Finding Someone Safe to Care for Your Kids

Baby Gates: An In-Depth Buyer’s Guide

There is so much in the media about children being mistreated that it is very difficult to decide who they will be safe with. If you need a nanny or a babysitter, how do you know that they are responsible enough to give your children the care they deserve and you want them to have? You should never just accept someone because they are convenient; there are processes you need to go through to be sure.

What Do You Need And What Can You Afford?

Childcare costs are often the second biggest expense for families in the US after housing costs such as rents and mortgages. You need to look carefully at what you need and then at how much you can afford to pay. With babysitting averaging at $16 an hour and full-time nanny’s earning more than $650 per week, it is an expense that you have to be certain you can afford before taking anyone on.

Of course, you will always find people that will work at a lower rate, and that is fine as long as they fill the criteria you have for the person caring for your children. Do some research and find what the going rate is in your locality, and that will be much fairer for you and whoever you employ.

See if you can move the hours around as it could be better to employ someone for two full days rather than for a few hours five days a week.

Nanny Agencies Are Not Always The Best Way

Nanny agencies are not always the best place to find the perfect babysitter or nanny. To start with, you need to be confident that the relevant background checks have been carried out and there have been instances in the past where false information has been provided regarding these from nanny agencies.

The only way to trust the checks is to do them yourself.  See if you can find a company like Jumio, but who will work with parents/nannies, for an identity verification check, and take up any references they have provided, ones from past employers will usually throw up a red flag if they had a problem with them. Check out their social media pages, as these will show a truer picture of their personality.

Speak to friends and relations to see if they can recommend anyone, and there are also nanny and babysitting sites that have qualified people advertising their services.

No one would suggest that all nanny agencies are bad, but you still need to do the checks yourself to be certain they are right. 

Interviews Next

When you get to the interview stage you need to be well prepared. Have your questions ready and answers to any questions you expect them to ask you. Try to avoid questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no as you will not learn much about them that way.

Do not expect them to automatically know all the answers regarding your children, as some things will depend on your practices with child-rearing.

Anyone that you think might be suitable, let the children meet. Try to leave them alone for just a few minutes and see how things are when you return to the room.  If you do this with 2 or 3 candidates you will find that your children have a preference, and that is great of it agrees with yours.

Have A Trial Period

A trial period is vital just to see how things work out before making it a permanent arrangement. Set a period of a month or so and see how the children and the nanny are getting on after that.  

Always be aware of your children’s reactions. This does not just apply to nannies and babysitters but to anyone, they come in contact with. Children do not generally shy away from people without reason, so be wary of anyone they do this with.

Some parents go to the extent of having cameras fitted around the home when this happens, but if you do this you should inform the person providing the childcare that they can be seen.

Reviews

Every two or three months you should sit and chat with the nanny to find out anything they are not happy with, and vice versa. This should be seen as a review of their performance. It is a chance to reward them if they are doing exactly the job you wanted, or to point out things that need to change.

This chats can be useful for you and them, but the people that should benefit most from them will be the children.

Related:
At What Age Can I Place My Child Into Daycare?
What Are Your Thoughts On Good Childcare?

How to Help Your Child Find a Practical Hobby They Love

 How-to-help-your-child-find-a-practical-hobby-they-loveIt’s easy to despair if your child seems to just spend all of their spare time gaming on their PlayStation – rather than pursuing what you might consider a more ‘useful’ hobby. In other words, one you could more easily imagine translating into a lifelong passion and possibly even a rewarding career for them.

While you don’t want to act dictatorial towards your little one, there are still little things you could do to nudge them in the right direction.

Help your child to live by the ‘Rule of Three’

“People often take on too many responsibilities. This eventually leads to frustration. The US Marine Corps and other military services use the ‘Rule of Three’ as a general principle,” neuroscientist Tina Seelig says as quoted by Good Housekeeping.

