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CANCELLED: NPN Playdate: Meaningful Milestones Daycare & Preschool
NPN Tareema posted an event in Community CalendaruntilWe apologize for the inconvenience. This playdate has been canceled by our host due to an unforeseeable event. Please join us at our next playdate on Sunday, July 16th at Rogers Park Montessori. RSVP here: https://www.npnparents.org/events/event/335-npn-playdate-at-rogers-park-montessori/ NPN Playdates are back! Join us for Sunday play at Meaningful Milestones Daycare & Preschool! There will be fun activities and snacks for the kids! Parents, grab a cup of coffee, relax and enjoy as your kids experience some fun activities! This event is for kids aged 0 - 5 years old. Spots are limited so register today! Meaningful Milestones is located at 2930 N Campbell Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Nanny shares 101
NPN Lauren posted an article in Articles DirectoryA nanny share seems like the best of both worlds: Your little one gets daily socialization with another child like they would in daycare, but you still get the benefits of having a dedicated caregiver while (importantly) splitting the cost with another family. All of that is pretty much true. But a nanny share also requires a delicate arrangement between two busy families and one nanny, and it can get complicated, especially in the age of COVID. Having just finished a successful nearly two-year nanny share, I feel qualified to offer this guide to starting a nanny share, along with some tips from fellow NPN members. What comes first, the family or the nanny? That’s a matter of personal preference and circumstance, but I think finding the family first makes sense. That way, both families can search for and interview the nanny and come to an agreement. Which leads me to… Finding a family The prevailing wisdom is to start looking for a nanny at least one month before you need one to start, so if you’re finding a family first, give yourself at least a month before that. That means that if you’re taking the standard three-month maternity leave, you basically need to start looking for a family while you’re preparing your birth plan. An exaggeration, but…not really? Connecting with families who are pregnant and similarly far along (NPN is a great source for this!), isn’t a bad idea. [Related: How to find a nanny] But assuming you have your baby already, use the time you are mindlessly scrolling on your phone while rocking that little rascal to sleep to search or post on sites about sharing a nanny. Options include NPN’s Childcare Classifieds, of course, as well as neighborhood parent Facebook groups, neighborhood association email lists, and sites like Nanny Lane. What should you look for in a family? That depends on what’s important to you as a parent, but here are some things to consider: How they feel about vaccines for themselves and their baby (a thorny but important subject these days) Age of kids (it’s really helpful if both kids are roughly the same age) Proximity (easiest if the family is close to you or your office) Hours needed Start date — and end date, if they know it More nuanced issues to talk about with a potential family: parenting philosophy and discipline preferences. If you don’t discuss this, as one NPN member says, “the nanny ends up having to navigate why Brynnleigh gets fruit gummies and timeouts but Xyaedan can only snack on dried kale and must be rocked to sleep.” Not necessarily deal-breakers but important to agree on before the nanny share starts: What to do when one of the kids is sick Where you want the childcare to happen (your house, their house, a split of both?) Aligning nap schedules (recommended!) Whether the host family provides food or if you need to pack food for each day Kid equipment you’ll need — such as a double stroller, crib or pack ‘n’ play, high chair, diapers, dishware and bottles — and how you will split the cost COVID complications Like most things in our lives these days, COVID makes navigating nanny shares more complicated. The importance of being in agreement with the other family and with your nanny on safety protocols, masks, and all things pandemic-related cannot be overstated. This NPN member summed up well all the factors to consider: “…Clear communication on illnesses and behavior, both COVID and non-COVID illness … as well as expected behavior/testing for known exposures and feelings on masks indoors in public. When we visit the museum, are both families on the same page as well as the nanny? Also, will you follow the 24-hour fever-free rule schools use or the 72-hour fever free that is actually recommended by pediatricians? Or do you split the difference and do 48 hours? … And what is the plan if nanny is sick? Does each household rotate responsibility for the whole share or is each person responsible for their own kid(s)?” Whew. It’s a lot. All the more reason to hash out these issues ahead of time to avoid conflict in the future. [Related: What to ask in a nanny interview] All about the Benjamins Now down to the nitty gritty. You need to agree on the salary you’ll offer the nanny, which is typically the market rate plus 33%. The nanny will be watching two kids at once, after all. A nanny contract is essential. In it, you’ll lay out how and when the nanny is paid; vacation, sick days and holidays; bonuses and raises; and when and how any of the parties can end the agreement. (Read a more in-depth guide to nanny contracts.) Each family should employ the nanny separately and each give her a W2. The pay rate and the contract will be finalized once you’ve found your nanny and they weigh in on what’s important to them. Finding a nanny Together, you’ll find the nanny of your dreams. There are many ways to go about it: NPN’s Childcare Classifieds, nanny agencies, word of mouth, and sites like Care.com are just a few. But first, discuss with the other family what you’re looking for in a nanny. Do you need the nanny to be able to drive and have a car? Would you prefer a nanny who speaks another language and would be willing to teach it to your kids? Do you expect the nanny to do household chores and food prep? Beyond these qualifications, talk about the personality that would fit best with both families. Do you want a nanny who has that calm, warm, grandparent-y vibe, or would a nanny who has boundless energy and tons of silly ideas for fun activities work best for both kids? There are countless things to consider when interviewing a nanny, checking references, extending an offer and maintaining a strong relationship. This article, How to find a nanny, succinctly covers it all. Just like you would at your 9-5, you might want to have a quarterly check-in with the other family and your nanny. This helps make sure you are all aligned and communicating any issues or concerns. The relationship you have with your nanny and nanny share family is one of the most important in your young child’s life. When a nanny share works well for all parties, it’s truly wonderful. I was very sad when our nanny share family moved to the suburbs, but I will always be grateful for the time our families and our nanny spent sharing the work of raising two small humans.
