Happy NNRW

Just wanted to take a minute to say happy National Nanny Recognition Week.  Enjoy it and remember to value yourself this week. 
Hello all.  I write this blog post with sadness but knowing it is the right choice for me and my family.  I am stepping down as head of the Nanny Alliance of Wisconsin and canceling the Nanny Education Day scheduled for the end of this month. 

With the addition of our second daughter, I have transitioned to caring for children in my home and am no longer a nanny (for now).  Running the Alliance in even the limited way I have been, has just become too much for me.  I needed to make some very difficult decisions about my life and how much I was doing in order to give my children the best I can. 

Unfortunately no one has stepped forward at this moment to take the reigns so we will disband.  I believe someone is going to keep the blog as a reference for nannies in southeastern Wisconsin and we may still do some fun things occasionally and post them to the blog.  But there will not be any monthly training or regularly schedule social events. 

I am happy to continue to be a sounding board for any nanny needing help with the caring side or the business side of nannying.  I am continuing to work at Strong Roots Family Coaching in educating and helping families.  Angela Vogds will be offering nanny counseling for anyone interested. 

Thank you all for the time I had with you and I wish in many ways it could have been more.  But I know the choice I made was the right one. 

Marcia Hall

I am so very excited to announce...

Nanny Alliance of Wisconsin’s

Education Day

in honor of National Nanny Recognition Week

Saturday September 29th 9:30AM to 4PM

Milwaukee Center for Independence

2020 West Wells Street

Milwaukee, WI 53233 

Join us as we wrap up National Nanny recognition Week with The Milwaukee Center for Independence (www.mcfi.net) with 5 amazing workshops focused on children with disabilities.  

Education, networking, food and prizes for your professional development and FUN!    

Open to any childcare worker or parent.

Cost is just $25 if registered by September 1st ($30 after that)

Current Nanny Alliance of Wisconsin members pay just $12.50! 


To register email Marcia Hall at mommananny@gmail.com 

 Schedule of Events

      9:30AM                 Welcome and introductions
     9:45 – 10:45          Working with families of disability
     10:45-11:00            Break (snack)
     11:00 – 11:30          Tour of Milwaukee Center for Independence
     11:30- 12:30            Understanding Autism and how to help children and families
     12:30 – 1:15            Lunch
     1:15-1:30                 Break
     1:30-2:15                 Sensory Activities and their importance
     2:15-2:30                Break (snack)
     2:30-3:30               Toxic Stress and its impact
     3:30                        Closing and door prize giveaway
     4:00                       Thanks for coming

Time Off!

Hey everyone.  I have some exciting news.  My husband and I have welcomed home a new addition to our family.  To day (April 7th) we are bringing home a 7 week old baby girl named Lucy*.  I am excited and know that I will have my hands full with not only her but my 3 year old daughter.  So in order to help us all adjust to this new life, I am going to be taking a break from updating the blog. 

I hope to have it back up and running in the beginning of May.  There will be so many things to share at that time.  Between National Nanny Training Day and International Nanny Association Conference I will have lots to update you on.  There is still space available for National Nanny Training Day in Chicago.  She had filled up all her spots but was able to secure a bigger room so if you are still interested in coming with us and car pooling, let us know.  The date is April 28th. 

Thanks all and here is a little pic of how I will be spending my time for the next few months.  You will see there is just no room for a laptop on my lap any more.  Thanks everyone!!!

*Lucy is not her real name, we are unable to give that out at this time nor are we able to show her face on the public websites. 

Encuraging your child to play with other children

Some children are naturally drawn to other children.  They thrive on the energy of people around and even at times act out when they do not get the interaction.  Other children prefer to be alone in their play.  This is natural and nothing to be concerned about.  After all, adults are the same way.  Some of us are introverts and some of us are extroverts.  However, it is important for our children to learn to play with other children to some degree.  After all this “play” will teach the child to “work” with other adults as they grow.  The Lego tower that is built today may become the skyscraper of tomorrow.  The compromising, accepting and collaborating tools that children learn by playing are invaluable to them as adults.  

Click HERE to read the rest of the article.  

Tips on Managing Your Tax Withholdings

This is an excerpt from an article is written By Tom Breedlove of Breedlove & Associates and is re-osted from Regarding Nannies because I know that the "business" side of nanny-ing is always complicated.  Hopefully Mr Breedlove can help you navigate through it.  To view the entire article please visit HERE.

