Selecting the Right Newborn Care

Sleep_Training_Baby_with_a_Newborn_Care_Specialist.jpg

The extra support that a Baby Nurse, Newborn Care Specialist, or Postpartum Doula can provide will truly change the experience of a new parent from a time of high stress to a period of full enjoyment. Deciding which care is right for your family depends on your unique needs. See more below on the difference between types of newborn care or connect with our office today to discuss the best solution for your family.

 

Baby Nurses and Newborn Care Specialists

Newborn care specialists (NCS) are often referred to as baby nurses or maternity nurses. These childcare professionals specialise in infant and newborn care. Most NCSs will hold a newborn care certification and extensive training in topics including:  breastfeeding, exploring alternate feeding methods, sleep training, bonding, lactation, psychological development, and more.

 

NCSs provide around the clock care for infants from newborn up to one year. They will work to establish a sleeping and feeding pattern with the infant, typically working 24-hour or 12-hour shifts. Newborn care is an help to new mothers as they recuperate and adjust to life with baby. NCSs and baby nurses can also be invaluable help to parents who choose to have a baby through a surrogate.

 

Some newborn care specialists are multiple specialists; well versed in twin and triplet care. They can work alongside a doula or be a trained doula in addition to newborn care. Tenures may range from 3 weeks to the first year. Their duties are often transferred to a nanny once the infants are on a structured sleeping and feeding schedule.

 

It is good practice to hire your newborn care specialist when your doctor confirms your due date. Most NCSs are booked up to a year in advance, so planning early will make certain you are matched with the ideal care-giver. Arranging your care early will also mean more time to enjoy pregnancy or preparation time for the family.

 

Newborn care specialists work to care for the baby. General responsibilities include:

  • Care of baby
  • Sleep training
  • Provide breastfeeding assistance
  • Establishing a regular eating schedule
  • Provide overnight care
  • Familiar with an apnea monitor, feeding systems and other medical equipment
  • Help organize nursery
  • Will be able to detect jaundice, reflux, colic, and other common newborn issues
  • Bathing, diapering
  • Bottle cleaning and sterilization

 

Postpartum Doulas

The term ‘doula’ refers to a trained professional who assists a woman and her partner before, during, and after pregnancy and childbirth. They provide support, compassion, and relief of pain and stress during the prenatal, labor, and postpartum periods, acting as a coach and guide throughout. They do not perform the medical tasks or clinical care that a NCS might provide.

 

Research has found that assistance from a doula during labor results in fewer complications and a more seamless aftercare. Above all, a birth doula recognizes that the experience for the mother is a life-changing and memorable event. They will assist with all aspects of newborn and infant care such as emotional support and physical comfort as well as assisting in breastfeeding and lactation.

 

A postpartum doula offers ongoing support for the mother and newborn. They will be able to work alongside family doctors and midwife to provide holistic care and instruct techniques for soothing, latching, coping, and all post-birth infant care. Studies have shown postpartum doulas greatly reduce postpartum depression and other potential mood disorders that can follow birth.

 

A postpartum doula is dedicated to the care of the mother/family and provides evidenced based information on things such as:

  • Infant feeding
  • Emotional and physical recovery from birth
  • Mother–baby bonding
  • Infant soothing
  • Run errands
  • Perform light housekeeping duties
  • Prepare meals
  • Assist in breast feeding and baby basics
  • Care for older siblings
  • Local resources and support groups

 

Find Newborn Care with British American Household Staffing

BAHS works to match expecting families with the support that is right for them. Reach out today to discuss your needs with our expert recruiters and begin your search.


Limiting Screen Time: Unplugged Summer Activities

Unplugged_2020_Summer_Activites.jpg

After months at home relying on virtual learning, video conversations with friends and many online summer programs, it is crucial that parents are aware of how much time their children spend in front of a screen and actively encourage offline activities to supplement digital endeavors.  The team at British American Household Staffing has put together some suggestions for kid-friendly breaks from the screen this summer. 

