Being a Nanny Amid Coronavirus

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In February 2020, Beth* began her placement with the family who carefully chose and hired her to care for their baby through British American Household Staffing.

 

Having ‘babysat forever’ growing up in the suburbs and then earning a teaching degree before specialising in Infant Newborn Care, it was clear to see that she was destined to work with children.

 

However, just weeks before the pandemic hit in March, Beth was all set to join the Smiths* for a 12 month contract to care for their baby in their New York home.

 

“Before we knew it, all the good parts of nannying disappeared and all the things we knew and depended on to educate and entertain the kids, were taken away” she tells me.

 

“Usually, cities like London and New York have so much to offer, from parks to museums, the perfect backdrop for play-dates, fresh air and picnics. So when we saw the social distancing rules and places begin to close down, us nannies had to really dig deep and get creative with ideas on activities to keep a child fulfilled but also safe and protected.”

 

When I ask her about her own situation, highlighting the decision to be apart from her own family when forced to decide who to quarantine with, she answers without hesitation and in a way that shows why she works in such a selfless role.

 

“Oh I stayed with the family. I became a live-in nanny” she states with ease. “They needed me more than ever, especially with so many uncertainties and things changing day-to-day. I had my own room and bathroom and although I couldn’t go home, I felt like I was part of their family.”

 

I ask her what the best kind of families are to work for, thinking she may reference the luxury of an estate or the perks that some clients offer their staff, like gym memberships or personal chefs, but again, she answers withmodesty, it’s clear to see why she, like so many BAHS nannies are considered assets to a family when joining their household.

 

“Parents who are thoughtful, they’re the best” she confides humbly.

 

“In what way”? I probe.

 

“Giving you direction and asking if you’re okay. Basically just communicating with you and making you feel heard” she says warmly. “It’s a partnership, between a nanny and parents so it always works best when both sides are thinking of the other.”

 

I ask her about the challenges and the problems faced during the pandemic, expecting some horror stories, yet she responds as graciously and intelligently as a modern day Mary Poppins.

 

“For parents living in an apartment and working from home, that’s tough, especially with a child or children. We aren’t meant to be isolated so it’s a lot, especially in small living spaces with limited options outside” she pauses thoughtfully. “That’s probably the biggest challenge during this for the families. For the nannies, it’s been thinking outside of the box when comes to ideas for the children when so many places began to close.”

 

When I bring it to her attention that even hospital staff were able to go home after a shift, she humbly and protectively defends the position that so many nannies were faced with. Some not seeing their own families for months at the loyalty to their client.

 

“Many live-out nannies became live-in nannies when the pandemic hit. It just made sense and it was safer for the families to have us join their bubble without worrying about external interaction becoming a threat for infection. "We hibernated together and it bonded a lot of staff and their clients through such a testing time. I’ve been very lucky that the family I was placed with were like a second family.”

 

After speaking to Beth, I did some further research and read some other personal anecdotes from those who worked in childcare. Some saying it was too much for them being stuck in another household and others fortunate enough to work for families who provided private travel services like Uber and Lyft back and forth to their own homes if they lived nearby.

 

But then there were the others, the ones who fully committed to the moment we never anticipated in this lifetime, those who at the crossroads of tough government guidelines instinctively agreed to join their principal families over their own families, some in an isolated move into their client’s residence and some even moving miles outside the city for the summer where their clients decided to retreat during the pandemic.

 

Every case is clearly different, there’s no carbon copy of a nanny just as there are no text book examples of a family. Each partnership becomes couture to their own mix of personalities and requirements.

 

So when speaking to the nannies at the BAHS agency, one thing that was transparent were their feelings that client came first and for the sake of the children it was the consistency of care that they all persisted to strive to maintain during the pandemic.

 

If ever there was a time to cast the spotlight on those going above and beyond their job description it’s this year having so much on the line. The nannies from BAHS have proven to prioritise their childcare before anything or anyone else, even themselves.

 

They really are the quintessential modern day Mary Poppins with hearts as big as their overnight bags.
 

