Sunday, February 28, 2010
International Nanny Association (INA)
Co-Presidents: Wendy Sachs and Susan Tokayer
National Association for Nanny Care (NANC)
Contact: Lora Brawley and Sue Downey
Niñeras en Español
Contact: Jany Lauren
Professional Nanny Association (PNA)
Contact: Jennie Krogulski, Caryn Haase, Tara Lindsay
Bay Area Nanny Association (BANA)
San Francisco Bay Area
Contact: Margaret Felton
Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BayAreaNannies/
East Bay Nannies
East Bay, CA
Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Eastbaynannies/
Professional Nannies of Southern California
Contact: Melissa Holmes and Sarah Toscano
Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pronanniesofsc
Los Angels Area: Santa Barbara, Pomona, and Orange County
Contact: Buffi Gentry and Mic Almanza, Co-Owners
Kitchener-Waterloo Area Nanny Association (KWANA)
Kitchener-Waterloo area, Ontario Canada
Contact: Erin Collicutt
Denver Area Nanny Association
Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DenverAreaNannyAssociation/
Nanny Alliance of NY & NJ
Southern CT, Metro NY, and NJ
Contact: Andrea Flagg
Central Florida Nannies
Orlando and Srrounding Areas
Contact: Marcia Van de Kieft (President) or Sherri Askew (Vice-President)
Nannies of Southwest Florida
Naples, Ft. Myers, Marcos Island, Cape Coral and Surrounding Areas
Contact: Jodi Lepp
Metro Atlanta Nannies
Contact: Deborah Brown
North Atlanta Nanny Association
Contact: Jocelyn Kelly
Contact: Pat Rung and Diane King
Association of DC Area Nannies (ADCAN )
Maryland, Northern Virginia, Washington DC
Contact: Kellie Geres
Boston Area Nanny Support Group (BANSG )
Boston and surrounding suburbs
Contact: Janice St. Clair
Yahoo Group: groups.yahoo.com/group/BANSG
North of Boston Nanny Support Group
Suburbs North of Boston, and New Hampshire
Contact: Maryann Kamitian
Ann Arbor Nannies
Great Ann Arbor, Michigan Area
Contact: Sandra Tracey
Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/annarbornannies/
Michigan Professional Nanny Association
Metro Detroit Area
Contact: Tara Lindsey, April Krause, and Maria Harrington
Twin City Professional Nannies (TCPN)
St. Paul, MN area
North of Boston Nanny Support Group
Contact: Maryann Kamitian
Nanny Alliance of NY & NJ
Metro NY/NJ/CT Area
Contact: Andrea Flagg
Contact: Sara Sandstrom and Bethany Farace
Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NJNannies/
Nanny Alliance of NY & NJ Metro
Contact: Andrea Flagg
Triangle Area Nanny Group (TANG)
Triangle Area of North Carolina, which is Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill
Contact: Tracey Chipps and Leanne Osborne
Contact: Greta Schraer
Cleveland Area Nannies
Contact: Cathleen Smith
Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ohionannies/
Contact: Sue Downey
Pittsburgh and Surrounding Areas
Contact: Kate Oaks
Yahoo Group: www.groups.yahoo.com/group/pghnannies/
Austin Nanny Connection
Greater Austin Area
Conatct: Patricia Kinnie
Dallas, Ft. Worth Metroplex Area
Contact Rowlanda Smith
Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DFW_nannies/
Houston Nanny Network
Contact: Tairajae Zachary
Yahoo Group: firstname.lastname@example.org
Association of DC Area Nannies (ADCAN)
Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland
Contact: Kellie Geres
Nanny Network of Richmond
Richmond, VA and Surrounding Counties
Contact: Angela Jackson
Association of DC Area Nannies (ADCAN)
Washington DC, Maryland, Northern Virginia
Contact: Kellie Geres
Emerald City Nannies
Greater Seattle Area
Contact: Anna Stivers and Danielle Burlingham
Northwest Nanny Association
Greater Seattle Area
Contact: Jenny Brown
Northshore Professional Nanny Alliance
Contact: Mary Boyle
Saturday, February 27, 2010
By Henry Martyn Robert & William J. Evans
Since we have been discussing nanny support groups this week it only fitting to recommend that nannies reference Robert's Rules of Order when planning nanny support group meetings. This is a concise and user-friendly guide to the essentials for conducting a meeting by the official Robert's Rules of Order authorship committee.
Henry Martyn Robert was an engineering officer in the regular Army. Without warning he was asked to preside over a public meeting being held in a church in his community and realized that he did not know how. He tried anyway and his embarrassment was supreme. This event, which may seem familiar to many readers, left him determined never to attend another meeting until he knew something of parliamentary law.
