Duties of a Modern Butler

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What comes to mind when you think of a butler? Is it the formal, British domestic service staff from Downton Abbey? Or do you think of Alfred’s stoic and tech-savvy service to Batman and Wayne Manor?

If you are looking to hire a butler for your home, it is important to understand the modern butler’s duties and how one may support your unique household.

A butler is usually a valet or major domo for the gentleman of the house or the entire household. He or she will hold a certification from a Butler school, often from England or the Netherlands and will be well-versed in wines and may hold a culinary degree.

In the late twentieth century, the number of homes employing butlers decreased dramatically. In response, the role evolved to extend beyond valeting and serving and began to take on more managerial responsibilities. Due to this change and a boom in household income, especially in countries like China, hiring a butler has once again become a common solution to household staffing.

 

Traditional Butler Duties

The term “butler” at its conception, referred to the middle-ranking servant of a home who was in charge of the wine and liquor stored in the buttery. In early America, the butler’s duties were still focused on the wine cellar and food storage, especially before refrigeration became common. He also cared for valuable china, crystal and other silver and gold items in the home. As the world adopted Victorian standards, the butler’s role became more formal and included managing other members of the household staff as well.

 

While the British butler is most common in cultural portrayals, the occupation is much more French in its origin. Modern butlers are most often employed in the USA and the Middle East, and a large majority of those butlers are Swiss. The premier butler school is located in the Netherlands.

 

The traditional butler may be thought of as a formal, British, male staff member; however, female butlers are gaining popularity. Depending on the cultural traditions and preferences of the family, a female butler or manager may be preferred over a traditional male professional.

 

 

Modern Butler Duties

Regardless of how the role of the butler has changed over time, the position is dedicated to discreet and competent service.

 

Modern butler duties vary and may include, but are not limited to, managerial responsibilities, keeping accounts, marketing, and maintaining the wardrobe for the Master of the house. A butler will be well versed in etiquette and serving and have a thorough understanding of formal home care. In many cases, he or she may speak several languages.

 

In many households, the role of butler and house manager may be combined or overlapped, depending on a home’s particular needs. A butler/house manager is typically responsible for a family and staff schedule, household finances and all household-staffing issues. They deal with vendors, pre-empt maintenance issues and ensure the smooth running of the household.

 

 

A Butler’s Role in a Fully Staffed Home

The modern butler’s role is more fluid and specific tasks are determined by home size and location. Because of the role’s Swiss-Army-Knife-like functionality, many smaller estates employ only a butler to oversee the management of the home and serve the principal/s.  

 

He or she may be the only staff in a small home serving an individual or couple. In larger homes, the butler usually serves as a house manager or right below the house manager. Tasks may include supervising staff, hiring and training staff, compiling and organizing the household manual, seeing to maintenance and repairs, planning events and menus, and caring for fine clothing and managing wardrobes.

 

 

Hiring a Butler for Your Home

Your butler will quickly become essential to the smooth running of your home. They have intimate knowledge of all structures, staff and principals and dedicate their energies to operating efficiently and without difficulties. This means that the process of hiring the right household butler for your family and home should be approached with care and patience.

 

Knowing what needs are particular to your home

Understanding the needs of your home and lifestyle will be critical to finding the right butler. As every home and family is unique it is important that your butler not only be experienced but a fit in expectations and demeanor. When working with an agency like British American Household Staffing to hire a butler, the first step will be to discuss your needs and expectations so that you are only presented experienced, professional butlers that match your criteria.

 

Average compensation for a butler

The average butler works 60 or more hours a week. Depending on location and specific responsibilities, a butler may make anywhere from $70,000 – 150,000 as an annual salary. Living accommodations or stipends are often offered to aid in expenses and contribute to a lower offered salary.

 

Experience level and training also play a role in a butler’s requested rate. Those trained in the British butling style or those who have experience in formal, fully-staffed homes are often paid at a higher rate for their expertise.

 

Working with BAHS to hire a butler

We are proud to be the leading agency for butlers and formally trained household staff in the United States and England. We have a roster of trained butlers, many of whom are valets, chefs and house managers. Our offices serve the New York City area, including southern Connecticut, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, the San Francisco Bay Area and Palm Beach, Florida. Our international team serves the UK, Europe and the U.A.E.