 

*names have been changed out of respect for candidate and client privacy


BAHS Featured in The Telegraph

’Covid has created a rising demand for the modern-day Mary Poppins – and all manner of other domestic staff too!’

 

British American Household Staffing are proud to feature this week in British publication The Telegraph.

 

Anita Rogers, BAHS agency founder and CEO invites you to take a glimpse into the strategies and success behind her premier agency and why the recent pandemic has given clients a new perspective and a desirable domain for a more manageable and comfortable life at home.

 

Interview highlights:


“After more than a decade’s experience in pairing families with household staff, Rogers’ exclusive agency has earned a reputation for being able to meet every need and handle any situation.”

 

“We’ve seen an increased demand for nannies and governesses with a background in child psychology,” says Rogers. “That’s very, very popular now. It’s about checking a child’s development every step of the way and making sure that they’re hitting all the milestones.”

 

“Oh, and should you wish to hire a light aircraft or a yacht – “hugely in demand right now because people can escape the pandemic that way” – BAHS can organise that too.”


See the full interview written by Celia Walden


Holiday Season 2020

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The holiday season this year will look different for most families. Many are choosing to celebrate with only immediate family and find themselves missing friends and family who might normally join the celebrations. The team here at British American Household Staffing has put together a guide to making the holidays a little easier this year - from delightful hampers you can send loved ones to ways we can feel closer to those far away. Be sure to start shopping early to avoid disappointment due to sold out items and shipment delays. 

 

Sending Gifts Near and Far

London's Fortnum and Mason is our top choice for holiday hampers, this year and every year. With high quality goods ranging from Champagne to cured meats to Christmas biscuits, there is something for everyone on your list. Order by December 6 for discounted shipping and to access the widest selection - many hampers will sell out as the holidays near. We love the Family Christmas Hamper; the classic choice includes wine, coffee, biscuits, chocolate, Christmas pudding, marmalade, and more. If you're looking to treat yourself (or someone else!), consider the Christmas Feast Hamper, containing extras, such as smoked salmon and foie gras. For worldwide delivery, consider the Sleighborne Hamper, which includes favorites such as Fortnum's fruit cake, cranberry sauce, and hot chocolate. Buying for someone with specific tastes? Shoppers can create a custom hamper on the website too.

 

Harrod's offers an array of Christmas baskets and hampers, as well, shipping worldwide. We love the Grosvenor Christmas Hamper, which includes a stuffed teddy bear for the littles one, as well as traditional favorites, like mince pies, shortbread, and Christmas spiced tea. For the young (or young at heart), consider sending Harrod's glow in the dark advent calendar, complete with daily sweet treats like candy canes, fizzy baubles, sherbet pips and white jazzies. 

 

Eli's Market in New York City offers gift baskets for every occasion, from the Chanukah gift basket to the caviar basket (add on a bottle of Champagne for the perfect New Year's gift) to the Christmas classics basket. We also love their custom 15 lb loaf of country bread; the bread, which can be inscribed with a message of your choice, makes for an impressive display and can easily be sliced and frozen for later after the holiday is over. 

 

For the little ones, we love The White Company. The department store has a location in Manhattan, NY, as well as several in the United Kingdom and they offer worldwide shipping. From cashmere baby blankets and whimsical stuffed animals to this charming pink double breasted coat and adorable kid's holiday sweaters, The White Company has something for every child. Don't forget to send along a little something for the parents, as well - consider a cozy pair of 100% cashmere sleeping socks or a statement 5 wick holiday candle.

 

Stay in Touch

Zoom is perhaps the best known way to stay in touch during the pandemic, and for good reason. With free and paid options, you can easily host video gatherings for groups of all sizes. Help older relatives download and set up their own account ahead of time and plan to set aside an hour (or longer!) over the holidays to spend time together. Consider eating the same meal together, opening gifts, doing a holiday craft (we love this felt wreath craft!) or sharing favorite past holiday memories. This Thanksgiving, Zoom has lifted its time restrictions for free accounts so the whole family can eat, drink and be merry for as long as they'd like! Keep an eye on future newsletter; we will share if Zoom chooses to do the same for holidays next month. 

