eastside nanny

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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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.

Read more »

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Discipline as a Parent-Nanny Team

stepsMisbehavior and boundary testing is part and parcel of raising children, and it can be tough to come up with an approach that fits with the parents’ philosophy and that works for the Nanny.

As we all know, what works for one child may not work for another – different approaches might be needed, as long as they are fair and equal in the case of siblings. It is also a good idea to make a plan together for the strategies that will come into play as the children grow.

The most important part of disciplining a child is consistency; what happens with the nanny during the day must continue with the parents after she leaves, and vice-versa. When a nanny sets a consequence during the day and it isn’t followed through with, the child is more likely to repeat the bad behavior and the nanny feels undermined and disrespected.

If this has become a problem in your home, deal with it sooner rather than later. Organize a time for you and your Nanny to sit down and have a clear and frank discussion about what is and isn’t working to get you both back on the same page. Clear communication is key.

See below for some strategies and ideas that might work for you and your family:

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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 Holiday Open House and our Donation Drive for WestSide Baby!

happy_holidays_599ANNIE’S NANNIES HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE!

Come join ANI as we celebrate the holidays and spread some cheer.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 17th from 2:30-4:30pm

WHAT: Hot cocoa & cookies! Socializing & cheer!

WHO: Our nannies & their charges, our families & their children!

DONATE: Please bring an item(s) to donate to our WestSide Baby donation drive (see details below)


 

2014 westside baby holidayAnnie’s Nannies Hosts WestSide BabyHoliday Donation Drive!

 

 

Annie’s Nannies feels strongly about supporting the community we live in.  This December we will be collecting items for WestSide Baby.  WestSide Baby is a nonprofit organization that collects previously owned items for children and babies and distributes them free of charge to King County families in need.  The item most needed is diapers, but they collect everything children and babies may need.  If you would like to help us with our drive here are the details:

WHAT: (most needed) 

  • Strollers
  • Portable Cribs
  • Car Seats (Please review requirements here)
  • Pajamas (Especially larger sizes, up to age 12)
  • Pants (Especially larger sizes, up to age 12)
  • Winter Coats-all sizes
  • New Socks and Underwear
  • Diapers (Newborn, size 5 and size 6)
  • Hygiene Items (wipes, shampoo, wash, diaper cream)

WHERE: Please bring items to Annie’s Nannies’ office in West Seattle any time or during our Holiday Open House on 12/17  (6041 California AVE SW Suite 105, Seattle 98136)

OR   click here for a list of drop-off sites near you. Let us know if you take items directly to WestSide Baby!

WHEN: Please donate items by December 17th, for distribution by the holidays.

Thank you from the Annie’s Nannies Team!
-Annie, Suzanne, Teah, Jenny, Fleur, Stacey, and Autumn

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October Nanny of Month

CAM00116Congratulations to Jackie Ralston on being chosen as ANI’s October Nanny of the Month! Jackie joined our On-Call nanny team in August and has quickly impressed many of our families!

A recent On-Call family had this to say: “Just a note to tell you how much my boys absolutely enjoy Jackie!! They rarely go on about a sitter and not only did they latch on to her immediately last night, they’re excited about her coming again tomorrow night and already talking about the games they want to play with her! She’s truly a gem!!”

When asked what her favorite fall activity to do with children she responded: “To be outside as much as possible! If not, I really enjoy making free standing ghosts out of cheesecloth and starch.”  Check out this cute photo of one of Jackie’s ghosts. Love!

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Congrats Jackie and thanks for all you do!

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Annie’s Nannies is Moving to West Seattle!

By: Diane Duthweiler

(September, 2014) –– Seattle’s pioneering household-staffing agency Annie’s Nannies will open its new office on West Seattle’s California Avenue October 6th. The 30-year-old company needs room to grow. “We’ve been ‘space-challenged’ for a while now,” laughs COO Teah Achman. “West Seattle is a good fit for the business and our staff. We’re all excited about the new office and new neighborhood.”

“I started this business in my bedroom with $1,500 and a phone. Since then, we’ve found top jobs for thousands of people, but it’s been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs with the economy,” recalls founder Annie Davis who runs the company with daughter Suzanne Royer-McCone. Royer-McCone adds, “A business like ours must change constantly to keep up with the marketplace. We’re incredibly proud of our longevity―30 years of our wonderful staff making Seattle area families’ lives easier and finding the perfect jobs for our nannies!”

Annie’s Nannies is moving from its current office in Ballard where it has been for the past 14 years. But Davis’ ties to the community are deep, and she plans to remain active with the Ballard Chamber of Commerce where she is currently a board member and program chair.

New Location:
6041 California Ave. SW, Suite 105
Seattle, WA 98136
Ph:  206-784-8462

 Founded in 1984 and the Northwest’s longest-serving household staffing agency, Annie’s Nannies, Incorporated (ANI) provides child care/family assistants, elder companions and other personal employees. ANI is a 2009 Mayor’s Small Business Award winner and the first Seattle small business to pay a $15 minimum wage. Davis is past-president of the National Association of Premier Nanny Agencies, A Household Staffing Alliance (APNA) – a non-profit that helps set industry standards across the nation.

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So Your Boss “Friended” you on Facebook..

social-media-3-390x285Part 2 of our Social Media Series:

Most nannies out there have been in this situation…..the friend request from an employer. What to do?

Combining a personal social media tool with your professional life is not always the wisest decision, but there’s the chance that feelings will be hurt if you refuse. Sources online are unanimous in saying that accepting a friend request from your boss is not a good idea. They suggest the safe alternative is to send a message saying “Hi Boss, I prefer to keep my Facebook for my personal life. Would you like to connect on Linked In?”

If you do want to accept the request, see here for guidelines to making your Facebook and online presence “Boss Friendly.”

Other Helpful links:

To Friend or Not to Friend?

Nanny Support Group-Facebook?

5 Reasons Not to Friend your Nanny

 

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CPR/First Aid Class – October 2014

Nanny Specific First Aid & CPR Certification Class

Our next highly-regarded First Aid, CPR, HIV and Blood-born Pathogens Class is scheduled for October 19th!  

Here’s what you need to know:

  • What:  Nanny only First Aid, CPR, HIV and Blood-born Pathogens Class, with extra focus on Infant/Child CPR
  • When: Sunday, October 19th from 2:00pm-5:00pm
  • Where: Phinney Neighborhood Center Room #6, Seattle
  • Cost: $35 per person
  • Details: 2 year certification in First Aid, CPR, HIV & Blood-born Pathogens
  • Register: Click the Sign Up Now button below!

This isn’t only for ANI Nannies, pass this on to any of your nanny friends!

We’re excited to see you there on Sunday October 19th!

 

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Back to School Blues

back-school-03-afWith school starting up again, there are a few simple yet significant tips to help ease children out of summer mode and into school mode.Whether they are starting school for the first time or returning, these suggestions will enable parents, teachers, and caregivers to have an easier transition. Read more »

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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