Jacalyn Burke

Building Your Baby’s (or Charge’s) Library one great book at a time

Building Your Baby’s (or Charge’s) Library one great book at a time

By Jacalyn S. Burke What’s in a book? (I mean a real book made from trees, no batteries required) How many of us can truly remember those first few books that our parents read to us? I have vague memories of Winnie the Pooh but much more memorable is the feeling of being held and read to, and of being read to before bedtime. My love of books was nurtured diligently by both parents and it is a life-long gift. Thank you Mom and Dad! But choosing books can be overwhelming especially when you’re newly pregnant. There is so much to do: putting together a nursery, finding a good diaper-changing table, a crib, not to mention the tons of clean onesies and the diaper pail, the diapers, sterilizing equipment, breast-pumps … but what about that bookshelf next to the nursing rocker? It needs stocking too – the dilemma is, with what? Often relatives and neighbors will gift books for newborns but parents will want to have some say in what their little munchkin sees and listens to for his first few years. I have over a decade’s worth of experience working with infants, toddlers and small children. I have tried and tested most Picture books on the market. I am an avid collector of exceptional books. I love nothing more than to curl up on a sofa and to read to my favorite children. So this post is a labor of love…. Books like all things come in a few basic varieties.

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Welcome to the New Direction ….

Welcome to the New Direction ….

Hi it’s nice to meet you. My name is Jacalyn S Burke and I spent 10 years working as a Manhattan nanny to wonderful families. I wrote under the alias Nanny X because I wanted the freedom to explore childcare issues without drawing attention to myself as an individual and to protect the families I worked with. I have never written about ‘my families’ it was my code. But I was able to observe trends and behavior amongst all kinds of people: nannies, employers, agencies, the domestic workers movement and society at large.  So why am I coming out now? Well for one, I have a book coming out in June 2015, via Praeger (ABC-CLIO) that kind of drills down as a prescriptive read for anyone connected to the Childcare industry. It’s appropriate now for me to drop my mask and stand behind a decade writing about unlicensed childcare. =&0=& The posts on this site will now be original provided by experts of providers. I want to keep up the Problem Page, I think it’s a good resource for nannies and employers alike. As always those emails/issues are 100% confidential. So please do write in and share your issues. I also am developing a more comprehensive website that will allow me to stream many more services: free downloads or guides, promotions for authors and service providers in childcare, forums for nannies and employers to chat, and share their info.  =&1=& I would love to have Childcare experts, agency owners and professional nannies have their say! My platform is a great way to get your message across. Please contact me about your ideas or business.  thenannytimebomb@gmail.com =&2=& =&2=& =&4=&

So back in 2009 this was my first post as a writer/nanny exploring the world of childcare …

“Nanny Time Bomb signing in.

Inspired by Julie & Julia I begin a blog unsure as to where this will lead. In conjunction withTwitter and Facebook, I attempt to make

Nannies: Get Cover For Your Sick Day

Nannies: Get Cover For Your Sick Day

By Nanny X

One of the biggest grievances for employers is when their nannies suddenly take a day or even a week off sick.  It’s not that ordinary people don’t understand that everyone from time to time becomes unwell. In particular, nannies who work with young children are routinely exposed to all kinds of infections.  No … it’s more the fact that many employers crisis-manage: that is, deal with an issue when it arises. They also don’t like last-minute surprises – you know, that 7 am call Monday morning when you’re due in at work by 8:30 am. Some of us genuinely can’t help a last-minute call but let’s be honest, it’s rare.  Most of us begin to experience symptoms before we become incapacitated.  If we think our symptoms are getting worse we should mention it to our employer – just to give them a head’s up. We should also help our employer have a plan B. It’s smart to bring the subject up. It shows you are invested in the position, that you care about your employer’s own job and that you think outside the box. What’s my Plan B? Your plan b should be a person or a few persons that you know very well (not an acquaintance) who could jump in at a moment’s notice in your absence.  Most of us know someone who works piece-meal or is in-between positions or works an unorthodox schedule or who is retired and doesn’t need to work full-time.  It might even be a relative. The main point is that the person is a good, safe childcare replacement. The person should be introduced to the family prior to any emergency. Perhaps your family could give her a trial on a date-night or a weekend? Why have a back-up Plan?
  • It shows you are proactive
  • It demonstrates your long-term commitment to the position
  • It takes care of a potentially big problem for your employers
What about Pay? My advice is NOT to complicate things. I’d arrange to pay my stand-in the pay I would normally receive for that day. I wouldn’t ask an employer to deal with what is an essentially private arrangement of convenience. Wait – that means I don’t get paid? The odd sick day with plenty of notice I’m sure an employer would cover as per your contract however I’m talking here about a sudden sickness.  The type of absence that is a real problem for working parents to cover without having to call in sick themselves. =&0=&