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COVID safe activities to do with children as it gets cooler.

I just had a nanny recently inquire about coming up with some ideas of what she could be doing with her kiddo when the weather starts getting a little cooler.  During these sunny days, it seems much easier keeping the children busy, active, engaged, and ideally not missing their playdates/school/lessons as much because they are finding new things to do.  These upcoming few months of cooler weather will take some extra creativity when seeking out ideas while still keeping COVID precaution and limited exposure a priority.   I was looking over our listing of activities to do in our nanny booklet but the majority are not currently open or families may not be comfortable having you go there (hello McDonalds playset!)  I checked in with the businesses on our listing to see what companies were taken extra concern and precaution about COVID and here are some ideas.  I would love to hear from nannies to what you are finding works for you and your kiddos, we can add onto the list!  Thank you, be well, take care, and stay healthy.

They’re still operating through the end of this month, only taking 6 passengers total, often times it’s less, so outside and on a fire truck- FUN!  Portland Fire Engine Company: 180 Commercial Street, Portland.  Enjoy an intimate and fully narrated Fire Truck tour in an original vintage fire engine, exploring the peninsula.  207-252-6358  https://portlandfiretours.com 
 
They are still open through the end of this month but also have holiday trains that run in Nov/Dec  They limit the amount of passengers and I think their museum is still open and so much fun! ,Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad: 58 Fore St. Portland, 828-0814; Take a train ride along the East End Beach area in Portland and visit the museum afterwards. www.mainenarrowgauge.org 
 
They limit the amount of people and you have to reserve your own table.  Color Me Mine: 4 Thompson’s Point, Portland.  Decorate and paint your own pottery.  www.portland.colormemine.com  207-536-4848
 
They have a really cool outdoor sculpture park that is free and a big space for distancing  Portland Museum of Art 7 Congress Square, Portland  207-775-6148   https://www.portlandmuseum.org/sculpture-park
 
They are offering free online ZOOM kids club classes Michael’s Craft Stores- 490 Payne Rd Scarborough.  Michael’s stores will often host weekly free or small fee craft projects.  Check out their website for updates:https://www.michaels.com/classes  
 
They are offering barnyard visits and wagon rides by appointment only for the next two weeks and will be offering a pick-a-pumpkin event Smiling Hill Farm, 781 County Rd Westbrook 775-4818.  Smiling Hill offers ice cream in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter.  Farm animal and play area for children.  http://www.smilinghill.com/Page1.html  
 
She is offering private art classes for children to minimize contact The Creative Child- The Creative Child and Adult Arts Program is an Arts Studio in Scarborough designed to offer creative explorations to artists from Preschool right up through retirement. 152 US Route One in Scarborough right behind Lois' Natural Marketplace. 207-831-8001 http://www.creativechildart.net/ 
Being a licensed, commercial kitchen she has to adhere to strict cleanliness guidelines  Measuring Up Cooking For Kids, 25 Plaza Drive, Unit #8, Scarborough. 883-0611. Cooking adventures for kids, age 3-17.Learn cooking skills in a fun, interactive, hands on environment.Offering classes during afternoons, weekends, school vacations.www.measuringupcookingforkids.com
 
They are part of the CinemaSafe program which provides online tickets, reserved seating, distanced seating, increased training and cleaning, regular health checks, PPE required, sanitation station, safe food practices .  Smitty’s Cinema: 1327 Main St, Sanford and also 795 Roosevelt Trail in Windham. Smitty’s offers “Mommy & Me" Program & welcomes parents and caregivers to come in for a special outing with their pre-school aged child to enjoy a movie without fear of disturbing anyone.Also serving food. Check website for listings: www.smittyscinema.com
Mask wearing, hand sanitizer stations, and only outdoor programs currently running  Wells Reserve at Laudholm, Wells: 342 Laudholm Farm Rd. Open all year for various seasonal outdoor exploration, education, story hours, trails, and beach.207-646-1555  https://www.wellsreserve.org/visit/for-kids-families#family-nature-programs
Requiring reservations in order to visit   Maine Wildlife Park: 56 Game Farm Road, Gray See more than 30 species of Maine Wildlife, visitor center, activities, events, picnic, fish hatchery, trails, gardens, feed the animals, museum, and tours.https://www.maine.gov/ifw/wildlife-park/index.html207-657-4977
 
