bellevue nanny

Annie’s Nannies Sponsors National Nanny Training Day 2016!

NNTD 2016

 

For the 5th year in a row Annie’s Nannies is working with the Northwest Nanny Association to bring you an amazing day of training!  National Nanny Training Day 2016 is a nationwide day of training for nannies, being sponsored by various nanny groups and agencies across the country.  Why is training so important for nannies?  Because keeping current on all the latest in child development and safety is the most important indicator of quality child care!

WHEN: Saturday, April 16th 2016 from 8:30am-4:30pm

WHAT: A full days line-up of speakers and workshops–more details to come soon! Lunch included. Raffles and networking with fellow nannies!

PRICE: GET EARLY BIRD FEES if you sign up by February 29th!  $31.74 for NWNA members and $36.87 for non-members.

guardian-association-affiliate-program-sign-up-now

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When You Need to Let Your Nanny Go

DSC_7573Whether it’s due to relocation, change in work arrangements or that elusive spot opening up in daycare, telling your Nanny that you no longer require her services is tough for all involved. She adores your children, your children adore her, and you’ll be sad to see her go!

This is a conversation you need to prepare for; begin by looking at your Nanny-Family work agreement for notice and severance pay minimums. Make a decision on whether to increase or maintain the previous arrangement and put it into writing to hand to the Nanny during the conversation. Most families offer at least 2 weeks’ notice and/or 2 weeks’ severance pay to a long-term Nanny; adding an extra week for each year of employment over year one (e.g. a nanny who has been with the family 3 years would receive 4-6 weeks’ notice+severance). Also, remember to write your Nanny a letter of recommendation.

Arrange a meeting with the Nanny at a time when the children are otherwise occupied and she can go home afterwards to process. Tell her all the positives of your experience with her and how valued she is as part of your childcare “community”. The conversation will likely come as a shock to her, so keep it relatively short and sweet, and organize a time for a follow up conversation a couple of days later.

The next step is to let your children know – it’s best to tell them the truth and do it when the Nanny is present. Make sure the children know that it isn’t their fault that the Nanny is leaving, and that you will stay in contact. Giving the children ample time to adjust and ask questions is the key to success here. Presuming the nanny has taken the news gracefully, these last few weeks can be filled with special activities together and provide lots of lovely memories.

Allowing your Nanny time to job search is also extremely important – work together to find time for your Nanny to update her resume, attend interviews and have trial days with a new family.

If you need more support on ending your Nanny’s employment, please contact a Placement Director today. We are here to help! 

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The Top 10 Most Desired Family Assistant Skills

teatraygirlAre you interested in the #1 most requested household job request?  The Family Assistant (or Nanny/Family Assistant) is a Jill-of-All-Trades position that many of our busy families are striving to find.  Here are the top 10 skill sets they are looking for. Is this you?

 

 

1. Able to meal plan, meal prep, cook (gourmet skills not required!)

2. Good time management skills

3. Good at calendaring, tech- saavy both with social media and general online

4. Great organizational skills

5. Multi-tasker and flexible attitude

6. Obvious desire to make the parents’ lives easier

7. Being able to really “hit it off” with school aged children

8. Great driving skills and a great sense of direction

9. Being a little on the Type A side

10. Really enjoying dogs and cats and pet care

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ANI Hosting WestSide Baby Winter Donation Drive

2015 WSbaby donation drive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Seattle’s Annie’s Nannies Founder Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Suz and Annie award 2015(Oct. 11, 2015 – Seattle) –– The Association of Premier Nanny Agencies, a national non-profit that helps set the bar for safe professional service in the nanny industry, has bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award to Seattle’s Annie Davis, founder of Annie’s Nannies, Incorporated.

“I started my business in 1984. In the last 31 years, my staff has done a wonderful job helping thousands of our families find a nanny for their children. These women make me so proud and happy,” says Davis. “They offer integrity and compassion in finding a nanny the perfect position and the family the perfect nanny. My staff deserves this award and I will be sharing it with them, as well as a nice bottle of champagne!”

Congratulations Annie!

 

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Parenting Corner: How to Deal with Homework

backtoschool2The school year in Seattle is starting in less than 3 weeks!  As we enjoy these last days of summer, our minds turn to the upcoming year and the potentially dreaded battle of homework.  Many experts are now agreeing that forcing and battling with kids over homework is not helpful.  Here is a great article roundup of ideas on strategies to help our kids, making homework fun, and remembering that children’s job is school and how stressful that can be!

1. ParentMap: Whose Homework Is it Anyway?

2. Red Tricycle: 7 Ways to Make Homework Fun!

3. The Atlantic: Don’t Help Your Kids with Their Homework

4. Parent Further: 6 Tips for Supporting Kids When They Change Schools

6. ParentMap: 7 Tips From The Secret Society of Kindergarten

6. Momastery: The Kids are Fine!

We wish everyone a wonderful year!

