Your Happy Nanny Cincinnati April--Kelly M.

Meet Kelly M., our Your Happy Nanny for the month of April!  

Kelly is seeking a full time nanny position for this summer!  She is available to start on May 28th and commit until August 3rd.  Kelly has her bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education with a 4th/5th grade reading endorsement and is a first grade teacher.  Your Happy Nest has worked with Kelly in the past and has a full background report on file.  Kelly is CPR and First Aid certified and available to interview immediately! 

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What part of Cincinnati do you live in?  I currently live in Mount Lookout, but I am moving to West Chester in the beginning of May.

Where are you from originally?  I am originally from Minster, Ohio which is a really small town about 2 hours north of Cincinnati.

What language(s) do you speak?  I speak English.

How long have you been a nanny?  I have over nine years of experience in childcare including being a nanny and working in various school settings as well.  I was a nanny throughout high school and college and I now nanny during the summers.

Do you have a favorite age and why?  I have experience working with children from newborns to teenagers, so it is difficult for me to have a favorite age!  I would say I have a favorite age range from 2-3 years old. Children at this age start to show their personality and are exploring, becoming more independent, and being social and curious.  I love to introduce children of all ages to new challenges and watch them grow!

Funniest nanny moment:  I like to ask kids I nanny for how old they think I am.  Most of the time the kids are way off and I get some pretty funny guesses!  I was nannying for a family with two kids and one of them guessed that I was 7 years old and the other one guessed 75 years old.  I am 24 years old, so they were a little off!

Favorite thing about being a nanny:  My favorite thing about being a nanny is being part of a child’s development. It is very rewarding watching a child face challenges and be successful.  I love to watch children grow and know that I can be a positive impact in their life!

What is your strongest quality as a nanny?  My strongest quality as a nanny is my experience in early childhood education.  I know about the different stages of childhood development as far as where kids should be at and how I can help them explore their curiosities. I have a passion for bringing creativity to kids and helping them learn!

Favorite place to bring children on an outing in Cincinnati:  I love to taking children of all ages to the various beautiful parks in Cincinnati. I also love to take kids to the pool, zoo, and aquarium.

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Favorite activities to do with kids on a rainy day:  On a rainy day, I love to do arts and crafts and play board games!

What is your educational background?  I graduated from the Ohio State University with a bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education with a 4th/5th grade and reading endorsement. I am currently a first grade teacher at Monroe Primary School.  I have experience student teaching in a daycare, preschool, 1st grade, and 2nd grade classroom.

What do you like to do in your free time?  I love to cook, paint, listen to music, and explore the city of Cincinnati! I love to be outdoors when the weather is nice, and I also love to stay in on a rainy day to read books and watch movies.

When are you available to start a new position?  I am available to start on May 28th!

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!

INA

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.

Your Happy Nanny Cincinnati November 2016- Christiane Sears

We have a fantastic new candidate for November's nanny of the month!  Christiane is a seasoned nanny who has experience caring for children of all ages.  She enjoys spending quality time with children, doing arts & crafts, creative play, reading books, trips to museums, parks and the library.  Christiane is a humanitarian at heart.  She has a passion for helping the less fortunate and assisting with nonprofit organizations.  Christiane resides in the Cincinnati area and is a seeking a long term full time or part time position.  Schedule an interview with her asap through Your Happy Nest before another family snatches her up!

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Where are you from originally? 

I was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, although I haven’t lived in Cincinnati my whole life. As an adult, I’ve had the opportunity to live in several states around the country, as well as, overseas in Africa and Europe.

How long have you been a nanny?

I have been a nanny for eighteen years.

When did you know that working with children was your calling?

As a teenager, I volunteered at the YMCA. Several of us were there looking after the children, although most of the kids wanted to play with me. That’s when I realized kids were drawn to me and it was something I was naturally good at. Also during that time I realized how rewarding and fun it was to work with kids.

Do you have a favorite age and why? 

I love four year olds! They love learning and have lots of curiosity! It’s exciting to see them grow in independence and I appreciate their excitement in trying new things.

Funniest nanny moment:

I’m not sure if it was the funniest or the most embarrassing moment. A parent came home unexpectedly to find me and the kids dressed up in costume, dancing and singing to music. We had the music up pretty loud so I didn’t hear them come in. I was completely startled when I noticed them and screamed out loud, then, of course, laughed at the fact that they caught me acting so silly.

Favorite thing about being a nanny: 

I enjoy spending quality time with children: doing arts & crafts, creative play, dancing, giving hugs and high-fives, telling stories, reading books, riding bikes, skating, swimming, hiking, taking trips to museums, parks and the library. None of that sounds like work, does it?

