Advice - Childcare and Education

Afternoon Naps and Pre-School/ Daycare

PSP members talk about how to handle sleep schedules at daycare.




Refusing to Nap at Daycare

Is your toddler refusing to nap at Daycare? Parents share their tips of how they handled this situation.

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Changing Your Nanny's Job Description

It's inevitable that your childcare needs will change as your kids grow older or work schedules change. But what can you do to still keep your nanny? According to PSP Nanny Survey Data, only 12% of nannies transition into the afterschool pick up. Here are some words of wisdom from PSP members who have changed their nanny's job description over time.



To Red-Shirt or Not? Includes updates from 2013 policy change [Updated 2015]

In light of changes to “red-shirt” changes in 2013 – Park Slope Parents have updated all you need to know. With advice updated January, 2015



Inside the CHILDCARE & EDUCATION section

In the CHILDCARE & EDUCATION section, you will advice and tips about:



  • Advice about finding a DAYCARE
  • DAYCARE tips: whether you are wondering about commuting into Manhattan for daycare, have questions about getting your kid to nap while there, or transitioning from a nanny to a daycare, this section discusses these dilemmas.



The Park Slope Parents has a robust section about hiring a NANNY. Our pages is an amalgamation of best-practices, insights and honest expressions culled from years of experience by a diverse group of parents who have all been where you are now.



  • Tips about the PROCESS: frrom deadlines to applications and interviews, this section covers your questions about the basics.
  • KINDERGARTEN /PreK Advice: Thinking of holding back? What about red-shirting? What is the timeline? This section answers your questions and more about Kindergarten and Pre-K in NYC.
  • Have a Tween? We have a comprehensives MIDDLE SCHOOL section that talks about getting into middle school, what it's like once you are there, as well as common problems, concerns and issues. PSP talks about it all (and be sure to check out our TWEENS section for more tips to raising your awesome middle schooler).




Last updated: January 2015


Choosing a Sleep Away Camp

Tips for choosing a summer camp for your child and recommendations of the “best” camps from Park Slope parents and kids.  Also check our summer sleep away camp recommendation section.



Tipping Summer Camp Counselors

It's end of summer and what do you do when it comes to saying farewell to the counselors that kept your little tots busy & happy all summer long. 

This article offers advice on tipping summer camp counselors from neighborhood parents.

All camps are different, but here are some thoughts pulled from past posts & previous discussions across the PSP group.



School Report Cards

An interesting thread in response to the October 07 release of "School Report Cards"



Daycares, Preschools, and Pre-K: the Difference

The difference between preschools and daycares has become increasingly blurred. There is now a lot of similarities in programing, structure, and childcare. Many preschools mirror play based learning typical of daycares. Vice versa, daycares now offer more educational structure. Throw Pre-K into the mix, and it can get even more confusing - especially in Park Slope where early child care centers line the city’s blocks.

 Here, PSP breaks it down for you.



Thinking about Homeschooling?

Read what some of our members are saying about homeschooling



Middle School Mayhem!

Here is a list of websites, resources and schools to help start your process. Bookmark these sites and refer to them often.



January 2014 Kindergarten Admissions Update


If you live in New York City and your child is turning five years old in 2014, your child is eligible to attend Kindergarten in September 2014.

Below are important dates and resources to guide you through the application process. 



Middle School Interview Questions

Based on member experiences & online sources, PSP found that typical interview questions include things about the school itself, what are the academic interests of the applicant, how they are involved with the community, what are their aspirations for the future & what interests they cultivate outside of school.



The Tradition of Out to Lunch at PS 321

PSP members talk about the benefits (and the few potential drawbacks) PS 321 of off-campus lunch.



School Lunch Ideas

As one PSP Member wries: "my son is starting Kindergarten this fall after having been in a preschool / day care that took care of all of his meals every day. He's used to having hot, healthy meals which basically consist of rice / noodles and a protein and a vegetable (like a stir fry type of thing). Now I have to start making him lunch and I'm not sure where to start..."



