No Matter Where You Are...Enjoy the Break You Deserve!

No Matter Where You Are...Enjoy the Break You Deserve!

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Part-Time Mandarin Speaking Nanny Needed- Chicago, IL (Gold Coast)













Gold Coast couple with a newborn due in January is looking for a part-time native Mandarin speaking nanny for a very flexible schedule of 2-3 days per week. Family would guarantee nanny roughly 20-25 hours per week, from Monday-Friday. Duties will be strictly childcare based. Family will be able to provide nanny's schedule up to one month in advance. Driving is not required but parking is available if needed.

Salary is $15-18/hour, DOE. Preferred start date is February 2011, but sooner for the right person. Family would love a long-term commitment with a nanny who can grow with their schedule and needs.

As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Gift Ideas For Your Household Staff- Nanny, Housekeeper, Chef, Personal Assistant & More!

We've recently received an influx of questions from clients all who have are struggling with the same issue: what is an appropriate holiday gift for your household staff? The holidays are a great time to show your household staff how much you appreciate them and enjoy having them as a part of your family. Here are a few of our go-to solutions for this holiday season, as well as common industry standards for cash gifts. There are no set rules--we encourage families to choose a gift that is comfortable for your budget, and to also consider factors such as the duration of employment and responsibilities of the position. 


The Fan Favorite: Cash
Nanny: 1-2 week's pay, plus a small gift from the child/children.
Babysitter: 1 evening's pay, plus a small gift from the child/children.
Housekeeper: 1 week's pay.
Chef: 5-10% of annual salary. 
Personal Assistant: 5-10% of annual salary.
Eldercare Companion: 1 week's pay. 
House/Estate Manager: 5-10% of annual salary.


Creative Gift Ideas:
Gym membership or fitness classes
Spa Day
Additional paid "days off"
Prepaid classes, such as art, cooking, or another favorite hobby
Airline tickets, frequent flyer miles, or upgrades
Concerts or sporting event tickets
Electronics- a new cell phone, iPod, iPad, or digital camera

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Full Time Housekeeper Needed- Hinsdale, IL

Opening for a full-time, live-out housekeeper in Hinsdale, IL. Monday-Friday, 40 hours/week. Household consists of  3 people (principals and one staff member). Family has no children. Duties include daily maintenance of the home (vacuuming, dusting, mopping), laundry and linens, ironing, kitchen and bathroom details, and general surface cleaning. Ideal housekeeper is  diligent, organized, confident, professional, and able to work autonomously. Salary $15-20/hour, DOE. Start is immediate. 

As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Personal Chef Needed For Christmas Day- Boston, MA

Opening for a personal chef in Boston area on Christmas Day. Chef is responsible for serving buffet, family-style luncheon for 8 people with 100% organic ingredients. Family would love a traditional spread--turkey or prime rib roast or beef tenderloin, basic salad, market vegetables, pies and various desserts. 


Must have a culinary degree and a minimum of 3 years private home experience to apply for this position. Compensation is $3-4K, DOE.



To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com. Chef MUST already be located in the Boston area on Christmas Day to apply--NO exceptions.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Live In Nanny/Governess- Princeton, NJ

Family in Princeton, NJ seeks a live-In nanny/governess/cook/ tutor for their 16-year old son. Family is relocating from China but speak very good English. Ideal candidate is a college graduate who will take care him and tutor him in all different subjects. He is currently going to transfer to a school in Princeton, NJ or in the New York Area. He is a well-adjusted, easygoing child who will just need help transitioning and maintaining his studies. 

The family has no pets. Nanny will also be expected to help with cooking and light cleaning, such as laundry. The cooking requirements will be above average, so someone comfortable in the kitchen is a must (ideally Western cooking and help with Chinese dishes). Occasionally the nanny will travel to China as well.  

Nanny will be provided with one bedroom apartment and car to use. Salary up to $90K, with excellent health benefits and all living expenses paid for. 

