Monthly Archives: June 2014

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

Katie – West Vancouver,BC

I am very fortunate to have found Janet and Optimum Nannies and Homecare. Janet found us our current nanny who has been with us since 2007.  I was 8 months pregnant with a 3 year old running around when we decided it was time to get some help. By hiring Janet’s agency, it took the stress off sifting through resumes, and endless interviewing.  She met with us, found out exactly what our needs and then began searching for the perfect candidate. After  her extensive search, Janet narrowed things down and sent us 3 ideal nannies to interview.  From there, we found the perfect fit for our family.  Janet also took care of all the reference and criminal checks, and helped us register/prepare the government paperwork necessary when you employ someone. If you’re looking for a nanny placement agency with someone who goes the extra mile, I highly recommend Janet as a great resource !

Katie , West Vancouver,BC

Are Nanny Services Right for You?

Vancouver Nanny Services Available Full-time or Part-time
Children are little bundles of joy that we love to death and for whom we would do anything, yet whenever they start a temper tantrum or open their mouths to cry, we parents run for cover and wish for Mary Poppins to fly in and take over. Our children are our most invaluable assets, and many mothers and fathers would not hesitate to stay at home to raise them; however, in many cases, it is not only impossible, but also impractical. We commend those who choose to become stay-at-home parents, but if you are expecting and are unsure of whether to take care of your own child or to hire help, we recommend asking the following five questions to help determine your answer.

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Nikki – Vancouver

I have known Janet for years and she has always helped me find work. She is resourceful, helpful and very professional. She doesn’t just place her nannies in positions, she cares about them and stays in touch to make sure things are going well. I think of Janet as a friend 🙂 Optimum is the agency I choose when I’m looking for work. I highly recommend Janet and her agency!

Nikki, Vancouver

When Your Nanny Becomes Your Friend

nanny and employer

As a mother and business owner I have employed many nannies. My children are now young adults but they still recall these caregivers with fondness. As an agency owner and employer I know there can be many advantages to developing a close relationship with your nanny. But how close is too close? When does the boundary between employer and employee become so blurred that one or both parties start to feel uncomfortable

When I hired a nanny for my 3 year old daughter I felt very comfortable about my relationship with her. One day I came home from an appointment and noticed she was wearing a sweater that was identical to mine. I asked her where she bought the sweater and she said it wasn’t hers. She was cold and went into my dresser and borrowed my sweater. Of course this was not a big issue but I did feel uncomfortable about the fact she felt we had a relationship where she could go into my room and borrow my clothing. I didn’t say anything about this but promised myself I would if something similar happened again. Luckily it didn’t

Employers may be asked by their nanny to borrow money and the employer may feel they are uncomfortable refusing especially if the favour is related to the health and well being of their nanny. Nannies may feel uncomfortable if an employer discusses personal information about the family that is not related to their job.

A nanny job is very different than a traditional office or retail type job and often the employer wants to make the nanny feel like part of the family especially if they are live-in nannies. It is important to offer support to your employee –within reason. It is not a good idea to assist her with marital advice or lend her money. This doesn’t mean that, as an employer, you should be in the dark regarding marital problems or financial difficulties but referring her to another resource to assist her is more appropriate then becoming personally involved.

A respectful drama free relationship will benefit every one involved especially the children. We recommend that a detailed contract be drawn up. This contract should clearly outline the salary, compensation for use of your employee’s car, over time compensation and any additional issues that may become grey areas.

Over time you may become close to your nanny –after all she is taking care of your children. The problem occurs when the line between employer and employee becomes blurred. I have heard many employers and nannies describe the close friendship they have after the employment relationship is over. This is beneficial to the children as well as the adults involved. But during the employment relationship it’s important to maintain clear employer-employee boundaries to avoid uncomfortable situations that could be potentially damaging.

Corinne – Vancouver

Janet has been most wonderful at connecting me with an employer who just seemed to be a great match! I was employed with a terrific family for five years and am confident that there will be another family that I can provide the best care for. Optimum has been very helpful and professional in helping me find employment that is more than satisfactory for everyone involved.

Corinne, Vancouver