Blog - VIP Nannies & Household Staffing Agency

2019 Holiday Gift Ideas

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Happy holidays!  It’s that time again. Every year we are asked by many of our families what is an appropriate bonus and/or holiday gift ideas for your household help… So here we go!

A standard holiday bonus is one week’s salary for the first year and a slight increase for every year after that.

Here are some of our top gift ideas for the 2019 Holiday season:

  • A gift card to a spa and/or hair salon- every nanny could use some self care
  • New iPhone
  • AirPods or Beats by Dre
  • A new handbag in a neutral color
  • A locally made candle that smells amazing
  • A gym membership! We like YogaWorks and Orangetheory
  • A coffee subscription like Trade
  • Nice sunglasses

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

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            We meet nannies and household staffing candidates daily here at VIP,  and among all the important discussions, there is one thing we cannot stress enough: what you post on social media will make or break your career.

            Over the years, countless clients have turned away candidates based on their social media presence. As we all well know, every household position is a precious and sacred thing. Even more so, childcare is a precious and sacred thing. If your online presence is less than honorable and trustworthy, you have eliminated yourself from the professional game. Make your account private. Think twice before you post always. Even private posts are not private because any follower can screenshot and share your content.

            Another more localized issue here in Los Angeles, is a “Secret Facebook Group” which, *spoiler alert*, is not a secret.  You can easily incriminate yourself on these pages by what you post and even the tone in which you speak with others. Unfortunately, it happens all the time. The more members in a group, the more eyes are watching and reading what you post.  Please be careful.

            It’s a small world, and the nanny industry is even smaller. In this competitive market, everyone is under a microscope.  Be cautious and careful of what you say about others and to others online. Be extremely cautious of what you say to your coworkers and employers.

Top Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner and we want to help you get a jump start on gift ideas to get mom.

Here are just a few of my favorites unique gifts:

Tiny Tags

“The gift every (new) mom really wants”  said Oprah magazine.

Roots Blooms

An all natural skin care line inspired by cultures all over the world. 

Small San Francisco based company.    Can only be found in the Bay Area in Tiffany’s preferred client gift bags, Bay Area based Anthropolgie, and private events.

Rebecca’s personal favorite!

Spa Le La

Studio City based spa that offers childcare for the busy mom on the go.  It’s a few stores over from Aroma café, so a spa day plus lunch at Aroma Café sounds like a win-win.


Who doesn’t love French macaroons?  Mom will go absolutely crazy for these perfect little bites.

Celebrate Read Across America Day!

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Read Across America Day

This Saturday is Read Across America Day! The day was founded by the National Education Association in 1998 and is held on March 2nd every year, on Dr. Seuss’ birthday. The day was founded in the hopes of encouraging children to read, which seems to be particularly important as the world continues to be more and more technologically driven. There are countless ways to encourage kids to read, but we’ve listed a few events and ideas below to celebrate Read Across America Day!



Get some Saturday shopping done while the kids listen to a reading of the Dr. Seuss classic What Pet Should I Get. Readings are at the top of every half hour from 10 – 11:30am and there will also be giveaways and activities! Check the link below for participating stores.


Barnes & Noble

Starting at 11:00am, children can listen to readings of Dr. Seuss books, play games, and participate in fun activities! Check the link below for participating stores. The in-store cafés will also be giving out coupons for a grilled cheese and milk or juice for $4! Check the link below for participating stores.


Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt

Continue the fun with even more readings at Menchie’s in South Pasadena (1040 Mission Street) from 12:00 – 2:00pm! The event includes storytelling, games, and $3 froyo cups for the kids. The event is free, but you can register at the link below.


Santa Monica Public Library

The Santa Monica Public Library (601 Santa Monica Blvd.) is hosting a “Super Suess-a-bration” from 10am – 12:30pm, including crafts, two shows by juggler/magician Abbit the Average, and an appearance by Mayor Gleam Davis for March’s edition of “Let’s Read with Gleam.” This event is free and more information can be found at the link below.


Little Free Library

If you can’t make it to the above events but still want to do something special for Read Across America Day, head to a local Little Free Library! Encourage your little ones to give an old book that they no longer read or have outgrown for a new, gently-used one. You can find your local Little Free Library at the link below.

Valentine’s Card Totes!

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Valentine's Tote Bags

It’s officially the month of love, and what better way to kick it off than helping the kiddos create a tote bag to hold all of their Valentine’s cards and candy! Get the template and tutorial for these super cute bags on the Crate Paper blog, and get crafting!

Last-Minute Thanksgiving Activities

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Anyone else feel like Thanksgiving snuck up on you this year? If you’re scrambling for fun activities for the little ones this year, you aren’t alone. We rounded up a few last-minute yummy and fun activities to do with them to celebrate the holiday!


Nutter Butter Turkey Cookies

These turkey cookies are super easy to make and look so cute! Kids are sure to love placing the eyes, beak, and feathers of the turkey.


