Items tagged with 'parents'

Here's how New York State's new paid family leave program will work

NYS paid family leave explainer site screengrab

A screengrab from the state's explainer site.

New York State's new paid family leave program will allow people to start taking leave January 1. And this week the Cuomo admin released a walkthrough of how the program will work. Press release blurbage:

Starting January 1, 2018, Paid Family Leave will provide employees with wage replacement and job protection to help them bond with a child, care for a close relative with a serious health condition, or help relieve family pressures when someone is deployed abroad on active military service. Employees are also entitled to be reinstated to their job when their leave ends and to the continuation of their health insurance during their leave.

The program will be phased in over the next four years. Starting in 2018, employees will be able to take eight weeks of leave at 50 percent of their weekly wage. Those numbers will increase annually until 2021, when it's 12 weeks at 67 percent.

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Experiences to share about Albany schools?

erasers on chalkboard

Eric emails:

I live in Pine Hills and it offers just about everything I'm looking for: a (relatively) safe, walkable neighborhood, lots of parks, some diversity, interesting people... The problem is that my kid is about to enter the school system and I'm hearing things about the Albany school district that concern me. My experience as a former teacher was that the kids who graduate from the upper level programs at Albany are more well-prepared for life after high school and college than many of their suburban council peers. I've heard that smart, but lower-performing kids are being pushed into the honors classes in hopes of helping them achieve more, but the real effect is that the honors classes are being dumbed down.
I've seen several comments on AOA from parents who are proudly raising their kids in Albany, so I'd love to hear what their experiences are with the schools. Are they happy with the public schools? Are they sending their kids to charter or private schools?
Thanks for the help!

Based on similar previous conversations, we're guessing people probably do have a few thoughts to share. And something that's been very clear in conversations both here on AOA and in-person is that kids, families, and situations are varied and often in different in their own ways. What might be right for one family might not necessarily work for another. So we'd just like to gently remind everyone to be respectful of that.

So, have some thoughts for Eric? Please share!

Earlier on AOA:
+ Ask AOA: Which school district should our family pick?
+ How Albany can make its case better for why young families should stay

Pass It On Sale spring 2017

Pass It On Sale high chairs

The popular Pass It On Sale for kids items returns to the SportsPlex of Halfmoon May 5-7.

The consignment sale -- now in its 15th year -- is a twice-yearly event. And it's big. The sale boasts that it has 80,000 "new and gently worn" children's items across 60,000 square feet. What sorts of items? Blurbage:

At Pass It On you will find clothing (sizes newborn to juniors) toys, books, videos, baby equipment (strollers, swings, etc.), sports equipment, children's furniture and more! Clothing is inspected to ensure the highest quality and our sales floor is extremely organized for the best shopping experience.

The sale is open to the public Saturday, May 6 from 8 am-8 pm and Sunday (half-price day) from 8 am-2 pm. Admission is free.

There's also an early session for new parents that Friday evening -- you have to sign-up for that specifically. (If that's full, keep an eye out for it on the Pass It On Facebook page in the fall. The new-parent registration usually opens about a month-and-a-half before the sale.)

Advice on navigating the local daycare scene?

buckingham pond playground dinosaurs

Ak reached out with this question:

I need some help with childcare. I am a full time graduate student and I am having terrible luck with daycare. Everyone is on a waiting list. and it seems the ones with openings are not up to par. Please help!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm located in the Troy area. But I am a full time student in Albany. So anywhere in those regions. My son is 5 months old and I have been in multiple waitlist since I was pregnant. Including Samaritan, ualbany kids and Albany med. ...
Im definitely worked about who can care for my child especially this being my first child. I've been relying on family but am looking for something more consistent and stable. It would be great if you could post this. Thanks so much!

We've had daycare questions in the past, including one a little more than a year ago and there are some thoughtful suggestions there.

The thing that struck us about Ak's question is that if you're a new parent -- or new to the area -- it might be difficult to get a handle on how the daycare scene here works. Like any complicated (formal or informal) system, even if you're willing to put the time in to search and research sometimes you're still left with the question: Which (literal or figurative) line should I be standing in right now?

So... If you have a a suggestion for Ak about a specific daycare, great. But we're also hoping some parents with young children might be able to share some advice about the best way to navigate the daycare scene here. A few sentences on that could be a big help.

An LGBT-friendly obstetrician/gynecologist?

stethoscope closeup

C. emails:

My wife and I are looking to start the process of getting pregnant, but we'd like to make sure that our OBGYN is someone who is open to same sex couples and knowledgeable about that process. If anyone has suggestions for doctors in and around the Albany/Troy area that they have had positive experiences with, we'd appreciate it!

