Ways to Save $500 a Month on Childcare


Looking for easy and effective ways to to save $500 a month on childcare? You’ve found it!

Last week, I received a message from one of our new members that recently moved to Seattle from the midwest. In all caps she wrote:


She went on to write that her family recently moved here because of a job change and were unprepared for the childcare costs in our little corner of America. She then stated: 


She’s not alone. This topic is one of the top three concerns I hear about on a regular basis. In fact, it was the top vote by a wide margin in a poll we recently conducted on what childcare issues keep parents up at night.

This got me thinking about my family, our budget, and what simple ways families can save on childcare costs. I specifically left out suggestions like changing work schedules, hiring an au-pair, etc. because those aren’t simple nor necessarily easy to set up.

If you have other ideas that work for your family, please share in the comments below or send me an email and I will add to this post.

Note: The cost savings below are based on one child and an average childcare cost of $20.00 per hour.

Continue reading “4 Simple Ways to Save $500 a Month on Childcare”


free pacific science center


Huge thank you to the Pacific Science Center for putting together this deal for us! My family loves checking out the exhibits at the Science Center (the boys are fascinated by the dinosaurs) and we have had a membership there for several years. The problem is that when our nanny took our kids to visit, our membership didn’t cover her admission. 

Not anymore! 

Until January 31, Nanny Parent Connection members can purchase a DUAL or FAMILY membership and receive one free FLEX guest pass for the entire year. A FLEX pass creates a permanent, unnamed guest on your membership that can accompany any listed member throughout the year. Perfect for nannies or sitters taking the little ones for a visit!

Continue reading “Exclusive Offer from the Pacific Science Center!”


Guest post from Seattle employment law attorney Noah Williams who is an Associate at Reed Longyear Malnati Ahrens, PLLC. Noah is also a parent and has personal experience navigating the world of nannies and nanny shares. Thanks Noah for sharing this valuable information with us! 

nanny under the table

As childcare for newborns and young children becomes more expensive, families may find they can hire a nanny (or nanny share) for a comparable cost as daycare. A nanny or nanny share are very convenient – location, child to caretaker ratio, no stressful waiting list etc. I know, because it appealed to my wife and me when we had our son. I was naïve enough to think it would be a piece of cake – I am an employment law attorney, how hard could it be? The bad news was that there was a lot I did not know, the good news was that I think anyone can do it, and do it right. Like most things with a new child, it was humbling.

What follows are a few common questions I am asked, my general response, and some general considerations.

Continue reading “Top Five Common Questions to an Employment Attorney about Nannies and Nanny Shares”


Over on our Facebook group page, we recently surveyed our members to gather some current data regarding sitter pay rates. The results are in!

As the graphic below states, please DO NOT use this as a definitive guide to sitter pay rates in our area. We did not ask respondents to include variables such as driving duties, number of hours worked, the specific location in our area where the care occurred, etc. Use this as a general idea of current trends in the Puget Sound region.

As you can tell, there is a vast difference in sitter pay across our region – ranging from $10/hour to $25/hour. Parents – what do you pay for a sitter to care for one child? Sitters – what are you paid per child? Comment below!

Continue reading “Seattle Area Sitter Pay Rates – One Child Only”

Exclusive Discount from Seattle Children's Theater
Mr. Popper’s Penguins at the Seattle Children’s Theater

This is a great activity for the family or with your Nanny Kids!

Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a 70 minute (no intermission) performance suitable for ages 4+.

About the show: Mr. and Mrs. Popper are an ordinary couple in an ordinary English town…until some extraordinary Antarctic penguins come to stay! Lighting up the stage with song and dance, these birds possess talents rivaling the best of vaudeville. Delight in imaginative storytelling, hilarious puppetry and charming musical numbers as these talented creatures warm their way into your heart, taking you and the Poppers on an unpredictable, toe-tapping adventure.


Guest post from Nanny Parent Connection member Becki Brack who is a Partner and Certified Public Accountant at Growing Numbers Accounting and Bookkeeping. Thanks Becki for compiling this list of frequently asked nanny pay questions. You’re the best!

nanny pay questions
#1: Is a nanny or babysitter an employee?