Ultimately, he discovered and studied the few books then available on the subject. From time to time, due to his military duties, he was transferred to various parts of the United States where he found virtual parliamentary anarchy since each member from a different part of the country had differing ideas of correct procedure. To bring order out of chaos he decided to write Robert's Rules of Order as it came to be called.
The tenth, current, edition has been brought about through a process of keeping the book up to date with the growth of parliamentary procedure. All editions of the work issued after the death of the original author have been prepared by persons who either knew and worked with the original author or are connected to such persons in a direct continuity of professional association.
Tomorrow: Listing of Nanny Support Groups
Friday, February 26, 2010
Nanny Night Out:
A monthly nanny night out should meet at the same night (for example, the third Thursday) of every month.
Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine's Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, and any other holidays can be celebrated at the monthly meetings.
Group Birthday Party:
It is great fun to have a collective birthday party for all members. Everyone should bring a gift and receive one in return.
National Nanny Recognition Week (NNRW):
Celebrate NNRW each year with a picnic or party. Families, agencies, nannies, and charges can be invited.
In-home childcare providers must continue learning to provide quality care. Many nanny support groups offer CPR-First Aid certification, self defense, and childcare workshops.
Professionals are often available to speak or present workshops to nannies about topics important to in-home childcare providers. Some businesses that might be willing to present a workshop or speak to a group of nannies include nanny industry related businesses such as: nanny referral agencies, payroll services, or insurance companies. Authors of childcare books are usually willing to speak to promote their expertise and sign books. Professionals can speak to nannies about child development or child discipline. Since it requires a lot of work to schedule an educational workshop, such events can be promoted just once, twice, or four times annually.
Many nanny support groups have an annual nanny/charge picnic to kick a new year and recruit new members for nanny the nanny support group.
Playgroup Field Trips:
Nanny support group members can organize playgroups to meet at various parks, go to the zoo, dairy farm, pools, and apple farms. Other fun options include police and fire station tours and trips to children's museums.
Playgroup Theme Days:
For example, a bug theme could include little butterfly nets and containers to keep the caught bugs in. Go on a hike looking for bugs. Have a bubble day where we just let the kids run around chasing bubbles and blowing bubbles. Schedule a bear hunt where the kids looked for a bear and find his paw prints on cupcakes that he left behind at a picnic table.
What are your favorite nanny support group activities?
Thursday, February 25, 2010
This week we are discussing nanny support groups as educational and social forms of support for nannies. Once you and a few other core nannies have started a nanny support group and other caregivers start joining the group it is recommended to delegate the work so no one person gets overwhelmed with too much work.
Appointing officers helps delegate responsibilities of the group. Nanny groups can create elected or appointed positions as needed.
Some common officer positions include: President, Moderator, Chairman, Founder, Secretary, Treasurer, Playgroup Director, Contact Person, Public Relations Director, Membership Chairman, Educational Liaison, and Newsletter Editor.
Joyce Farmer, a nanny and former member of the folded nanny group National Association of Nannies wrote an article about nanny support groups. Ms. Farmer wrote, [When] starting a new group in a large city, you may want to designate one of your officers to be a Playgroup Director. While offering to set up playgroups initially inside the nanny group, it may then develop into a convenient service to the community."
A contact person acts a great liaison for the group when it needs to communicate with another group or business. For example, if nanny support groups want to enlist local nanny agencies to participate in group events, the liaison can contact businesses and the business can respond to that contact person. Ms. Farmer further points out that a contact person may be the only leader needed for an informal group like a playgroup.
An Educational Liaison may be in charge of contacting schools or educators to obtain speakers for meetings.
A Public Relations Director typically handles all group contact with the public. Ms. Farmer says the responsibility of this officer is to establish and maintain contact with local newspapers, radio stations, and television stations to advertise information about the group and the group's events. The PR Director should prepare the group’s brochure, newsletter, member resource guide, flyer, and other printed resources used to promote the group updated and current.
She continues, "The Membership Chairman may be responsible for making sure dues are paid and memberships are current. They provide the newsletter editor with current mailing list."
Newsletters are a great way to keep members informed about nanny groups. In her article Ms. Farmer describes the Newsletter Editor as responsible for typing, printing, and distributing the group’s newsletter. She explains that the editor chooses the newsletter content. The editor may seek advertisers to pay for the newsletter. The newsletter can be handed out at meetings, mailed via postal mail to members' street addresses, or inexpensive email newsletters can be sent to members' email addresses.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Andrea Flagg of the Nanny Alliance of New York and New Jersey (NANYNJ) shares the NANYNJ Membership Guidelines as an example for other nanny support groups to follow.
