The INA's Weekly Brief

by Marcia Hall, 2011 INA NOTY

This week you will work on the Application and Nomination Forms of the portfolio.   INA Nanny of the Year Award

  1. Give to your nominator the Nomination Form (found on pages 6-8 of the 2015 NOTY Packet) as well as the Nomination Certification Form (page 12).  You will also want to give your nominator a firm deadline when he or she will get it all back to you.   I recommend asking for it 2 weeks before you need it because things almost always arise to make it difficult.  Since this year’s deadline is January 10th and you will want a few weeks to gather everything, print and mail them, I would ask for them no later than Dec 10th. The Nomination form also has several questions for the person nominating you to answer.  Ask them to have the questions typed and remind them of the maximum word counts.  They should be giving you back:
    • Nominator’s Certification Form signed
    • Page 1 and 2 of the Nomination Form filled out
    • Copy (file or hard copy) of the questions from page 3 of the Nomination Form
  2. Begin to think about who your NOTY references will be.  These are usually people that your nominator knows and a person that has seen you in action with children.  Sometimes the person can be other local nannies or parents that you have had play dates with.  It could be grandparents or neighbors of your charges.  You will need 3 and your nominator will list these on his or her forms.
  3. Print out an extra copy of pages 9-11 of the 2015 Nanny of the Year Award Nomination Packet, the Application Form.  Work on a test copy of this form and then write out the real one.  This will help you make it neat and clean and will also help you catch any spelling or grammar errors.
  4. Within the Application Form are 6 essay questions for you to answer.  This week you will want to start writing these.  It may take more than this week but get started on it. There are maximum word requirements for these questions.  At some point you may need to shorten the essay if it exceeds the allowed count but to start out, just write.  You will want to type these essays and you will also want to get several opinions on the content, spelling, punctuation and grammar of your work.  Computers don’t catch everything so it is important to have several “fresh” pairs of eyes looking at your essays.
  5. Take and sign the Candidate’s Certification Form on page 13 of the 2015 Nanny of the Year Award Nomination Packet.

Quick Links to the previous weeks of the NOTY Application Process

Week 1

Thorough nanny background screening by a nanny referral agency is a key service differentiator from online nanny job matching sites. A nanny agency must remain current on background screening regulations at the state and Federal levels to avoid engaging in prohibited practices. Here is a brief summary of new developments that INA agency members should be aware of.

INA Nanny Background ScreeningEqual Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Updated Guidance (April 2014)

The EEOC issued new guidance for the use of criminal background screening records in the hiring process. The EEOC is intensely focused on insuring that criminal background screening “is not used in a discriminatory way” in the hiring process.

Household employers and nanny referral agencies clearly find background check information an important consideration when making hiring decisions. If your agency uses criminal history information in your referral process (and the INA definitely encourages responsible candidate background screening!), consider the following suggestions:

  • Don’t base a “no hire” decision solely on an applicant’s criminal history
  • Ignore arrests; only consider convictions
  • Ignore convictions that have been expunged
  • Consider the nature of the crime and its relevance to the current employment
  • Consider how long ago the crime occurred

In the guidance, which applies to all public and private employers, the EEOC recommended as a “best practice . . . that employers not ask about convictions on job applications and that, if and when they make such inquiries, the inquiries be limited to convictions for which
exclusion would be job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.”

Learn more.

‘Ban the Box’ Legislation Spreads to 13 States

States and localities are stepping up their efforts to remove barriers to employment for qualified workers with criminal records, specifically by removing conviction history questions from job applications—a reform commonly known as “ban the box.”

On July 19, 2014, Illinois signed  the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act which bans employers in both the private and public sector from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history until an interview or conditional offer is made. This law becomes effective January 1, 2015.

On August 11, 2014, New Jersey signed the “Opportunity to Compete Act,” Bill 1999 into law. The Act limits the ability of covered New Jersey employers to inquire into a job applicant’s criminal record.  Private employers with 15 or more employees are covered by the New Jersey law. The law becomes effective March 1, 2015.

