Should I Hire A Night Nurse? Newborn Care Advice

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In these unprecedented times, we at British American Household Staffing want to offer as much peace-of-mind as possible. New parents can be overwhelmed in the best of circumstances. If you are expecting or adjusting to life with baby, we encourage you to consider hiring newborn help to provide your life with some consistency and support during upheaval.

 

We thoroughly screen all of our nurses and specialists and present the highest quality staff to our growing families. All of our candidates practice strict self-isolation to ensure the safety of your family. If you choose to hire newborn help, we can guide you and your caregiver through a time of isolation before transitioning into your home to greatly reduce all risks for you and your family.

 

Whether you are a new mom, first time parents, or expecting soon, the extra support of a night nurse or newborn care specialist provides peace of mind and expert help in your family’s transition. Contact our office with any questions you may have about hiring during these times or to begin your search.

 

Should I hire a night nurse?

Most new mums and dads start organizing everything in preparation for the birth as soon as the pregnancy test is positive. The questions you ask yourselves are endless: What will the baby be like? Are we ready? Should we move? Should our parents or family come and stay with us for the first few months? Can I handle my family living with us for the first few months? Will I be able to leave the baby and exercise? Should I study more about sleep training? What about breastfeeding? Should I pump? What if I can't? 

 

What many parents don't know is how much a night nurse or newborn care specialist (often called a baby nurse) can help your new baby as well as you. A good night nurse or baby nurse will make sure you get enough sleep. Even more importantly, they will ensure the baby is on a schedule, feeds properly, regularly and correctly, helps the baby stay calm, and reduces anxiety in the parents, which subsequently reduces anxiety in the newborn. 

 

They teach the parents how to structure their baby's days and nights, resulting in a baby who enjoys the benefits of a sleep routine from very early on, which in return, will help them as a young-adults with sleep, structure and routine, invaluable for school age children, pre-teens, teens and later, adults. The baby nurse or newborn care specialist will keep your baby safe and teach you everything they know, giving you peace-of-mind when caring for your baby. The cherry on the top is that you, as parents, are able to be well-rested and enjoy the development of your baby without being sleep-deprived, anxious and exhausted.

 

There are several schedules and categories of newborn care specialists, sometimes referred to as "baby nurses", “night nurses” or "maternity nurses." They may work 12-hour overnight shifts, or 24 hour shifts with the baby. Specialists that work 24-hour shifts will either have 2 days off for every 5 days working or one 4 hour break per day.

 

Almost all newborn care specialists or baby nurses are hired for a minimum of three months to establish good sleep practices. Most clients who work with BAHS keep their newborn care specialists or baby nurses for six to eight months, sometimes longer. 

 

If you are a new parent, expecting parent or parents-to-be again, do not hesitate to reach out to our educated childcare specialists. We have childcare specialists in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. They all hold degrees in Childhood Education, have extensive nanny experience with newborns and understand the intricacies of newborn care development.

Speak to one of our in-house childcare specialists today.

 

Find more answers to common questions on our FAQ page for newborn care.


Books Clubs & Reading Resources for the Whole Family

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Most of us are aware of the multitude of benefits of daily reading, both for children and adults, from a larger vocabulary to increased emotional intelligence and empathy. In 2018, The New York Times published a study about the importance of reading to young children and the effect on behavior later in life. Scholastic recently shared a list of the physical benefits of reading. However, especially without the structure of your normal family routine, it can be difficult to make sure your loved ones are spending enough time with books instead of the screen. The team here at British American Household Staffing has put together some ideas to help adults and children incorporate more reading into their daily lives. 
 

Virtual Book Clubs

Avid readers all over the world are creating virtual book clubs during this time to share ideas and motivate one another to make the time to read. We love Reese Witherspoon's book club; each month, the actress and entrepreneur selects a book with a female lead and readers are invited to join the community via InstagramFacebook and Goodreads to discuss their thoughts. Another one of our favorites is The Hyphen Book Club, hosted by Emma Gannon, bestselling business author and one of Forbes' 30 Under 30 2018. Quarantine Bookclub is a great way to connect with authors via Zoom to discuss the books they've penned; the group offers several talks per week with various authors and will continue to as long as we remain at home. 

If you're interested in hosting your own digital book club for your friends, read through this list of suggestions from Country Living before you get started. 

 

A Flexible Book Club for Kids 

We adore Literati! The subscription service sends 5 curated age-appropriate books to your family per month, plus a few fun surprises. Only purchase the books your children love and send the rest back. The service has club options for children 0-12 years. Literati also offers one-time purchase options of themed boxes of books and personalized stickers for children of all ages.  Themes range from history, art and science to dreams, animals and wisdom. 

