As parents of children with special needs, we constantly think about the future of our children. We hope they will grow into socially-adjusted and confident adults. We worry about how our precious children will fare in school when they have developmental delays or other disabilities. It can all be overwhelming, but it’s nice to know that there are educational resources designed to set them up for success. An Individualized Education Program is one resource that is extremely helpful for children with special needs.
What is an Individualized Education Program?
A federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) requires public schools to create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for every child who receives special education services. The purpose of an IEP is to provide a blueprint, specific to the needs or your child, to make sure he or she has everything needed to perform to the best of his or her academic abilities. Sometimes this includes help in a small group, one-on-one instruction, help outside the classroom, etc. An IEP takes into consideration that not every child learns in the same way. For example, some children may have extreme difficulty understanding oral directions but may thrive when given written instructions. Or a child with a visual impairment may need to sit closer to the front of a classroom or be given additional time to take standardized tests in order to reach their full academic potential.
By law an IEP must include a statement of: your child’s present performance level, your child’s annual educational goals, special education supports and services the school will provide to help your child reach their academic goals, modifications and accommodations the school will provide for your child, accommodations your child will be allowed when taking standardized tests, how and when the school will measure your child’s progress with respect to annual goals, and a transition plan that prepares teens for life after high school.
It is important to note that private schools aren’t legally required to provide special education services, however IDEA requires that school districts set aside some funding for special education services for students in private schools. If your child is in private school you have the option of asking the public school district to evaluate your child for special education services at no cost to you. If your child’s private school agrees to work with the district, a “services plan” (often with fewer services than the child would receive in public school) can be developed to help your child academically. **
Who initiates an IEP?
Parents, teachers, a counselor, a doctor, or anyone else who suspects a child is struggling or may struggle to learn general education curriculum can request an evaluation. After the initial evaluation a determination is made about whether special services are needed.
Who creates an IEP? How often is it reviewed?
If it is determined that special services are needed, an IEP is created by a team of individuals including general education teachers, at least one special education teacher, a school administrator (i.e. principal or special education director), school psychologist or other specialist, and you (the parent). (You are an extremely important member of your child’s IEP team because of your valuable insight, observations, and concerns about your child.) When a child is 16, he or she is also expected to become a member of the IEP team. The team discusses your child’s strengths, necessary support from the school, and the progress he or she is expected to make along the school year. Since an IEP is a legally binding document, your child’s school must provide everything it promises in it.
The IEP team meets once a year to discuss your child’s progress. During the annual meeting you discuss: your child’s strengths, your concerns and suggestions to help in areas where they are struggling, whether modifications and accommodations are helping, and the results of your child’s most recent evaluation. Based on what the team discusses, the team leader will write a “statement about your child’s recent level of academic and functional performance and goals.” The team leader will also document changes to the IEP that the team agrees upon for the following academic school year.
What are some additional resources for parents?
We encourage you to visit the LAUSD website http://achieve.lausd.net/Page/2270 for more information about IEPs and the steps to take if you feel your child needs one.
Another wonderful resource is https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/special-services/ieps/understanding-individualized-education-programs#item8
If you are looking to hire an Educated Nanny who has experience with special needs and IEP’s, we are happy to help! Please give us a call at (310) 857–4985 so we can get started on a search for the perfect nanny for your family.
Resource: https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/special-services/ieps/understanding-individualized-education-programs#item8Read More
We are thrilled to announce the launch of a new special service offered by our company. Please welcome Educated Nannies Newborn Care Specialists! We understand that preparing for the arrival of a new baby and adjusting once your little miracle arrives can be overwhelming for both new and veteran parents. Our hope is to help make this transitional period as smooth as possible by offering you access to well-trained educated caregivers who are dedicated to providing quality care for your newborn and making your life a lot less stressful! We have put together a list of questions and answers to help explain exactly what a Newborn Care Specialist does and the ways she (or he) can help make your life easier.
What is the difference between a Doula, Baby Nurse, Night Nanny, and Newborn Care Specialist?
We hear the terms Doula, Baby Nurse, Night Nanny, and Newborn Care Specialist often used interchangeably, but the truth is they are four different types of caregivers with different responsibilities. Let’s take a closer look at the job duties of each of these professional caregivers.
Doula: Birth doulas and postpartum doulas must be certified through DONA or CAPPA. A birth doula educates and supports a pregnant mother before and during labor. A postpartum doula provides support to the postpartum family in the first few weeks following birth, through education, basic baby care, mother care and household assistance. Her focus is on the entire family versus primarily the newborn. She may assist with laundry, meal preparation, and other needs of the family, but care of the newborn and sleep training are not her primary concern.
