Archive for the ‘ Children ’ Category

Caregiving comes in many shapes and sizes.  While we most readily think of family caregivers as the ones who are primarily responsible for their loved one’s care, the lovely story below is an account of a different type of “caregiving.”  Most likely not even considered “caregiving” at all, this was an act of pure love and kindness.

Nancy Parker shares her story of growing up with her deaf brother.  While obviously not a caregiver herself, she did “take care” of her little brother as only a loving big sister could.  Thank you, Nancy, for contributing your heartwarming story!


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Growing Up with My Deaf Brother

There were three of us growing up and we were all less than two years apart in age. I was the middle child with an older brother and a younger brother. The youngest had to be transfused two and half times at birth because of hemolytic anemia. Mom was RH Negative and Dad was positive. Back in those days, they did not know how to counteract the hemolytic anemia. Somehow during this procedure, the nerves in my baby brother’s ears were damaged.


My folks did not find out right away. They began noticing that he did not respond to different noises or to their voices. It was devastating, to say the least, for Mom and Dad to find out that he had lost his hearing. My oldest brother and I were so young, we did not realize anything was unusual; we just knew we had to improvise when we were communicating with our brother.


We had homemade signs and, of course, there was tons of animation going on. We did not think of him as handicapped; he was our brother. We did not realize how very hard it was on Mom because she refused to send him to the state school, so she would drive him there everyday.  It was about a two hour drive and then she would wait and bring him home. This was all done while we were in school and Mom could do anything, as far as we were concerned.


Our younger brother was very small in stature and he also had a slight case of cerebral palsy and asthma when he was younger. His balance was bad and he had bouts with asthma on a regular basis. Since I was closest to his age and of a particular disposition, I found myself being his protector. I watched over him constantly and took it upon myself to be his guardian of sorts. Mom and Dad did not even realize I had taken on such a burden until we were much older. No one told me to but I loved him so.


He fell quite often and it seemed that I was always there to pick him up. I recall the many asthma attacks he would have where we would stop everything and jump in the car and rush to the hospital. He could not breathe and he was turning blue many of the times. I remember offering him some money I had once if he would just start to breathe. I was terrified. It was the early sixties and I do not remember him having an inhaler or breathing treatments; I am not sure they had those types of things. I do remember him being on some kind of medication. It was something I will never forget.


My mom was always praying for his healing and I was too in my nightly prayers. As he grew, he was healed of the cerebral palsy and of the asthma. What a blessing it was not to have to worry about him falling or stop breathing!


He started out going to the state school and then after awhile, he was enrolled in the speech program at my grade school. Back in the sixties, the general consensus was that a deaf child should learn to read lips and speak as clearly as possible so that he or she would be able to live in a hearing population. Sign language was frowned upon by most people at that time. It was so very difficult on my brother learning words but not understanding their meaning. He was learning to speak based on the sounds that were made by the vibrations of the throat. This was the sum total of his education; learning to speak and read lips and trying to understand the words.


Everything else was lost. Math skills, reading and grammar skills, science skills were all but lost. My parents were concerned about his education so we moved just about every five years to a new state and a new school that they had researched and found to be superior. But they still went lacking when it came to really educating my brother because they were oral schools and his understanding was limited.


Finally, my folks decided to move close to a state school that had excellent ratings and used sign language. He was fourteen by this time and went into a school with very good oral skills and excellent lip reading but was way behind in all other areas of study. He picked up the sign language very quickly and for the first time he began to understand and to learn! But of course, he was behind most of the kids his age and had to do quite a bit of catching up, which he never did completely. His reading is still about a sixth grade or so level and his math skills were left wanting along with all other subjects. But combined with his excellent speech and lip reading skills, he is a highly functioning deaf man in a hearing world.


His hands-on skills are excellent and he can interact with anyone at anytime. The fact that Mom and Dad kept him home with us is something that really helped our brother. My older brother and I, after he got to be a teenager and we could communicate better through sign language, taught him things that he could not learn through school. We taught him hearing slang and taught him concepts. We did our very best to let him in on how the hearing world thought, which in hind sight was extremely valuable.


One particular time, I remember we went roller skating and the genre of music of the day was disco. One of our close friends looked at our brother and told him to “Get down!” So he sat down. This is the type of situation that my brother and I took as an advantageous teaching opportunity. We told him what the slang “Get down” meant. You cannot imagine how many terms we use as hearing individuals that, if you do not hear or that if you do not know our language, can be misconstrued! And every time our brother heard something that he did not understand, we did our level best to make it clear to him.


