Rockmybaby® Nanny & Babysitting Agency


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Rockmybaby Group founder honoured in Mumtrepreneur Awards.

Ursula Maidens has been announced as Winner of Best Online or Technology Business Category – Mumtrepreneur 2014

Stephen England-Hall, CEO of Loyalty New Zealand which runs the Fly Buys programme, says the competition aims to recognize the additional trials Mumtrepreneurs need to overcome to achieve business success.

“The challenges for anyone running a business are huge and Mumtrepreneurs are handling the dual task of raising a family at the same time. There’s a lot of focus and energy needed and we thought it was high time that they were recognised and celebrated for their achievements.

There were five sub category awards up for grabs, including Best Product or Service, Best Online or Technology Business, Best Creative Business, Best Food and Beverage Business and the Southfuels Best Agri Business category.

Judged by a panel of experts including Trilogy co-founder Catherine de Groot, Creative HQ Deputy Chief Executive Tui Te Hau and Fly Buys CEO Stephen England-Hall.

Ursula Maidens - Rockmybaby Group

Ursula Maidens in the pink!

Jan Goldie – Lifestyle talked to  Fly Buys Chief Executive Officer Stephen England-Hall about the Best Online or Technology Business category:

What will you be looking for specifically in the ‘Best Online or Technology Business’ category? The judges will be looking for Mumtrepreneurs who have really embraced mobile, social media or web based tools to drive their business. The winner may be someone who runs a business solely online, a software developer or an app designer – someone who can show that their use of the web is a clear contributor to their success.

Won’t all category winners have a strong technology element, given the way business is carried out today? What will make a winner of this category stand out from other competitors? We’re after a business operator who has not only developed an online business or used technology to build their company, but who can show innovative thinking, strong financial performance and a clear vision for growth. We’re also interested in women who show strong leadership qualities in how they have overcome challenges in their business and personal lives.

Congratulations to all the winners.

Fly Buys Mumtrepreneur of the Year and Best Agri-business Bridgit Hawkins, Wellington/ Wairarapa, Regen Ltd http://www.nzregen.co.nz

Best Online or Technology Business Ursula Maidens, Hawkes Bay, Rockmybaby http://www.rockmybaby.co.nz, http://www.rockmybaby.com.au, http://www.rockmybaby.ch, http://www.rockmybabynannyagency.co.uk, http://www.rockmybaby.co.il  Offering home-based childcare, professional nannies and babysitters, Rockmybaby is one the largest childcare agency in New Zealand. Ursula started the company eight years ago and has built a nationwide and international brand, with franchises in Australia, Switzerland, Israel and the UK.

Best Creative Business Shona Grundy, Kingsland, Trigger Happy http://www.toonhero.com

Trigger Happy develops cutting-edge software for content creators on iPads. The company’s first product Toon Hero is an app that allows people of all ages to easily create their own animated stories without training or artistic ability. The app currently has over 120,000 fans on Facebook and is growing rapidly, attracting the attention of some of Hollywood’s top studios including Valve Corporation and Moonscoop.

Best Product or Service Diane Hurford, Devonport, Brolly Sheets Ltd http://www.brollysheets.co.nz Brolly Sheets sells high-quality waterproof bed-linen, a product Diane developed while toilet-training her children. The company started out with sales to friends and family but had since expanded into a multi-million dollar business, processing over 1,000 orders per month. Brollysheets has a strong online presence across the country, as well as Australia, the UK and USA.

Best Food and Beverage Sandra Finlay, Mairangi Bay, The Growth Collective http://www.ezlunch.co.nz

The Growth Collective is an online ordering system which links fresh food suppliers and local schools, meaning parents can order a low-cost and nutritious lunch for their kids. The company has grown to service over 57 schools around the country, more than 165,000 lunch orders, and has recently launched a new service called Kindo, making it easier for parents to pay for school fees, books, and uniforms.

Mumtrepreneur-awards

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The 5 Most Important Questions to ask your Nanny

1-Tell me why you chose to be a nanny, what brought you into childcare

This is a very important question because you want to make sure that the nanny you hire is looking after your children for the right  reasons   i.e. she loves children and childcare and not because she just needs to earn some extra money.

