Plan Ahead for Thanksgiving 2020

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As with most celebrations this year, Thanksgiving will look a little different in 2020. The team here at British American Household Staffing has compiled a list of ways to make this year's holiday a little extra special, while still remaining safe. No matter what you decide to do, make sure you book ahead as many restaurants and hotels will book up soon. 

 

Order In From Top Restaurants 

If you're not up for cooking this year, consider treating yourself to a Thanksgiving feast from one of America's best restaurants. For those on the East Coast, Daniel Humm's famed Eleven Madison Park (named #1 World's Best Restaurants in 2017) is offering a full Thanksgiving dinner for pickup this year. Available in two sizes, 4-6people or 8-10 guests, the meal includes turkey, six sides and dessert, plus optional add-ons, such as wine, cocktails or caviar. Be sure to order early as it will certainly sell out; there are pick up locations in New York City, Brooklyn, New Jersey, Westchester, Connecticut and the Hamptons. Another great New York option is Jean-Georges' Thanksgiving meal; the chef is offering several different luxurious Thanksgiving menus for pickup from his various restaurants, including The Mercer Kitchen and Jean-Georges (dine-in options also available). In Los Angeles, the Beverly Hills Hotel will be offering pickup of a full, traditional Thanksgiving dinner or select items à la carte to supplement your home cooking. For a more varied meal, consider Eataly's Thanksgiving pickup and delivery menu, featuring cheese platters, fresh pasta, quiche, seafood, and, of course, a variety of turkey options. In San Francisco, stop by Wayfare Tavern to pick up a full holiday meal, including turkey, shrimp cocktail and multiple sides. For those across the pond in London looking to celebrate Thanksgiving, consider a decadent but non-traditional dinner of steaks, whipped potatoes and creamed spinach from Smith & Wollensky. Alternatively, put together a sampling of fresh and unusual foods from Hide's At Home menu, featuring Yorkshire duck, foie gras parfait and roast scallops. 

 

Decadent Desserts

For the perfect sweet ending to the evening, we suggest ordering in one of our favorite holiday desserts. Dominique Ansel now ships many of his famed desserts across the country, like the salted caramel apple pie. Place your order soon as they often sell out; in fact, the Thanksgiving Bourbon Pecan pie is already sold out but we recommend keeping an eye on the website as they may restock. This autumn, Milk Bar has brought back it's popular Pumpkin Dulce de Leche Cake and is now shipping it nationwide. Positive Bakes offers gluten-free and vegan treats, available to ship to all of the U.K. and U.S. London's Crème cookies are now shipping across the United Kingdom; choose from classics like chocolate chip to surprisingly addictive flavors, like white chocolate miso. 

 

Wine For a Good Cause

If you're interested in trying some new wines this holiday season, consider supporting local businesses, restaurants or charities at the same time. Many local restaurants are selling wine by the bottle as a way to supplement their income during this time. Even small gestures like calling your local wine store and placing an order for curbside pickup can help small businesses sustain themselves during this time. Small wineries that usually rely on tastings, visitors and other programs that are restricted due to COVID are finding inventive ways to sell online. The Cork Report has put together a list of boutique wineries offering specials during the pandemic and Visit Napa Valley compiled a similar list for the West Coast.  We also love ONEHOPE; the Napa Valley winery offers a wide selection of bottles and bundles, and a percentage of every purchase is given to charity. The site's current fundraiser donates 10% of every purchase to children with special needs; due to the pandemic, children with special needs are facing both school closures and disruptions to their in-person therapy sessions, and many need extra support during this time. 

 

Getaway Safely

Since large family gatherings are not an option for many this year, it may be a good time to go on a holiday trip with immediate family, if it is safe in your area to do so. For East Coast families, we love The Sagamore in the Adirondacks for a trip this time of year. Set on Lake George, your family will enjoy viewing the fall foliage, roasting s'mores over campfires, making gingerbread houses, skiing and, of course, a full turkey dinner. On the West Coast, we love The Ritz Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara; the hotel offers various Thanksgiving dinner options, plus socially-distanced holiday activities for the whole family, including candle making, holiday card decorating, yoga and hiking. 

 

Further Thanksgiving Resources

CDC Thanksgiving Guidelines

Information on this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

PBS' Thanksgiving Resources for Parents of Young Children

Food Network's Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes 

List of Charities that Fight Hunger 

 

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.


Island Destinations for a COVID-Safe Vacation

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There are a few places in the world that are currently classified as very low COVID risk by the CDC. Of these, only a handful currently allow international travelers to visit. As winter approaches, many of us are dreaming of sandy beaches and tropical vacations; the team here at British American Household Staffing has put together a list of our top choices for warm island getaways where your family can relax and spend time together. The places on this list are all classified as "very low risk" in terms of COVID and are accepting international visitors from the United States and Europe, on both commercial and private flights. 