 

Teleparty (formerly Netflix Party) is a free Google Chrome extension that allows families and friends to sync up films on Netflix, Hulu and Disney Plus - and even have a live chat. Host a virtual family movie night with the holiday classics - don't forget the popcorn!

 

Further Resources for Socially Distanced Holidays

Martha Stewart: Tips for Preparing Your Kids for a Socially Distanced Holiday Season

CDC Guidelines for Holiday Celebrations 

The Cut: How to Virtually Celebrate Thanksgiving during the Pandemic

 

Happy Thanksgiving from the team at British American Household Staffing!

We wish you a happy and safe celebration. 

Please note our offices will be closed Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27.


How to Hire the Right Housekeeper

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Hiring a housekeeper who has the knowledge of how to care for fine furnishings, artwork, and surfaces not only brings ease to your day-to-day living but is a necessary investment in the long-term quality of your home. But how do you hire the right housekeeper?

 

In one word - TRIAL.

 

You must absolutely trial housekeepers in order to find the perfect fit for your home.

 

Like test driving a car or trying on a new pair of shoes, finding a housekeeper is a decision that needs to be based on experience before knowing for sure if it’s the right fit.

 

It’s one position that needs to be made beyond browsing a resume, so we encourage you to trial before making any definitive decisions.

 

What are a housekeeper’s duties?

 

A housekeeper’s duties are specific to the home they are working in. All housekeepers deep clean, yet there’s far more to their role than being a cleaner.

 

A trained housekeeper will bring their knowledge and experience in formal serving, table setting, organising and high-quality care for furniture and artwork. They will also be skilled in washing and ironing clothing.

 

What’s the difference between a housekeeper and an executive housekeeper?

 

The difference between a housekeeper and an executive housekeeper is that the latter's experience managing other household staff.

 

An executive housekeeper will have worked on teams of household staff and overseen other housekeepers. An executive housekeeper doesn’t often manage staff, this is left to the head housekeeper, however, most house managers or butlers usually take the lead with the managing.

 

Finances relating to the household are also often handled by the executive housekeeper along with stocking the pantries with required and desired inventory and overseeing vendors or contract workers coming to the home.


 

Our expert team at BAHS agency are ready and willing to guide you through the entire process when deciding on who to hire. Contact our office today to be connected with an expert recruiter and find the right housekeeper for your home.

 

See more information about housekeepers and other household staff.


Public Schools in New York City Closed

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Public schools here in New York City will close entirely from today as a result of the rising COVID-19 test positivity rate reaching 3 percent, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday. 

With Governor Cuomo echoing his comments in a heated press conference on Wednesday evening, it’s no wonder we saw reporters voicing their confusion about the ever-changing rules and regulations.

Just as the schools had reopened and we braved the cold weather to send the kids back to their classrooms, the universe declared “PLOT TWIST” and we are now once again left wondering what on earth to do now we are back where we started.  New Yorkers are tough and we rally together to slow the spread of this virus but parents wish there was one decisive ruling when it comes to school closures. 

When asked for a timeframe on this  ‘de-ja lockdown’, Mayor De Blasio would not say. However, he then stated that the schools would not reopen before the week after Thanksgiving and then proceeded to hint that further restrictions on city life were 'coming' and 'coming soon.' 

This all too familiar tune was once again sung to parents and comes after Mayor de Blasio delayed a return to in-person learning twice this fall as union leaders objected to the lack of health measures protecting teachers, students and staff from coronavirus. 

So, here we are thinking we had seen a dazzling light at the end of this 2020 tunnel just in time for the holidays. Only to find that we rejoiced far too soon! And now? We wait - until further notice.

Although we all know the stop of the spread is of paramount importance, many families are dreading the return to remote learning and having to now juggle childcare with their jobs with a safe and steady strategy.

Parents flocked to social media to vent their frustration, upset and shared confusion at what they were meant to do next. 

With stores, bars, restaurants, gyms and offices now re-opened, many of us have made it back into real clothes and out to the real world after months of Netflix-binging, sweatpants-wearing hibernation.