Therefore, if school is one of the three things your child would be capable of handling on a regular basis, this would leave them with two other things you could encourage them to do as hobbies.

Don’t try to rush your kid into finding a passion

Contrary to a belief that seems popular in some quarters, your child isn’t a lost cause if they fail to find a burning passion by the age of 5. Only a small proportion of children actually do reach that high bar.

This was confirmed in a seven-year study conducted by William Damon, director of the Stanford University Centre on Adolescence. This research into 12- to 26-year-olds found that, as Damon explains, “the majority of adolescents and young adults … were searching for a direction in life but had yet to find it.”

Don’t worry if your child abandons a hobby

“Parents get frustrated when their child doesn’t stick with something,” Katharine Brooks, the author of You Majored in What?, acknowledges. However, most kids give up an activity when they realise that it is harder than they originally expected.

Your child might still make it to the next stage of learning, where they decide to work hard to master the activity that once daunted them. So, if they do quit something, just be patient.

Encourage your kid to simply do whatever they enjoy

“Any healthy passion, anything your child enjoys, should be encouraged,” Damon insists – even if your child doesn’t seem naturally adept at it.

You could be pleasantly surprised by what eventually results if you prioritise finding something your child enjoys rather than necessarily something that plays to their strengths.

Look for hobbies you could do with your child

There are plenty of hobbies that would fall into this category – like photography, drawing, painting and felting, as LifeSavvy explains. These are all also examples of activities that could help your child to develop individual interests they would be able to indulge away from you as their independence grows.

For example, if your child enjoys driving a ride-on car bought for them from RiiRoo, this could spark a broader interest in cars.

[…]
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Discover How Children Learn And Why 0-5 Years Are So Important

Young-children-up-to-the-age-of-five-are-said-to-have-brains-like-spongesChildren that are prepared to study frequently do better in life. This may be because they have a better education or because they like to learn and this knowledge helps them to achieve goals. If you want your child to learn and achieve success later in life then you need to understand how children learn, why the first few years are so important, and how a reputable Croydon early learning center can help you achieve these goals and become a great parent.

The Learning Process

Children learn from the moment they are born. They start learning through touch and feel, that’s why it’s important that they have a stimulating environment and the reason that early childhood learning centers can be a big benefit.

In their first year, babies may not appear to be doing that much but they will be paying attention to and interacting with everything around them. They’ll learn by:

  • Watching everything that goes on around them and copying
  • Listening to all the sounds in their environment creates the rudiments of speech
  • Investigating things, often by putting them in their mouth to discover taste, texture, and shape
  • Handling everything to feel the textures
  • Starting to ask simple questions

The Young Child’s Brain

Young children, up to the age of five, are said to have brains like sponges. They literally absorb everything that is going on around them. The trick is to give them a stimulating environment where things are different every day. This encourages them to learn more.

The things that are absorbed are processed overnight, when your young child sleeps. That’s one of the reasons why it is so important to make sure your young child gets a good ten hours of sleep at night.

Personal Involvement

Children learn through experience better than simply being told. This is actually true for many adults as well. To give them that experience they must be able to interact with all the different elements that surround them.

You can help by providing an array of new objects daily. It can be beneficial to give your child these objects and talk about them. Even if they don’t understand everything you’re saying it will help them to learn more.

Of course, being involved and interacting with them will help you to build the parent/child bond that you probably crave.

What They Learn

Through interaction and a little guidance young children will learn to communicate. This will be via their hands and they will start to formulate words. After they have started talking they will quickly build on their vocabulary by listening to you.

They will also develop an understanding of the space they occupy and how they can influence their immediate environment. This is a great way for children to develop an understanding of their place in the world. You can help them develop this by doing activities with them, such as watering plants to watch a flower grow.

Your child will continue to learn as long as you interact with them. But, when they are very young it’s very easy for them to learn, that’s why it’s important for you to encourage learning as soon as they are born.

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