Family Resources Blog

Nannies, Families and Lice!

Lice have been plaguing human kind since the dawn of civilization.  This unfortunate fact still exists today and can affect any family, any time. We recently heard from a nanny that was drawn into the battle on behalf of her family. She turned to us for some advice, and we decided to put a bunch of resources together in one place!

For a funny movie view, check out Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Kate in the movie I Don’t Know How She Does It:

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How will the Affordable Health Care Act affect Families and Nannies?

ACAThe Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (also known as “ObamaCare”), is the major buzz in every industry right now.  But, how will this affect the Nanny industry?  We’ve collected some great articles from industry publications,and included some links to different informative sites for both families and nannies.

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International Day of the Girl Child – October 11th 2013

International Day of the Girl Child

“Innovating for Girls’ Education”

Page 1 Girl Declaration600

But why a day for girls? Here’s a dozen reasons to start with

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Five Fall Family Fun Activities!

Children Playing in Leaves

The arrival of the Pumpkin-Spice Latte means only one thing in the Annie’s Nannies office, it’s Fall again in Seattle. Before the weather starts freezing little (and big) toes, we like to take the chance to spend some time outdoors – enjoying the crunch of leaves on the ground and the sight of hundreds of orange pumpkins in a field.

1. Get Lost In A Corn Maze

One of the most entertaining fall family activities is getting lost in a corn maze! Our friends at Red Tricycle have put together this handy list of 10 corn mazes in the Seattle area. A great, inexpensive day out with the kids that guarantees a good night sleep! Your family doesn’t need much to have fun here – just a pair of gumboots and a sense of direction.

Our Top Pick: Carleton Farm! – Check out all the extra fun activities!

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Annie’s Nannies Wins 2013 Red Tricycle Totally Awesome Award!

2013 Red Tri award winner (1)

Annie’s Nannies was chosen by Red Tricycle voters as the best Childcare Agency/Resource in the Seattle area.  We were thrilled and honored to be nominated and chosen. Thank you to everyone who voted!!  Woot!

 

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Annie’s Nannies: August 2013 Nanny of the Month

Kathryn HillmanKathryn Hillman was chosen as August’s Nanny of Month.  Kathryn has been part of our on call pool since early June 2013 and from the get go, we knew she would be an all-star! She presents herself in a professional way and the kids she looks after absolutely adore her!

One of her early clients said “Kathryn was great! She immediately understood that my little one might cry when I left and did what she could to distract her (she would definitely have cried!) She was also very firm with my 7 year old (who later informed me he was not exactly cooperative!) and I was impressed with that.”

 When asked about a favorite funny moment working with kids, Kathryn said: “I was looking for something to prepare for dinner for the kids I was watching the other night, and the 4 year old chimed in and said ‘Well, Mommy lets us have pancakes and chocolate chips sometimes usually a lot of the time. We can have those.’

I replied, ‘Hmm…really? I’m sure. That sounds delicious. Your Mommy is very nice.’
She says, ‘She is, but don’t tell her we ate them.’
Needless to say, we didn’t eat chocolate-chipped-pancakes for dinner this time around.”

Thank-you for all your wonderful work Kathryn! We’re lucky to have you!

 

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Fair Wages for Nannies?

runningWe often get this question, especially with the recovering economy and many families having to be extremely cost-conscious.  However, paying too low of a salary to a nanny could result in high nanny turnover and/or low quality providers.   During your child’s early years, the quality of care is very important for their overall development.   Many families choose to make high quality childcare a priority for these first years, sacrificing in other areas, knowing that once the child enters school childcare costs should lessen.

So, what should you consider when coming up with a fair wage?

