childcare pay survey

Over the past several years, we have asked our members and site visitors to complete a childcare pay survey to provide the parents, care providers, and agencies of the Puget Sound region a snapshot of the average pay for different child care scenarios (i.e. one child, two children, nanny shares, sitter, part-time, etc).

You can find the results of those past surveys by clicking here.

After deciding to place our pay rate surveys on hold for most of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are excited to announce the results of our December 2020 Childcare Pay Survey! A HUGE thank you to the over 700 people who took the survey!

Continue reading “Childcare Pay Survey Results – December 2020”

 

Finding childcare can be stressful. Where to start? How much to offer? How much is this process going to cost? I need a nanny as soon as possible – is that even possible?

Nanny Search Service

Many more parents are working with a nanny these days than ever before (thanks, COVID-19). And many of them don’t even know where to begin. I created Nanny Parent Connection to bring all of the needed resources together in one place where you can learn about working with nannies and find your nanny (or your nanny share family!) as well.

A do-it-yourself search is a great option if you have the time to invest, don’t mind doing some research upfront, and have allotted at least several weeks (or even longer) for your search.

When should you hand off to a professional?

If you don’t have the time to invest in your search, you need to find a nanny in less than a month, or the whole process just seems to overwhelming, it’s a good time to consider having someone handle the search and due diligence process for you.

Continue reading “Do You Need a Nanny Search Service?”

 

I can’t think of one person who is sad to see 2020 go. It’s been a trying year for us all. Thankfully, a new year brings a fresh start!  Here is a message of hope from a member of the Nanny Parent Connection community “Nanny Melissa” aka, Melissa the Princess Nanny – reminding you all we will get through this together.

It’s the most wonderful time of year again! Then again, with everything 2020 brought, saying that it’s the most wonderful time of this particular year isn’t a big stretch. Last year was a really rough year for many, many people. To top it all off, most of us had a very different holiday season.

My family of four (including our puppy, Princess Buttercup) spent the time quietly at home, away from our loved ones, which we view as just one more sacrifice that we are more than willing to make to get to better times again. That doesn’t necessarily make it easier, though.

“We have been enjoying the beautiful city parks Seattle has to offer while social distancing this year”

 In 2019, I was a busy full-time nanny and homeschooling Mom to a kindergartener. I was cosplaying as a hobby and form of therapy to help me work through my anxiety and PTSD, which led to me performing at kid’s birthday parties as Disney princesses on the weekends. In short, I was busy and it was a promising year!

Continue reading “Year in Review by Melissa the Princess Nanny (and Member Discount to Ring in 2021!)”

 

“What costs besides the hourly rate should I expect to pay for nanny childcare?”

This is one of the top questions I hear from parents who are new to considering working with a nanny. And with distance learning and care centers closed or at reduced capacity this year (thanks, COVID-19) it seems like more families than ever are throwing their hats into the “working with a nanny” ring.

My joke with them is that it’s the blog post I keep meaning to write. Well, the wait is over!

And the short answer is that the hourly rate is just the beginning. Today, I will walk you through the various line items of your “all in” cost for finding and working with a nanny for one year.

Continue reading “How Much Does Nanny Childcare Truly Cost?”

 

It’s been interesting to hear the ways people are trying to make birthday celebrations during COVID times a little more cheerful – especially since we can’t celebrate with our friends and family like we would in a normal year.

And don’t even get me started on the time-honored tradition of blowing out birthday candles with COVID concerns. My favorite GIF to send to friends this year is below – very fitting for this crazy year!

balloon arrangements

 

I have heard a lot about drive-by birthday celebrations, which I think is brilliant. i have heard of some families going over the top with more birthday gifts than they would normally buy. One family I spoke with went all out on a fancy rainbow cake that they admitted they would never be able to finish up (but it’s all about the presentation, right?).

There was a time when I would go all out with themed parties (think a snake cake with the Reptile Man…)

… Or a volcano cake complete with dry ice in the funnel to look like smoke paired with a mad science themed birthday party.

balloon arrangements

Honestly, my bandwidth is not there right now (hello, distance learning and general anxiety about the state of the world), even for making those extra fancy cakes.

So, with limited bandwidth and no option to host friends, how could we make birthdays feel a little more special this year for the kids?

Continue reading “Member Discount Alert: Amazing Balloon Arrangements for All Occasions!”

 

Raise your hand if you ever thought you would be working from home AND caring for your children AND trying to juggle distance learning as well? 

Balancing Work and Parenting

I know I certainly didn’t!

It’s been difficult to manage it all to say the least. The pandemic has upended nearly every aspect of our normal routines, and perhaps the most difficult thing of all is that none of us know how long we should plan on doing this new normal.  

Continue reading “Guest Post: 16 Tips for Balancing Working From Home and Parenting”

 

This is the third part in a series of posts that I will be publishing in the coming months about my secret “socially distanced outings” that I have been taking our kids on recently (click here to read my first post and here to read the second post). Yes, we continue to visit places like Carkeek Park and some unique places for bike/scooter riding (more on these later) but with the reopening of local playgrounds and parks, the husband and I have begun to grow a bit uncomfortable with the number of people milling around places like Discovery Park, Seward Park, etc. As many of us have learned, it is very hard to stay six feet away from others on trails, beaches and open areas.