There are multiple reasons why my brother is a success in the hearing world. One reason, even though it came with consequences in the educational realm, was the oral training he was given up until age fourteen. Another beneficial part of my brother’s life came from the fact that he stayed with his family and we never made him feel different; we did whatever we could to communicate with him even without sign language. And because we did not treat him differently or “special,” all of our extended family and our friends accepted him just as he was and loved him all the more.


Today, he is in his fifties and works two jobs: one as a glass blower in the electrode field and another as a bagger at a grocery store. He is so secluded at his glass blowing job that he decided to get one at the grocers because he loves to talk to people. He has so many people come up to him at the grocery store thinking that he is the manager because they do not have a clue he is deaf. When they start talking to him, he lets them know he is deaf but does not let it hinder him in helping them out with their need. He has so many customers that come to the store just to talk to him. This is a wonderful outlet for my brother, since he works alone all day. I am proud of him and of the fact that he has such great understanding and is not shy or introverted.


As for myself, I feel very blessed to have had him in my life. He has taught me many things over the years about the important things in life, like family. We had to make a lot of sacrifices throughout our family’s life to get him the proper schooling but we wanted to keep him with us. I realized how valuable having him in our lives was even when I was young and I believe I learned so much from him. I am more loving, patient, and a much better communicator because I grew up with him. Everyone you meet can teach you something, but I will always be thankful I grew up with my brother just the way he is.


About the author

Nancy Parker is a regular contributor to enannysource and she loves to write about wide range of subjects like Health, Parenting, Child Care, Babysitting, Nanny Background Check Tips, etc. You can reach her @ nancy.parker015 @


Coming to grips with any serious diagnosis is difficult for adults.  For younger family members, it can be a perplexing situation.  Marcela De Vivo, a mother of three, offers insights and tips on how Alzheimer’s disease can be explained to children in a way that they can comprehend without fear.

Thank you, Marcela, for your helpful article!



Helping Your Children Understand Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is quite challenging. The effects of this disease drastically affect the afflicted person, making it difficult for him or her to remember, communicate, and do the things that he or she once did. It is not only difficult for the person who is has become ill with Alzheimer’s, but it is also difficult for the patient’s loved ones.

Children, in particular, have a very difficult time understanding what has happened and the implications of the disease. Imagine what young children must think and feel when their once jovial and affectionate grandparent suddenly starts acting strange and doesn’t know their names. It’s hard enough for you, as an adult, to cope with such drastic changes, but it is even more difficult for a child.


Photo courtesy of ShutterStock

If a grandparent, an aunt or an uncle, or any other loved one in your family has become afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, you may be wondering if there is any way that you can make understanding the illness easier for your children. While there may never be a way to take away the difficulties that come along with Alzheimer’s, you can help your children cope by offering explanations and being open and honest.

Have a talk.

Make it easier for your child to understand Alzheimer’s by having a talk and explaining it to them. Try to explain to them, as best you can, that it is a disease. Tell them that like with all sickness, Alzheimer’s has side effects that make the person who is sick act differently. Tell your children about the side effects and let them know that their loved one still loves them.

Read together.

While reading studies about Alzheimer’s that are full of technical jargon may not help your children better understand what is happening, reading age-appropriate books†about the subject will. Linda Scacco’s “Always My Grandpa” and Mary Cunningham Bahr’s “The Memory Box” are two great examples of children’s books that make it easier for young ones to understand the illness, and there are many more, too.


Photo courtesy of ShutterStock

Ask and answer questions.

Welcome questions from your child about the disease and answer them as best you can. However, remember that children aren’t always willing to open up, especially when they are scared or concerned. With this in mind, you might want to try asking your children some questions.

For example, ask them what changes they have noticed in their loved one and how they are feeling about those changes. After hearing your children’s responses, offer explanations and be as understanding as possible.

Spend time with your loved one.

When a grandparent or other loved one begins developing Alzheimer’s, this does not mean you need to limit contact between him or her and your children. Although it becomes difficult when memory loss gets really advanced, doing normal, everyday things with your loved one and children can be just what they need to feel more reassured. While changes in your loved one with Alzheimer’s will certainly occur, this shouldn’t scare you off from spending time together.

Alzheimer’s disease†is quite difficult to understand and its effects can be very hard for people of all ages to cope with. If one of your loved ones has been stricken with this disease, try making it as easy as possible for your children to deal with. Be as open and honest as possible, and always remember to be comforting and to offer extra support and attention. With your help, your children can gain a better understanding of what is happening and can learn how to cope.