 

Our expert team sources qualified candidates and conducts a rigorous screening and interviewing process. Reference screening and background checks are also handled by our team to ensure only the highest-quality candidates meet with our families. For us, success is a placement that results in a contented household and a butler who enjoys long-term job fulfillment.

 

Learn more about our standards or contact our office to begin the process of hiring a butler.


Sleep Training Baby with a Newborn Care Specialist

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What is Sleep Training?

Sleep training, sometimes referred to as sleep teaching or sleep learning, is the process of helping your baby learn to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. Some babies develop these sleeping habits on their own while others may need structured help to establish healthy sleeping. Every baby and family is different and there is no one right way to sleep train.

 

Why is it Important?

New parents can attest to the strenuous schedule of having a newborn. Once a baby is old enough to begin following a structured sleep schedule, it is important for both the child’s development and the health of the household to implement a plan to help baby sleep through the night.

A 2007 study from the National Institute of Health associated critical brain development with adequate sleep. Having a structured sleep schedule will benefit a baby’s development.

Sleeping through the night will not only help your baby grow and develop, it will allow everyone in the house to be better rested and attentive to the baby’s development.

 

Popular Sleep Training Methods

There is no one right way to sleep train. Every baby and family is different and should adhere to the method that works best for their unique lifestyle. Some common sleep training methods outlined by The Bump explain the range of approaches.

 

1. No Tears Method - Also known as the no-cry method, this technique involves subtle shifts in the child’s sleeping habits. For example, if baby is always rocked to sleep, the parent would shorten the time rocking little by little until baby can be put down without it.

2. Cry it Out (CIO) Method - This method is based on the belief that baby can learn to soothe herself if left alone. Baby is closely monitored to ensure that no physical need (feeding, changing, etc.) is present, but not interfered with while she’s learning to fall asleep.

3. Weissbluth Method - Similar to the CIO method, the Weissbluth method recommends using a structured bedtime routine (bath, rocking, lullaby) before putting the baby to sleep. Then parents leave the room and do not re-enter until the next morning. From The Bump:

 “I tried this, and the first night was awful,” says Jen, a mom of one, who did the Weissbluth method at 4 months. “I turned on the shower and sat in the bathroom so I wouldn’t hear my son cry. But I was watching the baby monitor and saw that after an hour, he found his thumb and fell asleep. The next night was maybe 40 minutes of crying, then 20 minutes the night after that. He’s always happy in the morning, and I feel this was the right choice.”

4. Ferber Method - Also known as timed-interval sleep training, modified sleep training or graduated extinction sleep training. This method involves putting baby down and returning to check on him at different intervals. Begin with 5-10 minutes checks, verbally soothing but not picking up, then gradually move to longer intervals of time between checks until baby is sleeping through the night.

5. Chair Method - This method can be useful for older babies who may suffer from separation anxiety. It involves sitting in a chair next to baby’s crib until she falls asleep. Each following night, the chair is moved farther away from the crib until parent is no longer in the room.

6. Pick-Up-Put-Down Method - This sleep training method is essentially the Ferber method of checking on baby at gradually longer intervals. Unlike the Ferber method, you can pick up baby to comfort him for a few minutes before putting him back down.

 

Find more information on these sleep training methods at The Bump.

 

Is it Better to Hire a Professional to Help with Sleep Training?

There are many different options for sleep training and the best option for you is as unique as your family. Deciding on and implementing the right sleep training method for you and your baby can seem like a daunting task. For first time parents, or those with busy lifestyles, we recommend working with a qualified newborn care specialist from birth.

 

What is a Newborn Care Specialist?

Newborn care specialists, also called baby nurses or maternity nurses, specialize in infant and newborn care during the first months of a baby’s life. Their main priority is the infant’s care as well as coaching and providing support to parents. Typically a specialist will work either a 12 or 24-hour shift depending on the needs of the family.

For new parents, the ultimate goal is to help teach infant-care and child development while guiding them on taking charge of the infant’s schedule, safety and well-being so that they will be autonomous when the specialist’s term is up.

