How a Household Manager Can Work for your Family!

How a Household Manager Can Work for your Family!

Do you have difficulty accomplishing all of the necessary household tasks in your home each week? If you need assistance handling the many household tasks necessary to keep your household running smoothly, a family assistant or household manager might be a good option for your family! Families who hire a full time nanny may feel like they want to transition to a part time after school nanny after their child starts school, but there are many benefits to keeping a full time person with your family.

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Your Happy Nanny Atlanta January -- Elizabeth W.

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Meet Elizabeth W., our Your Happy Nanny for the month of January! If you’re seeking someone intelligent, bubbly, organized, and loving to join your family, then she’s your girl! Elizabeth has been working in childcare for 10+ years, has incredible references, and is actively seeking a new nanny/household management position. Contact us today to schedule an interview with Elizabeth!

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What part of Atlanta do you live in? North Decatur, GA near Emory University.

Where are you from originally? Atlanta, GA – Born and raised.

What language(s) do you speak? English

How long have you been a nanny? I’ve been working with children now for over 15 years, but a nanny for probably about 10 years!

Do you have a favorite age and why? Yes! 3-5 years old because they’re so cute and like little sponges where they are so excited to learn about everything and take it in. I love that they are a little bit more independent at this age so they can engage more in talks, art, and fun activities. I also love that their personalities begin to show more here.

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Funniest nanny moment: The kids and I made a video of us singing along and dancing silly to a song, and then we watched it a million times laughing so hard in tears! So much fun!

Favorite thing about being a nanny:  Being a part of a family and having mini best friends!

What is your strongest quality as a nanny?  I have a great balance of being fun, but firm. The children see me as their friend, but also as an authority figure that they must respect.

Favorite place to bring children on an outing in Atlanta: Botanical Gardens! It involves exercise, education, nature, play, beauty, imagination, and areas to rest. We can also eat lunch there which is nice!

Favorite activities to do with kids on a rainy day: ART! I love doing art activities with the kids.

What is your educational background? Marketing Degree, Early Childhood Education Certification, Small Business Certification, and Marketing Management Certification

What do you like to do in your free time? Go hiking, spend time with my dogs, create healthy, plant based meals.

What special skills do you bring to a family as their nanny? The biggest blessing that I have been told by several families is that what I bring them the most is PEACE OF MIND! They can freely work or go out and not have to worry about their kids but rather know that they’re in great care and having a great time. Also great communication, creativity, and trustworthiness.

When are you available to start a new position? ASAP!

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Your Happy Nanny Atlanta December--Latonia W.

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Parents, meet Latonia! Latonia is a warm, professional woman with 20+ years of experience in her field. Her exceptional past experiences include working as a baby nurse, doula, nanny, and household manager. She has infant, twin, and triplet experience too! Don’t miss out on your opportunity to interview Latonia as she won’t be looking for a new family to work with very long!

What part of Atlanta do you live in? Duluth. Gwinnett County

Where are you from originally? Greenville, MS

What language(s) do you speak? English

How long have you been a nanny? Over 20 years of nanny, baby nurse, and new mommy/baby doula experience.

Do you have a favorite age and why? I can’t really say I have a favorite age, they are all fun in their individual way. I do like to begin with a family in the early baby stage and grow with them. There is something special about growing with and helping to rear from early childhood.

Funniest nanny moment: Kids in general tickle me. Everyday is funny. They tend to say the darnedest things and it is mostly the unadulterated truth.

Favorite thing about being a nanny: My favorite thing about being a nanny is the gift of having input into a young life, being able to teach some of the first subjects and do some of the first things children will experience in life.

What is your strongest quality as a nanny? My strongest quality as a nanny would be my ability to nurture, relate, and identify with kids. Kids naturally cling to me. I think they feel my spirit, the love I have for them. I have always had a strong bond with every child I’ve had the pleasure of caring for.

Favorite place to bring children on an outing in Atlanta: I love taking kids to the park, Aquarium, the Atlanta Zoo, The Children’s Museum, Music Class and Gymboree Play and Learn.

Favorite activities to do with kids on a rainy day: Rainy day activities include, arts and crafts (sometimes catered to the season or holiday), building forts, imagination play, dance party, baking or cooking or playdates with friends.

