Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Gift for Mom

by Kelly Miller

Mother's Day is only a week away, and I will be busy next week with the boys I care for.  The boys will make cards for their mom (they made cards for their grandma this week).  I purchased two clay pots at Michael's for the boys to paint (with tempera or acrylic paints).  Then I hope to take the boys to a garden center to each pick out a flower to plant in their pot for mom.  Let us know if you have any ideas for Mother's Day that you would like to share!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Journey to Autonomy: Building Independence

The journey to autonomy is the work of childhood. Every parent (and nanny) of a young toddler will attest that autonomy is the most important activity throughout the day. Autonomy at its core is independence. The journey is often full of struggles, challenges, frustration as well as accomplishments, satisfaction and triumphs. The tricky thing is – we want them to get there but we don’t always know how to help them or are ready for the challenges involved. Sometimes we are the ones who aren’t ready for the child to move forward, which can cause more friction. How can we let go appropriately, encourage liberally and set parameters that are fair?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day - April 22, 2010

Forty years after the first Earth Day, the world is in greater peril than ever. While climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, it also presents the greatest opportunity – an unprecedented opportunity to build a healthy, prosperous, clean energy economy now and for the future.

Earth Day 2010 can be a turning point to advance climate policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy and green jobs. Earth Day Network is galvanizing millions who make personal commitments to sustainability. Earth Day 2010 is a pivotal opportunity for individuals, corporations and governments to join together and create a global green economy. Join the more than one billion people in 190 countries that are taking action for Earth Day.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Summer Nanny Slip-Up

From Breedlove and Associates . . . .

As the school year begins to wind down, many families begin thinking about a summer nanny. Since these positions generally last for only a few months, some families choose to ignore their household employer payroll and tax obligations - out of a fear of costs or paperwork or both. This case illustrates that these fears are unfounded - especially for families with short-term or part-time nannies.

The Mistake
A family hired a part-time nanny to care for their children during the summer. They agreed to pay the nanny $15 per hour. By the end of the summer, it had amounted to 300 hours or $4,500. Due to the temporary nature of the position, the family decided it would be easier to "just pay the nanny in cash." A misperception about cost also played a role in the decision, as the husband had assumed "that the employer taxes would make the summer nanny prohibitively expensive."

The Law
Household employers who pay an employee more than $1,700 (2010) in a calendar year are required to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from the employee's wages. They also have an obligation to match the Social Security and Medicare withheld, and pay federal and state unemployment taxes. It is the employer's responsibility to see that all taxes are remitted to the appropriate tax agencies. These requirements must be met, even for short-term and part-time arrangements.

Families who pay legally have two tax break options available:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Week of the Young Child

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the largest organization of child care providers in the nation.
The Week of the Young Child is held each year to honor young children and thank caregivers and all those who make a difference in young children’s lives. The theme for WOYC 2010 is: Early Years Are Learning Years®

This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate children, families and nannies!!
For more information about NAEYC please check their website -

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Beading Craft

Want a beautiful spring craft idea? Try the Dragonfly Bead project from Family Fun Crafts. Directions are available from There are lots of other craft options there for all ages.

We've done this type of craft with both the more delicate beads and wire that are suggested in the directions and also with the larger sized pony beads with pipe cleaners for those smaller hands. Children should be old enough to manage beading projects. Great for small motor development and creative expression, beading is great for boys and girls. We've made Dragonflies, Butterflies, Caterpillars, Ladybugs, Bees and a host of other creative insect creatures. We’ve made some into pins or pendants, or in the case of a spider that the 8 year old boy created, a ring which he gave to his mother. She loved it!