2-How would you structure a day for my children, especially a miserable wet London day.

Rockmybaby® recommends that all parents suggest from the beginning that they want an “active nanny.”   It is very important to hire someone who is proactive, a self-starter and someone who seeks out enriching, educational and fun activities. London is full of amazing and often free activities. This is a very important question to ask and the nanny should be able to answer it without hesitation. Recently during the interview process a Rockmybaby® candidate answered this question by saying “Rainy days are the best days! We do arts and crafts, make our own play-doh, create, rehearse and then perform a show for the parents when they come home from work…”   Her enthusiasm and positive attitude was so obvious and sincere!

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Rockmybaby® Nanny Agency

3-How would you soothe a baby who could not stop crying in public or a 3-year old tantrum?

We have all had situations when our children cried uncontrollably (I am remembering a transatlantic flight and my daughter crying uncontrollably, so much so that we went into lavatory to give the other passengers a break from the noise) it is difficult, embarrassing and can make any caregiver feel powerless. It is important to know how a nanny is going to handle this situation.   She should discuss the importance of safety at that moment, especially for a tantruming toddler and being certain that the child cannot hurt them or anyone else.   Sometimes a child can be soothed and other times they just need to “ride it out,” but as a parent you need to be sure your nanny can handle this type of situation.

4-What would you do to ensure there is a clear communication between us?

It is very important that the nanny and parents have a constant and on-going dialogue. Rockmybaby®  recommends a daily nanny diary to record meals, naps, activities, mood etc., especially in the beginning.   We recommend for the nanny to send photos during the day so the parents can feel connected to their children. Another way to maintain dialogue and contact is a 5-minute weekly meeting to make sure that everyone is aware about what is happening not only with the children but also in each other’s lives.

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Rockmybaby® Nanny

5-Tell me about your style of behavioural management?

It is very important that you and your nanny or babysitter have a “shared strategy,” when it comes to behavioral management.   The nanny or babysitter you choose is going to be spending a lot of time with your children and there will be times when she needs to manage your child’s behavior. As the parent it is essential that you are on the same page as the nanny when it comes to behavioral management or you will contradict each other and your children will receive mixed-messages and this is a disservice to everyone involved the children, the parents and the nanny.

Written By Rockmybaby® London


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Babysitters Personal Safety

Looking after someone else’s children is serious business – the same goes for your own personal safety.  Whether you are a first time babysitter or a very experienced sitter, ensuring you follow safe guidelines is paramount to your own safety.

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Accepting a babysitting booking – ensure that when you accept a babysitting job you are comfortable with the ages of children in your care. When calling to introduce yourself to a new client – ask questions to get an overview of their home and environment.

These can include;

  •  Is the house number visible from the road?
  • Which door is used for entry – front, side, or back door, is lighting adequate?
  • Am I able to park safely/legally and within walking distance of the entrance?
  • Is the road accessible in all weather conditions? – especially for rural properties.
  • Are there any pets at home?
  • Will there be any other adults in the home?
  • Is there a landline and good mobile phone signal/coverage in the area?
  • Are there any other safety factors that may pose a risk i.e. construction/renovation/clean safe environment/swimming pools etc.

Ensure you discuss the hourly rate – most agencies will have a specific advertised rate that you will have to charge.

If you are planning to regularly babysit, most families would strongly suggest you hold a current first aid certificate – ALL reputable babysitting agencies will require this as a non-negotiable standard.

If you don’t feel comfortable accepting the babysitting job at this stage let the family know straight away, if the booking is via an agency, contact the agency and let them know your concerns.

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Before the babysitting job starts – Always let someone know where you are going – leave an address and contact details with a family member or friend, check in via text with a friend or family member, ensure your cel phone is charged and dress approximately.

Before the family member leaves – have written down contact phone numbers, where they are going, what time they are expected back, neighbours contact number and/or other emergency contact details, doctors details, where the first aid kit is, allergies the children may have, medication that may be required, any reminders, house rules and bed time routines. Take a walk around the house with the family member, ask where the children’s bedrooms are, identify any hazards and discuss approximate measures to minimize.