We’re all okay with a surprisingly-large refund, but a surprisingly-large payment is not fun.   If you don’t want to owe money at the end of the year, the answer is to decrease your allowances on Form W-4.  For instance, if you’re currently at Single with 2 allowances, consider changing it to 1 allowance or maybe even 0 allowances.  (Each allowance will reduce your weekly take-home pay by about $10 depending on your income level and state, thereby reducing your year-end federal income tax liability by about $500).  Note: On the W-4 Line 6, you can pick an additional amount, say $5, to withhold each paycheck.  This enables taxpayers to more precisely manage their withholdings.

Conversely, if you have a very large refund and want to have access to more of that money during the year, you should increase your allowances on Form W-4.  Again, each allowance you add will put an extra $10 or so in your pocket each week.  (Keep in mind that your refund at the end of the year will be reduced by about $500).

Nanny Confidentiality Checklist

This article is from Best Nanny Newsletter

Have You Signed a Confidentiality Agreement?

Whether you have signed a confidentiality agreement with your employers or not , an important characteristic that separates a professional nanny from a mere babysitter is that a professional nanny respects the private family issues of their employers. The next time you feel like complaining to your friends (and the friends of your employers) about your employer's family life consider our nanny confidentiality checklist.

1. Use discretion about the family's privacy. Do not gossip about private family issues. Refrain from using names of family when getting advice for general issues.

Click HERE to read the rest of the article and find out what all 6 suggestions are.

Art Therapy

This re-posted article is from one of my favorite bloggers - Teacher Tom.  I am posting just a portion of the article.  Please click HERE to read it in it's entirety.  

... Today one of our friends arrived in class feeling surly. Her mom only had guesses about why she was out of sorts; just one of those days. I tried, but she either didn't want to or couldn't talk about it. I know the feeling: sometimes it just fills you up and the best course of action is for those around you to make themselves scarce. There was a lot of crabbing and on-the-edge of melt-down discontent until these big stampers came out.

Once she got going there was no stopping her. She was banging that thing down, one-handed, just like the librarians used to do. Bam! Bam! Bam! The rest of us left her an end of the table to herself. Bam! Bam! Bam!

Part 2 of Household Management 101

This is a re-post from Regarding Nannies.  If you missed part one you can check out part of it on our blog or click here.  Enjoy

Today we are going to discuss how to introduce HM into your current nanny position.  Why would you want to do this?  The children in your care may be getting older and there’s a chance of your hours being cut back or you losing your job all together.  You are noticing things around the house are suffering as a result of the work schedules of the parents, and you feel you have some time to step in and help.  Being proactive in one of the great qualities a HM should have.  Seeing something that needs to be done or anticipating a need is a great trait to have.

To see the rest of Kellie's article click HERE.

5 Ways to Invest in a Child

This article is from Positive Parenting.  Some of the thoughts are directed toward parents alone but most are very applicable for us nannies.  Enjoy

What does it mean to invest in a child? What type of “investments” are most important? What is the best way to go about investing in them? Here are five ideas anyone can follow:
  1. First of all, we all have something to invest, whether it be time, energy, money, or a combination thereof. Sadly, these days, with long work hours, time with our families is precious and scarce. And it is paramount if we are to succeed with our children. But how do we do it? What if we’re struggling ourselves? How can we give energy to our kids if we don’t have any left at the end of the day? What if we don’t have any money? Many people today have suffered job losses which have been financially devastating to their families. What then?
To see the rest of the article please Click HERE.

The Importance of Independent Play

"Becky, will you help me tie this cape?" six year old Marissa asks.

"Sure, honey! What are you up to?"

"Oh, I can't say just yet. I'm not done planning," she responds.

This is typical play at our house -- totally child-created. As these children have matured they have sought positive ways to express their independence including creating their own activities and games and their own style of independent play.

True independent play is child-directed and child-driven, from their ideas to their outcomes. Nevertheless, children developing activities and play scenarios need to know that adults are close at hand. By keeping safe, appealing play materials within easy reach, and granting the freedom to use them, we can help children grow toward independence. The children could access items that were age appropriate and parent/nanny approved. As their interests and abilities developed we increased the items that were available to them.
Becky Kavanagh wrote this article 13 years ago when her charges were very little.  She has now had the privilege of watching the little girl grow into a confident and independent young woman.  Becky's insight into the minds of children is fantastic.  Click here to read the rest of her article posted on Nannies from the Heartland.  

