The INA's Weekly Brief

Nanny agencies work with families who are in transition. Families may have a new baby, may have just moved to a new community, a new job, or just lost a beloved caregiver. Even an agency that scrupulously  follows the International Nanny Associations’ Recommended Practices will from time to time deal with family or a nanny whose needs they simply cannot meet. How does a nanny agency manage their online reputation and deal with a bad online review?

nanny agency managing online reputationA recent article in Verizon’s Small Business Connections addresses just this conundrum, one that is inevitably faced by any service business. According to the Verizon article, “Studies show that 7 out of 10 consumers believe online reviews as much as they do family and friends. Fifty-seven percent of people avoid businesses with bad online reviews.” So what does a nanny agency do when faced with a negative online review? How do you even know this information is out there?

Proactively protecting your business’ online reputation is an important first step. A nanny agency should regularly and routinely ASK their families and nannies to post an online review – asking for feedback from happy, satisfied clients as you complete a transaction, when they are still basking in the glow of a placement going positively is important. According to Forbes magazine, experts find that the average small business only has an average of 3 online reviews. Three! Stack the deck in your favor, and make sure that your online reviews are primarily from happy, satisfied clients. This proactive initiative helps you in two very important ways. First, it will increase the probability that a potential client searching Google for “XYZ Nanny Agency Reviews” will find reviews from clients you have delighted. Secondly, should a negative review be posted, it will be offset to a large degree by the positive feedback. Make it easy for happy clients to post a review! Email them your request, and post a link to your Yelp, Angie’s List or Facebook page so they can simply click and rave!

Another business best practice is to monitor the web for information about your nanny agency. Who has the time you might wonder? You do! In 5 minutes you can set up “Google Alerts” to scan the internet daily and send you an email when your nanny agency is mentioned online. You cannot respond to a problem unless you know it exists!

Lastly, don’t let a negative review stand unchallenged. Your response, however, must be carefully crafted. Best practices include being empathetic to the feelings of the poster, inviting the poster to contact you directly, offline, to work on a resolution, and absolutely avoid flame wars. A careful, caring response (never argumentative!) provides you the opportunity to positively engage the unhappy poster, and more importantly you communicate to anyone who may read the negative review that you are committed to problem resolution when issues arise. Sometimes the negative review is a learning opportunity for your agency, providing you valuable feedback about public perceptions about a policy or procedure. This is an opportunity to re-craft your messaging to new clients going forward. Occasionally you may have truly dropped the ball. Acknowledging a mistake and making a sincere effort to make things right, even if the disgruntled poster does not avail themselves of your offer, is a positive action to take online.

Have you ever had to address a negative online post? Please share any tips or trick you learned along the way.


Kathleen Webb Nanny Payroll and Tax Service

Kathleen Webb
HomeWork Solutions Inc.

A special thank you to INA member Kathleen Webb for contributing this article.

Kathy is the co-founder and President of HomeWork Solutions, a leading household payroll and payroll tax compliance service, and a member of the International Nanny Association since 1993.

Kathy serves on the INA Board of Directors and chairs the Governmental Affairs committee.


Nanny Agency Marketing GuideNanny Agency Owners, Have You Seen These Publications?

By now many nannies have heard this unsettling statistic: 90% of child sexual abuse happens to kids by someone they know… not by a stranger. Yet, so often the “stranger-danger” concept is the only safety strategy parents and caregivers review with their children. And it doesn’t work. In fact, it’s doing a disservice to kids because it’s distracting them from the reality of whom they (and you) should be paying more attention to. Here’s why:

  1.  Unfortunately, most often a “predator” or molester is someone close to your family circle. Someone you trust, someone charming, someone who’s continually seeking access and private time with your child. Sometimes that person works with children and singles one out for extra attention. Or it may be a relative, a family friend, a coach or other person who interacts with the kids. It can even be an older child or teen who has a preoccupation with a younger child. Stranger-danger isn’t going to work here!
  2. Even when it is a stranger who seeks out a child, that stranger will most likely appear friendly, charming and outgoing… often enticing a child with an interesting lure or trick. They may even tell that child their name as way to “break the ice.” Kids think strangers will be scary or someone who seems mean or villainous. Your child’s stranger-danger radar may not kick in, even when it should. Stranger-danger isn’t going to work here!
  3. Kids see us talking to strangers every day… at the market, the bank, the park, a restaurant. We engage with people we don’t know all the time, it’s impossible not to and most strangers are not dangerous to begin with. So… stranger-danger simply doesn’t make sense.