About the author

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in Southern California. With three small children of her own, she knows how hard it can be to teach them about different diseases and problems, and tries to find methods to make hard subjects easier. Follow her on Twitter†today!



Is caregiving in your future?  In the instances when we actually plan to become a caregiver, we can take steps to prepare ourselves for the job.  Education, training and a positive outlook are 3 of the best ways to get ready to take on the crucial tasks of caregiving.

Even when we have been catapulted into a caregiving role overnight, the article below provides some great tips to  increase our chances for a successful caregiving journey.

Thank you to Richard McMunn, Director and Founder of How2become, for a helpful article.


How to Prepare Yourself to Become a Family Caregiver

There is no licensing process for family caregivers, but nannies can still seek training that makes them better prepared for their duties. Making sure you are well prepared for an au pair position will not only make it easier to find a position, but will also ensure higher pay. Here are the best ways to prepare yourself and inspire confidence with your host family.

Step One: Get Experience

Find ways to gain experience, most importantly with children. Spend time babysitting, working in a childcare center, as a nanny for a small family, or in any volunteer situation that gives you time with children. These not only give you experience hours you can list on a resume, but also get you in touch with people who can serve as valuable references.

Step Two: Learn to Teach

Take time acting as a tutor or taking courses in education. It is important to have the training necessary to help the children in the family with their studies after school. The more areas in which you are well versed, the more valuable you are. It is also extremely valuable to be fully qualified to teach, or to be a teacher’s aide.

Step Three: Learn to Cook

There is no need to get a culinary training certificate and you do not need to be certified to use commercial equipment, but knowing how to cook is essential to caring for a family. Take a few basic cooking classes that carry a certificate of completion and give you a basic understanding of cooking, and which give you a few recipes that you can make really well.

Step Four: Get Clearance

Have a background check run, get police clearance, and provide a copy to potential employers upon request. This is important because it provides families with some peace of mind. They leave the initial interview knowing that you do not belong on America’s Most Wanted List, sell drives, drink and drive, engage in violent crime, or have a record.

Step Five: Put Safety First

Make sure you are prepared for emergencies. Get certified in first aid, infant, child, and adult CPR. This will ensure that you are capable of providing emergency care when needed. This will not only make you more marketable as a caregiver but provide you with peace of mind because you are prepared to handle anything.

Step Six: Do Your Homework

After finding a position with a specific family, do research that prepares you to help them. Find activities to do with the children in the family, research the sports or activities they are most interested in, and do other homework that prepares you to be their caregiver. Take the time to really get to know them, and mold your knowledge to fit their needs.


Author Bio

Richard McMunn is the director and founder of How2become; the UK’s leading career and recruitment specialist. For the last 7 years How2become has
helped applicants prepare for and pass recruitment processes and assessment centres in order to secure their dream job. You can also find How2become on Google Plus

The stories below serve as a reminder that lots of good will and positivity are found every day everywhere.  Caregivers provide care through all sorts of circumstances, including unexpected adventures that require quick thinking and action.

Thank you to Nanny News Network for contributing these caregiving stories of loyalty and dedication.


9 Positive Nanny News Stories of 2012

Republished with permission








For every bad nanny story that is written, there are many great ones waiting to be told. While nannies come from diverse backgrounds and have various experiences, good nannies tend to have one thing in common: they are caretakers by nature. Whether it’s jetting around the world to accompany mom on a work trip, dedicating 40 years of their life to the same family, or saving their charge’s – or a stranger’s –  life, most nannies are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty in any situation.

While the media tends to focus most often on covering negative nanny stories, positive nanny stories do abound. Here are 9 positive nanny stories that have made the news so far in 2012:

Nanny Credited with Saving a Life – Chicago based nanny Emily Rogers put the CPR training, which she learned years before for a nanny job, to use as she is credited with helping to save Jorge Pedroso’s life.

Nanny Saves Charge from Carjacking – Nanny Kaitlyn McGrath safely escaped her work vehicle that was being carjacked with her one-year-old charge, Cash, in her arms. Cash is the son of ABC Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition trainer Chris Powell and his wife Heidi.  Both credited her with saving their child’s life.

A Nanny’s Role is Reversed  – Susane Lavinia Bowden served as a live-in nanny and housekeeper to the Hoare family for 40 years. Nanny Susane celebrates her 100th birthday living with her former employer as a member of their family. In her aging years her employer, turned friend, now cares for her.

