What you should know when hiring a domestic couple

If you are fortunate enough to require the services of a domestic couple there are several matters which you should consider before you begin your search.

It has been my experience as the owner of a domestic placement service, that when placing a couple, one member of the couple is often a stronger candidate than the other.

The tasks usually performed by the woman include indoor maintenance: cleaning, cooking, and laundry. The man usually takes care of the  outdoor maintenance which includes ground keeping,  pool maintenance, car maintenance driving etc.  In the event that you must accept a lower standard from one member of the couple, you should decide which of their duties are more important to you.

The more rigid you are about your demands, the smaller the pool becomes from which you can choose.  Alternatively, the more flexible you are willing to be, the larger the pool will be from which you will have to choose.

For example, some  domestic couples have a school age child.  Would you consider a couple with a child?

Sometimes the husband is the better cook and the wife is the better gardener: would you mind if the couple divided the tasks between themselves?

Think about whether you are willing to offer the couple health insurance, a private dwelling, cost of their food and a car.

In an effort to expand the possibilities available to you, consider the option of hiring one person who would live in and the other live out.  Still another option would be to hire a couple to live in and allow them to sleep in their own home a few nights a week.  Or you could hire a couple and have one of them work full time and the other part time, allowing them to pursue another part time job.

But regardless of your work and time arrangements, it is essential that your staff is happy with their situation.

 

 

 

 

Why You Need A Nanny

Why You Need a Nanny

 Many young women are faced with the decision of whether or not to pursue their career if they have children.

One argument women give in favor of staying home is that the cost of child care is so high, that after paying the nanny, not enough money is left over to make a job worth while.

However, there are counter arguments to this logic.  Even if the cost of a nanny does not leave much over after you are increasing your chances for future success by not leaving the workplace.  If a woman leaves her career for several years, she often returns to start at the lowest rung.  Sometimes many changes and innovations have occurred leaving the returning individual at a significant disadvantage.

There are several ways of cutting the cost of a nanny.  If you only need part time coverage, or if you have only one or 2 children, you may share a nanny with a friend or neighbor.

For women who assume the total care of household management and total care of their children, the assistance offered by a nanny can be a lifesaver.  Often a mom’s schedule involves transporting children to various activities all at the same time.  You may also have young children who would prefer to stay home instead of being taken along to all of your necessary errands.

It can also be  stressful to keep children busy and entertained while attending to other necessary duties.  A helping hand from a nanny or au pair can be very useful.  There is no reason to assume, if you find the right nanny, that your children will not be happy and well cared for.

If you can avoid stress by getting some help, you will enable yourself to  be happier and more relaxed so that both you and your children will be better off.

A Few Quick Tips about Hiring a Housekeeper

It is difficult to evaluate someone`s capability for performing household tasks if you yourself are unfamiliar with doing them.  A housekeeper may come to your home intending to use cleaning products or instrument that are familiar to her while you may want her to use completely different cleaning materials. For example, many people today want only “Green” products, which are environmentally friendly used in their homes.

It is best to be familiar with the tasks which need to be done so that you can instruct the new housekeeper and get her started in a manner which is acceptable to you.

If at the time of the interview the applicant seems reluctant about any of your requests or demands, it is best not to hire this person.

For instance, certain days or hours may be important to you and the applicant states that these days or times don’t really work for her.  She agrees never the less to take the job.  It has been my experience that this person will not last very long.  She will stay only until she finds what better suits her needs.

If a housekeeper asks you to loan her money, which she agrees to repay by partial deductions from her salary, it is best to refuse.  I have often heard stories of a housekeeper becoming indignant and claiming to the employer that the loan has already been repaid when it has not. The situation can become very muddled and usually will not work to your benefit.  Do not pay the salary in advance and make sure there is a very clear understanding of what her benefits and paid vacations are.

Do not settle for what you feel is mediocre work.  Employers usually give a person a trial.  If after several attempts to show and explain to the housekeeper how you want things done, it remains unsatisfactory, you should let that person go.   Usually housekeepers do their best work when they start a job and become less enthusiastic as time goes on.

How A Nanny Changed Our Lives – Find The Perfect One Today!

How a nanny changed our lives!

One of my clients, who is a working mom, called me to request a new nanny.  She had called me several times on prior occasions, and I was always successful in finding a lovely girl for her.

On this occasion she seemed quite overwhelmed.  She needed somebody very intelligent, resourceful, energetic, and she needed her immediately.  She had four children between the ages of 9 and 15.

I found a lovely European girl who was interested in a live in job with older children.  This seemed to be a perfect fit but I did not realize how perfect.  It was a match made in heaven.

She sent the following email to someone and cc’d it to me.

“Our nanny, in her 20’s, entered our home and our lives have changed.The nanny is quite an extraordinary girl who has great discipline and a lot of common sense.  She is a strong role model for the children.”

It was a lengthy letter going into detail about how this young girl changed the dynamics and life style of the whole family.