What is your educational background? I have a high school diploma, Patient Care Certification, and am currently working on my BS in Business.

What do you like to do in your free time? I love hosting dinner parties with friends, game night, traveling, shopping, and I’m active in the children’s ministry at my church.

What special skills do you bring to a family as their nanny? I have experience as a labor and delivery nurse, baby nurse, new mother/baby doula, nanny, house manager and assistant. All of these jobs give me the extra skills and ability to work with families no matter their needs.

When are you available to start a new position? As soon as the right family is found.

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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!

Your Happy Nanny March Atlanta -- Latonjia Smith

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Your Happy Nest is pleased to announce that our Your Happy Nanny for the month of March is Latonjia Smith.  Latonjia has over 20 years of experience working as a professional nanny (including long term work with two sets of twins!) and has also worked as a nurse, infant care specialist, and home health care provider.   She loves working with children of all ages and is currently looking for a new family to work with long term in the Atlanta area.  Contact us today to set up an interview with Latonjia!

What part of Atlanta do you live in?

Marietta Georgia with my wonderful family.

‪Where are you from originally? 

I'm from Northwest Atlanta. I was born and raised here so I'm an original.

How long have you been a nanny?

I have been a professional nanny for over 20 years.  I have worked for 6 families who I have left a really positive impact on.

Do you have a favorite age and why? 

I can't say that I have a favorite age. I have raised children from newborns to teens. Three of the children that I raised have now graduated from college.

Funniest nanny moment:

One of my funny and memorable moments happened when one of my families got pregnant with a set of twins.  The parents sat me and their little girl down to give us the awesome news.  The then-5-year-old looked at her parents and said: " That's awesome! Because Shasha(me) and you will have your babies at the same time. Both of you ladies have humpie tummies." Soooo funny!

Favorite thing about being a nanny:

I love being a nanny, because I love children. I also enjoy watching them grow and being a part of the reason they blossom. Plus the strong connection and bonds I build with my families are forever.

What is your strongest quality as a nanny?

I am a very organized person who believes in good communication. I also provide the children with bottomless love.

‪Favorite place to bring children on an outing in Atlanta:

There are so many things I love to do.  Some of my favorites are: the children's museum, picnics in the park, aquarium. Anything that would make the children happy.

Favorite activities to do with kids on a rainy day: 

Sing, dance, arts and crafts. I have played with dolls and doll houses. Race cars and race tracks. I always give the children options.

What is your educational background?

I am a CNA. Graduated from Rutledge  College School of Nursing.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy being outside in nature. I'm an organizer for a girls leisure group and we enjoy getting together to try new restaurants.

What special skills do you bring to a family as their nanny?

Organization, safety, love, education, and great communication.

When are you available to start a new position?

I am available to start in the month of April 2017 with a wonderful family.

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Your Happy Nanny Atlanta February 2017 - Kathleen Burke

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Our Your Happy Nanny for the month of February is Kathleen (Katy) Burke.  Katy recently moved to Atlanta from North Carolina and is seeking a full-time nanny position to begin as soon as the right family is found.  Katy has worked as a full-time live in nanny and has extensive experience working with both children and adults who have special needs.  Her most recent nanny position involved working with a child who has autism, and she wrote a children's book about her experience.  Katy is bright, happy, and ready for a new family to work with!  Check out Katy below, and let us know if you'd like to schedule an interview with her.

What part of Atlanta do you live in? 

I just got an apartment in walking distance from downtown Decatur. 

Where are you from originally?  

I was born in Denver, Colorado and lived there until I went to Emerson College in Boston.

What language(s) do you speak?

I took a few years of French in high school and wish I could have taken more!  Sometimes I play French games on my phone to practice. 

How long have you been a nanny? 

I’ve been a babysitter and mother’s helper since I was ten years old. At one point, my sister and I were the primary babysitters for at least eight different families in the neighborhood!  I began working as a live in nanny three and a half years ago.

Do you have a favorite age and why?  

I love people of all ages but babies and toddlers have a special place in my heart. I feel really lucky when I can watch those years of development first hand.

