Some might even say getting the appropriate amount of time off is even more important for those who are involved in chid care, as it requires intensive engagement with children who by definition need care and support.
If you are a nanny, whether you are planning your vacation, just need a day off or even some time during the work day to go to an appointment, there are some simple ways to have a productive discussion with your employer.
It is best to agree on the amount of paid (and unpaid) vacation that both you and your employer find acceptable when you first start working together. Annual reviews are a good time to revisit the arrangements in place or to raise it if you have not discussed it before.
If you need some time here and there to go to the doctor or dentist, talk to your employer and figure out good times that are most convenient for you and the family.
This is especially true when planning annual holidays or vacations. Giving plenty of notice means that there is time to ensure no conflicts (i.e. both you and your family want to go on holiday for that last week of August) and to make alternative arrangements. It also takes into the account the family schedule, a sign of respect and understand. Families do not like surprises. Avoid them.
Your family will understand the importance of taking holidays and if they don’t, you can forward this article! This is your mental and physical health we are talking about, and the wellbeing of the children is directly impacted. So be confident, clarify your needs and get straight to the point. Don’t “um and ah”.
Use email to set out what you are thinking in advance of the discussion. Typing the email will help you clarify your thinking. And then use a shared online calendar if available to make sure your time off is in everyone’s calendar!
If you are a nanny looking for a family to support, you can sign up for free on our site!
Grandparents are an essential landmark in the lives of their grandchildren. Their challenge is to find the balance between the love they feel for them and the discipline they must uphold, in harmony with the education advocated by parents. Grandparents should keep in mind that they should not take the place of parents or become too intrusive. Here are some of the roles that grandparents can play:
– Source of additional unconditional love from the first moments of the child’s life
– Educators complementary to parents, role both emotionally and educationally. They have more time, are less stressed, calmer pace of life
– Anchorage point, stability in the family environment, widens the emotional sphere of grandchildren
– Source of treats and special permissions without going against parents’ education
– Support for parents from birth. Grandparents, however, must respect their limits and not overdo it!
– Allies of the parents; they should not criticize them or go against the way they chose to raise their children, this could create many tensions
– The parents! Do not forget to thank the grandparents for all they do for their grandchildren and for you!
– For grandparents who need respite, visit our SOSSitter website https://sossitter.ca/senior-caregiver/
When we pick up our child at daycare or school after a day at work, we can not wait to find out what he did, what he ate, who he had fun with, in short, EVERTHING. But in fact, it’s not that easy! Our little ones are often stingy with words. How can we encourage them to say more? Here are some ways to help you untie small languages:
– Knowing the schedule and activities of your child will allow you to ask him specific questions about his day
– Asking questions that offer choices rather than open questions will help your child answer you more easily
– If your child does not want to talk, give him time in silence, do not constantly insist that he speaks to you
– Enunciate with your child short sequences of events that happen in a day so that he can complete them (ex: you woke up, you ate, and after?)
– Taking pictures of your child at different times of the day and asking him to put them in order and explain what he was doing will help him understand the sequence principle
– Ask your child for the times of the day he preferred while sharing yours
– Making jokes or exaggerations can also bring lightness and a touch of humor and encourage your child to say more
– Playing with stuffed animals or dolls and describing in detail what they do will help your child detail their own day
– Talk to your spouse about your day in front of your child will give you an idea of what you expect from him when you ask him about his day
– Be attentive and patient with your child when he talks about his day even if sometimes it seems long and disjointed! We must show the importance of listening
– Here are some ideas for questions that may be of interest to your child: Who did you play with? Did something funny happen? Did you do a special activity? Did you eat something new for lunch?
Most pets spend time alone at home each day. Sometimes very long hours pass between the moment we leave them and the return home. How can we entertain them so that time goes faster? Here are some ideas to make your pet feel less alone!
– Leave the radio on so your pet has a background noise: there is specialized music for animals available on ICalmPet
– Leave the television open: there is a specialized television for dogs (DogTV)
– Get devices such as Petcube (interactive camera) and IFetch (toy that launches the ball to your pet and allows him to exercise -during your absence)
– Buy a Kong: non-toxic rubber toy with a hollow in the middle to place food or treats inside
– Leave one or more toys that your pet does not have access to when you are with him
– Hide treats in the house so that your pet spends time looking for them
– Buy puzzle style games that will stimulate your dog intellectually
– Adopt another pet. However, do not use this second animal to solve an anxiety problem, it must be seen before!