Middle School Applications

Information about the middle school application process.



Prekindergarden & Kindergarten Application Process

Important links to Public School Pre-K,  Kindergarten and First Grade information.



Saving For College

Tips on how to start saving for your baby's college education.



Ready to Apply to High School?

Joyce Szuflita, our own "Brooklyn School Lady" has important new information about starting the application process to High School.




Too Early For Back-to-School? Think again.

Here are Eleanor Traubman’s top ten tips for staying cool and collected when the lazy days of summer give way to the panic of the new School year.



Greener Alternatives for Back to School

An eco-friendly shopping list of all those back to school must haves.



New (school) Year’s Resolutions

Some resolutions to keep for the new school year... or at any time of the year for that matter!




Let's (Re)Do School Lunch

More ideas on what to give your kid to take for their school lunch.



Rezoning & Other News From District 15


Joyce Szuflita, our own "Brooklyn School Lady" has important new information about the zoning of District 15



Ready or Not: Thinking About Middle School

Tips and website relevant for your application to Middle School.



More on Mark Twain Middle School Admissions

Joyce Szuflita, our own "Brooklyn School Lady" has important new information about applying to Mark Twain.

The Mark Twain admissions process has changed in the last couple years; information about it is still a little confusing.



How to ease a school transition for a child with special needs

Tips for transitioning your special needs child into a less (or more) restrictive school setting.



Elementary School Admissions

The NYC Department of Education website maps out all the steps to applying to Elementary School HERE.

Applying to Kindergarden or PreK? Check out the PSP page HERE.



Parent Experience of Holding a Child Back a Grade

From the parents who had their child held back - for development reasons, academic struggles or otherwise - the consensus is the pros outweighed any cons. Here are the voices of experience.



Tips for the First Day Of School - Are you more nervous than your child?

The first day of school is coming up in the next few weeks. With that comes first Day of School jitters. Your child may be nervous. You may be nervous. Big Changes are afoot and they can be scary.

 Here's a new song called "Forever Friends" from the Bright Sides about starting school.



Back to School Serenely

Tips for going back to school and how to combat that crazy feeling.

Credit: Brandy Shaul


Now is the time to put everything in place to make the transtion to the new school year run smoothly. That's why we're reblogging Eleanor Traubman's tips for an organized autumn.


Here are Eleanor Traubman’s top ten tips for staying cool and collected when the lazy days of summer give way to the panic of the new School year.



The Middle School Appeal Process

Here, parents in the PSP Tweens group talk about the middle school appeal process...



Holding off on Kindergarten? Advice from the Brooklyn School Lady

School districts outside of NYC have earlier age cutoffs for kindergarten. Why can't NYC parents whose children have late fall birthdays request that their children wait a year to start school if they feel that their children aren't ready and they will be the youngest in the class?



2012-2013 Pre-Kindergarten Directory & Info Sessions

2012-2013 Pre-Kindergarten Directory

The 2012-2013 Pre-Kindergarten Directory is now available online. The Directory includes a list of all public school and community-based organization (CBO) pre-kindergarten programs, and information about how to apply.



Nanny Interview Questions and Questions for References

A section of tidbits on many nanny topics



Commuting Into Manhattan for Daycare

Stay local, or take the kids on the subway?  Here are some words of experience.




The 2012 Babysitter Survey Data is HERE!

The results of the 2012 Babysitter Survey is here! 






The PSP Guide to Securing Backup/ Emergency/ Last Minute Childcare

Uh oh. You’ve found yourself needing unexpected childcare. Maybe your nanny or babysitter has just called in sick or you are a freelancer and a job just came in at short notice. Or something else has come up and you find yourself needing a babysitter. What can you do?  

