Holiday Help is Here!

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The holidays are a busy and exciting time for families full of the magic of Santa, festivities, parties, and of course lots to get done! We are here to help. Your Happy Nest has nannies on hand that can help out with more than just childcare. They can run errands, wrap gifts, help with party decorations or even come to your party and help with childcare or serving food and drinks. We would love to help take some of the stress of the holidays off of your back so you can enjoy more time with your little ones making memories!

For more info click on your city below:

Atlanta

Augusta 

Charleston 

Cincinnati

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Families: Suggestions on What to Give Your Nanny for a Holiday Bonus

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Parents, are you wondering what is a typical holiday bonus for your nanny? The holidays are a great way to show your nanny some appreciation for a job well done this year. We always tell families that when nannies feel appreciated, they are more willing to go the extra mile and also stay with your family long term!

Here is what we suggest as far as monetary compensation:

  • If your nanny has been with you for a year or less, it is customary to give her 1 week of pay

  • If your nanny has been with you for 1-2 years, 2 weeks of pay is customary 

  • 3+ years, 3 weeks of pay is customary

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It is also nice to do something a little more personal for your nanny at the holidays along with her bonus such as have your child(ren) make her a holiday ornament or card, or get her a small more personal gift to go along with her bonus. Whatever you end up doing, your nanny will be happy you thought of them during the hustle and bustle of the holidays! Happy holidays to all of our clients and nannies!

Nannies: How to Make Social Media Work for You

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Hi Nannies!

The team at Your Happy Nest is excited to share some tips on how to manage your social media accounts to help present yourself in the *best* light to your current and future employers.

Your presence on social media is very important because it is a representation of who you are as a professional. Not only does it represent yourself, it also represents your employers and Your Happy Nest (if you are one of our registered nannies or sitters.)

One of the first things a new employer or nanny agency will do is search for you on social media.
What they see can directly affect whether you will get your dream job or not.

TIP- If you've had a lot of positions, keep your resume focused on the families you were with the longest. Several short term positions can be seen as a red flag to families and agencies alike. If you need to show a  (2).png

Many of us see social media as an outlet, and a way to tell the world who we are personally ... but there is a danger in sharing TOO much.  
Because of that, we want to offer you some advice on how to get your social media accounts to work FOR you, not against you.

Start With These Tips:

A. Have a polished, professional looking photo as your main picture.  
B. Share uplifting, positive, cute/funny posts.
C. Share photos of your volunteer work, outdoor adventures, and other positive life stories.

Things to Avoid:

A. Strong political statements or rants.
B. Photos of partying, showing alcohol or other excessive behaviors.
C. "Sexy" photos
D. Excessive selfies
E. Foul language

And MOST importantly: Never post photos of your charges without permission from the parents, and never share your location while you are working.  If you have any questions about this always talk to your current employer about their wishes concerning photos of their children.

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Follow these tips to maintain a positive social media presence and you are certain to be on your way to success!

Your Happy Nest Turns FIVE!

 

We are celebrating with cake, confetti and DISCOUNTS for our clients because

Your Happy Nest Nanny & Babysitting Agency is turning FIVE this week!

 
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To celebrate, we are offering a $100 discount
off all permanent nanny placements for families
who sign on with our agency in the month of August!

* Use coupon code: happy5th for your discount

So what are you waiting for?  

Click below on YOUR city and let our experts help you
find the perfect caregiver for your family.  

We can't wait to meet you!

 

Atlanta

Augusta

Charleston

Cincinnati

We are now members of the INA!

Your Happy Nest is proud to announce that we are members of the INA (International Nanny Association). We are also excited to attend the INA conference for the first time which will be in Chicago, May 2017! This will be a great opportunity for our staff to learn, network and bring back useful information to help better serve the families and nannies we work with!

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The International Nanny Association (INA), a nonprofit organization, serves as the umbrella organization for the in-home child care industry. INA members include nannies, nanny employers, nanny agencies, educators and industry service providers. Since 1985, INA has worked to professionalize the industry by setting high standards for industry professionals and nanny agencies. INA leverages the expertise of industry professionals from around the globe to help increase awareness about the industry, to develop the professional skills of nannies, and to educate parents about the benefits of hiring a qualified nanny to care for their children.

