Friday, January 27, 2012

Indoor Activities - Beating the Winter Doldrums

This winter has been anything but typical – however, winter weather can be down right nasty, which means spending the day indoors with children who long to be active. No worries – here are a few suggestions to keep everyone active and moving even on those “indoor” days.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mary is Quoted in Star Tribune

Mary O'Connor, founder and president of Nannies from the Heartland is quoted in Sunday, January 22 Star Tribune newspaper on an article about teenage baby sitters. To read the full article please visit the following link.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Letter of Recommendation Tips

Families and nannies occasionally ask us about some tips for writing a recommendation letter. Employer families certainly write letters for their nannies, but nannies can also write a letter for their employer easing the transition to a new nanny. Here are some basics on writing the letter.

Typically recommendation letters are formatted in the following way:
  • Opening Paragraph: Statement of recommendation and usually includes length of their association, the relationship to the letter writer and dates of employment
  • Second (and third) Paragraph: Focus the individual's strengths with specific examples, this is the chance to personalize remarks and tell a story or two about them
  • Last Paragraph: Restate the recommendation, include an offer to contact the letter writer directly for more information
  • Contact Information: Following the signature include preferred contact information (phone numbers and/or email)
  • Make sure that the letter is dated. Knowing when the letter was written is important, particularly for individuals who have gathered several letters over the years

Monday, January 16, 2012

Time to Potty Train!

by Kelly Miller

What is the wisest gift I purchased this holiday season?  The Cars 2 potty chair!  My son is now 29-months-old, and he will be the fifth child I will potty train (but the first boy).  My initial plan was to wait until June to start the training process .... but he loves his new potty, and he will actually urinate when he sits on it (most of the time!).  I don't want to lose this critical time where he is interested in the potty, so I plan to start having him wear underwear this weekend. 

On Friday, I will let him pick out his own underwear (Thomas?  Elmo? Spiderman?).  He loves juice boxes, so I will also buy plenty (we need lots of opportunity for success!). Candy will be a tasty reward.  Stickers to put all over his potty seat each time he is successful.  I will also move his potty chair to the family room so it is easily accessable.  Every 30-45 minutes, I will ask him to sit on the potty.  This method worked well for my daughter as well as the children I have nannied for over the years.  If he grows tired, I will let him take a break in a diaper.

Do you wonder if your toddler is ready to use the potty?  Here are some signs of readiness.  Is your toddlers diaper dry at changing time?  Do you notice expressions or positions your toddler makes when they need to go?  Does your toddler sit on a potty chair fully clothed when you are using the bathroom?  Does your toddler have the necessary language skills needed to communicate with you?  Can your child undress himself? 

Here are some articles about this topic.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nanny Conference - Save the Date

A Sure Bet

2012 INA Annual Conference
May 3-6, 2012
Tuscany Suites & Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada

The International Nanny Association (INA) is the umbrella organization for the nanny industry. The annual conference is packed with continuing education opportunities, networking and lots of fun. We are active INA members and wouldn't miss the annual conference. If you are new member to INA there is a 50% discount on attending this conference.
For more details about this conference visit

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Honoring Nanny - Lori Baker

Lori loved being a nanny, she was committed to her job and the children in her care. She loved her profession and was active in the industry attending conferences, serving on her local nanny group board of directors and encouraging other nannies.
Lori was very close to her family and devoted much of her time to them. She was a wonderful friend who loved the outdoors, bowling, crafting and scrapbooking. 
Nannies from the Heartland staff join many others who knew Lori in remembering her wonderful smile, gentle spirit and her passion for working with children and families.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 Reminders

The temporary 2% reduction in employee Social Security Tax deductions, scheduled to expire December 31, have been extended two months, through February 2012.

The IRS announced that the standard employee mileage reimbursement rate for transportation expenses paid or incurred beginning January 1, 2012 will be 55.5 cents per mile, unchanged from the rate in effect during the final six months of 2011.