Funniest nanny moment:

In my most recent job, I watched a 5 year old with autism. He absolutely loved cats - he would meow sometimes instead of answering questions. We used to ask him all the time “Are you a cat?” and of course he would reply, “Yes.” For Halloween that year, I asked his mom if he and I could dress up together as cats and go trick or treating. We made a big show of putting on the ears, drawing whiskers and a pink nose and even putting on mittens that looked like paws. When he was finally ready we all stepped back and said, “Look, now you’re a cat!” to which he immediately replied, “Woof.” 

Favorite thing about being a nanny:  

I feel that nannying, that being a part of helping a child learn, grow and think is a very important job and I feel proud to go to work. But as much as I can give kids, they always have so much to give back to me too. Whether it be a reminder that there is nothing in the world that could beat a chocolate chip cookie or how amazing it is that the sky is blue every single day, working with kids helps me stay grounded and thankful for ordinary miracles.

What is your strongest quality as a nanny?  

I have been babysitting for about twelve years and in that time I have worked for many different families, each with their own unique lifestyles. I have come to appreciate a variety of parenting styles habits, and traditions. I think this makes me flexible in new jobs. I can easily adapt my work to fit the needs of different parents and children. 

Favorite place to bring children on an outing in Atlanta:  

I recently visited the Atlanta Aquarium for the first time and WOW- what a fun and beautiful place! I also love walks around the neighborhood and taking kids to playgrounds and libraries. My parents took me camping in the Rocky Mountains all the time, and I treasure my memories out in the sunshine. I love when I can go out to play with kids so they can run free,  breathefresh air and to explore the natural world around them.

Favorite activities to do with kids on a rainy day:  

I am a passionate crafter. Anywhere with paints, glue, glitter or ribbon is where I want to be. I also love to bake, and on rainy days there’s nothing better than warming up the house with fresh bread or muffins.

What is your educational background? 

I attended an arts middle and high school from 2006 to 2012 where I majored in theater. I then attended Emerson College in Boston, MA. for Theater Education. My major taught me how to teach children a variety of different subjects while getting kids out of their seats and emotionally involved in the material. I feel lucky that I’ve had such a strong presence of arts in my life because school did not always come easy to me and finding creative ways to learn the material was essential to my learning process. I love that now I have the tools to help kids achieve the same success. 

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time I love to craft- most recently I’ve been working on flower garlands to decorate my new apartment. I also love exploring the city and trying new restaurants. I have friends who are starting a production company here in Atlanta- so helping with their projects (by acting, cooking, running errands, etc) has been an awesome way to meet people andhave fun since I’ve been here. 

What special skills do you bring to a family as their nanny?

I am patient and creative when dealing with difficult situations. 

What's something that a family might be interested to know about you?

Last Spring I self published a children’s book titled Z is for Zip. It is a learning tool for children who have questions about their peers and siblings with autism. The illustrator and I met while volunteering at Rocky Mountain Village (an Easter Seals camp for people with disabilities in Colorado). We both volunteered several years in a row and fell in love with the campers - and in awe of all they had to teach us. The book is meant to show children that different does not mean wrong, and to treasure the wisdom of people who think differently.

When are you available to start a new position?

I’m ready and excited to start work now! 

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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.

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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Your Happy Nanny October 2016- Kristin Dube

Our Your Happy Nanny for October 2016 is Kristin Dube who lives in Charleston, SC. Kristin just recently relocated to the Charleston area from New Hampshire and is looking for a long term full time nanny position. Kristin has also become one of our go-to fill in nannies for daytime and night time babysitting and we always receive very positive feedback on her! Please read her bio below and let us know if you'd like to schedule an interview with Kristin or to book her as a sitter! 13737605_10154394461838552_411643541701943073_o

 

What part of Charleston do you live in?

I recently moved to the Ladson area.

Where are you from originally?

I’m a New Hampshire native. I grew up about an hour outside of Boston. So I’m a New England sports fan to the core.

What language(s) do you speak?

I speak English, and only a minimal amount of French..but I do speak fluent “toddler.”

How long have you been a nanny?

I’ve been nannying for 6 years, and I’ve been babysitting for many more years than that.

