Tag Archives: nanny

The Fallacy of Being a Tattletale

Boy Called a Tattletale at DaycareThere is something that has bugged me for some time as a parent: how to discipline a child for being a “tattletale”. It seemed kind of strange that a parent, teacher, or daycare provider would discipline the child that “tattled” to them regarding another child’s bad behavior instead of the child who is actually behaving badly. I dismissed this as “just what we do” for so long but that nagging feeling about this idea persists. As a parent, I have avoided it because it made me feel uncomfortable but I never realized why until now.

It’s Just Plain Laziness

First of all, children need to know what is right and wrong and it isn’t up to them to decide. Parents and daycare providers are supposed to do this. It is in fact one of the main jobs of being a parent or provider. Whether it is something huge like playing with matches or something small like not playing nice, it is the provider’s job to make the judgment, not the child’s. When the child who “tattled” is disciplined instead of the one actually being bad, it sends the message that we don’t care enough to step in and help when they can’t help themselves, or when they don’t quite know what to do.

Parents and Providers Need to Teach

We should not expect children to make decisions in arguments when they are so young. By the time children are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong regarding a certain situation, they shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. So the parents and providers should get involved to take care of the issue. Whether the situation is something new or old, huge or mundane, it is our responsibility as parents and providers to help them work through these situations.

It’s Name Calling

As simple as this point might seem, it is still valid. Calling a child a tattletale is name calling. Name calling at any time, for any reason, is wrong. It’s as simple as that.

Children Should Always Be Able to Talk

This is one of the most important points of this whole thing. A child should always, 100 percent of the time, feel safe about coming to a parent or daycare provider about anything. And I do mean anything. Parents and daycare providers can’t know or anticipate all of the situations a child might encounter and you do not want children to ever hesitate to talk to you. What if something bad happened to a child and they did not talk to anyone about it because they thought someone might call them a “tattletale”?

A Bully’s Playground

When children are disciplined and called “tattletales”, it opens the door for all kinds of other terrible things to happen. If a bully or an adult knows that a child will get in trouble for tattling, they can easily use that leverage to pick on and otherwise torment a child. They know the children who live under “no tattling” rules will hesitate to speak out when something is wrong. This is a terrible and easily abused situation which could be avoided if we would all agree that it is a good thing to speak out when something is wrong.

No More Tattletales

I hope that this list of reason is enough to illustrate why the whole idea of calling a child, or anyone else for that matter, a “tattletale”, is wrong. This can have far-reaching consequences even throughout adulthood. We are the parents and daycare providers for children and we must make sure that the children are always able to speak to us no matter what. As parents and daycare providers both, we need to take the pledge to end the destructive habit of calling children “tattletales” and take the time resolve whatever situation might be at hand. We owe it our children and their futures.

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Cyber Monday Deal on Baby Signing Time

daycare-babyOne of the most frustrating things to both parents and their children is not being able to communicate properly. It takes children years to learn how to talk. As a parent you don’t have to wait years to learn to communicate with your child. How do you talk to those that can’t? Through sign language of course!

Sign language is something that your baby, even an infant can learn to use. It is comprised of basic motions and movements which are much easier for your baby to learn then a speaking language. Using sign language to communicate with your baby is a great way to ease much of the frustrations that come with early parenting and your child’s early years. Parents are able to ask infants basic questions aabout what they need and why they are sad. Infants are able to tell you want they want and when they need it.

Teaching children sign language before they can speak can have a profound impact on the rest of their life.   By enabling early communication, building vocabulary and building a strong relationship with your child during the first three years, you are helping your child to develop the foundation for language and learning that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Teaching sign language helps you to do this.   There is a growing body of research that suggests that signing has many benefits, including:

  • Strengthens parent/child bonds
  • Enables early language, vocabulary & expression
  • Reduces frustration and tantrums
  • Helps parents to be more observant and responsive
  • Promotes positive emotional development
  • Builds confidence and self esteem

Sign language is something that can and should be transferred over to your daycare provider. In fact many daycare providers already know and use sign language. If the teaching and use of sign language is used at home and at daycare you will see dramatic a dramatic increase of your baby using it.

Baby Signing Time has some great holiday deals going right now and there isn’t a better time to get started. This would make an amazing gift for any parent, grandparent and daycare provider.

Holiday Special!! For A Limited Time Only, Save 35%
Holiday Special!! For A Limited Time Only, Save 35%

I have used sign language with my children and it has helped dramatically in trying to calm upset infants. It works great to know if they are hungry, thirsty, or tired. It really is amazing how well it works. I know it has surprised many parents, it did me, that their tiny little infant has much more to say about the world around them then you ever knew. Sign language helps them to say these things. When parents use this at home and their daycare providers use sign language it can really help make the first few years before they learn to speak much better. It gives them a head start on learning, and gives parents, daycare providers and anyone else taking care of your children more tools to insure they are taken care of well.