Forget stranger-danger and introduce the concept of tricky people to your children.

In kid-speak: A tricky person is someone who tries to trick you into doing something yucky, or that feels weird or wrong. A tricky person is someone who’s asking you to break a safety rule.

The concept of tricky people works because the tricks used are crafty and shrewd, and they can come from people you know, people you don’t know, or people you know “a little bit.”

It’s time parents and caregivers started to watch out for tricky people, as well. No one wants to think that someone they trust could be capable of such manipulation and trickery. And to be fair, most people are not molesters. It’s not that you need to be a helicopter nanny but it’s important that you understand how tricky people operate… with lots of flattery, lots of attention, lots of ingratiating themselves into your family circle.

A tricky person needs 2 elements to carry out their victimization… ACCESS AND PRIVACY. In nanny speak: Pay attention to WHO’s paying attention to your kid! And if they have every reason under the sun why they seem to always seek alone time with your child, which excludes you, ask yourself WHY? Does it make sense? Is it a little “over the top” or somehow excessive?

What’s The One Thing That Deters A Tricky Person? The possibility of being caught. If a molester thinks your child won’t “keep the secret” or sees that you’re a visible caregiver, involved in your child’s daily life and activities, you significantly lower the chances of being their target.

My #1 reminder for nannies and caregivers is to stay alert to people who seem extra nice and want to help you out in your job, or take care of the kids to give you a break. There are times when a caregiver is more vulnerable in a predator’s eyes, because the predator feels they can gain that caregiver’s trust more easily than a parent.

It’s time to let go of that outdated stranger-danger concept once and for all.

  • Start talking to kids about listening to their “Uh-Oh Feeling” when something just doesn’t seem right.
  • Teach kids that it’s not what someone looks like but rather what they say or want to do with you that makes them tricky.

In this way, we’re empowering them with the right information that is actually accurate and effective.

Please visit www.safelyeverafter.com for The Super 10 Safety Rules for Kids and for the most common red flag warning signs of tricky people. We can STOP tricky people, when we know how!


Pattie Fitzgerald Safely Ever AfterA special thank you to Pattie Fitzgerald for contributing this article.

Pattie Fitzgerald is the founder of SafelyEverAfter.com and is nationally recognized for her work as a Child Safety Educator, Children’s Advocate, and author. She is a former preschool teacher and a former court appointed Child Visitation Monitor. Pattie is also the author of two highly acclaimed children’s books, “No Trespassing-This Is My Body!” and “Super Duper Safety School”, available on amazon.com. Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, MSNBC and CNN.

The International Nanny Association (INA) is delighted to announce that the 2014 Nanny of the Year (NOTY) honor was awarded to Sheri Lopez, a 32 year veteran nanny from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Sheri Lopez Nanny of the YearSheri received the prestigious title this past weekend at INA’s annual conference NOTY luncheon, held this year at the Hilton in Los Angeles.

As always, the NOTY selection committee was presented with many qualified nominees. All nominees have outstanding work histories, employer accolades and a demonstrated commitment to professionalism. The committee’s decision was a difficult one and every nominee exceptional.  In the end, there can be only one and this year that ‘one,’ was Sheri Lopez.

Sheri Lopez’s career spans more than 3 decades. She demonstrates an ongoing commitment to furthering her education, is the first to volunteer to share her knowledge, skills and wisdom, and is a tireless volunteer both in the nanny industry and in her community.  Sheri displays an overwhelming dedication to professionalism and support of the nanny industry. An amazing leader, Sheri is role model for all nannies to look up to in the coming year.