As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337. 

Part-Time Housekeeper/Nanny/Family Assistant Needed- Chicago, IL (Roscoe Village)

Family of 3 is looking for a part-time housekeeper/nanny/family assistant for 15-20 hours per week. Family would love a proactive staff member who functions as a house manager type--someone who can wear many hats and is always eager to help. Schedule is flexible but requires at least 3 days per week--ideally mornings. Duties include occasional childcare for 3 year old daughter, family errands, grocery shopping, housekeeping, sorting mail and coordinating general upkeep of the home and schedules.  Housekeeping is main focus of this position. Family would love cooking help too though not a deal breaker. Must drive and have clean driving record.

Ideal candidate can start immediately, has their own car, and is able to wear many hats. Spanish speaking is a plus and college educated is preferred. Salary $12-16/hour DOE.

As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Personal Chef Needed- Hinsdale IL

Opening for a full-time, live-out personal chef in Hinsdale, IL. Monday-Friday lunch & dinner for 3 people (principals and one staff member), and occasional dinner parties. Family has no children. Chef should have a great deal of in-home experience (10 years preferred), and experience in cooking organic, locally grown foods with an emphasis on European experience and training (preferably has worked in Italy and/or France). Travel is not required but light travel may be needed in the future. Ideal chef is confident and professional, and able to work autonomously. 

Salary $75-100K, DOE plus possible benefits. Start is immediate.

As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Give Thanks For Great Help

Take time to give thanks this year for a stress free Thanksgiving! 

Treat yourself to household help this holiday season with the best staff from Alter Ego Concierge. We have everything you need to alleviate the hassle so that you can enjoy your time with family and friends. We place staff throughout the world, and will get you the best help no matter what your location is this year.

Chef: Whether you need a chef to plan, set, and prepare your feast or a sous chef to aide in the big day's coordination, we have chefs for every size party and every culinary palette's preference. 
Nanny: Our nannies are ready to travel with you near, far, or join your home for a Thanksgiving staycation.
Housekeeper: Cook the meal, but don't have to clean up? What could be better.
Servers & Bartenders: A treat not just for you, but for your guests! 

In addition to these services, all of the positions we place at AEC are available for your temporary holiday needs. Can be booked as a gift for family and friends! To inquire or to book staff this Thanksgiving season, please call 312-802-2337 or email info@alteregoconcierge.com. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Private Chef Needed- Glencoe/Wisconsin

Family of six (4 young children) based in Glencoe, IL is looking for a permanent private chef to join their busy household. Normal schedule includes afternoon snacks and dinner 4 nights per week (Monday-Thursday). When entertaining guests, preparation of weekend dinners (Friday-Sunday) is required. Family requires frequent weekend hours during the summer and heavy entertaining months, and ideally the chef will be able to travel to nearby second home in Wisconsin. Duties when traveling include preparation of all lunches, dinners, laying out self-service continental breakfast, and Sunday brunch. Family would love a chef with a self-start attitude--for instance, providing light snacks and cocktails for guests throughout the day during times of entertaining. 

This role has the ability to incorporate house management duties—someone who could manage two current employees as his/her “right hands” to get all of the tasks completed and ensure the home is running smoothly. Chef who is well-versed in Italian cooking or who would be willing to follow Italian recipes would be preferred. This is not a formal household. Family enjoys cooking themselves as well, and would love a chef who doesn't mind "sharing the kitchen" at times. Ideal start date will be prior to Thanksgiving--family will be entertaining a large group this year and would love to start acclimating the chef as soon as possible. Candidate should currently be in the Chicago area to interview asap. Salary DOE.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Part-Time Housekeeper Needed- Chicago, IL

Opening for a part-time live-out housekeeper in Lakeview for a busy household with two young children and two working parents. The house has 5 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. The duties include cleaning, laundry, ironing, dry cleaning, organization, grocery shopping and other occasional errands. Cooking is not required but would be ideal and could allow for additional hours. Schedule is 4 days per week, 5 hours per day for a total of 20 hours guaranteed. Family has a full-time nanny so childcare is not needed. The family has no allergies. There are 2 cats in the home.