What is your strongest quality as a nanny? 

Some of my strengths would be that I am patient, kind, calm and consistent. I believe it's important to instill morals and good values into a child's life. I do my best to help them learn to make good choices, treat others with respect, and be compassionate. Also I would say that I am very responsible and can be counted on. I follow through and stay true to my word. I am dependable.

Favorite place to bring children on an outing: 

There are so many fun places around our city. It’s hard to pick a favorite! I love taking the kids to Union Terminal. The Natural History & Science Museum, Cincinnati History Museum and the Children’s Museum are all located there. There are unlimited options for educational activities to do and the kids love going. Hiking at any of our Cincinnati Parks and going to the Ohio Renaissance Festival are great outings too!

What do you like to do in your free time?

I am a humanitarian at heart and have spent most of my life volunteering my time to help the less fortunate and assist nonprofits. I’ve spent time overseas as an International Humanitarian Aid Worker. I’ve traveled extensively throughout the country and around the world. I also enjoy the arts, adventure, and accomplishments. I was a supernumerary for the Cincinnati Opera. I once was a competitive bodyboarder and played a semi-professional sport for the Cincinnati Rollergirls. I am a photographer, avid ballroom dancer, artist and entrepreneur. I like to be creative and enjoy interior design. I love organization, cleaning out people's closets and making their home more functional. Animals and children have always been a big part of my life. I read daily and enjoy being outdoors.

Who is your hero?

First and foremost Jesus Christ is my hero and then I’d have to say Corrie Ten Boom.

If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

A dry aged NY strip; lobster mac-n-cheese; salad with Asian pears, spiced walnuts, and gorgonzola; and cheesecake for dessert from the Capital Grille.

When are you available to start a new position?

Next week!

 

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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

Grocery Bag Gingerbread People Craft

Gingergirls With the holidays quickly approaching, I'm sure many of you, parents and nannies, are thinking, "How am I going to keep the children occupied all winter vacation long?" Well have no fear, Your Happy Nest is here...to provide you with easy, at-home crafts that your children are sure to love!

First up are these adorable Grocery Bag Gingerbread People. My nanny children are busy learning about shapes, so we decorated ours with just that. However, you children might love using cotton balls, felt, or other materials you have hanging around the house.

Here's a quick step-by-step tutorial for making you very own Grocery Bag Gingerbread Person! Have fun!

  1. Gather your materials. You shouldn't need many! We used a paper grocery bag, scissors, markers, glue, and construction paper.

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2. Cut open your grocery bag, so you can draw a gingerbread person on the side without print. Cut out your gingerbread person. We did all gingerbread girls because my nanny children are both little girls.

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3.  Decorate your gingerbread person! We reviewed our shapes as we decorated our people. The girls loved it!

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4. Hang your gingerbread person in a spot for the whole family to enjoy!

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Cincinnati Holiday Activities 2015

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YOUR HAPPY NEST CINCINNATI HAS CREATED A LIST OF CHILD FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.

For more details click on the images below.

brickmas picBRICKmas AT NEWPORT OF THE LEVEE

December 31st and January 1st 4:00 PM - 8:30 PM

RICKmas is a fun holiday attraction that provides a place for LEGO lovers of all sizes to come celebrate one of the world's favorite toys and see some awesome LEGO displays.

BRICKmas features more than 13 large-scale LEGO displays and is the largest display of its kind in the surrounding states. Two of the more notable displays include a 30 ft. model of the iconic Roebling Bridge and the popular Music Hall display, which will also boast a replica of Washington Park.

The attraction also features an interactive area where children can build their own “brick” masterpieces; color and decorate

UnknownA CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS PRESENTED BY THE CHILDREN'S THEATRE OF CINCINNATI 

December 4-6; December 12-13

Bring your family and celebrate Christmas with our live rendition of your favorite holiday special!  Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holidays get you down - Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang are here to remind us all about what’s most important during this Yuletide season.  2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the animated television special, A Charlie Brown Christmas.

trainCHRISTMAS AT enterTRAINment JUNCTION

November 14- January 2016

Create a holiday tradition for your family! See the magic of Christmas at the home of the World's Largest Indoor Train Display. Take a "Journey to the North Pole", where you can can meet Mrs. Claus and Santa himself. See our "Main Street Holiday Trains" displays which offers some beautiful winter train displays that are FREE to the public. Extended Hours! From December 12th through December 23rd and December 26th through December 30th we will remain open until 9pm. The Junction is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas day and closes at 4pm on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Santa goes on vacation after Christmas.

maxresdefaultFESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AT THE CINCINNATI ZOO & BOTANICAL GARDEN 

November 21-January 2

The Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo has become the region's largest and most anticipated holiday event with 2.5 million lights sparkling well past Christmas. The special holiday entertainment, carolers, children's activities, Gingerbread Village, reindeer, train rides, the NEW Wild Lights Show on Swan Lake.

iceFOUNTAIN SQUARE ICE RINK

October 30-Febuary 15

The Fountain Square ice rink is located in the center of the redesigned Square, in view of the fountain. At 7,000 square feet, it is about the size of the rink at New York's Rockefeller Center. Amenities include skate rental, lockers, benches, and a heated tent with vending machines for snacks and drinks. Hot drinks and sweets are available at Graeter's on the Square and at Ingredients across the street.

