4 ways arts and crafts supports learning

Back to school season is in high gear, and now is the time to find ways to further your child’s learning inside and outside the classroom. Our Jaleesa sitters know how important these after school learning opportunities can be. Many of our child carers are teachers themselves and others have a wide-range of expertise in art, robotics, theater, and music.

Arts and crafts is a great way to not only engage them creatively but also support their long-term growth and learning development. Arts and crafts helps develop the following skills:

    • Problem solving and critical thinking Arts and crafts allows children to solve artistic challenges, and plan how pieces will fit together. This ability to think critically about their art projects builds resilience in kids as they overcome challenges.

    • Motor skills Keeping hands busy with even simple activities like coloring supports kids’ physical development.

    • Communication skills and self-expression This one is self explanatory! Kids can express themselves and their budding personalities.

    • Builds self-esteem Finished projects foster a sense of accomplishment and pride.    

Jaleesa child-carers are well equipped to help keep your child learning and engaged after school. Book an after-school session with them today!

4 ways to boost your child’s immunity before school starts

School is round the corner and although, as parents, we look forward to settling into our quite routines those endless sick days loom large. As children spend the day in close proximity with so many other children, getting sick seems inevitable. This need not be the case and here are a few tricks you can adopt early on to ensure your child is less likely to catch a nasty illness.

  • An early bedtime: we all know an early bedtime is a good idea in order to have well-rested adults and children alike but did you know that lack of sleep actually compromises a child’s immunity? Sleeping early and consistently every night is imperative to building a child’s immunity and having a healthy happy child. Need a bigger incentive to setting an early bedtime for your child? Doing so will ensure a less cranky child next day and an easier morning routine.
  • Healthy eating: eating a balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables and unprocessed food is important all year round but especially so during school days. Offering children foods rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E has been linked to a strong immunity. Foods rich in these vitamins include: broccoli, cauliflower, fish, eggs, carrots and pumpkin.
  • Plenty of active time: a sedentary lifestyle and long afternoons spent in front of the TV or an Ipad has been linked to everything from increased child obesity to a compromised immune system because of the lack of physical exercise. Get those kids active by planning afternoon family activities outdoors and try limiting screen time to no more than 2 hours per day.
  • Get more fresh air:  the importance of outdoor play and getting fresh air by taking the children to less polluted areas like up in the mountains has very important to give their body that clean oxygen needed to build its defenses. But the air inside the home is just important, if not more so, than the air we breathe outside. Try to invest in air-purifying house plants like Areca Palm or Aloe Vera or else in an air purifier or essential oils like Eucalyptus that work to clean the air.

Sana Toukan is a Nutrition Health Coach and a mother of 1 who made Lebanon her home 3 years ago after living in London and  Dubai. She is a passionate cook and prepares almost all meals at home which is what prompted her interest in learning more about healthy food and how to make balanced meals for the whole family. Sana is a strong advocate of lifestyle changes including shifting to whole foods and fitness to change one’s overall well-being, having achieved this over the years for herself.

A parent’s checklist for kids oral health

On a parents’ list of major milestones, first toothbrush doesn’t quite carry the same emotional heft as first steps or first words. However, it doesn’t mean it’s not important.

Encouraging children to follow proper oral health habits is vital — not only because it reduces the risk of cavities, but also because it has a number of other effects on children’s health. Good dental hygiene at a young age can help prevent orthodontic issues later in childhood, as well as improve self-esteem and confidence.

For these and many other reasons, there’s no such thing as “too early” when it comes to teaching kids how to take care of their teeth and gums. Even before they’re able to stand, children need to be shown the way toward good oral hygiene habits.

This includes drinking water and milk instead of sugary juices, cleaning their gums with a soft washcloth (even before teeth emerge), and limiting snacks. As kids get older, parents need to encourage their children to make dental health a priority and continue with good habits.

This checklist provides parents with information on each stage of their children’s development to keep first cavity off that list of milestones.


Author bio: Dr. Sheila Harris is owner of Natomas Crossing Dental Care, a leading dental practice in Sacramento, California. Since graduating from Northwestern University School of Dentistry, she has become one of the top general dentists in Sacramento and is a proud member of several dental organizations.

