I will be the first to admit that when I started the process of hiring nannies to care for my children, I had no idea how to go about finding, interviewing, hiring and working with a care provider.
My intent with this page is to provide a “one stop shop” for all of your questions and concerns – whether you are a care provider or a family.
If you see anything that needs updating or that you have a question about, please feel free to email me.
Finding or Offering Childcare
Interviewing and Hiring
Paying your Provider
Finding Care Providers – Using Nanny Parent Connection
The best option in the Puget Sound region for reaching thousands of care providers immediately is the Nanny Parent Connection. As a member of the group, you can post a care opportunity “advertisement” and immediately begin hearing from providers who are interested in your opportunity. Many nanny share relationships begin here as well! Because the interactions happen on Facebook (and people are already on Facebook frequently throughout the day), the response time is extremely fast. (Pro tip: Many of the area nanny agencies find care providers through our group!) I created this group because I needed to find a nanny – the national online sites weren’t helping me. Even with a regular nanny, I still use the group for finding back up or temporary childcare!
The Nanny Parent Connection Facebook group has several features you will find helpful in addition to the many postings by care providers looking for new positions. There is a weekly availability feature, both for last minute or back up childcare and also for date nights and evening care. Each week care providers comment in these threads with their updated weekly availability so parents can quickly see who is free to help out on any given day. (To find these threads, do a search in the group for #npcdaytime or #npcevening. There is also a member feedback section for parents to see if families have had a positive experience with a care provider they have hired. Every Sunday, this section is updated with new feedback. (You can find this by searching in the group for #npcmemberfeedback).
Ready to jump in and make your job posting? It’s easy! Sign up by clicking here. Most people briefly describe their need for care (hours, location, number of children, job duties, compensation, etc.) and also tell a little about their family or the children who will be cared for by the provider. Many also describe the qualities they are looking for in a care provider. Adding pictures for attention or injecting a little humor into the post tends to get the most attention from potential providers.
Our site’s extensive library helps to provide support for every aspect of your journey into the care provider world. Our Pay Calculator helps to take the guesswork out of doing payroll for your provider. Have a question about employing or working with a nanny that you can’t find an answer to? Ask the Facebook group! With nearly 19,000 members and counting, this is the best place to crowd-source answers or ask advice from industry professionals and parents who have been using nannies for years. We are a local, family-owned company and your membership helps support a local Seattle business!
For Care Providers
By becoming a member you instantly have access to the largest group of parents seeking childcare in the state of Washington! You can browse the available job postings or create your own posting that highlights your unique qualities and what you’re looking for in a nanny family. Already have a full time position but want to fill your free days or evenings? Many families use the group regularly to find short notice, back up, or date night childcare. We have created a place for care providers to list updated availability each week (this can be found by searching in the group for #npcdaytime or #npcevening) so parents can quickly see who is available. Each Wednesday, the threads for the following week is posted. In addition to sharing the dates/times available for care, many nannies also write a little blurb about themselves or their qualifications/credentials to attract attention from potential families.
You asked and we have answered! Just as parents can leave feedback regarding their experience working with you, you are able to leave feedback for them as well. Why shouldn’t a care provider be able to have insight as to what kind of employer a family is?
The care providers who are members of the Nanny Parent Connection are a huge asset to our amazing community – we appreciate and value you! We support industry standards and have detailed these standards in our resources section for parents to understand. Do you have an idea for how to make the group better, or did we miss something in the library? Let us know! It’s easy to reach us directly via Facebook private message or email. We are always looking for ways we can help continue to provide support for the important work that you do. We have several ideas we are working on along these lines including a “Nanny Political Action Committee” – stay tuned!
Finding Care Providers – Using Care, UrbanSitter, etc.
In the journey of creating this website, it’s been interesting to learn that many of the large, national sites for hiring nannies and sitters have way fewer care provider members in the Puget Sound region than the Nanny Parent Connection! Job postings there can be clunky to create and are only visible to those who find your listing in a search. My personal experience with several of these large, national sites was that I would reach out to many care providers but have few to none of them contact me back. Care providers likely aren’t checking those websites multiple times per day as they do with Facebook. Some of these sites are expensive to use and can have confusing cancellation policies. You don’t get to interact with other families in these groups and there is no sense of community. With these sites you look at a carefully curated profile made by the care provider, whereas with a Facebook profile you gain a more authentic and genuine idea of who a potential care provider really is.
For Care Providers
Many care providers have been using these online sites for years, and for some it works well. I have heard numerous tales from care providers that “spammers” have become so prolific that they are now leery of using those sites or won’t use them at all. I have also heard about retaliatory reviews made by parents on care providers’ profiles, and that these sites don’t provide good support to care providers. By having group interactions happen on Facebook, it lends transparency to the process by allowing you to check out a potential family’s member generated feedback – prior to responding to their post.
