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


Welcome Spring: Passover, Easter and Time Outdoors

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After a particularly long and strange winter, most of us are ready to embrace spring. It finally feels like a new season has begun - April is upon us, as are Easter and Passover. To welcome spring, the team here at British American Household Staffing has put together a list of ways to make the most of the season, including Easter and Passover celebration ideas, as well as outdoor activities to enjoy with children. 

 

Passover for Kids

The week of Passover can be difficult for many children, especially picky eaters who are missing some of their favorite foods. We suggest trying one of these Passover-approved, kid-friendly recipes this week:

Homemade Matzo: Get the whole family involved in making matzo (and click here to read Time Magazine's brief history of matzo ahead of time.) 

Matzo Pizza: Host a family Passover pizza party this week! 

Sweet Potato Gnocchi: For those missing pasta this week, try this healthy and delicious alternative.

Matzo Crusted Chicken Cutlets:  Great for children and adults, we suggest eating plain as chicken fingers, adding sauce and making chicken parmesan, or serving with roasted vegetables! For kosher chicken breasts, we recommend Wild Fork Foods - they have next day delivery in most areas for whole kosher chickens, breasts, thighs and wings. 

While it's too late to sign up for the Passover box, we do recommend looking into Days United Jewish Holiday Subscription Box - each box comes complete with recipes, crafts and decorations for the whole family. Sign up soon to receive the Lag Ba’Omer box! 

 

Easter Sunday

Kid-Friendly Crafts and Recipes

Celebrate Easter this weekend with a wide variety of fun crafts for children. We love these adorable towel chicks (made with a small hand or dish towel) and origami chicks and bunnies for school age children. Click here for a full list of Easter crafts for all ages.  

For a sweet treat, try making these frozen banana animal treats or our favorite fudgy brownies topped with Cadbury Mini Eggs

If your family is dying eggs this year and interested in exploring more than the typical egg dyes found in the grocery store, consider making your own natural egg dyes using kitchen scraps. Red cabbage, onion skins, turmeric and more can all be turned into vibrant, natural dyes. It's a great afternoon project for curious children to celebrate Easter while also learning about reducing kitchen waste. 

 

For the Adults 

Once the kids are finished enjoying their Easter candy and off to bed, mix up one of these refreshing spring cocktails from BBC (we recommend the Elderflower & Herb Cooler) and a lovely rack of lamb with roasted vegetables. If you haven't secured your Easter lamb yet, Wild Fork Foods offers next day delivery of reasonably priced grass-fed meat, poultry and seafood to most of the U.S., as well as frozen prepared foods. 

 

Celebrate Spring

Pick Your Own, Grow Your Own 

For much of the American East Coast and the United Kingdom, it's too early for pick your own produce. However, those in the warmer U.S. states can start now. In Los Angeles, visit nearby Underwood Family Farms, which offers an impressive array of pick your own options, including carrots, arugula, English peas, lemons, and beginning April 2, strawberries. In Miami, visit The Berry Farm to pick your own strawberries or visit Fresh Gardens for exotic fruits, including guava and lychee. 

For those in colder regions, it may be time to start planning for spring and summer vegetables. A small indoor or outdoor garden is a great family project that children can enjoy all summer. Gardening enforces a range of skills from a better understanding of science to patience, resilience, and creativity. Click here for a guide to New York planting timelines and here for London timelines. For those without outdoor access, try a kid-friendly Smart Garden; using grow lights and an easy planting system, children can cultivate herbs, vegetables and flowers anywhere in the home. 

 

Botanical Gardens 

Many cities have Botanical Gardens and now is the perfect time to explore the budding flowers and plants. Make sure to check the website of your closest garden ahead of time; many, including London's Royal Botanic Gardens, require guests to register for a time slot in order to manage crowds. Many gardens host special events this time of year. The South Coast Botanic Garden in Palos Verdes, California is revealing a special tropical butterfly event beginning April 1; SOAR allows visitors to learn about and observe the butterflies at every stage of their life cycle through indoor and outdoor exhibitions. Finally, The New York Botanical Garden has a wonderful site set up for children with activities, recipes and virtual workshops open to virtual visitors from all over the world. 

 

Play 

Experts agree that creative play is critical to children's development (you'll find Healthline's list of benefits of play here) and playing outdoors in the fresh air is even better. Play the Forest School Way, a book we've mentioned in previous newsletters, is a wonderful choice for creative, simple outdoor games. We also love A Stick Is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor PlayHello Nature, and this box of lovely wooden coins, each with a different outdoor activity prompt to inspire children's imaginations. 


