Monday, September 30, 2013


By Monica Schoenborn (from Twin Cities Professional Nannies, September Newsletter)
Feedback questions are apart of every nanny’s daily workday. How long did she nap today? What did he eat for lunch? How was class? Is the rash getting better? Has the dog been out lately? What is the speech therapy homework? What was the last time meds were given? What is the homework situation? Did the painters show up today? How is potty training going? I am sure at this point we could fill up the remaining space here with the questions you and I have heard over time during our work as nannies. The point being there are a lot of things that can go on in our work setting and a child’s life. Communication on a daily basis is important to help their family life function smoother. It helps the parents and nanny develop into a working team.

How families prefer to communicate about the daily lives of their children varies. Verbal feedback of the day is a given and for some parents this is all they may want. Besides verbal feedback many parents like to have a written daily log. We have always used a simple notebook as a daily log at my work. There are sites like that offer a download copy of a baby or toddler log sheet that can be printed.  There are various reasons that a family may like to use an online resource where everyone (traveling parent or if parents are divorced etc…) can be kept up to date. offers a free basic service that will send daily emails of what was put into the log. They have an app for the ipad and in the Google play store ($4.99) for other devices at this time. Also, during the day the parents may like a text update and/or picture sent to them from your cell. Some parents and nannies use email as a form of updates to log the activities of the day. Parents may forward emails to the nanny that are related to the child’s activities that they are involved in as more organizations seem to be using email to inform and update participates.

The daily log content will evolve as the children age. My boss will once and a while still refer to it as the “poop sheet” even though the potty training years are well behind us. The daily logs have been a record of development, meltdowns, meal data, medication time logs (and amounts), activities, phone messages, appointment information, quotes of things the kids have said, messages from the kids, repair service information and much more.  In the mist of the potty training days there was one frustrating day that the only feedback I gave was “no your child is not potty trained yet”.  A log has been very helpful in giving pediatric doctors better informed information on when symptoms or change in behavior started.

When the children become school age then the homework feedback questions start. The activities that a child is involved in plus the length of time it takes to do homework impacts the family life. Over time we have come up with a second “log” of sorts that we call P.O.A. (Plan of Action) for one of the kids.  For example:

P.O.A. – Wednesday Sept. 25th
 Pg. 23 2-24 evens, 25-30 odds

We make a word document with all the subjects and homework information on it. Then the kid numbers the subjects in the order he will do the homework and he checks them off as he completes it. This helps him develop time management skills, planning skills and keeps him organized.  It is also the place his parents can check to see where he is at in homework without distracting him. His brother used his school planner so a P.O.A wasn’t needed but he still had to develop the time management skills. One thing to note is the schools are changing with the technology developments. It is helpful to check if the school district web site has teachers assignments posted online. We just cut and paste the assignments and put them in a word document to save time. It is also helpful to see if the students are allowed to use the camera on their cells to take a picture of the assignments written down in class.

Just because a kid goes to school doesn’t mean they automatically are mini adults and have all the life skills a middle age adult has gained. (Okay, we can all come up with exceptions but you get the idea) They still need nannies. Our feedback changes but it is still about the well being of the child, tween or teen. Feedback is more verbal for the simple fact we have helped this kid to learn to read. The tween may not want to read that we think he may have hit the age where deodorant is needed. Middle school highlights that teens are developing at different rates.  Playdates change to hang out time with peers. But we can still be a trusted adult in their lives that is part of their team during the school years.

As nannies providing this type of feedback in its various forms, we are showing our employers one of the reasons it is valuable to hire a nanny in the first place.  Other childcare options generally are not going to be able to provide this level of feedback.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Minneapolis #3

Minneapolis was #3 in a recent article ranking the best places to be a nanny. While we're excited to be included, we'd like to add is that although they present an average nanny wage in Minneapolis we feel this is not reflective of our experience. The method in which they determined the average hourly compensation is described on their site - . As you'll see they grouped all child care in determining average wages. This includes babysitters and nannies. We feel that career professional nannies are in their own category. If you'd like more accurate information about career professional nannies compensation and related industry information you can visit the International Nanny Association website at and you'll see their recent Salary and Benefit Survey on the home page (lower right hand corner). This survey is done by a professional service and provides extensive information about statistics on the industry.

For the article follow this link:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

September 26 is National Mesothelioma Awareness Day

One of our blog readers has asked that we post this link out to all of you. They have helped organize an online awareness campaign that is running today. We'd like to make others aware of this disease and the facts everyone should know. Here is the link to their page and how to participate:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tasty After School Snacks - Healthy Options

A good after school snack is important to children. In previous nanny job it was that time of day to relax over light refreshments and check-in with each child.
My current family has a long commute from school to home and so snack has taken on an even larger role for them. They will actually have a mini-meal to tide them over until parents are home and dinner is on the table.
Here are a few favorites that I've had success with over the years. I hope you enjoy them too!

Warm Tortilla Chips and Dips
Large Tortilla
Cooking Spray or Oil
Cut tortilla up into strips, geometric shapes or using cookie cutters you'll get all kinds of fun chip shapes. Place tortilla pieces onto baking sheet. Lightly coat with cooking spray or a spray oil. (I had a pump sprayer that accommodated any oil which worked very well). Sprinkle with salt or other seasoning. You can also use a cinnamon sugar mixture for a sweet version. Bake at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes until golden.
Serve with salsa, veggie dip, hummus or other options. Delicious!