Source: jaleesa blog

Jaleesa’s top babysitters come to Beirut’s historic Phoenicia Hotel

Jaleesa, Lebanon’s trusted child care platform, and the Phoenicia Hotel, will be working together to provide trusted, excellent child care to visitors to Lebanon.

The Phoenicia is a historic five-star luxury hotel just off Beirut’s Corniche. The hotel has served Lebanon’s most notable guests since 1961, and is part of the worldwide InterContinental Hotels group. The hotel is committed to creating unforgettable and enriching experiences for its guests from all over the world.

Families staying at the Phoenicia will now have access to the very best of Jaleesa’s 80+ trained, trusted child carers. Guests are now able to book Jaleesa’s award winning child care around the clock. Kids can have fun in the room or the hotel grounds with trained, trusted family-reviewed child carers, while parents explore Beirut or focus on work.

Angela Solomon, CEO of Jaleesa, said:

“We are so happy to be working with the Phoenicia. A landmark of hospitality in Beirut, its detail-oriented, thorough approach to guest services is a perfect reflection of Jaleesa’s emphasis on quality, trust, and development-focused child care. With a cadre of specially selected babysitters, we know that Phoenicia’s guests will have a wonderful stay, knowing their children are in safe hands.”

Hannes Schneider, General Manager of the Phoenicia, said:

“At Phoenicia Hotel, we care about our guests’ wellbeing and comfort and strive to meet their every need. In search for a partner to nurture our little guests, we have selected Jaleesa.  Since we started to work with Jaleesa, we are able to provide parents with trusted, professional and personalized childcare. As there is nothing more important than children, Jaleesa’s services help us to significantly add to the overall guest experience of our esteemed clients.”

More information:

  • Media inquiries: COO Stephanie d’Arc Taylor stephanie@jaleesa.co
  • If you would like to work with Jaleesa as your corporate child care provider, please contact Partnerships Director Lara Ghibril: lara@jaleesa.co
  • To find trained, trusted child carers in your area, sign up here: jaleesa.co/accounts/signup/parent

Source: jaleesa blog

3 essential questions parents should ask in babysitter interviews

Finding the best babysitter for your family is a big job. It’s almost like dating: you need to find someone who fits with your lifestyle, schedule, and location. And you have to get along with them too!

Jaleesa vets babysitter applicants from all over Lebanon in our four-step security and vetting process. This includes a criminal record check by Lebanon’s ISF, two reference checks, a phone interview, and a final in-person training in professional skills and basic child development. (Click here to find babysitters in your neighborhood.)

Deciding whether a babysitter is right for your special family situation is up to you. Here are some basic questions we recommend asking potential babysitters to get conversations started.

With which ages do you have experience?

The perfect babysitter for your family will have experience with children the same ages as yours. Obviously, someone used to taking eight-year-olds to their after school activities might not have the skills required to look after an infant. Similarly, someone used to soothing newborns won’t have the energy needed for a rambunctious two-year-old. Make sure your sitter has the type of experience your family needs.

Follow up questions:

  • What are your favorite activities to do with kids the same age as my child?
  • What is your favorite age group to work with and why?
  • For newborns: How do you put a baby to sleep? How would you prepare a bottle? How would you change a diaper? How do you prevent choking?

What emergency skills do you have?

Jaleesa provides opt-in First Aid & CPR certification courses delivered by the Lebanese Red Cross. One of our babysitters even saved a life with the skills she learned at one of our trainings! Ask if your babysitter has a current First Aid & CPR certification.

Follow up questions:

  • How have you handled emergencies in the past? (Make sure to ask for specific examples.)
  • How would you childproof this room? Do you see anything that could be a problem?

What would you do if my child breaks a rule?

Handling kids well when they’ve misbehaved is arguably more important than bringing fun activities to a session. No child is perfect, and you want to feel confident that a babysitter will be your ally when it comes to making sure your rules are followed. The most important thing here is communicating the rules of your house, and what you expect the sitter to do in various situations– even if she personally would approach the situation another way.

Follow up questions:

  • How have you enforced house rules in the past, like no screentime or no sugar?
  • How can you tell if a child needs a hug or a stern warning?

After you narrow down your list based on the first in-person interview, you’ll want to introduce the babysitters to your children as well, to be sure everyone gets along. We’ll post some tips for the first meeting with the children in an upcoming blog!