Do you have a favorite age and why? 

I really enjoy 9-18 months old. I’ve had such great experiences witnessing the growth and development in those months. There are so many connections being made as a baby begins to really engage with their environment on a new level. I feel like the pride and happiness a child shows as they learn to master new tasks is an amazing thing to be a part of.

Funniest nanny moment:

One time I showed up on a Monday morning and let myself in(as usual). After a few minutes with no kids or parents in sight, I realized that something didn’t seem right. Within ten minutes I realized that it was Memorial Day and not only did I have the day off, but it was a paid holiday too. I awkwardly let the family know about my mistake and we had a good laugh over it.

Favorite thing about being a nanny:

I’d say my favorite part of being a nanny is the purpose that it gives me. I gain so much from being able to help support and love someone’s little one as they grow and learn about the world around them.

What is your strongest quality as a nanny? 

I think that life should be full of activities and opportunities to learn whether it’s through singing, dancing, activities, or trial and error. I pride myself on finding new ways to teach and encourage children to be creative and curious about how and why things work the way they do. Encouraging that sort of growth and development is something I think I am naturally good at.

Favorite place to bring children on an outing in Charleston: 

Since I just moved here, I don’t have much experience going on outings here, but back in New Hampshire we always enjoyed going to the beach and doing anything outdoors.

Favorite activities to do with kids on a rainy day: 

Rainy days can be perfect for baking or lots of messy arts and crafts. They’re also a great excuse to get some new library books and build “reading nest” to snuggle up inside of. All you need is some sheets to hang up, and plenty of stuffed animals and pillows.

What is your educational background?

I’ve attended a Christian University in Illinois, but transferred back east to take night classes while I nannied full time. I plan on transferring my credits to a school down here so I can finish my degree while I continue working with kids.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Lately I’ve been trying to perfect the art of baking home made bread. Though I’ll never be as good as my mom, I’m loving the challenge. I also love to take out my DSLR to find something new and interesting to take a photo of. I’ve always enjoyed the art of capturing an image in a way that speaks for itself. I especially love taking children’s portraits and engagement photos.

When are you available to start a new position?

I’m working as a fill in nanny or a date night sitter while I wait for the right full time position, so my availability is very open and flexible. I just really want to find a family I can connect to and develop a great relationship with.

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2016 Red Tricycle Totally Awesome Awards Finalist

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We are so excited to announce that Your Happy Nest Atlanta is a finalist in the Most Helpful Childcare Resources category in Red Tricycle’s Totally Awesome Awards. Woo Hoo!  Voting runs until September 30th and the Finalist with the most votes will be the winner. If you love Your Happy Nest, we need your votes!

VOTE HERE!!!!

Your Happy Nanny- Charleston

Meet Laura Schroeder, Your Happy Nanny Charleston for the month of June!

Laura is a parent of three and full time nanny who has been credentialed by the International Nanny Association. She is Positive Discipline certified, First Aid/ CPR certified and has 25+ years child care experience.  She has a BS degree in developmental psychology, and many hours of masters work and continuing education in early childhood topics.  She is trained and experienced with newborns through teens including special needs and autism.  She has just recently been certified as a Positive Discipline Parent Educator, and has presented a local, regional and national nanny conferences on several topics including Positive Discipline, Working with Families affected by ASD, and preparing developmentally appropriate curriculum. Laura is looking for a new full time family to begin with mid August. Schedule an interview with her asap through Your Happy Nest before another family snatches her up!

Laura Schroeder

What part of Charleston do you live in?

I've lived with my husband and 3 children on James Island since 2003 and absolutely love it!

Where are you from originally?  

I was born in Huntingdon, PA, grew up in Glen Ridge, NJ, attended college in Collegeville, PA, and have also lived in Jeffersonville, PA, Collingswood, NJ, and Flower Mound, TX.

What language(s) do you speak?

I've studied French, a little Spanish, and American Sign Language, but am only fluent in English and baby sign language.

How long have you been a nanny?

I've been working with children either in social work or childcare for more than 25 years.  I've been a nanny for 14 years, and have been with my current family for 5.5 years.

Do you have a favorite age and why?