Nanny Alliance of New York and New Jersey Membership Guidelines:
Membership is open to nannies on all levels. We kindly ask all group members to please:
1 . Respect everyone as an individual and understand that all members are appreciated and viewed as a benefit to the group.
2. Be honest about your true feelings when giving your input on all issues; we want you to know that you have a say in the group as a member.
3. Not gossip behind each others backs. We understand that not all individuals will click with all other members but please maintain a mature attitude. We want everyone to feel
4. Honor the privacy of the members of the group and your employers. Do not refer to the family you work for by name.
5. Give the courtesy of a reply when moderators or other members of the group contact you even if it is to say, "Sorry, not interested."
6. If we do not hear from you for over two-months, we will assume you are no longer interested in the group, and your name will be removed from the member list. You are welcome you back at any time, but you will be asked to sign up as a new member again, which will require you to pay for a new membership.
7. Note: We are a professional organization and drugs and excessive drinking will not be permitted at any events or functions hosted by NANYNJ. Foul language is frowned upon.
The Yahoo Group for the Nanny Alliance of New York and New Jersey adds the following guidelines to those already described for their nanny support group above:
1. Any and all nannies are welcome. This Yahoo Group does not invite agencies, parents employing nannies, or businesses to become members. We do not welcome spamming of members. We monitor who joins the group. If you feel you have received spam from someone who may have gotten your address from our list please let us know.
2. Please do not post any personal contact information -- yours or the family for whom you work.
Do not post:
• Any of your employer’s contact information.
• Last names.
• Phone numbers.
• Any specific charge and family information.
The group moderators will continue to closely monitor who joins the group, but since we have not yet had the opportunity to meet everyone in person, we can never be sure who is reading the posts.
Please note: Currently there are over 80 members. Therefore, we urge you to please think of your safety and the safety of the family for whom you work.
3. Please email individuals privately if your post pertains to just one person (such as a play date and meeting for dinner) since we do not want messages that are not intended for the group as a whole.
4. Please do not flame. This means if you disagree with someone's opinion you are free to disagree but do not put them down or make them feel like they are not entitled to their own opinions.
5. If a dispute occurs off list do not bring it to the group to solve. Please solve it amongst yourselves or email the moderators privately.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Photo of Nanny Alliance of New York and New Jersey horseback riding.
Joyce Farmer is a nanny and previous board member of National Association of Nannies (NAN). In an article that was formerly posted on the NAN website Ms. Farmer described the three basic nanny support groups as: social, educational, or playgroups. Below we add the online nanny support group to the list.
Social groups do not offer speakers or educational opportunities. They provide a local social gathering of nannies. Nannies typically can get more feedback in a social situation than from a structured or lecture situation.
Educational groups usually have structure, an agenda, and a time set aside for a speaker or presentation, thus providing an educational opportunity at each meeting. There can still be time left for social purposes or a social event can be scheduled for another time
This is a small group, typically meeting once a week, including charges. There can be organized activities or just free play for the children. Nannies can network and talk while their charges gain the social contact of playmates.
There are many nanny groups formed at www.groups.yahoo.com. The benefit of using Yahoo Groups is that it is a free service with no long distance phone charges. Just remember that when using the Internet, you need to use caution. Online nanny support groups often have privacy and confidentiality issues and groups frequently come up with guidelines that help control issues. Stop by again on Sunday February 28, 2010 for a listing of online nanny support groups.
Stop by tomorrow for suggested bylaws and guidelines for nanny support groups.
What type of nanny support group activities do you prefer?
Monday, February 22, 2010
Nanny support groups offer friendship, mentoring, a sense of identity, career credibility, educational opportunities, and the social opportunities that nannies deserve.
Andrea Flagg, a professional nanny, co-founder and moderator of Nanny Alliance of New York and New Jersey (NANYNJ) and moderator for the Yahoo Group for NANYNJ says the greatest advantage of being a member of a nanny support group has been, "Meeting others in my profession from all over the United States sharing resources and giving and receiving support."
Ms. Flagg tells in-home childcare providers, "Other nannies in your local area can be a wonderful source of information to share what places are fun in the area to visit both for you and your charges."
Janice StClair, organizer of Boston Area Nanny Support Group (BANSG) for ten-years explains, if you gain nothing else from attending nanny support group meetings you will gain, "A reality check, share tips based on experience, and brainstorm with the only other people who understand what nannies do -- other nannies."