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How to Start a Babysitting Co-op

Here are some general tips and ideas to get you started on forming a Babysitting Co-op



Guidelines For Babysitting Co-op Bylaws

A babysitting co-op works best when clear guidelines are in place for all participating members. We suggest creating bylaws for your co-op. Here are our suggestions for areas the bylaws should address although your co-op may choose to adopt more or less.



The PSP Guide to Starting a Preschool Co-op


The PSP Guide to Starting a Preschool Co-op

(download the PDF version HERE)



The Park Slope Parents Babysitter Guide

Park Slope Parents Guide to finding an Afterschool Sitter.



Adjusting to Daycare: Dealing With Acclimatization Problems

Are you having a tough time with your little one starting daycare? From new routines to new people, it can be tough! One mom asks her baby group about dealing with these adjustment issues.



How to handle a sick kid and childcare

Coughs and sniffles, fevers and colds. Your kid is sick and how do you determine when they are too sick to go to daycare with a nasty cold or another common bug? How do you handle back-up childcare if you have to miss multiple days of work? How do you negotiate which partner stays home, especially when one or both partners has the kind of job that can't really be done from home?



What To Do With The Nanny When The Family Gets Sick


What do you do with your nanny when the whole family gets sick? Here, PSP members share how they handled it.



The PSP Guide To Hiring a Nanny/Babysitter: Step 1: WHAT do I want, WHAT can I expect and WHAT will it cost me?

Based on the feedback of its membership of over 5,000 families strong, the Park Slope Parents Guide to Hiring a Nanny is an amalgamation of best-practices, insights and honest expressions culled from years of experience by a diverse group of parents who have all been where you are now.



The PSP Guide To Hiring a Nanny/Babysitter: Step 2: WHERE can you find Mary Poppins?

This section covers the search process including where to look for a nanny, how to write and post an effective ad and narrowing down the initial candidates



Paying a Nanny/Babysitter on the Books

Step-by-step instructions and web links for paying your nanny or other household employee on the books.



The PSP Guide To Hiring a Nanny/Babysitter: Step 3: WHO’s it going to be?

This section talks you through all you need to know about interviewing nanny candidates on the references.



The PSP Guide To Hiring a Nanny/Babysitter: Step 4: HOW can we seal the deal?

This section talks you through making a final decision, final offer, and orienting your new nanny.



The PSP Guide To Hiring a Nanny/Babysitter: Step 5: HOW can I make this a great working relationship?

Learn about doing doing due diligence and the precautions you need to take - both before you hire and on the job.



The 2011 PSP Guide to Hiring a Nanny

Hiring a Nanny? Here is the 2011  PSP Guide to Hiring a Nanny. Look for the 2013 guide to come out after we compile the data from this year's Nanny Compensation Survey!



The Park Slope Parents' Nanny Survey Results

Over the years, Park Slope Parents has asked hundreds of local families about their Nannies. From average salary through to vacation, job duties and more - find out what you can expect and offer your Nanny in the 'hood.



HELP with your Nanny Taxes has arrived!

All the steps you need to know to comply with New York State and Federal laws concerning payroll, overtime, taxes and more with your Nanny



Helping Your Nanny Find a NEW Job

It's time to move on.  Schedules have changed, the kids are starting school, or you've decided to be a stay at home parent.  Whatever the reason, here are The Top Ten Tips for helping your great nanny find an equally great new family!



PSP Statement about Hiring Nannies

A few words to remind you about what due dilligence you need to take when hiring your Nanny.



Requirements for Nanny Posts [CHILDCARE] on the PSP Classifieds

If you want to post a message to our PSP Classifieds, here are the steps to make it happen.



IMPORTANT UPDATE: Nanny Recommendations

A few words to remind you about PSP's due dilligence when posting Nanny references.



Hiring A Male Babysitter (or Manny)

The pros and cons of hiring a male babysitter...



Firing Your Nanny

This article talks through the ins and outs of what you need to know and the steps you need to take for terminating your caregiver.