 

Personalized Storybooks 

If you're looking for special gift for a child in your life to encourage reading, we love the idea of a personalized picture book. One of our favorites is The Great Alphabet Chase, which allows you to personalize the name and appearance of the lead character to match the recipient. Another great option is The Little Boy Or Girl Who Lost Their Name; Wonderbly allows you to customize the book for your child's name - each name creates a different story, making it a great gift for siblings who will each receive a unique adventure featuring their name. 

 

Incorporate Reading into Daily Activities

Now is a good time to try to incorporate reading into daily activities the children may be helping with around the house. Ask your child to read a recipe from a cookbook as you make dinner; we love River Cottage Family Cookbook and The Young Chef Cooking and Baking books. 

 

Start a Family Book Club 

It's easy to start a book club that works for your whole family! Take turns each picking a book and make a plan on when to meet and discuss it. If time allows, make a special snack related to the book or dress up as the characters. If your household has children who are too young to read, make a habit of reading the book aloud to them each day. Don't forget to include grandparents or other family and friends that may be interested in participating via Skype or Zoom.

We suggest picking a book, like Harry Potter or Stuart Little, that has been reimagined as a film; read the book first then watch the film together and have your child consider what was similar and different in the book. Ask your child what they might have done differently. Read more tips on starting a family book club here.

 

Travel the World 

Books are a great way to teach your children about different cultures. CNN published this wonderful list of 25 Books To Teach Your Kids about the World, including Ludwig Bemelmans's Madeline, Jeff Brown's Flat Stanley and Brian Selznic's The Invention of Hugo Cabret. We suggest doing something to mark the end of each book and further discuss the place the book portrayed; perhaps cook a dinner inspired by the cuisine of the featured location, listen to music from the region or simply look at photographs of well-known monuments online together. 

 

Add Some Drama to Story Time

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

 

Further Resources

Finally, we recommend utilizing Scholastic's tools for parents, including these lists of 6 Smart Strategies to Boost Reading Fluency and 9 Creative Ways to Read as a Family

 

 

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.


Staying Active at Home

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According to the CDC, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination each week. The guidelines also recommend that children and adolescents be active for at least 60 minutes every day. The benefits range from weight management and reduced risk of cancer and diabetes to improved sleep and decreased anxiety. A comprehensive list of benefits is available here on the CDC website. 

With the current restrictions in place, it may be difficult for you and your family to make sure you're fitting in enough physical activity each day. The team here at BAHS put together a list of resources to get the whole family moving at home without any special equipment. 

 

Home Workout Apps

With more and more home workout apps at our fingertips, it can be overwhelming and challenging to know where to begin. We've narrowed it down to our top choices. Nike Training Club is currently offering all premium content free of charge; the well designed app includes over 190 home exercise routines ranging from yoga and targeted strength training to kickboxing and circuits. We also love AaptivTechradar's top home workout app of 2020. The service offers thousands of guided workouts, including options with and without home gym equipment.  Regular membership is paid, but you can freely access live Youtube workouts and their Family Fitness YouTube channel with fun videos to get the whole family moving. 

 

Yoga for the Whole Family

For adults and older children, we recommend Yoga with Adriene; the channel features fun and engaging yoga videos for different skill levels, time increments, and a 30 day challenge for beginners. For younger kids, try the free Super Stretch app; children can use the app alone or with adults. Using storytelling, entertaining animations and video examples, the interactive app introduces children to various yoga poses and breathing techniques. 

 

GoNoodle

GoNoodle is consistently one of our top recommendations for families; both the site and the app are dynamic and kid friendly (though we do prefer the app!). Great for younger children, the app features fun and engaging free videos that encourage children to dance, try yoga and move in other creative ways. It boasts over 300 activities for children and is completely free with no in-app purchases.

 

NFL Play 60

For young sports enthusiasts, we recommend NFL Play 60, an app for kids created by a partnership between the NFL and the American Heart Association. Children are able to choose an avatar then run, jump, spin and twist to move their character through the game. Clear a little space in the living room and get started! 

 

For Budding Ballerinas

Sarah Du-Feu, a former dancer in the English National Ballet, is offering free online ballet classes for ballerinas of all ages. She offers weekly live sessions for all age groups, from 2 through adult, as well as recorded videos if you can't make the live option. Follow her on Instagram for the latest scheduling updates. 

Another great option is Petite Feet, a site that offers weekly paid Zoom sessions for children as young as 2. The classes are hosted by Liz Vacco, a dance, yoga, theater and early childhood educator with a degree from Yale University. 

 

Walk for a Cause

If it safe for you to leave your home for exercise, we recommend Charity Miles. The free app allows users to raise money for charity by walking, running or biking. For every mile tracked, the app will donate between 10 and 25 cents to a charity of your choice. Consider having the whole family join and see how much you can raise for a charity you are all passionate about! 