The Norland Manny – Michael Kenny is the first male admitted to the world famous nanny training college, Norland College, to obtain an education degree. When he graduates he will be only the second male in history to graduate as a Norland Nanny from the 120-year-old college.

U.S. Soccer Fully Finances Nanny Services for Players and Coaches  – Members of the U.S. Woman’s Soccer Team bring their children on the road, thanks to U.S. Soccer and its commitment to establishing family-friendly policies. U.S. Soccer pays the salaries of the nannies so that players and coaches can focus on their families and their sport.

Childhood Nanny Given Ultimate Honor – Wonder where actress Tori Spelling got her daughter Hattie Margaret’s middle name from? She named her daughter after her own childhood nanny, perhaps one of the greatest honors a nanny could receive.

Nanny of the Year– Maryland based nanny Nikki Gribble was honored at the 2012 International Nanny Association Annual Conference as the association’s Nanny of the Year. This honor is awarded to nannies who exemplify who and what a nanny truly is.

Nanny Saves Boy from Jeep – Quick-acting nanny Cindy Gatson saved her four-year-old charge from being struck by an out of control Jeep that was barreling towards him. The boy’s mom credits his nanny with saving his life. The Jeep came within inches of where the boy was.

Book Dedicated to Nanny – While Chicago nanny Vivian Maier may not have made the news during her lifetime, she’s certainly making it in her death. A new book, Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows chronicles her life through the pictures she took of herself and others.

While not every positive nanny story will make the news, the ones that do are likely an indication of the everyday heroes who provide loving and nurturing childcare to the children in their care.


Nanny News Network


Discussing safety with your aging loved one can be a source of discord when he or she does not feel that your caregiving concerns are justified.  For that matter, topics such as taking prescribed medications, following a specific diet or exercising may be hard to bring up with your caree regardless of the condition.  It is often difficult to face, much less accept, the fact that your loved one is becoming less able to care for him- or herself.

Still, these discussions need not be a battleground for caregivers and their carees.  The article below provides tips to tactfully bring up issues that need attention.  While the post speaks specifically about nannies addressing safety for children, the tips can be used to bring up other touchy subjects with care recipients of all ages and in any state of health.

Thank you, Rachel, for contributing this post.



Discussing Safety Concerns with Your Nanny Employer

by Rachel

Republished with permission











No nanny enjoys having to discuss tough topics with her employer. However, whether it’s discussing the dangers of their toddler riding in a booster seat (even if it’s “just on the weekends”) to reminding them of the inherent risk that comes along with learning to ride a bicycle (never mind without wearing a helmet), nannies are often forced to confront their bosses with safety concerns.

For nannies there is a fine line between being a child’s advocate and being subordinate to her employers. Every nanny has a personal safety line that she simply isn’t willing to cross, regardless of who instructs her to do so. When something her employer does approaches that line, intentionally or not, it’s enough to send a shudder down any nanny’s spine.

While addressing the issue directly in a professional manner is typically the most clear cut way to bring up an issue, for some nannies that type of voluntary confrontation is just too much. For others, they’re well aware that their employer best receives and processes information when seeing it, so they know that sending an email or leaving out literature is the most effective way to bring up tough topics.

So besides simply putting her concerns out there, how can a nanny respectfully broach safety concerns with her boss without coming across as judgmental or insulting?

1. Ask a question. “Oh, does that harness look right to you?” “Have you heard that they recently changed the recommendations on rear-facing seats?” “Did the pediatrician mention anything about giving cough medication to children under two?” “Do you think we should ask the doctor about that?”  Asking a question opens the door to discussion.  “You know, now that I’ve asked you that I recall reading that the harness should be at or below a child’s shoulders when rear-facing. Let me check the seat manual.”

2. Make a mention. Casually bringing up a topic in discussion is another way to open the door to conversation and request that action be taken.  “I saw on the news this morning that a child fell out of a second story window and died.  Now is probably a good time to add window guards upstairs.” “I got an alert that drop-side cribs were recalled. I’ll check to see if ours was part of the recall.” “A nanny friend mentioned that her charge was injured when riding her bike barefoot. We should definitely make sure Susie always has her sneakers on when riding.”