  1. Hours:  Full time is considered 40 hours+/week; Part time is anything under 30 hours/week.  Keep in mind, part time nannies are harder to find and therefore tend to get paid a premium.  Also, anything over 40 hours per week is technically overtime by law.
  2. Job duties:  Will the job be childcare focused or will it include additional duties?  Generally more duties equals more dollars.
  3. Number and ages of children:  How many children and their ages will play a role.  Good infant care is hard to find and we have been experiencing a “baby boom” in the Seattle area in the past 5 years.  Good infant nannies tend to get paid a premium.
  4. Nanny’s Experience:  how much experience a nanny has, education or other child development training, diversity of experience, etc.
  5. Market Value:   Amazingly enough, experience is not always “queen.”  Sometimes things like personality, life-goals, and other characteristics make one nanny more marketable than another.

Seattle Market:

In the current Seattle/Eastside market, we see most professional nannies earning $16-$18/hour (sometimes more) for full time positions, and $18-$20/hour for part time positions.   Keep in mind these are GROSS wages. When you hire a nanny you are becoming their employer and you will be responsible for withholding taxes.   A great tax resource is Breedlove & Associates, and they have a wonderful payroll calculator online that can help you with budgeting:

In terms of “benefits”, there are no requirements, but rather industry standards.  Most professional nannies expect their hourly rate to be guaranteed, even if the family doesn’t need her (i.e. a “salary” that she can rely on).  Guaranteeing your nanny’s pay can go a long way towards loyalty and flexibility.    Most full time nannies receive 2 weeks of paid vacation per year, 3-5 sick days, and all major holidays off paid.  Most part time nannies receive a guarantee of hours and paid holidays.

Remember to always keep in mind that a nanny is caring for your greatest asset-your children! If you treat your nanny well and professionally then you have a higher likelihood that she will be committed and happy in her position with you and will give your children the highest quality care.

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Nanny Tax Amnesty-Important News for Families

taxesThe nanny/household employee industry has been historically notorious for misclassifying their employees (i.e. paying them off the books).  The IRS is giving families a chance to come clean and fix the problem by June 30, 2013. Experts estimate that the tax shortfall for families not reporting/paying is $3-$10 billion per YEAR!  The IRS have been cracking down on the household employee industry in recent years, and many believe this is a warning that they will be targeting it even more.

For more information:

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Nannies, Take Good Care!

We know that our Nannies often put the needs of others before their own needs. After all, a Nanny’s profession is centered around the care of others, the children they love, and the family they support. This is good and meaningful work! It is often loads of fun but it can also wear you out! In order to stay strong and happy (and engaged in your job), it’s important to also take the same care for yourself.

The following “55 Gentle Ways To Take Care of Yourself When You’re BUSY BUSY BUSY” is a nice list of practices. My favorites include anything to do with getting enough sleep or rest, exercise and eating well, pursuing creative endeavors, meditating, and being goofy!

This article differentiates between Self-Care, Self-Pampering (Ok!) and Self-Indulgence. Something to think about!

Take what you like and discard won’t doesn’t work for you. Make your own self-care list, do what you can, and don’t beat yourself up for not doing everything on your list.  Lastly, talk to yourself with kindness and care for your own needs the way you would the children you care for!

self-care

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Annie’s Nannies 2012 Nanny of the Year!!

Heather nanny of the year 2012 photoWe are thrilled to announce our 2012 Nanny of the Year is Heather McKay!  We placed Heather in a Nanny/Family Assistant job last year, and she was our August Nanny of the Month in 2012.  Her family had this to say upon hearing of her win:

“Our family is thrilled to hear that Heather has been selected as Nanny/Family Assistant of the Year.  She is certainly deserving of this honor.  Heather provides our busy household with incredible support and organization, and always with an energetic smile.  She anticipates our needs and does more than we ask.  As a professional single mom, I don’t what I’d do without her! Thanks for honoring Heather.”
-Karen

Heather recently came into our office to receive her award, some flowers, and a special treat! Congrats!

 

 

 

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Annie's Nannies, Inc. / 2236 NW 58th St Suite 101 / Seattle, WA 98107 / PHONE: (206) 784 - 8462 / FAX: (206) 789 - 1921