I honestly love children of all ages.  From the youngest infant cuddles all the way to high school, I love helping children learn and grow.

Favorite thing about being a nanny:  

I love working together with parents as a team in the children's best interests.  I adore having fun with children, laughing, being silly, and learning through play.  My favorite thing of all is the loving bond I enjoy with my nanny families.

What is your strongest quality as a nanny?

Aside from a genuine love of children, my greatest nanny qualities are my patience (nothing rattles me), my love of teaching, and my willingness to continue to learn and add to my knowledge of the very best childcare practices.

Favorite place to bring children on an outing in Charleston:

There are so many great places to go in Charleston and I think I've brought my nanny children to all of them!  We always have a great time at Charlestowne Landing.  We start with the zoo for science, the village for history, and the boat for imaginary play.  The open fields are great for gross motor practice, and the museum has opportunities for writing and fine motor skills.  The perfect mix of learning and fun!

Favorite activities to do with kids on a rainy day:

Rainy days are great days for cooking, crafts, board games, puzzles, and of course dance parties!  Creativity rules!

What is your educational background?

I've received my BS degree in developmental psychology, and have taken masters level classes in social work.  I studied to become an ABA therapist, and have kept up with my CPR and First Aid Certifications.  I am  certified in Child Centered Discipline, and am also a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator.  I attend local, regional and national conferences regularly and have been a recent presenter on topics including Positive Discipline, Autism, and Nanny Shares.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I'm active in my church including running the nursery every Sunday.  I also love the beach, especially swimming in the ocean.  Our family is active with the music scene in Charleston, and are often found at the new Gaillard Auditorium . If there is any time left I enjoy the gym and long walks with my dog Grace.

When are you available to start a new position?

I'm available to start with a new family anytime after August 15th and am interviewing now.

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Your Happy Nanny Atlanta - Lesley Kalvelage-Thomas

Meet our Your Happy Nanny Atlanta for June, Lesley Kalvelage-Thomas!  Lesley was previously placed in a nanny position by Your Happy Nest, but she is now seeking a new full-time nanny position to begin this summer.  Lesley has experience working with children of all ages, including experience working with twins and infant triplets!  She loves building lasting relationships with the families when works with and is looking for a great new family to work with longterm.  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 Lesley! Meet Lesley! What part of Atlanta do you live in?

Technically my neighborhood is called Summerhill but not many people know where that is. So I typically say I live between Turner Field and Grant Park.

Where are you from originally? 

I was born in Lynchburg Virginia. It is a small college city very close to the Blue Ridge Parkway. My parents raised me and my four siblings there and then we all relocated to Atlanta upon my high school graduation. My parents grew up in Atlanta.

What language(s) do you speak?

I am currently only fluent in English, however took several years of French in high school and have been listening to discs on how to learn French in your car. I love the French language and have a strong desire to eventually both master the language and live in France someday. I also would love to learn Italian because my grandmother originated there. Both languages, in my opinion, are magnifique!

How long have you been a nanny?

My very first nanny position was in 1998, although I began taking care of children at a Gold’s Gym in Virginia in 1995. I have had the honor and privilege of being a childcare professional for almost 22 years. From 1998 to now I have primarily been a long-term, full time nanny. Besides nanny positions I have worked at 2 health clubs, a Montessori school and a Country Day School. I have had 3 nanny positions for families with twins and 1 position for a family with triplets. I have watched some of my earliest children start college educations and had my first set of twins I ever cared for as junior bridesmaids in my wedding several years ago.

Do you have a favorite age and why? 

Honestly I believe there is something remarkable and beautiful about every age group. Each stage of a child’s existence, from infants to school age and beyond, there are aspects of development and growth that occur and are such an honor to witness and contribute to. I have learned as much about myself and how to be a childcare professional from some of my infant experiences as much as my toddler and school age positions. I guess if I had to specifically state a favorite it would be the toddler to preschool age group. There is just so much curiosity and intrigue at learning the simplest things during this stage of development.

