Author Archives: admin

End Payroll Nightmares with HeartPayroll Caregiver Payroll & Tax Service

Heartpayrollnanny and parent

Thousands of Canadian families employ a nanny, adult caregiver or home health professional. Did you know that by hiring a household caregiver you now have the same legal obligations that any business would have for its employees? Are you aware the CRA levies heavy fines to employers who do not follow all the rules? If you didn’t know, you are not alone.

Luckily, there is help available. This where our payroll & tax service partner, Heartpayroll, comes in.

HeartPayroll is the most used household caregiver payroll and tax service in Canada. We’ve partnered with this valuable service to offer our clients peace of mind by removing all the complications of payroll and taxes.

The company stemmed from a growing need within the caregiving industry, and emerged as the most economical solution for helping households become legal employers.

Getting set up as a household employer is an overwhelming event. In Canada, for starters, you must register with the CRA and WSIB/WCB in your province. You are also legally required to issue pay stubs with every payment, and must produce a yearly T4. There are also laws around statutory holidays, accrued vacation, and other employment law matters to contend with.

And the most frustrating part, getting any one of the numerous steps incorrect is quite expensive, as substantial fines are levied by the CRA to families who don’t follow all of the rules.

Families that deal with all this on their own need to devote a great deal of time and effort to working out the different payment scenarios and learning the rules. Unfortunately, this often results in fines for even minor, often accidental transgressions for even the most meticulous families.

HeartPayroll takes control of the complete caregiver payroll process, and we mean all of it. The service handles:
• Paying your nanny via direct deposit
• Calculation of gross and net pay, taxes, EI, and CPP
• Making and filing T4s at tax time
• Supplying the T4 Summary and T4
• Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) registration
• Remittance of all source deductions
• Creating pay stubs and receipts each period
• Calculating taxable benefit of room & board
• All paperwork needed for “landed status” caregivers

Priced at only $39.99/month and no set-up fees for all of the above, HeartPayroll is the most cost-efficient payroll service available in the marketplace, guaranteed.

Essentially, HeartPayroll manages all the ‘taxing’ tasks and questions which come with employing a nanny or other household caregiver. HeartPayroll clients will also be given a payroll expert (a real live human!) to walk them through the many questions that come up during the process of becoming a legal employer.

If you’d prefer to spend your Saturday afternoons doing something more exhilarating than dealing with the complex, opaque universe of caregiver taxes and payroll, register with our payroll & tax service partner HeartPayroll and let them take care of it all for you!

How to communicate with your nanny

When we follow up with our clients and nannies once their employment relationship has begun sometimes there are problems to address in the first three to four months. The most prevalent problem I encounter is a break down in communication.

We always recommend that both our clients and nannies take a business approach to their employment relationship at the core of which is establishing an employment contract. Other helpful aids are a nanny journal, childcare profiles and scheduled brief meetings to discuss the position (including a three month performance review).

Employment contract
Such an agreement should limit misunderstandings regarding employment conditions, making sure that all parties are on the same page now and in the future. Issues covered in the employment contract can include salary, benefits, hours of work, main duties and responsibilities, vacation entitlements, use of a vehicle and travel with the family.

Nanny Journal
Most nannies we interview like the idea of using a nanny journal. The purpose of this journal is to encourage communication between employer and employee.
If this isn’t possible introduce a diary system which allows the nanny to record the events of the day including appointments, meals, social outings, sleep times and medications as well as the child’s developmental steps.

Child profile
A child profile is designed to ease your child and your nanny through the initial transition period. You can download this form directly form our website if you are a member. These forms address the child’s eating habits, preferred activities, sleeping routine and the parent’s philosophy with regard to discipline, safety and nutrition

Schedule brief meetings
Many nannies cite poor communication as a reason for leaving a position. So it is important to take time at the beginning and the end of each day (in the first two weeks) to meet with your nanny briefly. If possible do this when the children are not able to hear this discussion, especially if they are older. After this initial period is over consider a weekly review which involves an informal discussion allowing both parties to give and receive feedback.

Provide positive feedback and praise for a job well done; conversely, if you are unhappy in any way with the nannies performance, discuss this immediately.
These meeting can gradually become less frequent as your confidence and trust in your nanny increases over time.

