) and Lego Car Balloon Race. There's also a helpful section that covers substitutions in the event that your household doesn't have all the suggested supplies on hand for an experiment. 

 

Themed Sensory Kits

Young, Wild and Friedman, a family-owned and run company based in Texas, offers sensory kits for children of all interests. The kits, suitable for children over 3 years old, include a variety of toys, sensory dough, tools, cookie cutters and more. Themes range from reptiles and farm animals to princesses and ice cream parlor supplies. Lovevery is another great resource; it offers play kits that we absolutely adore for babies as young as 1 month, but the site does require a recurring subscription for most options. 

 

Add Some Drama to Story Time

Novel Effect's free app allows parents and caregivers to read from their child's favorite print book while the app follows along and plays music, spooky sound effects, and hilarious character voices at all the right moments. Simply download the app, select from hundreds of popular children's titles and start reading! Titles range from classics such as Guess How Much I Love You and Goodnight Moon to new favorites like Barack Obama's Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters and B.J. Novak's The Book with No Pictures. The app has just launched a small selection of Spanish language titles, with more coming soon. 

 

Start Cooking

Sites like NomsterChefFunology and even the BBC provide simple recipes that are great for kids in the kitchen. Consider putting your children in charge of a weekly dinner, for their siblings or for the whole family. Challenge them to come up with creative substitutions and solutions for any missing or limited ingredients. 


Classic Card Games

The Wall Street Journal suggests that regular family card games can help children with math, memory and building self-confidence. Today's Parent published a helpful list of top card games and their rules for those that need a reminder; the list includes Go Fish!, Rummy and Slapjack. Can't find a deck? Try this Famous Women In American History set or have the kids make their own deck out of card stock or construction paper! 


 

As always, we're here to assist with all your household staffing needs during this challenging time. Both childcare and cleaning professionals are considered essential workers and we have implemented strict protocols to make sure your family is as safe as possible. Contact us today to learn more. 


5 Tips for When Live-Out Household Staff Have to Live-In

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During this time of uncertainty and change, many families are making the decision to have their household staff live-in temporarily. Doing this ensures that your family and staff stay safe, healthy, and are able to support one another. 

 

Transitioning from live-out to live-in does require flexibility and patience for all parties. You may be settling into your new work from home schedule and have no doubt encountered some difficulties. The same will be true of your staff. Maintaining open communication and respectful boundaries will help your family adjust to having more people in your home and allow your staff to keep a healthy work-life balance.

 

If you chose to provide living accommodations for your staff, whether that is in your home or elsewhere, the following tips will help make the transition smooth.

 

5 Tips for When Live-Out Household Staff Have to Live-In

 

1. Keep Clearly Defined Working Hours

The same tip for keeping your own work schedule is true for your staff. Just because your nanny may now be living with you, she should be able to maintain a schedule with clear on and off hours. This will not only aid your nanny in avoiding overworking, it will help your children adjust to the new schedule by having a clear structure in place. This is not like when your nanny travels with you on vacation. Be sure your little ones know when it is time to play with their beloved nanny and when it is not.

 

Some changes in schedule should be expected for all staff (nannies, personal assistants, housekeepers, etc), but moving to 24/7 working hours is not sustainable and should be avoided at all costs. 

 

2. Set Boundaries for Everyone

Think about boundaries that should be set or revisited during this time. If your family is staying home all together, you want to be respectful of each other's space. You also want your staff to feel welcome while also being respectful of your family’s space. Are there areas or times of day that are off-limits for working? Where should meals take place? Where should your staff go to relax when they are not working?

 

3. Adjust Job Responsibilities Clearly

Your day-to-day will no doubt look very different now. Be clear and realistic about how your household staff’s jobs will function for the time being. Should your nanny be prepared to create and implement lesson plans? Should your personal assistant handle food ordering and delivery? Will your housekeeper need to pitch in more with childcare or cooking? Think through what your needs are during this time and be clear with your staff should their daily duties need to change.

 

4. Communicate Patiently

Be specific about what your expectations are with your domestic staff, and be sure to check in regularly. Even if they are living with you for the time being, members of your staff may have family they are also caring for remotely. Everyone’s life has significantly changed in the past month and communicating clearly about your needs will alleviate confusion and unnecessary stress for you and your household staff.

 

5. Practice Gratitude

Life has become a little more complicated in the past month. It’s important during this time of uncertainty to find ways to relax, take care of yourself, and practice gratitude. Prioritize positivity in your home as much as you can to help everyone adjust to this temporary normal.