During the babysitting booking – ensure all children are supervised at all times.

  • Ensure all doors are lock, check windows.
  • Ensure swimming pools are lock.
  • Be sun smart.
  • Don’t give out personal details over the phone for example tele callers.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a bath for even a few moments.
  • Never let a stranger into the family home unless the family have given you their permission.
  • If in a hotel – check rooms, windows and balconies. Ensure you have a door key, room number and know how to contact the reception. Ask reception where the nearest fire exits where you will be looking after the children familiarize yourself with the hotels fire exits.
  • Be cautious when cooking, ensure pot handles are turn towards the centre, and check the temperate of reheated food before giving to children.
  • Check on sleeping children regularly.

Good babysitters are safety-conscious and take extra precautions to make sure the children are safe from harm and accidents.

If something goes wrong during the babysitting job – add immediately.

  • If there is a fire or the children are at risk, immediately  contact emergency services and ensure all children in your care are safe.
  • If a child needs immediate help contact emergency services straight away.
  • Contact the clients straight away.
  • If you feel threaten or unsafe – contact the police, clients, if the booking is via an agency – contact the agency straight away.

Never be afraid to call for help. If anything doesn’t feel right,  or  you’re  worried  about  the  children,  call  the parents!

When leaving a babysitting job – Lack of Awareness can be dangerous! You must know where you are and what is going on around you.

  • Don’t walk home late at night by yourself.
  • Always take the elevator instead of the stairs. You may consider using the stairs as a “healthy choice,” but stairwells are horrible places to be caught alone in and are a perfect crime spot!
  • In a parking lot, or parking garage -Be aware! Look around you; look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat before you get in. Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your car and the passenger side. If there is a car full of people or a random person  is sitting in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the hotel and ask someone to walk you to the car.
  • Some of us have a tendency to get into their cars and sit there performing various tasks – checking our emails, SMS, etc. Do not do this! A predator may be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for someone to get in the passenger side. Lock all the doors and drive away immediately.

When that little voice inside that tells you when something does not feel quite right. Always listen to your instincts!

Every babysitting job should be carefully planned to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both child and babysitter!

Written by Rockmybaby


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Fun Christmas ideas to make with the kids!

Countdown is on – only 6 weeks until Christmas.

In our household our girls love to make all sorts of fabulous arts & crafts, and especially love the Christmas baking!  No doubt this year our little boy will be right in the mix adding a helping hand or enjoying licking the bowl!

I saw this on Pinterest the other day and thought these would be great little projects to do with the children over the next few weeks.

Muffin Pan Calendar

Advent calendar transforms your mini muffin pan into a treasured holiday countdown. You can find out more on the Better Homes and Gardens website . Just think of all the different ‘surprises’ you can add in the muffin holes! I know our two year old boy would love nothing more than finding a dinosaur or animal , and our 10 & 8 year old girls would love little trinkets or ‘treasures’ each day.

 Muffin Tin Advent Calendar

Homemade Christmas Cards

There are so many different options available to make personalized Christmas cards for class room friends or family members, this one below I saw again on Pinterest and  just love. This had caught my eye, as this would be very easy to do with all age’s groups and the end result looks fabulous. We always have bits of ribbons that have been saved from birthday parties and just a great way to use up and recycle.

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Christmas wreaths

What a great idea – ‘hand’ made Xmas wreaths. Made by tracing your children’s hand or you could even trace all your children’s hands showing different sizes. I like the way they have used two different colours of green – you could use all sorts of different colours to add your own personal touch.

Christmas Wreath

Great use of Bottle tops

These reindeers are super cute! What a great use of old bottle tops, converted into crafty Christmas reindeers. Looks like you just need some ribbon, couple of bottle tops, old twigs, some buttons for the mouth and two plastic eyes.