Christy Ochs, a career nanny, member of Denver Area Nanny Association, 2007 International Nanny Association Nanny of the Year, (INA NOTY), and a mother and grandmother of five explains, "Being a nanny can be a very isolating job, and our nanny group provides a support system and social opportunities to connect with other nannies in our area."
Ms. Ochs urges nannies, "If you don't have a nanny support group in your area you can create one at an online web site provider or through the [nanny referral] agency you work with."
Glenda Propst is a nanny and co-founder of the International Nanny Association (INA) and National Association of Nannies (NAN) which is no longer an active organization, 1991 INA NOTY, a member of the development team of the nanny blog Regarding Nannies, and has moderated several boards online for nannies including nannynetwork.com. Ms. Propst recommends that when starting a nanny support group a small group of nannies should work together to get the group organized. She explains that keeping the group of nannies small makes decision-making less complicated.
Michelle LaRowe agrees. Ms. LaRowe, 2004 INA NOTY, is an INA Credentialed Nanny, was president of Boston Area Nannies and currently serves as the Executive Director of INA. She is also the author of several parenting books including Nanny to the Rescue! and Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists. She recommends, "If you are interested in starting a support group for nannies don’t do it alone. First build up a core of three or four nannies who you can count on to make the group happen."
Ms. Propst encourages nannies to ask their employers to introduce them to nannies in the neighborhood, ask their nanny agency for the name and number of nannies they have placed in the area, go to local parks, and to the library story hour to meet other nannies.
Ms. Propst explains, "Once you have your small group together start having organizational meetings. Assign jobs for each person that clearly state their responsibilities and a deadline for getting their jobs done.
Becky Kavanagh, a professional nanny, the 2006 INA NOTY, former President of the INA, and Secretary of Twin Cities Professional Nannies stresses, "Each nanny support group member must be vigilant that confidentiality is maintained about employers. But, the nannies need to be able to 'vent' in confidence too."
Ms. Kavanagh reveals, "Sometimes this is a challenge for some group members."
Ms. Propst emphasizes, "It is not about numbers, it is about offering support and meeting the needs of nannies who are looking for friends, information, advice, and a friendly face."
Tomorrow: Defining Different Types of Nanny Support Groups
Sunday, February 21, 2010
This past week we discussed how to raise unbiased children for Black History Month. First we discussed how to prevent prejudice by valuing differences, we learned that nannies and au pairs should never allow children to tease or insult others, we discussed how to talk to kids about stereotypes, how to reduce gender role stereotypes, how to help children that are victims of prejudice, and we listed some of the books we referenced over the past week for Black History Month.
The Story of My Name
Saturday, February 20, 2010
The books and brochures listed below are the references for the past week of posts about Black History Month for nannies and au pairs.
Raising the Rainbow Generation: Teaching Your Children to be Successful in a Multicultural Society
By Darlene Powell Hopson
Designed for parents, teachers, and other caregivers of children under 12. The books suggests words and concepts children can understand at various ages. Whether a child is black, white, brown, yellow, or red, he or she is growing up with a negative or uninformed outlook toward people of other colors. The authors examine the sources of racial and ethnic stereotypes and explore the attitudes of parents before dispensing advice about raising offspring. The advice is grounded in real-life scenarios and current (or recent) events. It is realistic, well-focused, not preachy. A final chapter supplies folktales from around the world for reading aloud to young children
Teaching Tolerance: Raising Open-Minded, Empathetic Children
By Sara Bullard
Tolerance begins at home. We are all born with the capacity for tolerance and intolerance, Bullard maintains, and many of our natural traits? By far the most important indicator of intolerance is how a child is treated within a family. The child who is denied love, or raised in an atmosphere that is harsh or threatening, will become frustrated and angry; low self-esteem and a propensity for prejudice are then more likely to follow. Firm, calm, consistent parenting, Bullard writes, allows children to develop the curiosity, creativity and appreciation for the mysteries of life that are characteristics of the tolerant individual. Bullard enlivens her work with quotes and anecdotes from such figures as Maya Angelou and Martin Luther King Jr., and she concludes each chapter with questions and suggestions for journal writing to help parents further explore their own attitudes. Also included is an extensive list of books, toys, games and music that explore ethnicity and promote tolerance. More thought-provoking than prescriptive, Bullard's reasoned and persuasive essay offers convincing inspiration for parents to serve as open-minded models for their children.
Prejudice and Your Child
By Kenneth Bancroft Clark
Discusses racial awareness and its impact on white as well as black children, and provides wise counsel and a plan for action that is as fresh — and as necessary.