 

Bermuda 

Bermuda is one of our top recommendations at the moment - it is one of the safest and easiest places to travel to, with direct flights from London and New York City, and simple restrictions once visitors land. COVID tests are required but once the results are returned (usually within 24 hours), international visitors are not restricted in their movements around the island. Although not quite as warm as some other destinations on the list, temperatures are still expected to be in the 70s (Fahrenheit) this month. Once there, enjoy the pink sand beaches, clear blue water, and friendly locals. Stay at the Hamilton Princess for convenient access to beaches and downtown. For a secluded, luxury experience, consider the Rosewood. Make sure to spend an afternoon in historic Royal Navy Dockyard, where you'll find authentic handblown glass souvenirs, the National Museum of Bermuda, and gorgeous ocean views. Click here to view all travel protocols for Bermuda

 

Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia in the Caribbean is now accepting international visitors; the rules are stricter than in Bermuda but they still allow for an exciting vacation. Those arriving from the US and the UK will be asked to stay in a COVID-19 certified hotel for the first 14 days; after that, they will be allowed to move freely around the island. At the hotel, visitors will be able to partake in all hotel activities, including scuba diving, snorkeling and sailing. A full list of approved hotels is available here but our top choice is Sugar Beach, set on 100 acres of rainforest with sweeping ocean views. Choose from dolphin and whale watching, deep sea fishing, scuba diving or simply enjoy cocktails on your private patio. For families, we recommend booking the private villas, complete with indoor and outdoor spaces and private plunge pools. Click here to view all travel protocols for Saint Lucia

 

Saint Kitts and Nevis 

Saint Kitts and Nevis opens to international travelers at the end of October. With just 19 confirmed cases and no deaths due to COVID-19, the island has a cautious reopening plan in place to ensure the island remains safe. International visitors will have to stay on their hotel property for the first 7 days of the trip and for the second week, are allowed on select tours around the island. Those who stay over 14 days will be able to move freely around the islands. There are six government approved hotels for international visitors to enjoy, including the Four Seasons Resort Nevis. For a larger group or family, consider booking the on-site five bedroom estate, featuring multiple outdoor spaces, a private pool and a dedicated golf cart to move around the property. Click here to view all travel protocols for Saint Kitts and Nevis

 

All Destinations Rated as Very Low COVID-19 Risk

  • American Samoa
  • Anguilla
  • Bermuda
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Laos
  • Macau SA
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia
  • Mongolia
  • Montserrat
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Taiwan
  • Timor-Leste
  • Vietnam

Entry rules for visitors to each country vary depend on country of origin; always check the most up to date travel restrictions before planning a trip. Visit the CDC's website for all travel advisories

 

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.


October 2020: Socially Distanced Pumpkin Picking, Halloween Celebrations & Autumn Getaways

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This October may be quite different than in the past - many traditions, such as trick or treating and costume parties, are not safe this year. However, there are still many ways to celebrate autumn and enjoy the changing of the seasons. The team here at British American Household Staffing has gathered ideas for adults and children alike to make the most of the rest of the month. 

 

Pumpkin Picking and Carving

For families in New York City, consider stopping by the William Vale Hotel this Sunday, October 25 for pumpkin picking, family friendly Halloween crafts, plus hot chocolate, cider, and mulled wine. If you'd prefer to make a day of it and get out of the city, visit Elwood Pumpkin and Christmas Tree Farm in Long Island; located less than two hours outside the city, this is one of the only farms where you can pick pumpkins straight off the vine. There are other attractions on site for children, including a hayride and corn maze - and make sure to visit again later in the season to pick and cut down your own Christmas tree! For those in the Hamptons area, Hank's Pumpkintown in Water Mill offers pumpkin picking, as well as a fresh farm market, wagon rides and a corn maze. In Los Angeles, we like Tina's Pumpkin Patch in Sherman Oaks and Shawn's Pumpkin Patch in West L.A. - both include free admission, pumpkin picking, and petting zoos. Tanaka Farms in Irvine offers drive through options for pumpkin picking and for the farm's local produce stand. In San Francisco, take a drive out to Silveyville Farm to pick pumpkins, visit with farm animals and stroll by the duck pond. After carving, consider organizing a pumpkin carving contest in the neighborhood - simply ask neighborhood families to put illuminated pumpkins in front of their homes one evening then drive or walk by to see everyone's masterpieces! 

