Nanny Cams… What parents should know.

I am a parent of 3 and have been toying with the idea of installing a nanny cam (or a few) throughout my house.  My children are my everything and now we have technology that can help protect them.  But a few questions come to mind when I consider this.

1. Is it legal to use a nanny cam?

Yes, in all 50 states it is legal to use a nanny cam.  It is not legal however to put the nanny cam in areas that should remain private like a bathroom or a maids quarters.  Some states require that you inform the nanny that you are watching her.  There are also laws in regards to filming someone talking.  Make sure you look into these laws before capturing any voice on video as you could be prosecuted depending where you live.

If you have a nanny cam, you should always be up front with the nanny about the fact you will be monitoring them.  If the nanny were to find out you were “spying” without their consent, it could cause some uncomfortable feelings.  And come on, you don’t really want to bust your nanny picking their nose or doing something else embarrassing.  Honesty is the best policy.  It will also encourage the nanny to give the best service since they will know they are being observed.

2. Will a nanny cam make my nanny feel uncomfortable?

If a nanny doesn’t respect that it’s just an added safety measure, than they aren’t the right fit for you.  Explain to them that it’s not personal and that you always keep a watchful eye on your children no matter who they are with.

3. Am I being over protective?

No.  Absolutely not.  You are being smart.  You are being safe.  You are being a good parent.

There are fabulous care givers out there and we need to continue life after we have kids.  We need to go to work, go on dates and occasionally take a day for ourselves.  We need to rely on others and the best way to do that and protect our kids is with a nanny cam.  We recommend it and support all parents who decide to implement them.

Dropcam HD Internet Wi-Fi Video Monitoring Cameras help you watch what you love from anywhere. In less than a minute, you'll have it setup and securely streaming video to you over your home Wi-Fi. Use it to watch your home, your baby, the dog, and your small business. Every camera comes with Night vision, 720p HD video, two-way audio, and Digital Pan and Zoom. Paired with secure online DVR recording, you can watch live and recorded video from anywhere on any device. Dropcam HD makes monitoring what you love and finding peace of mind easier than ever. Watch from any device such as your Apple Mac, Windows PC, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Android. All you need is a Wi-Fi network paired with the free and easy-to-use Dropcam App. Watch what you love while away with Dropcam HD.
List Price: $149.99 USD
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Parent Scout Picks: Have Fun Molly Lou Melon

Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon (Hardcover)

By (author): Patty Lovell

A creative companion to Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

Molly Lou Melon's grandma taught her to be happy with herself no matter what, but  that's not all she learned. Molly Lou heard all about how her grandma didn't have fancy store-bought toys when she was little. She made dolls out of twigs and flowers and created her own fun in her backyard.

So Molly Lou does just that, proving that the best thing to play with is a huge imagination!
List Price: $16.99 USD
New From: $8.26 USD In Stock
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Parent Scout Picks: Best Book For A Dad To Be

So, you are having a baby and you have no experience with them?  Never fear, Parent Scout Picks is here!  Today’s picks for Dad to Be is “Dude, You’re Gonna Be A Dad!”  Because let’s face it, men go from Dudes to Dads and they only have 9 months to get ready.  This book will help you do just that and keep you entertained in the process.

In addition to the book, we recommend getting a profile set up on Parent Scout because you are going to need all the help you can get and we have Nanny’s and Sitters to make the transition easy breezy!




There are approximately 3,712 ways for a guy to look stupid during pregnancy - this book's here to help you avoid all(most) of them. And here's your first hint: Focus on what you can be doing for her rather than what's happening to her.

She's pregnant. She knows that. You know that. And her 152 baby books tell her exactly what she can expect. Your job is to learn what you can do between the stick turning blue and the drive to the delivery room to make the next nine months go as smoothly as possible. That's where John Pfeiffer steps in.

Like any good coach, he's been through it. He's dealt with the morning sickness and doctor visits, painting the baby's nursery and packing the overnight bag, choosing a name, hospital, and the color of the car-seat cover. All the while he remained positive and responsive - there with a "You're beautiful" when necessary - but assertive during the decision-making process (he didn't want to wind up with a kid named Percy). And now it's your turn.

She might be having the baby, but you have plenty of responsibilities.