Inside PSP's Guide to Hiring a Nanny

The Park Slope Parents Guide to Hiring a Nanny is an amalgamation of best-practices, insights and honest expressions culled from years of experience by a diverse group of parents who have all been where you are now.



How to End the Nanny Relationship Positively

What to do when you must end the Nanny relationship - on a good note!  You have a GREAT situation with your Nanny.  But because of schedule changes, school starting, or a big MOVE -  here's advice from parents who have ended the Nanny Relationship positively and healthily.



The Park Slope Parents Nanny Work Agreement

Park Slope Parents strongly advises that parents hiring a Nanny should implelement a Work Agreement in their Nanny arrangement.  Having a Work Agreement can save a lot of trouble that could have been avoided and is useful not just for you as an employer but your Nanny as an employee. Our Nanny Survey data reveals that one of the main things parents wish they had done differenty was to have some kind of written agreement with their caregiver.  Here, Park Slope Parents talks you through what your Work Agreement needs.



What to Pay Your Nanny Overnight


This article looks at what PSP members pay their nanny when they need childcare overnight. You will find what members revealed in the most recent Nanny Survey (2015) and shared across our groups.

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All Things Nannies and Babysitters


Summer's end means changing childcare needs for many of us, whether hiring a nanny or moving on from a current nanny is on the horizon. Whatever your situation, we have tons of information to guide you as you make the best choices for your family.

Hiring a Nanny?

The 2014 Park Slope Parents Guide to Hiring a Nanny [Beta] is a combination of best-practices, insights and honest expressions culled from years of experience by a diverse group of parents who have all been where you are now. It includes:

Step 1: WHAT to Expect

Step 2: WHERE to Look

Step 3: WHO to Pick

Step 4: HOW to Seal the Deal

Step 5: HOW to Make it Great

Need an after school nanny/babysitter? We asked you for ideas and experiences, and have put together the PSP Guide to Hiring an After School Sitter.

Park Slope Parents strongly recommends you have a work agreement in place. Get yours here.

Does Your Nanny Need a Job?

Be sure to review our "Helping Your Nanny Find A Job" info on the PSP Website.

Need to post about your nanny? Please see the updated PSP requirements including our required template for nanny recommendations! We have a dedicated nanny moderator so it can take 24-36 hours for your message to post.

Saying "Goodbye" to your nanny? See our tips to help with the transitions including severance pay, goodbye partings, and more.

We have a section for nannies! Send your caregiver the PSP "Information For Nannies" guide with tips and advice to help them secure their next job.

Creating a Nanny Share?

We have updated The PSP Guide to a Successful Nanny Share to include tips from what works (and what doesn't) to salary information, scheduling advice and more.

Let us know if you have any questions or concerns in your search or posting process by emailing " onclick=",'','scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes,location=yes,menubar=yes,status=yes,toolbar=yes,left=0,top=0');return false;"> .

If you need to get on the PSP Classifieds please email ."> .

In the meantime, happy summer and best of luck.

See you around the Slope.

Melissa and Susan,
Park Slope Parents


FAQs about the Nanny Relationship

Frequently asked questions about the nanny relationship, answered.



How To Search for Nannies on the PSP Classifieds


To search for nannies on the PSP Classifieds you'll need to be a member of our group.  To join, go here:   

We have over 100 groups on Park Slope parents, but you’ll need to belong to the Yahoo! Classifieds Group in order to have access to nanny posts.
You’ll also need to have a Yahoo ID to log in to the Yahoo! web interface. To Create a YahooID go HERE

Once you are on the Classifieds and have a Yahoo ID: log on to through your Yahoo ID to:

In the top box type where it says, “Search Conversations” type in “CHILDCARE”. If you want to narrow down to only nannies available full time you can type in “nanny full time.”


