Archive for the ‘Back-up Care’ Category

What to Expect from a Vacation Nanny

April 1, 2015

Originally posted on the INA Blog.

When planning a vacation with children it is an option when traveling with children to have a vacation nanny.  There are several reasons why people opt to have help on their vacation or during a family or business travel trip.  The reasons range from needing an extra set of hands during the family vacation, to planning date nights, providing coverage when working or at a conference, and providing household assistance and or cleaning services.  Below are various ways that visitors use a vacation nanny when traveling.

Vacation Nanny:

Many families when traveling simply want the luxury of having an extra set of hands while on their trip.  They may have someone who works full days traveling around the city with them or spends the days at the beach or the pool acting as a nanny/entertainer for young children.  They may utilize the nanny not only during the day but as night as well, providing nanny services while the adults have dinner out/do a date night.  A vacation nanny should be expected not only to provide safe and reliable child care, but assist the family in covering nap times, planning fun activities for the kids, and educating the family about activities appropriate for the kids in the local area.  They can provide light housekeeping services as well to make things run smoother so the family is better able to fully enjoy their trip.

Hotel Nanny:

From time to time families will request a nanny for a single night out or a few nights out during a trip.  Many of the times these a date night vacation nanny will arrive with some games, activities, and the ability to be nurturing and put the kids to bed while the parent’s go out on the town.  They are used to working in a hotel environment with different kids who need “warming up” and the nanny should have a strong capability to be energetic and easily adaptable.  Vacation nannies are used to coming in to a situation where they do not know the kids and quickly building a relationship where the kids are able to have a great time and feel comfortable.

Conference/Work Trip Nanny:

There are a lot of families who come to town and need a nanny to cover time when they will be working or attending an event. A nanny that comes to a hotel to cover work time usually plans an outing or activities for the kids/babies.  They follow the regular or requested schedule of the family and are used to working in hotel rooms.  They are able to provide a fun, safe, environment while Mom or Dad is busy working for the day and adapt quickly and easily to the needs of the family.

Housekeeper Nanny:

From time to time when families are traveling they rent vacation homes and like to have daily assistance in the home cooking and cleaning.  This is considered a Housekeeper Nanny and can be very helpful in creating a great environment in a vacation rental.  This nanny can also provide childcare services within reason of being able to maintain the housekeeping tasks and cover things like parent’s night.

Hiring a vacation nanny can meet many different types of needs and requests.  If you are interested in learning more about the different types of coverage that can be provided when traveling and considering a vacation nanny consult with an INA member nanny agency for options and availability in your destination.


Finding Summer Back Up Care

July 17, 2012

During the summer months, many parents run into childcare jams. Perhaps summer camp ends a few hours before you get out of work or a strategically scheduled play date with a friend falls through and you’re stuck with two hours to get to a meeting, an upset 3-year-old and no childcare coverage.

Family Helpers can help.

Family Helpers has prescreened, experienced nannies and babysitters that are ready to pinch hit for you in a moment’s notice. While advance notice is always appreciated, Family Helpers is typically able to secure a childcare provider with just a few hours notice. Family Helper’s nannies have undergone rigorous screening, which includes interviews, reference checks and background checks, and all have professional childcare experience.

Family Helpers has prescreened, experienced nannies willing and able to provide sick child care coverage. Most camps and summer programs have strict guidelines when it comes to keeping a mildly ill child home. Family Helpers has prescreened, experienced nannies who can provide sick child care coverage in the comfort of your child’s home.

Family Helpers has prescreened, experienced nannies who can provide care at hotels throughout West Chester, Rockland and Fairfield counties.  Do you have family or friends visiting from out of town who are looking for a seasoned child care provider? Family Helpers offers babysitting services at many of the area’s most popular hotels. 


Family Helpers is a full-service domestic placement agency that has provided exceptional well-screened summer nannies and babysitters to families in the Westchester County community since 1995.

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5 Reasons to Hire a Summer Nanny

June 18, 2012

With summer quickly approaching and pre-schools and elementary schools ending, many parents are contemplating their summer child care options. For many families, summer nannies are the perfect child care solution.

Here’s 5 reasons why:

1. With a summer nanny your children can have a customizable summer.  Instead of filling your children’s summer with programs and camps as a solution to your summer child care dilemma, hire a summer nanny who can coordinate play dates, take trips to the zoo and spend time doing things with your children they truly want to do.

2. With a summer nanny you could have a built in tutor. Many teachers supplement their income by securing a summer nanny position. It’s a well known fact that during the summer children can educationally regress. Help your child to retain and enhance his knowledge base with a summer nanny that can double as a tutor.

3. With a summer nanny you’ll have less stress coordinating events and activities. Your career may not end when school does and coordinating summer camps, play dates and other activities can feel like an additional job.  Hire a summer nanny to take charge of your child’s summer schedule for you.

