Wednesday, May 24, 2017

That Special Needs Touch

Posted by: Bob Marcinuk

J.J. Joyce is just one of those people that you just have no choice but to like. She comes across as a bit shy and unassuming at first glance but a brief conversation will quickly set you straight.  She’s a woman of great diversity of interests and just so happens to be good at them all! In respect of her modesty, we won’t even mention her world class salsa dancing competitions and all that comes with it.  But, we will embarrass JJ a bit by sharing her exceptional skills as a childcare professional here with us at Nannies As Needed.

JJ has a Masters of Education degree from Southern CT State University and has been engaging and caring for children for over twenty years. Her skills, kindness and compassion are quite transparent and most impressive, particularly to new parents.  When asked about this, JJ simply shares that “ My ability lies in engaging children of all ages to explore their world and to learn through responsible play.  I use whatever materials are at hand to create opportunities for children to develop their sense of discovery and unique thought process”.  

 When nudged to go on, JJ said that “I enjoy using my extensive knowledge of Child Development to help each and every child build their self-confidence and encourage their curiosity.  I understand the need to get down on the floor to play and engage them in fun and educational activities”.  It’s apparent to us that because multi-tasking is so natural to her, it’s relatively easy for JJ to push the edges of her creativity yet maintain a safe environment.

Where JJ truly amasses rave reviews is from those families with special needs children…not one but all.   So naturally, it begged us to ask her, just what does it take to be a good special need sitter?   Here is JJ’s response:

JJ’s views on being a good special needs sitter

“What does it takes to be a “good” special needs sitter? My first reaction is why settle for “good”??

First and foremost, be prepared! That will give you the confidence to enjoy the experience of caring for any special needs child.

Do your homework and learn as much as you can about the child and the disability or challenges she faces. A meet-and-greet is highly recommended. This is the best way to let her get familiar with you and gives you the opportunity to watch her reaction to you. Don't be alarmed if it's initially a negative reaction! The other, and equally important, advantage of a meet-and-greet is that it allows you to observe how the parents interact with her. Imitating those interactions are your best tool for entering the child's comfort zone.

Nannies always ask questions!

We routinely ask about allergies, medications, ICE contacts, favorite foods, toys or blankets for soothing, and, of course, any behavioral concerns and how do the parents typically handle them.

There are only a few extra questions to ask:

What is the best way to communicate with her? What will she do in return to communicate her needs?

Are there physical limitations or safety concerns?

Then go ahead and have some fun together! Stick to the child's routine, modify your words to fit her language skills, follow her lead in the activities you share, stay calm if she becomes upset or flustered, let her feel safe and secure in your care.

Now, honestly, isn't that pretty much how you'd approach any child in your care?”

JJ’s insights are pretty well grounded and are readily adaptable to most special needs situations. Perhaps confidence comes by simply being willing to try and in taking satisfaction from all interactions as positive experiences.  It’s amazing what a difference a little kindness, sensitivity and understanding can make with all children and with JJ, it just comes naturally.        

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Nannies As Needed.....Then & Now

Posted by: Bob Marcinuk

Nannies As Needed was launched from a make shift desk in Margie’s first floor kitchen on January 5, 2004…It proved to be the natural migration from her successful, 10 year home childcare business in Easton to now caring for children on a bit larger scale. After over 25,000 sittings later,  just see how we have grown!   

In the Beginning of NAN Time


  The original launch pad (left) was a desk close to the refrigerator, dog bowls and of course, the coffee! This was soon followed by the "assignment center & billing station" (right) IKEA special.  OMG...that meant Margie had her first employee...her name was Care (I kid you not!)


As families in Fairfield county began to learn about Nannies As Needed, they seemed to appreciate our personal, hands on touch ....and that meant that we kept growing and had to give up Margie's living room for two more desks! All of our early staff were comprised of part time babysitters who wanted to be involved in Margie's vision...their enthusiasm was so addictive!


Margie finally got her own work station (left)...Woo Woo!  Now, when she talked to herself, no one would notice...much.  And soon, word of mouth just kept bringing in new families. The corridor outside of her laundry room was the next to go for a work station (note the dryer vent). It was always cold in the winter and sweltering in the summer and whoever worked in "the outer region", had to tip toe around space heaters or fans with great agility.  