Funniest nanny moment:

That is tough…. probably an experience with the triplets I cared for. They had the most energy of any group of children I had ever witnessed. Shortly after I stopped being their nanny I was over on a weekend night to babysit so their mom and dad could have a well-deserved date night. We were out in their front yard enjoying a warm summer evening of games and exerting energy before bath and bed time and they were having a blast! The next thing I know the boys have decided they needed to go potty and that doing so in their front yard was a brilliant idea. As I am hurrying over to assist in pulling up their pants and telling them that perhaps going potty inside was a better idea in the future I turn around to check on the little girl triplet. She wanted to be included in the fun and be “one of the boys” so decided to pull down her pants and stand up like her brothers and go potty. I was both surprised and entertained. I laughed so hard, tears came running down my face. It was such a shining example of one of those unpredictable and hilarious times in the life of a nanny and I still smirk when I think of how innocent the whole thing was.

Favorite thing about being a nanny: 

Building unconditionally loving, strong bonds with the children and parents. I adore the fact that my field enables me to become like part of the family. This bond, in my experience, continues beyond the actual position and has taught me a tremendous amount about being a respectable, dependable individual and how to be a loving, patient, calm, fun parent to my own child.

What is your strongest quality as a nanny? 

I would say my ability to be patient and accepting. I have worked with children with varying personalities, physical and emotional adversity/challenges and a multitude of different back grounds and upbringings. Each of my past experiences as a nanny has taught me how to be more patient, tolerant, accepting and loving towards children wherever they are in age or development. I have applied the qualities I’ve gained to nearly every relationship in my life and been more content and happy as a result.

Favorite place to bring children on an outing in Atlanta: 

I really like all of the parks and playgrounds in Atlanta. I have utilized parks throughout Atlanta and its surrounding neighborhoods and enjoyed each of them for different reasons. I suppose my all-time favorite park is Piedmont Park. You can walk, ride bikes or scooters, feed the ducks, learn about different plants and trees, play on two very different playgrounds, watch dogs play in the dog park and sit on a blanket in a grassy field and relax and read stories. It is enjoyable all 4 seasons and inevitably allows children and adults the chance to be entertained and worn out…and all without costing a dime!

Favorite activities to do with kids on a rainy day: 

Arts and crafts, reading, making up stories, board games, building forts, watching a show, science projects and little cooking projects. I also enjoy doing music and dance time during rainy days so that children can exert energy and have fun even when trapped inside.

What is your educational background?

I have been in college at several different times in my adult life and am currently on a brief hiatus from completing my degree while my husband attends Georgia Tech. I have primarily attended Georgia Perimeter College. I also attended The Art Institute of Atlanta for over a year and was going for a Graphic Design degree. I have yet to obtain a degree but have certainly learned a great deal and ultimately grown closer to knowing what it is I want to major in once it is possible for me to complete my college education. I want to be a speech therapist once I do go back to school.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Spend time with my husband, 2-and-a-half-year-old son and our 2 dogs Archie and Lyndsey. I love to read, draw, paint and listen to music. I enjoy running and doing yoga and going on hikes. I also love movies and going to concerts. I love being outside so whether at a pool or a neighborhood park, being outdoors is what makes me most content. I also enjoy going to art museums and attending local festivals and markets around Atlanta. One of my greatest passions is helping with dog rescues. I own 2 rescues and have been networking via flyers for several years to help find forever homes for dogs desperately in need. I love to write too and one day would love to get a children’s book published.

When are you available to start a new position?

I am available to begin a new position around the end of June. Ideally around June 27th but could also possibly start as soon as June 20th.

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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

Atlanta Holiday Happenings!

Happy Holidays from Your Happy Nest!  We've rounded up the best family friendly happenings around Atlanta for the 2015 season!   We wish you and yours happy holidays as we celebrate the end of a wonderful year. Holiday1Adventure to Santa. North Point Mall and Dream Works Animation take guests on a never-before-seen, magical experience. Once your journey is complete pose for a keepsake photo of your unforgettable experience. Open November 6 through December 24th.

http://www.northpointmall.com/events/adventure-to-santa

 

 

Holiday2Avalon Alpharetta. Discover the perfect holiday this season, with a variety of event to inspire and delight your holiday spirit. From Santa Claus’ arrival to outdoor skating, experience family fun in a winter wonderland all season long.