In the meantime, what other questions do you think are necessary, or good to know? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Source: jaleesa blog

Why employers in Lebanon must become more parent-friendly

Work… we love it. OK, OK, sometimes we hate it (though not at Team Jaleesa, of course). But it’s an essential part of life for most parents, both moms and dads.

Many customers at Jaleesa reach out to us when they have to return to work after maternity leave. Lebanese law doesn’t give generous leave, so we have many moms with three month-old babies who can barely imagine leaving their new baby for eight hours a day. We’re happy that we can help make that experience more pleasant for both moms, dads and babies, by connecting them with a trained and trusted nanny.

But that wrenching moment is just the first in many challenges that working parents face.

And awareness is finally growing about how important it is to support parents in the workplace. The World Economic Forum says that if women participated equally in the global economy, GDP growth would increase by $28 trillion by 2025. And issues with child care are the single biggest barrier to returning to work for moms (according to a survey by Momsnet, reported in The Guardian).

It’s not just a macro-economic issue. Companies across Lebanon are staffed by parents at all levels. And those parents don’t stop being parents when they go to work.

We’ve been working with the HR department of a major Lebanese company, who told us 55% of their 3,000 employees are parents. If they each take the global average of six sick days a year to look after kids, the company is leaking over $850,000 in lost productivity. Can the company, or the Lebanese economy, afford that?

Major challenges for Lebanese companies

And that’s not all. If a company doesn’t have the right parental package, it can face other major challenges, like:

  • Productivity: imagine trying to focus on work while worrying about the cost or quality of child care, or watching the clock because you have to rush off at 3:30 to pick up the kids. Employees who are satisfied with their work-life balance work 21% harder, according to a survey of over 50,000 companies.
  • Recruitment: not being able to attract top talent because the package isn’t adapted for modern family-work life.
  • Retention: 83% of millennials say they would leave their job for one with a better family care package. And every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average. For a manager making $40,000 a year, that’s $20,000 to $30,000 in recruiting and training expenses (source).

Turning a problem into an opportunity

On the plus side, when employers have a positive approach towards employing and retaining parents, they can realise gains like:

  • Gender Parity: creating a work environment where women can succeed. If you were ever in any doubt about women’s value in the workplace, check this article full of killer statistics.
  • A Diverse Labor Force: access to a wider pool of men and women
  • A Skilled Labor Force: access to a wider pool of skill sets and competencies
  • High Employee Retention: minimizing the high cost of turnovers

So how can employers in Lebanon turn the problems into opportunities? That’s the billion-dollar question for companies and the Lebanese economy. We’re working with some top companies currently to work out the answer. And YOU can help us get there:

  • Working parents, let us know what you need and want from your employer, by emailing lara@jaleesa.co or sending us a Facebook message.
  • Employers, if you would like to make your business a top performer with happy staff, contact our Partnerships Director, Lara Ghibril. Email her now at lara@jaleesa.co.

… and finally – if you need child care NOW, sign up to our site. In five minutes you could be chatting with qualified nannies near you.

Source: jaleesa blog

Jaleesa’s superhero babysitters come to the Smallville Hotel

Here’s our press release announcing an exciting new partnership with the Smallville Hotel in Badaro!



Jaleesa, Lebanon’s trusted child care platform, and the Smallville Hotel will be working together to bring great babysitting to visitors in Lebanon.


Smallville is named after the ‘small city’ that is Beirut, and is an urban design hotel in Badaro, designed to be the perfect reflection of the ideal city we dream of. At the hotel, everyone is a superhero in his or her own way. In January 2018 the team won the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice award for being ranked in the top 1% of hotels.


Now families’ stay at Smallville just got a bit more super! With Jaleesa’s award winning child care, guests can book babysitting around the clock. Kids can have fun with trusted, trained babysitters, and parents can relax and experience the city, or focus on work.

 Photo: (left to right) Jaleesa co-founder Hassan Bayloun, Smallville Hotel Head of Guest Relations Ibrahim Badran, and Jaleesa Partnerships Director Lara Ghibril, with the partnership document

Photo: (left to right) Jaleesa co-founder Hassan Bayloun, Smallville Hotel Head of Guest Relations Ibrahim Badran, and Jaleesa Partnerships Director Lara Ghibril, with the partnership document

Angela Solomon, CEO of Jaleesa, said:


“We’re so happy to be working with Smallville. Their fun, high quality and innovative approach matches perfectly with Jaleesa’s values of excellence, trust and nurturing kids’ development. With a troupe of specially selected Jaleesa babysitters, we know that guests will have a wonderful stay knowing their kids are in safe, trusted hands.”