 

 

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Worker’s Compensation–An Often Overlooked Aspect of Household Employment

A frustrated, upset child, or child with learning difficulties.By: HomePay Provided by Breedlove

Workers’ compensation insurance is a unique part of the household employment hiring checklist. It’s not tied to the payroll and tax process, but can have a dramatic impact on a family’s finances. The following incident is a prime example of why families need to inquire about workers’ compensation before their household employee starts her first day of work.

The Situation

A family in Tennessee hired a nanny to take care of their 2 kids. The family lived near the park in their neighborhood, so it was part of the nanny’s daily routine to take the kids there and let them have some play time outdoors. Unfortunately, only 3 weeks into the job, the nanny hurt herself while playing with one of the kids and was unable to walk back to the family’s home. She was able to call the mother who quickly drove to the park, picked up the nanny and the kids and took the nanny to the emergency room.

The nanny’s doctor informed her that it would be unsafe for her to care for the family’s children for 3 weeks while she recovered. Between the emergency room visit, x-ray, MRI, arthroscopic surgery and 12 recommended rehabilitation sessions, the total cost of her care came to approximately $8,800. To make matters worse, the hospital informed the nanny that her insurance company refused to pay for her treatment because it was a work-related injury. The nanny and the family were both confused about what to do.

The Law

The majority of states require household employers to purchase a workers’ compensation policy to assist their employee with medical bills and lost wages if they are sick or injured on the job. Even if workers’ compensation isn’t required in a family’s state, they can still be held liable for the value of their employee’s lost wages and medical bills in a work-related incident. Many families mistakenly believe their homeowner’s insurance umbrella policy is sufficient for coverage. However, these policies are written for “guest workers” (i.e. a painter or plumber doing a short-term project) and do not cover an in-home employee.

Note: In California, a homeowner’s insurance policy will cover a household employee provided they work 20 hours or less. If the employee works more than this, a rider must be purchased to provide adequate coverage.

The Outcome

Since Tennessee is not a state that requires household employers to have workers’ compensation for a nanny, the family didn’t break any employment laws. However, since the nanny’s insurance company refused to pay for her medical bills, the family was stuck with the $8,800 bill – plus another $1,800 to pay their nanny for the 3 weeks of work she had to miss. In order to save a little money when their nanny was recovering, both parents used vacation time from their own job to watch their kids until their nanny returned to work. The family now has a workers’ compensation policy – which costs them a little under $500 a year to protect them in case another accident occurs.

This case illustrates why it’s a good idea for families to purchase workers’ compensation, even it’s not required by their state. This family unfortunately made a $9,000 mistake – largely because they weren’t informed about workers’ compensation during the hiring process. Had they received a thorough consultation from an expert like HomePay, we could have eliminated this risk. You can easily imagine a scenario where a household employee is injured on the job worse than this family’s nanny. The resulting medical bills could be 2 or 3 times more expensive, which could cripple a family’s finances.

 

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The #1 Most Requested Nanny Job Description

familyassistantDo you know the #1 most requested type of nanny we hear about day in and day out? It’s the Family Assistant. What is a Family Assistant you ask?  A Family Assistant is a nanny who is also an assistant to the parent/s or household manager.   She provides another pair of hands to assist busy parents with creating a safe and nurturing environment for their children and the management of the household.  Why is this so popular? The more both parents work, and the busier our lives get, the more help a family needs.  This job is typically with school age children (but can include younger children), and is usually about a 60/40 balance of household duties and childcare.  Theses jobs usually range between 30-40 hours/week.

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Annie’s Nannies 2014 Nanny of the Year- Jackie Ralston!

Jackie NOY2014

Autumn, Suzanne, Jackie, Teah, Jenny

We want to congratulate Jackie Ralston on being voted Annie’s Nannies 2014 Nanny of the Year!

Jackie joined ANI last summer, and quickly became one of our most requested temp nannies. She was awarded Nanny of the Month in October.  In addition to being a fabulous nanny, Jackie also has a parent-coaching business where she teaches new parents all kinds of skills. The family that ANI placed her with had this to say:

“Jackie joined our family in November of 2014.  She has jumped in with both feet, integrating herself seamlessly with our family which includes two pre-teen boys.  Jackie has a firm, unflappable demeanor and a marvelous way of moving things along that need to get done without you even realizing she’s the force behind the movement.  She jumps from rhythmic writing, to Nerf gun battles, and then off to after school events.  She is truly dedicated and tireless.  We have one child involved in a number of therapies and she has learned all of the techniques involved, and her follow through and guidance has been instrumental in making the therapies effective for him.  Teachers, coaches and therapists have all commented on how wonderful our nanny is.  We entirely agree.  I feel very fortunate to have Jackie as a part of our household, and am so proud that she was awarded Nanny of the Year.”

Congratulations Jackie!  Thank you for all you do everyday!

 

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The Affordable Care Act: Your Nanny’s Health Insurance

ACA_logoAs an update to our December 9th post, here is the final ruling and most current information from Breedlove & Associates regarding helping your nanny with her health insurance.