 

Plant a Garden 

Whether you have space outside or choose an indoor garden, gardening with children has multiple benefits. From seeing firsthand where their food comes from to cultivating patience and responsibility, a garden is a fun, educational project for kids. For indoor options, we like this vegetable growing kit that allows children to see the roots of their growing plants. Another fun option is AeroGarden's Pizza Party Herb Garden for Kids - the package includes everything to plant and care for an herb garden and in 12 weeks, your child will be able to pick the herbs needed for an at-home pizza party (pizza recipe and instructions included)! For an even simpler introduction to growing vegetables, try one of these easy projects regrowing plants from food scraps, such as celery, garlic or scallions. 

 

Get Creative in the Kitchen

Summer is an ideal time to invite children to help make some of their favorite warm weather treats. If your family hasn't yet tried the ice cream ball, we highly recommend you do this summer. The concept is simple: fill the rubber ball with sugar, heavy cream and any flavors you like and then play ball! After about twenty minutes of active play, open the ball to reveal a pint of homemade ice cream. 

Another fun idea is homemade popsicles - just grab some molds or even an ice cube tray or small washed yogurt containers and get to work! We love this list of fifty popsicle recipes - all without any artificial sugars or colorings! We also adore this Edible Chemistry Kit; everything is included to create over sixteen tasty experiments including funny fizzy drinks and color-changing foaming jelly. 

 

Spend the Afternoon Making Lunch and Help Children in Need

According to the USDA, more than 11 million children in the United States live in "food insecure" homes; this means that those households don't have enough food for every family member to lead a healthy life. That number is pre-pandemic and is likely much higher now. Organizations like Feeding America and No Kid Hungry offer ways to donate or fundraise to help fight the problem; however, if you'd like to get your children involved, many local organizations offer programs where families can pack lunches that are picked up in the morning and delivered to children in need that same day. Inquire with your child's school to find out if they have any recommendations for schools, libraries or food banks that may offer this. Spend an afternoon together making sandwiches and packing lunches and talk to your children about hunger and the importance of helping others. 

 

S.T.E.M. Away from the Screen 

Science, technology, engineering and math don't have to just take place on your child's device. There are plenty of unplugged ways to reap the educational benefits of S.T.E.M./S.T.E.A.M. learning without adding to daily screen time. The If/Then game is one great example of this that requires no special equipment. This article offers several options for at-home, device-free activities that help build the skills needed for computer coding. Another option is to incorporate an educational board game into family game night; the MIND Research Institute published this comprehensive list of S.T.E.M. board games for various ages. Our favorites are EvolutionWingspan and Planet

 

Go Swimming 

We mentioned Swimply in our last newsletter but we are including it again this week as it is a great option for an easy, safe summer day with children. The service offers by the hour private pool rentals across the U.S. and in select international cities. Most rentals offer completely contactless entry and exit so your family can enjoy an afternoon poolside without any risk. Many offer amenities, such as barbecues and waterslides. 

 

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 Know What Childcare is Right for Your Family

1.png

As we move through 2020, many families are reevaluating and restructuring their homes and lives. Your needs, schedule, and income may have been drastically impacted by stay-at-home orders and virtual schooling.

 

Making decisions on what your family’s new normal looks like can be easily overwhelming. Below are descriptions and examples of the private childcare options available. If you have questions about what type of caregiver will provide the best support to your family, we would love to help. At British American Household Staffing, we specialize in matching experienced, educated full-time nannies with families like yours. For families seeking the highest quality career nannies or more personalized guidance through the process, we offer consulting services as well.

 

How to Know What Childcare is Right for Your Family

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Babysitter

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

 

Mother’s Helper

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

 

Nanny

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

 

Career Nanny

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

 

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



 

Still not sure exactly what type of childcare option your home needs? Contact our office to be connected with an expert recruiter that can assess your needs and recommend the right solution for your family. Our team of recruiting specialists can help determine what care is best for your family and match you with qualified candidates.


