Posts Tagged ‘family helpers’

2014 Family Helper of the Year – Dorrett (Dee) Henry

February 18, 2015

Helper of the Year 2014 IMG_0425

Dee came to the U.S. in 2002, from Jamaica, where she was born and raised. She started working as a nanny in 2003. Dee finds working as a career nanny very fulfilling and rewarding. I feel appreciated and very fortunate that my current employers are involved in their children’s lives, and that they appreciate my dedication to their family.

IMG_0419 (1)Dee’s current employers describe her as loving, nurturing, consistent and gracious.

“Dee celebrates the children’s smallest milestones with the greatest amount of enthusiasm. Her calmness adds a lovely sense of stability.”

“Her instinct and judgment are spot-on. Her sunny presence touches all those around her. She’s always willing to go out of her way to help our whole family.”

IMG_0418 (1)

“Her job is very demanding and consists of long days with a 1 yr. old and 2 yr. old.  She packs their days with activities, lessons, stories, nutritious meals, adventures, etc.”

“She is the helper of the year not because of a single situation, but rather the star power that she brings everyday!”


7 Safety Classes Nannies Should Consider Taking

February 19, 2013


Originally posted here.

In addition to classes related to early childhood education and care, nannies can benefit from expanding their knowledge base by taking safety related courses, as well as increase their marketability and make themselves more attractive to potential families. 

CPR and First Aid

Every nanny should have current CPR and first aid training and should update their training every two years at a minimum, or as often as called for from the organization that issued the certification. While it can be tempting to simply take an online certification course or refresher, there’s no replacement for a hands-on class where techniques can be practiced and trained instructors can answer questions. The American Red Cross and the American Heart Association offer CPR and first aid trainings throughout the country.

Child Abuse Prevention

Nannies have an obligation to report abuse, and according to the International Nanny Association are mandated to do so. Sometimes the line between bad parenting and abuse is a fine one. Nannies who understand the laws surrounding child abuse, know what constitutes abuse and what does not, and are able to identify signs of abuse and how to protect the child from abuse are empowered to act appropriately when child safety concerns arise.   

Self Defense

Self defense classes not only prepare a nanny to physically defend herself should the need arise, they also teach and empower her not to be a victim. Knowing how to assess any environment and situation she finds herself in, with or without her charges, is a valuable skill that most potential employers would appreciate their nanny having.

Defensive Driving

A majority of nannies are charged with transporting children to and from different activities and appointments, so it only makes sense that a qualified nanny with defensive driving training would be a desirable caregiver. In a defensive driving course, nannies not only enhance their driving skills, they learn crash prevention techniques, the importance of safe driving, and how to identify driving risks. Nannies come away from defensive driving training with practical skills and information they are able to put to use to increase the safety of themselves and their charges.

Executive Protection

For nannies who work for celebrity families or families where there is an elevated concern about the safety of the family’s children due to the nature of the parents work, status or wealth, a nanny who can double as a personal body guard will be highly sought after. Knowing how to ensure the safety of those entrusted to her, whether as a formal body guard or not, is an extremely attractive trait for a caregiver to have.

Water Safety

Families who live on or near beaches or lakes, have swimming pools or spas, or travel frequently and enjoy water activities should require their nanny to have water safety or life guard training. The International Nanny Association recommends that nannies only take a child swimming if she has successfully completed a credible water safety and rescue course, or if there is a lifeguard present.

Child Passenger Safety

While not every nanny needs to become a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, those who do tend to gain a new respect in households where child passenger safety is considered a high priority. As Child Passenger Safety Technicians, nannies not only learn how to choose and use an appropriate car seat for the children in their care, they also learn how to install them and how to teach parents to properly install them. Since it is estimated that 80-90% of car seats are installed incorrectly, a nanny who knows how to properly install and use car seats will be highly valued.

In the United States, the in-home childcare industry is highly unregulated. In fact, an individual is not required to take any specific coursework to become employed as a nanny. That said, many nannies opt to enroll in various classes to continue their education and to expand their knowledge base. Those who take safety related courses open the door to new job opportunities and become marketable to those parents who require specialized safety training.

Before enrolling in any course, nannies should carefully evaluate the credentials of the trainer, the curriculum or course agenda, the cost, the reputation of the trainer or training program, the weight the certification holds and the individual or training programs affiliation with any professional associations or governing bodies that regulate the type of training being offered.

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Demystifying Taxes for Nannies

November 27, 2012

Demystifying Taxes — What Every Employee (Nanny)  Needs to Know About the Payroll & Tax Process
By: Tom Breedlove of Breedlove & Associates
Original post here: Regarding Nannies 

When a family makes a compensation offer, it is critical that you are extremely clear as to what your Gross Wages and Net Pay will be. Gross Wages refers to the amount of compensation prior to taxes while Net Pay is the amount after taxes have been withheld. Net Pay is frequently referred to as “take-home” pay because it’s how much you take home once your taxes have been taken out.