In addition to her nanny career, Sheri volunteers her time as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA )in the Phoenix area, to the American Red Cross – teaching first aid to both parents and caregivers, and offers Babysitter Training courses to teens. She is a founder of Professional Nannies of Arizona, a support group for nannies and newborn care specialists. She volunteers with Child Help, The Ronald McDonald house, Free Arts of Arizona and “A Date on Me” where she provides a free night of babysitting to returning soldiers to thank them for their service to our country. Last year Sheri joined the INA Board of Directors, where she has been a huge asset to our association!

Thank you Sheri for all your ongoing hard work and congratulations from all of us here at INA.


Want to learn more about INA Membership for yourself or your business?

INA NOTY Official SealThe NOTY™ award is presented annually by the International Nanny Association (INA) to recognize the personal achievements of a working nanny. INA’s Nanny of the Year™ (NOTY™) serves as an example of the best kind of nanny and represents a positive role model for our industry and association. The NOTY™ is expected to perform specific duties before, during and after the INA annual conference.

Learn about the NOTY™ Official Seal.

INA’s Nanny of the Year honor is given each year to an incredible working nanny that exemplifies the best kind of nanny. It is a difficult decision for the NOTY Selection Committee to make because our NOTY Nominees are always amazing!  The Nanny of the Year Luncheon is consistently a highlight of INA’s annual conference and this year is sure to be no different. We are delighted to introduce you to our 2014 NOTY Nominee’s.

Cindy Augustine from Haverstraw, New YorkCindy Augustine INA NOTY Nominee 2014

10 years ago Cindy seamlessly transitioned from her job as a day care teacher into a professional Nanny career and she’s never looked back. Cindy enjoys spending her days making a difference in children’s lives, one child at a time and helping the entire family grow together as a unit. Cindy has worked with multiples, families dealing with terminal illness and divorce. She always steps up to a challenge by demonstrating a ‘can do’ work ethic.

Cindy was nominated by Amy Kilbury who shared these words, “ Cindy consistently goes above and beyond my expectations and is an exemplary professional. Cindy’s ability to bond with my children, her amazing positive attitude, and her proactive approach make her a remarkable Nanny.”

 

Clare Carlisle Stranger of Victoria, AustraliaClare Carlisle Stranger INA 2014 NOTY Nominee

Clare Carlisle Stranger feels being a Nanny is an exceptional opportunity to have a really rewarding job, one that should be held in the highest esteem. Clare’s love of children began as a mother, raising her own two daughters (now 18 and 15). After more than a decade volunteering within their school system and her daughters grown, Clare began her Nanny career in 2008. Clare’s favorite thing about being a Nanny is the guidance she is able to offer children throughout their life’s journey. That passion led to Clare being honored as this year’s first ‘Placement Solutions, Australian Nanny of the Year.’

Clare was nominated by Louise Dunham who said, “ In our agency dealings with Clare since inception she has invariably been polite, on time and always puts the welfare of the children in her care first.”

Sheri Lopez of Scottsdale, ArizonaSheri Lopez 2014 INA NOTY Nominee

Sheri Lopez has been working as a professional Nanny for 32 years and it’s not a responsibility she takes lightly. Sheri feels it’s her role and duty to care for, protect, educate and guide impressionable young minds, and to encourage them to become confident and educated individuals. Since 1982 Sheri has worked with over 45 families, attended numerous professional development classes and proved herself deeply committed to the child care industry through extensive volunteer efforts in her community.

Sheri was nominated by Carolyne Rother and Laura Messa who had this to say about her. (Carolyne) “Sheri was educated and always attending classes to learn more about my son’s medical conditions. She has impacted us as a family and showed us what a dedicated in-home child care provider is all about.” (Laura) “Sheri’s dedication to the children in her care is obvious; she makes it a point to be the best that she can be for them and for others.”

Tirzah Winterton of Atlanta, GeorgiaTirzah Winterton INA 2014 NOTY Nominee

For Tirzah, being a Nanny is an amazing opportunity to be invited into someone’s home to help them with their most important mission in life, caring for their children. Now in her seventh year, Tirzah has diligently helped a young charge who suffers with double hearing loss navigate tremendous hurdles to reach all age appropriate milestones. She has been involved with several local nanny groups in the Atlanta area and enjoys regularly participating in community service projects and finding creative ways to encourage her charges to ‘give back.’