Friday, February 19, 2010
By Alvin Poussaint, M.D. and Susan Linn, Ed.D.
Children don't come pre-equipped with reactions to each new experience in their lives. When children are hurt by racial or ethnic cruelty, it is hard to restrain an immediate emotional response. It's important, however, to try to comfort and explain instead of reacting angrily.
[If your charge] is called an ugly name, for instance, it's a great temptation to fly into a blind rage. But what the child needs from you is reassurance that she is a good person and that people who call her such names are not nice people. At the same time, she needs to know that all people of that particular group don't act this way, and that there are good and bad people of all ethnic groups and races.
Children need encouragement to be assertive in these situations, at least saying to the name-caller, "I don't like you calling me bad names and I want you to stop."
And it's important to stress that talking out a problem is always the thing to try first. If a situation gets out of hand, a parent may need to intervene -- and the child needs to know that you are ready to back her up -- but children should be encouraged to initially try to handle these difficulties themselves.
Then, if a similar incident occurs again, they will be better able to deal with it. Whatever the problem, however, parents of color need to ensure that their children develop coping mechanisms that don't compromise their children's dignity.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
You also can help build resistance to bias by encouraging your charge to engage in activities that go beyond or go against traditional sex-role stereotyping.
Similarly, both boys and girls can both take care of "babies" (dolls), "cook a meal" (with a toy kitchen), build a train track, and "fix things" (with a toy tool box). Encourage your charge to explore all the opportunities open to her or him. Remember that you're teaching the future mothers and fathers of the world.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Start by trying to expose children to a variety of influences in their community. Get to know people of different races, religions, and cultural backgrounds and invite their children over to play.
You also can expose the children to people of different races and cultures by carefully choosing television shows that present characters with different backgrounds. All chidren enjoy watching kids like themselves on television. But, unless the child is white, this may be difficult on most shows — especially shows on commercial television. Though many children's television programs do offer either sterotypes or limited diversity, if you look, you will find several good programs (mostly on public television) that do present differences in a positive light. Shows like Sesame Street, Barney & Friends, and Reading Rainbow, for example, feature multicultural casts and features that will expose your child to many different cultures.
Your local children's librarian can probably help you find a good selection of multicultural books and perhaps videos, too.
Tomorrow on Be the Best Nanny Newsletter Blog: Reducing gender role stereotypes.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
If you do hear a child tease or insult someone because of their gender or race (or if you hear another child teasing or insulting your charge), step in immediately. Remaining silent will only give the child permission to repeat it and to go on hurting others. Just as you would if your charge had physically hurt another child, comfort and reassure the injured child first. While doing so, make sure your charge knows that you disapprove of what he did. You may choose to discipline such bias attacks just the way you would discipline violence or physical attacks.
At the same time try to find out what underlies the insult. Chances are it didn't come out of the blue. If another problem, like having trouble sharing or difficulty taking turns, underlies the slur, then teach the child to address the problem directly, rather than attacking the person's race or gender. Help your charge see that the other child's gender or skin color or ethnic background has nothing to do with the sharing problem.
If fear of people who are different is an underlying factor, then you'll need to do some activities that will increase the child's opportunity to interact with other children who are racially or culturally different.
Monday, February 15, 2010
President's Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February to honor two of our greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Today is a great day to remind children of the story of George Washington and the cherry tree. After telling children the story be sure to make the cherry cookie recipe below.
George Washington and the Cherry Tree
When George was about six-years old, he was given a hatchet. He went around chopping everything that came his way. One day, as he wandered about the garden by himself he found a beautiful, young English cherry tree, of which his father was most proud. He tried the edge of his hatchet on the trunk of the tree and barked it so that it died.
Some time after this, his father discovered what had happened to his favorite tree. He came into the house in anger, and demanded to know who had cut away the bark. Nobody could tell him anything about it.
Just then George, with his little hatchet, came into the room. "George,'' said his father, "Do you know who has killed my beautiful little cherry tree yonder in the garden?''
This was a hard question to answer, and for a moment George was staggered by it, but quickly recovering himself he cried: "I cannot tell a lie, Father, you know I cannot tell a lie! I did cut it with my little hatchet.''
His father’s anger died and taking the boy tenderly in his arms, he said: "My son, that you should not be afraid to tell the truth is more to me than a thousand trees! Yes , though they were blossomed with silver and had leaves of the purest gold!''
Cherry Thumbprint Cookies
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 sticks butter or margarine
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the vanilla, butter, egg yolks, and brown sugar until creamy. Add the flour and salt and mix well.