PrintHOLIDAYS DOWNTWON

Ho ! Ho! Ho! It’s Santa at Macy’s Fountain Place!

Fridays and Saturdays, November 27—December 19, 12-8 p.m.
Sundays, November 29—December 20; 12-6 p.m.
Monday – Thursday, December 21-24, 12-5 p.m.

FREE! Bring your own camera for photos with downtown’s only Santa in a festive North Pole setting.Courtesy of Macy’s.

Visit with an African American Santa from 3-7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3, 10, and 17!

Story time with Mrs. Claus at Macy’s Fountain Place

Macy’s Fountain Place, 505 Vine Street, Third Floor

Saturdays, November 2 8, December 5 and 12

Immediately following Macy’s Downtown Dazzle fireworks

FREE! Courtesy of Macy’s.

Weekend Carriage Rides at Macy’s Celebration Station

Boards at corner of Fifth and Race Streets

November 2 7-29, December 5-6, 12-13, noon–5 p.m.

(Final boarding at 4:45 p.m.–please arrive early!)

FREE! Enjoy free horse-drawn trolley carriage rides through the heart of the city. Courtesy of Macy’s.

trains1_700x396HOLIDAY JUNCTION AT THE CINCINNATI MUSEUM CENTER

November 6-January 3

The Cincinnati Museum Center hosts an annual celebration of model trains each holiday season. Enjoy the four-level, multi-train layout with vintage trains traveling through one-of-a-kind towns, through hills and mountains, and across bridges. A four-level layout of simultaneously running trains, two dioramas recreating pages from the Lionel train "wish books," and a display of some of the oldest model trains ever produced inspire visitors of every age. Children will enjoy special activities designed just for them, including a journey by train through a winter wonderland and crafts in the Kids' Corner.

 

HIL1_20130810133136708HOLIDAY IN LIGHTS AT SHARON WOODS

November 20-January 2

Built over a mile of wooded roadway, the holiday themed displays of fantastic seasonal color adorns the woods, depicting everything from Santa Claus and his elves to every animal on the ark. There's no need to bundle up to enjoy Holiday in Lights; simply warm up the car, turn your radio dial to Warm 98

krohnfeatured-400x184KROHN HOLIDAY SHOW: POINSETTIA EXPRESS

November 14-January 3

The 2015 Holiday Show at Krohn is blossoming with the sweet twist of peppermint this season!  Hop on the Poinsettia Express and explore a landscape of swirling trees and striped blooms of deep reds and rich chartreuse.  Candy cane striped amaryllis, crimson poinsettias dappled in white, spiral junipers, and speckled caladiums create a charming floral setting for this year’s interactive train display and botanical architecture.  Trains carrying peppermint candies interweave with fascinating “gingerbread” houses made of all natural materials.  Refresh your holiday spirit with your family and friends this year at Krohn Conservatory!

Visitors will also experience local musicians, the Schmalz Family holiday display, extended “candlelight” hours and great photo opportunities.

squareMACYS LIGHT UP THE SQAURE 

November 27th, 6pm-9pm

This annual lighting of the holiday tree, sparkling with more than 20,000 lights and an illuminated, five-foot-tall red star, on Fountain Square officially welcomes the holiday season. Festivities will begin at 6:00pm with live music, food, and music by local bands. Followed by the official tree lighting ceremony and fireworks show!

Pancakes-with-Santa_700x200PANCAKES WITH SANTA

Saturday, December 5th, 10am-12pm

Create your own flapjack masterpiece at our pancake buffet, enjoy family-friendly hands-on activities and take photos with the jolly man in the red suit, Santa Claus. Treat your guests to a first class experience with one private hour in Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains and the Art of the Brick.

 

noseRUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL

Dec 9th, 6:30PM

The beloved TV classic RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season.  Come see all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius  and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life in RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL.  It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special.  Don’t miss this wonderful holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us.