Tirzah was nominated by Deby Glidden who had this to say, “ Tirzah has seemingly endless patience and energy with the children. She is in total sync with the parents and has helped develop wonderful creative skills in each of the children.”

 

The 2014 INA Nanny of the Year will be announced at the INA’s 29th Annual Conference, Los Angeles CA March 27 – 30.

Are you interested in having a lasting impact on the nanny industry?  Consider nominating a fantastic nanny that you know next year for INA’s Nanny of the Year. You may also make a tax deductible DONATION to the NOTY program.

 

Dr. Jenn Berman to keynote and educate at the INA Conference

Dr. Jenn Berman
INA Conference Keynote Speaker

The International Nanny Association (INA) will hold it’s 29th Annual Conference in Los Angeles, CA March 27 – 30. Hundreds of nannies, nanny agency owners and staff, newborn care specialists,and representatives of other industry services will meet for this one-of-a-kind professional development opportunity.

The INA is delighted to have Dr. Jenn Berman, noted  psychotherapist, author, radio personality, speaker and  mother of twins as both our Keynote speaker as well as a workshop presenter. Dr. Jenn is the author of SuperBaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years and The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy Confident Kids. Her syndicated “Dr. Jenn” parenting column is printed in Los Angeles Family Magazine and is read by half a million readers each month. Dr. Berman is also on the Board of Advisors for Parents Magazine.

Dr. Jenn, the host of wildly popular VH1′s Couples Therapy (currently the #1 rated show on VH1 with 10 Million viewers),  will present a dynamic and insightful keynote address  discussing working relationships. In the nanny industry, there are many types of working relationships with different power dynamics, agendas and realities. The relationship between a nanny and the children’s parents, between a nanny and her charges, between a family and professional nanny referral agency that helps them locate their ideal nanny, between the nanny and nanny referral agency, between the Newborn Care Specialist (NCS) and client, etc. Whether you are a nanny agency business owner, nanny or other industry professional, these relationships are key to our professional success.

INA Conference 2014 Los Angeles CADr. Jenn will also present a workshop  to high level professional newborn caregivers (NCS) focusing on  brain development in babies 0 -4 months old, including; the basics of brain development, how babies learn and develop in those first months, activities we can do with babies and share with families (why they are beneficial and how they work to support the developing brain), the importance of early brain development and how it impacts the child’s future growth and development.

The INA is delighted to have Dr. Jenn kick off the annual 3 day INA Conference. The agenda and speakers will provide a wealth if information, insight and inspiration to conference attendees. It is not too late to register for conference!

REGISTER TODAY FOR THE INA 29TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE

View full list of INA Conference Speakers

View the full INA Conference Schedule

 

INA Conference 2014 SponsorsINA’s annual conference would not be possible without the generous financial support of our sponsors. We encourage all members to become familiar with our sponsors, to LIKE their Facebook pages, subscribe to their blogs, and even give them online shout outs so they know that YOU know the support the INA’s mission and the education of its members and the general public.

It’s not too late! As of January 31, 2014 we still have several important sponsorships available in the INA’s e-store. If you are a member and wish to purchase a conference sponsorship, sign into your INA account first and you will receive a 20% discount!

HomeWork Solutions, Inc.

800.626.4828
Kathy@4nannytaxes.com
www.4nannytaxes.com

HomeWork Solutions Inc. Facebook

 

Sponsor: Opening Reception
Sponsor: INA Service Pin Award Breakfast
Sponsor: Conference Videotaping

HomeWork Solutions Nanny Payroll and Tax ServiceHomeWork Solutions, online at 4nannytaxes.com, first joined INA as a supporting member in 1993, 21 years ago!

A household payroll industry leader, HWS combines technical expertise and skills with a support staff that applies kindness and patience to clients who are dealing with complex tax and payroll matters. HWS knows we share this management perspective with so many of our nanny agency partners. Ask about their client educational materials for agencies.

Breedlove & Associates, LLC, a Care.com company

888.273.3356
tom.breedlove@mybreedlove.com
www.breedlove.com

Sponsor: Nanny of the Year Luncheon

Breedlove & AssociatesBreedlove & Associates provides a comprehensive solution to “nanny tax” obligations, eliminating all the work, worry and risk for busy families since 1992.