So now what?

The schools could be closed until the end of the year. And with the equilibrium over the last 8 months taking more twists and turns than the Coney Island Cyclone, is it any wonder we are beginning to feel sick and want to get off this hideous ride to find our balance again.

I ask my friend who has two children under the age of 10 how she’s managing to remain so calm and composed throughout this.

Her answer - A live-in governess.

“It was in June that I decided enough was enough. My husband and I were having to work from home and the kids were climbing the walls in search of their usual learning activities. We tried Zoom lessons but we felt there was something missing without that in-person interaction. Our youngest would drift off and when the WiFi connection isn’t on your side, the learning becomes a frozen farce of everyone talking at once or not at all! Our governess joined our home at the start of the summer and we’ve never looked back. It’s given us the space to do our work and the kids absolutely adore her. We are all safe and healthy and it’s consistent which is what matters the most” she concludes.

“While the news is showing the world outside falling apart, our home actually feels like it has fallen into place.  And that’s thanks to British American Household Staffing.”

At BAHS we continue to make our top priority the health, safety, comfort and happiness of our employees and clients.

We are constantly working to maintain safety measures in efforts of preventing the spread of COVID-19 and providing the utmost care in line with government guidelines.

Our agency is fully devoted to ensuring you and your family are given the most safest practices and protection for your household and happiness. 


Why You Need a House Manager and Estate Manager for Multiple Estates

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House managers and estate managers are both impressive positions responsible for the daily running of an estate. Their roles, at times overlapping, contain very different individual tasks and require an array of very different skills and responsibilities.

 

Here at British American Household Staffing we are more than happy to break it down for you to simplify the two roles.

 

Estate Manager

An important role who oversees all the house managers and is the primary contact for the principals.   

 

Estate managers are in a strong position of leadership and are responsible for overseeing the domestic staff. They also oversee and manage the many services taking place in and around the homes of the estate. 

 

An estate manager’s focus is securely on the bigger picture, making sure that each home runs consistently and efficiently. They are expected to have strong communication skills and a strong assertive presence leading those around them and setting the tone for the work environment. 

 

An estate manager is not only the head of the household but also the eyes and ears, making sure the house managers and other household staff are collectively following the policies and procedures to run a tight ship in the home effectively. 

 

We are a domestic staffing agency with a meticulous strategy for finding the perfect fit for your household, whether you’re looking for a live-in nanny, a housekeeper, a butler, estate manager or house manager. You need it, we have it! 

 

House Manager 

Under the supervision and direction of the estate manager, the house manager is responsible for running the day-to-day details of the homes, managing the housekeepers and then reporting to the estate manager.

 

A house manager’s role, similar to a butler, is to be responsible for managing the other staff and the maintenance of your estate. They closely manage vendors who perform various duties both in and around the property. 

 

Duties performed by the house manager may include understanding the operation and maintenance of the equipment used throughout the estate, providing hands-on expertise with type duties. This is all encompassing and includes tasks from window cleaning to gardening. 

 

House managers will be expected to have strong communication skills as they will be dealing with tradespeople, employees, and daily services being brought into the household and on the premises. 

 
 

So, to conclude, both positions oversee the daily running of your estate, but their job description contains very different tasks and requires parallel yet separate skills.  Which position to hire is completely down to the finer details of your lifestyle, from your work schedule to the household size and the quantity of requirements. 

 

BAHS can advise and orchestrate the perfect blend and amount of team members needed to make life run smoothly for you. Contact our office today to be connected with a recruiter and begin your search. 


Hiring a Nanny During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Can I hire a nanny during coronavirus? 

 

Yes! In fact, there has never been a more important time to bring additional help into your home. With the last few months proving to be an eye opener for many of us trying to navigate our way through the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, as work and home life now becomes blended, there has never been a more important time to renew our focus on our families and households which makes hiring domestic or household staff an investment into your family's health and happiness. 

 

With many daycares and nurseries closing or limiting availability, home schooling is now the number one safest option for childcare with many families now juggling working from home alongside raising their children. 