3. Send an email link. For employers who are used to receiving important messages digitally, sending an email may be an effective way to bring up a safety concern.  “Hey, I came across this video that showed how infants should look when fastened into the car seats properly. Check out the chest clips.” “Did you see the new recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics on treating fevers? See attached.” “Wow, one child dies every week during the summer months in a kiddie pool. Don’t we have that one in the video? We should be extra cautious, for sure.”

4. Leave out literature. Leave a copy of your favorite magazine article or medical study that addresses the topic you want to bring up out and open to the page. Write on a sticky note, “Interesting read” and place it on the page. Follow up the next day by asking if she had a chance to read it.

5. Be a role model. Let the parents see you taking proper safety precautions and hear you talking through why you have specific rules or do things a specific way.  Upholding the highest safety standards naturally lends itself to employers comparing the way you both do certain things. While nannies should never put the children in a position to communicate safety messages to their parents, they should be prepared for that to happen. If you have an outspoken youngster, chances are she’s going to tell her parents her car seat buckle isn’t tight enough or that her nanny says, “We always have to wear our helmets when riding our bicycle.”

In an ideal world, nannies and parents would feel comfortable freely offering constructive criticism to each other, but in reality that’s simply not the case. Parents and nannies should strive to have open and honest communication and to discuss any issues or concerns as they come up. For those who get weak in the knees at the thought of having to confront an employer, utilizing a communication technique to bring up the topic allows them to get the job done in a non confrontational way.




New caregiving links below have info on finding home care, hospice, reminders to take medications on time and even a mobility device that lets paraplegics walk despite atrophied legs!


OnTimeRx   –  reminders to take your medications on time

Depend One   –  personal medical alert system

ReWalk     –  mobility device for paraplegics

Sensory Swim    –  special needs swim lessons

Enabled Kids    –  enabling children with neurological disorders

Mountain West Chiropractic    –  chiropractic care to restore health

Hospice Palliative Care Ontario    –  info on hospice palliative care in Ontario

Practical Assisted Living Solutions    –  modular home additions for seniors or handicapped persons

AVM Survivors    –  support & community for AVM survivors

Rare Genomics Institute    –  funding research of rare diseases

Fight Conquer Cure    –  Cancer Research Fund for adolescents & young adults

Cancer Center    –  patient-centered cancer treatment

Medicare Wire    –  Medicare news, blogs, benefits



Going to school is an exciting time – yet can be filled with mixed emotions – for parents and for children.  As with any change in routine, it behooves us to prepare ourselves for that new chapter in life to avoid feeling lost in unfamiliar territory.

The article below gives parents some tips to start their children off on the right foot as they begin school.  They can be shared with and reinforced by their caregivers, helping the young students to get used to following a new set of rules and knowing their expectations.

Thank you, Live-In Nanny, for sharing your tips!













5 Things to Teach Your Child About Riding the Bus

Republished with permission


When the time comes for your little one to begin attending school, it can be heart-wrenching to watch his tiny little form clamber up the steps of the massive school bus, knowing that he’s growing up no matter how much you may not want him to. Even though you can’t stop him from getting older, you can help him prepare for this transitional age in his life, starting with what to expect when riding the school bus. There are a wide variety of things that your little scholar should know before he takes his first school bus ride, but these five are among the most important.


1.  What to Do if the Bus Is Late – While the system governing school transportation is usually an efficient and effective one, it’s important for parents and kids to understand that the system is run by human beings, who are not infallible. Buses can be late, delayed by inclement weather or other situations out of the drivers’ control. A late bus can cause children who are eagerly waiting to return home from school to panic. To prepare your children for this situation, be sure that they know what they should do and who they should contact to notify them of the situation.  Instill in them the notion that the most important thing to do is follow the instructions of their teachers and school administrators until the bus arrives. Almost all schools will have a contingency plan in place for just such an event, but your child needs to know that he will be taken care of and that the event, while new and scary to him, is one that the school staff is trained to handle.



2.  Pay Attention At All Stops – Very few experiences that your child has on the bus are as disconcerting as realizing that their stop has been passed and that they’re now in unfamiliar territory. While many drivers will keep in mind that a very young, inexperienced rider could be distracted by socializing and the novelty of riding a school bus, most will only wait so long to see if a child is present for their stop before heading to the next. Sleeping children are particularly difficult for a driver to see, so your child should be taught the importance of paying attention, staying awake, and getting off at the right stop.