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Black Friday Deals for Daycare Parents and Providers

decide-on-daycare-presentIt’s that time of year again. Time to start thinking about what to do with the holidays and what we want to do for those special people around us. As soon as your children are old enough to talk you can start to involve them in this wonderful season of giving. It is very important as a parent to start to teach your children the value of giving and doing special things for those people that we care for.

With the hectic schedule of the holidays its easy to overlook some of those that are most important to our child’s lives, their daycare providers. Make sure they are on shopping list. Daycare providers and nanny’s are such a vital part of your child’s life. They need to be reminded just how important and special they are. Involve your children in this if possible as they will just love to pick out things for their daycare provider. They will hold a special investment in the decisions and pride in giving it to them. This will help them to learn the valuable lessons around the joy of giving and showing appreciation.

Now is the time to score some great deals on things for the holidays. With the economy being what it is many retailers are offering deep cuts with their Black Friday and holiday deals.Take advantage of them while you can!

Black Friday and Holiday Deals

Great Toddler Gifts

Brainy Baby Holiday Promo
Brainy Baby Holiday Promo

This Brainy Baby deal is a great one, this could be the perfect gift for those that are expecting or have young kids. This set can get them started off right on the path to getting ready for school.

Daycare Supplies and Games

Here is a great source for daycare supplies. They have great deals year round and they are offering deeper discounts through the holiday season.

DiscountSchoolSupply.com-15% OFF Everything In The Gift Guide! Use Code: SALEGIFT! Click Here!

All Around Great Deals

Kmart is has been slowly closing up stores but their online presence has been strong. You can find great deals with them through the holiday shopping season. The great thing about Kmart is that you can get a wide variety of things in one place at great prices.

Online Only! EXTRA $10 off $100 on Christmas-themed Items with code 10KCHINGLE 11/20-11/26

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Is Your Daycare Open Labor Day?

daycare_swingsLabor Day weekend is upon us already. The summer goes by so fast when we have so much going on with the family. Hopefully things are settling down a bit as we leave summer behind us and make our way into Fall. The older kids should be getting in the rhythm of school once again and the younger children should be back to their normal daycare and preschool routine. Hopefully everything in the land of daycare is going well for everyone. Don’t throw a snag in the works on Labor Day weekend by finding out unexpectedly that your daycare center is closed!

It is a good rule of thumb as a parent to never assume that your daycare will be open on any holidays. With Labor Day just around the corner it is a good idea to check with your daycare provider to see if they are open. Different kinds of daycare are more likely to be open than others.

Daycare centers, for instance, are often open during the holidays but they may have different hours so check with them to be sure that your schedules will match up.

In-home daycare providers are often open during Labor Day but each one may vary if they are open or not. They are more likely to change this policy from year to year so be sure that nothing has changed with your own daycare provider. If it has changed, make sure that you are taking steps to accommodate it.

Many in-home daycare providers use this time as annual vacation for themselves. They may try to capitalize on the high likelihood that the parents of the children will have the day off. This way they daycare provider doesn’t have to inconvenience their parents.

If you have a nanny then whether they are off or not should be worked out in your contract. There should be no doubt whether they are available or not. However, make sure to mention it to them to be sure that everyone is on the same page and there are no unexpected surprises come the holiday.

If your daycare provider is providing childcare for Labor Day, make sure to offer them an extra thanks or do something special for them since they are working on a holiday.

If your daycare provider is taking time off make sure that you also have the time off as well or have made other arrangements. It is easy to miss these simple and easy steps when things get hectic around the holidays. Just a few works between you and your childcare provider can help you to avoid a big hassle when you least want it.

Organize Your Family's Schedule In No Time
Organize Your Family's Schedule In No Time

This is also a great time to go over your fall and winter schedule with your daycare provider for the rest of the year. Moving into fall and winter we tend to have more holidays or take more time off. Make sure that your childcare provider knows when these times are and be sure that they match up with their own time off. It’s best to prepare for these as far in advance as possible to avoid conflicts. Many daycare providers are happy to work with their parents to accommodate as many varying schedules as possible.

With a little foresight, planning and common courtesy the parents, children and daycare providers can all enjoy the hectic holiday schedule. This will help everyone to make the most of their time off during the holiday season.


