Monthly Archives: September 2014

Hire A Nanny

 

Hiring a nanny or babysitter for the first time ? Then it’s important to know your responsibilities.

You will need to know about employment contracts, background checks, income tax, superannuation and insurance. It may all sound a bit daunting but don’t worry, read the information below and you’ll be well on the way to hiring the perfect nanny :

 

 

 Prepare a contract

If you’re looking to hire a nanny full or part-time, do have a contract. While it may feel very personal to hire a nanny, it is essentially a business agreement and you are the employer.

 

The contract should be drawn up and signed before your nanny starts. You should talk your nanny through the contract so that both parties know exactly where they stand and then after that you should both sign the contract.

 

What to consider

In working out your terms of employment, there are some aspects that are critical. A contract would, for instance, include the gross wage, schedule of payment (weekly, fortnightly, monthly), method of payment (such as bank), hours of work, duties, leave entitlements, probation period and notice periods.

 

 

Background Checks

Make sure the nanny you hire has an up-to-date valid police check and also, if possible, a Working for children check appropriate for the State you are in.

 

Superannuation and Income Tax

If the nanny is employed for over 30 hours per week then in most instances you will need to pay super which at 1st July 2014 is 9.5%. For more information on this visit the Australia Tax Office website at www.ato.gov.au as well as to register with the ATO to allow for income tax deductions.

 

Insurance matters

You’ll probably need to take out domestic work cover insurance. For more details on this visit the Workcover website for your state. If your nanny or babysitter is going to drive your car, you’ll need to add their name to your car insurance policy.  Chat to the nanny to see if they have any nanny insurance. It does exist !

 

Money matters

In addition to the wage for your nanny or sitter, you should think about any extra expenses or what to do in the event you are held up on occasion. Will this be overtime? There are probably going to be expenses during the week, so decide how they will be handled and make sure it’s written down in the contract.

 

Communication

Of course, one of the most important responsibilities when it comes to hiring a nanny is clear communication.

 

A face-to-face discussion is obviously essential before hiring and details should also be added to the contract. With the list of duties for instance, you might add specifics such as the daily schedule and methods of discipline. Many parents also find it useful to have a daily or weekly sit down with the nanny to chat about what’s happened during the week, and see if there are any issues.

 

If this all sounds a little daunting, don’t stress! It might sound like a lot of work, but good preparation is the key to success when you hire a nanny, and hopefully to the start of a long and fulfilling relationship all round.

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The Mum ( or Dad ) Dilemma : Work or Stay At Home

 

It seemed like such a golden idea. Women can have it all – parenting, career and plenty of time to continue having a social life. The reality for many of us though is that career plus parenting plus housework equals sheer exhaustion.

 

For many mums (and dads) work is essential, and trying to find the right balance can take some effort. Here are some important considerations as you think about your work options.

 

Financial matters

It’s often finances that drive the decision of when and how much to work. Before heading back to full-time work, it’s essential to do the numbers first.

 

While a full-time wage can seem very tempting after maternity leave, you’ll need to consider the cost of childcare versus income. Childcare can cost a lot and while there are some slightly cheaper options (nanny sharing for example) the reality is that childcare will become one of your biggest regular outlays.

 

Investigate what your childcare costs will be and what, if any government assistance you are eligible for. Speak to Centrelink to get a better idea of figures. You’ll want to balance this against your wage and any benefits (superannuation, employee-related discounts or bonuses) and associated costs such as transport, meals at work and that much-needed morning coffee !

 

Career versus home

You may have the choice of being able to work part-time or not at all but you’ll still need to do some thinking. Some parents may find after that initial sleep-deprivation phase that there is nothing that would make them as happy as spending every day at home with the children. Others may find that as much as they adore their children, a career can offer a different type of fulfilment.

 

If you are in this position, it might help to write down a list of pros and cons for the alternatives. Ask yourself some basic questions, such as: What do I want for my career ? Will I be happy to stay home ? Am I happy to have others look after my children ? There’s no right or wrong answer. Being honest will help you reach a solution you’re 100% comfortable with.

 

Options all round

Of course if you need the income, you can aim for options other than full-time work outside the home. Some offices for instance may provide the option for employees to jobshare or to work from home, or ‘telecommute’.

 

Or you might look for a home-based opportunity. Many mums and dads start their own businesses when they are faced with the decision of work with young children. It’s not easy and it’s certainly not for everyone and will depend on your skillset but there are plenty of support resources from local government groups.

 

The bottom line

In the end, the decision needs to be a personal one.

 

Should you return to work for financial reasons only, try not to feel guilty. Childcare exists for a reason and those that do opt for childcare may even find there are benefits. Children may find some much-needed stimulation and social interaction in a new environment, and you may even find the fewer hours you spend with your children are much improved in quality.

