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 International Nanny Association
Visit Our Website | 2012-2014 INA Board of Directors July 2012
In This Issue
  • President's Message
  • Saving for Retirement
  • Do You Have a Plan?
  • Homepage Poll Results

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2013 Conference

2013 INA Annual Conference

April 12-14, 2013

Louisville, Kentucky


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INAVision is a publication of the International Nanny Association (INA). All rights reserved. The editors reserve the right to edit articles as submitted and reserve the right to publish material accepted for INAVision  on our website or in any other official INA publication in virtual space or otherwise. Photos, letters, arts and story ideas are welcome.

The articles published in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the INA as a whole; rather, they reflect the opinions of the authors who have written them. This publication is intended to serve those interested in in-home child care by providing a forum for different views on relevant subjects, as well as INA information. The advertisements in this newsletter do not imply endorsement by INA of any particular product or service and INA does not assume responsibility for advertising content.

Copyright 2012 INA
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President's Message
By Susan Tokayer, INA co-president

As I write this month’s message I am anticipating watching the first episode of the new series, “Beverly Hills Nannies.”  Nannies have been portrayed in so many different ways in literature, film and media, and I’m curious how they will be portrayed in this new “reality” show.  One of the clips I viewed showed two parents rating their nanny on a scale of 1-10. It seemed to be a reasonable exercise, until they rated her on “cuteness.”  The clip ends abruptly, but it leads me to believe that this may not be a positive or realistic portrayal of families that employ nannies, or of nannies, either.  But, because these families live in Beverly Hills, I guess the public is supposed to assume that they do not represent the norm,  that the show is mostly for entertainment, sort of how I view the “Housewives” series.

Whether nanny shows are realistic, unrealistic or just for entertainment, I’m sure that the public’s perception is, at least in part, shaped by these shows. 

It is frustrating for all of us in the industry when we view something on TV that really isn’t representative of our industry, but we don’t have any means of directly sharing our perception with the public.  Or, at least not in a way that necessarily is seen by thousands or millions of people. 

Even though the media is very interested in our industry, I believe as individual professionals, working in the in-home childcare industry, whether working as a nanny, an agency owner, or some other related occupation, we have a tremendous effect on how the public views this industry.

It is important to be mindful of how we are presenting ourselves and our industry when we, as individual agency personnel and nannies, are doing our jobs.  I think that the greatest influencers in our industry are not the TV shows or the media, but the individuals who do their jobs daily.  The nanny who is seen by the neighbors and school staff, day in and day out, is the person who is going to most influence their perception of what a nanny is. 

It is important for us to remember that our actions and words are seen and heard by many.  Many of you are responsible for educating the public about what a good nanny is and how a good agency works, but our work is not done.  So, please continue the good work that you are doing and be mindful that you represent not only yourself when you are working, but an entire industry.


Saving for Retirement
By Rachel Lawrence, INA Board Member

Some day everyone wants or needs to retire, and for many employees who work for large companies, there are systems in place from their first day on the job to make sure they have the ability to save for that day.  In our industry, things are a little less straight forward.  To help you get the ball rolling, here is a brief overview of options available to nannies and their employers, but as with all tax and financial issues it is best to consult with your financial advisor before deciding which is right for you, as not all information applies to all cases.  Also listed are known nanny industry service providers familiar with each product, who graciously helped in providing information for this article, however, many of these products are also supported by, or are available through other companies.

Employee-Controlled Plans

Traditional IRA (can be supported by HomeWork Solutions, GTM Payroll Services, and Breedlove and Associates)

This is the easiest form of retirement account for a nanny to set up as it can be started through nearly any financial institution,  by the nanny, yet the employer can also make contribution.  The nanny makes contributions to this account pre-tax, and all contributions by the employer are considered additional income, and are taxed accordingly each year.  Traditional IRA’s have a maximum contribution of $5,000 per year, with employees 50 years of age of older being allowed to contribute an addition $1,000. This type of account is 100% employee vested, meaning that the employee maintains ownership of the account.

Roth-IRA (easy procurement option newly available through Breedlove and Associates)

This plan is a tax-advantaged retirement savings plan that does not require any employer administration nor does it have any set up or administrative costs.  The plan allows employees or employers to contribute up to $5,000 per year, if the employee is age 50 or older, and addition $1,000 may be contributed.  The account utilizes after-tax dollars, so all growth is tax-free, and there are no taxes upon withdrawal at retirement age.  The plan is owned and controlled by the employee so there are no portability issues or paperwork upon termination.