“This nanny keeps a very healthy diet even if it means eating something different from the rest of the family.  When everybody snacks on ice cream and chips, she eats fruit instead.  As you know,  we are all  somewhat overweight.  The nanny created a game, which was a contest to see who could lose the most weight.  She encouraged the kids to exercise and jog with her. The children seemed eager to improve their appearance and just needed a nudge and a lot of praise.  They wanted to please her!”

“When I saw how the attitude of my children changed about eating and exercise I was shamed into falling into line.  It seems the nanny is a wealth of information about nutrition. On another front, the nanny changed how the kids interact.  They were always fighting and yelling at each other. She taught them to take a breath, wait until they calmed down and then clearly explain why they were upset.  It seemed that most disputes could be settled  when the kids calmed down,  presented their feelings in a logical way and she would mediate. I think Mary Poppins has entered my life.”

God willing, maybe you can find such a nanny for yourself!

Have You Outgrown Your Nanny?

It is unlikely that the same nanny that you chose so carefully for your newborn will still be the best choice for your toddler or young preteen.

I have often found that someone who specializes in the care of a newborn is less energetic when it comes to engaging a toddler. It becomes a different type of job.

Much specialized knowledge is necessary for the proper care for a new baby. In addition to being knowledgeable, it is important that the person be very experienced. Often, part of the job involves having the baby nurse stay awake a good part of the night. We expect that a baby nurse will be very mature, and usually she will have had children of her own.

In the care of toddlers a different skill set becomes necessary for the job. It has been my experience that younger nannies who have not had children of their own yet tend to be very energetic and engage well with young toddlers. They enjoy getting on the floor and playing games, going to the park etc.

For some moms it is important that the nanny speak English very well. They feel that at a formative age their child should be exposed to correct grammar in order to lay the foundation for the child`s skillful use of language in years to come. But for other mothers the ability of the nanny to speak a second language is more important to them than having the nanny speak perfect English.

For the care of teenagers many moms seek a more mature person who the children will view as more authoritarian.

As your children grow up, the nature of what constitutes the ideal caretaker may change several times.

Of course I am making broad generalizations, and an individual may find that none of this pertains to them. However, these are practical considerations, which I have found to be significant over the years.

Keep An Open Mind When Looking For A Housekeeper or Nanny

I have been running a housekeeper / nanny service for the past 40 years, and because of my qualifications in this field, I believe that I am an expert in finding the best help for people.

The single biggest mistake that people often  make is in the way that they narrow down  the field of possible candidates.

Very often an employer will call me to ask my assistance in finding a housekeeper or nanny for their home and say, “ my last girl was in her 20’s, from Poland and she was great.  Please find me the same thing.”  After further discussion I realize they will allow no latitude.  They do not want anybody younger or older or from any other country of origin.

Conversely, I may get a call saying,” I just had the worst experience.  I had a woman in her 50’s from Trinidad and she was awful.  Don’t send me anybody in that age group and definitely do not send me anybody from Trinidad.”

I certainly can understand somebody’s personal experience in this type of situation, but as someone who has dealt with thousands of employees, I am confident that these people are compromising their chances of finding the best possible worker.

The best applicants can come from anywhere and be of  almost any age.  Preconceived ideas based on limited experiences are simply counterproductive.  I have found the best and worst applicants coming from the same country.

Another suggestion I would make is for am employer to consider an applicant for housekeeping or child-care who has been out of the work force for a while.

Sometimes I interview a woman who has been a mom and homemaker and would now like to do the same type of work and get paid.

If an employer is at home and can monitor the ability of the person they hired, they should consider someone who does not have references in that field but has plenty of personal experience.

If your goal is to find the very best candidate to watch your children or clean your home, you should keep an open mind and make an effort to expand the pool of people from which to choose.

Creative Ways To Save Money While Employing A Nanny

The cost of employing a nanny for parents who work a very long day can be prohibitive.  In addition, many families also need to hire some household help once a week  which brings the total still higher.

I have spoken to many parents over the years that have dropped out of the work force because of the prohibitive expenses of child-care .

Having been involved with a nanny agency for the past 37 years I have learned that there are creative ways to cut the cost of help in your home and possibly make access to a nanny possible when you might have assumed that  this was not affordable.

  • Often, a parent needs someone at home to see a child off, or take a child to school in the morning. After the children are gone there is no need for someone to be at home until later in the afternoon.   You can try to arrange a job for several hours for your nanny while you don’t really need her.   I often suggest this to a parent.  I arrange a job for 3 or 4 hours for the nanny nearby which allows her to make even more money.  This also lets someone whose needs are very part time to engage a nanny and lets parents pay less by cutting down on the excess hours which they would have otherwise  had to pay for.
  • Often parents engage a nanny for a very long day to do a job, which requires only a few hours of real work. For example: parents have one young child who naps twice a day.  When hiring a nanny, who you know will have many free hours, the job requirement should include housekeeping and some cooking.
  • Another way to cut down costs is to consider sharing a nanny with another family. If you and a neighbor each have similar needs, and between you have not more than 3 kids, this should be a consideration.