GORP Buffet
Gorp is a type of trail mix style treat. We'd gather a variety of cereals, dried fruits, mini-marshmallows, snack crackers, pretzels, nuts, etc. - whatever we had around. I'd put them into small bowls with a spoon. Each child would get their own bowl or cup to scoop up their favorite mix. The children would love the buffet idea and would often eat items that if served alone they weren't interested. Great for munching while doing homework with a glass of milk, juice or water.

Snack Rollups
Large Tortilla Wraps
Sandwich Fixings
These are bite-sized sandwiches that are healthy and fill that gap between lunch and the evening meal. Take the large tortilla and build layers of their favorite sandwich items. Roll the tortilla up and then cut into one inch sections. I liked to provide several different choices to them including veggies, cheeses, meats, peanut butter or other options so they could sample. If you have leftovers they do well when placed in an airtight container and refrigerated.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Local Nanny Conference Day

Twin Cities Professional Nannies is hosting their annual Conference Day on Saturday, October 26. The focus is on professional growth and development. The information and registration is posted here for your information. Please feel free to share this information with others.

The View: Nanny Style

2013 TCPN Conference Day and TCPN Member Meeting

Saturday, October 26

9 AM to 3 PM

Light breakfast items and Lunch included in your registration

 Twin Cities Professional Nannies, a nonprofit organization, presents a day of professional and personal growth at our 2013 Annual Nanny Development Conference and Member Meeting!

Invite your friends, family, and nanny peers. The day will include Nanny Industry and Child Care Topics, Member Meeting, Networking, Door Prizes and More!

Register now and join us!


Cindy Horgan Video: This is the fourth video in the Cindy Horgan series TCPN members have been enjoying over the past year. If you missed previous videos – no worries! Each video stands alone on a particular topic. This final topic is Understanding Anger and Power Struggles. Focusing on understanding our own style of demonstrating anger helps us to teach children to manage their anger in healthy ways. Along with avoiding power struggles by learning to help our children deal with their strong emotions make our job easier. We’ll have ample time to discuss the video after the presentation and everyone will be able to share their personal insights.

Table Top Discussions:  Every year TCPN Conference Day attendees ask for more opportunities to discuss topics that are critical to our profession. This year the board has planned for this by providing several topic starters and the time for all participants to share and get some practical takeaways that you can use immediately.

TCPN Annual Meeting: Following the conference day members will move into the annual meeting portion where they will get an overview of the operations of TCPN over the past year. Members will be able to voice their ideas for future events and projects.

Event location: St Andrew Lutheran Church,
13600 Technology Drive Eden Prairie, MN 55344
TCPN Email:

TCPN Conference Day Registration Form
Early Bird Registration must be postmarked by October 15, 2013
City:_______________________________________________State:_____ Zip:__________
How did you hear about our conference?_________________________________________________________
MEMBERS                                                                                           NON-MEMBERS
Early Bird Discount Postmarked by October 15 = $32                               Postmarked by October 15 = $40
Postmarked after October 15 = $45                                                          Postmarked after October 15 = $65
Make your check payable to TCPN
*JOIN TCPN + Conference for $65 – a great deal for a professional conference and a year of membership
$75 – at the door charge members and non-members
*****Breakfast Goodies and Lunch Provided*****
Check-In: 8:30 AM (Light morning breakfast items)
Start: Promptly at 9:00 AM
Lunch Break: About 12:00 Noon (Lunch Provided)
Raffle/Drawings: 2:00 PM
Annual Meeting: 2:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Return to:
P. O. Box 11275
St. Paul MN 55111

Friday, September 20, 2013

National Nanny Recognition Week - September 22 to 28!

National Nanny Recognition Week (NNRW) was created in 1998 to recognize and celebrate nannies across the country. NNRW is a week during which families, businesses, and the media will be encouraged to focus on the positive aspects of the nanny profession, the important role nannies play in the lives of the families and the wonderful contribution they make in the lives of the children they care for. We hope you will join us in celebrating your nanny!
Nannies from the Heartland appreciates all nannies serving families and children! Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place!

Some Ways to Show Your Appreciation
  • Say Thank You and have the children say Thank You
  • A Surprise Day Off
  • Treat your nanny to a special meal made by you and the children
  • A card and framed photo of the family
  • Membership in a local nanny group or professional organization such as
  • Twin Cities Professional Nannies (TCPN) ( or International Nanny Association (INA) (
  • Registration fees for a professional level conference:
  • both TCPN and INA have nanny specific conferences available
  • CPR and First Aid Course Fees
  • Gift Certificates to favorite restaurant, store, online shopping, movie, spa experience, fitness club, etc. 
  • Basket of treats and goodies
  • Handmade card or gift from the child or children
  • Your heartfelt appreciation means a lot - share how important your nanny is to you and your family! It speaks volumes!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day History!

Happy Labor Day! I found this history of Labor Day on the Department of Labor website. You might be interested in knowing more about Labor Day.


The History of Labor Day

Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.
Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."
But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Labor Day Legislation

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

A Nationwide Holiday

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.
The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.
The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.