You should receive a list of results:


Go through the last few weeks to get a feel for the types of nannies available. First off, realize that just about every post is for a "beloved," "amazing," "fantastic," "wonderful" nanny who is the "best nanny in the world." The kids are always "unbelievably happy," with credit going to the nanny and the wonderful relationship they have with the child.  While we don't doubt that this may be true for the family, this doesn't help you narrow down your search.  Find nannies that may fit your schedule and needs.  Copy and paste the "possibilities" into a word or Google document (or perhaps create a Google Site) so you have a record of the advertisement for future use. Take screen shots, print everything you find and paper clip it with the post is an organized way to help you remember what you've researched and most importantly, what you found. It can be difficult to keep track; and don’t get overwhelmed by information that could easily stay organized.

Much like the review process that Park Slope Parents conducts to verify the ad, you should also do your due diligence to find out more about the nanny. The Internet has given us the ability to research people who have left cyber-crumbs about themselves which can give you a sense of what the nanny is like and what kind of employer she worked for. You can:

    Search the nannies name. If there are multiple posts by multiple people then you can get a sense that the nanny hasn’t stayed long at a job. If one recommender keeps posting about a nanny multiple years it may be an older reference which means you need to check why they don’t have a more recent reference.

    Review past messages of the person giving the referral on the PSP Advice List and Classifieds. If they have multiple posts you can get a sense of their personality style.  Check and see what questions they ask, how they answer emails publicly, and so on to see if the recommender comes across as needy, supportive, argumentative, funny, helpful. Knowing the recommender is a step in knowing what kind of nanny they might likely have hired. However, many people join online parenting groups JUST to post about their nanny so don't be surprised if you don't find much.

    Search for the Phone number (and name if it's unique) to determine if the nanny candidate has been off and on the market
    Do a Google Search of the nanny's phone number
    Search Facebook using the email address of both the reference and nanny to verify the referral and get a sense (if privacy settings are tight) what kind of person the employer is.
    Search LinkedIn to investigate the employer’s job.
    Search Craigslist to see if you can see other ads about the candidate

If you find out any information you want to double check (e.g., “Why did X post 5 ads about you over 3 years?"), write that down so you can follow up with either the employer or nanny. Some people leave few digital tracks, so finding little information is not necessarily a bad thing. However, figuring out as much as you can helps you know that you’ve done your best at figuring out the background of your next nanny.


Paying Your Nanny: Pay Basics

This article contains data on nanny wages data from PSP’s 2015 Nanny Survey. Here we map out the typical pay practices, including PSP community standards and FAQS from our members.



First Day With The Nanny

Parents share how they made the first few days with their nanny a flying success.




Separation Anxiety with Baby: Adjusting to Nanny

Working moms talk about how their baby adjusted to nanny and overcoming baby’s separation anxiety.



Important Info to Exchange with Your Nanny/Babysitter

Important information that could make a difference in an emergency.



The PSP Guide To Hiring a Nanny/Babysitter: Part 5: Safety Reminders, Background Checks, the Nanny Cam and Words of Caution

Learn about doing doing due diligence and the precautions you need to take - both before you hire and on the job.



Important Reminder: Nanny Update

An important email PSP sent to members on January 19, 2014 about recent trouble we've experienced with nannies in Park Slope.



FAQs About Hiring a Nanny

You are about to start looking for a nanny. But then you realize, when should I start looking for a nanny? And how? And where? PSP has the answers to your questions about getting started on the hiring process.



Transitioning a Nanny to Part-time

 Transitioning your nanny from being full-time to part-time is a frequently talked about issue with our members. Whether the kiddo(s) are starting school, daycare, or preschool, the transition can raises a lot of questions about pay, expectations, and more as you can piece together many different arrangements. This article summarizes the advice and multiple perspectives of parents who dealt with this change: some kept their nanny full-time in a combination babysitter/ housekeeper role while others decided to do extended daycare, a nanny share or have a suite of sitters on call.  Each experience should hopefully illuminate what option you think is best for you and your family.

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Nanny Goodbye Gifts (including final compensation and pay)

Parting is such sweet sorrow... Looking for a special gift idea to give to your nanny when saying goodbye?  Here are some member suggestions.