An important question! With so many questions we get here about doctors, one of the central issues is often people wanting to find a doctor who takes the time to listen and answer questions. So if you have a physician to recommend, it'd be helpful to hear about the aspect of the experience.

Got a suggestion for C. and her wife? Please share!

photo:Flickr user Adrian Clark (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Good diaper options, especially cloth diaper services?

cloth diapers clothesline Flickr Ben Husmann CCLaura emails:

My partner and I are expecting a baby in early May and we're exploring all of the different diapering options out there. We haven't settled on anything yet but we're hoping to find out more information about cloth diapering services. Do readers in the area use a service? Are there any in the area? Web searches have only yielded places that have closed in recent years.

This topic of cloth diaper services came up many years ago, but as Laura mentions, it looks like the services mentioned then are all no longer operating.

So, got a suggestion for Laura and her partner? Please share! And a sentence or two about you're recommending a service (or strategy) can be very helpful.

photo: Flickr user Ben Husmann (CC BY 2.0)

Suggestions for youth soccer programs?

soccer ball grass

Sean emails:

Are any of your readers familiar with the youth soccer programs in the Capital District? We live in Albany and are looking for a way to introduce our current and future kids to organized soccer. We would love some help figuring out the options and getting some input on which ones people prefer.

Sean's question touches on something we've wondered about: Where are kids playing soccer in the city of Albany? Are there kids playing soccer in the city of Albany? We've seen a bunch of baseball diamonds and Little League games and some football games. But we can't remember passing a kids soccer game. That's always seemed weird, because in most places around the country soccer is a big youth sport. (And given that Albany has an increasing immigrant and refugee population -- including many people who come from soccer cultures -- it seems like there'd be even more kids who'd want to play.)

So, digression over... Got a suggestion or thought for Sean? Please share! And a sentence or two explaining your suggestion is always helfpul.

photo: Flickr user Kate Brady (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A service, membership, something to give to new parents to make life easier?

buckingham pond playground dinosaursA Friend writes:

Friends of ours recently had a baby and we'd like to get them something that would make life a little easier for them. Whether that's a local meal delivery service, or some sort of membership, or something. We're hoping people at AOA have some ideas!

The meal delivery question came up last year, and if you have more to say about that topic, we'd love to hear it.

We're also curious if there's maybe something unexpected that non-parents wouldn't necessarily think of -- sometimes you don't know until you're there. ("There" being parenthood.)

So, got a suggestion? Please share!

Exercise classes with working parent-friendly schedules?

circus yoga circleJenna emails:

Is there a good drop-in place for exercise classes with evening and weekend hours near downtown Albany? Similarly, are there any baby and me type classes that do drop-ins and working-lady schedules?
Must get fit. Have no time. Or motivation.

A lot of people struggle to fit exercise in to their schedules. Add a kid to the mix, and it gets even harder.

So, have a place in/near Albany to suggest to Jenna? Or maybe some strategies for making the schedule work? Please share!

Suggestions for good daycare in Albany area?

buckingham pond playground dinosaursNate emails:

My wife and I are expecting in July and we're looking for a reputable child care place in the Albany area.

As Nate noted in his email, this question came up three years ago -- but things change. It'd be great to get some updated recommendations.

So, got a suggestion for Nate and his wife? Please share! And including a sentence or two about why you're recommending a certain place is much appreciated.

Suggestions for a meal delivery service?

beet carpaccioDana emails:

We're expecting a baby soon and were looking for a meal delivery service in the Capital District. Not necessarily to lose weight, but something that's somewhat healthy, delivered cold, but that can be warmed up for meals, so we don't have to worry about meals every night once the baby's here. I've only seen services in other larger metropolitan areas, but not in ours. Any ideas/suggestions?

We are, of course, interested in hearing about local suggestions. But we've also noticed recently there are some web-based companies that offer shipments of meals or pre-prepped meal ingredients. So maybe that's a related option. (We really have no idea -- we have not seen those services in action.) Or maybe you can think of a different angle -- like, say, small-scale catering -- that could work.

So, got a suggestion for Dana and family? Please share!

New York popular baby names 2014

name tag ariana

Say hello to Arian(n)a, Madelyn, Mila, Nora, Nathaniel, Luca, and Jaxon.

