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nanny jobs

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.

Read more »

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Summertime in Seattle

Greenlake-Seattle-Q: Can you provide me with a list of fun and educational places that families (and nannies) can take their children to around the Seattle area? Now that the weather is starting to cooperate, I would love to get out and about more.

A: Yes! Field trips aren’t just for school groups with a teacher and 20-30 children. Many places around Seattle offer learning experiences for individual families and/or smaller groups as well. Parent Map has put together a great list of 10 “Do-It-Yourself” field trip locations including The Burke Museum, the Museum of History & Industry, and even Theo Chocolate Factory in Fremont. Descriptions include helpful pricing information as well!

Another great resource I found for families and nannies is the YMCA of Greater Seattle’s blog. It offers 15 fantastic (almost ALL outdoor!) locations around (but not limited to) Seattle. Five of the recommendations were just added to the list last year, ensuring us that the information is current and relevant. Some are old favorites- but places you might not have thought about for a while- and others are tucked away in places with names you may not recognize.

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April’s Nanny of the Month is…

FB_IMG_1430406175947….Jasmine Giles! We’ve worked with Jasmine since 2012 placing her in long-term, short-term, and on-call positions. She is an all around sweetheart and we are happy to have her on our team.  Her newest long-term family says she’s already part of the family!

When asked something funny a child recently said to her, Jasmine had this to say:

“We are teaching  the 2.5 year old I nanny to blow on her food to cool it down  if it’s hot. The meal came out and she said “Jazzy make sure you blow first” After I did to cool down her food she said, “Good job Jazzy!” I love how she is learning and told me good job like I always tell her!”

Congratulations Jasmine and Thank you!

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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.


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.


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.


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!


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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Top 10 Do’s & Don’ts of Nanny Social Media

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

As a nanny your reputation is EXTREMELY important and online posts and images live forever. Annie’s Nannies (and our families) often turn down candidates for placement when a Google or Facebook search reveals behavior unbecoming to the nanny profession. It’s okay to have a personal life, but be VERY careful what you choose to show the world!

DO: Make sure you like and follow ANI on Facebook!

DO: Spiff up your profiles

DO: Take some time to check and clean up your online presence

DO: Be mindful of security settings

DO: Make sure location is turned off when working

DO: Always remember… there is no privacy on the internet

DON’T: Be overly political or religious online

DON’T: Post photos of kids without parent’s permission

DON’T: Post the names of the families you work with

DON’T: Friend request your boss

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August Nanny of the Month!

7-14-14 #1This month, the accolade goes to Amanda McNellis!

Amanda has been with Annie’s Nannies since 2012 and has fast become one of our families’ favourites! She is known for her sweet nature and her extensive knowledge of infant and newborn care.  Her full-time family ADORED her and were sad to see her go. A recent on call family said:

“Oh gosh, it could not have been easier, or gone any better! What a lifesaver! I was so relieved to get that day covered as (of course) it was a rare occasion where I could not call in sick, and with such short notice, wow! Amanda was warm, kind, prompt and very thoughtful. She sent us photos throughout the day and updated us on how Ben was doing. Both my husband and myself felt very comfortable with her and would certainly recommend her to any other family in need!”

We asked Amanda to tell us something funny that a child said to her recently, she said: “I remember a 3 year old little boy saying to me recently “you talk too much” when we were playing with his toys, it totally cracked me up! Something cute that a 5 year old little girl said to me was “I like your shiny headband, you look like a princess!” too cute!”

Thank-you Amanda for being a wonderful Nanny to the Annie’s Nannies community! We are so glad to have you!

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