 

At BAHS we assure you that during this ongoing pandemic we are making appropriate adjustments to our working practices, ensuring that we’re able to deliver the same high level of service to our clients and candidates during this delicate time. 

 

Here at the BAHS team safety is paramount, so rest assured that we are carrying out all interviews and meetings via video calls and are undertaking coronavirus due diligence before any candidates begin new jobs. Once you have a candidate match and would like to proceed with hiring, options for self-quarantine and isolation before their start date will commence. Depending on the area in which you live and your unique situation, testing will soon be available to ensure your family and staff stay safe and healthy within government guidelines.   

 

At British American Household Staffing, your peace of mind is our priority. 

 

How can we help? 

 

At BAHS we have a wonderful team of trained consultants on hand to guide you through your options. Our attention to detail ensures your home can be in safe hands with household and domestic staff running it smoothly with structure and serenity, especially if you are now having to work from home.  

 

Our BAHS team apply a meticulous strategy in finding and introducing you to the perfect contribution for your home. We provide you with the additional help needed to create and coordinate both your work and home environment under one roof during this tumultuous time of lockdown. 

 

We carefully select qualified, caring and conscientious staff to join your home and enhance your household.  

 

We at BAHS endeavour to maintain a calm sense of structure for you and your family to feel as though you’re still able to go about your day without any disruption, simply manoeuvring home and work commitments to coincide with government and health expertise.  

 

School shutdowns and social limitations have lent their search to a particular urgency with educator and governess requests increasing greatly all over the US and the UK. We are already in reach of these necessities and with the new normal currently taking shape BAHS are one step ahead in supporting you during this unprecedented time of change. 

 

Contact our office to begin your search or see our coronavirus resource page for more information.


Relocating During Coronavirus

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Many families are relocating during this time - some are seeking more space, other are taking advantage of generous remote working policies and others are moving to be closer to family during a time when travel is difficult. No matter the reason, we've put together some considerations and benefits of various states. If you do decide to move, rest assured that British American Household Staffing is here to offer guidance both for hiring staff in a new state and for assisting with relocating current employees. 

 

Tax Considerations

As of 2020, seven states - Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming -  have zero income tax. Two others, New Hampshire and Tennessee, don't tax regular earned income but do tax investment income. Of course, these states do make up for some of this loss by taxing other goods and services so, depending on your financial goals and circumstances, it might be wiser to take a state's overall tax burden, which measures the percent of income paid in state and local taxes, into account. Alaska comes in first here with the lowest rate of  just 5.16% (New York, for example, with 12.28%, is the highest in the country). Following closely behind Alaska are Delaware, Wyoming, Tennessee, Wyoming, Florida and New Hampshire. View WalletHub's full list of 2020's Tax Burden by State here

 

State Parks 

Now that outdoors has become the safest way to see family and friends, many of us are looking for ways to incorporate more time in nature into our lives long-term. Eleven states have more than 100 state parks each. California ranks first with 270 state parks - the Golden State also ranks first for the number of national parks with 9, including Yosemite and Joshua Tree. New York and Washington follow closely behind with 215 and 212 state parks respectively. Others on the top ten list include Oregon (195), Florida (191), Massachusetts (154), Illinois (142), Pennsylvania (121), Alaska (119) and Connecticut (109). Click here to see details on parks in all states

 

Food and Wine 

If the idea of living near the country's top wineries or best restaurants sounds appealing, you have more options than just the major cities. Many wine lovers might think of California, New York and Oregon as the top wine-producing regions of the U.S. While these states do have a lot to offer so do Washington, Virginia, Texas, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Washington is now number  2 in the nation in terms of annual wine production, trailing only California. Virginia is home to 276 wineries, including the stunning Early Mountain winery, owned by AOL co-founder Steve Case and his wife Jean Case. In terms of food, New York and California rate highest for the number of Michelin starred restaurants but there are talented chefs making noteworthy food across the country. Thrillist's 2018 list awarded the number one position to Texas due to the thriving restaurant scenes in Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. In 2018, Bon Appétit awarded "Restaurant City of the Year" to Portland, Maine, which boasts a range of restaurants from upscale bistros like Fore Street (a semi-finalist for “Outstanding Restaurant” from the James Beard Foundation every year since 2011) to excellent seafood at Eventide Oyster Co. from award winning chefs Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley. 

