As we enter the final month of winter, many of us are counting down the days until the official start of spring. However, as we look forward to the warmer days ahead, it is important to continue to take care of ourselves and our loved ones while inside during the remaining winter days. The team here at British American Household Staffing has put together our list of top ways for families to stay active and spend time together, even in bad weather. One hour of physical activity per day is ideal to boost mood and energy, increase quality of sleep, build confidence, and promote overall health.
As much of the country continues to experience more winter weather, as well as various degrees of lockdowns and restrictions, many parents are struggling to come up with creative ways for children to safely socialize, both with friends and with far away family members. The team here at British American Household Staffing has put together our list of top interactive games and classes that children can participate in together, from afar.
As families settle into the new year, with the holidays behind us and summer still months away, it is a great time to encourage children to explore their creativity at home. Sit down with your child and ask them if there are any new skills they’d like to try or ideas they’d like to pursue; with plenty of time at home and more virtual options than ever, it could be the time to learn an instrument, pick up a second language, or add more creative play to each day.
As we enter 2021, many families are reassessing their home staffing needs. The pandemic has changed the way we do nearly everything, including staffing and household structuring. What worked pre-COVID may no longer be suitable with changes in schedule, location, and lifestyle.
Here at British American Household Staffing, we have experienced a huge increase in families searching for specific types of staff as of late, particularly childcare and learning support, newborn specialists, housekeepers, chefs, and temporary/travel staff. We understand our clients’ needs are changing rapidly and we are working hard to meet growing demand. We have top quality staff in every state in the U.S., as well as across Europe, the U.K., and Switzerland. For families who are uncertain what type of staff is right for them at the moment, we offer home assessments and property visits.
For those expecting pandemic babies, please rest assured that we work only with the highest quality maternity specialists, both British and non-British, and many are ready to begin working immediately. However, we are experiencing unprecedented demand, particularly for newborn care, so we recommend starting your search as early in the pregnancy as possible.
As always, we’re here to assist with all your household staffing and educator needs during this challenging time.
Written by Roxanne Carrion
I think we can all agree that 2020 will be well and truly the year that we all take a well earned deep breath! It will also be the year that forced us to reassess our lives amidst the chaos of what we could and could not control. It broke work commitments, projects, deadlines and family get-togethers. However, perhaps once the dust has settled, this year may be actually remembered as the making of us rather than the breaking of us. The year that took away our comfort, our freedom, our variety, but in return, gave us back the seclusion and space to explore new directions.
When our GPS discovers a problem up ahead, it simply re-routes to get us to where we are going. At British American Household Staffing we pride ourselves on being a navigation that can re-route you when lost or struggling to get to where you need to be.
At British American Household Staffing we make it our priority to find the silver lining in the cloud that has disrupted so many lives this year. Being one step ahead of the unpredictable nature of life, we have developed an impressive roster of reliable, responsible, and recommended staff to service your household at this crucial time more than ever.
Lockdown has seen demand soaring for the modern-day Mary Poppins – as well as all manner of specialist domestic staff, says Celia Walden
Of all the curious comebacks prompted by Covid – sourdough bread baking, pan banging (for the NHS), staycations and the expandable waistband – the return of the governess might be one of the most surprising, at least for the average Brit.
Yet according to Anita Rogers, founder and CEO of domestic staffing agency British American Household Staffing (BAHS), all any ultra-high net-worth family wants for Christmas this year is their very own stern-faced piece of Victoriana.
“We’ve always had a few governesses on our books,” says Rogers, whose 4,000-strong client base spans the globe (the majority of are in the United States, with around a fifth in Europe, mainly the the UK, Switzerland and Monaco).
“But then Covid happened, and suddenly everybody wants a governess! Which makes sense, when you think about the gaps in schooling and structure so many kids have faced over the past few months.”
If you’re conjuring up images of mature matrons in bustles, however, think again. The idea may come straight from the pages of Mary Poppins, “but 99 per cent of the time what we’re being asked for is not so much a traditional governess as a combined teacher and nanny, only with that old-school formality and maturity, and the accolades: the schooling in Switzerland or England, the previous employment in formal homes, and the emphasis on manners and etiquette.”
These days, there’s far more to being a governess than even that. “Many have either a degree in education or multiple teaching certificates in specific subjects, such as music, a language, and teaching English,” says Rogers. “Some families who hire governesses are not first-language English speakers. A governess must be able to teach written and spoken English at a high level, both for the native English speaking children under their care as well as non-native speakers.”