 

Reserved for Santa 700x396SANTA'S ARRIVAL & UNION TERMINAL TREE LIGHTING

Friday, November 27th, 2015

The holidays just aren’t the holidays until Santa Claus arrives! Join us the day after Thanksgiving as Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive by helicopter at the base of Union Terminal's fountain, turn on the Christmas tree in our Grand Rotunda and usher in the holiday season here at Cincinnati Museum Center. It's a family tradition that you won't want to miss!

  

UnknownSANTA’S WORKSHOP AT WASHINGTON PARK 

November 28th, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Who needs long lines, pricey photo sets, grumpy kids? This year, ditch your annual trip to the mall and venture down to Washington Park. Why? To see Santa Claus of course!

That’s right — every Saturday in December, Santa and is merry band of Elves will be spending time in Washington Park making gifts, ornaments and other fun creations from 1pm to 3pm, Santa. Bring your family, bring your wish lists, but most all–be sure to bring your cameras!

2015 Activity Schedule:

November 28th: Rudolph & Friends

Activity: Create your own “Reindeer Games” board game with Happen, Inc. or explore Mr. Cowpie’s winter animal education farm.

December 5th: Carol Karaoke

Activity: Build your own “Holiday Ornament” board game with Happen, Inc. or sing carols with Melodic Connections.

December 12th: Frozen Fun

Activity: Make your own wrapping paper with Happen, Inc. or take photos with your favorite characters from Frozen.

December 19th: Let It Snow

Activity: Design your own holiday stocking with Happen, Inc. or enjoy story time with the Cincinnati Public Library

tubingTHE BEACH MOUNTAIN

Opening November 20th!

Snow Tubing is a fun and exciting wintertime activity that brings people together and creates amazing memories. It is just like sledding – only it’s faster and more accessible. Beach Mountain has OVER 100,000 Christmas lights on our property!

imagesTHE CHRISTMAS RANCH

November 27-December 31

Located on five beautiful acres, The Christmas Ranch offers visitors more than 1 million dancing lights which are synchronized to music using state-of-the-art technology! This true winter wonderland has been featured nationally on HGTV and ABC's Good Morning America!

WaterWonderland_ScubaSanta015.ashxWATER WONDERLAND WITH SCUBA SANTA 

November 27-December 31

Discover the magic of the all-NEW Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa® as Newport Aquarium presents a holiday celebration under the sea. It’s an experience that's overflowing with enchantment and fun new experiences the whole family will love.

Join the fun as Scuba Santa fills his air tank with magic bubbles - and sends them throughout the Aquarium creating an enchanted Water Wonderland. Be amazed as you're surrounded by lights and bubbles dancing to holiday music in Shark Ray Bay Theater, where you'll also have the opportunity to meet Scuba Santa one-on-one.

The undersea celebration continues with holiday music and more magical bubbles as you journey through the Bizarre and Beautiful Gallery, where the ceiling is filled with hundreds of twinkling sea creature lights. The white gators in Gator Alley are having fun with a truckload of seasonal cheer and special decorations. Now even Mighty Mike loves the holidays. It’s squiggly wiggly jiggly fun in the Jellyfish Gallery as the jellyfish dance and float in rhythm to their very own holiday soundtrack creating a living light show.

The all-new Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa is a truly wondrous experience where families connect and interact with the magic of an undersea holiday celebration.

whitewater-polar-expressWHITEWATER VALLEY RAILROAD

All Abroad The POLAR EXPRESS(TM) Train Ride

November 20 - December 20

The POLAR EXPRESS(TM) returns this holiday season with service to the North Pole. The POLAR EXPRESS(TM) comes to life when the train departs Connersville's Grand Central Station for a journey through the quiet countryside for a special stop at the "North Pole" to allow Santa Claus to board the POLAR EXPRESS. Guests on board will enjoy hot chocolate and a cookie while listening and reading along with the magical story.

Experience the joy of watching the children's faces when the train arrives at the "North Pole," where Santa Claus and his helpers will be waiting. Santa will board the POLAR EXPRESS(TM) where he will greet each child and hand them the special first gift of Christmas during the return to the station. You will surely want to make this an annual holiday tradition.

santa-trainWHITEWATER VALLEY RAILROAD

Santa Claus Limited

Saturday November 28, 2015

Board the train at Grand Central Station in Connersville to pick up Santa Claus along the way. Once on board Santa will come and visit with each child on the train. Train departs at 9:30am, 11:45am and 2pm. Purchase Santa Claus Limited Tickets ONLINE or call 765-825-2054 To Order By Phone.

(NOTE: These trains are not affiliated with the POLAR EXPRESS)

Your Happy Nest is now serving Cincinnati, OH!