Although all of the above suggestions are useful it is important, during the interview and screening period to thoroughly assess your nanny with regard to her communication skills. You may want to ask situational questions to asses the applicant’s ability to communicate. Discuss a negative scenario that you may have experienced with past caregivers and ask the applicant how they would handle the situation and communicate to resolve it. When checking references always ask how the nanny communicated with the parents and the children.
Open and honest communication is extremely important in any employment situation. It is especially important when you hire a nanny. Small misunderstanding can often lead to more problematic ones due to lack of communication.
nanny and employernanny and employer

Transitioning a New Nanny

working-mother-and-nannyOften when we hire a new caregiver it is because there is a change in the dynamic of the family or your present nanny is resigning from the position. This can be a very difficult time for the children especially if a new child is coming along.
Recently I received a call from one of my clients who had hired a nanny through our agency about two years ago. She was upset that her nanny was leaving but also very happy for her good fortune (as she was leaving the province to get married) I immediately thought that it would be somewhat challenging to find a caregiver who could take the place of this nanny who had become part of their family. She had developed a wonderful relationship with the children. My client’s main concern was how her children (5 and 3) were going to adjust to a new caregiver especially when a new baby was due right around the time their nanny was planning to leave.
I found another nanny for the family within a few weeks, That was the easy part. The harder part was to help the family shift these two children into life with the newly appointed nanny.
The goal in this case was to help the children feel safe and comfortable with their new caregiver We know that this may take some time. The new nanny was a professional and understood that the children might act out and may or may not be in full control of their emotions after “losing” their nanny. In this situation there are several ideas that I suggested to the family to help the children and the new nanny with the transition.
• If the child is older involve them in the process of hiring a new nanny. When we do in-home consultations we will often ask the children for their input –like what kinds of things they like to do with their nanny and where they like to go
• Begin to mention the nanny’s name in the days leading up to her arrival. Tell them that their nanny can’t wait to see them.
• Have your child “take the lead” in terms of showing their new nanny around your home. Encourage them to describe activities they like, what the dog does, or stories about some fun things that they’ve done in or outside your home.
• Make the arrival of your nanny as a big and fun event for your children if they are old enough to understand. Have your children draw welcome pictures in the nanny’s room and/or make her a card. Ask them what they think their nanny likes to eat and have them help you bake cookies for a special nanny arrival party.
• Try to keep the children’s schedule the same for consistency. This way the children do not experience too much change at once. Give your nanny information about each child-like what activities they like to do, what foods they like and even what discipline philosophies work
• Try to arrange a overlap of care. If possible start your new nanny one to two weeks before the first one leaves. This is beneficial as a training period and also allows the children to spend time with both caregivers which is a better stepping stone then an immediate transfer from one caregiver to another. The children will see that the nanny they love and trust is working with and trusts the new caregiver which will also help ease the transition. If this is not possible it is a good idea for the children’s mother or father to be involved in this transition period.
• The new nanny should develop and initiate creative and fun ideas to do with each child individually. One idea is to make a going away gift for the nanny who is leaving.
• Be patient. Children can be very blunt and sometime cruel. An experienced nanny will understand that the anger and frustration that the children are expressing is not against the new nanny but because of their loss of the old one
Finally, acknowledge your children’s attachment to their previous caregiver: If your children had a strong bond with their previous nanny, understand that in order to bond with a new nanny, your children must come to terms with the loss of the previous caregiver. Explain the reasons for the transition. Talk to your children about their feelings toward their beloved nanny, and if possible, continue to maintain contact with her.

Protect Yourself with a Nanny Contract

Nanny Contract

It may seem like a breach of trust for you to insist that your nanny sign a contract. While most people can agree on just what it is a nanny is supposed to do for you, having all of the responsibilities written down for everyone to see can help to avoid any issues and, should something happen, provide you with a legal backup. Here are some of the things that you want to include in your Nanny Contract.

Continue reading

How to Hire a Trustworthy Nanny

If you don’t want to feel unsafe when you hire a nanny for your child then ensure the following tips so that you will be able to find the right one.