The Smallville team said: “We strive to provide our guests with the best emotional and unique experience while staying at The Smallville, coupled with our Just Ask personalized services. Jaleesa, with its trusted and quality child care, is a great complement to what we aim to offer for our guests’ needs.”


 More information:

Source: jaleesa blog

Ramadan Kareem!

Ramadan kareem from the Jaleesa family to yours!

Whether your family observes Ramadan or not, this can still be a spiritual time for kids and family. Ramadan’s not just a month of fasting, it’s also about spiritual reflection, doing good deeds, and spending time with family and friends. Whatever your faith, here are some ideas for bringing the spirit of Ramadan into family life this month.

I’ve been back in Lebanon for six years and every year, Ramadan has been in the heat of summer. My family isn’t Muslim, and it always amazed me how my friends and coworkers have found the strength to fast all day. But thanks to their incredible patience, they have taught me a lot about the spiritual experience of Ramadan.

Out and about in Beirut

Lebtivity has details of great iftars and events around town. If bedtime permits, the kids can vent some energy with a stroll along the Corniche afterwards – take the bikes and scooters of course 😉

Older kids might enjoy a more hands-on foodie experience at the KitchenLab Iftar + Cooking class, for friends and family.

Ramadan at home

Your kids might be curious about what Ramadan really is. This video for kids (in English) can help explain. And educational books like Magid Fasts For Ramadan can help kids reflect on the values we share.

Online resources like this one have tips for parents to make Ramadan enjoyable for your children, and boost their energy if you or they are fasting. Ideas like keeping a Ramadan journal and decorating the house together for Eid can be fun for families of all faiths and help build kids’ understanding of the communities we live in.

These tips for healthy eating in Ramadan are great for all as well – a perfect excuse to widen the kids’ taste with treats like coconut water. And whether you are fasting or not, it’s a good moment to check in on whether you’re all getting a balanced diet with plenty of protein.

How to handle the cooking and the kids…

If you need an extra pair of hands at home this Ramadan, let Jaleesa take care of the kids while you focus on other things. Within five minutes you can be chatting online with experienced babysitters in your area – sign up here to get started.

Ramadan mubarak! Wishing all the Jaleesa community a month of peace and happiness.

:) Ramadan wishes

Source: jaleesa blog

7 ways Beirut moms handle being pregnant at work

Will and I are expecting our first baby in two months. We are super excited to meet our magic little bean!

I still have lots of energy and am working full time. But I feel busier than ever at a time when I want to stay calm and relaxed and rested.

I wondered how other moms have managed. So we asked parents for their tips. 

Together we came up with seven tips for managing pregnancy and a busy job.

Good luck and solidarity to all the pregnant mammas out there!

Tip #1: Delegate. More. Even more than you do.

“People seem to like helping pregnant women, so let them. And if that’s not possible at work, get them to help with other stuff – making food, doing the shopping (try Spinneys delivery – not perfect but helps), carrying stuff, any other tasks…”

Tip #2: Stop doing stuff. Seriously.

“At 30 weeks you just can’t do what you used to do (like putting your own shoes on?? Or do you have that joy to come?!) So decide ruthlessly what’s important and what’s not right now (or ever!).”

“Don’t pretend things are fine when they’re not. When I ignored my body telling me to slow down, I just started feeling sick. If you need a rest, take a rest.”

Tip #3: Stop running around.

“Get friends and family to come to you, rather than the other way around.”

Tip #4: Multitask.

“You’ll learn to be an even more amazing multitasker as a mother (I’m bfing mine while typing this!) so get in some practice now – can you plan your week while doing exercise? Can you do exercises while on a work call (given exercise now is low impact stuff)? Can you make work calls while on the move (as walking is slower now)?”

Tip #5. Get decent sleep (and stay hydrated)

“I remember when I was pregnant and working, I would make sure to go to sleep early at night and take naps on the weekends because I felt exhausted all the time. Also, drinking a lot of water helped me feel good (even though it meant lots more trips to the bathroom).”

“You and your baby need good sleep. And it may not be as easy now. So prioritise it. More rest will make you more efficient at work.”