Holiday Promotion!

Looking for some extra help around the holidays? We've got you covered! And for the rest of November and for December 2016, if you book 3 days of daytime fill in help, we will give you one night time babysitter booking free! Just fill out this short BABYSITTING SERVICES FORM so we have all of your info and we will get you set up! Use PROMO CODE: HOLIDAY HELP on your contact form to get your free babysitting booking!need-an-extra

Wedding sitters available

We have sitters available to come to your wedding and help out with kids so parents are able to relax, or we can have a sitter come to your hotel room to watch your kids while you enjoy a kid-free night out! All of our sitters are fully vetted by our agency including an agency interview, background check, references called, CPR/First Aid Certified and they must have a minimum of 3 years of childcare experience. BABYSITTING SERVICES FORM

Wedding sitters available

10 Ways to Keep Your Nanny Happy!

10 Ways to Keep Your Nanny Happy! NEW If you have found the holy grail of nannies, you want to hold on to her with everything you have!

Having a great nanny/family relationship is a give and take. Nannies that know their family values and respects them are more likely going to go the extra mile!

Here are some tips we have found from working with hundreds of nannies over the years and also from our own personal experiences in the past as nannies:

1. Guaranteed Hours Your nanny is relying on certain pay each week for expenses, even if it isn't a full time position. If you go out of town for a week or grandma comes in town and you give your nanny the day off, you should still pay your nanny for her normal working hours. Just like in daycare, you pay a set price each week to reserve your spot at the school. If your nanny has inconsistent pay, it becomes stressful for her and she might start looking for a position with more stability.

2. Be respectful of your nanny’s working space.  Don’t leave a sink full of dirty dishes, toys everywhere and overflowing laundry when your nanny arrives Monday morning.  Most nannies are willing to do light housekeeping pertaining to the child(ren) but if they have too much housework, then the focus is off of your children.  A nanny’s #1 job is to care for children. Housework should be left for when children are napping or if the nanny arrives at your house while children are still in school.  This allows her to have a specific time when she can focus on just housework and not have it distract from her job caring for your kids.

3. Communication Keep communication open! We recommend having regular time (once per month or every other month) where you can sit down and talk with your nanny. Talk about what is working and what might need some tweaking...for both sides! We also recommend doing a performance review at the 6 month or 1 year mark and give your nanny the opportunity to earn a raise or bonus for doing a great job.

4. Be respectful of your nanny’s time.  We all have things that come up or we get stuck in traffic from time to time, but do your best to be home when you tell your nanny you will be home.  If you are running late, give your nanny as much head’s up as possible in case she has other plans and needs to make arrangements. Just as you would like the same respect in the mornings when you are leaving for work.

5. Give Thanks  There are many ways to show your appreciation for your nanny. It can simply be by saying thank you when you notice your nanny went above and beyond one week. Many families will get their nanny a gift for her birthday and bonus during the holidays.  A typical holiday bonus is one week of pay and often families will have their child or children make something special for their nanny.

6. Taxes A nanny is considered a household employee and as their employer, you are required to pay taxes. It is illegal to pay your nanny "under the table" or as an independent contractor. A professional nanny will want to be paid legally.

7. Trust You hired your nanny because she probably has a lot of wonderful qualities and experience to where you felt comfortable leaving your precious children with her. Trust must be earned over time and while it is good to look out for red flags, once you establish trust with your nanny, give her freedom to do her job. While she should follow your lead and wishes for your child, no one likes to be micromanaged!

8. Back Her Up When your nanny is on duty, she should be the authority figure for your children. Unless she does something completely out of line with your parenting philosophy, it is best to back her up to follow through with discipline. If you undermine her in front of your children, your children aren't going to respect her when it comes to discipline.