Another great app with a good cause is UNICEF Kid Power. Children accumulate coins by participating in high energy dance, yoga, and meditation activities - the coins are then donated towards feeding malnourished children around the world.

If you're looking for more fitness tips, take a few minutes to read through these 30 Tips from the American Heart Association on how to keep your family active.  

 

 

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. 


Homeschooling & the Benefits of Hiring a Governess

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As children are now learning from home, many families are managing multiple schedules, assignments, and lessons everyday. Technology allows for teachers to stay engaged in a child’s learning, but there is no substitute for one-on-one attention and direction. 

 

Parents and nannies are having to roll up their sleeves and dive back into school. If you are overwhelmed with homeschooling, or schooling from home, consider hiring a governess to support your child’s learning and ensure they do not fall behind during this time.

 

What is the difference between a nanny and a governess?

 

While many nannies are happy and able to help with homework, a governess will have extensive experience teaching and tutoring multiple subjects. A nanny’s main responsibility will be the care of the children in her charge including transportation to activities, helping with meals, keeping the nursery tidy, and encouraging all developmental milestones like food transitions and potty training.

 

A governess will work for a family with school-aged children and have an active role in teaching and intellectual development. This could include scheduling schoolwork, teaching lessons, administering state tests, and helping children learn independently. A governess will often speak multiple languages and be comfortable tutoring language skills. Many will have experience teaching in a classroom.

 

The Benefits of Hiring a Governess

 

Hiring a governess during this time at home can give your children the educational and emotional support they need to stay on track during this uncertain time. Their end goal is always to help children feel loved, valued, gain confidence, encourage education, and help them learn coping skills.

 

If you struggle to manage all of your children’s individual schooling, we strongly encourage hiring a qualified governess to work in your home or remotely to provide one-on-one guidance and care. This structure and support will help children by giving stability during changing times and ensure they are equipped to return to school in the fall.

 

Hire a Governess with BAHS

 

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

 

See more information on How to Hire a Nanny: What to Know and How a Nanny Agency Can Help

 

Because every family’s needs are different, our commitment as your nanny agency is to provide expert service that saves you time, sees that all details are in order, and matches a nanny that compliments your home and unique needs. We believe that if both sides of the placement - family and nanny - are beyond satisfied in their placement, the relationship will be happier, more successful and longer-lasting.


How You and Your Family Can Help from Home

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During this difficult time, you may find yourself asking what you and your family can do to help those directly affected by COVID-19. We've put together a list of resources; whether you would like to make a monetary donation, spend some time at the sewing machine or have a glass of wine, you can help in the fight against COVID-19. 

 

COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO

With so many new charities and GoFundMe pages set up at the moment, it can be challenging to decide where your donation will be put to the best use.  Before donating to any charity, we recommend doing a quick search on Charity Navigator to confirm the fund is accredited. Our top choice right now is the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO. The World Health Organization, the United Nations Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation joined together to create this unified giving platform that directly supports WHO's work.  The website states: 

Donations support WHO’s work, including with partners, to track and understand the spread of the virus; to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate research and development of a vaccine and treatments for all who need them. 

The site accepts tax-deductible donations online, via check, text and more.  

 

Donate to a Local Food Bank 

With millions of people out of work, children home from school and businesses closed, many are struggling to feed their families. Donating food, money, or time to a local food bank is a great way to help. 


Feeding America has several resources on its site, including a helpful tool to find the food bank closest to you. 

 

Help Send Books to Children in Need 

By donating to First Book, you'll assist in getting books in the hands of reading age children in low-income communities. Since the shutdowns began, almost 2 million books have been distributed to children and families at emergency feeding sites and homeless shelters across the country. If you have physical books to donate, try giving your local women's shelter or church a call; current regulations on donations of physical items vary greatly across the country. 

 

Check in with Neighbors

If you are leaving home to go to the grocery store or if you have been able to secure a grocery delivery, think about reaching out via phone to a vulnerable neighbor and see if there is something you can pick up for them. Many people in high-risk categories may be afraid to leave their homes and are unable to get fresh foods during this time. Remember to leave groceries outside the door or stay at least 6 feet away during the drop-off! 

 

Handmade Masks

Older children interested in sewing or design can help by sewing handmade masks and donating them to hospitals. While hospital personnel treating COVID-19 patients cannot use them, doctors and nurses treating other ailments can, which then frees up N95 masks for COVID-19 responders. Vanderbilt University offers free instructions for making simple masks with and without elastic. Be sure to check with your local hospital to find out if they accept donations and their preferred method of receipt.

 

Donate Plasma

If you've already had and successfully recovered from COVID-19, you can help others by donating plasma via the Red Cross. People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their plasma that can attack the virus. Adults 18 years and older, who are currently in good health and have a prior, verified diagnosis of COVID-19, but are now symptom free and fully recovered may qualify. Visit the Red Cross website for details. 