Reindeer bottle tops

After you have spent time making those Christmas arts and crafts with your children – you may well deserve a night out and some ‘me’ time – Rockmybaby can help with all those last minute babysitting bookings.  Also don’t forget to start planning your babysitters for those Christmas parties! You can book a screened and vetted babysitter easily online with Rockmybaby Nanny & Babysitting Agency.

Written by Ursula Maidens


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How to Choose a Nanny for Your Child with Special Needs

Having a nanny provide one-on-one care for your child with special needs can be a true blessing to your family. She can deliver hands on childcare, offer household support, be an important connection between home and school, and contribute to the team of professionals devoted to helping your child. But how do you find the right candidate? How do you know if a person will be successful in your position? Here are a few questions to ask when considering different candidates.
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Does she have a connection to your child? There are many things that make a great special needs nanny. Nothing is more important than a positive connection between your child and nanny. Sometimes this happens right away. Sometimes it takes a while for the connection to develop. So how do you know during the interview stage if that connection is there? It is hard to tell because your child and your potential nanny don’t have a lot of time to spend together. But even from the beginning, you often see a spark. Plus, a big factor is the nanny’s willingness to do whatever she needs to do in order to make that connection. Ask her about the other children with special needs that she’s worked with and how she connected with them. Talk with her about your child’s personality and get her ideas on how she could work best with him. If the nanny has a true love of kids, is comfortable with special needs and is willing to work to build a relationship with your child, chances are she’ll be able to build a great connection with him.

Does she have relevant training? All nannies should have some training, including CPR/first aid certification and an understanding of basic child development knowledge. For nannies wanting to care for children with special needs, the nanny should have additional training to help her understand and effectively work with your child. This may include additional medical training, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) training or a variety of other specialized training. This training will help the nanny understand the unique challenges your child is facing and give her the skills she needs to help him. If you are interviewing a great nanny that doesn’t have the training she needs, consider enrolling her in helpful courses. It will help both the nanny and your child.

Does she have the right kind of personality to work with kids with special needs? All nannies need to have a positive attitude, a true love of children, flexibility, patience and a problem solving outlook. Nannies who work with special needs children have to have all those traits in spades. They also need to be undaunted by failure, be able to think outside the box for new solutions or approaches, and have a willingness to learn and adapt. Not all nannies are well suited for these positions. Talk with each candidate about how she’ll tackle the challenges that come with the job

Is the nanny a team player? When you have a child with special needs, your nanny will need to work closely with you, the school and other professionals that help your child. Being a team player is a requirement. Hire someone that understands the need to openly communicate with everyone else on the team, who is open to learning new ways of doing things, who can make recommendations based on her experiences with your child, and who can effectively work side by side with you and other professionals. Talk with her about these issues during the interview and also cover this issue when talking with her references.

Can she be a support person for you? Working as a nanny involves hands on childcare, but it also includes household tasks that support the parents. These can consist of laundry, meals, grocery shopping, errands, household organization and keeping the schedule up to date. You may need extra support in some nontraditional ways. Before you begin your nanny search, create a list of the ways she can support you and incorporate those things into your job description. Candidates may not be willing to take them all on, but it’s always worth talking about your needs. The right candidate will be willing to pitch in and help you manage the extra work that often comes with parenting a child with special needs. It’s also important that your nanny supports you emotionally. She shouldn’t be your only support person, but it’s important that she understands your challenges and is willing to support you in your parenting choices.

Written by – Find a nanny.net


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School holidays are upon us – let the fun begin!

Two weeks of idyllic fun to be had with your little angelic angles. Until I had school aged children, I never really understood how important these are to not only for the children, but also for us as parents.

School holidays – love them or loathe them, they are part of a school aged child’s life. I personally love them.

Not having to raise my voice each morning and saying “hurry up, get your school clothes on, brush your hair, and clean your teeth, in the car in 5mins we are GOING NOW! Is a welcome reprieve for a few weeks and enables us to relax.

I have listed below some points to remember or help us all to use during the school holiday break.

Point 1 – DON’T PANIC, it will all be ok.