9. Part of the Family Being a nanny is one of the most personal jobs you can have. You are in someones home and spending a good amount of time with their children. It goes a long way with your nanny when you make them feel included in your child's life. Little things like inviting them to your child's birthday party or recital means the world to your nanny because it shows them that you believe they are an important part of your child's life.

10. Be a team When you and your nanny work together as a team and both have the same end goal of keeping a safe, positive and loving environment for your children, everything runs smoother. When hiccups arise along the way, you should both go into the situation from a positive place and with the attitude of "How can we work together to find a solution to this".

Time to find a summer nanny!

Summer is quickly approaching! Do you have a plan for your kids for summer while school is out? A summer nanny is a great option for families. Avoid the hassle of keeping up with lots of different summer camps, we can find you a great nanny to do all of the fun things your kids will do at camp such as arts and crafts, pool  time, music, dancing and playing outside! We have great summer nannies available such as teachers who have the summers off and college students. Contact us today to start your summer nanny search! Summer Nanny

Annual Babysitting Membership- Use at any location!

ABM Four locationsNow that we have expanded and service four cities (Atlanta, Augusta, Charleston and Cincinnati), we are allowing existing and new Annual Babysitting Membership families to utilize their membership at any of our locations for no extra cost! You will register with the placement provider in your area but if you travel to any of our other cities, you can get a sitter while on vacation. Click HERE to sign up for an Annual Babysitting Membership today!

Annual Babysitting Membership Gift Certificate

ABM gift certificate NEW Contact us today if you would like to purchase an Annual Babysitting Membership gift certificate! This is a great gift for any parent (or dad's you will get major points if you buy this for your wife!) This Annual Babysitting Membership is good for a full year of unlimited nights and weekend babysitting placements.

All sitters are fully screened by our agency including interviews, background checks, reference checks and they all must have at least 3 years of childcare experience.

Mention promo code: HolidayABM and get $25 off of your yearly membership for the months of November and December 2015.

To purchase email info@yourhappynest.com and a placement provider will reach out to you will all the details you need to know to get registered!

Your Happy Nanny- Joleigh Sonnenberg

Joleigh Your Happy Nanny pic Meet our Your Happy Nanny for October 2015, Joleigh Sonnenberg! Joleigh was previously placed with a family by our agency but is now available and looking for her next nanny family! Joleigh loves exploring all Atlanta has to offer and bringing her creative nature to her positions as a nanny. Take a look at her profile below and if she seems like the perfect nanny for your family, contact us to set up an interview to meet Joleigh!