 

Drive Through Attractions

Many states have created drive through attractions, ranging from film screenings to farm tours and haunted houses. For families in the New York area, we recommend driving through Wagner Farm Arboretum Foundation's Brite Nites; now in its 9th year, the festival features over 1,000 elaborately carved and lit pumpkins. For brave older children (13+), consider Ulster County's Headless Horseman, rated #1 haunted house in the U.S. by the New York Daily NewsUSA Today and MTV. This year, the terrifying tour can be done from the safety of your own vehicle; there are other socially distanced activities on site as well. This Saturday, October 24th, 11:30am to 3:00 PM, the venue will offer Children's Day, a daytime drive through experience for younger children. Every Friday and Saturday in October, The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck hosts a drive-in double feature of classic black and white monster movies, such as Frankenstein and Creature from the Black Lagoon. While you're in the area, stop by Samuel's Sweet Shop in Rhinebeck (open until 10pm Friday and Saturday) before the film to purchase classic candies, from nostalgic favorites to locally made chocolates and sweets. For families on the West Coast, consider Nights of the Jack, a drive through experience in Calabasas featuring illuminated pumpkins and other family-friendly Halloween displays. The LA Zoo is hosting drive-in movie nights all month, with ClueGoosebumps and The Addams Family scheduled for Halloween weekend. In San Francisco, the Bay Area tradition Pirates of Emerson, typically a haunted house, has been re-imagined as a drive-through experience over ten acres on the Pleasanton Fairgrounds. 

 

Fall Getaway 

For families in need of a change of scenery in California, we suggest packing your bags and heading to the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. On the sprawling 220-acre property, expect multiple pools, plenty of space, beautiful views and autumnal activities for the whole family, from pumpkin painting and hayrides to seasonal cocktails and roasted s'mores. If you decide to stay longer, the hotel now offers in-room children's school desks as part of their Learn and Play package, along with healthy snacks delivered daily and private family time booked at the on site playground. For New Yorkers itching to get away, take a drive upstate and stay at The Point, the only Forbes Five Star property in Upstate New York. Once there, enjoy hiking, boating, nightly bonfires, and an outdoor champagne bar. The hotel will work individually with each guest on a dining plan to meet their tastes and desired aesthetic - there are many COVID-safe dining areas throughout the property and their team will help you select what is right for your family. 

 

Treats 

Traditional trick or treating is generally deemed unsafe this year but there are many alternative ways to celebrate together. Consider asking neighbors to prepare goodie bags of prepackaged candy and leave them outside so children can select one safely. Host a socially distanced candy exchange with a nearby family or mail treats to friends and family far away. And if you find yourself with extra Halloween candy this year? Consider donating it to Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that collects extra Halloween candy and sends it to first responders. It is a wonderful way to cut back on how many sweets your child eats and to teach them about giving back to the community. 

Another way to celebrate at home is to make Halloween-inspired treats together as a family. Choose from hearty dinners, like Jack O'Lantern Stuffed Peppers and Eyeball Pasta or fun desserts, like Graveyard Pudding Cups and Frozen Banana Ghosts. For a large selection of kid-friendly Halloween recipes, visit BBC's list of options, including vegetarian and healthy eating choices. For adults, read through Martha Stewart's list of spooky cocktails you can easily make at home. 

 

Costume Parties

Encouraging children to dress up on Halloween night, even for dinner at home or family movie night, will help maintain some sense of normalcy this year and maintain the excitement of the season. For children's costumes, we love the selection by Chasing Fireflies, especially Amelia Earhart and the playful astronaut. Etsy has many creative options as well, or consider challenging your child to come up with a costume using items around the house. If you do leave home, be sure to remind children that costume masks are not a substitute for protective masks needed to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Visit this Etsy shop or Crayola for Coronavirus Halloween Face Masks to wear instead. 

 

Further Online Resources for Families This Month

CDC's Official Halloween Guidelines

PBS's Online Halloween Games for Kids 

BBC's Autumn Educational Games and Resources 

Everyday Health's Healthy Halloween Recipes for Kids 

 

 

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. 


British American Household Staffing Featured in The New York Times

British American Household Staffing's founder and CEO, Anita Rogers, as well as Kristen Reyes, BAHS' Senior Recruiter & Estate Management Consultant, and Katherine Patterson, BAHS' Senior Placement Specialist, were recently interviewed by The New York Times for an article on the role of governesses and nannies during COVID-19.

 

Excerpts below - click here to view the full article on NYTimes.com

 

Click here to contact us about hiring a governess for your family

 

Mary Poppins Returns! Some Modern Families Seek a Governess
Whom better suited to dispatch briskly with the demands of coronavirus-era child care?

by Ruth La Ferla. October 8, 2020

 

In her work as an estate manager, Kristen Reyes often finds herself fielding client requests for a special kind of child minder. “Callers will say to me, ‘Kristen, I need a modern Mary Poppins.’ Everyone knows what that means.”