http://experienceavalon.com

 

Holiday3Teddy Bear Tea at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. On Sunday December 6th and 13th Guests will enjoy tea, hot cocoa, tea sandwiches, charming desserts, and holiday sing-a-longs. Santa will make a special visit to deliver special  Legoland Discovery Center gift bags to all the children http://callanwolde.org/event/teddy-bear-tea-3/

 

 

Holiday4Centennial Olympic Park’s Ice Rink. Enjoy a 90-minute skate session with the Atlanta skyline as your background setting. Open November 21 through January 10th.

http://www.centennialpark.com/index.php/plan-your-visit/event-calendar/winter-events/ice-rink

 

 

Holiay5Fantasy In Lights. Callaway Gardens’ is not only the South’s most spectacular holiday light and sound show, it is one of the world’s “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights,” as named by National Geographic Traveler. Runs from November 13 to January 2. http://www.callawaygardens.com/events/signature/fantasy-in-lights

Holiday6Garden Lights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The annual electrical extravaganza features spectacular light displays throughout the Garden. In 2015, explore new features like the massive Tunnel of Light along with favorites such as the Orchestral Orbs, Glittering Galaxy, Radiant Rainforest, and Model Trains that continue to make the exhibition a must-see holiday tradition. Open November 14 through January 9.

http://atlantabg.org/events-classes/events/garden-lights

 

Holiday7Holiday in Lights. Centennial Olympic Park’s annual Holiday in Lights is an Atlanta tradition. In November, the Park transforms into a winter wonderland with thousands of lights that make up the sparkling display.

Open November 21 through January 10th.

http://www.centennialpark.com/index.php/plan-your-visit/event-calendar/winter-events/hil

 

 

 

 

Holiday8Holiday in the Park. Six Flags Over Georgia is continuing its new holiday tradition as it extends its season with the addition of Six Flags Entertainment’s annual holiday festival — Holiday in the Park. More than one million LED lights and dozens of Christmas trees will create the perfect magical atmosphere this holiday season from November 21 through January 3. - See more at:

https://www.sixflags.com/overgeorgia/special-events/festival/holiday-park

Holiday9Lanier Islands Christmas. Drive across the Lanier Islands bridge and into a world of lights! Magical Nights of Lights, our Christmas classic, continues when the sun sets on Lanier Islands this holiday season. Twinkling lights come to life, transforming the landscape with pictures of Christmas wishes, millions of twinkling lights color the Islands throughout the holidays at our Magical Nights of Lights. Journey to Santa’s Holiday Village, where kids can share their Christmas wishes with the big man himself, and grab a photo memory of their special meeting. While you’re here, shop for that special Christmas gift for someone in your circle of friends and family. November 20 through January 3

http://www.lanierislands.com/magicalnightsoflights?rt=google%7Ccpc%7CLAL02-Winter-Adventure-Brand%7C%2Blanier%20%2Bislands%20%2Bchristmas&gclid=CK69mcvg9sgCFdgJgQodmYkNDA

ReindeerReindeer Day at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Don your holiday hats and get your jingle bells ready! A CNC winter tradition returns for its 5th year. Come out for a day all about winter animals and holiday cheer. Join us for these fun activities; straight from the wintery north (North Cobb that is) meet live reindeer that bring the magic and tradition of the holidays alive for the entire family!

Open December 13th, 1pm-4pm.

http://chattnaturecenter.org/events/event/reindeer-day/

 

RudolphRudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at Center For Puppetry Arts. Rudolph soars back into town for this faithful adaptation of the wonderful holiday tradition that speaks to the misfits in all of us. Based on the beloved 1964 animated special, Rudolph and his friends take the stage. Open November 12 through December 27th.