Presenting Nanny Jean

Each month you will get a change to meet one of the many nannies that are part of The Nanny Alliance of Wisconsin.  Today you get to Jean Tameling who has been a part of our group for 5 years.   

Why did you become a nanny and how long have you been one?

         When I was in high school I was interested in teaching young children, I knew I could be a positive influence in children's development.  After earning my bachelor's degree in early childhood education I taught kindergarten for one year and then moved to Milwaukee to be a nanny for a newborn. The nanny position lasted 19 years, caring for 4 children. Today I have 28 years of nannyhood!

What is your current nanny position like?

          Currently I care for a 7 year old girl in Mequon.  I have been with the family for 7 years.  This full time position includes being a family assistant as well as a nanny.
          Volunteering at the child's school and helping with homework, driving her to activities such as choir rehearsal, swim team, gymnastics to name a few. Other job duties include cooking for the family, running errands.

Why do you enjoy what you do?

          I love children!  I love their innocence and love of learning and love of life.  Everything around them is new and exciting and I get to be one of the most important people in their growing years to help them build a foundation for life experiences.  I also enjoy being a nanny because parents have trusted me to help them raise their child.  It is definitely a team effort raising a child, it takes family, home, school, and community, it does take a village!  How fortunate I am to be a part of this child's village.

What is one of your most memorable moments as a nanny?

          There are so many especially after 28 years but one that comes to mind is when I asked a 3 year old what my whole name was, she so sweetly, lovingly, gave me her last name.  That is the highest honor, to be so special in her life that I too shared her family's name.

What is your favorite activity or place to go with your charges?

          These days I would have to say I love a good long car ride.  You can find out so much about a 1st. grader's day and their thoughts.  Favorite place would have to be the library, borrowing books and being open to learning, adventures and imagination through the written word and pictures of course.

What is one way you would like to grow as a nanny or what is one thing you would like to learn more about for your nanny career?

          One way I would like to grow as a nanny is to volunteer more. I would really love to go to another country and be immersed into the culture and help mothers and children who are in high risk situations, educating and nurturing.  I know in my heart there is so much to do.

Household Management

Do you consider yourself a household manager?  Do you go groceries shopping, run errands or take messages?  Then at least some of your job description is a "household manager's job.  Check out the start of a great series from Regarding Nannies on Household Managing 101.

By Kellie Geres, Regarding Nannies Development Team

Today starts a new series on Regarding Nannies. I will be introducing you to the wonderful world of Household Management.  I have been a nanny for almost 23 years.  With all the families I have worked with, I have held some type of household management responsibilities.  With each job the responsibilities became more and more, but I found I like this role I have assumed over the years.

I have been in my current position for over eight years.  When I started the kids were 8 and 10 years, they are almost 16 and 18 – soon to be headed off to college!  So what does a busy household with two teens, one who now drives, do?  The savvy employer approaches the savvy nanny and the two discuss their mutual needs of the job, the expectations, and the changes and come to the conclusion that what this family needs is not a nanny / household manager but a full-charge Household Manager and “Responsible Adult” around when the teens are at home.  An agreement is reached, a new contract is worked up and both parties continue doing what they do best …. Screeching halt!   After 22 years, I found it VERY difficult to take off the nanny hat.  It was very difficult for me to not remind (or nag as Teen 1 and Teen 2 like to call it) the kids to do their homework and stop being on Facebook or a million other little things I would do for them.  They are 15 and 17.  They can start doing things for themselves, and assume the responsibilities and consequences of their actions.

Click here to read the rest of the article. 

Teaching Children Humility

A great article from nanny.net about teaching children humility.  Enjoy.  

It seems today that many kids have a bad attitude about things and toward others. Arrogance among young people seems like it is on the rise, and for many of us parents it may be our fault. When the kids were little and said smart aleck things perhaps we let it pass and thought it was funny or amusing. What was cute witty sarcasm then now gets under our skin and causes us to cringe in public when our child comes off as a know-it-all or snob. A nice slice of humble pie is now in order. But what can a parent do to convince their kid to take a bite? Here are some ideas.
  1. Talk about the importance of humility. Sometimes kids don’t understand what humility really is. Unfortunately people often see humility as a weakness when in reality it is a strength. Some of the greatest people in the world are those who have tasted their share of humble pie.  

Please click here to read the rest of the article.