The husband takes our kids to Carkeek Park several times a week during the summer to run around, climb on the playground equipment, and dig in the sand. All of our little ones are fascinated by the freight, Sounder and Amtrak trains that go zooming past several times per day. So he came up with a novel idea: a train ride for the kids! Read on to hear about their adventure…

Link Light Rail

Laura is correct – our kids are absolutely fascinated by trains. So I decided to take them on a train ride! Given the fact that our twins are two years old and still require a nap in order to prevent insanity and meltdowns, my #1 goal with this train trip was to have it last no more than three hours “door to door”. Also, I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on tickets.

Unfortunately, we are a bit limited in our area with passenger heavy rail service. We’re stuck with either Amtrak or the Sound Transit Sounder which runs from Everett to Lakewood.

Amtrak

Proposed Route: Everett to Tacoma

Being a native of Seattle, I can recall from an early age hearing adults speak pretty poorly about Amtrak and its service. While I have never ridden an Amtrak train before, I do hear from friends/family that the service is much improved although you do need to be aware of delays and service interruptions.

My initial thought was, “Hey, let’s jump on an Amtrak train from Everett to Tacoma and then come back”. Yeah….that didn’t happen. Here’s why:

Continue reading “Riding Link Light Rail with the Kids: The Best $6.50 Spent!”

 

The start of the school year is just around the corner for most families in Seattle (parents rejoice!). In my house we have been busy checking to see what clothes and shoes still fit and what sizes we need, and getting ready to rotate summer clothes out and fall/winter clothing in.

nanny school

We have a big shift this year with one kiddo heading off to a new school, and riding the school bus instead of walking. (This is also the first year his hair style matters and he wanted to choose his own clothes for school, and there have been multiple requests for a cell phone…and I don’t suppose these will be disappearing in the foreseeable future!) For us, this means a lot of schedule changes and coordinating with family and care providers.

A lot of parents rely on before and after school help with their children and will be working with a new nanny this school year. (If you are one of the many families still looking for help, please check out these tips on our Before and After School Care Map).

Perhaps you already have a nanny, but the start of the school year means your child care needs have changed. Whether you will be working with a new nanny for the upcoming school year, or you already have nanny care in place, it’s important to take the following things into consideration to ensure a smooth working relationship for everyone involved.

Continue reading “How To Prepare Your Family and Nanny for the Start of School!”

 

The weather has finally gotten the message that it’s SUMMER and we have been having some nice, HOT sunny days! Bring on the season of not having to make school lunches (yay!), and 85+ degree days with no air conditioning (boo)!

summertime activities

I’m really looking forward to getting out and about with the kids, but I also want to avoid getting stuck in a rut of doing the same handful of outings and activities each week. My kids definitely don’t need fancy (they can play for hours in a hole filled with water at the beach), but I want to expose them to a lot of different and enriching activities.

If you have found you’re stuck in a rut, are hearing “I’m bored!” several times a day, or maybe just need some additional summertime activities, please check out these tips below!

Continue reading “Six Tips to Avoid the Summertime “I’m Bored”!”

 

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 caring for two children from the same family as it has been over a year since we last surveyed our community and the new school year is fast approaching!

two children nanny pay

Today, we present the results of our June 2019 Caring for Two Children Nanny Pay Rate Survey. Has the average hourly rate increased or decreased? Continue reading to find out!

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

Continue reading “Nanny Pay Rate Survey Results – Two Children | 2019 Update”

 

If you are a nanny or employ a nanny in Seattle, you need to read this:

Last summer the Seattle Office of Labor and Standards passed the Domestic Worker’s Ordinance. This ordinance went into effect July 1, 2019 and it requires meal and rest breaks for nannies.

new nanny law

Meal breaks must be 30 minutes of uninterrupted time where the nanny is completely relieved of their duties. This is effective for nannies who work more than five hours in a day. A nanny can choose to waive their meal period.

Continue reading “Guest Blog Post: NEW NANNY REST BREAK LAW ALERT!”