According to the IRS, yes, a person is an employee if you are telling them what they will do and how they will do it.  It doesn’t matter whether the work is full time or part time, or whether you pay the worker on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis, or by the job. Since nannies or babysitters are told what to do with the children and how to do it (parenting styles, schedules, etc.), a child care worker is considered an employee as opposed to an independent contractor. That distinction is the difference between providing a W-2 or Form 1099 at year end and changes who is responsible for the employment taxes.

The IRS Publication 926 – Household Employers Tax Guide, provides examples of who a household employee is which includes babysitters, domestic workers and nannies.

Continue reading “Top Ten Frequently Asked Nanny Pay Questions”


Every holiday season, my husband and I love to take our kids out to see the holiday lights. The problem is that we always seem to miss a light show that is just around the corner or a few minutes away. 

So….I compiled our favorite Seattle area holiday lights (and some new ones we haven’t seen before but have heard about) all into one interactive Google map. Red markers are for free shows and green markers have a cost which I have listed. Click any of the markers for more information and ENJOY!

If you know of any others we should add, shoot me a note here and I will add them.

(Nannies – great activity for your kiddos if caring for them at night. Don’t forget the hot chocolate!)

Connect with THOUSANDS of nannies and sitters in the Seattle area for only $8.99/month.  Click here to sign up!


au pairGuest post from Nanny Parent Connection member Wendy Poleski who is an Educational Consultant focused on connecting families with that special au pair.

Where do culture, conversation, family, food, and laughter come together? Right at your dinner table! Bring the world to your doorstep with an au pair and watch your child experience the world at her fingertips. Are you intrigued by learning about people from different countries? Do you think it’s important for your family to learn a different language? Although there are countless benefits to hosting an au pair, these are just a few of the things that you will gain from hosting an au pair! 

Families all over the country have latched on to this form of childcare and while it has been around for many years, the idea of an au pair is becoming more and more mainstream.  The word au pair is a French word meaning “on par”.  This means that your au pair literally becomes part of your extended family. While they…

Continue reading “Could an Au Pair Solve Your Childcare Dilemma?”


Thanks again to Becki Brack and Growing Numbers for answering our questions on care provider pay! Learn more about the services that Growing Numbers offers by clicking here. To reach Becki, you can email her

care provider pay

Have you heard of any upcoming changes from the IRS, state government, etcetera, that may affect how care providers are paid?

There are no recent developments from the IRS for Publication 926 about household employees. However, there is a new wage threshold for 2018. In 2018, the wage threshold will increase to $2,100 (from $2,000). So if you pay your nanny, caregiver, babysitter, etc. $2,100 or more in a calendar year, you are required to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from the individual’s pay. If  you fail to do so, you (the employer) are liable for these taxes.

There is also a new Washington state sick leave law that nearly every employer in Washington will have to comply with beginning January 1, 2018. There are also city laws that may apply to household employers within the city limits that are already in effective or effective January 1, 2018. See below for more information on sick leave laws.

Continue reading “Care Provider Pay: Answers to YOUR Questions!”



Jasen from Kids and Race just released a video discussing how to use books to talk to kids about race. What books should I buy? How do I talk about race and difference with my children?

His comment about Thomas the Tank Engine and that all of the people in that book are white truly struck me. That is weird and a great teaching moment! Watch the video below:


Guest post from Kids and Race, an organization that empowers adults and children to take responsibility for dismantling racism through honest conversations and loving action.

Note from Laura: Recently, my three year old has started pointing out people of color at the park, store, etc. He calls them “brown mommies” or “brown daddies”. This greatly troubled my husband and I. We contacted Jasen Frelot who is the Executive Director of Kids and Race and asked him if he would be willing to write a guest blog post on how to talk to kids about race. He did us one better!  Below is a discussion between parents of three different races from the Kids and Race team—Jasen (Black), his wife, Operations Manager Hannah Hong Frelot (Asian American), Grantwriter and Blog Editor Katy Strange (white), and her husband Ryan Strange (white) about race, parenting, and identity. Thank you Jasen, Hannah, Katy, and Ryan!

children and race
Jasen Frelot, Executive Director of Kids and Race
What is your name and racial or ethnic background?

I’m Jasen Frelot and I’m Black.

I’m Hannah Hong Frelot and I am Asian American, Taiwanese American.

I’m Katharine Strange and I’m white.

I’m Ryan Strange and I’m white.

Continue reading “Discussion: Children and Race (UPDATED)”