It is important to note that while most “Ban the Box” legislation applies only to employment screening of applicants to public jobs and positions with government contractors, many private companies are voluntarily conforming. This does not preclude including criminal records convictions in nanny background screening; rather, it prohibits asking for this information on an employment application.

Learn more.

 Lawsuits Alleging FCRA Violations Increase

Industry insiders report an increase of lawsuits alleging employers and staffing agencies violated the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as it applies to pre-employment background screening. Employers must follow strict FCRA guidelines when using credit bureau records in conjunction with background screening. It is common practice in pre-employment background screening to use an SSN trace type search to determine all names and addresses used by the applicant over a 7 year period. This search relies on limited access to credit bureau records, and is NOT a report on an applicants credit worthiness (commonly referred to as a Credit Report). 

Most lawsuits accuse employers of illegally denying applicants employment based off information taken from background checks without giving the applicants opportunity to dispute the information. 

The nanny agency must:

1. Have the applicant sign an authorization for the background screening and provide a mandatory FRCA disclosure to applicants.

2. Perform the screening (or engage an outside agency to do so on the agency’s behalf).

3. Before taking Adverse Action (denying the applicant the position based on the results of the background screen), you must provide the applicant with the following: (1) Pre-Adverse Action Notification; (2) Copy of the Consumer Report (background screening report); and (3) Summary of Consumer Rights.

4. Rescind the conditional job offer (Take Adverse Action).

This is just a short summary. The INA recommends that you become thoroughly familiar with the regulations that apply in your state.

Learn more.

HomeWork Solutions Nanny Payroll and Tax ServicesA special thank you to INA-member HomeWork Solutions for providing this update. HomeWork Solutions offers both household payroll and household payroll tax compliance services to US families on a nationwide basis and has partnered with INA nanny agencies since 1993. HWS partners with National Crime Search to provide pre-employment background screening services.

Do you have specialized knowledge, experience or resources that you want to share with your fellow INA members? We encourage you to submit original, informational articles to the INA to be considered for publication. Authors of selected articles will receive attribution in the post. Email your submissions to the INA Office.

Being Nanny of the Year™(NOTY™) can sound a little intimidating and you may feel it is even too overwhelming to apply for.  I am here to let you know that it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  I won’t mislead you, it does take time to apply.  I am here to help assist you and those that might nominate you to “tackle” the application process in 7 weeks. The deadline for your portfolios to reach the INA office is January 10th, 2015 so if you are considering a nomination, it is best to being the process now.

Over the next 7 weeks I will be sharing steps that many Nanny of the Year Nominees have found helpful.  Whether you are giving yourself the full four months to complete the process or just 2, these steps will help you complete your NOTY Portfolio.

Remember if you are interested, we are here to answer your questions about the NOTY program and portfolio requirements. Please contact INA Membership Services Office by phone at 888.878.1477 or by email at .  Please include “NOTY Question” in the subject line of your email.


Week 1 of NOTY Portfolio Process  INA Nanny of the Year Award

by Marcia Hall, 2011 INA NOTY


Your first step is of course to find someone that is excited nominating you for NOTY.  The nominator could be a fellow nanny that has interacted with you in some way throughout your career, your employers, past or present, a nanny agency owner that you have worked with or a family member that has first-hand knowledge of your experience with children.  The person who nominates you should really understand your strengths and experience in the in-home child care industry. Talk with this person about what it would mean to you to be Nanny of the Year and what specifically you are asking of him or her.

Next I suggest you keep all your papers, files and notes together and organized.  You will also want to print out the 2015 Nanny of the Year Award Nomination Packet for reference during the coming weeks.