– Hire a dog walker or petsitter service (SOSGarde / Sitter)
The goal of homework is to help our children become independent students, to teach them to focus and organize. How can we help them in a positive way without doing the work for them ?! Here are some tips to accompany our little schoolchildren!
– Have a routine, a regular schedule, so that the child knows what to expect and avoid conflicts
– Choose a place to do homework: peaceful, well-lit, away from distractions
– Take breaks (adapt the frequency of breaks to the concentration of the child, each break should be of a maximum duration of 5 minutes)
– Supervise the homework period and make sure everything is done well (without doing the work for them!)
– Be realistic, positive, patient, value and encourage the child by avoiding stress
– Communicate with the teacher: the link between the child, the parent and the teacher is very important
– Make the homework period more creative by moving, changing environment, through play (write words with Scrabble letters, spell singing, ask questions as if you were at a TV quiz, etc.! )
– Use technology (with sites like www.alloprof.qc.ca)
– Encourage reading by setting a good example!
Startup Canada, the national rallying community for Canadian entrepreneurs, named in mid-September 11 outstanding entrepreneurs, businesses and support organizations from Quebec as winners of the annual Startup Canada Awards. We are absolutely delighted to announce that SOSsitter.ca/SOSgarde.ca, has won the StartupCanada Social Enterprise Award 2017 for the province of Quebec. We are now finalist of the same category for Canada. Here are a few pictures of the celebration. Congratulations to all of this year’s 2017 regional award winners!
Press release here.
Want your kids to continue learning during the summer? Or at least not experience “brain drain and complain” when they get back to the new school year? You have heard it before – “Mom! Dad! I don’t remember anything from last year! School is hard!”
If you are sold, your next question is likely how to go about it without becoming the summer party-pooper. You don’t want to be the nag who is always banging on about learning when the kids are dying to have fun. And you do not have to be! Keep reading to be “schooled” on how to make summer learning fun and easy.
Lesson One: Technology – If you can’t beat them, join them!
If it is a constant battle to get your kids away from their screens, it is time to change your battle plan! There are many “screen options” that will please both you and your kids. There are a variety of that offer a range of choices from basic reading to coding, programming and game design. Online and Summer and Camps – oh my! Coding and programming and game design – oh yes!
And then there are apps, and . Check out World of Madagascar, put out by JumpStart and DreamWorks (yes that Dreamworks!), which works on language arts and math skills with the help of some penguins. Or try GALXYZ, that provides adventure and keeps your kids interest in science all at once. And there is Scribblenauts Remix (spelling), Rush Hour (Strategy), Math Monsters (math!), and more!
Lesson Two: Driving Holidays = Turn boredom into Learning Opportunities
You no longer have to listen to “Are we there yet?!” when doing the long drives that often come with family summer holidays. All the “screen options” above are great for the car as well as home. But good old fashioned pen and paper work too. has many “printables” such as games like alphabet bingo in addition to a number of summer learning activities, reading lists for different age groups and summer learning schedules.
Lesson Three: Hiding in Plain Site – Learning in Disguise
I once heard of a school that offered a period of “alternative study” every January. One week for the younger students and three weeks for the older students. Instead of taking a math class, students would study money management; or rather than the usual history course, students would focus on a “fun” period like the 1960’s with an unusual curriculum. It was a hit with the students, teachers and parents.
You can do the same thing at home. You do not have to doing boring math worksheets with your kids; get them to practice their math by being in charge of the “running total” when at the shops, working out the measurements when making cupcakes, working out distances using a map or figuring out how much money they have in their accounts. Crack reading comprehension by getting your kids to read and explain the sites when visiting a historical monument or museum.
Lesson Four: You are not alone – Many parents and educators are into Summer Learning
And everyone can help make your kids summer learning both effective and fun – parents, grandparents, siblings, babysitters and nannies. What? You are looking for a babysitter or nanny to help with the kids the summer. You have come to the right place!
SOSitter.ca is a Canadian portal designed to help you find local caregivers in your area, easily and quickly. The caregiver who is right for your family is only a click away.
Say that three times quickly! Actually, this is not a topic on which to be glib. The safety of seniors in the summer time is important as heat and ends many elderly lives each year. And the challenge is getting harder. Whatever your stance on climate change, it is difficult to deny that the weather is getting more variable and extreme each year that passes.
The other challenge is the “60 is the new 40” culture we live in today. Whilst most people will be aware that the elderly are particularly susceptible to problems caused by heat and dehydration, many do not consider themselves in that “elderly” group. that almost all participants over 65 knew of the risks but that thought they applied to people older than themselves.