4. With a summer nanny your children will receive one-on-one personalized care.  Unlike in camps or center based care, your summer nanny’s sole focus will be on the children in your family. With a summer nanny, your children won’t be forced to adapt to the routine, structure and philosophies of care that come along with center based care choices and summer camps. Your nanny can customize her care plan and style to the children in your family.

5. With a summer nanny you’ll have the ultimate in flexibility.  Perhaps you need coverage for the entire summer or for just a week or two in between camps. With Family Helpers you can hire a summer nanny for the day, week or the duration of summer.

Family Helpers is a full-service domestic placement agency that has provided exceptional well-screened summer nannies to families in the Westchester County community since 1995.

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Book Your Holiday Sitters Early

November 13, 2010


The holiday season is quickly approaching.

Do you have a work party you’d like to attend?

Need a night out to finish up the holiday shopping?

Invited to a New Year’s Eve party you’d like to RSVP to?

Family Helpers has an evening and weekend babysitting service for parents who wish to hire prescreened caregivers.

To reserve a Family Helper, contact us at 914.674.8535.

We’ll secure you a trusted provider for the day, night, or longer.

“Be Careful Who Cares For Your Child” Campaign

October 6, 2010


“Be Careful Who Cares For Your Child” Campaign

 Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner John B. Mattingly recently launched an educational campaign titled “Be Careful Who Cares for Your Child,” urging New York parents to be cautious when leaving children with caregivers, even those who are relatives or close family friends. 

In addition to radio ads and posters displayed in subway cars, retail shops, hospitals and other City locations, the campaign offers parents these tips when choosing a child care provider.

When choosing a caregiver, parents should select someone who:

  • Has experience caring for babies and young children
  • Is patient and mature enough to care for a fussy, overexcited or crying baby
  • Understands that young children must always be watched
  • Will never shake, hit, yell at, make fun of, or withhold food from a child as punishment
  • Does not abuse alcohol or drugs, or carry a weapon, and will not surround a child with others who may be drinking, using or selling drugs, or carrying weapons.

Finding the perfect Helper for your family can be a challenging task. Fielding phone calls from strangers, browsing through on-line profiles, responding to emails from acquaintances of well meaning friends, and arranging interviews in your home with applicants who have not been pre-screened can be time consuming and frustrating.

Family Helpers takes its role of finding Westchester County families quality, nurturing child care seriously.
Whether you’re looking for a nurturing nanny for your child or a compassionate companion for your aging parent, the experienced staff at Family Helpers will thoughtfully guide and support you through the hiring process and beyond.

To read more about the “Be Careful Who Cares For Your Child” Campaign visit

Family Helpers Holds A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau

August 17, 2010

Family Helpers has been a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited business since 1996 and is proud to hold BBB’s highest rating, an A+.

BBB assigns grades from A to F with pluses and minuses. A+ is the highest grade and F is the lowest. The grade a business receives represents BBB’s degree of confidence that the business is operating in a trustworthy manner and will make a good faith effort to resolve any customer concerns filled with BBB.

Family Helpers takes pride in its commitment to personalized service and works hard to find families in the Westchester County qualified and screened Helpers.

At Family Helpers, we’re confident that we can find you a qualified Helper that meets your family’s needs because:

• Our screening process is so thorough that only 3% of all candidates that contact us seeking a position are placed in a position.

• All candidates are interviewed in-person and their professional and personal references are verified before they ever begin interviewing with you.

• We provide you with a detailed work history about our candidates so that you can make an informed hiring decision.

• Unlike online services, we know our background screenings are accurate because researchers go to the courthouses to review court documents. Background checks are run in all states where the Helper has live/worked, and under all names she has used.

And our relationship doesn’t end once you’ve hired your Helper. Our staff is available to you on an on-going basis for the duration of your employment relationship with your Helper.

If you’re considering hiring domestic help for your family, consider Family Helpers. We promise we’ll live up to our A+ rating as we strive to find you the perfect Helper for your family.

The Drop Off Dilemma

March 31, 2010

By Michelle LaRowe

Does your darling turn devil during day care drop off? Go nutty when nanny arrives for duty? Torture her preschool teacher with tears and tantrums? This all too familiar transformation is also known as separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety is real and many young children fear discovering new places without mom or dad at an arm reach away. They also at times feel real distress when a parent “leaves” them, but I have found that how a parent approaches the situation can significantly impact how a child responds.

I firmly believe that if you approach a situation with a positive upbeat attitude, your child will follow suit.

What can you do to ease your child into independence and in all the while keep your and your child’s sanity during these stressful separations?