Summer 2020: Staycation

Staycation.jpg

With travel advisories still in place in much of the world, you may find yourself struggling to make summer plans for your family. If you've decided to cancel or postpone vacations this year, we've put together a list of family-friendly staycation ideas to bring your destination of choice into your home.

Even if the vacation is virtual, it is a good idea to plan ahead so children can look forward to time together, gather questions and ideas and so you can register and order any required supplies.

 

Travel companies like Airbnb, as well as many cities and institutions have pivoted to offer engaging virtual experiences while so much of the world is at home. We've put together family-friendly agendas for a few popular destinations; if your family's dream location isn't listed, you can easily create your own using AirbnbViatorGoogle Earth and a little creativity! Can't decide where to explore? Use Google Earth's Feeling Lucky option and let the destination be a surprise!

 

Greece

We recommend planning ahead and signing your child up for for an online class via Outschool on Greek history. They have interactive options for all ages; we love the Greek Mythology Summer Course (ages 10-13) and All About Greece For Kids (ages 8-12). Next, get familiar with the area with a live guided tour of the Acropolis in Athens; feel free to ask the local guide any questions you may have! Afterwards, take a cooking class with a Greek chef - learn to make tzatziki and other Greek favorites. Finally, celebrate the country with a Greek dance workshop and a dance history lesson that is great for kids and adults alike. For younger children, a weekend in Greece could be further supplemented with BBC's instructions for an at-home archaeological dig.

 

Italy

Start by sitting down with the family and learning some basic Italian phrases. Next, join this Italian pasta making class for families, led by a professional chef and teacher at Gambero Rosso Cooking School in Rome. Head to the Vatican where you'll be led in quizzes, games and other educational activities covering the highlights of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. If you didn't indulge in too much pasta, make a quick trip to Venice for a private Tiramisu class led online by a couple of Venetian locals. Finally, end the night by falling asleep to Italian children's stories; older children can follow along in English.

 

Mexico

Begin the day by exploring the streets of Mexico City then head over to meet Chef Graciela for a lesson in making Mexican street tacos. After lunch, the whole family can channel their creativity with a storybook making class led by a young artist in Mexico City. Finish the trip by heading east for a 3D tour of Chichén Itzá, a site of Mayan ruins on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula.

 

Japan

Depending on your child's interests, you might spend the afternoon taking in a magic show and lesson in Tokyo or a virtual martial arts lesson for the whole family. Next join Chef Aya for a private cooking class in Japanese cuisine, recently named one of the best online cooking classes by Thrillist. Finally, end the day on a relaxing note by participating in a meditation class led by a Japanese Buddhist monk.

 

Adults Only: Cocktail and Wine Tastings

Toast your staycation after your little ones have gone to bed with a virtual mixology class or wine tasting. Next Friday, June 26, NYC's only vineyard, Rooftop Reds, is hosting a virtual wine tasting; sign up soon to be sure the wine arrives in time! Across the pond, we love this gin focused cocktail class hosted by a master mixologist in the United Kingdom. Finally, travel to Porto for this lively wine history class hosted by a wine expert!

 

Need a Break from the Virtual? Rent a Private Pool by the Hour

If you and your little ones need some time outdoors, consider booking with Swimply, a service that offers by the hour private pool rentals. Most offer completely contactless entry and exit so your family can enjoy an afternoon poolside without any risk. Many offer amenities, such as barbecues and waterslides. 

 

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.


Summer 2020: Virtual Summer Camps

Virtual_Summer_Camps.jpg

As states across the country slowly start to reopen and at-home schooling comes to a close for the academic year, you may find yourself struggling to plan an engaging, educational summer for your child.  Many summer camps have been cancelled or postponed while others have reduced their hours to offer a safer environment for children. These changes leave many parents working to fill in the gaps. The team here at British American Household Staffing has put together a list of virtual summer camps we recommend to entertain and educate children all summer, whether in place of or in conjunction with traditional summer plans.