 

It refers, Ms. Reyes went on to explain, to that old-fashioned paragon of patience, good cheer and decorum otherwise known as a governess. And, yes, she — most always a she — is back, a plucky hybrid of tutor and life coach in rising demand among affluent families scrambling to educate their offspring in the midst of a pandemic.

 

School shutdowns and social limitations have lent their search a particular urgency. “For the past six or eight weeks we’ve been slammed with educator and governess requests, from all over the country,” said Anita Rogers, the founder and chief executive of British American Household, a domestic staffing agency.

 

Orders began doubling as families girded for a fall semester and the rigors of remote learning, Ms. Rogers said: “During the pandemic, we’ve done very well.”

...

The contemporary governess may work in a formal household, staffed with drivers, cooks, housekeepers and the like. But unlike a conventional nanny she is expected to provide a high-end version of home-schooling.

 

As often as not the job calls for a fancy pedigree that may include an advanced degree from an Ivy institution, a facility with languages, and manners that rival those of a marquise.

 

But the position has been democratized to some degree. ”It’s no longer exclusive to high-net-worth families,” Ms. Reyes said. During a health crisis that shows no signs of abating, two- career families will seek out a governess to function as a proxy parent to their toddlers or teenagers.

...

Ideally these days, the governess commands respect as a highly accomplished worker in a rigorously demanding job. “She is not just a stand-in for a fancy nanny, though nanny duties may be part of the job,” said Katherine Patterson, a placement specialist who worked as a governess early in her career.

 

“She is responsible for the child’s safety and welfare,” Ms. Patterson said. “But the role also dovetails with that of a teacher, an increasingly common scenario as the number of parents home-schooling their children continues to rise.”

 

Her position is nuanced, extending from a child’s education to that child’s social and emotional progress. No surprise, then, Ms. Reyes pointed out, that families now are requesting a background in child psychology or child development.

 

In this currently unstable climate, “kids have a lot more to learn about life at a younger age,” she said. “A governess can give a 5-year-old an outlet to talk about why they can’t see their friend or their grandparent. With Covid impacting everything, the governess is a kind of mini-therapist.”

...

Being a governess presupposes a very atypical work environment. “There’s a plethora of dos and don’ts that just wouldn’t apply to a corporate workplace,” Ms. Patterson said. She declined to describe those rules. “That,” she said elliptically, “is for another day.”


Outdoor Fitness Classes

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It can be difficult to stay active during when gym rules and regulations change quickly and many of us don't feel comfortable returning indoors yet. However, it is more important than ever for the whole family to stay active during this time. We've put together our list of recommendations for outdoor, socially distanced fitness classes in major cities to help your family stay healthy and make the most of the autumn weather. 

 

San Francisco: HIIT, Tennis, Yoga & Bootcamp 

San Francisco based Perform 4 Life (PFL) hosts weekly park workouts in Duboce Park. They offer morning and evening HIIT & Strength classes, as well as flexibility and strength training; discounts are available with purchases of multiple classes and monthly memberships. Outdoor Yoga SF offers all-levels of yoga, power yoga, and Pilates classes outdoors on the beach and in parks across San Francisco. All-level classes invite children of all ages - and kids under 12 are free! Pets are welcome, as well. The classes supply headphones so you can hear instruction clearly and be safely socially distanced.  Many residents don't know that San Francisco has plenty of free tennis courts across the city that can be reserved in advance. Easily book one online and then head out for a socially distanced afternoon with friends, family or children. For an intense workout, try Koi Fitness's 6-week outdoor bootcamp. Offered year-round, the course offers 4 vigorous, one-hour workouts each week. Classes are limited to 8-10 people and clients are matched to groups that focus on their specific goals. 

 

Los Angeles: HIIT, Cycling, Bootcamp & Yoga 

Barry's Bootcamp now hosts outdoor classes at many of their Los Angeles locations (and San Diego too), including Venice and West Hollywood. Expect 50-minute floor workouts utilizing weights and bands; headphones are provided for clear instruction to avoid distraction no matter how loud the city is. Training Mate offers morning and evening HIIT classes outdoors in West Hollywood. YogaAqua offers yoga instruction on paddle boards in the water; with three locations, including one in Marina Del Ray, YogaAqua is a great way for experienced yogis to challenge themselves. SoulCycle is now offering outdoor spin classes at many of their Los Angeles locations, including Century City and Downtown LA. The classes follow the same format as their indoor counterparts but outdoors with social distancing and headphones to hear instruction. For families, consider Zooga Yoga, outdoor yoga classes for children and parents held in parks across Los Angeles. 