  • Read through the  2015 Nanny of the Year Award Nomination Packet in its entirety.
  • Verify your eligibility to be nominated for NOTY.
  • There will also be responsibilities as NOTY that will be occurring before, during and after the annual conference. These are on page 2-4 of the 2015 Nanny of the Year Award Nomination Packet. You should be able to fulfill these responsibilities with enthusiasm and professionalism. Some of these responsibilities include
  1. Make a commitment to attend the INA conference in 2015 regardless if you receive the honor or not.
  2. Be available to answer questions about NOTY throughout the 2015-2016 year.
  3. Be knowledgeable in all aspects and areas of INA.
  4. Prepare and deliver a speech during the Nanny of the Year luncheon at the conference

Some nannies may be a little frightened or nervous of speaking in public, you are not alone as there have been many NOTY’s that have not been comfortable with this aspect of the honor.  The speech the new NOTY gives is however long (within reason) or short as the NOTY wants it to be.  This is your chance to share your experience as a Professional Nanny, tell stories about your charges and share your expertise a little.

Every NOTY’s experience has been unique and different.  The person that is chosen for NOTY brings to it who and what she (or he) is.  Conference month (April 2015) and the following month (May 2015) are probably the most exciting and hectic times.  The rest of the year generally is low key.  Getting to share with people that you are NANNY OF THE YEAR can be lots of fun.  Getting to explain what you do for a living and what the International Nanny Association is incredibly rewarding.

Finally this week you should begin gathering glowing reference letters.  You may have reference letters that you use in your job interview portfolio but the letters for your NOTY portfolio should be slightly different. You want your NOTY reference letters to specifically express why you should receive the honor of NOTY.

Get 3-4 past employers to write a reference letter sharing why you are their “Nanny of the Year”.

Make sure you give them a firm deadline. Remember this is a busy time of the year so the sooner you ask and set the deadline, the less chaotic it will be later on you.

You will need at least 3 weeks before the January 10th 2015 deadline to put together your NOTY portfolio for submission. I would ask for them no later than December 10th to give yourself enough time.

And that is your week.  Seems like a lot but really it is just a lot of preparation.

A Nanny Share...One of the things I often hear people say about hiring a Nanny is that it is “only for the rich”.

While it is obviously true that using in-home childcare may be more expensive than using a childcare center, the benefits of a Nanny can be made more accessible when a Nanny is shared.

Share a Nanny? I didn’t know you could do that,” I hear you say. Well, yes, it is possible to share a Nanny in many circumstances, and it is a great way to get access to all the wonderful things that in-home childcare can provide, for a fraction of the cost. It also has the extra bonus of providing extra socialization for the children involved.

Nanny share is quite simple. It involves one Nanny caring for the children of two families at once – up to four children in total. (Our agency’s ratio of 1 to 4 precludes more than four children being cared for in this way.)

In practice, Nanny sharing works best when all the children gather in one of their homes. Most often the home used alternates between the two families in some pattern – it can be daily, or week-about, or whatever works.

Typically each family pays the nanny for their share separately. This is a best practice from a tax perspective, making employment tax reporting simple, and qualifying each family for child care tax advantages.

Other than payroll, all aspects of care are handled jointly. At the start, we interview parents from both families together, and we select potential nannies based on the families’ joint needs. Later, all client liaison visits are held jointly, which presents an opportunity for any issues – including between families – to be ironed out quickly.

Before considering Nanny sharing, there are some things that need to be thought about.

In particular, you and your potential ‘share parents’ need to make sure that you are at one on matters of discipline, nutrition (e.g. sugar ‘allowances’), education (e.g. reading expectations) and screen time (TV, computers and games – and what can and cannot be watched or played on them). Nanny sharing simply won’t work if there is one set of rules for the children of one family and a different set of rules for the other. Where these things are in sync, and the two homes aren’t too far apart, Nanny sharing between two families can be a realistic and money-saving option well worth considering.

INA Nanny Employer Handbook DownloadDid you know the International Nanny Association publishes the INA Nanny Employer Handbook?

Available to members and the general public, this handbook offers 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

Publication of the Nanny Employer Handbook supports the International Nanny Association’s educational mission. If you too support excellence in in-home child care, we invite you to support the International Nanny Association.


A special thank you to INA member Louise Dunham for contributing this article.

Louise is the Managing Director of Placement Solutions, a nanny referral service in Melbourne Australia.

Louise also serves on the INA Board of Directors and chairs the Ethics Committee. She is the only international member to serve on the INA Board.