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Nutritional Easy-to-cook Recipe Ideas For Busy Mums

 

 

However much of a gourmet chef you were before you had children, if you’re human like the rest of us, there’s a good chance your culinary skills are looking a lot less Nigella these days. Between parenting, the office and housework, there’s precious little time for cooking, and finding easy, fast and nutritional recipes can be tricky.

 

So here are a few kitchen tips to help you feed the family – and regain a few hours of your life.

 

Befriend a slow cooker

Yes, they do conjure up images of ‘60s housewives, and perhaps that’s why those Samanthas and Bettys always looked so glamorous. A slow cooker is a fantastic option to make healthy meals (slow cooking helps retain all of the flavours and nutrients) and it means you forego hours bent over a saucepan. So you might just have some time to glam up a little! It’s also a mighty versatile beast.

 

If you’re thinking casseroles, yes that’s one option, but a slow cooker can also create contemporary and international dishes. It’s great for soups, curries, tagines and even roasts and desserts.

 

You can buy one pretty cheaply and there are plenty of slow cooker cookbooks around. You can turn it on in the morning and come home to a hot meal, or switch it on at night, so you have a cooked meal when you wake up that you can put in the fridge and simply reheat in the evening. Voila!

 

Pasta Perfection

Carbs may not be our best friend all the time, but there’s no denying they’re convenient. To make pasta as healthy as possible, keep a few pasta sauce options on hand in the freezer.

 

Avoid cream sauces, and opt for meat or tomato-based versions. A classic Bolognese freezes well, kids love it, and you can sneak in lots of finely chopped vegetables such as carrot, zucchini and capsicum. A basic Napoletana sauce (tomatoes, onion, garlic) also works a treat with any combination of vegetables.

 

International and amazing

Thankfully the days of meat and three vegetables are well and truly forgotten in most households. There are plenty of Mexican (meat or bean based), Asian (stir fries and rice) and Indian dishes that you can make easily and quickly and freeze so you have them on hand  for a fast mid-week dinner.

 

A mild butter chicken or korma curry for instance can be a great option for children. Simply throw in some vegies with chicken, beef or pork, and add whichever sauce you like. As with all of your dishes these days, keep the base plain for the kids, and add chillies or spices to your own when serving.

 

Another tip ?  Swap cream for yoghurt. Rather than adding while cooking, stir yoghurt through just before serving. It tastes great, and is much better for you. Serve your curry with basmati rice, and for a special treat, pappadums. There’s no need to deep fry. Spray lightly with oil and pop in the microwave for 30 seconds. Delicious !

 

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How To Find A Great Date Night Babysitter ( so you can have fun )

 

 

So there you were, pre-children, bonding over a candlelit dinner, all smiles and happiness. Ah, the memories. When children come along, you find an abundance of happiness in all sorts of ways, but it’s fair to say those romantic dinners drop pretty low on the agenda.

 

You’re busy, stressed from the workload (home and career) and more often than not, too exhausted to even think about anything other than falling into a deep slumber at some ridiculously early evening hour.

 

Sound familiar? Then you need to think date night babysitter so you can get back to having some fun as a couple.

 

And why’s that you ask ?

Having a night out for yourself is not just about entertainment, it’s vital ‘you’ time. Dressing up and heading out to dinner or a show can help you bond all over again, and is likely to give you some much-needed rejuvenation. As much as we love our kids, those little bundles of endless energy can drive us up the wall now and again.

 

Rejuvenate and you may find the time you spend with your children is even better!

 

Plan for date night

The first step in getting some time to yourselves is to plan. It’s easy to keep saying you’ll do it next weekend, or the weekend after. Before you know it, two months have passed.

 

So make a date and stick to it.

 

Find that date night babysitter

Of course, there’s one vital element you’ll need for your date night escape, and that’s a date night babysitter.

 

So where to find one? You have a few options.

 

For those with extended family close by, ask if there’s anyone who might be willing and able. Another option is to ask friends or work colleagues if they have any regular sitters they use and would recommend. Your third option is to use a service like ours at WeNeedaNanny.com.au to put you in touch with suitable date night sitters. Of course, no matter who you choose, you’ll need to check their references.

 

Enjoy your date night

So you’ve made the date, found the date night sitter and have a plan of action.

 

The final step is to enjoy!

 

Don’t be surprised if it’s not as easy as you think. Leaving a baby or a child at home while you’re both out (especially for the first time) can be a little daunting. It’s obviously sensible to exchange mobile numbers with your date night babysitter, but try and refrain from texting every half hour to check the kids are ok.

 

If there is an emergency, they will call. If you don’t hear from them, there’s every likelihood your children are either having a ball or sleeping soundly.

 

And once you’ve had a great date night, guess what? The next one is going to be that much easier as you now have your date night sitter on hand.

 

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