Point 2 – Enjoy the fresh air, throw away those remote controls and game consoles and lock them in the cupboard. Walking out the front door does not need to cost money, nor does this mean creating chaos. Remember the best things in life can be free. Local parks, walking along the beach, fishing at the wharf or a picnic lunch at the river – gives us the opportunity to extend our children’s learning opportunities and a platform for having fun.
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Point 3 – Great chance to clean out the children’s rooms with of course a little helper or two. Clean out those winter wardrobe clothes and make way for the summer outfits. Great way to see what the children need for summer, and what can be part of the Xmas presents from yourself or grandparents. Kids love to have a bedroom swap, even a bedroom make over or perhaps just a simple change around can be loads of fun.

Point 4 – Let your child find their inner chef – junior master chefs in the house, loads of fun! Cooking with children is a brilliant way to not only fill some time but to also have a lovely treat at the end of it. Cupcake war’s are in full swing in our house hold – and their daddy just loves all the different favours. There are loads of great recipes on the internet and you can get a lot of mileage out of basic ingredients that you have in the cupboard. If it all turns to custard – turn the tables and then enjoy watching the birds eating the treats.
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Point 5 – Arrange play dates and spend time with other parents and their children. This is less about saving money and more about saving your sanity! Or take time out and book a babysitter for a few hours and enjoy some ‘me’ time during the holiday break – everyone needs a break.

Point 6 – For us working parents – working remotely is perfect – until the school holidays arrive and there are children in our office space!

Having a temp holiday nanny is a great option to ensure not only your clients deserve the attention they need, but also to ensure you can continue working on your business. If the budget does not stretch for a full time nanny, school holiday programmes may be an option, or even working out child swap days with other families. Another popular option is having a nanny share – sharing a nanny during the holidays with another family, not only does this save you money as you are splitting the cost of the nanny, your children will enjoy the company of others.

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Point 7 – Board games , play a board game with the kids at least once over the holidays. Seriously these is actually great fun, scrabble, monopoly or even connect four, you name it these great old games are full of laughter.

Point 8 – Last and the most important point – Enjoy yourself and laugh. School holidays don’t last that long and are full of moments to create life long memories.

Enjoy the school term break – I know we will, with a 10, 8 and 2 year, I will be reminding myself DON’T PANIC and sit back and enjoy.

Rockmybaby can help with any school holiday requirements – from nanny share, full time holiday nanny or even just a temp nanny or babysitter while you are away on holiday – contact us today.

Written by Ursula Maidens

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Children & Weddings – Should kids be invited?

When planning your wedding and the guest list, every couple is faced with the same question: should kids be invited? Unless you already have children, in which case they’ll be a big, beautiful part of your day –they did at our wedding.
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If you are having a lot of young children at your wedding, you might want to consider having onsite childcare facilities, run by qualified nannies who can supervise the children throughout the day or during specific parts of the day. This can either be in a separate room from the reception or included in the same room as the wedding reception. These areas can be set up with art and crafts, books and age appropriate toys – keeping the children entertained and content throughout the wedding day. Rockmybaby Nanny Agency in Australia offer onsite childcare, tailor made to meet wedding couples requirements.

Often faced with the question is it appropriate to NOT invite children – yes, especially if the wedding is formal or runs late into the evening. The no kid rule works well when the majority of the families are local, ensuring parents care leave their children with familiar babysitters or other family members. Having a wedding out of town or overseas becomes harder to not invite the children, as families often take their children with them when traveling away for a few days.

Whether you have arranged for onsite professional childcare services, or saying no to having children at your wedding. A quick telephone call outlining what is happening is a great way to let the parents know that their children will be well taken care of at the wedding, or letting them know they are required to find a babysitter through an agency like Rockmybaby Nanny & Babysitting Agency.
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Ensure you decide early in the planning stages if you are having children or not, so parents can make plans. A tip to remember is to avoid having any confusion with the parents; if you are inviting children clearly add the children’s name to the invitations.

It seems that even though many couples may think they are obliged to invite their friends or their family’s children, more often than not the parents are more than happy to leave the children at home, happy to have a night off!

The main thing to remember is to do what makes you happy….its your day after all!
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Written by Ursula Maidens