 

What Can a Newborn Care Specialist Do Beyond Sleep Training?

Newborn care specialists can assist with the full spectrum of newborn care and may be certified in areas including but not limited to:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Alternate Feeding Methods
  • Sleep Training
  • Bonding
  • Lactation
  • Psychological Development

 

More often than not, baby nurses and newborn care specialists are experts with concentrated populations such as twins and triplets, premature infants, newborns with special needs, mothers interested in surrogate pregnancy options, and any other newborns who might need extra attention. They can range greatly in their education levels and skill sets. Some have worked in a hospital’s newborn care unit, as a midwife, as a doula, in an alternative birthing center, or as a baby nurse in a private home.

 

When Should You Hire a Newborn Care Specialist?

It is good practice to hire your newborn care specialist when your doctor confirms your due date. Most 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. Specialists typically schedule their booking to be on call 2 weeks before and 1 week after a baby’s due date to ensure availability.

See Frequently Asked Questions on hiring a newborn care specialist or baby nurse.

 

Hiring a Newborn Care Specialist with BAHS

British American Household Staffing provides high quality, professional, certified and trained newborn care specialists and baby nurses to families based in the United States and Europe. Our nurses fully encourage the parents while assisting in all forms of infant care and development.

Average salaries range from $30 to $60 an hour. Tenure can vary in range from four weeks up to one year. Contact our office to speak with a recruiter about your needs and ideal schedule.


Setting Up Your Residence With The Right Domestic Staff - Hiring An Estate Manager

Looking to set up your residence with the right domestic staff? Start by hiring an Estate Manager.

 

Benefits of Hiring an Estate Manager

Are you upgrading your home? Relocating? Restructuring? Here are some simple guidelines to help you see that your residence runs as smoothly as possible.

 

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. As a business needs its CEO, the first thing your household needs is the Estate Manager.

 

The right one will depend on the size of your home and the number of homes you need managed. An Estate Manager works on setting up a solid daily structure for your home and also implements hiring practices for all other staff. The Estate Manager will assess your staffing needs and desires, outlining the positions you need filled, such as Nannies, Housekeepers, Chefs, House Managers, personal assistants, etc. The manager will know how to screen and hire the ideal staff for the schedule and size of the home.  

 

The Process of Staffing Your Home

The best Executive Housekeepers tend to work eight-hour days, five days a week and slot in with each other. To attract the best Housekeepers, you want to pay market rate or above and ensure you hire Housekeepers on a live-out schedule, as those are the best candidates (good candidates have more options and will choose the job position that appeals to them the most). Market rate for a good Executive Housekeeper is $35 an hour, eight hours a day, and health insurance after three months of employment.

 

The Estate Manager will understand how to structure your home with the ideal schedules and number of Housekeepers, so the cleaning is done correctly and all shifts are covered. An Estate Manager will use a top-tier domestic staffing agency to send the best candidates. They will understand how to screen several Housekeepers, ensuring they work well together and understand how to manage laundry, organizing, serving, art and antique care, and deep cleaning.

 

Once the Housekeepers are set up, if needed, the Estate Managers will work on childcare.  This is a more complex hire, as the parents are usually more heavily involved. Career Nannies have experience working in larger residences. They understand childhood development and will ensure the right Nannies are hired for the principal’s needs, ranging from specific language proficiency, special needs experience, twin experience, infant expertise, or school age and tutoring experience.

 

Nannies are hired with expertise in the age group of the children in the home. These Nannies will commonly have experience working with families who fly privately and often last minute, so organizing the children and packing correctly is something these Nannies do well.

 

Yacht travel experience is also something career Nannies will have experience with. They are expert swimmers and understand how to act and dress appropriately on a yacht. They are able to manage children safely on the water and help with sleep schedule issues that typically occur when traveling across time zones.

 

The best Nannies are found by appealing to their desired schedules and salaries. The ideal setup is live-out during the regular week and live-in while traveling. Depending on the number of children, the ideal Nanny arrangement is one career Nanny, Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm, one Nanny-Housekeeper from 7am to 3pm, and another career Nanny to work on weekends, if needed.