She continues: “Governesses typically look after school-age, preteen and teenage ranges. A governess is occasionally hired for an infant so the infant can get a head start, especially with a second language – this is not typical, though.”
So how on earth does one distinguish between nanny-teachers and the genuine article? “Let’s just say that governesses have an air about them.”
“We’ve seen an increased demand for nannies and governesses with a background in child psychology,” says Rogers. “That’s very, very popular now. It’s about checking a child’s development every step of the way and making sure that they’re hitting all the milestones.”
After more than a decade’s experience in pairing families with household staff, Rogers’s exclusive agency has earned a reputation for being able to meet every need and handle any situation.
Despite the closer bonds between key staff members and what Rogers calls “the host family”, any blurring of the lines is cautioned against. “The best nannies, housekeepers and butlers will know how important it is to become invisible. That doesn’t mean that you’re subservient, just that there are boundaries.”
A respect for those boundaries is one of the things BAHS is on the lookout for in the extensive interview and screening process their 6,000 jobseekers are forced to undergo, when everything from background to credit checks are conducted.
Oh, and should you wish to hire a light aircraft or a yacht – “hugely in demand right now because people can escape the pandemic that way” – BAHS can organise that, too.
Mary Poppins Returns! Some Modern Families Seek a Governess
Whom better suited to dispatch briskly with the demands of coronavirus-era child care?
by Ruth La Ferla. October 8, 2020
British American Household Staffing’s founder and CEO, Anita Rogers, as well as Kristen Reyes, BAHS’ Senior Recruiter & Estate Management Consultant, and Katherine Patterson, BAHS’ Senior Placement Specialist, were recently interviewed by The New York Times for an article on the role of governesses and nannies during COVID-19.
In her work as an estate manager, Kristen Reyes often finds herself fielding client requests for a special kind of child minder. “Callers will say to me, ‘Kristen, I need a modern Mary Poppins.’ Everyone knows what that means.”
It refers, Ms. Reyes went on to explain, to that old-fashioned paragon of patience, good cheer and decorum otherwise known as a governess. And, yes, she — most always a she — is back, a plucky hybrid of tutor and life coach in rising demand among affluent families scrambling to educate their offspring in the midst of a pandemic.
School shutdowns and social limitations have lent their search a particular urgency. “For the past six or eight weeks we’ve been slammed with educator and governess requests, from all over the country,” said Anita Rogers, the founder and chief executive of British American Household, a domestic staffing agency.
Orders began doubling as families girded for a fall semester and the rigors of remote learning, Ms. Rogers said: “During the pandemic, we’ve done very well.”
The contemporary governess may work in a formal household, staffed with drivers, cooks, housekeepers and the like. But unlike a conventional nanny she is expected to provide a high-end version of home-schooling.
As often as not the job calls for a fancy pedigree that may include an advanced degree from an Ivy institution, a facility with languages, and manners that rival those of a marquise.
But the position has been democratized to some degree. ”It’s no longer exclusive to high-net-worth families,” Ms. Reyes said. During a health crisis that shows no signs of abating, two- career families will seek out a governess to function as a proxy parent to their toddlers or teenagers.
Ideally these days, the governess commands respect as a highly accomplished worker in a rigorously demanding job. “She is not just a stand-in for a fancy nanny, though nanny duties may be part of the job,” said Katherine Patterson, a placement specialist who worked as a governess early in her career.
“She is responsible for the child’s safety and welfare,” Ms. Patterson said. “But the role also dovetails with that of a teacher, an increasingly common scenario as the number of parents home-schooling their children continues to rise.”
Her position is nuanced, extending from a child’s education to that child’s social and emotional progress. No surprise, then, Ms. Reyes pointed out, that families now are requesting a background in child psychology or child development.
In this currently unstable climate, “kids have a lot more to learn about life at a younger age,” she said. “A governess can give a 5-year-old an outlet to talk about why they can’t see their friend or their grandparent. With Covid impacting everything, the governess is a kind of mini-therapist.”
Being a governess presupposes a very atypical work environment. “There’s a plethora of dos and don’ts that just wouldn’t apply to a corporate workplace,” Ms. Patterson said. She declined to describe those rules. “That,” she said elliptically, “is for another day.”
Anita Rogers quoted in Insider article:
As more parents return to work, families have to make touch choices about childcare.
After months of balancing jobs and childcare — without school, daycare or private caregivers — parents across the US are now making tough childcare choices as cities reopen. Employed parents need childcare in order to work, but bringing a nanny into the home also means bringing in additional exposure to the coronavirus.