 

When you’re a new parent, figuring out new routines on very little sleep can be challenging.  Perhaps you have a childcare strategy in place by the time your baby arrives.  Wait lists at daycare centers and preschools can be crazy long in Seattle (if you’re panicking and need care but don’t have a spot yet, we have your back!) If you are lucky enough to have found a daycare or will be starting preschool soon, make sure you have the inevitability of germs and sick days on your radar!

We have partnered with Stacey Grumet, Founder and CEO of Paper Pinecone, to learn what to expect with germs in those early care and education years.  Paper Pinecone is a fantastic resource for finding the best daycare and preschool options for your family!  (We also have some solutions for managing sick day childcare like a pro!)

Part I: Daycare and the Immune System

by Stacey Grumet from Paper Pinecone

Colds. Hand, foot, and mouth. Pink eye. Lice. Stomach bugs. Ear infections. Ugh.

Your child just entered preschool and it seems like they’re sick with something new every single week. Daycare and preschool are breeding grounds for viruses that spread like wildfire among children. They don’t wash hands often, don’t cover their mouths when they cough, and allow snot to pour out of their noses without giving consideration to the fact that a tissue could easy take care of the situation.

last minute care

For the first year especially, your child will likely be sick often as the latest illness spreads between children. It’s frustrating and you’re sure to pick up a few yourself.

However, It’s not all terrible news. A ten-year study out of the University of Montreal found that children who attended large childcare facilities suffered more ear infections and respiratory infections at a young age than children who weren’t, however, suffered fewer than their peers when they were school-age.

So, what can you do? Continue reading “Germs at Daycare and Preschool – What to Expect and How To Find Last Minute Care”

 

Over the past several years, we have asked our members to complete pay rate surveys to provide the parents and care providers 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 caring for one child as it has been over a year since we last surveyed our community.

Today, we present the results of our May 2019 Caring for One Child Nanny Pay Rate Survey. Has the average hourly rate increased or decreased? Continue reading to find out!

What are you paying or being paid to care for one child? What responsibilities does the nanny have? Comment below and thanks to all of you who participated!

Continue reading “Nanny Pay Rate Survey Results – One Child Care | 2019 Update”

 

When I first moved to Seattle years ago, I was a single mother of one without a solid network of friends. I was able to find a home daycare for my son – but it didn’t open until 8 am. I had to be at work at 6:30 am each morning. How was I going to find child care for just two hours each day, and find someone reliable and trustworthy?!

morning nanny

I put up several ads seeking a nanny for two hours each morning, hoping to connect with a college student looking for work before their classes started.

I ended up getting only one response to my ad, and it turned out Nanny Becky was an excellent match! I was really lucky that the only person to respond worked out well, but I have no idea what I would have done if it hadn’t.

Years ago I was flying rather blindly when it came to working with a nanny. I had little idea for how to connect with a nanny who might be looking for a very part time position. I had zero clue of what I should offer to a potential nanny to make two hours of care each day worth his or her time. And, I didn’t know much about what a working relationship with my nanny might look like.

Finding a nanny to provide before and after school care is the most challenging types of care to find. It’s an uphill battle from the start that involves:

Continue reading “Eight Tips To Find Before and After School Care”

 

how much to pay nanny

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

We last surveyed our members about sitter pay rates in May 2018. You can find the results of that survey here.

Today we present our May 2019 Caring for One Child Pay Rate Survey!

Continue reading “May 2019 Pay Rate Survey: Caring for One Child”

 

A friend and I were chatting several days ago and we found that we had both fallen into a routine of easy, predictable, same old outings with our kids. We had our favorite parks and playgrounds and planned to visit them with our kids several times each week.

I decided it was time to up my game and find some new things to do!

seattle's child app

Sooo, I was pretty thrilled when I found the new Seattle’s Child app. Where has this been all my life?! I didn’t have to search multiple places to find upcoming activities relevant for families. I didn’t need to make a sticky note list of cool things to check out later (that I would probably lose anyway).

With this app you can find current events which conveniently link to websites, put an event on your calendar with the push of a button, keep track of favorite events or activities, AND you can open it up while out and about and find nearby areas of interest in real time. And this only scratches the surface!

Continue reading “Awesome New Tool for Families and Providers in the Seattle Area + FREE Giveaway!”