 

 

GTM Payroll Services, Inc.

888.432.7972
info@GTM.com
www.GTM.com

Sponsor: Board of Directors Installation Breakfast

GTM Payroll ServicesSince 1985 GTM Payroll Services has been serving the payroll and human resource needs of household employers. With more than 300 years of combined experience, GTM serves thousands of clients, and processes over $1 billion in payroll annually making GTM a nationwide leader in household management services.

 

 

CareMatchPro.com

818.645.6586
steve@CareMatchPro.com
www.CareMatchPro.com

Sponsor: Networking Break

CareMatchPro.comWorried about online services? Looking for an edge in today’s tough competitive environment? Drowning in paperwork? If the answer is yes, we have just the program for you. CareMatchPro is giving nanny and domestic agencies worldwide just the leg up needed to help your agency thrive, not survive.

Introducing CareMatchPro, a revolutionary new way to manage your nanny candidates and clients. It’s effective, affordable and built from the ground up by a nanny industry expert.

The Help Company

310.828.4111
lajobs@thehelpcompany.com
http://thehelpcompany.com/

The Help Company Los Angeles New YorkSponsor: Conference Lanyards

The Help Company is a premier staffing and placement agency serving Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco, as well as select locations around the world. Let us help you find your dream job! We take the time to get to know you, learn about your past jobs, and find out what you are looking for in the future.

Placement Solutions Nanny ServicePlacement Solutions

1300 854 624
http://www.placementsolutions.com.au/
md@placementsolutions.com.au

Sponsor: Welcome Bags

With 25 years experience in providing Nannies (In-Home Carers) and Casual Carers (baby-sitters), we have many solutions to suit your needs. We also offer housekeepers, part time or full time, cleaners or professional organizers (also known as declutterers). We can help to organise & clear that spare room, advise on absolute essentials & provide a planned checklist to further help you.

PFC Information Services

510.653.5061
Lpeterson@pfcinformation.com
www.pfcinformation.com

PFC Information Services Nanny Background ScreeningSponsor: NOTY Background Checks

PFC has been providing background screening services to Nanny Agencies, Eldercare Agencies, and Domestic Staffing Agencies since 1987, and is the oldest household background screening company in the U.S. PFC combines an old-fashioned concern for quality with cutting edge technology to provide comprehensive and accurate background checks.

 

Shouldn’t your business be spotlighted here too?

It’s not too late! As of January 31, 2014 we still have several important sponsorships available in the INA’s e-store. If you are a member and wish to purchase a conference sponsorship, sign into your INA account first and you will receive a 20% discount!

If you would like to sponsor and participate in the INA’s 2015 Conference – our 30th Annual Conference – please email Carrie Ann Taylor and she will notify you of sponsorship opportunities.


Nanny Agency Marketing GuideNanny Agency Owners, Have You Seen These Publications?

INA Conference 2014 Los Angeles CATick – tock- tick – tock

The INA’s 29th Annual Conference is just a few weeks away and our hotel block is almost sold out. Don’t delay – get your conference registration completed and your rooms and flights booked NOW! March 27th will be here before you know it and who doesn’t want to spend time with industry peers in sunny and warm Los Angeles?

Here are the links you need:

With speakers like international marketing consultants Keith Chambers and Jess Ponce, Dr. Harvey Karp of Happiest Baby fame, and our keynote Dr. Jenn Berman this year’s line up is a must do for anyone serious about succeeding in the nanny industry.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact Carrie Ann Taylor, our administrator.


Nanny Agency Marketing GuideNanny Agency Owners, Have You Seen These Publications?

Nanny Agency Marketing GuideNanny Agency Owners, Have You Seen These Publications?

The key mission of the International Nanny Association is to serve as the umbrella association for the in-home child care industry by providing information, education and guidance to the public and to industry professionals. These are free publications – we invite you to download today!