List Price: $13.95 USD
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Parent Scout Picks: King Jack and The Dragon

This is a favorite bedtime story about a boy with a big imagination.  The illustrations are wonderful and the story is written as a poem that flows through each page.  Not only do kids love it, but it’s a story that parents can read over and over.  As far as Parent Scout picks go, this top on the list. – Connecting families with local service providers including baby sitters , tutors and more.

King Jack and the Dragon (Hardcover)

By (author): Peter Bently

A lively playtime adventure that becomes a warm and cozy bedtime bookperfect for every little knight-in-training. From the illustrator of the award-winning We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.
Night is falling and playtime is nearly over. But brave King Jack and his faithful knights Zak and Caspar are still protecting their castle fort from fierce dragons and terrible beasts. This captivating, joyful make-believe adventure is the perfect bedtime story for brave children everywhere. Fans of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site and Dinosaur Roar will especially enjoy this imaginative tale.

An ALA Notable Book
Bank Street Book Committee Best Children’s Books of the Year
Kate Greenaway Award

“It’s an enchanting tribute to both full-throttle pretend play and the reassurance of a parent’s embrace.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A tale of make-believe that children will delight in hearing again and again.”—School Library Journal (starred review)
“Sure to be read aloud again and again, this testament to imaginative play exudes warmth.”—Kirkus Reviews
List Price: $17.99 USD
New From: $9.85 USD In Stock
Used from: $0.01 USD In Stock

Taxes and Caregivers

We get questions all the time from parents about paying caregivers and taxes.   Here are a few rules to follow:

1. One of the biggest mistakes people make when hiring a caregiver is assuming they don’t have to pay taxes if they pay the hire in cash. However, if a caregiver earns more than $750 a quarter or more than $1,900 a year, the IRS considers that person a household employee, and taxes must be paid accordingly.

2. Once the caregiver hits that threshold, the employer has to register and report employee wages and withhold part of his/her income.

3. Paying legally can increase the cost, but if you pay legally you are entitled to tax breaks.  The tax breaks usually offset the majority if not all of that extra expense.

4. A common tax-filing mistake is improperly classifying the caregiver as an independent contractor, which would push the tax burden on to the employee. According to Breedlove, in order for someone to qualify as an independent contractor the person has to control the entire work environment, including when and how to work.

5. Caregivers are also entitled to over time, and if families decide to forgo paying it, they could face a lawsuit and owe a big sum of money in back pay.  Experts say all household employees that work more than 40 hours a week must be paid time and a half in overtime under federal law for the extra hours.



Introducing Twigtale: Personalized Books for Children

Change can be tough on young children. Graduating to a big-kid bed, learning to use the potty, getting a new sibling, starting school, getting used to a new schedule… it’s hard on children, thus also on parents and caretakers.  Parents want to help, but between the endless Google searches and asking friends for advice, what’s the best way to really help your child?  Twigtale gives parents expert tools and language to better communicate important information with their children through their transformational personalized book-building platform.

Founded by Los Angeles parents Carrie Southworth and Nishad Chande, Twigtale specializes in personalized books for kids that communicate important messages.  What makes the books unique is that they are scripted by the Twigtale team of child development experts – psychologists, therapists, educators, and even medical professional.  The books are then personalized with photos and family details for the individual child.  Twigtale books were just featured in People Magazine as a best gift for kids!twigtaleimg

Twigtale is happy to extend a special discount to ParentScout families – please enjoy 15% any book with this code: ParentScout15.  The code is good for books only, may not be applied to gift certificates, and expires 12/31/14.

To order a book for your child, go onto, select a story, create your account, upload the pictures you’ll need (you can reference the image list beforehand to make gathering the photos much easier), edit the book text to include your child’s name and personal details, review the book, (add the discount code!) and you’re done!  The paperback books are all $20 and are shipped within a few days.

So whatever big or small life change you are struggling with how to prepare your child for, or even just want to teach them about love or find an engaging way to teach them to count to 10, there is a title for you.

Randy Turner: A Warning to Young People: Don’t Become a Teacher

We saw this article and felt it was important to share.  It is sad that teachers feel this way about a profession that is so important to the success of our children and the future of our country.  Don’t let a system that is run by politics destroy your child’s education.  Take control, get a tutor and keep your child focused on what is important.

Randy Turner: A Warning to Young People: Dont Become a Teacher.