 

Education

There are many metrics by which the country measures education. According to US News, New Hampshire rates number one in the country in terms of college readiness based on SAT and ACT scores while Massachusetts comes in first for top NAEP math and reading scores. Overall, Massachusetts ranked as the top state for public schools. All the ratings are available here. Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York lead in terms of private K-12 schools; by most rating systems, all of the schools in the top ten private school lists are located in those three states with California trailing shortly behind. 

 

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.


Jack Martin Rogers: Drawing

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British American Household Staffing and Anita Rogers Gallery invite you
to a join us for a socially distanced reception to celebrate 
Jack Martin Rogers: Drawing

 

Saturday, November 14
RSVP for 5-7pm
RSVP for 7-9pm 

 

Anita Rogers Gallery is proud to present a selection of works on paper by British artist Jack Martin Rogers (1943-2001). Anita Rogers, the owner of the gallery, is the daughter of the artist and now owns seventy-five percent of his estate. This will be the artist’s second major solo exhibition in the U.S. and the first to highlight the artist’s creative process and the centrality of drawing in his practice. 

 

The collection features a selection of preparatory drawings, most of which have never before seen by the public, that reveal Rogers’ immense dedication to observation and detail. The artist studied anatomy and fine art at the Birmingham School of Art in the UK, often dissecting and sketching bodies of the deceased to learn how to better illustrate the human form. While in school, his meticulous methods took root and they remained at the heart of his work for the rest of his life.

 

View the digital catalog now.


How to Find a Nanny in London?

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How can I find the best nanny for my family?

Hiring a nanny is one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your family.

 

The sense of trusting and inviting another person into your home is immeasurable and here at British American Household Staffing we make it our priority to understand the importance of such a decision. When helping you hire a nanny, we at BAHS apply our knowledge and expertise in making this an enjoyable process with a successful outcome for you and your family.

 

For more information, see How to Hire a Nanny: What to Know and How a Nanny Agency Can Help

 

How to find a nanny in London?

Let us take the wheel for you.

 

At BAHS we take pride in our wide-ranging roster of wonderfully qualified nannies ready to join your household from all over the London area.

 

Whether you’re in the heart of the city in areas like Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Hampstead or discreetly tucked away in the suburbs of places like Surrey or Dorset, we can accommodate you and your family by introducing you to the extra pair of hands you’ve been hoping for. Before you know it, your workload will soon feel lighter and your home life will become yours to enjoy again.

 

Things a qualified nanny can provide: 

  • Structure and support to busy schedules 
  • Management of day-to-day tasks related to the children 
  • Investment in your child(ren)'s development 
  • Aid in child(ren)'s educational advancement 
  • A nurturing environment for your child(ren) to grow into functional adults 

 

What’s the difference between a live-out nanny and a live-in nanny?

A live-in nanny position is one in which the nanny resides within your family home in which they are hired to work for. Typically, a live-in nanny is hired to care for a child or children on a full-time basis and is paid for full-time work.

 

A live-out nanny is a person who specializes in providing childcare for your family but rather than living in your home as live-in nannies do, they travel to care for your child, mostly at your home, during set hours during the week.

 

Currently we find that most central London based families prefer the live-out nanny and those who reside in the countryside opt for live-in nannies who are more than happy to relocate and live with their chosen families for their five working days.

 

Whatever your situation, location or requirements, we will listen, advise and then implement our expertise in taking your every need and making it happen, relieving your workload and bringing you immediate assistance for a peaceful and organised household.

 

Hire a nanny in London, New York, or California with British American Household Staffing

We have offices in London as well as east U.S. coast to assist families looking to hire a nanny. Contact our office today to speak with an expert recruiter and be connected with our roster of career nannies in your area.

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