 

New York City: Running, HIIT, Barre & Meditation

FHitting Room in NYC now offers their signature FHIX (Functional High Intensity Mix) classes outdoors, both in Central Park and on Manhattan rooftops. The classes are full-body workouts that include high-intensity intervals and strength training. Mile High Run Club organizes walks and runs for all levels throughout the city; whether you're looking for a short sprint, a long marathon-style run or a scenic walk, this club has something for you. In Brooklyn, consider Mental NYC's socially distanced meditation and workouts hosted at the William Vale Hotel on Mondays and Tuesdays this autumn. On Tuesdays, stay after the class for live music and refreshments. Along with their varied virtual offers, Physique 57 now has outdoor classes in Central Park and Battery Park City. The classes will focus on similar techniques and parts of the body as their traditional indoor barre classes, but will be socially-distanced, outdoors and teach body weight exercises. 

 

Hamptons: Cycling, Pilates & Bootcamp 

SoulCycle studios in Southampton, Water Mill, Bridgehampton, and Montauk have all opened outdoor programs. Classes will be just like the traditional indoor classes but outdoors with socially distanced bicycles and headphones. New York Pilates has launched locations in Montauk and Southampton and is hosting outdoor sessions with gorgeous, waterfront views. Barry's Bootcamp offers 50-minute, intense outdoor sessions at their Southampton studio. 

 

Miami: Water Yoga, Cycling & Family Classes

Ahana Yoga now offers outdoor yoga classes at Jungle Plaza; join this month as they are currently offering unlimited in-person outdoor yoga classes for $65 monthly for all new members. They also offer a free class every Thursday if you'd like to try before joining. If you'd like to experience something new, we recommend Turquoise Floating Yoga, which hosts private or small public group classes on paddle boards in the ocean. For a more intense workout, SoulCycle is now offering outdoor spin classes at their South Beach location. The classes follow the same format as their indoor counterparts but outdoors with social distancing and headphones to hear instruction. For children, book a private, personalized class for your family or for your children and their friends using Arka Yoga; the company offers pre-natal and infant options as well. 

 

London: Boxing, Bootcamp and Pre-natal 

BXR London, the world’s first high-end boxing gym, is currently offering outdoor training in Paddington Park. Book your slot online then head to the park for small group or private training with a coach; BXR provides sanitized equipment, free-standing punch bags, rowing machines and more. Classes held by Be Military Fit's (BMF) have always been outdoors, both for practical and sustainable reasons. Now is a great time to challenge yourself with intense workouts held in all seasons and all weather conditions; BMF offers activities for all levels of fitness, from beginner to advanced. Bumps and Burpees offers pre and post-natal personalized training wherever you'd like - in your home or garden or in a nearby park. 

 

Online Yoga 

If you decide you'd rather stay at home, don't have time to commute to a class or if it's just a little chilly in your area, we've compiled our favorite online yoga classes to get you moving this week.  

Yogaisyouth.com offers Ashtanga led and assisted classes, as well as mediation and free Pranayama classes. Based in San Francisco, classes start at 6:30am PT/9:30am EST. Various membership levels are offered, including discounts for children. 

Grassroots Yoga highlights led Ashtanga classes and assisted Ashtanga classes, as well as courses in breathing, chanting and meditation. Based in Florida, classes start at 7am EST. 

Kula Yoga offers a variety of both live and on-demand classes for all levels, with a heavier emphasis on advanced training. Classes from 8am EST each day. Virtual classes can be purchased as single classes, in bundles or unlimited packages.

 

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.


What Constitutes Household Staff?

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The organization and make-up of your home staff is unique to your individual needs and lifestyle. Having the right support in place saves you time and worry and ensures the smooth running of your homes.

 

What Constitutes Household Staff?

 

Household staff are hired to work in a private home. What differentiates domestic employees from contract workers is how autonomously they work. An independent contractor will work within their own schedule, use their own tools and operate within their own guidelines. For example, a plumber would be an independent contractor. Domestic employees work on a set schedule and process determined by the employer or homeowner. For example, your housekeeper working to your schedule and using the tools provided would be a domestic employee. This distinction applies whether an employee is live-in or live-out, part-time or full-time, hourly or salary.

 

Common staff positions in large and small homes are:

Estate Manager – individual managing multiple large properties and all land, vineyards, private jets and yachts.

House Manager – individual managing a single property and all staff employed there.

Chauffeur – individual hired to drive a principal and family. A chauffeur may also have a background in security.

Lady’s Maid – individual that attends to the lady of the house.