 

As always, we're here to assist with all your household staffing needs during this time. Contact our office with any questions you have about structuring your household staff and hiring needs.


Our Favorite Ways to Spend an Evening at Home

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During these difficult times, when many of us find ourselves preoccupied with children's daily schedules, working from home, and worrying about future plans, it is easy to forget to make time for ourselves and for our partners. The British American Household Staffing team has put together a list of suggestions to help adults unwind and indulge after the children have gone to bed, either alone or with a loved one. 

If you missed last week's list of educational online resources for children of all ages, including virtual storytime and at-home science experiments, click here!

 

An Evening at a Piano Bar or Opera House
Cultural events have never been so readily available online which makes it the perfect time to set aside an evening for a free date night at home. We suggest taking in an opera at the Met, a ballet at Paris' Palais Garnier or a classic black and white movie offered free online from Turner Classic Movies. For a livelier option, East Village's historic piano bar Marie's Crisis is live-streaming performances by the bar's pianists each evening from their homes. Join the free Facebook group to take part. We recommend pairing your night with a speciality cocktail - try one created by an artist, writer or musician, such as Leonard Cohen's Tequila based drink or Alfred Hitchcock's White Lady. If you find yourself with limited ingredients, take a look at Forbes' list of cocktails that can be made from common kitchen staples. 

 

Treat Yourself to Dinner from One of America's Best Restaurants
Some of the country's top restaurants are now offering takeout and delivery options. Many have created lower cost takeout alternatives to their usual in-house menus. San Francisco's Atelier Crenn, the French restaurant boasting 3 Michelin Stars and the 2016 award for best female chef, is offering 3-course takeout selections starting at $38 per person. In NYC, some of our favorite restaurants, including SoHo's classic Balthazar and Flatiron's upscale Mexican restaurant Cosme, are now delivering. Note that Google Maps has updated its service to highlight restaurants that are currently offering takeout and delivery so you can be sure to find an excellent option near you. 


Virtual Wine Tasting
Many of the world's top wineries from Napa Valley to Bordeaux are now hosting virtual wine tastings and happy hours. Oregon's Evesham Wood offers packages that include a selection of wines shipped directly to your home along with a private Zoom meeting with the sommelier to walk you through the tasting and answer any questions. Sonoma County's Inman Family features a "Meet the Maker" happy hour online; the vineyard will send you a 3-pack of a wine of your choice and an invitation to an intimate virtual happy hour with the wine maker and other wine enthusiasts.

Don't want to wait for your bottle to arrive? Caroline Conner of France's Lyon Wine Tastings offers free virtual tastings and discussions - just reserve your spot and message her what you'll be drinking ahead of time and she will work it into the conversation! Whatever bottle you choose, we recommend pairing it with a delivery of cheese from Murray's or Artisanal Cheese (both ship to all of the U.S.).  


Bring a Professional Chef into your Kitchen
With The Chef & The Dish, a professional chef will Skype into your kitchen to walk you through a private cooking class of your choice. With options ranging from homemade ravioli  to New England clam chowder to hand rolled sushi, there is sure to be something for every taste. 

Salsa Dancing at Home
As more and more industries adapt to the current situation, it is now possible to learn almost anything at home for free, including salsa dancing and swing dancing right in your living room. 

Don't Forget to Laugh 
In need of some levity? There are plenty of online options from comedy clubs offering nightly livestreams, such as Eastville Comedy and Caveat, to pre-recorded offerings, including 92nd Street Y's hilarious conversation between Bill Hader and John Mulaney.

Learn to Make Cocktails with Award Winning Mixologists
Take a Mixology Master Class with James Beard honoree Lynnette Marrero and Ryan Chetiyawardana, the founder of London's Dandelyan, named the World's Best Bar in 2018. The class covers the basics, plus the bartenders' philosophies and tips on specific recipes. Additionally, your ticket gets you free entry into all of Masterclass' offerings, from storytelling with David Sedaris to tennis with Serena Williams

 

As always, we're here to assist with all your household staffing needs during this challenging time. Both childcare and cleaning professionals are considered essential workers and we have implemented strict protocols to make sure your family is as safe as possible. Contact us today to learn more. 


Our Top Recommendations for Educational Online Tools

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During these challenging times, you may struggle with ensuring that your child has access to varied educational resources and tools to keep them engaged and focused. The team here at British American Household Staffing has compiled a list of our favorite online learning tools, from digital story time for younger children to at-home science experiments and coding classes for older students.