Two Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

If you need a quick, yummy treat, these muffins are the perfect easy fix. They only require a can of pumpkin and a boxed spice cake mix! Have the kids help you mix the two and scoop the batter into a muffin tin.


Bubble Wrap Maize

This activity is great for keeping little hands busy. The texture of the bubble wrap engages their senses and they’ll love getting their hands dirty in the paint. Don’t forget to hang up their creations for Thanksgiving decorations!


“Thankful for” Printable

Gratitude is what Thanksgiving is really all about. Help your children express what they are thankful for on this free downloadable.


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We hope the day is full of family, friends, and food.


10 Fall Festivities to Attend in LA

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In Los Angeles, you never have to worry about having enough fall activities for the family to attend. This year is no exception to the rule, so we compiled a list of traditional, spooky, and educational fun for the kids!

1. Spider Pavilion, Natural History Museum of LA – Exposition Park

Time: Now – November 25, 2018

Price: Ages 2 and under: free, Ages 3-12: $11, Ages 13-17: $16, Adults 18+: $19

*Members of the National History Museum enter for free

Kids and adults intrigued by bugs and insects are sure to love this educational walk-through of a safe, open-air pavilion to learn about various spiders and the engineering of their webs. (According to the NHM website, it’s the only Spider Pavilion in the United States!)


2. The Pizza Experience, Pasadena

Time: Now – February

Price: $30 General Admission

*All children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Pizza enthusiasts will find their heaven at this brand new museum with 10 pizza-themed rooms, including a ‘Pizza Fitness Center’ and a ‘Pizza Dough Room’ with scratch and sniff art. General admission includes a slice of pizza and pizza flavored snacks throughout the museum.


3. Bob Baker’s Halloween Spooktacular, Bob Baker Marionette Theater – Downtown LA

Time: Now – November 5, 2018

Price: Ages 2 and under: free, Ages 3 and up: $20

For an entertaining, out-of-the-ordinary event, take the family to Bob Baker’s Marionette Theater! The holiday-themed show is an hour long and features spooky and jazzy music, followed by refreshments with the Puppeteers in their Party Room.


4. Spooky Science, Discovery Cube – Sylmar

Time: Now – October 31, 2018

Price: Online, All ages: $12.95; In person Ages 3-14: $14.95, In person Ages 15 and up: $19.95

Little ‘monsters’ will have a blast learning about chemistry, reflections and the human skeleton as they make potions, create electric sculptures, and experiment with infinity mirrors. Entrance to this DIY event is included in General Admission.



5. San Fernando Valley Halloween Drive-In Nights, Lake Balboa

Time: October 12, 6:30 – 11:30pm; October 13, 6:30 – 11:30pm; Doors at 5pm

Price: Individual tickets start at $16.95, Double Feature tickets start at $26.95

*Ages 3 and under are free!

Bring your picnic basket and take the kids to an old-fashioned drive-in to see Hocus Pocus or Beetlejuice! They offer a discounted group rate for 4 or more people and proceeds benefit the Valley Relics Museum.


6. Things That Go Bump in the Night, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden – Claremont

Time: October 12 – October 13, 5:30 – 9:30pm

Price: Ages 3-12: $7, Ages 13 and up: $11; see website for RSABG member pricing

*Ages 3 and under are free!

Visit and learn about nocturnal critters including wolves, owls, insects, reptiles, and carnivorous plants! This event also includes a family comedy show about parasites, and how to avoid them. They recommend purchasing tickets in advance, as both nights are expected to sell out.


7. The Original Farmers Market Fall Festival, The Grove & Farmers Market – La Brea

Time: October 13 – 14, all day

Price: Free!

For traditional fall fun including a pie-eating contest and a petting zoo, visit the Original Farmers Market Fall Festival. The line-up also features live entertainment and plenty of pumpkin-themed activities for the family.


8. BeatBASH Carnival, The Palladium – Hollywood

Time: October 14, 10am – 2pm

Price: Ages 1 and under: free, General admission: $40, VIP: $99

The children’s music duo BeatBuds is having a pop-up carnival with games, crafts, bouncy houses, food trucks, gift bags for those under 18, and a live show! The carnival will also have donation opportunities for Baby2Baby, a non-profit organization that provides diapers, clothing, and basic necessities to children living in poverty.


9. Preschool Explorers Story Time, Ocean Park Branch Library – Santa Monica

Time: October 15, 3:30 – 4:30pm

Price: Free!

Preschool-age children are invited to attend a one-hour story time at the Ocean Park Branch Library to learn about the science of pumpkins with hands-on activities. As noted by the name, this event is geared towards children in preschool and younger.


10. Calabasas Pumpkin Festival, Juan Bautista de Anza Park – Calabasas

Time: October 20 – 21, 10am – 5pm

Price: Ages 2 and under: free, tickets purchased before 10/15: $5; after 10/15: $10

Celebrate everything pumpkin at this full-fledged festival! Attractions include a pumpkin patch, professional pumpkin carving, an assortment of pumpkin foods, pumpkin painting, various vendors selling jewelry, Halloween, and home and garden items, and live music.