That’s why some parents are taking extra precautionary measures, which may mean paying a premium rate. Some families are looking to hire nannies who have already had the disease, but it’s not a guarantee of higher pay, said Anita Rogers, CEO and founder of British American Household Staffing, an agency that places caregivers in both the UK and the US. Hiring someone who tests positive is by no means a foolproof plan either, since it’s still unknown whether people who have recovered from COVID- 19 can get reinfected.
Other families are having nannies who test negative move in with them and aren’t allowing them to leave until there is a vaccine, Rogers said. For that, nannies may be able to command higher salaries.
“This kind of intense time away from home has sparked requests for a higher compensation from the nannies,” Rogers said.
Some families are requiring frequent testing to ensure that the caregiver is and remains healthy, an extra measure some caregivers can charge more for, said Katie Provinziano, managing director of Westside Nannies — a Los Angeles childcare agency. Provinziano said that nannies who are willing to get tested frequently can get about 10% more than the average rate. On average, nannies in Los Angeles make between $25 and $35 an hour, she said.
As the world is home now more than ever, the travel industry has swiftly adapted and is bringing the world’s best destinations to the computer screen. The team at British American Household Staffing put together a list of recommendations for when a change of scenery is much needed. Whether you’re picking a location for a future trip, educating your little one on other cultures or just daydreaming, these virtual adventures make wonderful afternoon getaways.
Invite an Italian Chef into your Kitchen
There are now plenty of ways to bring a taste of Italy into your kitchen any night of the week. We love Pasta and Live Opera in the Kitchen, one of AirBnB’s most popular online experiences; the package offers a live private pasta making class (no special tools required!) via Zoom with a chef in Florence. As a bonus, she sings opera too! Nonna Live is another excellent resource; the site offers 2-3 hour online cooking intensives led by an Italian grandmother in Rome.
If you can’t commit to a scheduled time, try Massimo Bottura’s on-demand Masterclass in Italian cooking; the owner of Osteria Francescana, the three-Michelin-star restaurant based in Modena, covers everything from basic doughs to broths, fish dishes and desserts. For a free option, NYC’s Eataly offers an online course in pasta making with Nicoletta Grippo, the chef at La Scuola di Eataly.
Take a Trip Through the Swiss Countryside
The internet offers a huge variety of virtual train trips, from the mountains of Japan to a trip on Peru’s Ferrocarril Central Andino! from Matucana to San Mateo. However, our favorite is the journey from St. Moritz, Switzerland to Tirano, Italy. Expect a huge variety of stunning sites, from small villages to dazzling blue water and gorgeous mountain views. The virtual trips are great educational tools for curious children or for adults looking to unwind.
Visit the Beaches of Bermuda
Google Earth’s Discover feature makes it easy to virtually explore a destination while learning about the culture, local customs and more. We love the tours of Bermuda, which allow virtual visitors to discover the pink sand beaches, crystal caves and historic villages.
Explore.org has the largest selection of wildlife live cameras on the internet. With options ranging from the Tau Waterhole in South Africa to a penguin beach to puppy playtime, there is sure to be something for every child missing the outdoors.
Meditate with a Buddhist Monk
A Japanese Buddhist monk from Osaka’s Shitennoji Temple is now offering an online meditation class via Zoom set among the lush forests of Japan. Prices start at $10 per session with no minimum number of sessions.
Family Crafts in Barcelona
Transport your family to a small village with few more than 200 inhabitants in in the middle of Spain’s Montseny Natural Park with this AirBnB experience. There you’ll be told ancient legends and led in a simple family-friendly craft project using common household supplies.
For Harry Potter fans of all ages, Google Earth offers tours of the real life locations used in the Harry Potter films. For young wizards in training, we recommend this Harry Potter Digital Escape Room created by Pennsylvania’s Peters Township Public Library. Finally, J.K. Rowling herself has helped launch Wizarding World, a “Harry Potter at Home Hub,” featuring free puzzles, quizzes, activities and more related to the series.
As always, we’re here to assist with all your household staffing needs during this challenging time. Both childcare and cleaning professionals are considered essential workers and we have implemented strict protocols to make sure your family is as safe as possible. Contact us today to learn more.
What it takes to be a $200,000-a-year Nanny
Child care positions aren’t usually thought of as high-paying jobs. But with wealthier families seeking nannies that are trained in newborn care, child development or languages, it’s becoming more common to see in-home caregivers earning six-figure salaries.
Visit CNN.com to read the full article.