Employer-Supported Plans

SEP-IRA (can be supported by Breedlove and Associates, HomeWork Solutions and GTM Payroll Services)

This type of account is set up by the employers, for their employee, and the contributions are 100% funded by the employer.  Taxes are not required when the contributions are made, but the money will be taxed when it is withdrawn at retirement as income.  The contributions each year are 0%-25% of the total compensation of the employee, with a maximum of $49,000. If an employer chooses to provide this type of plan to one employee however, they must also provide it to all employees by law.

Simple IRA (can be supported by HomeWork Solutions, Breedlove and Associates, and GTM Payroll Services)

This type of account is a dollar for dollar match system, between the nanny and employer, with a maximum contribution each year of up to 3% of the total compensation of the employee.  The contributions are subject to social security and Medicare taxes, but not income taxes for the employee, and employer contributions are tax free.  This plan, unlike the SEP-IRA, does not have to be provided to all employees as long as the employees excluded made less than $5,000 in each of the last two years, and are expected not to exceed $5,000 in the coming year.  This plan is also 100% employee vested, like the Traditional IRA.

Simple 401K (newly available through GTM Payroll Services)

This plan provides nannies the potential for a pre-tax savings via payroll deferral of up to $11,500, with those 50 years old or older being allowed to invest an additional $2,500 per year.  Employers match contributions on a dollar for dollar basis up to 3% of the employee’s total compensation.  If an employee changes employers, they can roll the money to another qualified retirement plan or individual retirement account (IRA).


Do You Have a Plan? 
By Nikki Gribble, 2012 INA Nanny of the Year

Most, if not all of us, have probably heard the news of the devastating wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico and the horrible floods in Minnesota that happened this past June and July. Which made me wonder, how many of us have a plan if we are faced with an emergency situation, big or little. Not just a plan that we have thought out for ourselves, but a plan that has been talked out with the family that we work for.

Both the fires and floods have been devastating to many, but the fires had an especially huge impact on me. One of the families I worked for lived in Colorado Springs. In just a matter of a couple of hours, the fire jumped two ridges and thousands of people had 30 minutes or less to get out of their homes. The family I worked for lived in one of the mandatory evacuation areas. Thankfully they and their house are okay, but it really made me stop to think how would I have handled it if I was still there. Although we didn’t have a plan laid out for an evacuation, I think and hope I would have been able to act quickly and calmly to get my charges to safety.

There are many different types of emergencies that can happen in a heartbeat. Maybe you are not in an area where wildfires happen. Maybe you live where hurricanes are prevalent or earthquakes are common. Whatever the emergency, it is good to have a plan and one that everyone is aware of. Any emergency is easier to handle when you are prepared ahead of time. I found a great website to use if you don’t know what to do or just need to be refreshed on the natural disasters that could happen in your area (

Whenever I start with a new family, I have a few things I do immediately in regard to emergency situations. Two of them are:

A medical release (preferably notarized) with copies of the family’s insurance cards and preference of hospitals. I put the hospital and pediatrician’s addresses into the GPS memory in my phone and also the urgent care if one is available. By having the emergency addresses and phone numbers saved in the phone, it helps save precious minutes in case of emergency.

I also save important phone numbers such as: parents, grandparents or other relatives, pediatrician, neighbors, godparents or others who can help if you can’t get hold of the parents and also the local emergency number if not 911.

One other very important safety item not to overlook is fire safety in the home that you work in. Do you have an escape plan? Do you know where the fire extinguishers are? Are the smoke detectors working? I know a family in which their triplet boys were pulled from a burning house unconscious. They almost died because the au pair didn’t even think of getting the boys out of the house first. She didn’t have a plan and panicked. Thankfully, the boys survived.

I’m sure all of us hope we will never be in an emergency situation. I know I always hope and pray I never have an emergency in which I will need to use the medical release or call people for help. But, I have had that happen and I am glad I was prepared. Are you prepared and have an action plan in case of an emergency? Remember the old saying, “Failure to plan is a plan to fail,” and in the possible case of life or death of one of our precious charges, failure is not an option!!


Homepage Results: How Did You Find Your Current Nanny Position?


INA recently asked visitors to its homepage how they found their current nanny position. Out of 136 respondents, 45 reported finding their current job through an online recruiting site, 35 through a placement agency, 25 through word of mouth, 10 through Craigslist and 21 reported finding their current job by other means.




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