Private Chef – individual that prepares meals on a long-term basis for a household. A private chef may also manage other kitchen staff and plan events.

Butler – individual in the home dedicated to service. Duties of a butler may range from household management to wardrobe care.

Houseman – individual provides deep cleaning for the home and serves a single, usually male, principal.

Personal Assistant – individual working to support a single principal or family. A personal assistant will be able to run errands, book appointments and travel and manage accounts.

Executive Housekeeper – individual who manages other house cleaning staff. An executive housekeeper may also coordinate vendors and repairs for the property.

Housekeeper – individual responsible for cleaning the home. A housekeeper will be well-versed in maintaining fine furniture, caring for artwork and antiques and cleaning and ironing fine clothing.

Nanny – individual dedicated to caring for the children of the home.

Governess – individual dedicated to caring and educating the children of the home. A governess will have a background in education and focus on teaching and instruction as a primary responsibility.

Private Jet Staff

Private Yacht Staff

 

See more information on duties and responsibilities for these and other domestic staffing positions.

 

  

How to Maintain Consistency with Your Household Staff Amid Coronavirus

 

Many families have already made the difficult decision to furlough or let domestic employees go because of the coronavirus. 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. For more information, see our 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.

 

 

Working with a domestic staffing agency can ensure expert attention is given to the details of hiring. British American Household Staffing is able to provide advisement on salaries, benefits, schedule and any relevant tax information in your state. Contact our office today to discuss your unique needs and begin the hiring process.
 


Outdoor Recommendations

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Summer may be over but most of the country still has a few weeks to enjoy comfortable outdoor sweater weather. The CDC guidance recommends outdoor activities over indoor whenever possible. Even in non-pandemic times, time outdoors is critical for children; in 2018, Harvard Medical School published a short article listing benefits for children of playing outside

 

Whether you and your children are eager to see a small circle of family members and friends or just spend a little more time outdoors before the temperature drops, the team here at British American Household Staffing has put together a list of outdoor activities for the whole family that allow for safe social distancing. 

 

Outdoor Movies

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a resurgence of drive-in movie theatres. Once a staple of cinema culture, the theatres, which faced immense popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, slowly disappeared over the last few decades but are now reappearing across the country as Covid-safe alternatives to indoor theatres. Long Island now has several options, including Adventureland in East Farmingdale, The Gateway in Bellport and the Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport. Adventureland tickets include dinner while the Gateway and Vanderbilt encourage visitors to bring their own refreshments. October films include Addams FamilyHocus PocusNightmare Before Christmas, as well as films better suited for adults, like Silence of the Lambs and Sixth Sense. Just two hours outside of Manhattan in upstate New York is the Overlook Drive-in, a family owned business operating since 1955. For those on the West Coast, a new pop-up drive-in theatre opened earlier this month for San Francisco residents: Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture presents Fort Mason Flix. The theatre will screen films on the San Francisco Bay through mid-October. For Los Angeles residents, consider Drive-in at the Park, a series of drive-in films at various locations across the city. Don't miss Disney's Moana this Saturday, October 3, along with complimentary sliders, popcorn and sodas. 

 

Sculpture Parks and Outdoor Art

Storm King Art Center is an outdoor museum located on a sprawling 500-acre piece of land in New York’s Hudson Valley. The site has over 100 pieces in its permanent collection, plus rotating exhibitions and installations on view; the art is complemented by gorgeous mountain views. New Jersey's Grounds for Sculpture offers nearly 300 contemporary sculptures across 42 acres, landscaped gardens and an outdoor café. In Los Angeles, consider visiting the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden on UCLA's campus; the museum features works by artists ranging from Auguste Rodin to Alexander Calder. For another outdoor art-filled day in L.A., spend a few hours visiting many of these iconic public art works throughout the city. In San Francisco, take a stroll through Stanford's Rodin Sculpture Garden, featuring 19 sculptures surrounded by a forest of oak trees. 

 

Autumn Barbecue 

Grilling doesn't have to be restricted to the summer months! If your family is looking for creative ways to see nearby family and friends outdoors, consider hosting a fall barbecue. Embrace cold weather favorites like s'mores and warm apple cider, along with heartier entreés on the grill, like grilled saffron rack of lamb or grilled cauliflower steaks. Consider making a bonfire for story time after dinner or combining the barbecue with a kid-friendly activity like outdoor pumpkin carving. 