3.  How to Follow the Rules – Though some rules can seem unnecessarily strict to young children, your child should understand that those rules are in place to protect him and ensure his safety, as well as the safety of others. Shouting, standing up, roughhousing, or otherwise misbehaving can cause him to be subjected to disciplinary action up to and including suspension of bus privileges. Your child’s school will inform you about the rules governing bus behavior and will usually include a dedicated section in the school handbook. Taking the time to go over these rules and ensuring that your child is well-versed in what is and is not allowed when riding the bus can help him avoid any disciplinary problems and ensure a safe riding experience.



4.  General School Bus Safety – Kids should know general bus safety guidelines before their first bus trip to ensure that they don’t inadvertently engage in unsafe behavior. It’s important to teach your child that he should always step away from the curb as the bus is approaching, and should only walk towards it after the bus has come to a complete stop. He should also know that he should never stoop to pick up objects that have fallen under the bus, and that he should only cross the street in front of the bus and at a distance of at least ten feet to ensure that the driver can see him. The small stature and quick movements of younger children make it difficult for drivers to spot them, and also makes it harder for a child to spot oncoming vehicles and other obstacles.



5.  The Dangers of Bullying – Bullying is a very serious problem, and it’s one that often occurs in the raucous environment of the school bus. Because bus drivers can have difficulty hearing everything that’s being said to an individual child over the collective din of many little voices, you simply cannot rely on the bus driver’s ability to detect and prevent bullying. Your child should understand the dangers of being a bully themselves, and know what to do if they’re the victim of bullying from other children on the bus. Letting him know that he can always tell an adult about any problems that he’s having or difficulties he’s forced to endure on the school bus is very important, because he may feel as if he has nowhere to turn if he becomes a target of school bus bullies.



To get children prepared for their first trip on the school bus, role play various scenarios and talk about what to expect from the trip. Be sure to include everything from boarding the bus, to paying attention at each stop, to exiting the bus safely, and everything that could happen in between.



Live-In Nanny


Just like no two people are exactly alike, so too are the reasons you may need a caregiver for your family.  In this instance, the article below talks about finding the right nanny – a niche nanny – who specializes in your specific caregiving situation.  Whether you have twins or quintuplets, a child with autism or ADHD, or are in a pickle because your usual caregiver has the flu, you can find the right nanny who has the right experience to effectively and compassionately care for your child / children.

Thank you, Find a Nanny, for helping parents find the appropriate caregiver for their children.



Is a Niche Nanny Right for You?

Republished with permission




Depending on your family’s circumstances, you may find that you need a nanny with special experience to provide care for your child. Fortunately for parents, a growing number of nannies are developing their own niche and specializing in providing in-home childcare for a specific type of child or family.

As you evaluate the care needs of your family, you may wish to consider if a niche nanny is right for you.

Are you the parent of multiples?

As parents of multiples know, caring for two children of the same age is more difficult than caring for one. Meeting the needs of one child without sacrificing the needs of another is a skill set that only comes with experience.  If you are a parent of multiples, you may wish to consider hiring a nanny that has proven experience working for other parents with multiples. When creating your online profile, you’ll want to add a statement that attracts nannies with multiples experience. A statement like “Nannies with previous experience in caring for multiples preferred” will send a strong message that your ideal nanny candidate will have experience in caring for twins, triplets, or higher order multiples. You’ll also want to scan nanny profiles for keywords such as twins, triplets, quads, and multiples as you conduct your nanny search.

Does your child have special needs?

From allergies to autism, there are nannies that have experience in working with all different types of children. Being upfront about your child’s needs can help you secure a nanny that has experience in working with children who have similar needs. In fact, many nannies choose to work with children who have specific special needs, like Asperger’s or down syndrome, because they’ve developed effective ways in caring for these children and know how valuable a skilled childcare provider can be for these children and their families. Stating that you are looking for a nanny with special needs experience will ensure that you attract those who are interested in providing specialized care for your child.

Are you expecting an infant?

Newborn care specialists dedicate their careers to working with infants. Many times, they will work with a family for the first few weeks after the baby is born. Newborn care specialists help get new babies off to a good start by establishing healthy eating, sleeping, and care habits. Since many newborn care specialists work extended shifts, the parents are also able to rest and recuperate as they assimilate to life with their new baby. Those with extensive experience working with newborns may call themselves a night nanny, newborn care specialist, or nursery nurse (although anyone who isn’t a nurse shouldn’t use that term).  Be sure to ask each candidate to provide their educational background and experience for your consideration.

Are you looking for short-term help?