 

STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Several online camps have created fun activities for children that use the foundation of STEM/STEAM education. Snapology offers live instructor-led LEGO camps via Zoom. The themed programs, with topics ranging from Planes, Trains and Automobiles to Jedi Masters, focus on building, creating, designing and problem solving. With many scheduling options and classes for all ages (including parent/child options for younger builders), there is sure to be something for all children - and all you need is a bin of LEGO bricks!

For older children, ID Tech offers small (maximum 5 campers per instructor), structured virtual classes in Python, Java, Minecraft, Roblox, Unity, Adobe, 3D modeling, and more. Private lessons are also available.

We love MEL Science, which delivers monthly science experiments to your door year-round. Suitable for ages 10+, the subscription service provides all materials for safe at-home experiments and a VR headset for further lessons.

 

Visual Art

This summer, The Center of Contemporary Art is offering a series of online art camps for children ages 5-15 focusing on drawing, painting and more. The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami is also hosting a free virtual summer camp where campers are introduced to mixed media, painting, drawing, and textile arts by professional art instructors. The final projects will be featured in a virtual exhibition on MOCA’s website; as a bonus, the museum is offering free art supplies if you live in the area.

For high school students interested in fashion and design, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) offers several online summer workshops in a variety of subjects, including graphic design, public relations and fashion design. Be sure to register before June 11!

 

Performing Arts

This summer, the Metropolitan Opera is offering a free, virtual summer camp to students worldwide, ages 8-18. Each week, campers will discover a new opera through hands-on activities and other fun learning prompts and share their work with a global community of young opera fans.

The Atlanta Shakespeare Company is hosting several Shakespeare inspired camps this summer; many are sold out but there are still July dates available for grades 2-8. A typical camp day from 9:00 A.M.- 3:00 P.M will be a mixture of pre-recorded video content, one-on-one instruction, collaborative online experiences and self-guided activities. And the camp will end with a final performance online!

Michigan's well-known Interlochen Center for the Arts has brought its summer program online; the camp offers classes in musical theater, film, and dance (as well as may other topics ranging from creative writing to visual art) for children in grades 2-12.

 

Virtual Cooking School

The kid-friendly cooking company, Raddish, offers a variety of options to help your children in the kitchen this summer. Opt to sign up for their subscription service with 3 recipes delivered each month, enjoy their culinary inspired games for free or join Camp Raddish, the online summer cooking school!

 

Young Explorers

The Bronx Zoo invites young campers to their Wildlife Camp Online; the program includes the opportunity to get behind-the-scenes looks at animals and exhibits, engage with the zookeepers and scientists and meet new friends around the world. Suitable for children up to 8th grade.

Minnesota's Great Lakes Aquarium is offering "Summer Camp in a Box," a one week experience with with prepackaged activity kits for each day of the week and a daily live Zoom conference.

 

Additional Resources

PBS has created a helpful, searchable guide with tips, activities and more for reading, math, science, the arts and emotional well-being. Actors Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard put together Camp Hello Bello, a wealth of online resources for parents at home with children during quarantine and all summer. Finally, visit Activity Hero to view frequently updated information on online camps, classes and more.

 

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. 


Engaging with the Arts is More Important Now than Ever

Jack_Rogers_Painting.jpg

Image Credit: Jack Martin Rogers. Rhodes. 1979. Gouache on paper. 8" x 11"

During times of high stress, the importance of art becomes even more apparent. Growing research supports the benefits of art for emotional and physical well being; in 2017, Harvard Medical School's blog shared information about the link between increased creative activities and decreased stress and anxiety, as did Ashford University. Whether you and your family choose to view art you love, discover new painters together or make your own art at home, art can serve as a comfort, a solace and an affirmation in difficult times. The team here at British American Household Staffing has gathered some our favorite ways for the whole family to engage with the arts from home. 