Daycare 101: Choosing a Daycare
NPN Admin posted a video in SchoolsChoosing childcare that is right for your family can seem like an overwhelming process, especially in Chicago where there are so many options to consider. In this intimate live discussion, we talk with three Chicago daycare experts about safety, curriculum, daily activities, enrollment/finances, family-teacher relationships and transitioning into group care comfortably. Our esteemed panelists are Sarah Cudnik of Kids' Work Chicago and Kids' Work Chicago Too, Mia Cubrilo of Choo Choo Chicago, and Madi Johnson of Children's Learning Place. Special thank you to our presenting sponsor, Kids' Work Chicago and Kids' Work Chicago Too.
Daycare 101: Choosing a Daycare
NPN Admin posted an event in Community CalendaruntilChoosing childcare that is right for your family can seem like an overwhelming process, especially in Chicago where there are so many options to consider. This session will focus on daycare centers—private/family-owned, corporate and in-home. In this intimate live discussion, we will discuss safety, curriculum, daily activities, enrollment/finances, student-teacher relationships and transitioning into group care comfortably. There will be time for parents to ask questions at the end. You will walk away from this discussion with a better understanding of the following: 1. What daycare in a group setting is like for your child 2. Important considerations for parents, including safety and finances 3. How to help your child prepare for daycare and more! Our esteemed daycare centers featured on the panel include: Kids Work Chicago Too Choo Choo Chicago Bright Horizons Thank you to our presenting sponsor, Kids Work Chicago Too. Free for NPN members. $15 for non-members. Zoom link will be sent in your registration confirmation immediately upon registration, and again in your event reminder 1-2 days before the event. If you have questions about this event, email Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org
What to ask in a nanny interview
Guest posted an article in Articles DirectoryThere is a lot to consider when hiring a nanny. Interviewing, screening and selecting potential nanny candidates can be a daunting task, but it is an important part of finding a nanny that is a good fit with your family. Try to use open-ended questions that will prompt for informative answers, such as questions starting with: What? When? Why? How? Where? Or tell me about… This will avoid getting yes and no answers. Experience and background: Look for a nanny who has experience working in a position similar to what you are hiring them for. Finding someone who has experience working with multiple families will ensure they are familiar with adjusting to the needs of your family. Ask for a resume and have them include at least three family references. Sample questions should include: Tell me about your educational background. Do you have any formal early childhood development or childcare training? How long have you been a nanny? 2. Nanny and philosophy/approach: Make sure a nanny’s philosophy about childcare is in line with yours. Discipline is an area that needs to be discussed up front to avoid any differences of opinion on how children should be disciplined. You need to know your candidate is in the field for all the right reasons, and enjoys children. Important questions to ask are: Why did you choose a nanny career? Why do you like being a nanny? What do you think are the qualities needed to be a good nanny? 3. Your requirements: Make sure the nanny’s approach to work lines up with your own requirements. Your ideal candidate should be someone who has similar values, goals and work ethic to your own. Key questions should include: Are you familiar with the neighborhood? What is your philosophy on food and snacks? What is your flexibility with scheduling? 4. Additional considerations: Give the candidates some time to spend with your child in home. We also suggest families schedule a working interview with finalist candidates. Are they attentive? Do they keep your children engaged? Your observations matter a great deal when you finally make decision. A few good questions are: Are they comfortable holding and/or speaking to your child? Was the nanny pleasant and have a positive and upbeat personality? Are you able to communicate easily and effectively with each other? Doing your homework and asking questions that are important to you and your family will make selecting the nanny that much easier. If you allow these questions to guide your interview process, you will find a great match in no time at all.
Where to find childcare in Chicago at the last minute
Guest posted an article in Articles DirectoryWhether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a work-at-home mom or dad, or even a full-time working one with regular childcare, with holidays and conference season upon us, we all need extra help from time to time. Here’s a quick list of places in the city that offer last-minute and/or part-time services. The Nook (Bucktown and South Loop) This full-service daycare allows non-member parents to book absent children’s open spots via an online app, which is regularly updated until 6 a.m. day-of. There is currently no smartphone app, but rumor has it that could soon become available as interest in the program grows. Pros: Easy-to-use online app for scheduling; half- and full-day options; reasonable prices Cons: Limited availability for last-minute drop-ins; better to book well in advance if you know you’ll need the help K Grace Specializing in part-time childcare, K Grace serves many nurses, artists, photographers and others with non-traditional and/or flexible work schedules. Parents also use the service for last-minute sitters to run errands, finish some work or otherwise fill in the gaps. Bookings are made through an online calendar system up to 48 hours in advance (although K Grace staffers try to honor last-minute requests via an after-hours phone number), and the sitter is matched based on availability, experience and ability to meet special needs. Pros: Highly vetted, CPR-certified sitters (over 1,000 on file) available same-day for last-minute needs; nights and weekend help available; high success rate for last-minute requests within a few hours Cons: Complex pricing structure, which becomes more affordable the more you use the service; must pay sitter separately Bright Horizons (various locations) This nationwide daycare offers employer-subsidized backup childcare, including both drop-offs at the various centers or in-home help. Many clients take advantage of their own or their spouse’s benefits when they know schools will be closed or need someone at the last minute. Pros: Subsidized last-minute care year-round; facilities across the country for use while traveling with children Cons: Only available for those with employer-provided backup-care benefits; limit on number of days available for the services