Are you considering a nanny to accompany you on a family vacation? Do you need gap coverage during school vacations or during summer break? If so, there are nannies dedicated to providing short-term care. Traveling nannies, for example, specialize in accompanying families on vacations and trips. Summer nannies exclusively take on positions in the summer. There are even on call nannies who provide emergency care to children when other childcare arrangements fall through.  Be sure to clearly state that you are looking for a short-term nanny in your profile or advertisement.

Are you looking for part nanny part educator?

For families who would like their nanny to provide educational instruction and support, hiring a governess may be the perfect solution. A governess is a nanny who holds at least a bachelor’s degree and focuses on educating their charges through direct instruction or tutoring. When searching for a governess, be sure to advertise that the minimum requirement for consideration is a bachelor’s degree.


There is a perfect nanny for every family. If you’re able to identify your family’s care needs and articulate them clearly, it will go a long way in securing the right nanny for your family.



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The list of apps below provides nutritional information for meals that you prepare at home as well as those that you eat at a restaurant.  You can also use these apps to track calories, protein, sugar, water, fruits and vegetables consumed daily to be sure  that your loved ones – and you! – are getting adequate amounts to stay healthy.

While the article is about tracking kids’ nutritional needs, caregivers can certainly use these apps to ensure that their carees are getting the right amounts of nutrients every day.

Thank you,, for contributing this useful post!














10 iPhone Apps for Tracking Kids Nutritional Needs

Republished with permission


Keeping up with what your child needs, what she doesn’t need, and what she’s actually eating can be difficult, but it’s also essential for parents who understand the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and are dedicated to instilling good eating habits in their kids. Fortunately, managing your child’s dietary needs and habits is easier than ever with the advent of the smartphone. Apple’s iPhone is capable of running some pretty powerful applications, and there are trackers in the App Store for almost anything you can imagine. These 10 are dedicated to nutrition and diet, and are great options for monitoring your child’s diet.


1.  Food Scanner: Good Food or Bad Food? – With your iPhone’s built-in camera you can take a picture of a food item’s UPC bar code and check it against over 200,000 food products stored in the FoodScanner app to receive exhaustive nutritional information. Managing calorie intake and monitoring ingredients of everyday foods is easier than ever, and can be handled through FoodScanner for the price of a $0.99 download.


2.  Meal Snap – Calorie Counting Magic – Taking a picture of your child’s meal with the built-in iPhone camera and running the Meal Snap app will return nutritional information on the entree quickly and accurately. If you’re a parent who’s obsessed with social media and documentation, Meal Snap also lets you share your culinary photography on Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare.


3.  Blood Sugar Tracker  – Parents of diabetic children know exactly how important it is to monitor kids’ sugar intake in order to prevent dangerous surges and drops. With Blood Sugar Tracker, logging the results of blood tests and tracking them over the course of days, weeks, and even months is incredibly simple. The app isn’t at all complicated to use, and is free in the App Store.


4.  Serious Nutritional Tracker – Keeping track of your child’s calorie intake, estimated energy, protein, and fluid requirements, as well as intake levels of individual nutrients, is all possible with the Serious Nutrition Tracker. Because the app is designed for bodybuilders and other fitness buffs, there are features here that parents aren’t likely to need, but the $2.99 price tag makes the app well worth the purchase, as it does allow you to track your child’s dietary habits over an extended period of time.


5.  Fooducate – Healthy Food Diet & Nutrition Scanner – Taking first place in the U.S. Surgeon General’s Healthy App Challenge and being featured by a list that reads like a who’s who of major news outlets, Fooducate lets parents know exactly what the processed foods they purchase for their children contain. With a scan of the bar code you can determine exactly how healthy your grocery list actually is and modify it as needed to ensure that your little ones aren’t eating foods laden with trans fats, dangerous chemical additives, and loads of sugar.


6.  Eight Glasses a Day – Staying well hydrated is an essential part of human health, but keeping up with the amount of water your child drinks can be difficult. Eight Glasses a Day greatly simplifies the process of monitoring water intake by allowing you to simply touch a glass on the screen to make it disappear every time your little one finishes a glass.


7.  Restaurant Nutrition – Keeping track of what your child is eating when you visit a restaurant isn’t easy, and some restaurants use deliberately misleading wording on their menus to create the illusion of healthy, nutritious entrees when they’re really anything but that. With over 250 restaurants in their database, Restaurant Nutrition helps you track the foods your child is eating on the go. Best of all, Restaurant Nutrition is free in the App Store.


