Thursday, May 31, 2012

2012 Nanny of the Year - Makes News

 International Nanny Association
2012 INA Nanny of the Year Makes News
Seeing the faces day in and day out simply makes Nikki Gribble’s heart smile.
“I get rewarded with hugs and kisses. Get paid to play,” she said.
Gribble has made a successful career out of being a nanny, and now, she’s being honored in a big way.
This month, she was named 2012 Nanny of the Year by the International Nanny Association—the highest stamp of approval in the industry.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How to Get Your Child to Appreciate the Masterpiece That Is You

by Samantha Sawyer

Taking children to a museum can be so fun - especially this month as May is officially Museum Month.   
Have you noticed that everything in a children’s museum seems to amaze kids? What is it about these places that transform children into such ideal creatures? They listen carefully as you describe what they are looking at for hour upon hour; they are engaged and happy—showing wonder in their eyes without a shred of bad behavior looming within. 
Allow me to share how museums use many of the aspects from my holistic "5 Polka Dots" approach to Smart Kids and Happy Families so you can easily achieve these same results at home.
  • Children’s museums know that PLAY is every child’s primary occupation. 
  • They provide opportunities for hands-on exploration that provides MULTI-SENSORY feedback to draw your child into an experience rather than entertaining with complicated gadgets or toys. 
  • Their exhibits are designed to intrinsically MOTIVATE your child by grabbing her attention, which sets her brain up for natural learning and new neural pathways. 
  • They present large, real-life concepts such as cause and effect of hurricanes in terms that are SIMPLIFIED but still informative. 
  • Children’s museums aim to involve the whole FAMILY so kids and parents have a shared experience that promotes bonding, self-discovery and creativity. 
Stimulating your child’s brain for accelerated learning and emotional connection can occur quite easily at home. For a novel experience aside from your typical daily routine, set aside 15-minutes of special time to simply play with your child.
By following their lead and allowing them to explore items that interest them most, without any intentional re-direction or educational questions (e.g. What color is your ball?) , you foster a wondrous environment for exploration and natural learning.

This article came to us from Samantha Sawyer, founder of Family Dynamics Enhancement, and a Certified Parent Coach specializing in providing expert guidance and support so parents can create their ideal family. It’s not every day that you find a parent coach who is also a Nationally Certified Speech Language Pathologist and Autism Specialist. Through her background and experience, Samantha has learned that the parent is the expert regarding their child. She has shown them why traditional methods don’t always work and what to do about it so they can transform their family into a cohesive and loving team.
If you like these free tips and want more ideas for inspiring your child sign-up here (link:
http://www.brightening for our fun and informative monthly "Happy Family" Newsletter.
If you’re looking for customized Parent-Play Coaching in our holistic and innovative "5 Polka Dots" approach to Smart Kids and Happy Families please contact Samantha at Brightening Connections today. Receive a FREE 20-minute phone consultation ($50 value!) and an additional $25 off our 4-session summer program (offer expires June 30, 2012) when you mention this article.
For more information on Samantha and the services she offers to families in their homes, please visit Samantha’s passion is teaching caregivers fun and easy ways to advance their child’s development through play. 
She may be contacted directly at (651) 785-3059 or 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Calling Twin Cities Nannies!

Nannies -
Did you know that the Twin Cities Professional Nannies is a local support group for you? Did you know that TCPN has a calendar of activities perfect for networking, making friends, serving the community and providing continuing education?
Check out the upcoming events. Many are open to non-members. Membership is affordable and valuable!
Nannies from the Heartland is a supporting business member of TCPN and is co-hosting or sponsoring many of the TCPN activities and events. We believe in the nanny community!
For more information contact TCPN at

What: Annual Nanny Picnic Potluck
When: Saturday July 14th
Where: Brookview Park is located south of Highway 55 at Winnetka Avenue in Golden Valley . The street address is 200 Brookview Parkway , Golden Valley . From Highway 55, exit South on Winnetka Avenue . Turn right onto Brookview Parkway to enter the park area. We will meet near the parking area.
Time: 11:00-1:00
Bring a potluck item to share, a beverage, your own chair or blanket, your family, other nanny friends, and a smile. Non-members are welcome to attend!
RSVP: By July 10th to

