Monday, January 31, 2011

Asthma - Information You Can Use

Did you know asthma keeps more kids home from school than any other chronic illness? Asthma can be developed at any age, awareness is essential.
My nieces were preemies and asthma developed for them as young toddlers. Careful monitoring and a closely followed treatment plan were essential for improvement as they grew and matured. Although, they still have asthma they are managing it with an inhaler only as young adults. Children in my care developed exercise induced asthma in middle school. Looking back we can see how several bouts with bronchitis in their early school years were signs that asthma was something to be concerned about. Again they manage their occasional flare-ups with an inhaler. Here are several sites that offer help to parents and children.

Kids Health -
American Lung Association -
MedicineNet -
WebMD -

Friday, January 28, 2011

Health Insurance Tax Credit - Real Life Story

This is from our friends at Breedlove & Associates on the new Health Insurance Tax Credit. Valuable information for nannies and families.

The Situation
On January 4, 2011, we received a call from a family interested in our service. The family spent the month of November looking for a nanny on their own through Craig's List and some parenting sites. Realizing they needed help, they changed course in December and hired one of our partnering agencies. The agency found "the perfect nanny" and the deal was finalized on New Year's Eve. Cheers!
Knowing that the nanny wanted health insurance - and having just received our notice about the Health Insurance Tax Credit for Small Employers - the agency owner advised the client that they would be able to save money if they structured the compensation to include a contribution to the nanny's health insurance premium. Not only is the employer's health insurance contribution considered non-taxable (so neither employer nor employee has to pay taxes on that portion of the compensation), it also now creates an opportunity for a tax credit worth up to 35% of the contribution.
The owner advised the family to call us to get a quick, free consultation on the health insurance tax break as well as the tax breaks for childcare expenses.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Behavior Management: Step Two - Techniques

Choices – Children are building autonomy starting in those early toddler years, but they need our guidance. Providing them with appropriate choices lets them have some control within limits. The younger the child the fewer the choices offered to them. Start with two and build from there. You are encouraging decision making and problem solving skills while limiting tantrums and breakdowns. Make sure that the choices you offer are reasonable and appropriate, and that you can back them up.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Behavior Management: Step One - Prevention

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Ben Franklin

Ben had it right. I’d rather put in effort to prevent issues than work at having to put out the flames of misbehavior. Behavior management is more than discipline it’s setting up children for successes and being proactive in providing those opportunities.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pop! Bubble Gum Factory Mixes Up Fun

by Kelly Miller

Are you looking for a fun activity for school age children?  I just spent the weekend making bubble gum with my daughter and two of her friends.  The Bubble Gum Factory comes with enough ingredients to make about 10 batches of gum (and 10 different flavors of gum, too!) .  Included is a history and recipe book all about gum!  We had fun being "food scientists" and exploring flavors ..... we discovered 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid totally changes the gum flavor.  Food coloring does not come with the kit; we used gel food colors, and the girls had fun experimenting with various color combinations.

Bubble Gum Factory Ages 8+, 1 ea
To make the gum, you melt the gum base in the microwave.  Then add corn syryp and food coloring.  Next you add the flavor (see recipe book for ideas).  Lastly you knead the gum with powdered sugar.  We made the gum into balls to fill up our gumball machine.  Warning:  this is a messy, fun  project!  Bowls and spoons need to be soaked in hot water to be cleaned ... but it is worth it! 

INA Conference 2011: Save the Date

The International Nanny Association announces the annual conference date and location. Conference 2011 is in Tampa Florida at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. INA's mission 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. Each year the conference features experts in the in-home child care field that speak to all aspects of the industry with workshops for nannies, agency owners and staff, educators and industry related buisnesses. Networking opportunities are available for all attendees throughout the conference weekend. More information about conference details will be coming from the INA through their website at
INA members get discounts on conference registration and other discounts are available for new members and those attending together from an agency or nanny support group. The INA annual conference is the industry's leading continuing educational and professional development opportunity. Don't miss it!
Save the Date! 
May 12-15, 2011 
        Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay              

Friday, January 7, 2011

Communication Styles Start Early

Communication Styles Start Early is an article from the Nannies from the Heartland quarterly newsletter, From the Heart. This article was written for the Fall 2007 issue. We thought you might enjoy it!

Did you know each of us has a communication personality? It’s the style that is most comfortable to us when speaking or interpreting – and it starts early. If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t seem to make your point to your employer, co-worker, friend or spouse it might be your style isn’t matching theirs. And if the children in your lives don’t seem to ever be on the same page with you, it might be that your styles don’t match.

Some of us like the details - need it in fact, while others just want the bottom line. Also, some of us are very tuned in to other’s feelings and are comfortable sharing feelings, while others naturally prefer to keep that part out of their interactions. All these are normal and natural styles – one is not better than another, just a different approach. But what if I knew you were a bottom line kind of person, and I could adjust my style to “talk your language” – wouldn’t that strengthen our communications. You bet it would!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Out and About Ideas

Are you looking for something different to do? After all the excitement of the holidays it's sometimes nice to look forward to a couple of special outings. Some are indoors to get out of the cold and others take advantage of the great outdoors.Here are several ideas along with a online resource that you can go back to again and again.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 Information for Employers and Employees

H.R.4853 - Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act was signed by President Obama Friday December 17, 2010. Significant is the temporary reduction of the employee's Social Security tax from 6.2% of gross wages to 4.2% of gross wages for 2011 only. More information is available online.
Here is one site that has summarized the recent changes: 
Also you can find information from one of the following nanny tax experts:,,

There are also changes for employers regarding Health Insurance Tax Credits. For information on this check out the IRS link at,,id=223666,00.html.

2011 Mileage Rate Set - IRS updates the mileage rate each year. They have posted the rate for 2011 at 51 cents per mile.,,id=232017,00.html

Do you have other updates you'd like to share? Please post a comment to this article.