Domestic Staffing Payroll Services

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Navigating the ins and outs of payroll and compliance can be tricky, even if you only have one or two employees in your home. To ensure best practices and peace of mind, British American Household Staffing recommends GTM for household payroll and tax services. GTM offers solutions and advice on all aspects of payroll, worker's compensation, labor law compliance, and employee benefits. 
 

Click here to learn more about GTM's services or schedule a complimentary phone consultation.

 

Why use a payroll service? 

Save Time and Energy: 

The IRS estimates that it takes a household employer 60 hours each year to comply with all federal and state tax laws. Outsource this task to someone who specializes in it!

 

Avoid Penalties: 

Mistakes can not only lead to repetitive paperwork but financial penalties, as well. Make sure you're filing everything correctly the first time by using a reputable service. 

 

Trust the Experts: 

Employers need to adhere to all applicable federal and state tax, labor, and wage laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act, paid sick and family leave programs, and domestic worker protection laws. There can be added layers of complications with multiple homes or unusual working schedules. Payroll services can offer guidance for any situation that may come up. 

 

Taxes Filed Correctly and On Time, Guaranteed: 

GTM guarantees that state and federal taxes will filed on time, every time. If you receive a notice from the IRS, or any other tax agency, based on a filing that GTM Payroll Services made, they will work with the agency on your behalf to resolve the issue. If they're at fault, they will pay any and all associated penalties and fines.

 

GTM Free Resources

Nanny Tax Calculator

Nanny Tax Guide 

Tax Forms and Deadlines for Household Payroll 

State by State Household Employment Regulations

 

5 ways the American Rescue Plan will impact household employers
The new COVID-19 relief plan will increase tax credits and provide a third stimulus check. Originally posted by HomePay on March 12, 2021

 

On March 12, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, a COVID-19 relief bill designed to provide various forms of financial assistance to families and businesses. It’s a very lengthy bill, but included are several items that could change the cost of child care or senior care for families in 2021. You’re probably curious on how this new law will affect you and we’ve done the work so you can feel informed about what’s coming up.

 

Here are five items within the American Rescue Plan that you should be aware of as someone who employs a nanny or senior caregiver:

 

1. Doubling the expenses in your Dependent Care Account

This type of flexible spending account is usually the biggest care-related tax break you can take advantage of because you can pay for up to $5,000 of expenses tax-free. The American Rescue Plan increases this amount to $10,500 for the 2021 tax year, which will provide even more tax savings. Your savings are tied to the tax bracket you’re in, but families with full-time care could save around $4,000 if the bill passes. And as an added bonus, unused money in your Dependent Care Account can roll over into 2022.

 

2. A third stimulus payment to yourself and your caregiver

Under the CARES Act and the Continuing Appropriations Act, the government sent direct payments of up to $1,200 and $600 respectively to individuals up to a certain income level. The American Rescue Plan provides a direct payment of $1,400 for those that earn $75,000 or less ($150,000 for couples) and gradually decreases the payment amount for those that earn between $75,000 and $80,000. Additionally, families can receive $1,400 for every child or other dependent they have.

It’s important to remember that these payments have historically been tied to having a tax return on file with the IRS. This means that caregivers being paid under the table will not be able to receive this financial benefit.

 

3. Larger savings from the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

When you file your tax return, you can use the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit on up to $3,000 of care expenses if you have one child and $6,000 if you have two or more children or dependents. The American Rescue Plan increases these expense amounts to $8,000 and $16,000 respectively for the 2021 tax year. By being able to push more of your care expenses into this tax credit, you should be able to significantly offset the amount of taxes you pay as a household employer.

 

4. A raise to the Child Tax Credit

As you’re probably aware, the federal government offers the Child Tax Credit to families to account for the cost of having children. The American Rescue Plan increases the credit from $2,000 to $3,000 per child ($3,600 if your child is 5 years old or younger) and raises the age limit to claim a child from 16 to 17 years old. Additionally, half of the credit you’ll be eligible for will be sent to you in advance via monthly payments from July through December.

 

5. Extending paid sick leave and paid family leave credits

Under the Families First Act, your caregiver could take paid sick leave or paid family leave for several reasons related to COVID-19. If this happened, you would receive tax credits to cover the wages paid to your employee while they were unable to work. These credits will expire at the end of March, but the American Rescue Plan resets their availability for all families, increases the maximum credit from $10,000 to $12,000 and extends them through the end of August. However, families are no longer required to provide paid sick leave or paid family leave moving forward.


Should I hire a Nanny or a Governess?

