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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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).
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?!
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:
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!
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!
When you are a family (or nanny) with kids in Seattle, it’s crucial to have plenty of great indoor places to take them when it’s too rainy or cold, or when the air quality isn’t great. And to have a good plan in place for school-aged children with camps during the various breaks during the school year. Or just to change up your regular day to day routine!
The Pacific Science Center is our go-to place out of the hundreds of indoor play options around the area. It’s relatively close to our house, it’s clean and the staff are really friendly and helpful, and it’s one of the few places that can entertain my kids spanning the ages of 1-11 years. Also they have coffee (for me), and dinosaurs (for my kids) for the win!
Honestly, these things alone are enough to make us absolutely love this place. Not to mention, there are so many great hands-on exhibits there for the kids to check out. I realized the last time we were all there that I probably could be getting even more value out of our annual membership there. (Upon exploring this, I could be getting A LOT more out of membership!!)
Read on to the end to find out how to redeem your FREE PASS from the PacSci!
I often get questions from parents about things that come up when working with their nanny. Some of these things seem like they should be little things, but they are NOT. Don’t let these nine little things sneak up on you and put a hitch in the relationship you have with your nanny.
Nanny Eating Family’s Food
It never occurs to some parents and nannies that this could turn into an issue. I often see the topic of food come up from both parties.
Some parents have an open fridge/pantry policy. They may even go so far as to ask the nanny what kinds of foods she would like to have around to eat during the week. If there is anything that’s earmarked for something specific, like leftovers intended for dinner, make sure to label it or communicate that to your nanny.
I have heard some parents are surprised by their nanny eating the food at their house. If this is you, make sure to discuss with your nanny. It can get weird and become a big “thing” if the relationship progresses and food becomes a sticking point for any reason.
Some families have kids with food allergies or special diets. I have seen one instance where the family’s food requirements meant the nanny was only able to bring foods that were specialty items. This made the food more expensive than what the nanny normally purchased. If you have any specialty requirements like this, consider always allowing the nanny to eat what’s in the house or giving her a specialty food stipend.
If you have children, at some point you will need backup care. Perhaps it’s to cover care when your child is too sick to attend daycare or school. Maybe you are a stay-at-home parent who needs to attend a daytime appointment without your little helper, or perhaps you are unable to care for your child due to an illness or injury. Or your regular nanny might be planning to take a well-deserved vacation and you need to find coverage for a couple of days or a week.
In a perfect world you or your spouse have the flexibility to stay home with your child, or you have a family member who lives nearby and can provide care on short notice (those of use who don’t have these things collectively envy you – just a little 🙂 ). But if you’re like the many Seattle residents who don’t have an established system for backup care, what do you do?
Nanny Parent Connection was created out of my own need for child care resources as a parent. We have continued to add more resources for parents and nannies like background checks and payroll services. We also offer backup child care resources with our Last Minute Care Text Service and our Verified Care Provider Service. These are excellent options for parents to find care in a pinch, and also for care providers to pick up extra hours when they are between nanny positions or have free days in their schedules.
But if you are in need of last minute or back up child care, which system should you use? Read on to find out!
Early March was COLD. The kind of cold that my toddlers don’t last long outside in because they refuse to wear mittens. They soldier through holding onto the cold chains of swings at the park for about 10 minutes before they tap out.
Although it was still on the colder side one particular day, finding another indoor play activity wouldn’t allow us to soak up some needed sun. The kids and I needed to get OUT of the house and do something a little different.
Visiting Kelsey Creek Farm in Bellevue with my kids had been on my to-do list for several months. Our plans to go had been scrapped several times because twins, nap schedules, and a finite mental bandwidth are real things! Heading to Bellevue from Seattle with three kids ages four years and younger, with lunches and snacks, water bottles, diapers, etc. took a little extra preparation but we finally did it. I only wish I would have gotten my, well…self, together sooner on this!