 

Visit Galleries and Museums

From galleries to museums and non-profits, almost all art institutions have adapted over the past few weeks and now offer some sort of online programming to allow the public to continue to engage with their collections from home. We recommend Anita Rogers Gallery's digital catalog for Jack Martin Rogers: Drawing, an exhibition postponed due to COVID-19. The exhibition features a selection of drawings that have never before been seen by the public, including portraits, cityscapes and more. We also love getting to know Spain's Guggenheim Bilbao, which boasts pieces by Mark Rothko, Robert Rauschenberg,  Richard Serra and many other masters. London's National Gallery also now allows virtual viewers to explore the halls and take a closer look at over 300 paintings. 

New York's MoMA hosts live virtual experiences every Thursday; we are saving the date for June 11's virtual exploration of Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night and a live Q&A with a special guest! 

 

Care for your Collection

If you have art on your walls, now is a great time to engage with it in multiple ways. On a practical level, take this extra time at home to make sure you have all the necessary paperwork for pieces you have purchased. Check with your insurance company to find out what specific documents they require; the gallery you acquired the work from should be able to assist with any missing documents.

It is also a good time to try moving art around the home, learning more about artists you collect or to discover new artists who may complement your current collection. Take a moment to teach your children about the art your family lives with and engage them in a conversation about what they see in the work and what you love about it.

 

Encourage Creativity at Home

Set aside time each day for your children to explore their creative side. We love The Kitchen Table Classroom, a free site with hundreds of art projects and activities for kids, from printable paper dolls to instructions on how to make papier-mâché bowlsArt For Kids Hub, another great family-friendly site, offers hundreds of drawing and painting tutorials for children of all ages. The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers brief virtual sketching classes every Saturday afternoon for children ages 13-18. via Instagram; children can share their work for a chance to be featured on the museum's social media.  

If you're looking for creative gifts for an upcoming special occasion, we recommend MoMA's Art Making with MoMA: 20 Activities for Kids Inspired by Artists at The Museum of Modern Art; not only does the book inspire creativity but it also teaches children about the museum's collection and art history. The book is part of the "Making with MoMA" series we absolutely adore; other favorites from the collection are the storytelling kit and this Van Gogh inspired crayon

 

Preserving Children's Art at Home 

Once your child has finished his or her masterpiece (or series of masterpieces!), you may be wondering what to do with it next. Whether you'd like to display it, share it, archive it or keep only a digital copy, there are custom solutions for everyone.

If you'd like to save space without losing the memories, ArtKive is a great tool. You simply mail in a selection of your child's work (they provide the box!) and Artkive professionally photographs and digitally catalogs all of it and finally, sends a book or framed mosaic featuring the works to your home. Alternatively, Keepy offers a way to digitally archive and share artwork from $9.99 a month; the app even allows you to add shareable clips of your child working or talking about the project. If your young artist wants to show off their original artwork, we love this article by Artful Parent which highlights 21 clever ways to display kid's art at home. Finally, we adore Child's Own which is a specialty toy company that designs custom real-life plush toys based on your child's drawings! 

 

 

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.


Resources for Household Staff Returning to Work

find-domestic-staff.jpeg

As we continue to ease restrictions and closures, more domestic staff are able to return to work. For their safety and the continued safety of your family, please refer to the following scenarios and resources for best practices. 

 

You have been providing living accommodations for your staff to stay isolated with your family.

We highly encourage families to continue providing accommodations for their staff if they are able. This is an ideal scenario as all parties can remain safe together and your staff will be able to avoid unnecessary risk in travelling from their homes each day. If you choose to provide living accommodations for your staff, whether that is in your home or elsewhere, see our tips to help you and your staff adjust comfortably.

 

Your staff have been isolating at their home and are ready to return to work.

Some of your household staff may have been able to maintain their roles remotely this spring. Personal assistants, house managers, and other managerial workers can easily do most of their work with little direct contact with your family.

Hands on help like housekeepers or nannies must be in your home to perform their jobs. If your staff have been isolating for a set time and are not experiencing symptoms, you may elect that they return to work in your home. 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)

 

You need to make a change to your household staff’s pay.

