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.

 

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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”

 

On June 9, 2020, Governor Inslee released operational and safety guidelines for how nannies, sitters and in-home child care providers can begin providing services to parents and families again.

Unfortunately, many of these guidelines are extremely difficult for a family and care provider to implement and could have a negative impact on the relationship between the provider and children in their care.

The Nanny Parent Connection team has carefully reviewed the operational guidelines published by Governor Inslee and has created this informational resource on how care providers and families can interpret these guidelines. Please make sure to read the important legal disclaimer at the end of the document.

Continue reading “COVID-19: Our Advice on the Guidelines Issued by Governor Inslee”

 

UPDATE:

On June 9, 2020, Governor Inslee released operational and safety guidelines for how nannies, sitters and in-home child care providers can begin providing services to parents and families again. Unfortunately, many of these guidelines are extremely difficult for a family and care provider to implement and could have a negative impact on the relationship between the provider and children in their care. The Nanny Parent Connection team has carefully reviewed the operational guidelines published by Governor Inslee and has created an informational resource on how care providers and families can interpret these guidelines. To view this resource, please click here.

Like many parents across the country, the husband and I have begun discussing how bringing our nanny back into our home is going to work.

In Washington, Governor Inslee has announced that Phase 2 of the reopening is tentatively scheduled for June 1. This is the the phase where all in-home/domestic services can resume. Essentially, nannies and sitters are allowed to begin working with non-essential employee parents beginning June 1…..subject to change like all things COVID-19 related.

coronavirus nanny

Our children and I miss our nanny so much! We are all excited to see her smiling face and our children are excited to restart some of the special activities/traditions that they have created with her (if you haven’t seen Wonky Donkey, check it out here).

It goes without saying, the hubby and I are excited because we sorely need a break!

The question that we have been wrestling with is how do we safely bring our nanny back into our home and protect her, her family and our family from being infected with COVID-19?

Continue reading “Coronavirus and Child Care: How We Plan To Bring Our Nanny Back”

 

Our world is facing scary and unprecedented times with concerns of the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Social distancing, school closures, toilet paper hoarding, canceling both major and minor events, and a new genre of internet memes are the new norm across the world.

Many of us are trying to stay as positive as possible during these difficult times.

coronavirus child care

I have seen so many examples of kindness, caring, and compassion all around.

  • More door-holding so the next person doesn’t have to touch the door.
  • Offers to donate food and supplies to those who can’t afford to buy extras.
  • Offers by parents to other parents to swap child care in small groups.

The list goes on and on, and I’m sure this is only the beginning. Thanks to everyone who is in a position to donate, help, and “extend a hand” to those who are in need.

With schools across the United States ordered closed, many parents and care providers are working hard to figure out how they can keep kids busy with academic activities to maintain some form of a regular, structured learning schedule each day.

Pro Tip: Don’t let planning this be too much of a stress on you!  (There are plenty of other things we have no control over presently that we are already stressed about, right?!). It doesn’t have to be all math, science, and history – though there are plenty of ways to make those subject matters enjoyable.

  • Bring back the study of home economics with cooking, sewing, nutrition, or money management lessons.
  • Let your kids choose some fun “electives” like music, YouTube Art, or online coding projects.
  • Go out on a family bike ride, hike, or a trip to the beach for physical education and a biology lesson in one!  
  • A lot of learning happens during unstructured play time, too!

free educational resources

There have been so many great, creative and in some cases free educational resources popping up in light of this extended school closure.

While I know this list is not comprehensive, I thought it would be a good idea to try to put some of these in one place to help parents and nannies with ideas to keep school-aged kids busy while they are at home.

Continue reading “Coronavirus Outbreak: Free Educational Resources”

Please note: We have temporarily suspended our upcoming pay rate surveys due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will resume our pay rate surveys soon.

 

Looking for child care pay rate information in the Puget Sound region?

Choose a child care arrangement below to view our member generated pay survey results!

 

average cost of babysitter

In our ongoing quest to provide current and accurate information about child care pay rates in our region, it’s time to update our Sitter Pay Rate Survey for One Child!

We last surveyed our members about “babysitting” pay rates in January 2019. You can find the results of that survey here.

Today we present our February 2020 Sitter Pay Rate Survey for One Child!

Continue reading “Sitter Pay Rate Survey for One Child – February 2020”

 

Over the past several years, we have asked our members to complete pay rate surveys to provide the parents, care providers, and agencies of our 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 surveys by clicking here.

We wanted to take this opportunity to update the pay rate information for nanny share child care arrangements as it has been over a year since we last surveyed our community.

nanny share pay rate

Today, we present the results of our January 2020 Nanny Share Pay Rate Survey. Has the average hourly rate increased or decreased? What care/household duties do most providers handle when participating in a nanny share? Continue reading to find out!

What are you paying or being paid to care for children in a nanny share? Comment below and thanks to all who participated!

Continue reading “Nanny Pay Survey Results – Nanny Shares | January 2020 Update”

 

Earlier this month, a peek at my email inbox got me thinking. I had four emails from different individuals all asking the same thing:

“Hi Laura, can you explain to me what I need to do to become a nanny?”

“What are the requirements to care for children in Seattle?”

“Do I need training to become a nanny?”

“Laura, I just moved to Washington from Mexico and would like to work as a nanny. How?”

Several times each week, I hear from people that want to become a nanny but are unsure if formal training or education is required. With this in mind, I approached Dr. Angela Blums who is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at Pierce College. Angela very graciously agreed to write the below post on the value of childhood education and the different education opportunities that exist in Washington. Thank you so much Angela for this incredibly valuable information and insight!

P.S. There is no formal training or education required to become a nanny in Washington but it sure helps! I hear from parents looking for care providers with formal child care education on a regular basis.

child care education

What is the difference between a field and a profession? There are several factors to consider, such as professional organizations, national or state recognition, and of course, education. Caring for young children is the most important work in the world, yet few people consider nanny work to be “professional”. This is wrong, because the care that a qualified nanny provides is nothing less than professional. One way to be recognized as a professional is to pursue training or to learn to highlight the training you already have!

Continue reading “What Training Is Required To Become A Nanny?”

 

During the past week, I have been speaking with members about how the CareCalendar has been working for them. Several members all had the same fantastic idea:

“Could we use the CareCalendar to set up playdates/meetups?”

Yes! That’s a great suggestion and today we launched two new event categories for the CareCalendar: City of Seattle – Playdates and East King County – Playdates.

If you would like to find other parents and/or care providers that are looking to set up playdates, simply visit the CareCalendar by clicking here.

Then, click on All Event Categories and select either “City of Seattle – Playdates” or “East King County – Playdates”. Browse the different playdate postings and if you see one of interest, direct message the other member and set it up!

carecalendar playdates

Or you can post your own playdate by clicking on the pink Add Child Care Event button and then selecting either the City of Seattle – Playdates or East King County – Playdates category.

If members find this new feature useful, we will expand it to the North King County, South King County, Pierce County and Snohomish County areas.

How is the CareCalendar working for you? Do you have a feature idea you’d like to see us implement? Send me an email and let me know!

P.S. Check out this great article about the importance of playdates from CloudMom by clicking here!