 

It is best to pay a weekend Nanny very well, as good Nannies don’t like giving up their weekends. However, the weekend schedule could be ideal for a Nanny working as a teacher or completing her PhD or master’s degree.

 

A full-time career Nanny salary ranges from $80,000 to $150,000 a year, depending on their experience and skill-set. A French speaking career Nanny is always heavily in demand, so offering them a competitive salary and schedule is the wisest approach. Sometimes an evening backup babysitter is a good option to slot in, as well. An Estate Manager will understand how to hire the ideal Nannies, specific to the family and children’s needs.

 

Hiring culinary staff can also be challenging, but, as with Nannies, the Estate Manager will hire Chefs who specialize in the dietary needs of the family, such as Paleo, Vegan, low calorie, pure foods, French, Italian, Austrian, etc. The Estate Manager will hire the Chefs once they have done a trial tasting for the family, ensuring the food is top-notch, and will also see that the Chef is flexible and easy to work with. This goes for not only Chefs, but all staff types. A good Estate Manager will always take soft skills, such as personality and demeanor, into consideration upon hiring. Many homes are unhappy homes due to one or two difficult personalities on staff. The Estate Manager ensures this doesn’t happy.

 

After setting up the home with the correct staff, the Estate Manager will do the same for other residences you may own. The Estate Manager will oversee current staff, deal with any gripes, and fire and rehire as necessary. It is important you listen to the Estate Manager because he or she will be able to identify problematic staff members or subtle inefficiencies that you would otherwise miss. The Estate Manager will have an open dialogue with all the domestic staff and know where the issues lie.

 

Lastly, the Estate Manager will hire a House Manager for the larger residence(s) to oversee schedules and daily issues concerning vendors, parties, Housekeepers, Nannies, and all other daily staff. The House Manager’s job is to report back to the Estate Manager, who will ensure the problems are solved. The Estate Manager then oversees all homes, the payroll, legal issues and financial concerns outside of the family office and accountants. He or she will create, implement, and continuously update processes and operations. The household manuals for each home will be in place and updated accordingly. The Estate Manager also manages private planes, yachts, and car collections to ensure all these are up to date, safe, and well maintained. 

 

Begin Your Search to Hire a Quality Estate Manager

If you want a smooth-running home, start by hiring a top-quality Estate Manager, as this setup will ensure you don’t feel or hear of any problems. The secret to a happy home is having the right person in the Estate Manager seat to oversee hiring, training, implementation of processes, and legal compliance. Estate Manager salaries range from $150,000 to 400,000 a year. 

If you want to hire the best domestic staff, contact British American Household Staffing. We can fix any issues and begin optimizing your home management.


Q&A with Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City

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Chandler Scyocurka, part of British American's Marketing and PR team, sat down with Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City for a Q&A focused on being a mommy blogger and raising children in the bustle of New York City. 

Brianne, who was once a fashion showroom owner, now dedicates her time to motherhood and blogging. Here, she shares some tips on how to perfectly balance being a great mother all while making the most of living in the city. 

Q: Raising children in the city is inevitably difficult. What are some of your tips to new mothers in New York City, in particular?

A: I always say this but the ability to be flexible and go with the flow is key. And make time for yourself! I learned a weekly yoga class so I can just calm my mind, works wonders. And allows you to handle the chaos.


• Q: What do you think is most important when raising a family in New York?

A: Take advantage of what this city has to offer. We have museums and galleries and amazing parks right outside our door. We are surrounded by different cultures and backgrounds—we hear dozens of different languages a day. We wouldn’t have this if we lived anywhere else. It is important to appreciate it and not let the grind overshadow how culturally diverse and wonderful this city is.


• Q: What are your favorite places in or around New York City when looking to spend quality time with your little ones and family?

A: We live in an amazing neighborhood. Battery Park City has so many parks and playgrounds…waterfront views, the promenade, great restaurants. This is the perfect neighborhood to spend time with the family. Plus, I also love the West Village—it still feels like old New York on some of those blocks.


• Q: How do you balance being a mom and a blogger? What do you feel like it means to be a mommy blogger in the social media age?