 

Help Those in Crisis Remotely 

During this time of isolation, many people are struggling physically and mentally. Consider signing up as counselor for a crisis phone or text hotline. Most offer online training programs that can be done on your schedule. We recommend Crisis Text Line - they are actively seeking volunteers in both the U.S. and the U.K. 

 

Watch Your Favorite TV Shows

With the 4th Wall Chrome Extension, your family can donate to WHO, Meals on Wheels, Project Hope and more simply by streaming the shows you love on Netflix, Hulu or Prime Video. Just download the extension and start watching; the app will make a donation to a COVID-19 relief cause of your choice after you've accumulated a certain number of minutes streaming. 

 

Drink Wine 

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher recently partnered with Battle Creek Vineyards to launch a new Quarantine Wine. The pinot noir is available for pre-order online and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to COVID-19 response charities and organizations. 

If pinot noir isn't your drink of choice, you may have other options. Many local wine shops and liquor stores are currently offering specials benefiting charities. In New York City, Nolita Wine Merchants are offering curated "Restaurant Relief Bundles,"; the store is donating 50% of the profits on a select group of Spanish and Portuguese wines to the Restaurant Workers’ Community (RWCF). 
 

 

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. 


Stay Healthy with Meal Deliveries from Top Chefs

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Staying healthy and taking care of ourselves has become more important than ever. As we shelter in place, it can be difficult to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. It’s good to stay mobile and eat right, not just for your physical health, but for you and your family’s emotional health as well.

 

Generic Meal Delivery versus a Dedicated Private Chef

 

As well as keeping us healthy, food can be a great comfort during uncertain times. With more delivery options now than ever, it can be easy to access unhealthy diets or feel overwhelmed by the number of choices. Meal planning day to day can be exhausting and monotonous.

 

Many great meal delivery services exist, but none provide the ease and customization of employing a private chef. Whatever your family’s varied and unique needs are, a qualified chef can cook with all of this in mind from their own kitchen and deliver fresh, healthy meals to your home. 

 

Your private chef will take the stress out of meal planning and finding new recipes. Once your chef gets to know your family’s tastes, they can ensure your favorite comfort food is always in stock, and introduce new flavors and dishes. They will work so that the pickiest of eaters will have balanced meals and healthy diets.

 

Normal private chef duties that can be done remotely are:

  • Keeping informed of all food and sanitation rules
  • Menu planning based on dietary needs and preferences
  • Preparing meals to be reheated by the family later
  • Preparing healthy snacks that are easily accessible to the family between meal times

 

See more information on what a personal or private chef can do for you.


 

How Private Chefs are Cooking for Families and Staying Safe

 

Once we are able to move about, your chef can come to your home, prepare all meals on site, and keep your pantry stocked. Until then, however, most private chefs are preparing meals at their own homes and delivering directly to clients either with their personal vehicle or through ride sharing services.

 

Your chef will understand best practices from the CDC for delivering food safely. There is currently no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food, but it is important to keep counters and utensils clean and sterile to stop the spread from surfaces. Knowing exactly who prepared and handled your food and limiting the number of hands that transport it, can reduce risks of contamination and give you peace of mind about the food your family is enjoying.



 

If you’d like the dedicated service of a private chef to provide meals for your family during this time, contact our office today to connect with a recruitment specialist and begin your search.


Travel the World from Home

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

 

Invite an Italian Chef into your Kitchen 

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

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

 

Take a Trip Through the Swiss Countryside

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

Visit the Beaches of Bermuda 

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


Wildlife Encounters

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

 

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

 

Family Crafts in Barcelona

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


Visit Hogwarts
 

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

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


How to Maintain Structure at Home During Uncertain Times

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

 

How to Maintain Consistency with Your Household Staff

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

What to Discuss with Your Domestic Staff

 

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

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


 

Changes in your Household Staff

 

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

 

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

 

Our expert recruiters can assess your needs and recommend the best course of action for keeping your current staff or hiring during this time. Connect with your local office today to discuss your options and begin implementing structure.


Our Top Suggestions for Offline Children’s Activities

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

 

Movement and Mindfulness 

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

 

Reusable Eco-Friendly Coloring Cloths

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

 

At Home Science Experiments

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

 

Themed Sensory Kits

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

 

Add Some Drama to Story Time

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

 

Start Cooking

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


Classic Card Games

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


 

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


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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

1. Keep Clearly Defined Working Hours

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

 

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

 

2. Set Boundaries for Everyone

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

 

3. Adjust Job Responsibilities Clearly

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

 

4. Communicate Patiently

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

 

5. Practice Gratitude

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



 

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

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