Reserved times and limited tickets currently offering corn mazes, farm pass, and pumpkin carving events Pineland Farms:  15 Farm View DriveNew Gloucester(207) 688-4539 www.pinelandfarms.orgFamily programs at Pineland Farms engage children and adults of all ages in fun-filled educational opportunities throughout the farm.
Curbside do-it-yourself kid craft event Lowes: offers Build and Grow programs usually every other Saturday at most their stores.Go online to see what the project will be and to register:  https://diy.lowes.com
Closing October 12th for the season, a combination of outdoor/indoor exploration  Old Fort Western, 16 Cony Street.America’s oldest surviving (1754) wooden fort. A National Historic Landmark located on the banks of the Kennebec River in Augusta.www.oldfortwestern.org

MAINE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER

In light of the recent Stay-at-Home Order for the state of Maine, many nannies and families are left wondering if this is applicable to them. Childcare Providers are listed as essential workers and therefore nannies may continue in their current position at both the family and nanny's discretion.

I have been reviewing the updates as posted, CHILDCARE is mentioned always as an essential service. I agree that is seems confusing when trying to determine your own individual situation. The mandate says that travel to and from work to provide childcare is permissible. I have not seen any exclusions stated that the parent's job has to be considered essential in order for the nanny to continue work. That to me seems like it should be determined between the family and nanny if her role is deemed essential during this time. I do have an email off to the State seeking specific clarifications in our industry and will follow up with any updates. Also, I do see that all essential workers are mandated to maintain a minimum of six foot distance, which I interpret to be from the employers and obviously not the children!

UNEMPLOYMENT INFORMATION

Nannies and families, please read the latest news about the changes in unemployment benefits. Many are feeling the strain of COVID-19 as it impacts employment here in Maine. The virus has forced closures and layoffs across our state, and the new emergency legislation will extend eligibility of unemployment benefits.

Maine's emergency unemployment benefits will cover situations that aren't usually covered, including:

*Your employer temporarily having to close due to COVID-19
*Being quarantined but expecting to return to work when the quarantine ends
*Leaving work due to risk of exposure or infection
*Leaving work to take care of a family member
*The legislation also waives the one-week waiting period so that benefits start immediately and ensures that claims for UI won't affect an employer's experience rating.

Go to https://www.maine.gov/unemployment/ to file your claim

Here's what you'll need to set up your account:

your social security number
your birth date
choose a user name
choose a password

Here's what you'll need to file:

Your social security number
Alien Registration Number, if applicable
The business name, address and telephone number of each place you've worked at over the past 18 months
The jobs you held and the dates you worked for each employer within the 18-month period

You can file for unemployment in Maine if:

You have worked in the state of Maine or served in the military within the past 18 months
You have not filed a claim for unemployment benefits against another state in the past 12 months
You will come to a line that asks your reason for filing, fill that in with "lack of work".

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC is making the recommendation that individuals take measures to socially distance themselves from others. Many of you are probably wondering what this means for your nanny position. This is a difficult question to answer because every family/nanny situation is highly individual.  Having a pandemic such as the Coronavirus has us trying to figure out our expectations because nannies have typically worked when the children are sick as well as if the parents are home sick.