Have the children roll the dough into 1" balls and place them on greased cookie sheets. Have the children make a thumbprint in each ball and then place a maraschino cherry in each thumbprint.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. (Makes about 3 dozen cookies).
What are you doing with your charges for President's Day?
Sunday, February 14, 2010
The terrific graphic to the left is from the Waterloo Public Library, 451 Commercial St., Waterloo, IA 50701
The article content below can be found at familyeducation.com.
February is Black History Month. The children will be learning about famous African Americans and civil rights in school. But, this week, we would like to honor Black History Month by discussing how nannies and au pairs can help raise children that appreciate differences and resist bias and prejudice.
As much as we would like to be a color-blind, a gender-blind, and an age-blind society, we aren't. So don't ignore the issues of racism and sexism (and ageism and other prejudices) just because they make you uncomfortable.
Children learn their attitudes from us -- the adults around them. Caregivers are essential in helping children to resist biases and prejudice. You can begin to battle the influence of bias in our culture by teaching the children in your care to value differences. One way to start is by encouraging the children to appreciate their own uniqueness. You can introduce children to the notion of differences by starting with their own family. Then you can compare your own family to your charge's family.
1. Do different members of their family have different color hair (black, brown, blond, red, gray, white)?
2. Do they have different textures of hair (curly, straight, thick, wispy, bald)?
3. Do they have different color eyes (brown, blue, hazel)?
4. Are there differences between your family and your charge’s family?
Acknowledging and valuing the diverse physical traits within their own family (or their family and your family) can help children appreciate diversity.
In teaching a child respect and tolerance for different people, start with concepts they'll understand. African American? Latino? No. Toddlers do not understand these adult labels. Instead, start by talking about gender and skin color — the real color: not black and white, but brown, tan, beige, and pink. Then you can talk about the shape of eyes, the color and texture of hair, and other obvious differences.
How is the child special? She's two-years old. She has a particular hair color, eye color, and skin color. Her ancestors have a specific cultural heritage. Sharing stories of people — family members, historical figures, or contemporary role models — from her ethnic group of whom you feel proud can also build an appreciation of your child's cultural heritage. The child also has a distinctive name, which may reflect some family history or cultural background.
Defining the ways in which the child is unique or special is a great way to encourage her to value differences because toddlers love talking and learning about themselves. By talking in a positive way about the toddler's physical characteristics and cultural heritage, you will help her build a positive sense of self. And if she learns to value what makes her different from others, your toddler will be more open to the notion of appreciating the differences of others as well.
Tomorrow: President's Day
Tuesday: Respecting Differences for Black History Month by Be the Best Nanny Newsletter
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Chinese New Year for Kids is a full color paperback book with beautiful, authentic Chinese illustrations. This is a hands-on workbook for parents, caregivers, and teachers, written for children from ages three to 12-years old, for use in the classroom or at home. Children will enjoy the Chinese New Year party ideas, dragon parades, lion dances, art projects, and Chinese zodiac games.
The art projects for Chinese New Year are designed to be easy, as well as inexpensive to reproduce for large groups. All the activities in this book have been thoroughly tested in the classroom, with very successful results, and have elicited lots of enthusiasm from children and teachers alike. Music, physical movement, art, and food all add to the ambiance of taking an imaginary trip to China during the Chinese New Year.
Celebrating Chinese New Year
Children love celebrating Chinese New Year. This book follows a young Chinese-American boy and his family as their prepare for the Chinese New Year. The author includes the symbolic meanings of the foods eaten and other Chinese New Year customs, an explanation of the Chinese Zodiac, and an in-depth look at the Lion Dance. The photographs are absolutely stunning!
Friday, February 12, 2010
By Tami Rose, North Carolina
8. Dip muffin tops in melted butter and cinnamon sugar mixture for a sweeter muffin.
Fortune cookies are a fun way to end a family meal, and easily bought in most Chinese supermarkets. But they are also fun to make - and if you make them yourself you will be able to add your own fortunes.
You Will Need:
1 Egg white
1. Have the children write fortunes with pen (not crayons or markers) on strips of white paper (approximately four-inches by 1/2 inch).
2. Preheat the oven to 400F and grease two cookie sheets.
3. Beat the egg white and vanilla until foamy but not stiff. Sift the flour, salt, and sugar and fold gently into the egg white mixture.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Below are some simple paper crafts to do with children to celebrate Chinese New Year.