My childhood of climbing trees, fishing, building hay forts, swimming in the river, and riding horses on my family’s farm in Forks, WA couldn’t be more different than how my own children are growing up in Seattle.

I never felt this more than when my son recently asked me if a cow he saw had tusks!!! Needless to say, I love any opportunity I can give them to spend time in a farm setting (and obviously we need to do it more).

Sammamish Animal Sanctuary
Laura (age 10) and her horse Dusty on the family farm in Forks, WA

The Sammamish Animal Sanctuary is a place where neglected animals get a second chance at a happy existence. The animals receive any necessary medical attention, loving care, and in some cases are adopted out.

Continue reading “My Secret “Socially Distanced Outings” Around Seattle: Sammamish Animal Sanctuary”

 

This is the second part in a series of posts that I will be publishing in the coming months about my secret “socially distanced outings” that I have been taking our kids on recently (click here to read my first post in this series). Yes, we continue to visit places like Carkeek Park and some unique places for bike/scooter riding (more on these later) but with the reopening of local playgrounds and parks, the husband and I have begun to grow a bit uncomfortable with the number of people milling around places like Discovery Park, Seward Park, etc. As many of us have learned, it is very hard to stay six feet away from others on trails, beaches and open areas.

Nearly every routine our family had has been thrown off by the COVID-19 pandemic. One silver lining is that we have been challenged to get off our beaten path to find new activities to do and places to go when we are getting “cabin” fever. A few months back I shared my favorite summertime outing that was great for social distancing.

Today, I want to share a fantastic outing in South Seattle: the Kubota Garden.

We went to the Kubota Garden on a cool, gray day recently. I hadn’t been there for nearly 18 years, and it was always a place I had meant to take the kids, and today was the day. We loaded everyone up and headed out for a new adventure – everyone was excited but confused about what kind of “garden” we were going to!

Continue reading “My Secret “Socially Distanced Outings” Around Seattle: Kubota Garden”

 

Ugh. The start of school has been….rough and I am filled with anxiety about the next couple of months. How can the husband and I best support our 5 year old and 12 year old as they learn remotely? What can we do to make sure they don’t “fall behind”?

We’re less worried about academics for our 5 year old as he is just entering kindergarten (although we do worry about the lack of socialization with his peers). Our biggest concern is for our 12 year old who is entering seventh grade this year and struggled greatly with remote learning in the spring. Neither of us are teachers and we learned last spring that remote learning requires more than a babysitter – our kids need someone who can help them when they don’t understand something, someone who can explain a lesson in a different way, someone who understands Common Core math.

Fortunately, our nanny is a former teacher and has agreed to work with our 5 and 12 year old to support them academically.

If your family doesn’t have the option of using your current nanny for academic support, I STRONGLY encourage you to consider setting up or joining a microschool (or what some call a learning pod).

First, let’s get this out of the way….your family probably can afford to join a microschool.

When we launched our Learning Guide© Service this past July, I spoke with many parents who felt that they couldn’t afford to hire someone to help their children learn. I totally hear that because our family is in the same boat – we don’t have the income to support bringing in a tutor to exclusively work with our children.

Most tutors (and Learning Guides©) are looking for anywhere from $25 to $75/hour. I get it. They need to live, pay their mortgage and put food on the table. I know that they will earn every penny of their pay because teaching is not for the faint of heart!

But if your family is like mine, there is no way that we can afford an extra $500-$1,000/week to bring someone into our home to teach our kids.

What if I told you your children could receive in person academic support PLUS be able to socialize with their peers for about 20 hours/week? And what if I told you this would only cost your family around $200 a week (or about $10 an hour)?

 

remote learning support

Continue reading “How You Can Set Up (And Afford) A Microschool/Learning Pod”

 

This is the first part of a series of posts that I will be publishing in the coming weeks about my secret “socially distanced outings” that I have been taking our kids on recently. Yes, we continue to visit places like Carkeek Park and some unique places for bike/scooter riding (more on these later) but with the sunny weather, the husband and I have begun to grow a bit uncomfortable with the number of people milling around places like Discovery Park, Carkeek Park, etc. As many of us have learned, it is very hard to stay six feet away from others on trails, beaches and open areas during sunny afternoons and weekends.

I’ve really been feeling the weight of our world on my shoulders lately, and I know many of you have been too. It’s been a difficult few months as we’ve had to alter nearly every facet of daily life due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly for the time being, outings with the kids are no longer filled with playgrounds, play dates, and trips to the Woodland Park Zoo (although they just reopened!), Seattle Children’s Museum, and Pacific Science Center.

 

Sign Up Chooser

 

We have been trying to get the kids out and about each day to bike and scooter for some good exercise and fun. Ella Bailey Park in Magnolia has a great space for this, and we’ve been taking advantage of the Stay Healthy Streets frequently as well. The beach has been another life-saver for us (especially Picnic Point Park), and a very popular play destination with the kids!

One silver lining in all of this has been that with many of our usual destinations closed, we’ve made a point to explore some new places. We have found several gems that we have never gone to before. I want to share these with you because I wish I would have found them sooner!

This is the first of my “secret” spots I will be sharing with you. A crucial element to all of these outings is that good social distancing is possible. It’s worth noting that each one I will share with you are kid-approved, and were two enthusiastic thumbs up by my own kids…eight thumbs up total 🙂

Continue reading “My Secret “Socially Distanced Outings” Around Seattle: Boeing Creek at Shoreview Park”