A: I recently wrote a post about balancing, and for me there’s no such thing. It’s about the juggle. I’m lucky enough that my job involves my family, but I do need to set work hours for myself where I am just working on writing, and other times when I cannot answer emails or phones while I am toting my littles to their after school activities.  

Social media is a huge part of what I do, and I have a very supportive and loving community of followers so I always feel safe sharing our lives. I have always been pretty honest in my posts so I hope I don’t contribute to the staged and unattainable idea of perfection that stresses moms out. I am pretty real, our photos are real—our life is real. I want to continue to promote the honest side of motherhood.


• Q: Have you ever used or considered using a baby nurse or nanny?

A: My husband travels for work constantly so I definitely need some help—especially when I have three kids in different schools in different neighborhoods!! We have a babysitter four days a week to help with school drop offs and pick-ups…and she watches the kids when I have important events and meetings. My family lives nearby so they are always available to help with the kids. I am not opposed to hiring help! Raising children while working full-time is challenging—you always need help, and shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it! 


Interview with Anita Rogers on Goop.com

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article from Goop 

photo from Goop

Anita Rogers, founder of household staffing agency British American, has more than a decade’s experience in pairing families with household staff, from nannies and butlers to personal assistants and estate managers. She’s earned a reputation for finding successful matches–and also for helping to handle any situation that may arise in the working household. Here, she shares her insights on why hiring for your childcare or home needs is profoundly personal, and how a staffing agency can help with the process.

A Q&A with Anita Rogers

Q: What are the upsides to using an agency?

A: An agency helps you determine what kind of help you really need, and devises the way in which you want your staff to fit your lifestyle. It also saves you time and keeps you safe during the interview process. Some families have limited experience interviewing and hiring childcare and household staff, which makes it easy to miss signs of danger, red flags, or dishonesty. We enforce strict standards as we interview thousands of candidates each year. This has allowed us—and other reputable agencies—to become experts at spotting dishonest references and to be able single out specific personality traits and potential challenges. A staffing agency has seen how similar traits have played out with other candidates, which lends to its ability to find the best fit for you, your family, and your household.

Q: What are the biggest misconceptions about household staffing?

A: Both parties must be willing to give and take in order to find the best match. Often people think they can hire a candidate if they offer a competitive or high salary. Or if a nanny or butler has excellent experience, they might assume they can get a higher salary and an ideal schedule. But staffing is a matchmaking process, and both parties must be satisfied with the relationship and the circumstances in order for it to work.

Q: How do you recognize good talent?

A: It’s a long process—and it’s so much more than just a great résumé and reference letters. We look for candidates that have a balance of experience, training, and education in their field and glowing references from past employers. Other indicators we look for include personality, attitude, flexibility, grammar, responsiveness, and confidence.

The résumé is always the first indicator of talent, where we look at formal level of experience, age appropriate childcare experience, the types of homes an individual has worked in, longevity in previous jobs, and demonstrated professionalism and willingness. We screen all résumés and references and do extensive state, federal, and international background checks, as well as a thorough screening of their social media.

Q: What’s the secret to finding a good match between a family and nanny?

A: Everyone must be on the same page from the very beginning of the process. One family’s dream nanny could be another’s nightmare. It’s imperative that the candidate and the family have a similar approach to raising children, as well as complementary personalities. Someone who is really laid back isn’t going to work well in a formal home that thrives on structure. (The reverse is true as well.) The perfect nanny and family pairing has similar philosophies about discipline, education, and responsibilities. There has to be a mutual respect between the parents and the nanny regarding the decisions made concerning the child. As a parent, if you feel like you have to micromanage and instruct your nanny on how you’d like every situation handled, you will become frustrated and resentful of the situation.

One of the most important factors to consider during the process of finding a good match is assessing the needs and expectations of the family. There’s a huge difference between a parent looking for an extra set of hands to help with driving, activities, and meals and a working parent who needs someone to be the child’s primary caregiver. A take-charge, independent, problem-solving nanny with sole-charge experience isn’t going to thrive as a helper. In the same way, a nanny without the confidence to make decisions on his or her own and proactively foresee situations isn’t the best choice for a family where the parents are gone most of the day. 