What part of Atlanta do you live in?
I currently own a home right on the Atlanta Beltline in Reynoldstown with my awesome husband and 5 year old daughter. I've lived in  several intown neighborhoods since moving from San Francisco to Atlanta in 2007. Reynoldstown (tided with  Cabbagetown, since I technically live a block away) is by far my favorite neighborhood. It's a really great community rich in Art, history and some of the best neighbors and people I've had the pleasure of meeting. Not to mention I recently found out Elle from Your Happy Nest is my across the street neighbor! Small world right?
Where are you from originally?  
I was born in Nürnburg, Germany. I deeply identify with my European roots and sensibility when it comes to day to day life, family and children. As a military brat my family moved a lot. Most of my younger years outside of living in Germany have been spent in Texas, Florida and California.
What language(s) do you speak?
I'm only fluent in English currently. I do know some basic German and Spanish words, phrases and songs I like to share with kids. I also have learned a few Hebrew words from my husband and his family as they are Israeli. I am super interested in learning other languages and am actively learning German. I hope to one day be conversational and return to Germany for a long over due visit.
How long have you been a nanny? 
I've been a professional nanny since 2009 but have 20 years in total experience. From babysitting to my most invaluable and hands on experience as a mother and parent. My experience goes way back as many of the women in my family are natural born caregivers and care professionals. I grew up with their great example, sage advice and resounding passion for children. My mother has hands down been my biggest  influence. My childhood was filled with her love and nurturing ways. My mother's loving example extended to include her "other babies". She ran a daycare from our home while growing up and has been a teacher, teacher's aid, preschool teacher, nanny and foster parent. It's only natural I would fall in love with and become a career nanny!
Do you have a favorite age and why?  
Oh man that's a tough one. I can honestly say there is something about every age and stage that I truly love. I am however a total sucker and ball of goo for newborns and infants. It's such a magical and surreal time in a family's life. Caring for an infant is such a honor. You really get to experience the wonder of life through their eyes over and over again. It never gets old. It's also bittersweet as it's the shortest stage. In a blink your squishy newborn is all of a sudden a mobile, world and milestone mastering little person.
Funniest nanny moment:
One of my funniest nanny moments actually happened with my most recent charge. It's kinda a double whammy as the grossest too. Being a nanny your days can be filled with equal parts magic, funny and gross. My charge Z and I had just returned home from our adventuring for the day. We were both "pooped". Being a kid of routine and I, a nanny who's a firm believer in one too, we naturally went into our nap time routine. While I settled in putting our bags away Z went about her merry way getting ready while I followed behind to snuggle, sing our sleepy song and tuck her in. Not 2 minutes later Z screams with great fright "Nannnnnnnnyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!". My heart racing I instantly think... snake?Intruder?Boogieman? Ready to karate chop someone or something I ran into her room. Flipping the light switch on I find Z pointing in terror to a large coil of something now illuminated and clearly doggy doo on her toddler bed! Z and I simultaneously erupt in "EEEWWWW"s. Jumping up and down and totally grossed out. We found ourselves in full gleeful giggle mode, with tears in our eyes from our belly laughs. The surprise compliments of Z's big teddy bear of a dog, who unbeknownst to us had sneaked the kitty cats food earlier that morning. Poor pup. Imagine my relief that I didn't have to get all Chuck Norris! POOP!! That I can handle. I still giggle thinking of the two of us jumping up and down, loosing it over poop.
Favorite thing about being a nanny:  
I whole heartedly love developing deep and meaningful bonds with all my charges. Being welcomed into a family as a trusted care giver, co-parent and honorary family member is tremendously fulfilling. One of my favorite quotes that really embodies for me the joy of being a nanny is;
"When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments — tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become."— Louis Pasteur, French chemist and microbiologist
What is your strongest quality as a nanny?  
I believe my strongest quality as a nanny is my mindfulness. I make myself very aware of my nanny family's needs, lifestyle, philosophy and home all while paying close attention to detail. But beyond this I am extremely mindful of my connectedness to my nanny kiddos. Their personalities, emotional and physical needs. Natural rhythm. Likes/dislikes and interests. Engaging them in daily activities that foster cognitive skills and inspire creativity, independence, confidence, manners and awareness of others. My goal always is to help my nanny family have the happiest, healthiest, well adjusted and mindful child so it starts with my own approach and what I bring to the table.
Favorite place to bring children on an outing in Atlanta:  
Atlanta is a city full of amazing kid friendly parks, hiking trails,museums and hidden gems. One of my favorite year round places to take children on an outing to is Historic Fourth Ward Park located right off the Atlanta Beltline. It has an awesome mulch free play park featuring 2 playgrounds for  big and little kids. A large splash pad perfect for cooling down on a Hotlanta summer day. My favorite part of the park is the often over looked portion across from the playground. With its amphitheater perfect for counting and climbing stairs, fountain, waterfalls, walking trails, ducks, turtles and fish to feed its the perfect city oasis making for endless dialog with kids.
Favorite activities to do with kids on a rainy day:  
On a rainy day I love nothing more than a visit to the High Museum of Art or the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. I also enjoy curating hands on art projects and educational activities perfect for indoor play on a rainy day.
What is your educational background? 
Although I currently do not hold a college degree I consider myself highly competent, educated through self study and hands on experience. I am an avid book worm. Being very passionate about early childhood education, different cultural norms regarding child rearing and general caregiving I tend to read all I can get my hands on. As a current and proud member of the International Nanny Association I am interested in becoming an INA Credentialed Nanny. I am always looking for training opportunities to continue to expand upon my nanny knowledge.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love spending time with my little family exploring Atlanta and all it has to offer. We are a very musical minded family. I enjoy seeing live music and listening to records at home from our large record collection. I am a super creative person and enjoy all things esthetic. I love seeing art, making art and talking art. Often my favorite "me" time is getting lost in a good book. Nothing like being cuddled in bed with my fur baby Chicken (my BoShih rescue pup) at my side, a quiet house and book in hand.
When are you available to start a new position?
I am available to start immediately and as soon as I find my perfect nanny family fit. From experience I have found this to be crucial in achieving a happy charge, happy nanny family and being the best nanny possible! I'm very hopeful with the help of Your Happy Nest that  I will find my next nanny family and I can't wait to start!