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Daycare Car Seat Safety

baby-in-carseatAs a responsible and caring parent, your child’s well-being is foremost on your mind. Car seats play a very important role in keeping your child safe in one of the most dangerous activities they will ever be a part of: riding in a car. Automobile injuries are the leading cause of death for American children (http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/childpas.htm). A recent report, released by the American Academy of Pediatrics and based primarily off of a 2007 study by the University of Virginia, showed that children under two years of age are 75% less likely to sustain a severe injury in a car accident if they are in a rear facing position.

Most parents, as well as daycare centers and private daycares, currently use age as their primary factor when determining how and if a child should be restrained in a car seat. Previous to this study, it was recommended that a child should be in a rear-facing car seat until the age of one year. At one year of age, many children’s car seats are turned around so they can face forward. Turning the child’s car seat around was often a major milestone for parents.

Fisher-price Precious Planet Remote Controlled Music Deluxe Auto Baby
Fisher-price Precious Planet Remote Controlled Music Deluxe Auto Baby

This new study and the suggestion of the American Academy of Pediatrics indicate children are much safer if they are kept in a rear-facing position for one more year. Though the convenience of turning your child around to face forward is tempting, we would urge you to follow the new recommendation. The rear-facing position is much safer for your child in a car accident because their entire body is supported during a crash. Keeping your child in a rear-facing position might even help you avoid crashes since you’ll be less inclined to take your attention from the road by turning around to look at your child.

Since driving is such a normal part of our lives, it’s easy to forget how dangerous it is. Driving is one of the most dangerous things we do, so as responsible parents we need to be sure we are taking every precaution while driving to make sure we are being as safe as possible.

It’s important to address these new findings with your daycare provider. It is likely they already know about them, but it is important to make sure. You may want to ask what kind, if any, policy changes they will be making. Be sure that they are being as safety-minded as any other responsible adult.

Graco Zurich Snugride 32 Infant Car Seat
Graco Zurich Snugride 32 Infant Car Seat

If your daycare provider drives your child anywhere, it is important to know how they are doing this and that they are keeping up with all modern safety precautions. Be sure to also check what kind of car seat they are using for your child. Make sure the car seat is installed correctly and facing the right way. Your child should have an assigned car seat and it should be adjusted correctly for them.

Check to make sure your own accommodations are as safe as possible and that you are setting a good example by wearing your seat belt and talking with your children about car safety. If you teach your children about car safety they can and will police themselves. They may tell you if they did something dangerous or were not strapped in for a short trip.

Remember, as a responsible parent your job is to make sure your child is as safe as possible. It is your responsibility to speak to your daycare provider, change your own habits or inform your nanny of the changes in care for the safety of your child. Make sure you do what you can to ensure a long, happy and healthy life for you and your children.


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Day Care Gifts for Birthdays and Holidays

Gifts for Day Care Providers

daycare_craft_messYour child’s day care center teachers, in-home childcare provider, or nanny, deserve recognition for the priceless service they provide. You want to give them a token of appreciation for their hard work, especially around the holidays, but what would be appropriate? Decide on Day Care is here to help!

Day Care Center Teachers

Your child may be in a room with several teachers. If you are strapped for cash, an appreciative note is very welcome. If you would like to give more, you certainly can. Since you probably don’t know too much about their lives outside the center, a gift like cash or a gift certificate to a restaurant or a store would be good.  If you have a better idea of hobbies or needs, you may be able to tailor your gift a bit more to the individual.

In-Home Child Care Provider or Nanny

When you drop your child off at someone’s home day care five days a week, or she comes to your house, it’s easier to get an idea of a good present for her.  Again, a note expressing your appreciation for her is very nice. She has a close relationship with your child, and something from your child or with your child’s photo on it is a sweet gift. If you are not sure, the cash or gift card route is always appreciated.  For a day care provider, you could also purchase something for the day care, like toys, books, or craft supplies. Also, don’t forget your child’s day care on her birthday. It will really make her feel appreciated to be celebrated on her special day.

Best Gift Ideas For Women
Best Gift Ideas For Women

She may love:

  • Cash
  • Gift cards (to restaurants, salons, her favorite store)
  • Something from your child
  • A note of appreciation
  • A cleaning service (make sure you know she won’t take this as an insult instead of a gift!)
  • If she has children of her own, offer YOUR babysitting services
  • A day off, with pay

Teaching Moments with Day Care

This is also a great opportunity to teach your child the meaning of the season of giving.  Have your child make something special for your child care provider.  They love craft projects and your day care provider will love the specialized gift and note of thanks straight from your child. This is a great opportunity to talk to them about the merits of giving and why we give things to each other. Talk to them about what it means to offer appreciation to those in their lives.

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Daycare Features at a Glance

daycare_kid_mousingMaking the decision between a day care center, at-home daycare, and a nanny is difficult work. This chart shows some of the main features of different types of childcare. If you would like further information regarding specific items, please check the articles under Types of Daycare.