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Your Happy Nest is excited to announce we are now serving the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Metropolitan Area!  Meet Kristina, our placement provider in Cincinnati, OH.  Kristina has been working with our Atlanta branch since July of 2014.  Kristina recently decided to relocate back to Cincinnati to be near family and lifelong friends.  Take a look at Kristina's bio below and please spread the exciting news to families and nannies who live in the greater Cincinnati area.

FullSizeRenderI am excited to annouce that Your Happy Nest is expanding to my hometown of Cincinnati, OH!  I was first introduced to Your Happy Nest when I volunteered to be an organizer for the National Nanny Training Day event in Atlanta that was hosted in 2014.  While organizing the event I became acquainted with the staff at Your Happy Nest and felt they were a quality type of agency that supports both the nannies and families needs!  Before working with the agency I was a profesional nanny in the Cincinnati area for 8 years and in 2010 I accepted a nanny position in Atlanta, GA.  My favorite part of being a nanny is the special relationships that I am able to develop with the children I am caring for.  Working with Your Happy Nest has given me the opportunity to help others find the same wonderful experience I enjoy so much.  In August of 2013 I welcomed my first child just 8 minutes before my birthday.  As a new mother I can relate to a parents needs and concerns when hiring someone to care for their child.  As a placement provider my goal is to take the stress out of finding an exceptional nanny so that parents can go to work with a peace of mind knowing their child will be in great hands.

allgirlsreading**A special thank you to Burning Chair Photography for capturing our adorable promo pics!

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!

 

Joleigh poppins

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!

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[embed]https://youtu.be/2VVRut1PGqU[/embed]

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

Your Happy Nanny- Ashley Alves

Ashley Alves- Your Happy Nanny for April 2015! Meet Ashley Alves, Your Happy Nanny for April 2015! Ashley has multiple degrees in Fashion and Design from Savannah College of Art and Design and Georgia Southern. She currently has a job in design early in the day and is looking for an after school position. She is hoping to find a family centrally located in the Buckhead or surrounding areas. Ashley is available starting at 2pm every day. Please take a look at Ashley's profile and let us know if you'd like to schedule an interview with her. She is available to start a new position ASAP!

What part of Atlanta do you live in?

Ansley Park, Midtown Atlanta Area

Where are you from originally?

East Providence, Rhode Island

What language(s) do you speak?

English | Family Speaks Portuguese & French

How long have you been a nanny?

5 Years Not On a consistent basis

Do you have a favorite age and why?

Toddlers 3 Years Of Age : A child’s personality is usually fully developed by three. In fact, that is when the are at their rarest form of exploration and self identity. It is truly an eventful time to be a part of.

Funniest nanny moment:

On a day trip, I stopped at a upscale lunch for a quick lunch time bite with my assigned child. During the usually bathroom visit, he noticed that the toilet was black as is most modern upscale restaurants are doing as a trend. To sum it up, he was completely horrified! He thought it was one big black hole and absolutely refused to go potty. It was completely overwhelmed with laughs while reassuring him of his safety while going to the bathroom.

Favorite thing about being a nanny:

My favorite thing about being a nanny is the hearing the originality and humor of the child’s day to day activities. I am all about the laughs!

What is your strongest quality as a nanny?

My strongest quality as a nanny is being able to keep children inspired yet motivated to maintain and conduct themselves in a proper manner while having a ball! Its all about making every activity fun yet productive.

Favorite place to bring children on an outing in Atlanta:

I love to accompany children to the aquarium. I myself am very interested in marine life; in fact I majored in Oceanography for a short time during undergrad.

Favorite activities to do with kids on a rainy day:

The best activity on a rainy day is a creative project. Painting is one of my favorites. I allows the children to embrace feeling, mood, and creativity all at the same time.

What is your educational background?

B.S. in Apparel Design & merchandising | Georgia Southern University

M.F.A. in Fashion | Savannah College of Art and Design

M.A. in Illustration | Savannah College of Art and Design

What do you like to do in your free time?

I am a artist of all trades. I am a designer, painter, illustrator, and entrepreneur. I enjoy building my brand Ashley Alves Collection | BOLSA VERDE, an innovative green living reusable bag line. I am the sole owner all duties such as sketching, sewing, merchandising, and sales and events. Also, on the weekends, I instruct art courses, art camp for children ages 5-9, and special Girl Scout Art events. When I am not creating, I enjoy yoga, hiking, and playing outdoors. As a former athlete I find intramural sports such as football, soccer, kickball, and softball to be my go-to activity to recharge.

When are you available to start a new position?

I am actually currently looking for an after-school position 2pm-7pm.

Here is Ashley with one of her nanny kids!

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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