You will need:
Piece of paper
Two wide Popsicle sticks
1. Have the children decorate the paper with butterflies, flowers, cherry blossoms, or calligraphy with colored pens.
2. Then, pleat the paper back and forth into equal folds.
3. Glue a Popsicle stick onto each end of the paper. The Popsicle sticks should stick out above the top of the paper.
4. Once dry the children can pull the Popsicles sticks together and tape them in place to make the fan.
Chinese New Year ends with the beautiful Lantern Festival. Here’s how to make paper lanterns with the children.
You will need:
1. Fold construction paper in half lengthwise.
2. Cut lines through the fold to about 1 ½ inches from the top of the paper at about 1 inch intervals.
3. Glue strips of tissue paper along the uncut side.
4. Have the tissue paper hang at the bottom. Make two small holes in the top. Tie some thread through to hang the lantern.
Tomorrow on the Be the Best Nanny Newsletter blog: Chinese New Year Recipes
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
An award-winning "BPA-free" baby bottle contained the highest traces of the toxic chemical when Health Canada tested for leaching into water, according to newly released test results.As we've all heard umpteen times by now, there is evidence that exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) may cause health problems. In January 2009 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Americans should avoid plastics with the chemical BPA. After that announcement we reviewed 12 BPA-free baby bottles.
But, Canada has been more proactive than the American government and has banned plastic baby bottles with BPA after concluding the chemical is toxic. Here in the U.S., several state governments are considering ways to restrict its use. Some major retailers also have pulled BPA-containing products from their shelves.
Below is an article showing that some of the bottles we reviewed that are labeled “BPA-free” actually have the chemical in the product! After reading of these studies we recommend just switching to glass baby bottles to be sure you are avoiding BPA. Why risk the health of your baby or charge?
OTTAWA — An award-winning "BPA-free" baby bottle contained the highest traces of the toxic chemical when Health Canada tested for leaching into water, according to newly released test results.
Dr. Brown's Natural Flow bottle, described as a product "parents can't live without" for the past five years by the influential magazine American Baby, showed trace amounts of 0.9 parts per billion in the water after 238 hours at 60 C.
Other "BPA-free" brands with detectable levels under these conditions, ranging from 0.002 to 0.025 part per billion, included Gerber, Medela, Whittlestone, Nuby and a house brand sold at a dollar store in Canada.
There were no detectable levels found in the BornFree and Thinkbaby bottles after 238 hours. The Green to Grow brand was not analyzed at the 238-hour mark after Health Canada found no detectable levels after 94 hours.
Thinkbaby bottles showed no detectable levels after two hours, 22 hours and 94 hours, while BornFree showed minute traces at the two-hour mark, but came up completely clean after that.
Health Canada did not include the Adiri Natural Nurser bottle — pitched to parents as "100 per cent BPA free" — in the water migration survey.
But in a second test using ten per cent ethanol, Health Canada found three bottles with detectable levels of the chemical in one of the four time-specified readings — Adiri, Dr. Brown and Whittlestone.
Health Canada released the detailed breakdown of the results after a barrage of criticism in the past week from consumer advocates and bottle manufacturers, demanding transparency and questioning the veracity of the test results. But the release has only raised more questions about the study.
The aim of the study, conducted last year after Health Canada announced an imminent ban on polycarbonate plastic baby bottles, was to compare the levels of BPA migrating from polycarbonate baby bottles to those made from substitutes, under real-life conditions used by parents.
The study found much higher readings of leaching among the polycarbonate bottles — reaching 59.92 part per billion after 238 hours.
By then, the market had already been flooded with "BPA-free" alternatives made of substitute plastics without any bisphenol A, which were pitched as an option for parents concerned about the health risks associated with the newly labelled toxin.
The test results surprised Health Canada scientists involved, according to records released to under the Access to Information Act.
"This bottle is labelled polypropylene, which should contain no BPA," the lead scientist wrote to a colleague, recommending another analysis be done to "verify the claim" and "check more samples."
Click here to read entire article.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
We reviewed: the Adiri baby bottles which are BPA-free but the company is now out of business, the Avent BPA-free baby bottles with the honey colored tint, the Wee Go nurser by Babylife, the Born Free baby bottles, Dr. Brown’s baby bottles, Evenflow Classic glass bottles, Green to Grow baby bottles, Sassy baby bottles, Medela baby feeding products, Playtex drop-ins, and Breastflow baby bottles.
We also reviewed three books to help caregivers bottle feed babies: Top Tips for Bottle-feeding by Clare Byam-Cook, Balancing Breast and Bottle by Amy Peterson and Mindy Harmer, and Feeding Baby Green and Raising Baby Green by Dr. Alan Greene.