Child care Features

Daycare Center

In-Home Daycare


Government regulations Yes Yes No
One-on-one attention No No Yes
Chance to interact with children of own age Yes Yes No
Multiple teachers Yes No No
Frequency of infectious illness Yes Yes No
Caregiver turnover Yes No Yes
Individual focus on special needs (food allergy, etc.) No No Yes
Flexibility in the child’s routine No No Yes
Extended hours of operation Yes No No
Backup care if a provider can’t work (vacation, illness, etc.) Yes No No
Personal relationship between parent and provider No Yes Yes
Possibility of preschool curriculum Yes Yes Yes
Budget-minded Yes Yes No
Supervision of provider Yes No No
Family privacy Yes Yes No
Socializing with other children Yes Yes No
Convenience No No Yes
Home-like environment No Yes Yes
Control over rules and values No No Yes
Employee taxes and benefits, living arrangements, etc. No No Yes
Chance to meet other parents Yes Yes No
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How is the Nanny Doing?

daycare_center_teacherOnce your nanny is in place, you want to know she is doing a good job. But how do you know when you are away from the house all day? Some families turn to a “nanny cam”—a hidden camera designed to show you what goes on in your house while you are away.  Using a hidden camera with no sound is legal, but you’ll want to check the laws in your state regarding recording a person’s speech without their consent.

If you are considering a nanny cam, consider advising your nanny about it. Most providers understand the desire to know what goes on with their children when they are not around, they just want to know about it.

But you don’t necessarily need a hidden camera to determine how things are going. If your child is happy to see the nanny and is excited to tell you about the fun things they did during the day, and the nanny seems engaged and happy, it’s a good sign things are working out.  If she seems overwhelmed, exhausted, and unhappy, be sure to talk with her about it.

Here are some warning signs to watch for:

  • Your child seems anxious or withdrawn around the nanny
  • The nanny doesn’t talk about the day or her stories don’t make sense
  • Your childrearing requests aren’t honored
  • Change in your child’s behavior—any sort of dramatic behavioral change.
  • Your child starts using inappropriate words.
  • Your child starts showing an unusual interest in people’s private parts.
  • Any talk of secrets or keeping anything from anyone.
  • An excessive amount of scrapes, cuts, and bruises.

Listen to your intuition—if things don’t seem right, and a conversation with the nanny doesn’t seem to help, it may be time to look for someone else.

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Nanny Orientation

daycare_kids_bubblesAfter you’ve hired your new nanny, gotten the terms of employment and work agreement squared away, and prepared your home for a live-in nanny, it’s time for her to start work. Giving her some time to get oriented is very important. Many bad experiences between nannies and employers could have been avoided if the nanny had been given a thorough orientation. Allow a half day to a full day for a live-out nanny and two days for a live-in nanny for orientation. The orientation should include:

  • Giving her a key to the house
  • Showing her where a spare key is hidden in case she is locked out
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • Written authorization if she is allowed to transport  your children in a car
  • Showing her any quirky locks or appliances
  • Showing her how to work the alarm system,  if you have one
  • Introducing her to neighbors or any other people she may need
  • How to handle medical situations, who to call, what she is allowed to do on her own
  • Review safety information (answering the door, turning off the water, fuse box location, etc.)
  • If you want her to keep a daily log of activities, go over with her what you’d like included
  • How you’ll reimburse her expenses (keeping receipts, recording expenses, etc.)

Since there is a lot to go over, you might want to make a checklist of the things you want to cover with the nanny. The amount of information may be overwhelming for her as well, so the more you can put in writing, for her to review later, the better.

The nanny’s orientation is a good time to get the children and the nanny used to each other, and for you to observe the nanny’s interactions with them.

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Deciding on a Nanny

daycare_shadowBe sure to do a thorough job checking the nanny’s background and references.  Make sure you and the nanny are clear regarding expectations of discipline, childcare style, pay, and benefits. If your children are old enough to have a say, be sure to get their opinion on the candidate.

You’ll need to draft a work agreement. The agreement should be specific and include the following:

  • Compensation
  • When performance reviews will be held
  • When raises or cost of living increases will be administered
  • How taxes will be handled
  • Holidays, vacation, and sick days
  • Insurance
  • Details on living arrangements for live-in nannies
  • Schedule
  • Duties
  • Transportation of children
  • Details of the parenting philosophy
  • What the nanny needs to do in case of emergency
  • If there is a trial period, how long that is
  • How much notice is required for either the nanny or the employer to terminate the contract

You can get a sample work agreement online with a quick search. There are many different styles and preferences.  Find one that suits your needs.

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