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At British American Household Staffing we are often asked the question of Nanny vs Governess and the truth is, our answer purely depends on your family’s current and personal needs.

 

Once we get to know you and your family’s dynamic, we are able to answer this question - not for you, but with you.

 

We appreciate that some families require a great amount of support throughout the day where others simply need a few hours a week. Both hiring a nanny or a governess are equally beneficial and offer wonderful ways to enhance and enrich your child’s education.

 

Should I hire a governess?

Governesses - are responsible for a child’s education, manners and etiquette. While nannies may or may not have an advanced degree, governesses typically have a teaching certification and are able to design a personalized curriculum for each child in the house.

 

Should I hire a nanny?

Nannies - are residential staff members entrusted with caring for children through educational, emotional, and behavioral support. These professionals can live inside or outside of the home, but they always put the needs of the employer family first. Types of nannies include custodial care, surrogate care, and coordinated care nannies.

 

Both nannies and governesses are integral in the development of a child, so the decision of which one to hire is truly a personal one.

 

Families with young children can benefit from the services of a nanny to handle basic care needs and if you already have a good education plan in place for your child, the simplicity of sole nanny services may be the best option for your child. However, if you are interested in home-schooling your child, especially now during the pandemic when daycares and schools have inconsistent openings, then a governess may be the ideal option to consider. A governess is also a consideration if your child has learning difficulties and would benefit from more one-to-one time and special attention when teaching and learning.

 

Within our impressive collection of domestic and household staff at BAHS, we can offer both nannies and governesses who are trained, experienced and qualified at the highest standard to support and enrich your quality of childcare.


Now On View: Museums and Galleries Adapt and Reopen

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Above: Installation view of William Scott: Paintings and Drawings, Fifties Through Eighties (2019, Anita Rogers Gallery)
Photo Credit: Jon-Paul Rodriguez

 

Many of our clients are art collectors and admirers and have found it quite difficult during the pandemic to be separated from their usual routine of visiting galleries and museums. This has been a challenging and complicated time for the art world. Closures, changing regulations, and limited funds have made it difficult for collectors, artists, galleries, and museums alike.  

 

After being closed for almost a full year, some museums in Los Angeles are finally reopening this month at 25% capacity; for others, it doesn't make sense to open with such limited numbers. New York institutions are mostly open and are slowly adapting to the new protocols and changes. Miami's museums have been open for several months now, mostly operating with limited hours. Galleries in all U.S. cities have taken different routes; some have opened with limited capacity and schedules, others by appointment only, and still others have shut their doors for good. Meanwhile in London, most museums and galleries have been closed for almost a full year and remain closed. However, new guidelines have just been released - commercial galleries can reopen, with restrictions, on April 12 and museums in mid-May. Despite all this turmoil, contemporary artists continue to make new work, and serious collectors continue to support the arts by visiting open spaces and by acquiring new works when possible, both from commercial galleries and from the auction houses. 

 

As many of you know, British American Household Staffing's CEO and founder also owns and runs Anita Rogers Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in SoHo, New York that exhibits both primary and secondary market works.
 

The gallery is open Wednesdays and Fridays 11am-6pm. 

The gallery is also open by appointment; please email Info@AnitaRogersGallery.com to schedule a private viewing of the current exhibition or of works by any artist on our roster.

See information about the current in person and online exhibitions.

 

Now On View - BAHS' Recommended Exhibitions

The team here at British American Household Staffing has put together their list of recommendations for current museum exhibitions, both online and in-person. 

 

New York (In-Person)

The New British Galleries at the Met: Over 11,000 square feet devoted to British decorative arts, design, and sculpture created between 1500 and 1900.

Goya's Graphic Imagination at the Met: 100 prints and drawings from the remarkable Spanish artist. 

 

Los Angeles (In-Person)

Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden: 5 acres of sculpture by artists including Alexander Calder, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, and Auguste Rodin.

 

Miami (In-Person)

Art Outside at The Bass: Works in nearly every medium installed in Collins Park and around The Bass. 

 

London (In-Person and Online)

Sculpture in the City: The 9th edition of this annual sculpture show is presented both outside in-person and online this year. The exhibition has been extended through mid-April. 

 

Online

Van Gogh Museum's 'Here to Stay': Features works acquired by the museum in the last decade accompanied by stories from curators and historians. 

Time Decorated: The Musical Influences of Jean-Michel Basquiat at the Broad: A series of talks, images, and information regarding Basquiat and his influences.

Virtual 360° Tour of the Buontalenti Grotto in the Boboli Gardens: Incredibly detailed and beautiful view of the historic grotto.

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