This time is a perfect example of the importance of paying your staff on the books. To apply for any financial help, they will need to provide proof of employment, termination, or reduction of hours. Be flexible to work with your staff as they find and apply for support during this time.

Emergency Income During the Pandemic specifically explores paying your nanny and has information that can be applied to all domestic staff.

The ideal scenario is to continue to pay your household workers, even if they are not coming to your home for a brief time. If you terminate or furlough your staff, they will need to find alternative sources of income and may no longer be available when stay-at-home orders are fully lifted.

 

You are hiring new domestic staff.

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.


Celebrate at Home: How to Make Small Celebrations Special

How_to_celebrate_at_home.jpg

Even as restrictions start to ease in many states over the coming months, this summer will be different than past summers. With most weddings, vacations, birthday parties and graduation ceremonies cancelled, it is more important now than ever to find new ways to host celebrations the whole family can look forward to. The team here at British American Household Staffing has put together a list of little ways to acknowledge and celebrate milestones (or just Friday nights!) at home this summer. 

 

Plan and Decorate 

Whether your child is facing changed plans for a birthday, a graduation or another milestone, take the time to plan a special at-home celebration in advance of the big day. Plan as you would any other party - make a guest list and let virtual attendees know to save the date. Older children can customize and send invitations out online via Minted (currently free due to COVID-19) or Paperless Post so the event still feels official. Don't forget to decorate! We recommend Little Miss Party in a Box for simple, fun banners, balloons, paper products and more for any type of event, from themed birthdays and Father's Day to fun at-home movie nights. 

 

Camp Out 

A night in tents in the backyard or blanket forts in the living room feels extra special to children disappointed about cancelled summer camps or other outdoor plans. Younger children will love making this DIY paper campfire while older children with access to a backyard will enjoy this portable, easy to extinguish campfire. Make S'mores (on the stovetop counts!) and take turns telling spooky stories. The Spruce published this inventive list last year of flashlight games for kids - perfect for an indoor camp out! 

 

Hire a Virtual Performer

Many children's acts have moved performances online during this time. Now you can orchestrate a virtual visit from a garden fairy or a live, personal sing-along with your child's favorite Disney character. Consider taking it a step further and have your child and their virtual guests dress up for the occasion; challenge children to come up with an outfit from their own closet or order something special from Magic Cabin or Melissa & Doug

 

DIY Something Delicious

Your favorite restaurants might be closed but more and more are offering DIY kits to make specialty foods at home. Get the whole family involved to cook and eat together. Baz Bagels offers a bagel making kit (complete with toppings and a fun playlist from the store!) to make the perfect brunch spread. NYC's iconic Katz Deli is currently shipping pastrami sandwich kits and other specialities nationwide. Flour Shop now sells mixes for their exploding confetti cake, as well as cake pops online via Williams Sonoma

 

Splurge on a Sweet Treat

Many of the country's best bakeries are now delivering all over the country.  Magnolia Bakery offers nationwide shipping on birthday cakes, cupcakes and more. Famed Portland ice cream shop Salt & Straw (Danny Meyer's favorite!) ships frozen pints all over the U.S. Flavors change frequently; right now we love their Salted, Malted, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper.  We also recommend this brownie assortment from the small Brooklyn shop, Baked, and, of course, we love La Durée's macarons

 

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 Hire Summer Staff for the Hamptons Amid Coronavirus

Household_Staffing_New_York_Los_Angeles_San_Francisco.jpeg

As states are reassessing their readiness and beginning their reopening plans, families are ready for a break from the city and a return to a sense of normalcy. For many, that means packing up and spending the summer in the Hamptons.

 

There are many options for hiring and onboarding household staff for the Hamptons 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 interview remotely, implement strict quarantine for you and your staff before moving, or finding ways to minimize physical interaction. 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 normalcy, 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.