Every year the Social Security Administration publishes a list of the 100 most popular baby names for each state from the previous year. The lists for 2013 were released this week, so we pulled the results for New York State.

And here they are, the 100 most popular female and male baby names, along with which names are rising -- and falling -- compared to 2013.

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LGBT Law Day at Albany Law

Thumbnail image for albany law school exteriorAlbany Law School has organized its first LGBT Law Day for this Saturday. The day is free and open to the public.

The keynote speaker will be Cathryn Oakley from the Human Rights Campaign -- she works with state and local legislators on issues that affect the LGBT community and heads up the org's Municipal Equality Index.

Also: "Albany Law students and volunteer attorneys will provide attendees with free legal assistance on such issues as name changes, adoptions, child custody, immigration, employment discrimination and civil rights."

LGBT Law Day is this Saturday, March 21 from 10 am-3 pm. Albany Law says advance registration is appreciated.

Good daycare near Schenectady?

kid crawling with blocksLindsay emails:

About 2 years ago, you had a post asking for suggestions for good day cares near Albany. Now, I'm pregnant, and both my husband and I work in Schenectady. If possible, I was hoping that you could ask the readers for any daycare recommendations in the Schenectady area.

That Albany question generated a lot of suggestions, and it was great to see people explain some of the reasons they were recommending the daycares mentioned.

So, got a suggestion for Lindsay and her husband for a daycare in the Schenectady area? Please share!

photo: D Sharon Pruitt (CC BY 2.0)

New York popular baby names 2013

name tag charlotte

New York State has many little Sophias, Isabellas, Jacobs, and Michaels -- and that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon. But which names will soon be popping up more frequently at kids birthday parties?

Every year the Social Security Administration publishes a list of the 100 most popular baby names for each state from the previous year. The lists for 2013 were released this week, so we pulled the results for New York State.

And here they are, the 100 most popular female and male baby names, along with which names are rising -- and falling -- quickly in popularity.

(there's more)

Prenatal classes?

baby bottleReader emails:

I'm writing in search of prenatal classes - yoga, dance, workout, etc - held in the evening or on the weekend. I'm in downtown Albany, but could travel to other nearby locales. Do your readers have any good ones to recommend?

It sounds Reader's looking for prenatal movement/exercise classes. But we'll expand Reader's question just a bit to also include prenatal classes on topics such as newborn care or breastfeeding.

Got a suggestion? Please share! Non-redeemable bonus points for a sentence or two about why you liked the class you're suggestion.

Earlier on AOA: Ask AOA: A good obstetrician?

photo: Flickr user nerissa's ring (cc)

Consignment shops for kids clothes?

Pass It On Sale clothesSean emails:

My wife and I just had a baby and would love to dress the kid in all kinds of ridiculous outfits. However, they grow so dang fast that it just doesn't make sense to spend the cash on something new if they're only going to wear it once or twice. Do you or your readers know of any good consignment shops in the area specifically for kids clothing?

This isn't a shop exactly, but it's something Sean and his wife should definitely check out: the big Pass It On consignment sale for kids stuff, which if tradition holds, will be back in August. There are a handful of other similar sales throughout the year (see the comments on that post).

So, got a suggestion for Sean and his wife? Please share!

Capital Region's most popular baby names

baby name tags

Updated

Because we were thinking about birthdays this week, we thought it'd be fun to look at Capital Region baby names. (A name is one of the first birth day presents you ever get.)

So we pulled together the numbers for the past handful of years for the four core counties of the Capital Region.

And away we go...

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Good daycare near Albany?

kid crawling with blocksSean emails:

My wife is pregnant (yay!). We both love our jobs and plan on continuing to work after the baby is born. However, we don't know anyone in the area with young kids that could recommend a reputable daycare near where we work (Latham). The commute is from Albany, so anywhere between Albany and Latham would be right in our wheelhouse. Any daycare recommendations?

This question has come up before, but it was more than two years ago -- and focused on Saratoga County.

So, got a suggestion for Sean and his wife? Please share!

photo: D Sharon Pruitt (cc)

A good obstetrician?

baby bottleAnonymous Soon-to-Be Father emails:

My wife and I just found out that she was pregnant. So recent, in fact, that it's too soon to tell our friends + family (shh!). We were hoping some of your readers could help us find a reputable doctor to catch our first baby. We're not daring enough for a home-birth and we like the idea of avoiding c-sections as much as possible.
Doula recommendations are also welcome! We're probably [not looking for] midwives, under the assumption that their services are more geared towards home-births. However, I've heard of midwives that will operate (no pun intended) out of hospitals sometimes...
In any event, we're looking to have the baby in a hospital (including or between Albany + Schenectady), have someone more knowledgeable than I in the room with us, and continue down the road toward natural child-birth (avoiding c-section) as long as possible.