The earlier organization ran on it's stomach! There was ALWAYS 4 or 5 trays of sweets left out to nibble on...And the conversation was always the same..."I really shouldn't but I guess one won't hurt".
Only Margie ever did the dishes or cleaned it pride in her own house And, yes...Margie finally got her own private office! OK, so it was a desk in her bedroom but ever the opportunist, Margie loved to be able to spread out her work on top of her mattress. Besides, at the end of some very long days, she only had to walk 5 feet to collapse onto her bed...and sometimes, she even remembered to file those papers first!

Breaking Out!

This was the way of life until February 1, 2010 when torn between wanting to "reclaim" her home, creating a clear separation between work space and home space and to further establish her presence in the business community, Margie moved into her 1st "out of home" office, on the Green, in Milford Center but....the transition was. let's just say...a bit challenging.

Going from a whole floor in her home to a one room office was an adjustment to say the least! It was on a second floor, assessable only by an incredibly steep, narrow stairwell.  Much of the furniture would either not fit in the office or up the stairs to get there. But, it was easy to get to, close to everything, particularly her clients and most importantly, comfortable on Margie's cash expense that she did not have to deal with before now. The office team fast learned that morning showers and effective deodorants were just as important as answering the phones on the first ring!   

Well, all good things must come to an end, (thank God!) Twenty months later, on November 1, 2011, Margie found her perfect location.  It's where we all now call home!  And, it was just 3 block away from our original location, at the top of the Green in Milford!  

Welcome to Nannies As Needed, 2017! 

This is our welcoming reception area...The lighted area in the back is our Operations Center, affectionately referred to as "The Pit". This is the very heart beat of Nannies As Needed. Incidentally, the design, d├ęcor, accessories and colors all came from Margie and....she takes great pride in having prepped and repainted every wall, ceiling, trim and window herself!

In the first shot, the office on the left is our Human Resources location for activities such as sitter interviews, reference checks, quality control, sitter support to name but a few. The office on the right is our Finance site ...for account maintenance, billing, collections, communications and maintaining the "books".  Our kitchen, unlike in the beginning, has virtually no sweets available but, lots of bottles of water and a better selection of coffee... though consumption is down by 60% from the early days.

From the kitchen, it's is a straight shot to "the Pit"...close enough to snatch a water bottle between phone calls. Taking a left out of the kitchen, leads you past the bathroom, directly into our Marketing office. There is one more huge office on the right that is off limits for now while it is being repainted.  It's Margie's office.  And, yes, she's the one doing the painting!  Stay tuned for the unveiling...shortly?  


For some inner views, the Marketing office is on the left.  It is kept intentionally Spartan by our marketing manager who claims that simplicity promotes clarity of thought.  On the right, is a view of our Human Resources space... more warm and inviting and certainly more soothing for those sometimes nervous sitter interviewees...

So, this is Nannies As Needed...Then & Now !

Thanks for being Part of our Journey!


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Russian Egg War...or  Easter in the Rear View

Posted by:  Bob Marcinuk

As another bunny holiday bites the dust and chocolate foiled rabbits are tucked away in drawers to feebly attempt to avoid a terminal sugar rush, there remains only the eggs.  Those colored eggs that look so perfect on the panels of food dye boxes reside as neurotic tie-dyed wonders in the refrigerator because the fun is in the creating, not in the eating.  Moms frantically google search for those easy to prepare but absolutely delicious hardboiled egg recipes that have somehow eluded them in years past.  Don’t bother.  They just don’t exist. 

If this sounds familiar…it should.  If you are honest with yourself, you’ll admit that it happened to you at one time or another.  It kind of makes you reflect a bit…wondering if it has always been this way.  When I paused just before Easter this year, my thoughts took me to a place in childhoods past.  Simpler times? Maybe. More traumatizing, definitely!

Coming from a Russian lineage, holidays were always filled with traditional stories.  Knowing the characters in my family and their propensity to intermingle honored historic values with old wives tales (called something that sounds like “bikkies”), I am not at all certain that this tale is 100% accurate. But hey, somehow it managed to survive the centuries in my family…tattered and frayed a bit for sure.

After a frantic last week at NAN, our team of Jamila, Ellen and Margie were ripe for this story that I have held in reserve for some time now…and yes, props helped to hold their attention. 
The prop?  Eggs boiled in a traditional ornate Russian cauldron with 2 lbs of onion skins! The result….a deep, rich rust color that challenged that of bricks in intensity. 