 

Online Classes for Ages 3-18
Outschool is an app that offers online classes for K-12. The site offers a huge variety of options, from sewing and drawing to music classes, Mandarin, computer coding and even Harry Potter themed astronomy. There is sure to be something for every child's interest. 

 

One-on-One Tutoring
The New York Public Library offers free one-on-one tutoring for kindergartners to 12th graders. The effort is a partnership with Brainfuse, an online tutoring organization. The tutoring is available from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST daily. Educational videos about a variety of subjects, including basic math, organic chemistry and essay writing, are also online, as well as free test-prep videos. To gain access to the tutoring and videos, use a library card.

 

Children's Online Events
The Brooklyn Public Library is hosting virtual events on its website and social media pages. Examples such as StoryTime, Dungeons & Dragons, knitting and a teenage writing class are all published on their Facebook page.

 

Science Experiments In Your Home
Liberty Science Center in Jersey City has a whole programme of interactive tutorials to bring science into the home. Examples include making lava lamps, growing crystals and jar tornadoes. There are also live web cams to view the resident animals such as Tamarin monkeys and naked mole rats!

 

National Geographic for Kids
National Geographic offers a great site for kids with videos, games, experiments, trivia and more. We particularly love their Weird But True! trivia section and the deep dive into dinosaur species


Games for Kindergarten and Pre-K Students
Starfall offers songs, stories and games that reinforce the phonics and math skills children may be practicing at home. 
 

Digital Storytime
Storyline Online streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creative illustrations. Current titles include The Tooth read by Annette Bening, The Hula-Hoopin' Queen read by Oprah Winfrey and Catching the Moon read by Kevin Costner and Jillian Estell. 


Shakespeare in the Park
For the first time in over four decades, New York's Public Theater is streaming a performance from last summer's Free Shakespeare in the Park production, Much Ado About Nothing. Extremely well received by critics and the public alike, the production is an engaging and witty interpretation of Shakespeare's 16th century masterpiece. 


Historical Children's Literature
Children young and old will enjoy perusing University of Florida’s Baldwin digitized Library of Historical Children’s Literature. The collection features full access to over 6,000 children's books published in Great Britain and the United States from the mid-17th century through the present.

 

As always, we're here to assist with all your household staffing needs during this challenging time. Both childcare and cleaning professionals are considered essential workers and we have implemented strict protocols to make sure your family is as safe as possible. Contact us today to learn more


British American Household Staffing’s Top Picks To Keep The Whole Family Entertained At Home

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During this time of uncertainty and change, we understand it can be difficult to come up with new and exciting ideas each day so we at BAHS have put together a list of our top choices for families with varied interests, whether your children want to draw, visit a museum, play a game with a relative or explore an aquarium. 

 

 

Arts 

Mo Willems Lunch Doodles
The Kennedy Center's Artist in Residence, Mo Willems, is hosting daily live art classes hosted on YouTube that are fun and appropriate for the whole family.  New episodes are posted each weekday at 1:00 p.m. ET and remain on YouTube where they can be streamed anytime. Start with episode 1 here. 

Tour International Galleries and Museums 
More and more art galleries and museums around the world are hosting online tours of their collections and exhibitions, allowing viewers to explore at their own pace from home. Some of our favorites include wandering the halls of the British Museum, exploring Roman antiquities at Paris's Louvre Museum and viewing contemporary sculpture by Mark Webber at NYC's Anita Rogers Gallery

Stream the Met Opera Nightly 
Every evening a different opera performance is hosted for free on the Met website at 7:30 p.m. ET; each video is available to view online until 6:30 p.m. the following day. This week is dubbed Wagner Week and features classics by the German composer. View the full schedule here. 

 

 

Go Outdoors 

Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Monterey Bay Aquarium offers several live streams during the day of various animal tanks; our favorites are the Sea Otter Cam, the mesmerizing Moon Jelly Cam and, for those up for it, the Shark Cam

Hike in Yosemite Park 
Through Virtual Yosemite, visitors anywhere can explore over 200 different locations within California's National Park, famed for its ancient sequoia trees. The 360° interactive panoramas are all presented in high resolution, so adventurers can zoom in and out to see details, and can pan fully around, including looking upward and downward. 

 

 

Stay Active

Free On Demand Yoga Classes
Core Power Yoga is offering a selection of Yoga classes and guided meditations that be streamed for free anytime. 