2015 INA Conference Registration Prices Announcement



Here it is!  The much anticipated announcement of the 2015 INA Conference Registration Fees!

Registration Includes:

  • Thursday, Friday, Saturday conference workshops
  • Round Trip Coach Transportation to/from Cancun International Airport
  • networking breaks
  • Service Award Pin ceremony
  • Nanny of the Year Awards banquet
  • Annual Meeting dinner
  • Opening Reception and Closing Reception

This year, we will have three tiers of pricing for registration.   Note that First-time attendee  discount is ONLY Available during Early Bird Registration.  

Also, this will be the last year that we offer First time attendee discount to new members.   So now is the perfect time to take advantage of membership and discount conference rates.

2015 INA Conference Registration Rates

Member Full Registration New Member / First Time Attendee Non-Member
November 1 – December 31, 2014 $295.00 $262.50 $395.00
January 1 – March 15, 2015 $395.00 Discount N/A $495.00
After March 15, 2015      $525.00 Discount N/A $625.00


Registration begins November 1, 2014.    If you are new to INA or joined INA after April 1, 2014 and have never attended an INA Annual Conference, you are eligible to receive a significant conference discount during the early bird registration period.  Please contact the INA Membership Services Office at 888.878.1477 or by emailing to verify your eligibility if you are unsure if you qualify.

Members will need to be logged into their INA account prior to registering.  If you do not know your login information, please contact Carrie Ann Taylor, INA Office Administrator PRIOR to November 1 to secure your login credentials.

The Iberostar Cancun is an all-inclusive resort, all meals, beverages will be covered with your room reservation.

Cancellations:   INA Conference Registration is refundable, minus a $50 processing fee if cancelled by March 15, 2015.   After March 15 – No Refunds.   You must submit your request for cancellation in writing.


Angela Riggs, adapted from Under the Child Care Umbrella textbook Chapter 15

Under the Child Care Umbrella Angela Riggs Nanny Resource

Available Exclusively through the Sullivan University Bookstore

Thinking on your feet, utilizing your time well and integrating educational and enriching experiences are all necessary when caring for children. If you do these things well, it will set you above others. This is an attribute of a dedicated professional nanny and makes you more valuable as a teacher of children.

Use your environment and community resources to make special teachable moments for children. Research tells us that young children learn through experiences that impact their senses. Hands-on learning, relating events to existing experiences, knowledge and emotions, and the repetition of experiences aids in memory retention. Traveling with children opens up a world of discovery that can do all of these and more. However, you don’t have to go far to extend learning beyond the classroom. You can create these teachable moments in your backyard, transitioning from one point to another or while out on local outings.

Here are some key experiences in specific subject areas that you might include in your teachable moments:

Reading Readiness:

  • Phonological awareness — Letter sounds and letter recognition
  • Print awareness – signs in the environment, symbols, meaning, menus, and advertisements
  • Language development – teaching new vocabulary words, new languages, expressive and receptive language skills, cultural or vocabulary specific for countries and regions

money, distance, size, proportion, computation, problem solving, spatial relationships, building, cooking, numbers, time, sequencing, ordering, comparing, and measuring

Compare and contrast, observations, experiments, physical science, life science, systems, models & diagrams, problem solving, weather, and environments

Cultural Diversity:
Food, religion, housing, holidays, events, festivals, ceremonies, life of the people, and languages

Social Studies:
Geology and landforms, geography, government, transportation, world events, history, and energy
Other Skill Areas:
Problem solving, decision making, practical living skills, and critical thinking

How should you initiate conversations and extend the learning?

