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Qualities to Look for in a Nanny

nanny and child

Finding a person to help regularly care for your children is quite an undertaking. The skills involved in parenting could – and do – fill several large books. While a nanny will not be “raising” your children in the sense that an actual parent does, they still have a tremendous amount of responsibilities to cover.

Since many of the skills expected of nannies are difficult to quantify and mostly come down to “that special something,” describing them in concrete terms can feel impossible. When people have a great experience with their nannies, they often say that something “just clicked” and everyone was happy with the situation.
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4 Quick and Healthy Recipes for Busy Moms

Our nanny agency wanted to offer some helathy recipes for our busy clients.

Keeping your kids healthy on a time budget can be difficult, which is why so many Vancouver moms reach out to Optimum Nannies and Homecare for a professional that can help with childcare and getting dinner on the table! We know time, and your child’s health, is precious to you so we’ve compiled these four super easy and healthy recipes that are great to use whether you’re on your own for dinner or not.

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5 Reasons Why Using an Agency is Better than Hiring a Nanny Yourself

Nanny agencies come with more benefits than if you were to hire a nanny on your own.

If you want it done right, do it yourself — or so the saying goes. And we’re actually not against the notion. Some tasks just shouldn’t be delegated, and there are many times in life when a middleman is impractical. But hiring a nanny is not one of those times. An agency offers a plethora of benefits that you just won’t get searching on your own. Not so easily convinced? Read on to learn why using an agency is better than hiring a nanny yourself.

1. All of our nannies are professionals.

When you go out on the search for a nanny you will find that you come across many individuals who feel they have the skills to care for your child, yet have little experience doing so. At Optimum all of are candidates are professionals, with prior training and years of experience.

2. In the rare case the nanny you choose is not a fit we will find a replacement immediately.

What’s worse than spending endless amounts of time searching for the perfect nanny, only to discover upon hiring them that they are not what you were looking for? It happens. But when it happens on your own, it sets you back to square one, while with an agency it simply means we suggest a replacement. At Optimum we work with many professional candidates so finding a replacement is not a problem — and if it’s within the first three months of hire, it’s also free!

3. All of our applicants are pre-screened and assessed in an in-person interview.

All of the nannies that work with our agency have passed our rigorous screening process with flying colors. What does that process include? A background check that looks into criminal history and driving records, checking a minimum of two references, up to date first aid competency, and a thorough in-person interview that determines an applicant’s behavior type and their knowledge of relevant job-related skills.

4. Temporary replacement guarantee (nanny placements only).

If your nanny needs time off or if we are finding a replacement Optimum will place a qualified temporary nanny in your home. If you use another agency to find a temporary nanny we will refund the fee charged by the other agency(for short term on call bookings only).

5. Assistance from start to finish — and everywhere in between.

From providing you with interview questions to helping in negotiating your nanny’s salary, Optimum provides full circle service to our clients that doesn’t stop when the contract is signed. Even after your nanny is hired we will continue to support you in the transition, and as mentioned above, any bumps along the way.

Going with an agency ensures your family will get the best nanny services Vancouver has to offer. Click here to learn more about the perks and benefits that you get when hiring Optimum Nannies and Homecare.

Benefits of Having a Nanny When School Starts

Nanny services are needed during school as they are during the summer.The misconception is that families need a nanny during summer months more than ever. Kids are out of school for vacation, meaning more time at home and more hours where supervision is needed. While the number of hours may expand from June to August, the responsibilities don’t. Read on to learn why having a nanny is as beneficial during the school year as the summer — if not more!

How a Nanny Helps When your Children go Back-to-School

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Nannies vs. Housekeepers — What’s the difference and which do I need?

The contrast between nannies and housekeepers from our Vancouver agency.

There are many reasons families choose to hire a nanny, and it is important to understand what your household needs before you start looking for a caretaker. Are you looking for someone to solely watch over your children? Or are you searching for an all doing multitasker that can care for the kids and whip up dinner, all while your dirty clothes are in the wash? To help you better understand the different nanny services Vancouver offers, and determine which type of help is the best for your family, we are breaking down the difference between a nanny and a housekeeper.

The difference between Nannies and Housekeepers

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Should You Hire a Summer Nanny?

A summer nanny may be just what you need.

When school lets out and summer begins, many parents will send their kids to camps. They need somebody to watch their kids while they’re at work, and they think camp is the only option. But there is another idea that they may not have thought of: hiring a summer nanny. Using nanny services in Vancouver or anywhere else in the world is a great alternative to a day camp. Here’s why.

Benefits of Hiring a Summer Nanny

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What to Do if a Child and their Nanny Don’t Get Along

Here are some tips for helping your children get along with their nanny.
A nanny is one of the most important people in a child’s life. They care for the child, help them with their homework, and cook their meals. The only person a child will see more than a nanny is their parents. Because of that, it’s important that the child and nanny have a good relationship. If the child is having issues with the nanny or vice versa, it can be a very big problem. Here are things that can be done if your nanny and child aren’t getting along.

Tips for Dealing with Children who don’t get Along with their Nanny

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Hiring a Nanny Who Drives

Nanny Driving
As children get older they often have many after school commitments with sports, music, artistic interests and tutoring. In order to accommodate this busy schedule many parents find it necessary to hire a nanny who can drive. Driving can be a stressful and complicated task. When children are passengers the dynamic in the car changes dramatically.

Before you hire a nanny who will drive your children there are some important facts you should know about.
Recent studies have shown:

• Driving with children is up to 12x more distracting than using a cell phone while driving

• The average driver with children in the back of a vehicle takes their eyes off the road for more than 3 minutes of an 16 minute journey!

Another big factor when allowing a nanny to drive your children is trust. Do you feel confident they are capable and could handle a potential emergency? Will she drive safely and use car seats and boaster seats properly?

The following suggestions may be helpful when screening a nanny to drive your children

Check Your Nanny’s Driving Record
At Optimum we require every nanny who will be driving on the job to get a Drivers Abstract from ICBC. She simply has to call her local ICBC office and ask them to fax or email it. There is no charge for this service. The abstract outlines the driver’s history including points and at fault accidents

Ask Employment References
When we check references on a driving nanny we always ask if she was required to drive the employer’s children. Were there any issues or concerns with her driving ability? Was she a safe driver?

Make Sure the Car is Safe

Sometimes a nanny is required to use her own car to drive children for her job. If this is the case, it’s important to ensure the car is safe, well maintained and practical for the purpose of transporting children.

Do Your Own Driving test
We always recommend that parents go for a drive with their new nanny before she drives their children. It’s best to do this in the vehicle she will be driving and without children present.

As well as the above it is important to ensure your insurance covers your nanny if she is using your car or she has the correct insurance for her vehicle if she is required to use it. When creating an employment contract make sure to discuss a car allowance for gas and usage. We recommend a flat rate that is given to your nanny separate from her salary

Teresa – North Vancouver

We all know finding the perfect nanny can be very stressful. We recently had to embark on this journey, and hired Optimum to help us. Janet is the owner and has an amazing amount of information and resources that have helped us in finding a terrific nanny. It was a journey indeed, but every step of the way Janet was there. Never did I feel she wasn’t working her hardest to help us. She was very professional, and compassionate. I would highly recommend Janet to any family looking for a nanny.

Teresa, North Vancouver