Daily Pranayama and Advanced Live Classes
San Francisco's Morning Mysore offers daily pranayama (yogic breathing) classes, as well as weekly live Mysore classes via Zoom at various levels. Visit their website for details.

Dance Party
Host a daily dance party with your children using the Kidz Bop YouTube station, which breaks dance routines down step by step or just stream your own music selection and let the kids start moving! 

 

 

Catch Up with Family & Friends


Movie Night
Netflix Party is a Google Chrome extension that makes it possible to watch films with friends and family all over the country. Just make sure everyone downloads the extension, joins the party and then get the popcorn ready!

Virtual Playdate 
See one another, play games and more with Caribu, a video-call app that includes children's games, books and activities you can enjoy together whilst observing social distancing. 

 

 

Bedtime Stories 

Free Children's Audiobooks
As long as schools are closed, Audible is offering free audiobooks of many childhood favorites, highlighting choices appropriate for all ages from Winnie the Pooh and Dr. Seuss to classics for older readers, such as Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre

 

 

 

As always, we're here to assist with all your household staffing needs during this challenging time. Both childcare and cleaning professionals are considered essential workers and we have implemented strict protocols to make sure your family is as safe as possible. Contact us today to learn more.


How Long Should You Employ Newborn Care

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By Anita Rogers

 

Before I begin discussing the details of newborn care employment, let me first clarify the different terms used for these infant specialists. Although these childcare providers are rarely registered nurses, the general term used in the industry is “baby nurse” in the US and “maternity nurse” in the UK. For ease, I will use the term “baby nurse” in this article as it is so widely used by hiring families across America. 

 

More and more baby nurses are expanding their education and training to become newborn care specialists. So you may also meet professionals using the NCS title.

 

 

How long should you employ newborn care?

 

Why do we recommend keeping a baby nurse or newborn care specialist on for a longer period of time? What do we consider a longer period of time and can it be too long?

 

We recommend hiring a baby nurse for at least 4.5 months as any kind of sleep schedule is not recommended by experts until after 4 months, providing the baby has at least doubled in weight from the time of birth. Until this time, an infant should feed on demand or every two to three hours. 

 

Sleep scheduling or sleep training is often built around feeding. This is not 100% correct, as an infant should feed when it cries to be fed. Some restrictions in feeding are acceptable if the infant wakes up and whimpers, as opposed to a “feeding cry”. 

 

After the 4.5 month period, it is ok to soothe an infant to sleep using self-soothing or a darkened room and not to feed the infant every time they wake up. A qualified baby nurse can educate the parents on the different types of cries and whimpers. 

 

The way to ensure your infant doesn’t sleep through the night, into the toddler years (and sometimes later) is to pick the baby up every time they whimper or cry.

 

In no way are we supporting the ‘cry it out’ method but there are different types of cries and noises. Your baby nurse will be able to teach you how to help your baby self-soothe, to sleep and wake with the light, and more educational tips. Most of the time, parents need training on these delicate differences and methods. Because these methods are not recommended until after 4.5 months, we recommend a minimum of a 6 month long hire, for 20 hours a day, 6 days a week.


 

Learn more about Sleep Training Baby with a Newborn Care Specialist


 

What is the common newborn care schedule and pay?

 

How can a family afford this length of hire, when a baby nurse charges anything from $15-45 an hour?

 

If a family follows the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics and does not ask a baby nurse to schedule sleep too early, a family can find a baby nurse who is looking for a 12 hour gig 4-5 days a week for a longer period of time. The other approach is to hire a baby nurse for 2 months, glean as much information from them and apply it yourselves. This involves a substantial amount of self-control, trial and error and repetitive action but if you are dedicated to the cause, it will work.

 

The aim is to make sure your baby is properly fed, growing healthily in all areas, is nurtured and develops healthy sleeping habits which will ensure they sleep well as a toddler, school age, teen and later adult.

 

If you are thinking of hiring professional newborn care help, contact our office closest to you. We are based In New York, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami/Palm Beach.


 


Hiring a Butler as a House Manager

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At one time, the terms “butler” and “house manager” could be used interchangeably in reference to the professional charged with organizing and maintaining a formal home. Over time the definition and basic responsibilities of these two occupations has shifted apart into very distinct roles. 