Baby Nurse: For years, caregivers who provided any type of care for newborns were referred to as Baby Nurses. This term was misleading because many who used this title had not actually been to nursing school. Families would hire Baby Nurses thinking the caregiver had extensive medical training and that wasn’t necessarily the case. Due to this misconception, recent legislature in California (and many other states) has made it illegal for an individual to call themselves a nurse, unless they carry a valid nursing license.
“A Baby Nurse by today’s standards is a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Individuals with this type of background are available to work with families who have babies dealing with medical challenges including prematurity, genetic disorders or other medical conditions that present life-threatening risks to the infant. Many of these newborns require close monitoring and care by a knowledgeable, trained and experienced Baby Nurse when discharged home from the hospital.” *
Night Nanny: A night nanny is hired to work overnight shifts under the direction and supervision of the parents. A night nanny performs duties such as comforting the baby, feeding the baby and keeping a detailed log. A typical shift may be between the hours of 7 pm until 7 am; However, she may not have extensive knowledge about sleep training or other issues related to the care of a newborn. This caregiver does not need any training or certifications, but may have years of experience as a nanny.
Newborn Care Specialist: **According to the NCSA: A Newborn Care Specialist is an individual trained and skilled in newborn care. She provides unique expertise in all aspects of newborn care, parental education and support. Her job is to help nurture and care for newborns while providing guidance and education for the parents. Newborn Care Specialists are generally not responsible for household duties unrelated to the new baby or for the care of other children in the household.
You can expect Newborn Care Specialists to help in the following ways:
• Educate and support parents.
• Create a smooth transition for family during the newborn stage.
• Troubleshoot potential issues of concern with the newborn and offer professional options to resolve them.
• Maintain a thorough log of infant feeding and sleep patterns.
• Assist mother with any feeding issues she may have, including the facilitation of breastfeeding and be knowledgeable in answering breastfeeding related questions.
• Soothes babies using skilled and proven techniques that help calm newborns.
• To provide care for the newborn and perform some or all of the following tasks: Diapering, changing, bathing, circumcision care, bottle preparation (breastmilk & formula), bottle cleaning, organization and maintenance of nursery, create a regular feeding schedule, assist in establishing healthy sleep habits, maintain a thorough log of eating, sleeping and behavioral patterns, take over complete care of newborn at night to provide parents time to sleep.
Why hire an Educated Nannies Newborn Care Specialist?
Educated Nannies has partnered with well-known industry veteran and respected NCS, Tonya Sakowicz of Newborn Care Solutions to provide thorough training on all things related to the care of newborns. We are confident that our Educated Nannies who have completed this training will stay on top of industry news and provide the best level of care for your newborn. Another bonus of having an Educated Nannies Newborn Care Specialist is that she will be part of a larger network of other skilled NCS’s who will support and share their knowledge with her as well.
If I would like to hire an Educated Nannies Newborn Care Specialist or take the NCS course, what is the next step?
Contact Educated Nannies at (310) 857-4985 or firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your specific needs. We are happy to answer any questions or offer guidance to families and nannies. Our goal is to set you up for success during this exciting and overwhelming time period.
*Newborn Care Specialists Association (ncsainfo.com)Read More
We are two weeks into 2016 (Can you believe it?) and we thought it would be cool to highlight a few fun and educational places in and around Los Angeles that are sure to inspire your children. Check out our picks below:
1. Discovery Cube L.A. – Your children will enjoy a hands-on science education by taking a simulated helicopter ride over the L.A. aqueduct and then diving below to observe the water systems beneath it. They will even explore California’s natural resources, learn about landfills, and discover the importance of recycling. Kids can also “walk around” outer space in the Planetary Research Station. By the time they leave, children are certain to be excited about doing their part to help make our world a cleaner place.
2. Travel Town Museum (Los Angeles) – If your little ones like trains, they will LOVE it here. For smaller kids, a miniature train travels around the perimeter of Travel Town. (Something about riding in a train created just for them really gets little ones going.) There are also exhibits featuring dozens of old railroad locomotives and cars that kids of all ages can appreciate. Your children will leave with a greater understanding and excitement about the impact railroads have made on our nation. Pack a lunch and enjoy it together at the picnic tables. There’s tons of space for the parents to relax and the kids to let loose. (Be sure to check out the new gift shop before you leave.)
3. Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens (San Marino) – We love this place! It is absolutely beautiful. The library contains rare books and manuscripts in British and American history. The art collection is one of the most comprehensive collections of 18th and 19th century French and British art. Although those two aspects are probably most enjoyable for adults, kids ages two and older are sure to appreciate the Botanical Gardens and its “ever-changing exhibition of color.” There are more than a dozen specialized gardens, including the Desert Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Chinese Garden, and the Rose Garden. It is designed to capture their imagination, engage their senses, and teach them fundamentals about botany.
4. Kidspace Children’s Museum’s “Cultural Diversity Days” (Los Angeles) – In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Kidspace is hosting “Cultural Diversity Days” Saturday, January 16th through Monday, January 18th. Dr. King’s mission was to “break down the walls of segregation and to unite the people of America.” Kidspace is doing its part to further his mission by celebrating cultures from all over the world. Children will have an opportunity to create Russian nesting dolls, participate in a Brazilian carnival procession, get messy in a grape stomping pool, and even decorate their arms with Indian henna. What a great way to teach children about other cultures and foster respect and appreciation for diversity!
5. Aquarium of the Pacific (Long Beach) – This place is fantastic! Jelly fish, sharks, sea otters, penguins, turtles—these are just a few of the underwater friends your child will see. It is home to more than 11,000 ocean animals (representing nearly 500 species) who call the Pacific Ocean their home. There are tons of fascinating exhibits and your children can even touch sea stars, anemone, sea cucumbers, urchins, and more.
We’ve told you our inspiring educational picks. Now we would love to know some of yours. Please comment below or post to Instagram and tag us @educatednannies with your ideas.
Photo credit: weplay2learn.blogspot.comRead More
’Tis the Season to Spread Love
The holidays are undoubtedly our favorite time of year. Here at Educated Nannies, we love the weather, the music, the food, the comradery, and spending quality time with our families. But more than anything, we love the opportunity to serve alongside our children as we spread holiday cheer. We teach our children about showing concern for others throughout the year; but during the holidays, we truly focus on showing others how much we care. ’Tis the season to spread love!
Research shows that volunteering yields impressive benefits for people. Those who participate in service projects perform better in school, have increased self-confidence, feel a greater sense of purpose, and are less likely to experience depression later in life. Volunteering also increases social and relationship skills and creates memories that last a lifetime.
This holiday season, we encourage you to gather your children (even the littlest ones), get involved, and volunteer. Here are a few ideas!
Sing holiday songs at a local nursing home. It would be great fun to invite a few friends and extended family to join in on the activity. The coordinators at nursing facilities welcome guests. Residents thoroughly enjoy spending time with young people and watching them put on a great show. The smiles on the faces of the residents will remain etched in your children’s minds forever.
Visit a homeless shelter and wrap donated gifts for children who live there. This is a great way to teach your children the importance of being grateful and show kindness towards other children. Call a shelter near you and inquire about opportunities.
Donate gently worn clothes and toys to Goodwill, Hope of the Valley, or Rescue Mission Alliance. Children can clean up and make room for additional goodies in their home, and then donate to those in need. It’s a win-win!
Volunteer at a local food bank. Help unpack, sort, and re-pack boxes of donated holiday goods to distribute to families in need. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is a great place to start. (https://www.lafoodbank.org/)
Adopt-a-Soldier. Write a thank you letter, draw a picture, and send a care package to a troop who is serving overseas. There are hundreds of thousands of men and women who help keep our country safe. Adopt-a-soldier and let him/her know you care and appreciate his/her sacrifice. (http://www.adoptaussoldier.org/index.php)
Wishing you a very happy, healthy, and PURPOSEFUL holiday season!Read More
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Educated Nannies Receives 2015 Los Angeles Award
Los Angeles Award Program Honors the Achievement
LOS ANGELES November 18, 2015 — Educated Nannies has been selected for the 2015 Los Angeles Award in the Child Care Agency category by the Los Angeles Award Program.
Each year, the Los Angeles Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Los Angeles area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2015 Los Angeles Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Los Angeles Award Program and data provided by third parties.
The Los Angeles Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Los Angeles area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
The Los Angeles Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.
SOURCE: Los Angeles Award Program
Educated Nannies AwardRead More
The ‘Thanks’ in Thanksgiving
It is November and in a few short weeks, Thanksgiving will be upon us! Last year we blogged about compassion, caring and gratitude here and this year we want to build on that. It’s easy to get swept away worrying about all the details that make Thanksgiving dinner come together, but we have a few ideas and fun activities that can help you slow down, have fun and savor this whole month!