  • Nanny Employer Handbook: INA’s Handbook for Nanny Employers
    This publication is intended to assist INA member agencies to inform and educate their clients and prospective clients about best practices in the nanny hiring and employment processes. We share expert tips on:

    • Interviewing Candidates
    • Negotiating Salary and Vacation Time
    • Writing A Work Agreement
    • Identifying and Managing Problems
    • Employer Tax Obligations
    • Sample job applications, performance review forms, home emergency templates and more
  • The INA Nanny Agency Marketing Toolkit
    This publication includes practical guidelines for maximizing the impact of your agency’s website and other marketing programs. There are proven solutions that each agency can adapt to generate website traffic, engage prospective customers and help position your agency as a powerful resource in a family’s nanny search.
  • INA Nanny Agency Exit Strategy Guide
    Your successful nanny agency is an important asset and at some point we all want to retire. The INA leverages the expertise of industry professionals from around the world to help nanny agency owners plan their exit strategies and gain the highest return on their initial investment.

Click on any publication title to download today!


Nanny Industry Volunteers Needed!

Articles in the INA Weekly Brief are created by member volunteers. We need help! Do you have an idea for a weekly blog post? Are you willing to write it? We accept both ideas and posts for consideration for publication. Please send your submissions or suggestions to Carrie Ann Taylor.

The countdown has begun, we are 4 weeks away from the International Nanny Association’s Annual Conference. Time is running out to register for conference and book your travel.

INA 2014 Annual ConferenceINA Conference 2014 At A Glance

  • WHEN? March 27 – 30, 2014
  • WHERE? Los Angeles, CA
  • HOTEL? Hilton Los Angeles Airport
  • HOW MUCH? $425/Members; $525/Non-Members
  • WHAT’S INCLUDED?
  • WHY GO? Amazing educational opportunities, peer networking, and that important step back for re-evaluation and planning business and career growth. And of course, the return of the amazing Raffle Queen.

REGISTER NOW!

Nanny Agency Marketing GuideNanny Agency Owners, Have You Seen These Publications?

INA Conference 2014 Los Angeles CARegistration for the International Nanny Association’s Annual Conference is open, and special Early Bird discounts end February 22, 2014.

If you are a newborn care specialist, or considering pursuing this specialty, the INA Conference offers you an unparalleled educational opportunity. There is an entire educational track devoted to newborn care specialists.

Take a quick look at some of our featured speakers and newborn care specialist workshops!

Premature Infants; Transitioning from the NICU to Home
Carolyn Stulberg, BSN, CCE

This is a session for the “seasoned” newborn care specialist. Discussions will focus on the major systems of the body and how they adapt from the NICU to a home environment. Understanding the anatomy and physiology of the premature infant is crucial for the newborn care specialist to be able to provide safe, competent non-medical care for the premature infant.

The ABC’s of Baby ZZZ’s
Karen Schwarzbach

In this hands-on, interactive presentation, newborn care specialists will come to understand the nuances and needs of sleep readiness for children, taking a variety of unique circumstances into account. The presentation will not only address babies of varying age/developmental readiness, but household/parent/family dynamics and differences. Participants will have a chance to respond to case scenarios and put to the test their knowledge and experience in addressing unique circumstances in households where they may be working.

New Mommy Moods: What’s Normal and What’s Not?
Dr. Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D.

Join postpartum expert, Dr. Shosh for a closer look at postpartum depression and five other mood and anxiety disorders that can affect new parents. Learn about the most common situations that affect a mom’s mental health, identifying symptoms, and what you can do as a professional to help your clients have the most positive experience as new parents.

Bonding and Attachment During Early Infancy
Lindsay Pacsoe, RN

In this informative session, attendees will learn about parent-infant bonding and healthy attachment, and how to promote these with their clients. Lindsay will cover various types of attachment, the biology of attachment, bonding after birth, and the effects of delayed or interrupted bonding. She will also discuss the newborn care specialist’s role in promoting healthy bonding, recognizing bonding difficulty, ways to promote parent-child bonding, and what to do when the baby becomes more attached to the caregiver than the parent.

About the Programming:

The INA Annual Conference features 3 distinct “tracks” of workshops. They are workshops directed to nannies, workshops for agencies and business members and workshops for newborn care specialists.

It is important to note that conference attendees may attend ANY workshops – you are not restricted to a particular track.

A complete list of speakers and workshops is found here.

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