I wish I had known that I will have many sleepless nights 😬

“The nights are long but the days are short…”

Tip #6. Slow down. Maybe even reprioritise.

“Maybe it’s time to change how much you do. I was advised by good friends to take two whole weeks off before the birth and to “wind down” at least two weeks before that (so around 35/36 weeks). That may sound like a luxury, but does it have to be? Could you renegotiate your terms/ hand over responsibility to someone else? If you can do it when the baby’s here, can you do it (at least partly) now??”

Tip #7: Destress and relax.

“Maternity yoga benefited me with baby number 1. And also loads and loads of music and crazy dancing when no one is around, to vent your day of work.”

How did you manage pregnancy and a busy life? Add your comments below or message us on Facebook. 🙂 More power to the mommas!

For more wisdom from real moms, subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

Source: jaleesa blog

New sibling jealousy: how I helped my son accept his new brother

“It’s not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns into compassion and understanding” – Erma Bombeck

My name is Lama. I am a proud mother of two wonderful boys: Aiden who is three and a half years old and Daniel who is six months old. Motherhood has been the most challenging and rewarding experience I have ever had. It has given me strength that I never imagined I could one day possess, a strength that is much needed to handle sibling rivalry.

My firstborn is currently showing a bit of jealousy towards his baby brother. He’s obviously mad at me for disrupting the predictable flow of his life with a new contender for my attention. In hindsight, before Dani entered our family, Aiden was told that he would have a wonderful little brother to play with, and that it would be much fun. Then Dani was born, and Aiden started playing with the baby in the only ways he knows how. It goes like this, he plays catch, so I yell at him for throwing toys at the baby, then he gives him a hug, and I admonish him to be more careful. It’s no wonder Aiden was confused.

For a few days after I gave birth to Dani, Aiden tried to adjust to the fact that a new family member had come on the scene. He started acting out. It’s not that I did not expect it. From my mother’s stories I have learned that I was jealous when my sister was born, and I read a lot about sibling jealousy before my due date with my second child. I thought I was ready for this phase, but it is way harder than what it seemed to be.

I understood what he was going through; experiencing a new emotion, a feeling he never had before. Welcoming a new baby to the family and dealing with the older sibling’s jealousy is a tricky situation to handle.

I came back home 24 hours after my delivery to be with Aiden, I knew he wouldn’t sleep if mommy was away, he has also just started KG1, a couple of days later I decided to start dropping him to school and picking him up, so he doesn’t feel left out. Playing with him one-on-one when his baby brother is napping, everything seemed under control. I needed to prove to him that mommy will not love him any less now that she has another baby to take care of. Boosting his confidence and his trust in me was one of my priorities.

As the days passed, things didn’t feel the same with Aiden. It was like he’s a different boy; even though I was trying my best to make him feel special (and, not to mention, feeling guilty for not spending as much time with Dani as I did with him). If I call Aiden, he responds after the fourth or fifth time, he kisses his brother roughly whenever I am breastfeeding him. I tried involving him in Dani’s daily showers, diaper change, tucking him in. I started to feel that Aiden’s aggression is increasing, and it pained me whenever I was strict with him because I knew he’s trying to express a new feeling that he’s experiencing.

There was a slight improvement but it still wasn’t enough. Until a couple of weeks ago, I saw a sponsored ad on Facebook by Jaleesa about an WhatsApp group where toddlers’ parents discuss education, health, and other topics regarding their little ones, sharing concerns, stories, and successes.

I joined the group and I asked if anyone has gone through the same phase I currently am experiencing, knowing that any advice could help.

Jaleesa’s co-founder Angela was the first to reply sharing an article from Baby Center, then other parents started sharing their thoughts and experiences. A couple of more moms said that they are also going through this phase and promised that it shall pass. It seemed that I was doing everything I could and there wasn’t much left to do. Aiden will eventually adapt at his own pace; it was me who was impatient, wanting him to do it as soon as possible. Seeing him teased and provoked by his helpless infant brother was hurting me. I was reminded in talking to other parens that everything we are going through is just a phase, and it shall pass.

As Linda Wooten said, “Being a mother is learning about the strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you never knew existed.” I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Editor’s note: Jaleesa welcomes parents to join support groups on WhatsApp for parents of infants, toddlers, and older children. We’d love to see you there! Click the links to join our communities.

Source: jaleesa blog