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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.

 

 

 

 

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!

Eva Klenoff

Eva Klenoff

Eva has helped families find quality care for over 34 years. Founder of Europa Domestics which remains one of the few remaining agencies offering personal service directly with the owner. You will always speak directly to Eva which ensure you get the best expert for your staffing needs. Europa Domestics currently serves New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, & Philidephila since 1974

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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.

Eva Klenoff

Eva Klenoff

Eva has helped families find quality care for over 34 years. Founder of Europa Domestics which remains one of the few remaining agencies offering personal service directly with the owner. You will always speak directly to Eva which ensure you get the best expert for your staffing needs. Europa Domestics currently serves New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, & Philidephila since 1974

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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.

Eva Klenoff

Eva Klenoff

Eva has helped families find quality care for over 34 years. Founder of Europa Domestics which remains one of the few remaining agencies offering personal service directly with the owner. You will always speak directly to Eva which ensure you get the best expert for your staffing needs. Europa Domestics currently serves New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, & Philidephila since 1974

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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.

Eva Klenoff

Eva Klenoff

Eva has helped families find quality care for over 34 years. Founder of Europa Domestics which remains one of the few remaining agencies offering personal service directly with the owner. You will always speak directly to Eva which ensure you get the best expert for your staffing needs. Europa Domestics currently serves New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, & Philidephila since 1974

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