Q: Once the hiring process is done, what other support do clients typically need?

A: It depends upon the family. Clients will often come to us for help with communicating with their new employee, especially during the transition process while the employee settles in. We always encourage regular, open and honest communication between both parties. On occasion, we will go into the home as a “manager” and help iron out any small issues that may exist. A relationship between a family and their household employees needs to be nurtured and carefully built, as this is a private home, where discretion is of utmost importance. We encourage clear communication and a weekly sit-down between a family and staff.

Q: If a match doesn’t work out, what is your advice for handling a potential change (or parting ways)?

A: We suggest that each party be gentle but honest about their feelings. The parting should be done with kindness and care so that everyone involved understands that it isn’t a personal attack, just a relationship that has outlived its potential. When hiring staff, you are creating a business in your home. I have seen people distraught if something isn’t working out because they don’t want to offend someone, they don’t want to hurt their feelings.

In certain situations, we’ll go into the residence and let the candidate go so that we can assure it’s done with delicacy. Every situation is very different. We’ve learned it’s best to never point fingers and to make everyone feel good. We directly address and try to resolve any problems, serious or minor, that are brought to our attention, and to support the client or candidate. The ending of a professional relationship can be emotional, particularly if it involves an intimate household setting, so we work to minimize any potential animosity a much as possible.

Q: Is there a difference between a nanny and a career nanny?

A: Most definitely. A typical nanny is different from a career nanny in that they often have a lot of experience with families, but no background or education in child development. Other nanny candidates are great with children and may have teaching degrees or other formal education, but limited in-home experience (typically part-time babysitting work).

A career nanny is someone who has chosen childcare as his or her profession. Most often, these candidates have formal education in child development and/or psychology. This can include a college degree in education or or training from previous jobs. Career nannies also have an employment history of long-term placements in private homes, understand the dynmics of working in a home environment and are great with children. A career nanny knows how to anticipate needs, respect a family’s privacy and space, and handle the logistics of high-end homes. Being in a home is very different than working in a school or daycare; there is no way to prepare or train someone for it, it’s something you learn and understand only after having experienced it.

Q: How have staffing agencies changed over the years?

A: Historically, many agencies have been run by only one or two people. Today, the amount of work it takes to verify backgrounds, interview candidates, and create and nurture relationships is impossible with such a small team. This is a time-intensive business, which is why a larger team with modernized and strict processes is essential.

 

http://goop.com/work/parenthood/how-a-staffing-agency-can-help/


Hiring Seasonal Domestic Staff

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By Anita Rogers

 

Hiring the right temporary domestic staff for your summer home is a large project for any principle or family. This article discusses why this can be so challenging and offers potential solutions to common problems I have seen every season as the President and Founder of British American Household Staffing.

 

Hiring a Live-In Housekeeper/Cook for the Hamptons

Problem: A family looking for a live-in housekeeper/cook for their Hamptons home should look at contacting agencies in New York as well as the Hamptons. Keep in mind commuting if the candidate is to leave the property on their day off.

 

Finding a qualified candidate that is open to live-in, seasonal work can be difficult. Many housekeepers are not comfortable cooking in large quantities that may be needed for a summer season. Identifying your needs and ideal fit early will help you find and attract the right help for your home.

 

Solution:

  • Start the hiring process early
  • Contact high end agencies only, both local and non-local (if it is live-in)
  • Set a salary range that is generous to allow you to find the best fit more easily
  • Make sure you have set an appealing schedule so you open-up the pool of qualified candidates. The schedule should always have 2 consecutive days off and usually a Sunday is given as a day off, in conjunction with Monday or Saturday.
  • Phone screen the candidates first
  • Check their level of experience
  • Check they have been a flexible worker in the past

 

Hiring a House Manager for a Summer Home

Problem: Staffing a larger home or estates is like running a small business in your home. The pyramid model works well for estate staffing. Start by hiring a house manager or a butler/house manager. This person can then help you screen the rest of the staff, which helps them establish their authority with the they will be overseeing. 

