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!

BRB–Just Plastering My Face Around Town

Today I embarked on some old school marketing and hung these fliers at my local favorites (Girls, Inc., My Gym, and the even the women’s locker room at the Y).

The backside of the flier has some beautiful artwork on it, but unfortunately that doesn’t always get showcased 🙂

If you’re reading this because these fliers drew you in…click here to let me know what sort of care you’re looking for. I’m so happy we caught your eye!

New Business Cards Are Here

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Meredith and I are obsessed with Rifle Paper Co. and are absolutely guilty of having matching floral phone cases from them (best Ross find ever). I’m already eyeing their 2017 planners and making mental pro/con lists of how they compare to my beloved Passion Planner…but that’s a topic for another day.

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Here they are! I’m just so smitten with how these turned out; I can’t wait to start using them. It is a little embarrassing how often I’m actually wearing stripes and sunnies though–hoping that look never goes out of style 🙂

Follow Along

I’m excited to announce that our Claire’s Neighborhood Instagram account is officially live! Be sure to follow along @clairesneighborhood and tag any friends who may be interested in either working as a caregiver or using our services 🙂

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Now the work to gain followers begins–14 down, many more to go!

And if you’re not already, be sure to follow @meredithandcompany as well to keep up-to-date on all things care-related.

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Some of my personal faves to follow are:

@historyphotographed, @thebucketlistfamily, @petesouza (the official photographer of the white house), @whole30recipes (beautiful to look at and try!), @laceroots (a friend’s gorgeous floral company), @lipstickstainsandblackcoffee (another friend’s fabulous travel/career tip blog account), @jojolomelino (close friend of mine’s daughter went viral with her sassy videos last year–always a riot), @groundedapproach (my best friend’s holistic nutrition account), and @humansofny (because, obviously).

Are you on Instagram? If so, do you have any must-follows? Do share!

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!

Meredith Who?

If you’re reading this you probably already know Meredith is the founder of Meredith & Company (an LA-based neighborhood care company), that she’s also my sister, and I’m starting a branch of her company in Santa Barbara this summer.

Last month we celebrated Meredith’s birthday with the cutest, most Pinterest, pop-up picnic brunch ever and it was such a sweet time to gather and reflect on this impactful woman. What better way to start my blog than to share bits of it with you?

Meredith is kind, smart and driven. She cares deeply about everyone around her and it’s obvious her company grew from a genuine desire to meet the childcare needs of her community.

Meredith’s birthday crew (1/2 of whom work with her now!)

What I admire most about Meredith is that she’s fearless. She doesn’t shy away from challenges, confrontations or vulnerability–in fact, she dives deep into those situations and excels. She inspires me daily to be more unapologetically myself and celebrate every aspect of life.

She relentlessly invests in people, and this is reflected in every policy and decision she makes in business. I’ve loved watching her flourish as a business owner and am so excited to join the team. Because of who Meredith is, Meredith & Company is making a real impact on local families. How lucky am I that she’s in mine?

Me (right) and Meredith (left) adventuring together in Austria as kids (posts on growing up abroad to come)

The full birthday celebration included a post-brunch Sparks game (if you’ve never been to a WNBA game they’re the best and the Sparks are 11-0 right now) and family BBQ, as well as a pre-brunch trip to see Beyoncé at the Rose Bowl. I can’t help but conclude with this gem I found on my phone from the evening: “If you know exactly who you are, say ‘I Slay!'” I hope you can hear Meredith’s eager response in the clip below.

Meredith, thank you for knowing exactly who you are and using all your brilliance to improve the lives of those around you. You are an incredible friend, sister and mentor. Happy birthday and cheers to the next year of adventures! To read more about Meredith’s Neighborhood, click here.