Each participant was asked to prepare for the Russian Egg War by carefully selecting an egg that would hopefully endure the rigors of battle.  With an egg firmly held by each, I watched them morph from grown women into mesmerized little girls in anticipation of the tale....

The original Russian Egg War was held many centuries ago between two feuding kingdoms which had ravaged each other for generations.  The destruction of villages, livestock and humanity was devastating to both for as far back as anyone could remember.  It was the sole reason why neither had grown in strength or evolved as a people because they were always were rebuilding. Although the specific details escape me, it was this one year on the eve of an Easter battle that Czar Nikta (the warm and benevolent ruler) proposed to his adversary Czar Bautrus (the devious and malicious monarch) a simple solution to their endless plight.  He proposed that they war with hard boiled eggs instead of swords.  They would both tap eggs and the czar whose egg broke, would give up his empire in it’s entirety to the winning egg bearer.  Surprisingly, the agreement came easily and sealed, with a locked arm shot of vodka.

Onion skin dyed eggs were used…and each czar, carefully selected his weapon with the help of their generals.  The selection process took over two hours and there was much taunting and jeering emanating from the troops.  The battle was about to begin…

It was Czar Bautrus who officially challenged Czar Nikta to the battle giving him the honor of being “the striker”.  As he lifted his egg a mere 2 inches from that of his opponent, he unceremoniously and swiftly struck. Czar Nikta’s egg was broken…..

As the news spread quickly across the armies, the cheers were equally balanced out by the groans.  But, what silenced them all was when Czar Nikta in a very low tone said to Czar Bautrus...“But my egg has two sides….”  And in flipping his egg over said “It is I, Czar Nikta, who now challenges you to war”.  Bautrus snickered boastfully and extended his egg for battle.

The blow came quickly….And now, both czars each had a broken egg!

 As the tale has it, Czar Nikta stood and held his egg over his head to the sky as in thanks to a higher being.  And, it is said that a ray of sun broke through the heavily overcast day and lite on the extended egg!  With that, and feeling fully empowered, Czar Nikta again challenged Czar Bautrus to a war….and gently tapped his opponent’s egg….

The roar of exaltation that arose from both armies was deafening as Czar Bautrus mounted his horse and slowly road into the barren Siberian wasteland in defeat along with two of his closest generals.  Their frozen bodies were discovered 73 years later and the story has it that Czar Bautrus was found with a shattered egg clutched in his right hand.

As for Czar Nikta, history tells us that he went on to be a kind, magnanimous and just ruler who ruled both kingdoms as if they had always been one.  And, ah, I would be remise if I did not point out that Nikta in fact did rightfully earn the title of being the “original good egg”!    

So, in fitting honor of this age old Russian bikkie, we recreated the war of the eggs here at NAN on Good Friday afternoon.  And, I think that it was only fitting that the sole Russian member of our team, won the war!       


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Your Weekend Simpified !

Your Weekend Simplified

Submitted by:  Bob Marcinuk

Step 1: Pick your Escape....

Step 2: Get your Sitter...

Step 3: Enjoy!


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Judy Boksner Testimonial

Submitted by: Margie Royster & Judy Boksner

It’s always very humbling when someone that you have been working with for a while just has the need to put their “thanks you’s”  into words. That’s what Judy Boksner has done here.  Her offer to say something on our behalf came out of the blue. Yes, it was embarrassing and yes, I do blush easily.

It is very easy to like Judy and just as easy to relate to her crisis being a mother of three, now grown children, myself.  And, I still remember those days when my safety nets and best laid plans just seem to unravel before my eyes each day. Maybe that’s why I do what I do. I really enjoy getting involved in a childcare challenge and get excited when a “her” issue becomes an “our” issue.  I love hearing one of my mom’s use the “we” word….   

As for Judy, it’s my turn to thank you!  I sincerely treasure your appreciation.