What: Annual Nanny-Child Picnic
When: Tuesday August 7th
Where: Veterans Memorial Park in Richfield The street address is 6335 Portland Ave , Richfield .
Time: 10:30-
This year TCPN is holding a joint nanny-child picnic with our business member Nannies from the Heartland. The picnic is a great time to bring kids of various ages together for games and crafts. It is asked that nannies bring food for their own kids. Additional beverages will be supplied. More information on the picnic will be sent to those who RSVP to by August 3rd.

What: Feed My Starving Children service event
When: Saturday Sept. 15th
Where: Eagan location- 990 Lone Oak Road, Suite 160 Eagan , MN 55121
Map is also located on their website which is linked below.
Time: 9:00-11:00am
To register go to: Click on join existing group. Under Search for Group: Group name: Twin Cities Professional Nannies Location: Eagan, MN Month: September 2012
This service event has limited space for a total of 10 participants - don't wait join our group today!

What: TCPN Annual Conference
When: Saturday Oct 27th
Where: St. Andrews Church 13600 Technology Drive , Eden Prairie , MN
Time: Sign in begins at 8:30 with a start time of 9:00am
We'll have more information at the end of summer - come back to the blog for more information or contact TCPN at to be included in updates. 

What: Chill and Chat
This is an educational event with a video and discussion time.
When: Saturday in November - TBD
Where: To be held at a local library – location, date and time will be set when we know availability
Cindy Horgan of Cape Cod Children’s Place was the speaker of 2 sessions at the 2012 INA Conference. Funding by the Cape and Islands United Way allowed for the making of a 4 part DVD series called Raising Healthy Families. We will be viewing one of Cindy’s sessions called Understanding Development and Effective Communication. After that we will have the chance to chill and chat with other TCPN members.
To view a clip from the series go to:

What: St. Joseph’s Home for Children Annual Service Event
When: December (weekend day - TBD)
Where: 1121 E 46TH St Minneapolis , MN 55407
St. Joes during the holiday time receives many donated gifts for the kids at the children’s home. For many years TCPN members have shared a few hours of their time to help sort the gifts. We look forward to continuing this partnership of giving.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Nannies in the News

KTSP News featured Mary (along with one of our temporary nannies) in a news segment yesterday. The piece explores several options for short-term childcare: babysitters, temporary nannies, and co-ops. Mary emphasizes that the experience and safety are paramount when choosing a care provider. Nannies from the Heartland's temporary nannies are all screened, seasoned childcare professionals.

Check out the news article and video here.

Outdoor Play Resource

Are you looking for interesting outdoor games that are perfect for the spring and summer seasons? Look no fruther than Family Fun. Check out this link for great ideas - While most of these game are perfect for school age children, many can be adpted to work well for the younger toddler and preschool set. Get creative and get out there and PLAY!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nannies in the News - Airing TODAY

The news piece featuring one of our great temporary nannies and Mary will be aired TONIGHT!
It's now scheduled for the 10:00 PM news on KSTP Channel 5 locally.

We'd love for you to tune in!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Nannies in the News

Recently Mary, President of Nannies from the Heartland, and Kelly, one of our experienced temporary nannies, were interviewed by KSTP 5 Eyewitness News for a story on babysitting options. Our goal was to highlight the difference between hiring a teen babysitter or an experienced professional nanny.
The piece is currently scheduled to air Wednesday, May 23 during the 10 PM news.
We’re excited about this opportunity to educate the public regarding professional nannies. We hope you’ll be able to tune in.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wrap Up on INA Conference

Mary and I recently returned from the annual INA Conference. We look forward to this every year. This year was particularly exciting because we had the largest contingent of Minnesota attendees! One of our local nannies won the big raffle prize of a trip to a Beaches resort. Congratulations Monica!
The workshop content and continuing education opportunities are always high quality. Networking with others is invaluable. We hope you join us next year in Louisville!                                                                                   