A “thankful” jar: Throughout the month of November, each member of the family can write down one thing they are thankful for every day. Then, the family member puts it in a “thankful jar” (bonus points if it’s decorated!) and reads each entry before the feast on Thanksgiving. It’s a great way to look back on all the moments of gratitude that month!
Be present for big and small moments: Since it’s easy to fall into a routine and forget the details of everyday life, this little change can make a huge impact. If the kids bring home Thanksgiving crafts, ask if they can teach you how to do it and recreate the craft at home! If they can’t remember, we have a great craft in our newsletter that is fun for both adults and kids. Also, asking about the little details of their day is fun for them to recall and great for adults to know what their little ones are doing! To sign up for our newsletter please click here and go to the bottom right of the page.
Include the kids: Tackle a creative project with the kids! They will love feeling included, and it’s one less thing you have to do alone! Some of our fondest memories involve helping in the kitchen on Thanksgiving. Standing on a step-stool rolling out dough for the dinner rolls, and helping pour pie mix were some of my favorites that I still do every year (without the step-stool now, ha! ). If your little helpers aren’t ready for the kitchen yet, you can venture to a farmers’ market or pumpkin patch with them to find something that gives their personal touch to the tablescape.
Thank those around you: Take this time of year to let those around you know how important they are! Tell your partner, your kids and even your favorite Starbucks barista how grateful you are that they are in your life. Most importantly, let your nanny know how important she is to your family. The relationship we have with our nannies is so incredibly special, and a simple thank you will go a long away this holiday season.
Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Educated NanniesRead More
It’s time to celebrate your nanny! National Nanny Recognition Week is this week! This is a special week set aside every year to honor your nanny and show her how much you appreciate everything she does for your family. It’s a time for your children to show gratitude to their nanny for being such a positive role model. Remembering to say “Thank you” to your nanny throughout the year is so important, and here are some ways to make her feel extra fabulous this week!
1. CREATIVE APPRECIATION
If your children are musical, have them sing a song (or write a poem) to thank your nanny. It will make her smile and it’s super creative for the kids to write their own lyrics.
2. DRAW A THANK YOU CARD
Are your children great artists? Have them create a special thank you card for your nanny.
3. PAMPER YOUR NANNY
Is your nanny working 10 hour days? Gift your nanny a relaxing day at the spa or treat her to a massage.
4. GIFT OF EDUCATION
Has your nanny always wanted to take a special class to add to her list of skills or learn another language? Sponsor her to attend the International Nanny Association conference, take a cooking class, or purchase Rosetta Stone in her language of choice.
Tell your nanny how much you appreciate her, and then gift her a bonus or a health insurance stipend to contribute to her well-being.
6. WORDS OF KINDNESS
Simply say thank you and tell your nanny how wonderful she is. It feels good to be loved and hear positive things!
7. PAID DAY OFF
Treat your nanny to a paid day off. Many nannies work long hours, so they will really appreciate finding the time to visit the dentist, get a haircut, or treat them to a mani/pedi. Feeling polished is a win/win for everyone
8. THROW A NANNY PARTY
Decorate the house, make some cupcakes, put on your nannie’s favorite music, and celebrate her awesomeness!
9. DINNER AT A FAVORITE RESTAURANT
Many times nannies spend hours preparing meal plans for the week, grocery shopping, and cooking delicious meals. Treat your nanny to a night off from cooking and send her out to her favorite restaurant.
10. MAKE A DONATION
Do you already spoil your nanny and treat her like part of the family? Maybe there is a cause that is near and dear to your nanny’s heart? You and the kids could donate your time or make a kind donation? Get creative and think outside of the box!
HAVE A FABULOUS WEEK CELEBRATING YOUR NANNIES!Read More
As new mothers, we are responsible for wearing many hats throughout the day. It takes a lot of time and energy to keep the ship afloat, and behind every multi-tasking mother, there is a hard-working father who deserves a little pampering! Here are five ways to pamper a new dad on Father’s Day!
Complete an act of service
Wash dad’s car, wash all of his laundry or tackle a project such as organizing his office or closet. These little tokens of kindness will set dad up for success and make him feel loved.
Primp him out
Treat dad to a haircut, day at the spa, or a manicure. It feels good to have your body loved, and it gives a man some self-confidence to look good.
Quality Cooking Time
When a new baby arrives, it may be hard to find time to cook and also spend quality time together. Book a couple’s cooking class or schedule a private chef to come to your home to help you create a loving meal together.