 

Solution: This is the most important hire you will make over the summer, so screen this person for the following qualities:

  • Ask their management style and ask for two or more references from staff they managed previously
  • Find out why they are looking for the summer only
  • Hire someone who has experience in the area they will be working
  • Ensure they have estate staff management experience
  • Once you hire them, hire the domestic staff with them and keep an open line of communication with the staff in case there are revolving door problems and it is the fault of the house manager
  • Make sure they have relationships with the top agencies in the area and ask who they liaise with at those agencies
  • Ensure they understand scheduling for staff
  • Pay them very well with the promise of a bonus at the end of the season. If you are doing the hiring alone or with a remote house manager, you will need to know how to attract the best staff (housekeepers, chefs and nannies) for your summer home. 

 

Hiring a Temporary Housekeeper

Problem: Most high-quality domestic staff are looking for a secure full-time job position, preferably with benefits. This is something every principle hiring only for the summer will encounter.
 

Solution: The best solution for this is to hire local candidates on a lower full time salary, offer benefits and give them a bonus at the end of the summer. This is the best solution for retaining top talent in a seasonal area such as the Hamptons.

 

Problem: Housekeepers, more than any other domestic staff category, like a regular schedule with overtime, which is the law. A constant live in or Wednesday to Sunday schedule is always unpopular, but more-often-than-not needed for summer hires, especially in the Hamptons.

Solution: Hire one more extra housekeeper than you need so each housekeeper gets one weekend off per month. This will attract the best talent.

 

A standard and suggested formal housekeeper salary is $70,000 plus benefits and overtime. A seasonal housekeeper is $35 to $40 an hour.

 

Hiring a Seasonal Chef

Finding qualified chefs is often not a problem, even for seasonal or temporary hires. Chefs often like a temporary position that helps them earn a solid income and allows them more freedom to freelance during the year, or travel. 

 

Yacht chefs are some of the best chefs you can find and they are accustomed to short-term gigs, long schedules, catering to large formal parties in a small space and working 7 day or more stretches. I would recommend this direction if you can accommodate a live-in chef. Use an agency that works with both yacht and domestic staff.

 

Suggested salary for a summer chef is $8-12,000 a month.

 

Hiring a Nanny for the Summer

Nannies fall into many different categories: 

1. Career nannies

2. Mother’s helpers

3. Nanny/housekeepers

4. Second language nannies

5. Newborn Care Specialist nannies

6. Travel nannies

 

Problem: A regular nanny will be looking for a permanent position, so they are harder to pin down for the summer. Childcare is the most delicate of all domestic hires to make, as they need to be fully-qualified for your particular childcare situation. 

 

Find and hire your seasonal domestic staff with BAHS.


Breastfeeding Helps Baby Develop Healthy Bacteria

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by Sarah Yang, The Bump

Here’s another benefit to breastfeeding: It helps baby develop healthy bacteria in her gut! A new study in Genome Biology found that breastfed infants had more diverse microbes in their guts than infants who were formula-fed. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Diverse microbes? Bacteria? Isn’t that bad” It’s not. If baby has a wide range of bacteria in her gut, her immune system will be stronger. Experts say that although the microbes in breastfed babies’ guts were associated with a resistance to antibiotics, their immune systems were trained to cope by fighting off stomach bugs.

In the study, researchers analyzed stool samples from 12 infants (6 were breastfed and the other 6 were formula-fed). They looked at the genetic material in the samples to find the types of bacteria in babies’ guts. Experts believe that more research is needed to confirm the link between breastfeeding and healthier guts in babies, but that this was a good start.

Do you think breastfeeding helps baby’s immune system? Do you or did you breastfeed your baby?


What Type of Childcare is the Best Fit for Your Family?

By Ashley Mundt

 

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 accustom 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).

 

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.


Bringing Home Baby – Hiring Newborn Care Specialist or Postpartum Doula

Having a strong support system is crucial for families bringing new babies home. That system can look different for every family, but the biggest help is man-power. Whether that means extended family coming to help, a partner that can take time off work, or hiring domestic staff, having an extra pair of hands can be essential for new moms.