Typically, employers make offers in terms of Gross Wages. But, most families are unfamiliar with payroll and tax processes, so you should not assume anything. It’s important to clarify that the offer represents the Gross Wages. If that is the case, then you can use our Employee Paycheck Calculator to translate the Gross Wages into your Net (“Take-Home”) Pay.

If the family offers you a Net Pay amount, we advise you to convert that into Gross Wages since all compensation must be reported to the government in terms of Gross Wages – and it’s the figure that will be used to calculate all your benefits. To protect yourself and eliminate any chance of confusion by either party, it’s important to have a payroll scenario from our calculator that clearly defines Gross and Net figures.


Before you can run payroll scenarios, it’s important to understand how state and federal allowances work. Allowances represent general taxpayer situations; they are used to estimate approximately what your tax obligation will be so that the appropriate amount of taxes are withheld from your paycheck each pay period. This enables workers to “pay-as-they-go,” thereby eliminating a huge tax bill at the end of the year.

The IRS has a worksheet called Form W-4, which is used to determine the proper number of allowances for your personal tax situation. Again, the goal is to not owe much money at the end of the year or perhaps even get a little money back. However, because there are so many factors that affect personal income tax liability, it is impossible to manage with precision. (In fact, the IRS says taxpayers should allow for error of up to $500 — meaning you may get a refund of a few hundred dollars or you may be required to make a tax payment of a few hundred dollars). If you don’t like the idea of writing a check at the end of the year, then you should be conservative when you choose your allowances — a lower number of allowances (0 being the lowest) will slightly lower your paycheck each payday but that means you’ll get more back at the end of the year. Conversely, a higher number of allowances will increase each paycheck each payday but that means you’ll owe more at year end.

We advise everyone to be conservative. A larger-than-expected refund is much better than a larger-than-expected payment. Once you have a tax history, it is easier to get closer to a “zero balance” by adjusting the number of allowances on Form W-4 to withhold a little less or a little more each pay period.

Your employer will find copies of the federal and state Form W-4 when they register with our service. If you have any questions as you fill them out, just give us a call.


Once your payroll is set up properly, you won’t have to worry about anything until the end of each calendar year. Your employer will remit your withheld taxes to the state and federal tax agencies each calendar quarter. In January, when the tax year is complete, your employer will provide you with Form W-2. It itemizes your gross wages for the tax year along with all your federal and state tax withholdings. You should receive your Form W-2 from your employer by the end of January, giving you plenty of time to prepare your income tax filings before the April 15 deadline.

Note: If you terminate your relationship with your employer during the tax year, it is your job to make sure that your former employer has your current mailing address so they can send your Form W-2 to you in January.


By the end of February each year, your employer will also have filed the appropriate documents with the Social Security Administration on your behalf. This will credit your earnings record, which will directly affect how much you are paid during retirement. The greater your earnings record, the more golden your golden years will be.

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30 Portable Snacks for Kids on the Go

November 20, 2012

Let’s face it, life is busy and we are often on the go with our kids. With some planning we can guarantee that children still have nutritional snacks even through our business of grocery runs, sports practices, and carpool. Check out this list from the book Toddler 411, for 30 relatively portable options for you and your kids on the go. (These snacks are recommended for toddlers and older, however, snacks with dried fruit or whole nuts are a choking hazard and only intended for children ages three and up.)

30 Portable Snacks for Kids on the Go

  1. Apple slices and cheese chunks
  2. Apple slices with peanut butter
  3. Orange slices or pear wedges
  4. Bean and cheese nachos/quesadillas with whole wheat tortillas
  5. Carrots, broccoli, and ranch dressing
  6. Pineapple spears and graham crackers
  7. Bran muffins and apple slices
  8. Whole wheat mini-bagel pizzas
  9. Hummus and pita
  10. Celery and cream cheese (add raisins on top for “ants on a log”)
  11. Celery and peanut butter
  12. Dried apricots, cream cheese, wheat thins
  13. Corn bread and pumpkin butter
  14. String cheese and avocado dip
  15. Scrambled eggs and wheat crackers
  16. Edamame and ham cubes
  17. Homemade trail mix (oatmeal squares cereal, dried cranberries or raisins, almonds)
  18. Yogurt smoothies
  19. Half a boiled egg and yogurt
  20. Pumpkin butter on wheat bread
  21. French toast fingers and applesauce
  22. Whole wheat or spinach tortillas, cream cheese, and shredded carrots
  23. Banana and cheerio skewers
  24. Half bagel and cream cheese
  25. Avocado dip and while wheat tortillas
  26. Chicken salad or egg salad on wheat bread
  27. Nut or seed (almond, cashew, sunflower seed) butter on whole wheat toast
  28. Yogurt parfait (fresh fruit or dried fruit, granola,and yogurt)
  29. Chilled fruit soup
  30. Vegetable soup (carrot, pumpkin)

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November Events for Kids!