Ideal candidate is a self-starter who can take charge and assist in getting the household organized and managed--someone who has been a professional housekeeper for many years and takes pride in going above and beyond to ensure the home is in pristine condition. Housekeeper should also be able to drive and have their own car in order to handle grocery shopping and various errands. This position has the ability to become full-time for the right person.

Start date is as soon as possible. Salary is up to $15+/hour net, DOE. 

As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337. 

Part Time Nanny Needed- Western Springs, IL

Opening for a part-time live out nanny in Western Springs, IL to assist a pregnant stay at home mother with the care of a 2 year old boy, with the second baby due in early January. Family is looking for a temporary-to-permanet nanny to work 3-4 hours for Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays, with additional hours possible after the baby's arrival. The nanny's main responsibility will be to organize outings and activities to keep the 2 year old active, such as trips to the park, library, and various places in town. Family lives within walking distance of town, but nanny must have be able to drive in order to get to and from work. Family has a housekeeper for weekly cleanings, but light housekeeping, errands, and laundry will be part of the nanny's duties with childcare as the main focus. Although this position is only guaranteed until May, the family is would ideally love a nanny who is looking to make a long-term commitment and who really wants to start with a young family that they can grow with and potentially work more hours with in the future as this position may not end. 


There are no pets in the home and the family has no allergies. Nanny MUST be a non-smoker. Ideal candidate is engaging, energetic, and meticulous about keeping the home tidy and organized. 

Salary range is $12-15+/hour, DOE.

As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Safety Tips for Families

Happy Halloween to our favorite families, nannies, and babysitters! As you head out for some Halloween family fun this weekend, keep in mind these safety tips so everyone can have an enjoyable time:

1.) Never trick-or-treat alone: stay in large groups and always have at least one adult for every 4 children.
2.) Go bright: the brighter the costume, the more visible the child. Add reflective tape for added safety, or give your child a glow stick to carry with them. 
3.) Avoid masks: If it's absolutely necessary to wear a mask, ensure that the mask is properly fit, makes it easy for the child to breathe, and that the child is old enough to take the mask off themselves if there were ever an emergency.
4.) Inspect:  make sure to carefully look at any treats your child receives and discard anything suspicious, homemade, or unusual. Unwrapped treats are a definite no! 
5.) Don't stray far from home: trick-or-treating in your neighborhood and with families that you know well. Teach children early on about stranger danger by encouraging the familiar. 


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Part Time Personal Assistant/Cook Needed- Lincoln Park


Busy finance executive is looking for a part-time personal assistant for 10-15 hours per week. Schedule is flexible and some tasks may be done from home. Duties include errands, travel arrangements, bill paying & maintenance, sorting mail and coordinating general upkeep of the home and schedules. Experience coordinating a move would be helpful. 

Ideal candidate can start asap, has their own car, a flexible schedule, and can work well autonomously. Salary is $15-20/hour.

This individual is also looking for a cook (culinary degree not required) 3 nights per week, with familiarity preparing vegetarian meals. If PA is able to double for both positions, salary is negotiable and additional hours can be provided. 

As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Full-Time Nanny Needed- Lincoln Park

Opening for a full-time live out nanny in Lincoln Park to assist an active stay at home mother with the care of a 2 year old boy and newborn on the way. Schedule is Monday-Friday, 9 am until 6 pm, with flexibility in hours. Hours may vary on occasion with late morning start and evening end (10-6, 11-7, etc). Duties include light housekeeping, errands, and laundry related to the children. Ideal candidate is looking to be a team player and pitch in wherever needed, but childcare is the top priority. Family is looking for a nanny who is able to make a long-term commitment and who really wants to start with a young family that they can grow with as well. 