 

Outdoor Crafts for Kids 

There are plenty of children's crafts that can be done outside in the fall months. Try making Sun Prints Cards with children - the results are beautiful works on paper that can be framed or sent as greeting cards to faraway family members. Another craft we love is Nature Sculptures; simply buy Sculpey or another oven-bake clay and imprint various found objects from nature in it to make paper weights or magnets. Tree clippings, acorns, feathers, pressed flowers and small twigs all work wonderfully for this project. For more ideas, we love Jane Worroll and Peter Houghton's book Play The Forest School Way: Woodland Games and Crafts for Adventurous Kids.

 

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.


Tips for Virtual Learning

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“Back to school” in 2020 has looked different for everyone. Depending on where you live and your child’s school you may be going back with some restrictions, going digital with virtual learning, or choosing to invest in a full-time private educator. 

 

If you are helping your little ones with online learning, here are our top tips for making a smooth and productive transition. 

 

1. Set a schedule

Following a consistent schedule will help your children stay on top of their learning. Be mindful of when your child seems most focused and most distracted and try to create space for each. Everyone learns differently and one advantage of at-home learning is the ability to adjust for each child’s needs. So be sure to take advantage of that. 

 

2. Create a space just for learning

Just like having a set schedule, having a structured, physical space for learning can jump-start focus and help little ones recognize when it’s time to focus. Many families are refitting playrooms to accommodate desks and computers or repurposing dining rooms as family workspaces. Wherever you find it best for learning, be sure to limit distractions and only use that space for learning. 

 

3. Stay on top of messages

Depending on the ages of your children they may need to keep up with multiple teachers, classes, and assignments. Help them stay on top of what is next by monitoring the inbox of whatever messaging system your school is utilizing. 

 

4. Use resources provided by your school

Along with messaging systems, be sure you are aware of other resources your school provides. Many programs have extensive online learning tools, like videos, worksheets, and parent-specific information to help you transition to virtual learning. Don’t miss out of these resources. 

 

5. Consider hiring specialized childcare

Many families are employing educated nannies to help their children stay on top of school and excel at home. Having a dedicated professional can alleviate stress for parents and give children one-on-one attention that fosters learning. We have candidates ranging from educated nannies, former teachers, and experienced governesses. Contact our office today to discuss your needs and find the right childcare and virtual learning help for your children. 

 

Learn more about different childcare and education professionals as well as Pod Learning Solutions


Weekend Recommendations

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The team here at British American Household Staffing has put together a list of recommendations for this coming weekend, September 25-27. Whether you're observing Yom Kippur, making the most of the first official weekend of autumn or plan to stay home and listen to new music, we have a suggestion for you.

 

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur will begin this Sunday, September 27 and ends Monday evening. The Day of Atonement is traditionally observed by a day-long fast, prayer and synagogue services.

 

COVID-Safe Services

The Chabad of Wall Street and the Jewish Learning Experience (JLE) have collaborated to offer outdoor, socially distanced high holiday services in downtown Manhattan. Admission is free but donations are suggested; details are available here. If your family isn't yet ready to head outside, many congregations are offering virtual services this year. Congregation Beth Shalom will be holding traditional services online, as well as one for families and children and the UJA Federation has compiled a list of various virtual services, organized by denomination and schedule. 

 

Children and the Holy Day 

For young children, consider teaching them about Yom Kippur through picture books focusing on themes of forgiveness, repentance or stories that share the tale of Jonah. We love The Hard to Swallow Tale of Jonah and the WhaleOh No, Jonah and Sammy Spider's First Yom Kippur. For further guidance, Chabad.org recently published a great article offering tips for how to help children better understand the holiday. 

 

Recipes for Sunday's Dinner 

In preparation for the fast, many families will share a large meal together on Sunday before sundown. Homemade challah is a recipe children can help make; served with honey, it makes a hearty accompaniment to dinner (save the leftovers for the break-fast!). For the main course, we recommend chicken tagine with vegetablescrispy breaded cutletspotato and zucchini kugel, or this creamy spinach potato soup that provides nutrition as well as hydration before the fast. For dessert, try an apple and dried cherry crisp; it makes the most of the season's produce and offers both hydration and fiber. 
 

If you aren't up for cooking this year, Eli's Market offers a comprehensive delivery menu of prepared foods for the holiday, from matzoh ball soup and gelfite fish to brisket, roasted vegetables, cakes and more. Zabar's also offers holiday specials for delivery, including smoked fish and spreads. Katz's deli offers a Yom Kippur package for 4-6 people that features brisket, pastrami, bagels and rugelach. 