 

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What About Taxes?

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Now that you have found the perfect nanny for your family, you might be coming to the realization that you are officially an "employer."   So where do you start?  What are the employment laws in your state?  How will you know how much to deduct from your nanny's salary? How often are you supposed to report her earnings to the IRS? Is there a way to do direct deposits for your nanny? What if you are audited by the IRS? How can you know you did everything correctly?

All of these questions can be daunting, and managing nanny and household help taxes can be time consuming.  Your Happy Nest encourages all of our clients to consider the trusted services of HomePay by Breedlove.  The professionals at HomePay have taken all of the guesswork out of household employer tax requirements.  Not only will they help you navigate your IRS obligations, they offer many services that greatly simplify the process.  Along with expert guidance and support, they offer many services such as payroll management and tax filing.  Download their free e-book and check out the video below to learn more about their services, or simply give them a call for a free consultation. (888-273-3356)  We have a great relationship with this company, so don't forget to tell them that Your Happy Nest sent you!

downloadFreeEBook

 

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Conquering the Nanny Tax

Untitled designJust in time for summer, senior accountant Diana Spatoulas answers important questions about handling the tax implications of household employees.  via Accounting Today

Now that the school year has ended, it is time to consider child care during the summer months.Instead of sending children to day care or summer day camp, many parents consider hiring a nanny or frequent baby sitter to watch their children. As if balancing work and childrearing is not challenging enough, if parents get outside help to care for their children at home, they will also need to understand the tax implications. Unless they are tax experts, they probably have a few questions about how to do things correctly.

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If parents have a nanny or frequent babysitter watching their children at home, that person is considered a household employee if she is in charge of what work is done and how it is done (which is usually the case). It does not matter whether the person works full time or part time, or that the person was hired through an agency or from a list provided by an agency or association. It also does not matter whether the person is paid for the job or on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. READ MORE

See Your Happy Nest at the CSRA Baby Expo in Augusta, Ga.

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Simple Bliss Events is hosting the 2015 CSRA Baby Expo!

Saturday, February 7, 2015 at The Legends Club of Augusta.

Doors open at 9am!

Stop by our booth to receive a free "Happy Nest" charm (while supplies last) and register to win a free Annual Babysitting Membership (a $200 value!)

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Admission is FREE!  Click here to register and receive your free tickets.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Holiday bonus and gift ideas for your nanny!

What should I give my nanny for a holiday bonus- This time of year we get a lot of inquiries from our wonderful families on what an appropriate holiday gift would be for their nanny.

Your holiday gift can depend on several factors:

  • How long has your nanny been with your family?
  • Is she your full-time nanny or just an occasional fill in or babysitter?
  • Are you happy with the job your nanny is doing and do you want to keep her with your family for the long-term?

The typical rule of thumb for a regular nanny that works full or part-time hours is one to two weeks of pay. Families will also often give extra paid days off around the holidays as an added bonus. If you just have an occasional sitter or fill in nanny, a gift card for a massage, restaurant you know she likes or a handbag you know she has been eyeing are all appreciated gifts!

I also always suggest giving the nanny a handmade gift from your children. Nannies become nannies because they love children so they always appreciate a handmade picture frame with a picture of your child, a Christmas ornament made by your child or any other cute holiday craft you come up with!

At the end of the day, a holiday gift is a generous bonus and an opportunity for you to show your nanny how much you value their contribution to your family. Any gift that you feel is appropriate will be appreciated and accepted happily by your nanny.

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