Ideal candidate can drive, but is not a deal breaker. Swimming is not required. Travel and weekend flexible are very helpful. 

Salary range is $12-14/hour, DOE.

As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Full Time Live Out Nanny Needed- Highland Park, IL

Opening for a full-time (35+ hours per week) live out nanny in Highland Park for newborn baby boy. Schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 am until 5:30 pm, with Wednesdays off. Both parents will be working full-time, and prefer the nanny to start transitioning in October and coming on board full-time by November 1. Duties include laundry and tidying related to the baby. Overall care and communication are the two most important components of this position--parents want a nanny to grow with them and become a part of their family. There are no pets in the home and heavy housekeeping is not required. 

Ideal candidate can swim and drive, and has their own reliable vehicle. Family is looking for a career nanny with a long-term commitment. Travel is not required but helpful, and weekend hours are rare. If nanny has experience working in Highland Park area, this is a plus but not essential.

Salary is $12/hour net, after taxes.

As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Overnight Travel Nanny- Lakeview

Lakeview family is seeking an overnight/travel nanny for two boys, ages 4.5 and 20 months. Ideal candidate will be available to work one week a month at the below schedule, every month consistently. 



Nanny will work Monday-Thursday night or Friday night (varies month to month) from 3:30pm to 8:30am while parent travels for work. Family lives 1 block from the Brown Line in Lakeview.

Requirements/Schedule:
3:30pm Pick up 4 1/2 year old from school. Take home on CTA bus (about 10 minute ride + 1 block walk)
4-5:45pm Play with 4 1/2 year old
5:45pm Pick up 20 month old from daycare located in building
6pm Make and Feed Dinner
7pm Bath
7:30pm Read books
8pm Boys go to sleep
Stay overnight
6ish am Boys wake up
6:30am Feed boys breakfast
7am Dress boys
7:20am Take 20 month old down to daycare in building
7:30am Take 4 1/2 year old to school on CTA bus to arrive 7:30-8:30am

The above schedule is illustrative of the activities and timing. There is some flexibility.

Ideal start is this Monday, September 20. The dates are not negotiable, but are planned well in advance to make scheduling easier.

Salary is $12-15+/hour, DOE, for hours that children are awake plus $50 overnight fee.

As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Afternoon Nanny Needed- Northfield, IL

Open Position: Northfield Family is looking for an afternoon nanny for 3 elementary aged girls. Duties include coordinating activities and play dates for the children, homework help, light housekeeping and meal preparation, and overall dependable and loving care for the children while parent is at work. Family would love a long-term commitment of at least 1 year, and is a great position for college/graduate student or a nanny/housekeeper looking for additional hours. Schedule is Monday-Friday from 3-5:30/6 pm with some flexibility. Driver, reliable vehicle, and clean driving record are required. Start date is immediate. Salary is $12-13/hour DOE.


As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Full Time Live Out Nanny Position- Wicker Park

Opening for a full-time live-out nanny in Wicker Park for 2 children--2 year old daughter and newborn due in January. Family would like to start transitioning the new nanny in October, moving to full-time on November 1 when their current nanny leaves. Schedule will start as 11:30 am until 6 pm Monday-Thursday, and 8 am until 6 pm on Fridays. When the new baby arrives, schedule will be 8-6 Monday-Friday.

Daughter will be in school 4 days per week nearby, and ideal candidate will drive and have their own reliable vehicle.

Ideal nanny is willing and able to do cooking (meat free household), doesn't mind light housekeeping, and doesn't have an overly dominant personality but is fun loving and takes great pride in their work.  Family would love a caring nanny who is interested in the outdoors, and who knows the area and recreational places nearby. Travel and overtime are rarely required. Swimming and driving are required. Nanny should be straightforward, consistently on time, and be great with communication with both parents and children.

Paid vacation and all major holidays off. Salary is $12-13 hour net with roughly 40 hours full-time guaranteed.