8.  Food Tracker Pro – Tracking your child’s dietary choices without counting calories or keeping tedious lists is easy with FoodTrackerPro, which allows you to help her make good decisions about her diet and keep up with what she’s eating. The simple interface is easy to use, and the app allows you to look at weekly, monthly, and yearly charts.


9.  EatRight – Keep up with your child’s diet in relation to the major food groups, fluid intake, and sweets/fats with EatRight, a $1.99 app with a 7 day log and daily tracker. The optional progress sharing feature is also great for nannies, who can send charges’ dietary information to busy parents to keep them in the loop.


10.  5 A Day – Getting five servings of fruits and vegetables into your child’s diet is easier than you think, especially when you have this $0.99 app to help. A collection of recipes that are heavy on fresh fare, 5 A Day helps users meet their daily produce quota.



Determining what foods are suitable for your child and how well her dietary needs are being met through the power of the iPhone and the App Store can help to ensure that she learns good eating habits and the importance of good nutrition from an early age. Remember, kids learn most of their habits by modeling the adults in their lives, so making an effort to eat well yourself is another teaching tool at your disposal.

Au Pair


Grandparents are great!  Despite the huge difference in age and in the way life was when they were growing up, they can still find common grounds on which to base a meaningful bond with youngsters today.  This can be a source of joy when you are caregiving for grandmother or grandfather.

Thank you, Ross, for contributing this helpful post about connecting grandparents with their grandkids.



How to Bond with Your Grandkids: Keep it Simple

by Ross Stevens

How is a grandparent supposed to compete for a grandchild’s attention amidst all the technology and gadgetry of modern society? The answer is simplicity.
Despite all the distraction, kids today can enjoy the same simple pleasures you did.

Every child craves attention. They still appreciate a little one-on-one time and still giggle at a silly joke. And let’s give credit where credit is due. Grandma and Grandpa can entertain and inspire in a way that no parent can.

“My favorite memories with my grandparents are simple things. I learned how to cook helping my grandmother in the kitchen during family visits,” remembers Natalie Wahl. “She is a great chef and baker and does most of her recipes from memory. I am one of the few grandchildren who can remake her creations. We are trying to write them down for posterity, but have to get all the little tricks and changes she has made over time.”

As for her own son, Ms. Wahl says his grandparents understand that it’s all about getting down to his level. “They read with him, play with the toys he likes, and
allow him to use their electronics whenever he asks.”

Personal historian and professional organizer Wendy E. Webber offers her top six ways grandparents can connect with their grandkids, and they all come back to the theme of simplicity.

1.  share photos
2.  tell stories
3.  create rituals
4.  play games
5.  shares skills
6.  relax and enjoy

If you’re a grandparent, you’ve been around for a while and you’ve seen a thing or two, so there’s no need to be intimidated by technology. Rather than let it separate you from your grandchildren, let technology work for you. There are a few sites, says Ms. Webber, that can assist you in sharing things with your grandchildren, whether they’re around the corner or around the world. Among her
recommendations are: You and your grandchildren can “pin” favorite toys, movies, or fashions. Create a record of shared interests as well as see what makes each generation unique. Or create a “to do” board with crafts,
activities, adventures, and recipes that you both want to try during your next visit. Recording your family history can be a worthwhile, yet daunting task. Proust starts with a question such as, “What was the first car you ever owned?” or “What was the best summer job you ever had?” Questions range from lighthearted to soul searching and cover every aspect and stage of life. You can keep these stories private between grandparents and grandchildren and easily create a book of memories. This is another great site to gather your family history. Gathering wedding photos, class pictures, or pictures with Santa can help to emphasize similarities through the generations, rather than differences. Seeing your grandparents in a whole new light can really do a lot to bridge the age gap and foster a deeper connection.

If you have difficulty getting around, or are separated by geography, you can still have some precious face time with your grandchildren. Services like are free and easy to use, enabling you to video chat on a moment’s notice.

If there’s something you want to say to your grandchildren, but they’re too young to appreciate it now, consider making a video. It’ll preserve your story and last
until the time is right.

Perhaps most importantly, use your own life experiences as a guide. If you were fortunate enough to have attentive grandparents, think about your favorite
memories of them. You can’t recreate those moments, but you can certainly capture the spirit and pass it on.


Hallmark Care Homes


“Ross is a reformed tea addict who now gets his buzz from running and going to the gym. He is a copywriter for the digital generation and enjoys connecting with others in the industries he writes on behalf for.”