 

Weekend Activities 

 

Apple Picking 

Autumn officially began this week. Apple picking is great way to celebrate the fall season safely outdoors. We love Masker Farms in Warwick, New York; to make a day of it, stop by the nearby Bellvale Creamery for a scoop of homemade ice cream. The old-fashioned ice cream parlor was voted second best in the country by Trip Advisor! For those in Long Island, we recommend Hank's PumpkinTown; the farm features pick your own apples and pumpkins, as well as a maze for children and a market. In Connecticut, our first choice is Lyman Orchards in Middlefield; it offers pick your own apples, peaches and pears, as well as a golf course, freshly baked pies and a market.

 

Live Streaming Jazz Music 

This weekend, the Monterey Jazz Festival will stream live each evening from 5-7pmPST/8-11pm EST for free. Click here to view the full lineup, ways to donate and more. Typically the festival, now in its 63rd year, would take place on 20 acres in Monterey County and feature over 500 jazz musicians over three days. This year will feature new performances with select archived performances from past years.

 

Festival of Books

The fifteenth annual Festival of Books runs from Labor Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend entirely free and online (although registration is required for most events). The festival features book sales, as well as talks and presentations by well-known authors, including Joyce Carol Oates and Jill Lepore. Check the website as new events are frequently added and updated. Access the book sale here. 

 

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.


Hiring Household Staff Amid Coronavirus

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If you are able to hire more staff, it’s even more important than ever to evaluate your unique needs. Now that you may be 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? Do your children need an educated nanny to help them transition to online learning?  

 

It can be difficult to fully grasp how much work is involved in household positions. A good way to begin determining what staff your home needs is to divide tasks into three main categories: childcare, cleaning, and management. 

 

 Childcare 

 

Childcare encompasses any position dealing primarily with the children. This includes nannies, governesses, tutors, newborn care specialists, and maternity nurses. Again, some general tidying and meal prep as it relates to the children are perfectly reasonable expectations for these roles, but no deep cleaning or home management. 

 

A nanny will have a substantial amount of childcare experience and will sometimes hold a degree related to childhood education, such as Early Childhood Development or a Master’s degree in Education. Some specialize in specific age groups such as infant or school age. Those who specialise in school age children are often referred to as governesses and will often be qualified to tutor certain academic subjects. 

 

Nannies that specialize in newborn care have extensive training and experience with newborns, infants and toddlers. They will understand the specific needs of each child’s development stage and be able to navigate each stage’s unique challenges. Newborn nannies are often referred to as newborn case specialists, maternity nurses, or baby nurses. 

 

Cleaning 

 

Cleaning fine homes is a very specialised skill. Common duties for a housekeeper include laundry, pressing, ironing, cooking, clothing care, wardrobe care and maintenance, couture clothing care and household organizing. Basic cooking or meal prep responsibilities are sometimes given to a housekeeper as well as general errand running. 

 

The difference between a housekeeper and a cleaner is the housekeeper’s ability to organise closets by color and season, organise the home in general, and a deep understanding of clothing care (steam, dry clean and hand wash). They will understand formal service, which includes serving, formal table setting, and flower arranging. An executive housekeeper will have experience working on a team and managing other staff, usually in a formal townhouse or other similar large high-level residences. 

 

Management 

 

Management positions are necessary for larger homes with multiple moving parts and staff members. A house manager will be able to coordinate renovations, plan events, and train other staff. 

 

Where there are large, multiple homes, the estate manager is the "Chief of Staff" of the entire household, carrying out the wishes of the principals at each location. Estate managers will have broad policy making authority over all household and estate operations and manage extensive property and staff issues on a daily basis. 

 

A domestic couple is commonly hired to look after a seasonal or secondary property. Their responsibilities include (but may not be limited to): maintenance, cooking, serving and driving. They are either given a separate cottage or provided a separated living area for the full year. Together a domestic couple can run one large home successfully and can often save the employer from needing to hire multiple staff. 

 

A house manager is typically responsible for all staff in a single property. Their responsibilities may also overlap with those of a butler, property manager or personal assistant. They deal with vendors, preempt maintenance issues and ensure the smooth running of the household. 

 

Professional butler duties often vary and may include, but are not limited to, managerial responsibilities, keeping accounts, marketing, and maintaining the wardrobe for the principals of the residence. 

 

A personal assistant role can vary from managing the family calendar, being in charge of personal shopping, planning events, paying bills and arranging travel to handling investments and philanthropic accounts, and even working in the office of the family business. 

 

 

Hire Household Staff with British American Household Staffing 

 

Knowing your unique needs and the best way to meet them can make the hiring process easier. Identifying and hiring the right staff for your family will provide much needed rest and ease of mind, knowing your family and home are being properly cared for.  

 

Still, knowing where to begin this process can still feel overwhelming. Our expert team of recruiters can discuss your needs, recommend the right staff, and connect you with that staff throughout the hiring process. Contact our office today with any questions and to begin your search. 

 

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. 

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