As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

We're Pleased To Introduce: The Chicago Wilson Reading Center

The Alter Ego Concierge team is so excited to tell you about two of the wonderful tutors we have had the pleasure of working work with and their latest venture. Jessica Stachulski and Jane O'Mahoney have recently opened The Chicago Wilson Reading Center, one of the only centers of its expertise in the area--unless you're ready to head out of state!

The Center
At the Chicago Wilson Reading Center we know that everyone can read – unfortunately, not everyone is taught in a way that allows them to read.  We are committed helping students access the world of reading, a world that most of them thought was beyond their grasp.  With a combined experience of twenty years using the Wilson Reading System, we know that Wilson works.  We are currently the only reading center devoted to the Wilson in the greater Chicago area – the next closest center is in northern Indiana.

The Program
The Wilson Reading System (WRS) is based on the research of Dr. Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham and is designed to help the struggling reader who is unable to decode, or read, printed words.  It does have a comprehension component but the primary focus in on decoding and encoding (spelling).  WRS is multisensory and mastery-based so that each student progresses according to his/her speed.  WRS succeed where all other approaches have failed.  At the Chicago Wilson Reading Center we carefully screen each client to ensure that Wilson is the program for them.

The Providers

Jessica Stachulski: Jess is fully certified as a Level I Wilson tutor and is pursuing her Level II certification. She is a middle-school, special education teacher and has been using Wilson since 2003. She has taught students from Pre-K-8th grade with a variety of disabilities.

Jane O'Mahoney: Jane is also a Level I Wilson certified tutor and pursuing her Level II. She has been using Orton-Gillinham since 1981 and Wilson since 1997. She currently teaches 4th, 5th, and 6th multi-sensory education. Her teaching career has spanned 1st grade through freshman in college.


To learn more about the Chicago Wilson Reading Center or to sign up for tutoring, please contact:
Jessica Stachulski- 773.718.8178
Jane O'Mahoney- 773.412.3810
1509 Berwyn, Suite 204
Chicago, IL 60640

Live In Nannies & Housekeepers Needed For Relocation!

We are currently looking for several live in nannies and housekeepers for relocation to NYC. Each position is different so please inquire directly with experience and any questions.
Hire is immediate and candidates are required to be able to relocate within the next 1-4 weeks.
Salaries start at $800+ a week net, based upon previous experience. 
As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Full Time Elder Companion/Assistant- Winnetka, IL

Alter Ego Concierge New Job Opening- Winnetka, IL
Elder Companion/ Assistant 


Opening for an elder companion/assistant for a woman in her 90's in Winnetka. Schedule is Monday-Friday from
7:30 am until 2 pm. Woman is very self sufficient, but hard of hearing/some loss of vision and just needs a general companion for day to day needs. She needs help with day to day duties, such as caring for 2 dogs, grocery shopping, errands, running to appointments, and carrying items. She also attends mass daily at 8 am, and companion would accompany her. Her interests are in the arts/theater/painting. She has traveled a great deal, and enjoys learning about travel and new places. She speaks English and Spanish, and would love someone to help her brush up on her Spanish.


Ideal candidate is looking for a long-term commitment as the family wishes for someone to become a fixture in their mother's life, and is reliable and consistently on time. Companion needs to have great knowledge of working boundaries, as the woman does enjoy her personal space but also enjoys company. Driving is required and you must have your own vehicle. Spanish speaking is a huge bonus, but not a requirement of this position.

Salary is $13-22/hour, based upon previous experience.

As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337.

Live In Personal Assistant- Lake Forest, IL

Alter Ego Concierge New Job Opening- Lake Forest, IL
Personal Assistant 

Opening for a live-in personal assistant for a fully staffed household in Lake Forest. Ideal candidate is extremely organized, MAC/iPhone savvy, and looking for a long-term commitment. There are several other staff members, so PA must be good with communication and management role of household staff. Household has many pets, so PA should also be extremely animal friendly. Spanish speaking is a huge bonus, but not a requirement of this position.