 

Two common domestic staffing resources new parents use are newborn care specialists (NCS) and postpartum doulas. Who you decide to hire depends on the level of help you are looking for. Below is a quick summary of the two positions to help begin your search.

 

What is a Newborn Care Specialist?

Newborn care specialists (sometimes called baby nurses) provide focused infant care. They are highly educated individuals who work with new parents to understand newborn issues. Specialists usually live with the families for the first 3 to 6 months and work on a schedule that gives new parents plenty of rest time knowing their baby is being well-cared for. Some specialists are also available to live out and only work nights.

 

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

 

What is a Postpartum Doula?

Doulas work to give mothers and partners emotional, physical, and information support. You may begin working with a doula during pregnancy and during childbirth. A postpartum doula gives the same level of support after the baby is born. They usually come to the home a few hours a day or overnight for the first few months after bringing baby home.

 

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.

 

Further Reading:

What is a Postpartum Doula? From Baby Chick

FAQ from the Newborn Care Specialist Association

American Pregnancy Association Planning Resources


Tips and Tricks for Traveling with Children

Although a vacation is intended as a relaxing experience, it is rarely so. Planning a trip presents enough of a challenge in and of itself, but executing it without a few glitches is a difficult feat. Throw a few energetic toddlers into the mix and the prospect of a stress-free trip seems nearly impossible.

But fear not, because here at BAHS we have compiled a few of our favorite tips to help you make the most of a family vacation. Follow these suggestions and it will be smooth sailing (or flying) from here on out!

1. Plan, Plan, Plan

When it comes to traveling, especially with children, planning is absolutely key. A few days before your trip, create a list of all your travel must-haves. Don’t forget to pack any medications your family may need, and if you have especially young children always pack extra baby supplies such as diapers and formula. You never know when you may need it! Make sure to pack essentials in carry-ons. In the case of lost luggage, you don’t want to be running around a country or state you don’t know, looking for diapers. If you have a personal assistant or a house manager, they can help you create a comprehensive plan and travel itinerary.

2. Be Airport-Ready

Preparing for a flight is a lot of work and preparing a child that has little-to-no flying experience is even harder. Keep your child comfortable by dressing them in layers, as airports and planes are notorious for unpredictable temperatures. Make the security process as easy as possible by having your child wear slip-off shoes and pack all valuables and electronics for the family in one carry-on bag. Check with the TSA before your flight, as the restrictions on liquids often don’t apply to diaper bags. Make sure to pack disposable wipes so that you can disinfect any germy surfaces on the plane itself.

3. Go Hands-Free

A bulky stroller creates a lot of hassle. Instead, opt for a baby-carrier for infants, as it frees up your hands so that you can pull luggage behind you, and makes boarding the plane much easier. Often times, the staff at your hotel can refer you to a stroller rental service for when you actually get to your destination.

4. Keep Kids Informed

Traveling can be overwhelming for young kids; it is new, hectic, and there is a ton of sensory stimulation. In order to keep kids calm, be sure to narrate the processes that you are going through as they happen. Kids will feel much less intimidated this way. If you can, schedule a flight during naptime and stick to your routine. Consistency helps children and babies feel grounded.

5. Keep Them Entertained

Bring activities for toddlers to do on the plane; a mix of old and new is key here. Toys and activities that are old favorites are comforting in an unusual situation, but don’t underestimate novelty. One or two new toys or activities will keep kids entertained for hours, buying time on a long flight.

6. Stay Positive

Remember to keep a positive attitude and stay calm. Happiness is contagious and if you are in a calm and content state of mind, your child will be too.

7. Enlist Help

Last but not least, enlist the help of a Nanny. If you have a newborn, consider a Baby Nurse or Newborn Care Specialist.  Having an extra person on a vacation is invaluable; it can help to keep kids entertained, calm, and happy. Consider consulting a nanny agency to help you find the right person! A Nanny can help with keeping children on a routine, they can help organize the airport process, and they can watch the children so that you have a chance to relax. You worked hard for a vacation, after all!

Learn more about hiring a Nanny 

Learn more about hiring a Newborn Care Specialist 

Learn more about hiring a House Manager



 

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