 

http://www.puppet.org/perform/rudolph.shtml

 

 

SkateSkate Atlantic Station. Skate the 10,000 square-foot, open-air ice-skating rink. Dazzling lights and holiday décor will have skaters dreaming of a white Christmas. Opens November 21

station/ttp://atlanticstation.com/event/skate-atlantic-station-9/

 

 

Stone1Stone Mountain. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas at Stone Mountain Park, where the true magic of the season is in the air. Enjoy the glow of more than two million lights, festive music and visits from some your favorite holiday characters. Start a new tradition and create memories that will last a lifetime for your kids...and you. Open November 7 through January 3 (select dates)

https://www.stonemountainpark.com/events/Stone-Mountain-Christmas

 

snowSnow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park. Spend a fun-filled day playing across five football fields of frosty joy. Zoom down the 400-foot hill all together in our family-sized tubes, or go it alone as a single rider. From snowman building to snowball shooting, tubing to togetherness, enjoy all the moments that will make for the perfect snow day. Open November 21 through February 28 (Select dates)

http://www.stonemountainpark.com/events/Snow-Mountain.aspx?cid=ppc_200094

pigThe Pink Pig. Over fifty years ago, a beloved tradition was born in Atlanta- the Pink Pig. Hop on board and ride Priscilla the Pink Pig on top of the Lenox Square Mall. A portion of the proceeds benefits Children’s Health Care of Atlanta. Open now through January 3rd .

 

http://www.macys.com/cms/ce/sitelets/pink-pig/index?cm_mmc=VanityUrl-_-pinkpig-_-n-_-n

 

nutcrackerAtlanta Ballet’s The Nutcracker at The Fabulous Fox

Always the highlight of the season, Atlanta's very own staging of the Nutcracker ballet returns this year for its 20th Anniversary! Scored by the iconic music of Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker is a wondrous adventure that has thrilled audiences the world over for over one hundred years -

www.atlantaballet.com

SCUBA Claus (1)-2Georgia Aquarium's Festival of the SEAson has all the things families love about the holidays with fun twists. Annual standards like seeing Santa are transformed with appearances from SCUBA Claus and the spectacular Holidazzle light show, Symphony of Snow musical performances and fantastical 3D-mapped, 60-foot-high atrium nature shows are perfect for creating unforgettable memories.

http://news.georgiaaquarium.org/news/ditch-tradition-and-dive-in-to-new-experiences-at-georgia-aquarium

 

Your Happy Nanny Charleston- Berkeley Fisher

Berkeley Fisher YHN pic

Meet Berkeley Fisher, our Your Happy Nanny in Charleston for December! Berkeley is a current Junior at the College of Charleston and is looking for a part time afterschool position and babysitting jobs!

What part of Charleston do you live in?

Downtown Charleston

Where are you from originally? 

Spindale, North Carolina

What language(s) do you speak?

English, limited Spanish

How long have you been a nanny?

I have been working with children for five years between being a nanny, babysitter, camp counselor, and most recently I worked at a non profit afterschool program called WINGS for underprivileged children which I absolutely loved!

Do you have a favorite age and why? 

Ages 5-10. They are so creative!

Funniest nanny moment:

The mother came home from a function and went to the children’s room to give them a kiss. The mother

said “Goodnight sweet girl,” and the daughter, half asleep, said “Goodnight my sweet babysitter.” Cutest

moment ever!

Favorite thing about being a nanny: 

I love helping kids use their imagination and creativity! Playtime is my favorite time of the day.

What is your strongest quality as a nanny? 

Keeping it fun! I am energetic and just like to play and keep kids busy.

Favorite place to bring children on an outing in Charleston: 

Waterfront Park

Favorite activities to do with kids on a rainy day: 

Board games, dress-up, movies, and reading.

What is your educational background?

Currently a junior at the College of Charleston as a Communication Major and Leadership Minor

What do you like to do in your free time?

Hiking, reading, exploring town, and playing board games.

When are you available to start a new position?

As soon as possible!

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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!

Gingergirls

The Inside Scoop on Landing a High Profile Nanny Position

Amsterdam  

Have you ever wondered what it takes to work for a high net worth (mega rich) or high profile (famous) family?

You can have an inside look!

The folks at Nanny Care Hub and Lifestyle Resources have joined together to host a free webinar for nannies, to answer all the questions about what TOP jobs are like, and what it takes to land one.

Saturday, November 21, 2015 from 8am to 9:30am (PST)

For more details and to register for the webinar click here!  If you are searching for a TOP position in the Atlanta area click here, Augusta area click here, Charleston SC area click here, or Cincinnati area click here.