What’s your favorite fall activity in LA?

National Nanny Recognition Week: Show Your Nanny You Care

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September 23rd is the start of National Nanny Recognition Week 2018! NNRW is the 4th week of September each year and, as of this year, has been around for 20 years. It was started by industry leaders and nannies to acknowledge, support, and bring awareness to the importance and value that a nanny contributes to his or her community.

This week is all about giving back to your nanny, so show them you appreciate them! There are endless ways to show your support and appreciation, but we’ve given you a head start with a list of gifts or gestures any nanny would love!


1) Give them a memento

Frame a photo of your nanny with your children and have your children sign the year on the back of the frame. Nannies are a huge part of a child’s life, and vice versa, so why not give your nanny something to remember your children by!


2) Let the children tell them

Kids really do say the darnedest things! Have your children write a memorable note for them or draw a picture of them with their nanny.


3) Pamper them
Your nanny works really hard! Give them a little relaxation on their day off with a massage or manicure gift card.


4) Caffeinate them
We all have those crazy days when we could use a caffeinated afternoon pick-me-up. Give your nanny a gift card for their favorite coffeeshop so she can pick one up while running errands.


5) Promote their healthy lifestyle
Chances are your nanny wants to stay fit to keep up with the energy of little ones. If your nanny already has a gym, pay for a month of their membership or a yoga class. Or if they want a membership but don’t have one – sign them up!



6) Be sure they’re well-connected
In 2018, it’s no secret that it’s important to stay connected electronically. Help your nanny stay connected and find the best, newest places to take your little ones by giving them a new smart device.


What’s your favorite way to show your nanny you care?

The Best Sunscreens for Your Summer Activities

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Summer is upon us here in California, and day camps, family vacations, sports tournaments, swimming lessons, and trips to the beach are in full swing. While summer weather is great for heading outdoors, please make sure you and your children, or the children you care for, are using the best non-toxic sunscreen.

With so many sunscreen brands available, and even more information about certain sunscreen ingredients being harmful to the environment or humans, it can be overwhelming to know which sunscreen is best to protect you, your child, or the child you are caring for. Luckily, Environmental Working Group, or EWG, has an entire guide to sunscreen including a list of the best-rated sunscreens for your little ones, explanations of sunscreen ingredients, and a super helpful sunscreen search function to compare various brands.

Kid Friendly Earth Day

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As you may already know, Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22. While Los Angeles has countless outdoor activities year-round (gotta love that sunshine!), we’ve compiled a list of kid friendly activities to celebrate our Mother Earth this weekend.


Saturday, 4/21, 10am – 2pm:Earth Day LA 2018, Highland Park

Age: All ages

Price: Free

Activities: Food, giveaways, various exhibits, and entertainment. Kids can explore LA Sanitation trucks on-site

Special tip: If driving, plan where to park ahead of time, as the goal is to have participants consider taking public transportation in the spirit of environmental awareness.

For more information:


Saturday, 4/21, 11am – 4pm:Kids’ Earth Day Celebration, Playa del Rey

Age: All ages

Price: Free

Activities: Teaching children about environmental awareness through hip hop, bounce houses, games, and giveaways

Special tip: Must ‘buy’ an Eventbrite ticket for the event, showing acceptance of the liability waiver.

For more information:


Saturday, 4/21:Free Entrance Day in National Parks, various locations

Age: All ages

Price: Free

Activities: Attend one of California’s national parks for free! Find the park nearest to you at the link below.

Special tip: April 21 is the kickoff of National Parks Week. This year’s theme for park week is “Park Stars”, with a focus on starry skies.

For more information:


Saturday, 4/21 – Sunday 4/22, 10am – 6pm:California Poppy Festival, Lancaster

Age: All ages

Price: Adults (13-61): $10, Seniors & Children (6-12): $5, 5 and under: Free

Activities: Food, musical acts, vocalists, and educational animal and conservational talks for kids

Special tip: Bring sunscreen and drink lots of water!

For more information:


Saturday, 4/21 – Sunday 5/13, 10am – 4pm:Wild for the Planet, Los Angeles Zoo

Age: Ages 3 and up

Price: All activities included in zoo admission price

Activities: Aerialist shows, interactive puppet show, conservation expo, nature journaling, and zoo-keeper talks and demonstrations

Special tip: The LA Zoo celebrates Earth Day over 4 weekends, and this year the zoo is highlighting their bird conservation achievements with 5 bird gardens throughout the grounds.

For more information:


Sunday 4/22, 10am – 4pm:Children’s Earth Day at the STAR Eco Station, Culver City

Age: All ages

Price: Free

Activities: Exhibits featuring exotic wildlife, eco-friendly games, face painting, and food

Special tip: Tours of the STAR Eco Station Exotic Wildlife Rescue Museum are offered at a discounted rate.

For more information:

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