Using Bloom’s Taxonomy, you can maximize those teachable moments. Here are some specific tips for conversation starters to extend the learning and build key experiences:

Describe what you:

  • see
  • hear
  • taste
  • touch
  • feel (emotions or beliefs) that this experience/place brings about…


  • new experiences to what you know or see at home
  • sizes, colors and shapes of objects
  • how things work


  • the surroundings — why the buildings are constructed with the materials of choice for this region
  • why the plant life survives in this environment
  • different abilities needed for animals to thrive in various habitats


  • is this a great place to visit and why
  • this activity or rate it on a 1 to 10 scale
  • could this be a good place to recommend to a friend or younger sibling
  • how would you change something here to make it better

Synthesis this new information by looking for patterns in the

  • environment
  • culture
  • people
  • modes of transportation


  • the information gathered from outings into school projects and writing portfolio pieces
  • use photographs from adventures beyond the home to build learning centers, file folder games, and scrape books that promote language development as well as help to build visuals that aid in retention of new knowledge to use later or on rainy days
  • collect brochures and children’s books on the topics to explore further

Nanny Resource provided by the International Nanny AssociationNanny resources are provided regularly via the INA Weekly Brief. We encourage you to subscribe on the left to receive this material weekly via email, and to share with your personal “Nanny Tribe.” Education is a key part of the INA’s mission to promote excellence in in-home childcare.

Angela Riggs Sullivan UniversityA special THANK YOU to INA member Angela Riggs, Early Childhood Education Associate Dean, Sullivan University, Louisville KY for sharing these resources with the INA.

Angela serves on the INA Board of Directors and chairs the Education Committee.

2014 conference hotel rates announcement

INA Conference 2015 – Learning and Networking Caribbean Style!

INA is excited to share with you these exclusive hotel rates for our 30th Annual Conference.  The Iberostar Cancun is a stunning location, offering pools, golf, spa, nightly entertainment, lavish restaurants and buffets and now, these amazing rates you won’t find anywhere else.

Ocean View –
per night
Ocean View with Balcony –
per night
Junior Suite Villa –
per night
  • 1 adult $165
  • 1 adult $195
  • 1 adult $235
  • 2 people $120 per person ($240 total)
  • 2 people $135 per person ($270 total)
  • 2 people $155 per person ($310 total)
  • 3 people $110 per
    person ($330 total)
  • 3 people $120 per person ($360 total)
  • 3 people $145 per person ($435 total)

It should be noted that INA has worked very hard behind the scenes to secure these rates for attendees.   Given our International locale in Cancun, attendees must be prepared that a few extra steps will be required when making reservations, and that the hotel sets the rate rules for each room. We’ve broken down the rates and policies for you below.

Please read carefully, so when it’s time to make your reservation, you are prepared.

Children under 4 years – Free.

Children 4 years – 12 years, $55 per night.

Children 13 years and older – Adult rate

No more than 3 ADULTS in a room. No more than 4 people in a room.


1 adult / 3 children
2 adults / 2 children
3 adults / 1 child

If children are staying in a room, minimum one adult must be in the room with them.

PLEASE READ ALL CAREFULLY.   Rates are in US Dollars. The room rate DOES NOT Include your conference registration.   That will be a separate fee, to be announced at a later date.

All Inclusive: includes tax, lodging. Concierge service, in-room mini bar, in-room TV, 4 specialty restaurants, 2 buffets. Nightly Live entertainment.  24 hour room service, alcohol, pool and beach waiter, fitness center and classes.  Complimentary basic wireless high speed internet for all group participants.

Rate is based on availability, so book your rooms early!  First come, first served.  Should the INA room block sell out, there is no guarantee that the resort will make additional rooms available at this rate. Group rate is available FIVE days before and FIVE days after INA conference dates. 

Rooms are fully refundable if cancelled within 21 days of first night stay.  No shows will be charged a one night stay.

Available rooms are:

One King bed with pull out sofa sleeper for one person.
Two Queen Beds

Rollaway available for King room only.  Additional cost $30 for entire stay.
Rollaway is NOT available for Queen Rooms.

Booking Your Room The hotel is setting up the reservation procedures to include our discount code – we expect that to be announced within the next week to 10 days…. stay tuned!

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INA Exclusive Golf Package: Iberostar Cancun provides an 18 hole Par 72 Championship Golf Course on site.  INA Conference attendees have access to these exclusive rates:

$89 per person includes: Cart for 2 Beverages on cart Preferential Tee times
$59 per person includes: 2 pm – closing Includes all of the above Clubs, Shoes can be rented.