Our final BPA-free baby bottle to review is the Thinkbaby bottles. Thinkbaby products are free of BPA, phthalates, PVC, lead, nitrosamines, melamine, and biologically toxic chemicals. Thinkbaby has three nipple flow rates available. A cross cut slow flow for newborn to three-month old babies, cross cut medium flow for three to six-month olds, and a cross cut fast flow for the six-month old to one-year old child.
• Free of BPA, phthalates, and lead.
• Dishwasher safe
• Seven flow rates of the silicone nipples
• Venting system
• No spill design
• Easy transport with travel caps
• Easy to clean
• Packaging is recycled and recyclable
• Some nipple collapse
What do you like about thinkbaby bottles?
Saturday, February 6, 2010
When caring for newborns and infants, nannies and au pairs must know how to bottle-feed babies. Even when new mothers feed their infants breast milk exclusively, the in-home caregiver will need to bottle-feed the infant breast milk. And, despite all the values of breastfeeding we have all heard, some mothers must bottle-feed their infants formula and Clare Byam-Cook, author of Top Tips for Bottle-feeding explains how to properly bottle-feed infants and why bottle-feeding infants is fine.
Clare Byam-Cook is a retired midwife from London. She has spent the past 20-years helping thousands of women -- including celebrities such as Kate Winslet and Helena Bonham Carter -- to breastfeed. Although her book is written for mothers in the United Kingdom, her advice on how to bottle-feed is useful for mothers and caregivers world-wide.
Controversially, Ms. Byam-Cook believes it is okay to give breastfed babies a bottle when necessary -- heresy in the breast-feeding world.
There is little doubt that breast milk is best. Typically breast milk gives babies all the nutrients they need for the first six-months of life and helps protect them from ear and gastro-intestinal infections, chest and urine infections, childhood diabetes, eczema, obesity, and asthma. It also helps protect the breastfeeding mother against ovarian and breast cancer, and weaker bones later in life.
"Most women have got the 'breast is best' essage," says Byam-Cook. "But breastfeeding does not guarantee your baby won't get these illnesses, it just means your baby is less likely to get them."
She continues, "Yet because women are always being told how wonderful breastfeeding is, they assume that breastfeeding equals perfect health, while formula is liquid poison. So many women limp on miserably, still trying to breastfeed when it's clearly not working."
"Successful, happy breastfeeding, is based on the assumption that all babies feed perfectly and that all mothers have plenty of milk," explains Byam-Cook.
Byam-Cook also disagrees with the theory that virtually all women are capable of breastfeeding. "This idea that every woman can breastfeed because she has a pair of breasts is ludicrous," she argues. "It's like saying no one should become diabetic because we all have a pancreas."
No matter how they try, some women will never produce enough milk. Some babies have such a poor sucking reflex they will never manage to breastfeed successfully.
The author says, "Breastfeeding is a skill that needs to be taught well. Some midwives and counsellors are brilliant teachers. But other mums are let down by poor or conflicting advice."
While Byam-Cook is not exclusively promoting bottle-feeding, she believes the use of a bottle should not be seen as some kind of heinous crime -- and indeed, breastfeeding and bottle-feeding mothers should be taught how to give a baby a bottle properly.
"Focusing solely on breastfeeding and refusing to discuss bottle-feeding, which many antenatal classes now do, means that mothers no longer know how to properly make up, store and give bottles of milk -- either of their own expressed milk or formula," says the midwife and author.
"I have no qualms at all about advising a woman struggling to breastfeed to express her milk and give it via a bottle," says Byam-Cook. "We can then try breastfeeding again when the mother is no longer tearful and in pain, and the baby is no longer screaming with hunger."
She continues, "If a baby can't or won't get enough milk out of the breast to be satisfied, it's better to give formula in a bottle than for the baby to end up dehydrated because of underfeeding."
Just under half of all mothers who prepare powdered formula do so improperly. For instance, they use boiled water that has cooled for too long (raising the risk of bacteria).
"Without proper information, it's not surprising that so many bottle-fed babies are more prone to problems like gastroenteritis," says Byam-Cook.
Clare's advice to expectant mothers is clear. Try to breastfeed. Every mother owes it to her baby to at least try. But have a sterilizer, breast pump, bottles, and formula -- and access to effective help on standby just in case problems arise.
As nannies and au pairs we owe it to the mothers and their infants to encourage the mother and infant bond, whether the mother breastfeeds or uses formula. Ultimately, women need to accept that despite all their efforts they might not be successful at breast feeding. But, with a supportive caregiver and knowledge of proper bottle-feeding they will still have a healthy and happy baby.
Click here to start our our reviews of 12 BPA-free baby bottles.