Duties:

Bill paying and keeping records of the cash control and the budget (Excel spreadsheets)
Payroll weekly for the head housekeeper, maid, and gardeners.
Taking care of scheduling repairs and grounds maintenance on the properties (several homes on the property as well as indoor/outdoor pool and gym)
Substantial event planning for charity functions, non-profits, and dinner parties
Holiday party planning and execution
Liaison with frequent guests who stay on the premises. 
Occasional transportation for the employers
Helping to keep track of social calendar and appointments

The base salary is $30,000 — no health insurance provided. PA will have a separate home on the premises for full-time living, as well as all utilities provided. 


As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Part Time Weekend Nanny- Evanston

Evanston family looking for a part-time weekend for two young children. Guaranteed 10 hours per month, with extra hours on occasion. Schedule will be at least 2 weekend nights per month, typically 5:30-11, and dates will vary month to month and agreed upon with parents.

Ideal candidate is warm, engaging, energetic, great communication, and has experience with toddlers. The children are 2 1/2 and 1 years old. Family would love someone who can commit for AT LEAST 1 year, but ideally longer. Great position for local college/graduate student.

$15+/hour DOE.

As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the US, speak good English, have a minimum of 3 years private home experience, and excellent references. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to info@alteregoconcierge.com or call 312-802-2337.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nanny Cams: Do or Don't?

Allowing anyone to work in your home is a very personal decision, as it is such an intimate setting. Combine that with entrusting this individual to care for your children, and you'll commonly encounter some "parent paranoia." Completely understood! But before you run out and purchase the latest "nanny cam", just what are they? "A Nanny Cam, or Nanny Camera, is a hidden video camera that has been secretly installed within a common household object. A nanny cam is usually used to secretly monitor and record the activities of home caregivers, hence the name "Nanny Cam" although it has its usefulness to overtly or covertly record any activity. The receiver can be connected to a VCR or DVR recording device or can be a portable receiver-screen which can be carried room to room by parents to keep an eye on their children. Nanny Cameras can even be hooked up to an Internet broadband connection for remote viewing while at work or in vacation" (http://bit.ly/a1zvRC). Now, we have our opinions on both sides of the argument, but consider these points as food for thought and let us know what you think:
  • It is indeed legal in all 50 states to use a hidden camera. However, it is ILLEGAL to record speech without a person's consent in the following 15 states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington (http://bit.ly/aGZThT)
  • Many caregivers are very put off by families using nanny cams without telling them first. It does not necessarily mean they are doing anything to give a cause for concern, but many feel that it shows a lack of trust for the person who you are supposedly "trusting" to care for your child.
  • A good way to test your babysitter? Just ask them their opinion on nanny cams! Many won't mind, many will, but it's always good to understand where they are coming from. Additionally, asking doesn't mean you have to install a nanny cam. The idea of it many prevent abuse and show just how serious you are about the job.
  • If you are suspicious, there are other options than the nanny cam. Perhaps it's a good idea to randomly "drop in" during the day, or have a neighbor do the same. Also, take notice of how your nanny interacts with your child. If your child is ecstatic every time the nanny arrives, it's a safe bet that your child is in good care. The same test isn't necessarily true of an opposite reaction: you may just have a child who prefers his/her parents.
  • Utilize the web. Sites such as http://howsmynanny.com/ and http://isawyournanny.blogspot.com/ are a great way for parents in the community to contribute feedback on behavior they see--positive or negative.
No matter what method you choose, every parent has the right to feel protective of their child and want only the best care. Always perform a thorough background check regardless of who "referred" your nanny to your family as an extra cautionary step. Make sure that your nanny is not overworked and tired, as that is an easy way for anyone to lose their patience and perhaps have a lapse in judgment. If you are ever unsure whether to report your nanny to the police, read http://bit.ly/cpcSQE. It is always better to be safe than sorry, and so if the relationship is constantly in question then it is probably best to go your separate ways.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Part-Time/On-Call Nanny/Teacher/Family Assistant