> What are the signs of dehydration? The most common sign is thirst, although for many older adults, they will already be dehydrated when they notice they are thirsty. They might also experience feeling tired, urinating less often, with urine that is darker in color, or dizziness and confusion.
> What can seniors, their loved ones and senior caregivers do to help avoid the dangers of heat and hydration? There are many, many preventive measures which can be researched online. Here are just a few tips for keeping our elders safe in summer:
Be aware of the risks, and the warning signs and the changing weather temperatures
Drink plenty of fluids – even if you are not feeling thirsty
Make drinking fluids a scheduled part of the day, such as drinking a full cup of water when taking pills, versus just the amount of water needed to swallow the pills
Drink the right kinds of fluids – alcohol and coffee to do qualify as fluids in this situation
Eat food – such as fruits – that bring a lot of fluids with them
Stay somewhere that is air conditioned or kept cool
Ensure the home of the senior loved one is set-up to manage the risks of heat and dehydration – such as fans, air conditioners, fruits ad fluids
Go to places that are air conditioned or kept cool (movie theatres are great for this)
Avoid places that have significant sun exposure – such as a golf course – or activities such as exercise which increases
Wear sun screen (Our skin gets thinner as we get older, making it more sensitive to the effects of the sun)
Stay out of the sun, especially during the hottest times of the day (usually the afternoon)
> What to do when there are signs of dehydration? There are such as getting your senior loved one to a cool place and drinking fluids. But you should also know who to call and at what point by talking with the senior loved one’s doctor.
It is important to ensure seniors are not alone for extended periods of time. Family, friends, neighbors, and senior caregivers should check in on them regularly and should be aware of the warning signs and measures to fix it.
Whatever the weather will be this year, you know you can count on SOSsitter, come rain or shine, to help you find the right support for your household. SOSsitter.ca is a Canadian portal designed to help you find local caregivers in your area, easily and quickly. The caregiver who is right for your family is only a click away.
When you think back to last summer, do you ever think “Gosh, I wish I had spent less time outside with the kids and more time inside, cleaning up the house?” A safe guess is no! It’s more likely that you wish you had been outside enjoying the feel of grass under your feet and the sun on your face; and most importantly the ear to ear grins and belly laughter of your kids, enjoying their summer days and nights.
The challenge is that a certain level of organization and house work is required to keep everyone clean, fed and happy, even during the lazy days of summer. The solution? Do a little upfront work to make the necessary housework as effective and efficient as possible. Specifically, decluttering your house will make cleanup a breeze so you can spend more time outside playing with the kids.
Here is your new mantra:
Close out School Year, Setup Summer Gear; Minimize Clutter, Maximize Summer!
Do not underestimate the build-up of “school stuff” over the last 9-10 months, nor the increased flow (i.e. more stuff) that comes with the end of the school year. Recognize that you and your family are transitioning from the school year to the summer period and be deliberate in reorganizing and decluttering:
Some final tips: Remember that school clutter is found EVERYWHERE! Check the car, the garage, and the kids rooms too! School Year build-up has probably permeated every corner of your world so make sure to give all of it some of your attention. You are not in this alone! Engage your kids in this process: it will be a fun way to close the year and teach them some valuable life lessons. Nanny, babysitters and housekeepers can be invaluable helpers as well!
Setup the Summer Gear
Now that you have all the School Gear out of the way, it is time to get the Summer Gear out! Summer clothes and shoes. Swim Suits, Towels, Bags, Games and Toys. You know what your family uses most in the summer. Pull it out, make sure it is ready to use and make it easy and accessible for everyone in the family.
A clutter-free house is an easy to clean house. Well… easier to clean is probably more like it! After you have the kids school year and summer gear sorted out, it is time to look inward!
The key with clutter is to ensure that everything has a home. You need a space to place everything that you have and if you don’t have the space, it’s time to look at what you don’t need.
Take a tour of your house and look for your biggest clutter danger areas. (TIP? The dining room table and accent chairs seem to take the brunt of it!) Do you keep months (or years!) of old magazines? Why not tear out articles you want to read later and recycle old issues? Do you drop your mail around the house before weeding out the junk? Does your office paperwork come home with you and then spread like a mould? Does your love of knick knacks make dusting a simple coffee table a long and arduous process? Look at what doesn’t work and fix it.
With a house that is organized and clutter free, you can keep your bouts of cleaning short and focused and maximize the fun you have with your kids outside. You can also maximize your fun by getting some help—whether to clean the house regularly or for special projects; a regular nanny or ad hoc babysitter. SOSitter.ca is a Canadian portal designed to help you find local caregivers in your area, easily and quickly. The caregiver who is right for your family is only a click away.