• Acknowledge her feelings. “I hear you are feeling sad about going to school without mommy. It is okay to feel sad when we try new things, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try.” Validate and reassure her without leading her to believe that her feelings can change the reality of the situation.

• Your child is watching. She will pick up on your anxieties and worries and may try to manipulate them rather than deal with the situation. If you know that the place you have chosen is safe, appropriate and loving then you should feel confident leaving your child in the care of the providers. Show your child that you trust those you are leaving her with by being friendly to the staff and thanking them for taking such good care of your child, in front of her.

• Never leave your child without saying good bye. However tempting it is to “sneak out” don’t. It undermines trust – the trust she has in you and the trust you have in those who are left caring for her.

• Make good byes short and sweet. Come up with a predictable good bye routine and stick to it. “See ya later alligator.” “In awhile crocodile.” Although it is tempting, if the tears come (and you know your child is not sick or something out of the ordinary isn’t happening) keep to the routine and go. Prolonging good byes and coming back after you left once because you hear the tears isn’t fair to your child and usually makes the situation worse.

• Don’t offer rewards for your child “staying” without you. The reality of the situation is she needs to stay. Rewarding her for what she has to do is manipulating the situation and making the child believe that she has “control” of a situation that she really has no control over.

• Talk to your child at home about her day. Ask open ended questions so that you can pick up on what is going on without influencing her responses. For example ask “How was your day?” rather than “Did you have a good day?”

Saying “see ya later” can be hard for you and your child. If you appear to be (yes fake it if you have to) confident and excited about the start of the day, she should follow suit.

You have an important role in making your child feel secure and safe. When you are supportive and encouraging and show confidence in your selection of providers and facilities your child will see that and the confidence and it will transfer to her.

Securing Child Care for School Vacation

November 9, 2009

While most every parent would love to stay home each and every school vacation day with their child, for most working parents, that’s simply not possible.

Securing your child care arrangements well in advance can help eliminate the stress that comes along with trying to find last minute coverage.

When planning your vacation child care coverage, consider these three possibilities:

1.  Utilizing family and friend care. Consider asking a family member of close friend to help out with child care during the week. Many family members and friends welcome the opportunity to help out.

2. Securing a swap. Perhaps one of your child’s school friends has a stay-at-home mom who would care for your child one day or more. In exchange, you could offer to care for her child on a Saturday. She may jump at the idea of having a day to herself or with her spouse.

3. Calling Family Helpers.  Family Helpers is able to provide you with a prescreened, reliable temporary sitter.  All Helpers providing temporary and on-call services have passed Family Helpers’ rigorous screening, which includes interviews, reference checks and background checks. For one day or more, Family Helpers is here to help.

Keeping the Kids Healthy

October 26, 2009


If your child is spending time around other children, chances are, he’s going to be exposed to lots of germs. While the spread of all germs can’t be prevented, parents and caregivers can take some practical steps to help their kids stay healthy.

To prevent the spread of germs, parents and caregivers should have a clear understanding of the steps it takes for germs to spread.

Step 1: Germs are introduced into the environment by an ill child or caregiver.

Step 2: The germs successfully survive in the environment. Some germs live in the air, some in water, some on surfaces, some in feces and some in food.

Step 3: Another child then comes into contact with the germs by touching, breathing or eating something that’s been infected.  Hand shaking, toy sharing and food sharing are common ways children become infected.

Step 4: The cycle repeats.

Parents and caregivers can help keep their children stay healthy by following these four tips.

1. Teach your child how to properly wash their hands. Children should rinse their hands under running water. They should then place liquid soap in their hands. Next, they should vigorously run their hands together, cleaning all areas of their hands, including under their fingernails. Children should then rinse their hands under running water and turn off the water using a clean paper towel. Children can be encouraged to sing a song while washing their hands so they can be sure to take enough time cleaning up.  Caregivers should wash the hands of younger children and babies throughout the day.

2. Parents should encourage caregivers to be proactive. Talk to your caregivers about the importance of washing their hands throughout the day and of keeping hand sanitizer handy. Ask them to help keep your child healthy by disinfecting toys that have been in the children’s mouths.

3. Encourage your caregiver to stay home if she is sick and keep your child home from activities if he is sick.  If you want to stop the vicious cycle, ask your caregiver to let you know when she is feeling sick. Have a backup plan in place. Family Helpers can assist you in securing backup childcare should your caregiver be unable to work. Instruct caregivers to keep your child home if they aren’t feeling well.

4. Consider vaccinating. Many childhood illnesses and communicable diseases can be prevented by immunizations. Talk to your child’s pediatrician about the pros and cons of vaccinations.

While there’s no guarantee we can keep our children germ free, we can follow a few simple precautions to increase their chances of staying healthy.

What to Do When Your Child Care Falls Through

August 30, 2009


 workingmom (more…)

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