Update to Family Assistant Position in Northfield (http://bit.ly/9ic1rv):

Family in now seeking a teacher or someone with a similar work schedule interested in on-call babysitting for twin boys (entering 8th grade). Mother has to travel often for work and would love to have a great teacher to babysit during those times. Schedule varies but may be a few days a week or you may have several weeks off at a time. Must be able to drive & have own car, and spend the night occasionally. Duties include homework help, school pick ups & drop offs, and dinner preparation. Job may be split among 2 people.

If interested, email your resume to info@alteregoconcierge.com or visit us online at www.alteregoconcierge.com. Start date is September 1.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lake Forest, IL: Temporary Housekeeper for Summer- 2 openings

Temporary housekeeper positions open for 5 weeks beginning in July through late August in Lake Forest. The two shifts available are:

1.) Monday-Friday 9am-5pm with flexibility for overtime
2.) Saturday-Sunday 9am-5pm with flexibility for overtime

Requirements:

Fluent in both English & Spanish (for communication with current staff)
Able to commit for entire 5 weeks
3+ years experience of housekeeping, preferably in a formal household
Able to cook & prepare meals (simple dishes but must have cooking abilities)
Drive or have reliable transportation to and from Lake Forest daily.

As always, all candidates of Alter Ego Concierge must be legal to work in the United States and have excellent references. Please email info@alteregoconcierge.com to apply or visit us online at Alter Ego Concierge.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Personal Security Forum

When we received an invitation for a personal security forum on June 10, Caitlin jumped at the opportunity to go as personal security is one of our primary concerns as a domestic staffing agency. HUB International, an insurance/risk management/wealth management firm, was the host and they have always set themselves aside in their industry for taking such extraordinary steps to educate their clientele on protecting themselves and their assets. We regularly receive such emails and would not turn down an opportunity to learn more, especially from HUB International.


Mike Guidry of The Guidry Group and Dr. Thomas Hargrove were the guest speakers, and could not have been better choices to present on Hostages, Kidnapping, Ransom, & Extortion. Dr. Hargrove was a kidnapping survivor himself, having been held hostage for 11 months by Colombian Narco-guerrillas of FARC, which is the most dangerous terrorist and drug organization in Latin America. Mike Guidry is a security expert and the President of The Guidry Group, a security company geared towards protecting, consulting, and training both corporate and individual clients throughout the world. 


In addition to normal preventative measures one might normally take, such as carrying travelers checks and wearing special clothing to disguise passports and credit cards, Mr. Guidry and Dr. Hargrove enlightened us with ways we may never have realized we were making ourselves targets. 


For one, when you arrive in your destination city: DO NOT have your driver or car service list your name and/or company on a sign waiting for you. This is just an alert letting terrorists know that you are in town, and is an easy way to make your identity even more publicly accessible.


Second, DO NOT attempt to go in unfamiliar territory. Simply put: do not take the scenic route and always stay with a group if possible. Do not walk in isolated places at night, even if you are in a group.


Look into K&R insurance for yourself and your family- but don't broadcast that you have it. This too will make you more of a target.


Thanks to HUB International, Mike Guidry of The Guidry Group, & Dr. Thomas Hargrove for an interesting and informative presentation. If you would like contacts regarding K&R insurance or others from HUB, feel free to email us and we'll be happy to put you in touch.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Why Use A Nanny Agency?

To us, this has obvious answers and we feel like we can go on forever! It's always nice to have an outsider's opinion, though, which is why we would love to share this great article we found on Buzzle: Why Use A Nanny Agency?