My name is Judy Boksner and I am a single parent and school teacher/literacy specialist, that has truly benefited from the service Nannies as Needed. Anyone that knows me well, knows how honest I am, so let me tell you about my experience with this service. This service exceeded all my expectations. I have truly never dealt with a business owner that truly makes her client feel so important and cared for. I called Margie on the day after I needed to let go of my nanny. I felt as if my world was collapsing. How would I, a single mom , raising her children , be able to survive without child-care? Within one day, Margie was able to find a few great sitters to work for my family. I couldn't believe how quickly she was able to come up with so many great potentials. It is truly brilliant how she acquaints you with a few good people rather than just one. It ensures quality childcare and means you always have a back- up person ready to pitch in and help. The morning service was amazing . Each day I went to work with a clear mind. I no longer felt alone and scared. I felt truly supported. My sons were well fed and taken care of . Breakfast was always well prepared, lunches were always packed and ready. The two sitters she rotated got to know my kids and their likes and dislikes so well. They were always so caring and nice to my boys. The boys were driven to school. Margie is truly so skilled in her craft. She is able to match you with a good fit for your family’s needs and her standards are very high. She won't just send anyone to your house. She knows her sitters super well and they love her as well. It's say a lot about how she run her business. I would truly recommend this service to all parents. I will be forever grateful to Margie for all she has done for my family

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Vote Best of The Gold Coast

Best of the Gold Coast 2017

Best of the Gold Coast
We sincerely appreciate all of your ongoing support and endorsements…

and especially for continuing to entrust your children with us!
Thank You!

Did you know that it’s that time of year again?
It’s time to vote for “The Best of The Gold Coast” award!

Because of you, we have won the “Best Nanny/Babysitting Service”  
for the past 5 years!
Can we count on your vote again?

How to Vote...It’s Simple!

1.  Click on the Voting Link below

2.  Click on the Nanny/Babysitting Service Link in the center column
              (2nd from the’s in “orange”)

3.  Click on Nannies As Needed (3rd from the bottom)

Click Here to Vote !!

Voting Ends March 20, 2017

Friday, February 3, 2017

CPR Rescue

Submitted by:  Jillian Valle

On Wednesday, January 18th 2017, Nannies As Needed sitter, Jillian Valle performed CPR on an unconscious person during a sporting event. “I did not know if he had a specific condition or any of his medical history. I just saw him go down in slow motion and I simply reacted to help assist his fall. I eased him into a flat position on the floor and proceeded to check his vitals. The man’s pulse was very difficult to find. I found myself immediately reacting. I began to administer CPR at the same time calling out for someone to reach 911.”

Once beginning CPR, it is important to continue chest compressions until paramedics can take over unless the subject has begun breathing on their own. "It was a terrifying and humbling experience. I don't think I really started to appreciate virtually every breath I take until after this event. I didn't know if I was hurting him or if I would damage his sternum, I just used what I was taught. I am so thankful I was able to help. I only hope that in sharing this experience, I can motivate at least one person to get their CPR certification."

Once the paramedics arrived, they gratefully thanked Jillian for her composure and quick reaction.  Valle reflects that while it is instinctive to go into a state of panic, there are critical steps that you have to take if you notice an emergency such as this unfolding. Contacting medical professionals such as 911 immediately is vitally important, regardless of the level of medical training that you may have. Basic CPR training is an incredible tool to have in your tool box especially when working with children!

Jillian acknowledges that “There is no way I would have been able to help this man had I not had basic CPR and First Aid training through The American Red Cross Association.” Valle hopes to encourage fellow sitters and parents to become CPR and First Aid Certified because like her, you just don’t know when you may be the only one there who can save that life. She concludes "Walking into the sports center that day, I never imagined I would ever need to use the skills I was taught in my CPR training class, but I now that I have, I feel more confident and prepared than ever in the face of an emergency".

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Here We Go!

Welcome to the Official launch of the Nannies As Needed Blog! I am Margie Royster, founder and proud owner operator of this, my pride and joy, for over 14 years. Before that, I operated a child care center out of my home in Easton for yet another 14 years!  Some of those “only a mother could appreciate” type children sagas will probably will end up here, sooner or later. But wait, there’s more than just me! I work with a great team that you will undoubtedly get to know over time in this space.  There’s Alisha - Financial Manager, Paige - Social Media Specialist, Jillian - Operations Manager, and Ellen, our HR Manager.  Last, and definitely least, is Bob, our Marketing Manager, who refuses to be photographed.  We have him here just to balance out our compliance numbers and to make the rest of us look good!  

What will you find here? Just about anything related to childcare, your children and the people you entrust your children to (that’s us!). Many of our posts on Facebook will be further elaborated on here such as sitter and staff profiles, news events, lessons learned over the years and things that will just hopefully make your parenting lives a bit easier. 

Are you ready?  Here we go!