Affordable Care Act:

As a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), most individuals are required to have health insurance or face a monetary penalty. While household employers are not required to provide health insurance for their employee, families can provide or contribute to a policy to help meet this mandate. Additionally, Congress has two types of tax incentives to encourage household employers to contribute to their employee’s health insurance.

The first incentive is to allow employer contributions toward an employee’s health insurance premiums to be treated as non-taxable compensation — meaning neither employer nor employee has to pay taxes on that portion of the compensation. The second incentive is an employer tax credit on health insurance contributions. Combined, these incentives make it wise to consider health insurance contributions as part of the compensation package.

NON TAXABLE COMPENSATION

Household employers with 1 employee can contribute to their employee’s health insurance premiums and treat the entire amount as non-taxable compensation. (Employers with 2 or more employees must purchase health insurance through SHOP to gain this benefit). This creates a significant tax advantage in situations where the employee has obtained, or is planning to obtain, health insurance. For the employee, it has the effect of paying for the health insurance premiums with pre-tax dollars, which effectively reduces the cost by a percentage equal to the employee’s marginal tax rate. For most household employees, this will be somewhere in the 15-20% range. For the family that employs the worker, it reduces the taxable wages upon which their employer taxes are based, thereby saving them approximately 10% of the amount of the health insurance contributions. Using an average health insurance cost of $350 per month, the nanny saves about $600-$800 per year and the family saves about $400 per year — simply by strategically structuring the payroll.

To achieve these tax advantages, we recommend that families pay the insurance company directly. This will eliminate any possibility of the money being used for other purposes and will make life much easier in the event of an audit. If that’s not possible, we recommend getting copies of the monthly health insurance invoices.

HEALTH INSURANCE TAX CREDIT FOR SMALL EMPLOYERS

The Health Insurance Tax Credit for Small Employers enables employers who pay for at least half (50%) of their employee’s health insurance premiums to take a tax credit of up to 50% of the annual contribution amount. (Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Accounts are not eligible for this tax break). To qualify for this tax credit, the employer must have fewer than 25 employees, pay average annual wages (for all employees) of less than $50,000 and purchase the policy through SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program).
Note: Because SHOP is a relatively new program, frequent changes and updates may occur. Please visit the SHOP website for more information.
The tax credit percentage of 50% gradually decreases as the average annual salary increases. Using an average household employee salary of $30,000 and an average health insurance cost of $350 per month, a family would receive a tax credit of $1,680 on their federal income tax return.

FAQ’S: THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT:

What is the Affordable Care Act?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as the Affordable Care Act, is a federal statute which was signed into law in 2010. The statute is primarily aimed at reducing the overall cost of health care and decreasing the number of uninsured individuals living in the United States by enacting a number of different mandates, subsidies and tax credits.

Am I required to offer health insurance to my employee(s)?
No, employers are not required to offer health insurance if they employ fewer than 50 employees. However, you are required to provide your current employee(s) and, at the time of hire, any future employee(s) with notice of the new Health Insurance Marketplace.

Is my employee required to have health insurance?
Yes, beginning in 2014, your employee may be charged penalties if she does not have health insurance coverage. However, you are not responsible for making sure your employee has health insurance.

What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?
The Health Insurance Marketplace, or The Marketplace, is a “one-stop shop” where individuals can compare and purchase health insurance policies. Open enrollment for The Marketplace opens on November 15, 2014 for coverage beginning January 1, 2015. Your employee(s) will be able to purchase health insurance through The Marketplace until open enrollment ends on February 15, 2015. For more information on The Marketplace, or to complete an online application for health insurance coverage, please visit www.HealthCare.gov.

How much will health insurance cost?
The cost of health insurance will vary depending on your state and the amount of coverage your employee chooses. After completing an application through The Marketplace, your employee will be able to compare prices and coverage options for different health insurance policies. Depending on your employee’s income and family size, she may be eligible for the Advance Premium Tax Credit if she purchases insurance through The Marketplace. The credit can be applied directly to her monthly premiums which results in immediate cost savings. If she qualifies for the Advance Premium Tax Credit, her savings will be reflected in the prices displayed on The Marketplace.

If I contribute to my employee’s health insurance policy, will I be eligible for any tax breaks?
If you have 1 employee and contribute to their health insurance premium, the amount of your contribution is considered “non-taxable compensation” – so neither you nor your employee would have any taxes on that portion of the compensation. In addition to the non-taxable advantage, if you set up a health insurance policy for your employee through SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) on the Marketplace and pay at least 50% of your employee’s premiums, you may be able to take advantage of the Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance. To take this credit, you’ll attach Form 8941 to your personal income tax return. The credit is up to 50% of the contribution you pay. If you have 2 or more employees, you must purchase a policy through SHOP in order for your contributions to be considered non-taxable.

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Annie's Nannies, Inc. / 6041 California AVE SW Suite 105 / Seattle, WA 98136 / PHONE: (206) 784 - 8462 / FAX: (206) 789 - 1921