We would love to hear what you think! Have you used a nanny agency in Chicago or on the North Shore before? What was your experience? Were there any approaches you wish would have been taken or done differently?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Simply Magnificent

We're thrilled to announce that our founder, Caitlin Hofherr, is the newest contributor at Simply Magnificent, the blog for the Ritz Carlton luxury residences in Chicago. Caitlin will be joining as an expert in luxury goods and lifestyle management. If you have any story ideas to submit or questions for Caitlin, we would love to hear from you! 


Below, an excerpt from her first article...for the full article, check out http://bit.ly/c1F23M


Food Life: What's Hot This Summer
"Summer is undeniably the best time to live in, visit, and take advantage of Chicago. Between shopping along the Oak Street boutiques, grabbing a drink at any one of the Gold Coast’s abundant sidewalk cafes, and strolling along our beautiful lakefront, it’s no wonder Chicago flourishes in the summer.
Chicago’s summer atmosphere is always geared towards parties—getting together with friends, socializing, and enjoying the gorgeous weather. Personal chefs are quickly reinventing the entertaining landscape with creative culinary concepts to make this summer’s soiree more elegant & memorable than ever before.
Destination Dinners: Personal Chefs are being called upon to travel near and far, and sail the high seas to create an extraordinary dining experience no matter what the location. Entertaining takes a whole new level this summer when a restaurant experience can be enjoyed in any setting..."

Monday, June 14, 2010

Father's Day

Another Father's Day gift, another tie. Bill Cosby said it best: "Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope."


We challenged you on Mother's Day to get creative this year, and why should our fathers be any different? Alter Ego Concierge is always pleased to celebrate parents of any age & every interest with these unique gift ideas:


Grill Out: Give Dad a night off this grilling season and truly entertain his culinary palette! Our chefs offer unique approaches to your average dinner party or guy's night with twists such as a beer tasting menu or a Mexican fiesta. 


Personal Assistant For A Day: Could you imagine if Dad was actually able to enjoy his round of golf in peace? Our assistants will mark off Dad's to do list, from the oil change to paying the bills, Dad will finally have his hole-in-one.


HandyMan: Our housemen can take care of those pesky gutters, lightbulb changes, lawn mowing, and all the other daunting tasks Dad handles year round. Beware: he may be looking for one of these guys YEAR ROUND too!


For help on picking out the perfect Father's Day gift for your own Ward Cleaver, gift us a call at Alter Ego Concierge

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chicago & the North Shore: Eldercare & Senior Assistance


The summer months in Chicago can be brutal (much like our winters!), and it's an extremely important time of year to check on your elderly loved ones and neighbors. Alter Ego Concierge wants to remind you of our eldercare services, available to those who are immobile and to those who may just need an occasional extra hand.

Some of our services include, but are not limited to:
  • Errands & housework
  • Transportation
  • Care, visits, & companionship
  • Health management & medication distribution
  • Housekeeping & meal preparation (including grocery shopping)
  • Pet care
  • Household assistance- bill paying, scheduling repairs, etc.


We firmly believe that all Alter Ego Concierge staff & candidates maintain the utmost integrity, professionalism, and positive demeanor. If you have any questions or need help finding good care for your loved ones this summer, please do not hesitate to call us at 312.802.2337 or email info@alteregoconcierge.com.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Should You Give Your Nanny A Cell Phone?


While this is not necessary a black and white answer to a debatable topic, we certainly have our opinions!

There are many advantages to giving your nanny a cellphone to help benefit the both of you. Giving your childcare provider a cell phone can keep her work related business and personal business separate, keeping her organized and right on task. It can help to eliminate personal phone calls and text messages so that more time is being spent doing the duties that she was hired to do.

With that being said, if your childcare provider is going to be using her own personal cellphone for work related purposes it is only customary to provide her with her own cellphone for when she is working or to compensate her for part of her cellphone bill. All of this can be done on any budget with "pay-as-you-go" cell phones that can be bought at discount super stores like Target or Walmart.

Have a different opinion or any insight to share? We would love to hear it! Comment below or catch up with us on Twitter at @AlterEgoC and @AECMallory