(Photo Courtesy of Flickr.com)

  1. Set Your Priorities Straight – Make a list of what you and your partner want in an ideal nanny. Do you want someone older with a lot of experience, or do you need a younger nanny who can keep up with the energy level of your children? Are you looking for someone bilingual? Do you need a person who lives close by so they won’t be late? How much are you willing to pay a nanny? Do you want a man or woman, or does it matter? There are a lot of things to consider, so take your time discussing your priorities before starting your search. Source
  1. Review Driving Records – If driving the kids is part of the gig, you’ll want to check the caregiver’s record. At the time of the interview take down her name as it appears on her license, date of birth and license number. Explain that you will be looking into her driving record as it pertains to the job. Each state has different rules and ways of accessing people’s records. It is probably best to go to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website to see what is needed because it might require additional information from the provider. For example, in Massachusetts a person’s social security number must be provided to run the check. Also, if your nanny will be driving your car, touch base with your insurance company to see about adding coverage for her. Source
  1. Do a Background Check – While many agencies run fairly extensive background checks, parents can do this as well, experts say. “Check Social Security numbers and verify their educational references,” Marcus says. Some people may feel it’s important to get a credit report since nannies will be in the home unsupervised. It’s also important to run a background check to make sure a nanny candidate doesn’t have a criminal history. Some companies, including Marcus’, can do all this for you. Maddalone suggests conducting a drug test on potential nannies. “Go to a drug store and buy a self-testing kit,” he says. Also check the sexual offender child registry. The state of California makes all of this relatively simple for parents with www.trustline.org, a database of nannies and babysitters that have cleared criminal background checks. Source

With the tips you have read from this article, you can guarantee your child’s safety with the nanny that you will be hiring.

Contact:
Opti-Mum
604-671-4965

Closing the Deal with the Perfect Nanny

Are you looking for a nanny for your children? It is not a decision that you should make lightly. Not only are you going to be entrusting this person with the most precious people in your life, you are also going to be entering into an employee/employer relationship with him or her. Once you find the perfect nanny for your family, you want to make sure that you can close the deal in a satisfactory manner. Here are some tips for making sure that, once you have found the nanny you want, he or she will not get hired under your nose and before you can bring him or her on board. Continue reading

Qualities to Look For In a Nanny

Your child deserves only the best and if you are looking for the right nanny then here are some qualities that you should consider first:

 

(Photo From Flickr.com)

  1. Trustworthy – Parents have to place an enormous amount of trust in their nanny. Of course the biggest show of trust is allowing her to care for their children. But they also trust her with their home, car, and lots of sensitive information about their family. A nanny’s trustworthy is an important part of the hiring decision. Knowing your caregiver is going to love and care for your child at all times and make good decisions based on his health and well-being is a must. Knowing she’s going to respect your home and property, protect your privacy and keep what she sees and hears on the job confidential is also important. Source
  1. Knows About Safety – Of course tumbles will happen, but a good nanny makes safety a priority both at home and when she and your child are out and about. She’ll hold your child’s hand when they cross a street on the way to the park, keep a close eye on him in the backyard, and keep the safety gate to the kitchen closed at all times. If she drives your child, you’ll want to ride with her yourself at least once or twice to see what she’s like on the road. Make sure the car she uses is well maintained and that she always buckles up your child in the car seat. Source
  1. Respectful – Different parents will have different styles of rearing their children. A good nanny will want to find out what your parenting philosophies are and make sure that she at least understands and respects them. Ideally, you want a nanny who shares you beliefs. At the very least, she should not do anything that will go against the set of values or the house rules that you have already instilled upon your children. If anything, a great nanny will help you in making sure that naptime, for instance, is followed and that all the kids still follow your rules even when you’re not around. Source 

As you can see, finding a nanny shouldn’t be that hard just as long as you know which qualities to look for and can be reliable in terms of handling your child.

Contact:
Opti-Mum
604-671-4965

Firing a Nanny After: A Day Care Failure

Drawing together

You know when something just isn’t right in your home. Sure, you may have to sneak home during lunch unannounced to see what the problem might be, but what do you do if your worst thoughts are realized? The baby is asleep in the play pen with a soiled diaper as your nanny is chatting away on the cell phone with a friend, for instance. Continue reading

Things to Keep in Mind During Your Nanny Search

nanny-with-two-kids

Have you decided that the best way to take care of your children is to hire a nanny? Now that you have settled on that, you are going to want to begin the search for the perfect one to take care of your kids. If you have never hired a nanny before, you might feel overwhelmed or need a good place to start organizing your thoughts. Here are some things to keep in mind when you begin your search for a nanny. Continue reading