Ethical Domestic Employment (Why Work with Seattle Nanny)

There are many ways to find a nanny: multiple agencies and big platforms, not to mention neighbors, coworkers, and social media groups. It can be hard to find the best way forward for your family, and we understand that you want to find the best resources that will help you navigate being an employer in your home.

Whether you are new to hiring a nanny or are returning to the market after your long-time nanny has moved on, we know that you want to be up to date on local labor laws, as well as best practices for employee retention and protection. Domestic workers like nannies work in the most personal environments and give their time, energy, and physical wellbeing to taking care of families. This is mentally and physically taxing work with very few protections, and there is strong organization at the city, state, and national level to proactively improve conditions.

This is where we come in. For several years, members of Seattle Nanny staff have worked on the campaign for our local Seattle Domestic Worker’s Ordinance and participated actively in the rule-making process once the law got passed. We continue to drive improvements for worker conditions as members of the city’s Standard’s Board, which is the first of its kind (just like Seattle’s law). We are currently the only nanny agency in the area with direct connections to the city of Seattle and relationships with national and local non-profit organizations focusing on domestic work.

This enables us to have our finger on the pulse of changes to legislation, to help families navigate how to comply with the law and take care of the person taking care of their most treasured asset. Worker morale directly impacts child development, and modeling respect and consideration for your household employee will reflect in your child’s behavior towards others. You are their most important teacher, and you are also an employer! That is a different role than just being a parent, and it is critical that this role be taken seriously. 

Okay, great but what does this mean for me? What do I get from working with Seattle Nanny?

  1. Professional placement staff with personal experience working in the childcare industry
  2. Advocates for sustainable nanny/family relationships
  3. Direct access to city resources and education around compliance with new legislation
  4. Expectation management so you know exactly what your nanny’s rights and your responsibilities are, no guesswork
  5. Long-term support to keep updated on changes to laws surrounding benefit programs and other resources to improve your relationship with your nanny
  6. Increased likelihood of long-term employee retention by ensuring they have what they need to support themselves, their families and your family

Even if you don’t live within Seattle city limits, and this Ordinance does not apply directly to you yet, there is activity developing at the state level that could provide similar protections for workers all over Washington state. Federal legislation is also being created, championed by Vice President Kamala Harris and our own Pramila Jayapal. That will take time, but it is in your best interest to develop good habits now and treat your worker as any other employee. The day will come when these rules apply to everyone, and you can be ahead of the curve in your area, with a happy nanny to boot!

This workforce has historically been ignored, especially as it is made up largely of women, people of color, and often undocumented workers who are too afraid of retaliation to report abuses. Our efforts, combined with yours, will uplift this industry and provide structure and guardrails to protect our most vulnerable workers, which in turn, will protect our children and homes. When your worker is happy and healthy, it means your child is well-cared for and you can go to work and thrive in your industry, without having to worry about what is going on at home, or whether your nanny will burn out and move on to another position too soon. 

Injecting these protections and structure into this invisible workforce, will make it a more sustainable career path for nannies, thus enabling professional development and attracting a higher standard of caregiver. This is a win/win for everyone, and nannies will be confident that they can keep helping families through their career without having to worry about being able to access basic benefits that every worker should have. 

To learn more about this ordinance and other resources you will need, follow this link: https://seattlenanny.com/resources/

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