Helpful tips: Most credit card companies charge a foreign transaction fee.   Check with your credit card company in advance to see if they charge, and at what amount.   This will add to your conference expenses and help when budgeting.  Here is a listing of credit cards that do not charge a foreign transaction fee.

We recommend booking your stay for your anticipated travel dates. Adjustments can be made once you know your final plans.   Changes must be made prior to 21 days from date of first stay.

HOTEL TRANSPORTATION INA will be providing transportation to and from the airport to Iberostar Cancun. This is included in your conference registration rate.  Attendees MUST register IN ADVANCE to access the service.     Details and registration will be provided at a later date.

A special thank you to Eva Vega-Olds of the Anti-Defamation League for sharing her expertise with INA members. We encourage you to SHARE this post – whether via social media or in your business’ or organization’s blogs and client communications.

Cyberbullying is the intentional and repetitive mistreatment of others perpetrated through the use of technology.

A Nanny's Guide to CyberbullyingCyberbullying can cause tremendous emotional stress because it can be ubiquitous, far-reaching and is often committed anonymously. In a 2013 survey of 12-18 year olds, 24% of youth reported being cyberbullied in their lifetime[1], and 88% percent reported seeing someone else be mean or cruel on social media[2].

A nanny and other adult caregivers have a responsibility to support not only targets of cyberbullying but to help foster a sense of cyber-civility and kindness online. An important start is to have conversations with youth about the topic, which can be difficult because the majority of youth report that they don’t tell adults in their life about their experiences with cyberbullying[3].

Many youth believe there will be negative repercussions if they tell an adult about what is happening to them, especially if that adult holds power in their life. Among the range of negative repercussions youth fear are ineffective adult intervention as well as limiting or taking away their technology, which for many youth means taking away their social life.

Tapping into one’s own experiences with bullying can be useful in showing empathy and starting a conversation about addressing hurtful behavior.   From there, here are some suggestions about what adults can do to intervene effectively and positively in incidents of cyberbullying— and some things not to do.

  • Don’t tell the child to ignore the bullying. Cyberbullying can happen at any time of day with or without the actual presence of the target. Ignoring it does not stop aggressors from posting or sending mean or bias related comments. They shouldn’t reply to the messages, but rather work with them to strategize ways to address the situation.
  • Resist trying to provide a rationale for why it is happening by oversimplifying the issue or rely on false information or myths. For example, one myth is that all aggressors in bullying suffer from low self-esteem. In reality, there is data to support that people who bully actually have high opinions of themselves.
  • Provide support and encouragement, rather than blaming or shaming a young person.  Often targets are blamed for the bullying because they act in ways that are perceived as “different” or because they are unabashed about their identity.  Bullying based on differences is the result of the aggressor’s bias against that kind of difference, not because the target provoked it.
  • Don’t agree to untenable solutions.  Often youth will beg adults not to report the situation or do anything at all.  Listen to their needs and include their opinions in your process, but do not agree to solutions which do not work towards resolving this situation and ending the bullying. Threats and any exchange of nude photographs require contacting the proper authorities.
  • Be familiar with the variety of strategies available to address cyberbullying.  Confronting the aggressors is only one of the many possible solutions for addressing online cruelty. There are many ways to report and address cyberbullying, often anonymously.
  • Encourage the target to develop coping skills, but do not encourage them to retaliate physically or online. Most schools have policies that punish everyone involved in violence and retaliation usually only results in escalation.
  • Read these Internet Guidelines for more technical assistance on how to keep youth in your care safe online.

For more tips on how to prevent or intervene in incidents of bullying and to download some strategies for youth, please visit our bullying and cyberbullying resource page.

Anti-Defamation League

[1] Hinduja, S. and Patchin, J. 2013. Lifetime Cyberbullying Victimization Rates. Cyberbullying Research Center

[2] Lenhart, A., Madden, M., et al. 2011. Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites. DC: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

[3] Robers, S., Kemp J., and Truman, J. 2013. Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2012. DC: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education.

INA 30th Annual Conference Hotel

INA Conference 2015 – Learning and Networking Caribbean Style!