 

Many parents are professionals in the medical field and are needed at work now more than ever, therefore they are relying on their nanny for their childcare needs. Some parents are being asked to work from home. Some parents are still going into work. With schools closed, some nannies have children they must care for at home. This virus looks different and has a varying degree of impact for each nanny and family, and is rapidly evolving day by day. As of right now, because each family and nanny will know their own situation and risk level better than anyone else, I want to leave it up to individual families and their nannies to decide what the best course of action is for the nanny position in these next few weeks.  At minimum, we are asking that nannies whom continue to work to please  maintain following the recommended safety precautions from the CDC which you can find online via the link at the bottom of this email.

 

If your nanny is not needed because of a family’s need to self-quarantine or a parents’ recent temporary furlough from their employment, this would a good opportunity to continue paying your nanny.  I can imagine that if the need for social distancing extends longer than two weeks, financially this may prove to not be feasible.  Perhaps there is other work that the nanny could help with?  Is there a way for her to earn her income while following CDC protocol?  If a nanny is not needed because she herself is infected or needing to self quarantine, this would be a good opportunity for her to use her paid sick/personal/vaca days. If a nanny had a child who is out of school and requires supervision, families please consider allowing the child to accompany her to work.

 

If you have any additional concerns, questions, or a need for further support, please reach out to Portland Nannies and we will do whatever we can to assist your situation. This pandemic  is ongoing and I will continue to update the Portland Nannies community if there are new developments in our response.

 

If Your Nanny is Not Needed
A family may choose to temporarily furlough their nanny for many reasons including:
• Her recent exposure to infected or potentially infected individuals;
• Her mild illness, not wishing to potentially infect your family;
• The family’s need to self-quarantine;
• A parent’s recent temporary furlough from their employment.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require an employer to pay a non-exempt employee for time not worked.  Bear in mind, however, that a family may  have a legal obligation to keep paying employees because of an employment contract. Many families “guarantee” a minimum numbers of hours pay to their nanny who is otherwise able and willing to work. If it is the family’s choice not to have the nanny come in and the nanny has a guaranteed pay benefit, this will come into play.

 

If Your Nanny is Unable to Work
Your nanny may become unavailable due to:
• Her own coronavirus or suspected coronavirus infection;
• Her need to care for her own family member who is ill;
• Her child’s school has closed and she must care for the child;
• Self-quarantine due to her recent travel or potential community exposure.
This is the most problematic and stressful situation for the nanny and her employer. While most nanny employers provide some number of sick or flexible paid leave days, this benefit may not be sufficient to provide income security for the length of time required.

 

Gov. Janet Mills has submitted emergency legislation to temporarily expand eligibility for unemployment insurance to individuals whose employment has been impacted by the virus.  This bill is being submitted today, hopefully updates are posted shortly:  https://www.maine.gov/labor/unemployment/claimsfaq.shtml

 

 

 

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Hello Nannies,

Summer is sadly coming to an end and as always, it seemed to go by too quickly.  While I know many folks look forward to the fall season, I am not quite ready to say goodbye to the sunshine especially after this amazing weekend!  There is a lot of unpredictability in the nanny industry but one that that has always remained true, that August/September is our busiest transitional period of the year.  I want to thank you all for your patience and understanding if I wasn’t able to answer your call or get right back to you.  I want you to always feel like I am here for you, available, and that you are my priority but I am aware that this time of year I am not as quick with my responses.  

Things are back to a more normal busy pace at the office and I am looking forward to catching up with some of our newer nannies and nannies that are just starting with their new families.  I want to welcome  our newest nannies with Portland Nannies- welcome Nanny Kate, Destiny, Lynn, Sarah, Laura, Micheala, Tammy, Ashley, Taylor, Lisa, Bridget, Alison, June, Sara, Elizabeth, Hannah, Maria, Stefanie, Jenn, and Emma.  I would like to welcome back nannies Meghan, Julia, Gia, Kristen, Katie, Shelby, Ashley, Amanda, Carly, Laurie, Dayla, Karla, Erin, Carol, Mary, Diane, Alexis, Noralee, Jen, Lynne, Aliza, Katie, and Meaghan!  I am grateful having such wonderful, professional childcare providers representing my agency! 