What do you do if your nanny isn't working out?

Problem:  What do you do if your nanny isn't working out?

Answer:  It isn't easy, but sometimes it's necessary to change your child care situation.



Logistics of Firing your Nanny (when it might not be a good situation)

How to handle the logistics of letting your Nanny go - when the situation is not so good.




Park Slope Parents and Nannies- Making the Relationship Great!

More than anything Park Slope Parents wants to help those who employ nannies to develop and maintain positive relationships with their nannies. To that end we're re-posting an abridged version of some of the information that we have on the PSP website about communication, compensation, respect, and appreciation that will help you build a strong relationship that begins and ends well.



Nanny and Paid Vacation


This question comes up freqquently on Park Slope Parents: "When we hired our nanny we told her that she would get 2 weeks paid vacation. It now turns out she may get around 5 weeks as we will be away for a lot of the summer. How have folks dealt with the situation?"



What to do About a Nanny who is Late

Love and adore your nanny, but hate that she's late? PSP members debate this dilemma.



Unanticipated "Time Off": What Works, What Doesn't, and What's Fair

Wondering what to do when there is unanticipated "time off" and you find yourself *not really* needing your nanny to come in?




Nanny Perks: Working Out While on the Job

A PSP member's nanny asked if she could go to the gym while she was working. Members discuss the pros and cons of giving a nanny this perk.



Maternity Leave for a Nanny: What to do when your nanny is pregnant

Wondering what to expect your nanny is expecting? What do you do when your nanny is pregnant? How do you manage maternity leave? Or what if she wants to bring her baby to work? PSP members share how they handled their caregiver expecting their own little one.



Nanny and Foul Weather Days: What is the Right Thing To Do?

Hurricanes, blizzards, and foul weather forecasts: oh my! Bad weather can wreak havoc: transport halts, schools close, and work schedules get rearranged. What happens to your nanny? Maybe you don’t need your nanny to come in anymore, or your nanny can’t get to work because the subway stopped or their own, personal childcare needs fall through. Do you pay your nanny for the day off? Or do you not pay? Here PSP members share their experiences. Includes advice about what to do when it's a part-time nanny too.





2015 Nanny Survey Results Are In!

PSP conducted its 5th Nanny Compensation Survey of employers who employ a nanny. These results are based on 750+ Brooklynites who employ live-out nannies who are not part of a nanny share....nannysurvey2015



Nanny Raises and More

Wondering when you should give your nanny more money?




For Nannies

Support, Resources, and Tidbits of Information for Nannies



Preschool Deposit and Tuition

Whether it's a layoff, a sweet PreK spot, a move, or a new job schedule, circumstances change. So what do you do when your chosen preschool isn't an option anymore - and you've already put down that killer deposit? Park Slope Parents members talk about their experiences with preschool tuition deposits and tuition.



Daycare for Under Two Year Olds: What Can I Expect?

How much is too much to expect from a 2s program? And is a 2s program suitable for a younger age? A PSP Member shares the summary of a question she posed: "thank you everyone who replied to my question about childcare options for my son... Your advice was extremely reassuring! I'm still looking for the perfect spot, but here are the responses I received."



Important Reminder About Choosing a Daycare/Preschool

Dear PSP Members,

There have been a few situations in the past weeks that warrant us posting information that you should be aware of regarding Daycares and Preschools.



When to Start Preschool?

What age do you start children in preschool?




Transitioning to Daycare

Are you wondering about how to transition your little one to daycare? PSP parents share what they did to transition their baby to daycare.

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The PSP Guide to Finding and Securing Daycare

Researching and setting up quality daycare can be challenging and time-consuming. This step-by-step guide is designed to help parents navigate the process. Also check our Daycare Recommendations.



Summary of Child Care Findings- 2009

Findings from the ad hoc group of concerned parents about the availability and affordability of childcare in the Park Slope and Brooklyn area