 International Nanny Association
2012 INA Annual Conference Wrap Up
Conference 2008

2011 Conference
2011 Conference
2011 Conference
2012 Conference

This year, International Nanny Association members from around the world gathered at the Tuscany Suites & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for the 27th Annual INA Conference.
With over 200 members present, nannies, agency owners, educators and other in-home childcare industry professionals gathered to learn new skills, gather new ideas and build new relationships. During the 2012 INA Annual Conference, over 60 first-time attendees were welcomed into the family of professionals who dedicate their lives work to improving the lives of others. Though attendees worked hard, spending lots of time learning, they also played hard and taking in numerous shows, dining in top-notch restaurants and forging friendships around the pool as they enjoyed the warm, Las Vegas sun.
In addition to INA's own industry experts like Bob King of Legally Nanny, Stephanie Breedlove of Breedlove & Associates, and Glenda Propst of Nanny Transitions, this year, nationally known speakers traveled from all over the United States to present to our conference attendees. Peter Shankman, founder of HARO presented a energetic workshop on social media, Cindy Horgan of Cape Cod Children's Place, presented on working with middle school children and what boys need, Dr. Lindsay Hellar, "the Nanny Doctor," presented on working with difficult clients and media personality "Dr. Shosh," Shoshana Bennett, presented on postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, to name a few.
The 2012 INA Annual Conference marked the third year that the INA Harriette Grant Service Award Pins and INA Service Award Pins were awarded to individuals in the in-home childcare industry. Twenty attendees received their award pins or additional bars for their pins in recognition for their hard work, dedication and commitment to professional excellence.
A highlight of the Annual Conference is the presentation of the Nanny of the Year Award. Nikki Gribble of Bethesda, Maryland, was honored as the 2012 INA Nanny of the Year recipient. Nikki is a graduate of The English Nanny & Governess School and specializes in caring for twins. During her speech, she shared a moving poem her mother wrote about her life as a nanny.
The annual 50/50 Charity Raffle marks the official end of the conference, though there is always a good amount of celebrating late into the evening afterwards. Each year INA chooses a local charity to support with half of the raffle proceeds. This year, half of all proceeds raised went to Spread the Word Nevada, a non-profit literacy program that distributes books to children in southern Nevada.
We hope that you will consider joining us for our 2013 Annual Conference. If you are new to INA and never have attended an Annual Conference, you may be eligible for significant savings.
What Attendees Are Saying
This was my 3rd conference and I look forward to attending every year. My favorite workshop was How to expand and Fine Tune Your Temporary Services. I loved the information and the energy of the agency owners. They were inspiring and informative!
Rachel Urtiaga
Capitol Park Nannies
Sacramento, CA
3rd Conference
My favorite session was Bob King's Legal Review with Peter Shankman tying a close second with How to Expand and Fine Tune Your Temporary Services. Bob showed us what we should be doing, Sharon and Lexy showed us what we could be doing, and Peter inspired me to do both.
Niki Worrell
Williamsburg Nanny Agency
Williamsburg, VA
The most informative session for me was The Business Side of Nannying with Kathy Webb of HomeWork Solutions! Kathy is amazing and I feel so wise after hearing from her!
Keyanna Barr
First-time Attendee
This was my 4th Annual Conference. Two years ago I received my 20 year INA Service Award pin, and this year I was one of the INA scholarship recipients. There were so many excellent workshops this year. What Boys Need, Press Pause for Extended Play, Games, Rhymes and Signs, and the Business Side of Nannying come to mind as favorites. I am looking forward to Louisville next year.
Stacie Gebeke

We look forward to seeing you in 2013 for INA’s 28th Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
All photos were taken by and are the property of MaryAnn X. Meddish.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Make a hula hoop rug!

by Kelly Miller

Hula Hoop Rug My 9-year-old daughter and I had fun doing this rug last week.  All it takes is old t-shirts, a scissors and a hula hoop to use as a loom.  Have fun!  This would be a great project for school age kids to do over the summer. 

Friday, May 11, 2012