November 10, 2012

Check out these fun events happening in Westchester County through November. For more events visit Westchester Family.

Fancy Nancy
Based on the extremely popular children’s book series, Fancy Nancy The Musical is a family friendly production that tells the story of Nancy, a creative – and very fancy – little girl who adds flair to life. An entertaining and educational musical that’s fun for everyone. 11am and 1pm – Nov. 6, 10, 11, 12. $29.50-$49.50. McGinn/Cazale Theatre, 2162 Broadway, New York. 212-579-0528.

Toddler Time
Special crafts geared towards toddlers for a discounted rate! Bring your toddlers or enjoy a great play-date with this special offer! Music, dancing, colorful lights, hula hoops, and a craft!  Price: free. 590 Central Park Avenue Scarsdale, New York, United States 10583. Mondays, 10:00 am – 02:00 pm. Phone 914-472-1748

Critters and Crafts
A drop-in class for young children, their parents and caregivers. Learn about nature by observing live animals and listening to stories. 10-11am – Nov. 14, 21, 28. For children ages 18 months-5 years. $9 adults, $7 children. Reservations not required. Greenburgh Nature Center, 99 Dromore Rd., Scarsdale. 723-3470.

Be an Artist Apprentice
Learn how to create picture book stories inspired by the work of Caldecott Award winner Jerry Pinkey. This series of workshops offers different topics, depending on the date, so children can create a book about a hero, a true happening or their family. Stories are bound into a book and some may be selected to be viewed at the museum. 1-4pm – Nov. 17, 24, 25. For children ages 9 and up; younger artists welcome to come and make collages. Free with museum admission: $5 adults, $3 children. Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers. 963-4550.

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Family Helpers Celebrates Halloween

November 3, 2012

Due to the affects of the storm, trick or treating was delayed a few days. But that didn’t hinder the fun. It was great to see all the children and their families that stopped by. Check out our very own Susan Tokayer in front of our office decked out in full Mary Poppins attire!

10 Quick Car Seat Reminders

October 14, 2012

According to, “Car crashes are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the United States. The best way to protect them in the car is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way.”

It is always a good time for a refresher course; check out these 10 Quick Car Seat Reminders!

10 Quick Car Seat Reminders

1. Choose the right seat according to your child’s age and weight and your personal vehicle. Take time to research before purchasing.

2. Read the Car Seat Instruction Manual and your vehicle’s Owner’s Manual to know how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system. Be sure to know the height and weight limits.

3. When installing the seat, press down firmly  on the car seat base (use your whole body weight). You should not be able to move the car seat base side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch.

4. Harness straps should lie flat and not be twisted.

5. Harness straps should be snug, meaning you are not able to pinch excess material.

6. Harness straps should exit the slot at back of the seat at or below the child’s shoulder level, not above.

7. The chest clip should be buckled and sit at the child’s armpit level.

8. Register your Car Seat so that you will be notified if the seat is recalled.

9. Get your seat installed or checked by a professional. Use this “Child Car Seat Inspection Station Locator “ to find a one near you:

10.Continue to re-adjust the Car Seat as needed. The seat itself and the harnesses will loosen over time, and children will grow.

Photo credit: originally posted here.

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Family Helpers at Ferry Festa

October 9, 2012

This past weekend, Family  Helpers was a part of Ferry Festa here in Dobbs Ferry!  Ferry Festa was a one-day street fair featuring great food from local restaurants, local vendors, and live music. It was so good to see so many of our helpers and families that came out to the event and stopped by our table. We have a few pictures to share. It really was a great day!

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National Nanny Recognition Week – Gift For Our Helpers!

September 25, 2012

It is National Nanny Recognition Week, a week during which families, businesses, and the media will be encouraged to focus on the positive aspects of the nanny profession, the important role nannies play in the lives of the families and the wonderful contribution they make in the lives of the children they care for.

In honor of National Nanny Recognition Week (Sept 23-29, 2012), Family Helpers would like to honor you – Our Helpers! That’s right, we have Starbuck’s Gift Card just for you!

You may collect your gift in one of two ways.  Stop by our office this week anytime Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Or, stop by our table at the Ferry Festa, this Saturday, Sept 29th, between 1:00 -8:00 p.m.  Ferry Festa is a one-day street fair featuring great food from local restaurants, local vendors, and live music! Family Helpers will have a table set up with information about our business and information on the International Nanny Association. We would love to see you there!

Family Helpers
125 Main Street  Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522

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