Finding Care Providers – Using CraigsList
Craigslist is sort of the “wild west” when it comes to finding childcare. Yes, it is an option, but it is not regulated in any way. Anyone can create an ad and there is no screening process for users, accountability, or community input regarding the care provider. Most care providers are not checking Craigslist several times per day for new childcare wanted opportunities.
For Care Providers
While Craigslist is an option for finding childcare positions, most families choose not to post there. People who use the site are not screened or held accountable.
Finding Care Providers – Using an Agency
Working with an agency is the most expensive way of finding a nanny. It can cost thousands of dollars to work with one of the larger agencies in Seattle. There are smaller, boutique agencies that cost less but they still charge several hundreds dollars to find a care provider for you. An agency can take the guesswork out of finding and screening a nanny (many agencies find their nannies here at the Nanny Parent Connection) and some parents want that. Some agencies offer back up care for a healthy fee. However, many parents can’t fit these premium prices into their budgets and would rather approach the search for and employment of a nanny with a little sweat equity.
Many families that have used agencies in the past have commented in our group that they have had better success and more control of the process by directly posting their opportunity to our Facebook page.
For Care Providers
Agencies can have certain requirements of you for qualifications and they can decide which families you make contact with. However, usually their services are of no cost to the nanny.
How long will it take to find a nanny?
One question that I receive several times per week is, “how long will it take to find a nanny?”. During the month of January 2018, we surveyed our members on how long it took them to find their nanny (we also asked nannies what they recommend). Overwhelmingly, our members responded that …Login or signup to read more!
Interviewing and Hiring – Best Interview Practices/Questions to Ask
Once you have decided to hire a potential care provider, it is very important to conduct a comprehensive set of interviews. A phone interview is a good first screening tool for a potential provider. It is common to hold the second interview in the home where care will be provided, potentially with the children present to you can see how a provider interacts with them.
Tips from parents:
Interviewing and Hiring – Writing and Presenting a Job Offer
Found a provider candidate you want to hire? Congratulations! The next step (before running a background check) is to develop and present a job offer to the candidate. Prior to presenting the job offer, I always spend a few hours completing the following (Providers – these are good tips for you as well): …Login or signup to read more!
Interviewing and Hiring – Background Checks
Once you have decided to hire a care provider and they have accepted the job offer , it is very important to conduct a thorough background check. Background checks usually take a minimum of 2-3 days and should be completed once the job offer is accepted by the provider candidate. The job offer, of course, would be contingent on the background check coming back clear. …Login or signup to read more!
SOURCES FOR CONDUCTING BACKGROUND CHECKS: (Note: Prior to conducting a background check, obtain written consent from the job candidate with a signed release. All below pricing current as of September 2017) NOTES/ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
SOURCES FOR CONDUCTING BACKGROUND CHECKS:
(Note: Prior to conducting a background check, obtain written consent from the job candidate with a signed release. All below pricing current as of September 2017)
Interviewing and Hiring – Setting Expectations
Interviewing and Hiring – Care Provider Contracts
Having a solid contract in place is crucial to setting things up for success with your provider. It will help to outline clear expectations on both sides and can be an enormous help if situations that may otherwise become difficult to address come up later on. Consider what is important to you as an employee at your place of work, or what benefits you wish you had that may be within your budget for your provider. This person will be caring for your most precious asset – your children! It’s important that they feel fairly compensated and valued.
Working Together – Monitoring your Care Provider
Some families prefer to utilize “nanny cams” to provide peace of mind that the nanny is interacting well/properly with their children, or to find out if concerning behavior is occurring. Video recording your nanny, even without their consent, is legal in all 50 states, so long as the recording is happening …Login or signup to read more!
Working Together – Vehicle Safety
Working Together – Health Insurance
Will you offer your nanny health insurance or a stipend toward health insurance?
There is no requirement for household employers in Washington to pay for their employee’s health insurance. However, employers who pay for at least 50% of their care provider’s health insurance premiums are eligible for the Health Insurance Tax Credit for Small Employers. This tax break provides a credit of up to 50% of the employer’s contributions. The policy must be purchased through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) if there is more than one employee.
Working Together – Liability Insurance
If you pay your care provider as an employee and buy workers compensation coverage, the provider cannot sue you for a job-related injury. If injured on the job, he/she will be limited to collecting her medical bills and lost wages under the workers compensation coverage. Your home and umbrella liability coverage will not …Login or signup to read more!
Working Together – Auto Insurance
Will your care provider be transporting your children in his/her car, or will you provide a car for the provider to drive?
If the provider is using his/her own car:
- Consider having a trusted mechanic inspect the provider’s car prior to her driving your child(ren). This will allow you to ensure that the car is well maintained, has passed a safety inspection, is equipped with airbags and has seat belts that work properly.