 

It continues to be best practice to have your household staff live-in with you during this time. Doing this ensures that your family and staff stay safe, healthy, and are able to support one another. If you have never provided living accommodations for your 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


Take a Deep Breath: Ways to Keep the Whole Family Calm During Times of Stress

How_to_Hire_Household_Staff.jpg

Now more than ever, it is crucial that families effectively learn to manage stress together. One family member's worry can quickly lead to growing anxiety among the rest of the family so it is crucial that children and adults alike feel supported and find practical ways to unwind. 

We recommend using this time to teach children stress management techniques that they can utilize for the rest of their lives. The team here at British American Household Staffing has gathered some resources to help your family navigate these topics together.

 

Communicate

First and foremost, make sure that parents and caretakers are having honest, clear and age-appropriate conversations with children about the current news. The CDC has put together helpful guidelines for talking to children about COVID-19, as have Harvard Medical School and PBS. Take time to answer children's questions, address their concerns and acknowledge disappointment over cancelled events and changed plans; make sure that the other adults and caregivers in your child's life are approaching discussions in a similar way. 

 

Find a Routine that Works for Everyone 

One way families can help children maintain a sense of normalcy during this strange time is to make daily and weekly routines that work for the whole family. Making sure children (and adults!) have a regular sleep schedule, daily physical activity and some alone time is crucial to having a harmonious time together at home. If you're having trouble with your current schedule, we suggest reading PBS' useful article about organizing a family schedule. Consider apps like Kids To Do ListKazu Time or Time Timer to help children stay on track with their daily responsibilities.

 

Start a Meditation Practice with Headspace 

You have likely heard of the meditation and healthcare app Headspace; the English-American company has received excellent reviews and has been featured in major American and British publications, including the BBC, NPR, ABC News, The Today Show and Martha Stewart Living

Meditation has been proven to reduce anxiety, increase sleep quality and promote general emotional health. Separate studies conducted by Northeastern University found that 3 weeks of Headspace increased compassion by 23% and reduced aggression by 57%. In addition, an internal study found 10 days of Headspace reduced irritability by 27%. The app, with free and paid content, offers guided meditations and resources for adults and children of all ages. 

 

Encourage Emotional Awareness and Problem Solving 

For younger children (ages 2-5), Sesame Street's Breathe, Think, Do app is a wonderful tool to help children manage stressful situations. In the free app, kids help a Sesame Street character deal with everyday problems (ranging from taking turns in a game to separation anxiety) by reminding him to breathe, think and find an appropriate solution. For example, children might choose to encourage him to talk to an adult or find a healthy distraction. Don't miss the helpful section for parents with tips and videos to reinforce the behaviors children learn in the game.

For children ages 5-10, we love Stop, Breathe and Think Kids, an app that allows children to pinpoint their current emotion and then recommends meditation and mindfulness activities based on their selection. The company offers a similar app for adults; consider adding this to your family's nighttime routine to encourage all family members to check in with and process their emotions. 

Another great option to consider is the free Smiling Mind app. The Australian app offers hundreds of mindfulness activities for all ages. In addition to breathing meditations, the app has sensory exercises, like listening to music. It allows multiple users to keep track of their daily progress. 

 

Take Care of the Whole Body 

The whole body plays a role in stress management. One proven tool to combat stress is to engage in daily physical activity. You could add a family yoga hour to your morning routine (we recommend Harmony Family Yoga), go on a daily walk or incorporate a few simple stretching and breathing exercises before bedtime.

For more ideas, check out our recent newsletter with more ways to stay active at home

 

Journalling 

Consider incorporating a journalling habit into your family's day, either privately or to be shared with other family members. We love the Three Good Things app which encourages users to write down positive moments in the virtual "happiness journal" at the end of each day. This, of course, can be done individually but we love the idea of children and parents sharing their entries before bed each evening.

 

Find the Right Fit for Your Family 
Remember this is a new and challenging time for everyone and there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. Talk to friends, teacher, caregivers and family members to brainstorm new solutions if your current plan isn't working. Don't forget to ask your children too -they might have some creative solutions of their own!

 

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.

domestic staffing domestic staffing domestic staffing