New clothes and compliments
Spit up on the clothes again? No worries! Dad has some new duds coming from his favorite store. Buy him an outfit from head to toe (shoes too!) and watch his face light up. Tell him you appreciate everything he does for the family, compliment him, and say I love you. Words of affirmation go a long way.
Schedule a date night
You may be thinking who has time for a date night as a new parent? We all do. Yes, before you created your child, it was mommy/daddy time. Now it’s hard to even sleep in the same bed uninterrupted. Put the daddy first today and take him out for some good old-fashioned fun at a memorable venue.
Mother’s Day is this weekend! Last year, we blogged about all the fun ways to show mom your love and appreciation for all of the hard work, passion and dedication she gives, each and every day with activities and crafts. Click here to read more!
This year, we were inducted into the Motherhood Club! Therefore, we wanted to add some other simple yet great ways to put a smile on a new mommy’s face.
A hot uninterrupted shower: Yes, it is wonderful to place my sweet son in the bouncer and stare at him as I let the warm water rush over my tired body, but it’s not so much fun, when the smiles turn to screams. Let’s just say there’s been too many times of jumping out of the shower and drying off soap to tend to tears. Ahhhhh… shaving my legs sounds like heaven right about now. Thirty minutes of shower time alone would be lovely.
Wash, dry and fold the baby laundry: These tiny clothes are just too adorable, but they are even more adorable when someone else has sprayed them with stain remover, placed them in the washer, dried them, and folded them. Bonus points if you put them away in the correct place and/or hang them in the closet. Extra love if you do the grown up laundry too 🙂
A full night’s sleep: These words are music to a new mommy’s ears! Heck, I think most moms will take 5 hours of sleep. Yes, those sweet baby breaths are charming at 4 am, but so is doing a soft pillow dance. Dad… here is where you can look like a hero! Wake up with the baby, soothe the baby, and feed the baby. If mom has to pump while you feed the baby a bottle, please put the baby back to bed and wash all of mom’s pumping supplies so she wakes up to a clean environment. Oh happy days!
Quality time: Life is busy and it feels even busier in Los Angeles when both parents are working. Please carve out some time to catch up about all the pleasures in life. Listen to mom when she tells you how great being a mother is, and all the wonderful things you missed this week in her life. Being a mother is really the best job in the world! Tell mom you love her. Send her to the Dry Bar to get a blow out. Book her an appointment to get a manicure. Pour her a glass of wine, and massage her feet. Okay, maybe that’s pushing it, but you get the picture. Pamper the mommy!
Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Mother’s Day!
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Earth Day is just around the corner! This is a great time to teach kids about conserving our planet’s resources and caring for the world around us. Not sure what type of activities to try this year? Check out our top Earth Day activities for all!
1. A Beach clean up day: Here in Los Angeles, we are beyond lucky to have beautiful beaches in our very own back yard. Help keep our coastline and sea dwelling friends happy and healthy by planning a beach clean up day! You can plan to take part as a small group, or volunteer for an organization such as Heal The Bay or Surfrider.
2. A carefree car-free day: As Angelenos, we rely heavily on our vehicles to get around. This April, we invite you to take part in a car-free day. Use your legs and feet! Walk or bike to the store, a park and to activities!
3. Garden and grow together: Gardening is a great way to teach kids about different plants and their growth cycles. Plant some easy edible vegetables with the kids and monitor their growth throughout the year. Short on space? Plant a small herb garden and incorporate your homegrown herbs into meals!
4. Build a beautiful birdhouse: Build a birdhouse with the kids! This is a fun craft for any age. Short on time? Head to your local craft store and pick up a kit. Let the kids personalize their creation by painting the finished product!
5. Create a recycled mix media masterpiece: Pull out all the art supplies and create a mixed media masterpiece! Incorporate old newspapers, magazines, popsicle sticks, bottle caps and any other recyclable materials you can find. Let the kids’ imaginations run wild as their creations take shape. Remember, there is no right or wrong when it comes to art!
6. Take a trip to your local farmer’s market and make a meal together: Bring the kids along during the farmer’s market run. Let them taste test the different seasonal fruits and veggies and help choose items to purchase. Once you arrive home, plan an easy meal or snack that includes their chosen ingredients and enjoy!
Although these activities are inspired by Earth Day, you can certainly apply these ideas year round. What do you have planned for Earth Day with the kids? Post your activities and crafts to Instagram and tag us (@educatednannies) in your photos. We love learning about new ideas. Have a happy Earth Day!
*Photo credit: Huffington PostRead More