Dates With Hope

When interviewing caregivers, we always ask about the most challenging and rewarding aspects of each job they’ve held with a family. We won’t talk about the challenging parts today, but I can say that almost every time the candidates share that nothing is more rewarding than the relationships they build with the kids.

I started babysitting this sweet girl when I was in college and she was three. At the time she had two brothers and now she has 4 siblings just like me–I always knew we were kindred spirits!

In recent years I hardly babysit for her family anymore, but try to schedule occasional dates to remain consistent in her life. Whether a quick bike ride to the coy pond or an afternoon walk for a treat, it always feels very meaningful.

I cannot believe she’s almost ten! On our most recent date, Hope was glowing in this white lace dress and little wedges, donning a sparkly clutch and the biggest smile. I definitely felt underdressed in my summer dress and metallic Birkenstocks. We obviously had to go to Savoy for her favorite Turkey Fritters and visit the bulk bins at a local health food store for dessert.

We chatted about sibling dynamics, braces, and the floral shop she wants to open one day. There’s something so special about one-on-one time, especially when you go somewhere fun. I remember going on “dates” with my dad growing up and loving every part of it–the anticipation, the outfit, the conversations and the uniqueness of that time together.

Halfway through dinner, Hope pulled this shell out of her purse and gave it to me. My heart melted. What a sweet reminder of the importance of consistency in kids’ lives and how precious these relationships are that we build.

Back to School

I hope you’re enjoying the change of season and getting back into the swing of the school year. As you figure out your family’s childcare needs, I can assure you we have some fabulous caregivers to connect you with.

I have been so impressed with the quality of caregivers I’ve been interviewing these past months. I laughed during a recent reference call when a woman described the candidate “like a Pied Piper who kids just seem to flock to wherever she goes!”

How cute are these new fliers we just had printed? Now that school’s in session, we’ve been working with more UCSB and Westmont students, mostly upperclassmen in their education departments but there’s a great variety of personalities and experience.

In case you’ve been wondering how we screen our caregivers: The caregivers we refer are chosen and screened through a thorough application, a series of interviews and reference calls. We ensure they are currently infant and child CPR certified, run a multi-state criminal, sex offender and driving record background check, they take a caregiver personality and psychiatric evaluation and go through our caregiving training. We search for the best of the best!

On a personal note, I moved my little sister into her dorm at UCSB last weekend–the same one I once called home. (Don’t worry, even I’m a little weirded out with how similar we look sometimes.)

There’s something so fun and unique about the energy of a new school year and I have to say it’s quite contagious. Let us know if there’s anything we can do at Meredith & Co. to make your life easier this fall!

Part-time Childcare Work May Be Exactly What You’re Looking For

I love companies like Uber, Airbnb and Etsy. I love that businesses can be run from a cell phone and people can make ends meet (or build a savings!) with a “side hustle.” I’m constantly inspired by stories of people waking up at 5am to write before going into the office or deliver pizza at night to help them fund their dream venture.

I just bought this custom art and am absolutely THRILLED (click on the picture to see her etsy shop)

We live in such an exciting time of professional possibilities and the longer I’ve been out of college, the more convinced I am that as a society we need to toss the expectation that a 9-5 is the best career for everyone, or that you’re supposed to land your dream job right out of school–or even know what that would be.

I hear countless stories from frustrated friends of all ages and industries wanting to make extra money while they work, transition out of a job, go (back) to school or fund a much needed vacay. Maybe a desk job just isn’t the right fit for you, you need a more flexible schedule, orrrrr…you just need more of that kid magic in your life.

Admittedly my own new flexible work schedule allows me to be working poolside. No complaints here.

May I propose working as a part-time and/or on-call caregiver for Meredith & Co.?

As a neighborhood care company, we strive to bring balance and ease to families’ every day lives by connecting families with lovely, pre-screened caregivers. We simplify your search for families to work for by connecting you to our network of awesome families and work opportunities. We search high and low for people with solid childcare experience, the kid-magnet sparkle and the professional sensibility of a nanny to fill the gaps in both the families’ and caregivers’ needs.

If you’d like to enrich your life professionally, personally and financially by working with kids in the Santa Barbara area, I’d love to chat with you more! If you’re already sold on the opportunity, click here to apply.

PS. I know I’m repping the 100+ Neutrogena sunscreen in this post, but I was just introduced to Sun Bum–have you heard of it? I’m so eager to give it a try!