Congrats! And important question! Maybe everyone can help Soon-to-Be Father and his wife sort out some of the local options.

Got a suggestion, or just a tip on how to go about finding the right provider? Please share! And please explain why you like that person, or why you chose that option.

photo: Flickr user nerissa's ring (cc)

Where to buy kids shoes?

kids shoesWith growing kids -- with growing feet -- Amarit emails:

I recently learned that Junior Shoe Port is closing their Albany and Latham locations, meaning that the only Capital Region children's shoe store is in Clifton Park. For those of us in Albany, that's quite a hike to get shoes for our kids, especially since they don't all grow at the same rate or need shoes at the same time. ... I know it seems minor, but as a parent of three kids with weird feet (and not all the same kinds of weird), I need a place with knowledgable sales people who can properly fit my kid for shoes. Ordering online for them is very challenging. Since learning about this closing earlier today from an equally dismayed friend, a number of other parents have expressed their concerns as well.

The Times Union reported recently that, in addition to the Stuyvesant Plaza store closing, the Clifton Park Stride Rite is also headed for closure. So there will be even fewer options.

Got any ideas for Amarit and her kids? Please share!

photo: Flickr user tamakisono (cc)

How to find a nanny?

baby bottleNew parents S and J reached out to us looking for some suggestions on finding childcare. They're having a tough time getting into their daycare programs of choice, so they're looking for a nanny. Eventually they may also be needing sitters. So...

How do you find a nanny -- or baby sitter -- in the Capital Region?

They'd welcome specific names (of course), but also suggestions about where to look.

Got a suggestion? Please share!

photo: Flickr user nerissa's ring (cc)

When the world points toward being fearful, how do you teach your kids to be brave?

standing on diving board

Sometimes it's a matter of knowing when to leap.

By Leah Wolff-Pellingra

So, I'm watching the Olympics with my daughters. And we're talking about how strong the women on the screen are, how brave the 15-year-old girl is as she twists and turns at 35 miles per hour off the high diving platform and into the water.

"Mom, I want to do that. But she should be wearing a life-jacket. How can she swim without a life-jacket?"

"Well, she practiced and practiced. And she learned how to hold air in her lungs and use her hands and feet, just like you do when you're wearing your life-jacket."

"But that's far to jump. She shouldn't go by herself."

I want to throw caution to the wind and tell my 5-year-old little girl that someday she'll be able to go places by herself, too. That she'll be jumping without a life jacket, and that I will hold my breath until she comes back up from under the water. But, truth be told, I am grateful for being the mother of a cautious child some days. Apparently, it's a scary world out there.

There was recently a report of an attempted abduction just across the bridge in Scotia. A 10-year-old girl told her mother and police about an older man in a rusted, light-green, 4-door sedan who had tried to lure her into the car with candy.

But she made it up. The girl later admitted to Scotia police that she wanted to get attention from her parents. There is a new baby at her home.

There was about a week between that first report and the news that it was false. And despite the statistics that very few kids -- only about a hundred, out of tens of thousands of reports -- are taken in this sort of stereotypical situation, I had a day or two when my girls only played in the back yard.

These sorts of stories generate a lot of fear -- they're our worst nightmare. And we'd like to think that the world wasn't always like this, that there were times that qualify as 'back in the day' when things like creeps in light green sedans didn't threaten the way we look at the world. But this just doesn't hold up. There have always been creeps in rusted, light green 4 door sedans.

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Most popular baby names New York 2011

name tag masonAs it does every year, the Social Security Administration today released a list of the most popular baby names in 2011, sorted by state.

So we pulled the list -- the 100 most popular names for boys and girls born in New York State last year are after the jump. We also looked at how the top 10 names this year ranked during the last few years.

One name in particular has skyrocketed in popularity...

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Walking on eggs

egg hunt crime scene

Let the games begin.

By Siobhan Connally

soapbox badgeI should have known by the barrier that this was going to end badly.

The tape keeping the throng of sugar-crazed toddlers at bay read "CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS." Parents all around us were laying out strategies for their kids, so complex I expected at any moment a mom or dad would pull a chalkboard out of a stroller and diagram the game plans with arrows, Xs and Os.

This was an egg hunt of epic proportions, and we were out of our league.

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What's All Over Albany?

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