Working Together – Reimbursing Provider for Mileage
Working Together – Performance Reviews
Paying your Provider – Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you to Nanny Parent Connection member Becki Brack who is a Partner and Certified Public Accountant at Growing Numbers Accounting and Bookkeeping for providing this information. Becki and her partners also provide affordable household employer payroll services as well – click here to learn more.
#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. …Login or signup to read more!
Paying your Provider – Current Pay Rates
Recently, we polled our community to compile what families are paying (and what care providers are receiving) for various childcare arrangements. The infographics below contain the results of those polls along with weighted averages: …Login or signup to read more!
Paying your Provider – Hourly and Overtime Pay Guidelines
Paying your Provider – Minimum Wage
Paying your Provider – Pay Intervals
Paying your Provider – Tracking Hours/Record Keeping
Paying your Provider – “Banking” Hours
Paying your Provider – Taxes – Overview
Taxes can seem rather intimidating to families who employ care providers. Some families use accountants or payroll services such as Growing Numbers Accounting and Bookkeeping. For years, my husband and I determined taxes, deductions, etc. for our providers by hand. We built our Pay Calculator to expedite the process of paying providers. All Nanny Parent Connection members are free to use this resource to easily figure out payroll taxes and withholdings.
Paying your Provider – Taxes – Deductions
As a household employer, you are responsible for paying to the Internal Revenue Service all Social Security and Medicare taxes, or “Nanny Taxes”. These taxes may either be deducted from the provider’s pay, or you may agree to pay this for the provider yourself. Providers cannot pay their Social Security and Medicare taxes directly.
Paying your Provider – Taxes – Breaks
Paying your Provider – Taxes – Workers Compensation
Worker’s Compensation is an insurance policy that provides financial assistance for lost wages and medical expense in the event of injury or illness resulting from the workplace. All states have a workers’ compensation system. It entitles workers to prompt payment of benefits and in return, the employee forfeits the right to sue for any injuries from work related accidents regardless of fault.
Nanny Share – What’s a Nanny Share?
IMPORTANT: If you are participating in a nanny share or are considering starting or joining one, I strongly recommend that you read this blog post dealing with the legality of nanny shares in our state.
A nanny share is defined as two families sharing the expense of employing a nanny to care for their children as a group. A nanny share can be a more cost effective option for utilizing a nanny. Care is provided at one home or a combination of both (a nanny share can also occur between more than two families).
A nanny bringing his or her child to work with them is considered a perk of employment and not a nanny share. If you are bringing your child to the nanny’s house that is considered to be in-home childcare that requires the care provider to obtain a license and is not a nanny share.
Nanny Share – Are they Legal?
Surprisingly, nanny shares are technically NOT LEGAL.
While putting together this guide, I completed extensive research regarding the legality of nanny shares in the state of Washington. It turns out that when a nanny cares for the children of two separate families at the same time, and this care occurs on a regular basis, it is NOT a legal arrangement …Login or signup to read more!
Nanny Share – How to Set Up a Nanny Share
There are several ways you can find a family to set up a nanny share with. Friends and neighbors are a great choice for the obvious reasons of knowing the family already and proximity, respectively. Some people look to those they meet in childbirth classes, PEPS groups, or online community groups. Our Facebook group is an excellent way to meet another family whether you have a nanny already or not. We typically see 20 to 50 nanny share opportunities on the Facebook group each week.
Additional Information – DSHS Childcare Subsidy
Depending on whether you qualify, the DSHS Childcare Subsidy can be used to offset your costs for care provided by licensed childcare centers, licensed family childcare homes, relatives who care for your children in their own home, or nannies that come to your home to care for your children. This subsidy is offered through two programs; Working Connections Child Care and Seasonal Child Care. Eligibility is determined by the number of individuals in your family and household income. The subsidy works in a similar fashion to healthcare insurance – the family pays a monthly co-pay. For more information or to see if you qualify, visit the DSHS Childcare Subsidy site by clicking here.
Additional Information – City of Seattle Childcare Assistance Program
The City of Seattle offers a childcare voucher program for working families. Enrolled families receive a voucher which authorizes payments for childcare to qualified centers and care homes. The amount of the voucher is dependent on household income, age of children, and when care is needed. Note that this program is only available for care provided for children aged one month to 13 years old and care must be provided by a licensed center or home which contract with City of Seattle. For more information or to see if you qualify, visit the City of Seattle Childcare Assistance Program site by clicking here.
Additional Information – Seattle Milk Fund
The Seattle Milk Fund is a charitable organization that has been around since 1907! They provide child care grants and family support for parents that are attending qualified colleges or universities in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties full time. The grants can be used to pay for childcare for the parent’s child(ren) at licensed child care facilities and preschools while attending school. Grants range from $1,000 to $2,000 per quarter plus family support provided throughout the year. The application process for 2018 begins in May 2018. For more information or to see if you qualify, visit the Seattle Milk Fund site by clicking here.