INA is excited to share our hotel destination with you all!   Iberostar Cancun is situated on one of Mexico’s most stunning beachfronts, and features a sprawling resort complex that will please all our conference attendees.  This all-inclusive resort features spacious rooms with views of the Caribbean, four specialty restaurants and two buffets.

iberostar 1

Nightly entertainment, recreation option, seven pools, a spa, and an onsite 18-hole championship golf course are just a few of the reasons to plan your stay at the Iberostar Cancun. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to celebrate INA’s 30th Anniversary in this gorgeous location!

iberostar 3

A short walk and bus ride will take you to local shopping, restaurants and nightlife. Make plans and bring the family!  Next week we will announce the AMAZING prices we’ve secured for our attendees and further details you’ll need to know when planning your trip to Cancun.  Let’s make our 30th annual conference not just memorable, let’s make it UNFORGETTABLE.

iberostar 2



Coming Soon!  Registration information and exciting rates only available to conference attendees!  

Nannies, do you and your nanny family have any type of nanny Emergency Plan in place? There are so many different scenarios is which one would be needed! According to the US Department of Homeland Security’s Ready Check program, the keys are to prepare, plan and stay informed.

There is the weather, depending upon where you live; you may need to know what to do in the event of a tornado or earthquake, flooding or blizzards.  Have you and your nanny family sat down and drafted a nanny emergency plan of action? This can include things such as, where to go, what to take with you, what to do if the power goes out or there is no cell service and how to find one another if you are separated.

What about a non-weather related emergency, such as a gas leak or a fire in or near the home you work in. Do you have an established meeting place in your local area? Many times if there is a disaster in the area you provide care, no one will be allowed into that area, so to reunite the children with the parents you will need to take them to a designated meeting place.

There are also evacuations due to gas leaks, train derailments, and other man made disasters. And with the anniversary of 9/11 fast approaching, terrorism remains a concern also. What about an emergency plan, if heaven forbid the parents are in an accident or something happens that prevents them from coming home? Who would you call to notify, who would come and take care of the children or who would you take the children to? It’s important to know this information.

As a child care professional, you need to think of the ‘what ifs’ to be prepared and able to respond in any emergency situation. If your nanny family has not already discussed this with you, bring it up! They will appreciate your foresight and attention to the entire family’s well being.

When you care for children with special needs, you need to do extra emergency planning. The American Academy of Pediatrics has special emergency planning resources for children with special health needs.

Do you have a code word? This can be used if something is seriously wrong and you need the parents ASAP. We often hear about parents and nannies having a code word with school age children, and this same concept can be applied to home emergencies where you do not want to frighten the children but you want to notify the parents right away. You can text the code word quickly and the parents will know what it means.

You can even develop different code words for different situations. This may require a master sheet be kept with you, but it can be done.

Do you carry your ID on you when you are at work? What about identification for the children you care for? What if something happened and you were separated from the children or you were unable to communicate, who would know who you are? What if something happened to you and you are caring for a child that cannot communicate, how is anyone going to know who you are and who the child belongs to? It is beneficial to make a child ID card with the child’s name, parent’s name, contact numbers and any medical conditions or allergies. Carry this on you at all times when you are with the children. Take pictures with your cell phone of key information such as medical insurance cards, allergies and medical conditions – it is easy to recall in an emergency off your camera roll.

The main message is to be prepared. Have a plan of action. Know what to do and where to go in the event of any type of emergency. Know who to contact and in what means, either via text or phone call.

It is wise to be prepared and stay on step ahead!

Have you had to deal with an emergency as a nanny? Share what worked, what didn’t and please help us all be better informed child caregivers.

Sheri Lopez Nanny of the YearA special thank you to INA member and 2014 INA Nanny of the Year Sheri Lopez for contributing this article.

Sheri is very active with INA – in addition to the 2014 NOTY activities such as media interviews and speaking engagements, Sheri also serves on the INA Board of Directors.



Related Links:

Nanny Mandated Reporter of Suspected Child Abuse

Nanny Resource: The Myth of Stranger Danger

Nanny Resource: Working with Parents with Special Needs




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