 

As explained by British American Household Staffing’s founder Anita Rogers when interviewed for Town and Country:

 

A house manager oversees the structure of the staff and typically does all of the hiring and firing. They handle scheduling—making sure a chauffeur is always on call, housekeepers shifts are covered, and that a replacement is available if someone calls in sick. They're also responsible for budgeting, financial planning, and overall management of the household.

 

A seasoned butler is properly trained in etiquette, so they understand how to serve a meal and handle all the details, from the wine pairings down to the flower arranging. They provide a white glove experience, which not everyone needs or wants. In Silicon Valley, for instance, no one would have a butler. But in New York, it's much more common.

 

While the definitions of a butler and a house manager have changed over time, the roles do maintain overlap in responsibilities and duties. Many families elect to hire a butler to act as a house manager for this reason.

 

What are regular butler duties?

 

A butler is a trained domestic staffing employee for high-end households and estates. A butler is trained to provide white glove service at its best. Common duties for a butler are:

 

  • Care for a gentlemen’s closet
  • Proper care of all guests
  • Wine sommelier 
  • Meal preparation and presentation
  • Implementation of manners and etiquette in the household
  • Hiring and training domestic staff
  • Personal assistance for the gentleman of the house 

 

A butler employed as a house manager will also take on the following duties:

  • Supervise all contractors and vendors
  • Hire, train, and manage household staff
  • Receive and look after guests
  • Plan and execute events
  • Craft and manage a household manual
  • Manage household budgets and bookkeeping
  • Prepare property ahead of a Principal’s arrival
  • Maintain automobiles, private jets, and/or private yachts
  • Cooking, cleaning and laundry duties as needed


 

If you are considering hiring a butler for yourself or for an estate, or a butler to oversee and manage the household while taking care of all the gentleman of the house’s needs contact us as British American Household Staffing. 


How Do You Know If a Nanny Is Right for Your Family

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British American Household Staffing works to ensure the placements we make are the ideal fit for both the family and household staffing candidate. Our interview structure and process make certain that each candidate is properly categorized in skills, experience, and personality type. We approach each placement as a matchmaking opportunity.

 

All of our candidates have to pass our high bar before they are allowed to be represented by us. This is just one of the benefits of working with an expert staffing agency. 

 

Here is a sampling of the checklist BAHS uses to evaluate each candidate:

  • Authorization to live and work in the USA
  • Clear criminal background check (national and international if they have worked internationally)
  • Verified references from past employers
  • At least one longer position in a private home of 3 years or more
  • If working with children, possession of developmental knowledge, understanding the psychology of their age-group specializations (setting boundaries, teaching manners etc.)
  • A proven ability to work well with other domestic staff members in a home
  • Ability to be organized and efficient
  • Serving attitude and diligent work ethic
  • Possession of practical and common sense!

 

 

Different family dynamics and situations generally require specific nanny experience and personality types.

 

Stay-At-Home-Mother

A successful nanny will be willing to tag-team with mum and they must be willing to be a mother’s helper when required. A full-charge nanny who wants complete control over the children’s development and activities would not work well for a stay-at- home-mother. Attitude is key for this type of role.

 

Multiple Working Parents

A full-charge, take-charge nanny is important if both parents are out of the house for 50-60 hours a week. The development of the children is dependent on school (if they are school-age) and equally or more so if they are too young for school or preschool. The nanny will need to understand how to educate, show love with boundaries, help with positive reinforcement, creative play, understand sibling dynamics and more. A nanny with a degree relating to early childhood education or child psychology is ideal. A nanny who is categorized as a governess would work well, especially if the children need education development.

 

Working Parents of Pre-Teen or Teenagers

A governess is the perfect fit for working parents with older children. A governess is primarily in charge of education, music lessons, SAT prep, etc. They are trained and experienced on how to oversee older children, including instilling manners, managing busy schedules, driving, and helping with homework.

 

Travelling Over the Holidays

The nanny will understand how to travel with young children (if the children are young), understand how to keep them properly entertained while on a plane without using screen time etc. If the travel is over holidays, a teacher is a good option, as long as they either have infant experience or there is no infant. For more on How to Travel with Your Nanny, click here.

 

After-School Babysitter

A Masters or PhD student with nanny experience is ideal or a nanny undertaking her BA in Early Childhood or Child Psychology. Depending on your individual needs, a nanny finishing her degree online or working elsewhere during the day could be a great fit for families with school-aged children needing an extra set of hands in the evenings.


 

In addition to this, the personality fit has to work both with the family as well as with the other staff in the home.


 

If you need advice on how to hire the best nanny for your family, contact us today. 


 

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