Creative ways to cut down the cost of child-care can be a lifesaver for many families. Contact us today to find the perfect nanny while saving money!

 

 

 

 

 

What to Consider When Hiring a Domestic Couple

Domestic couples are usually, but not always, married couples who live on the premises of an estate and care for the inside and outside maintenance of a large property.

Before hiring a domestic couple you should consider certain factors.

Do you have a formal home, which requires sophisticated culinary skills and knowledge of proper serving at a dinner table? Will it be acceptable to you if the couple has children living with them? Obviously young children who require care would be unacceptable but you should decide how you would feel about teenagers living at your estate.

Would you hire a couple that is not married?

Do you want a real “hands on” couple who do most of the work themselves or employees who act in a more supervisory role?

Would you consider people who are experienced with the duties you require but have not worked as a couple before?

In order to broaden the pool from which to choose, would you consider a couple who live nearby and would sleep in their own home a few nights a week instead of sleeping at your estate every night?

Another thing to consider is whether it would be acceptable to have a couple with one outstanding worker while the other one is just average.

Once you have clearly defined what your needs, expectations and possible compromises will be, the next step would be to call a domestic employment agency.

Once you have made your choice you should be very clear about your expectations and what you are prepared to offer. Many couple will demand medical benefits and a retirement package. If you expect the couple to be on call any time you need them, rather than set hours, that should be clearly stated and agreed to before the couple is hired.

Finding the right couple can be quite challenging but with the help of a good domestic employment agency the stress of this challenge may be avoided.

Domestic Couple Services, Elder Care Taker

Tips On Making The Best Decision For Elder Care

Should Elderly Parents Stay In Their Own Home Or Be Moved To A Health Care Facility?

The challenge of how to best provide elder care for a parent is a difficult one because the situation is almost always fluid, and there are often many variables to consider.  What seems like the right decision at any given time may change quickly.

In addition, what seems like the best solution to you may not be what your parent wants.

A common scenario is the loss of a spouse, with it accompanying depression and lethargy.  The surviving spouse loses interest in everything, even basic hygiene.

Sometimes the person in charge realizes that the parent is losing focus and the ability to remain safe in the home while caring for himself.   Another issue arises if the son or daughter lives far from the parent and finds it difficult to asses the parents’ needs.  Having to suddenly make important decisions regarding the care of an elderly parent can seem overwhelming.

My advice is to try and come up with a plan together with all parties concerned….parent and all siblings.  Begin with the premise that everybody wants what is best for your parent.  All possible options should be presented.  Often it is not an easy decision.

If the ultimate decision is to keep your parent at home it is wise to work with a nurses-aide agency to find a compatible caretaker.   If your parent lives far away you may opt to move them to your home and have a nurses-aide care for them there.  You may start by employing a nurses-aid on a part time basis and increase that to full time if and when needed.  You may eventually decide that a live in caretaker is needed.

When looking for a nurses-aide you should help the agency choose someone by carefully detailing your parent’s personality.  It is very important to choose someone who is compatible, pleasant and competent.

If your decision is to find a health care facility, make sure, if at all possible, that your parent is comfortable with that decision.

Should your Nanny also be your Housekeeper?

Learning Disability, Infantry

Is it reasonable to expect that the person who cares for your children should also maintain your home?  The answer depends on many factors.

The first factor to consider is whether both parents work full-time.  If the nanny is on her own as the caregiver, you cannot expect as much housekeeping to be done as you can when a parent is around at least part of the time.  Other factors, which must be considered, are how many children are being cared for, what are their ages, and just how much time and effort is required for the housekeepingl

You can probably expect very little care for the home if there are 2 or more children who require care.  If, on the other hand, most or all of the children are in school part of the day, you can expect the nanny to do some cleaning.

A logical way to determine a realistic set of expectations, would be to put yourself in the nanny`s situation and see what you could accomplish in a day when you are caring for your children.  If all your energy is sapped by child-care, you should not expect the nanny to do more than you are comfortable doing.

If there is a several hour gap when children are napping or in school, perhaps some cleaning or cooking could be expected.

At the time of the interview you may tell a prospective nanny that you expect a certain amount of housekeeping.  The employee may turn out to be an amazing nanny but she lets you know that anything beyond child-care is simply overwhelming and she is not prepared to do both.  You must then decide if you are willing to accept that situation.

Only if your nanny has a bloc of hours with absolutely nothing to do should you expect substantial housekeeping to be accomplished.  A Superwoman might do both simultaneously, but it is not realistic for you to expect that.

Assess your Situation:

  • How many hours is your nanny on her own with the children
  • How many children do you have and how old are they
  • How much time is the nanny spending on errands and just basic chores relating to the children.

It is also very important to be as clear and specific as possible at the time of the interview to let the nanny know what is most important to you and how you expect her to allocate her time.