The International Nanny Association is excited to support all the hard working nannies during interNational Nanny Recognition Week  September 22-28, 2019.

In order to honor your service to the children and families in your care, they will be holding a RECOGNITION WEEK CELEBRATION SALE during the week of INNRW.  All in-home childcare professionals are encouraged to become INA members or renew their membership by Sunday September 29th to take advantage of this offer Childcare Professional Memberships are $40, a $15 savings.  Sign up: https://crm.nanny.org/public/login/membership/5d6441780f777e929908579f4a3b79a4505b1896/1  

interNational Nanny Recognition Week September 22-28 2019

PORTLAND NANNIES would like to thank all of our amazing nannies, we wouldn’t be here without your dedication and support!  Our families are forever grateful having you as part of their family and caring for their children.   Thank you Nannies, truly for everything and HAPPY NANNY RECOGNITION WEEK!! As a way to show my appreciation, I would like to invite you to the following offerings this week, all free of charge for you. 

MONDAY Stop by Broadway Gardens, 1640 Broadway South Portland, between the hours of 3pm-7pm and pick up a thank you bouquet of flowers.  Go to the main building and Eva will put together a nice arrangement for you, courtesy of Portland Nannies. 

WEDNESDAY  Stop by OTTOs Pizza, 125 John Roberts Rd in South Portland after work, between the hours of 4-6pm for a happy hour slice and drink.  I will grab us a picnic table, stop by anytime during those hours. 

FRIDAY  Treat Yourself!  What is your go-to for relaxing? Getting a Massage? Day at the Spa? Going out to eat?  Perhaps some Shopping?  We are raffling off a Visa Gift Card for $50 to one lucky nanny. 

FRIDAY OR SATURDAY  Stop by Cake Elizabeth, 851 Sawyer Rd in South Portland anytime between 10am-6pm for a yummy home made with natural ingredients cupcake, cake pop, or cupcake-in-a-jar, courtesy of Portland Nannies     

 

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And 2019 is off to a busy start here at Portland Nannies!  We had yet another record breaking year with 2018 being our most successful year to date.  Many thanks to all of our families and nannies in trusting in our agency.  We welcomed many new nannies to Portland Nannies and continued our relationships with nannies that have been with us for years.  Recently placed in their newest families are nanny Jaime and Nanny Storm who have been with us for over 20 years and Nanny Emily with us for over 10 years.   We appreciate working with you all of these years and look forward to many more.  Portland Nannies is looking to add to our pool of nannies, if you know of any qualified providers please have them apply with us.  We offer referral incentives for any nanny referrals that are placed in a position with our agency.   We are a word of mouth business and appreciate all of your support.

Portland Nannies has been helping families and nannies since 1985.  This past year was our most successful year yet.  In 2017 we worked with over 200 families to find their perfect childcare provider- this included over 30 full-time nannies, over 30 part-time nannies, and about 150 babysitters, hotel sitters, and on-call/emergency sitters.  Thank you for trusting in Portland Nannies, it has been an incredible year!

 

BOWLING NANNY NIGHT OUT!

Join Elizabeth and Portland Nannies as we Beat the Brewer at Easy Day in South Portland.
WHEN: Thursday March 29th 5:45pm-8pm
WHERE: Easy Day Bowling 725 Broadway So Portland
WHO: Nannies of all ages. Join the Portland Nannies bowling team as we compete for 1st & 2nd place against the brewers at Rising Tide Brewing. Two games, shoes, and 1st tasty pint of beer (21+ for beer) all for $20/person.
REG REQUIRED, Limited spots, email the office!

  

Q?

Are the application fees refundable?

A.

No, the application fees cover the time it takes for us to begin the placement process and is not refundable. Please view the details outlined here.

Q?

How do you screen the nanny applicants?

A.

Portland Nannies has a very thorough vetting process for each application.