Frequently asked questions
- We are currently the only local nanny agency working to create industry guardrails by serving our community through appointed roles with the Seattle Office of Labor Standards and other community partners at the national, state, and local level.*
- We continue to drive improvements for worker conditions as sitting members of the city of Seattle Labor Standard’s Board. The board is the first of its kind in the nation, and the Seattle’s domestic worker’s ordinance is the first city ordinance in the nation followed by eight other ordinances and two other city ordinances. As Childcare Collaborative Taskforce stakeholders, we have been working at the state level to bring affordable childcare legislation to Washington by 2025. Our long-term goal is to bring all industry players together to collectively uplift this essential work.
- A diverse staff with personal experience working in the childcare industry (including a former licensed childcare facility director, former nannies, a certified MERIT instructor, and staff holding multiple graduate degrees in Early Child Education and Child Developmental Psychology).
- 25 years of advocating for sustainable nanny/family relationships.
- Expectation management so you know your nanny’s rights and your responsibilities, no guesswork.
- Increased Covid matching tools
- We are kind of obsessed with safety here, and due to our designation as a third- party due diligence company, we have more flexibility to match families/nannies on Covid prevention practices than you do as a direct employer.
- For more information on Covid trainings and guidelines for hiring a domestic worker, visit our Covid Employer’s Toolkit
Standard benefits for full time placements include:
- Washington State Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST), as required by law
- Clients typically offer a general equivalent of two weeks Paid Time Off
- Federal mileage reimbursement (for job related driving).
- Insurance differential (increased premium for livery services)
- Paid federal holidays (should they fall on a workday)
One-time non-refundable registration fee of $350. For this, you get:
- An in-depth video consultation
- 4 hours of complimentary childcare from a member of our backup care team or one year membership to the backup care program
Once your preferred candidate accepts your offer of employment, you choose the fee package that best suits your family:
Essentials: One-time non-refundable placement fee of 14% of the candidate’s projected gross annualized compensation for the first year. $5000 minimum applies. This package includes a 60-day replacement guarantee, first month of tax and payroll service*, and one hour conflict resolution with Dr. Lindsay Heller, as needed.
Standard: One-time non-refundable placement fee of 16% of the candidate’s projected gross annualized compensation for the first year. $6000 minimum applies. This package includes a 120-day replacement guarantee, first month of tax and payroll service*, and one hour conflict resolution with Dr. Lindsay Heller, as needed.
Plus: One-time non-refundable placement fee of 18% of the candidate’s projected gross annualized compensation for the first year. $7000 minimum applies. This package includes a 180-day replacement guarantee, first month of tax and payroll service*, and one hour conflict resolution with Dr. Lindsay Heller, as needed.
Unless otherwise informed by you, we will default to the most common package, the Standard (16%) and charge the credit card on file.
Specialized searches: Chief of Staff, Housekeeper, Chef, Driver, and Security. One-time non-refundable placement fee of 20% of the candidate’s projected gross annualized compensation for the first year. $6500 minimum applies.
100% of the placement fee is due upon offer letter signing by employee.
*Should you choose to work with our payroll partner.
It goes without saying that we have a large volume of ready-to-hire pre-screened candidates that we hand select to meet your family’s needs. We attract a higher quality applicant pool due to our community involvement, trainings, and advocacy. That said, there has never been a more important time to partner with experts when bringing care into your home.
Here at Seattle Nanny, we are uniquely prepared for the current crisis based on our years of providing PPE equipped backup care nannies, long before the pandemic began. Our collaboration with worker and employer advocacy organizations, to improve resources around Covid, allow us to matching families with candidates who share similar concerns and practices around the pandemic.
Most if not all the criminal information one can obtain on the internet is from a database. These databases are only updated monthly, quarterly and some yearly. A lot of them contain incomplete and/or missing information since some counties in the state will not provide information to them. Why? Because the online services who provide this data are not bound to FLCRA (Fair Labor Credit & Reporting Act) compliancy regulations and therefore are only providing you with the most basic data. Privacy protection laws strictly prohibit access to actual court records, unless done so by a company like ours as we are bound by FLCRA regulations.
Additionally, as the direct employer you are unable to base a hiring decision on negative information that is found in a report, as it is discriminatory. With the agency acting as an intermediary, you are provided with a critical layer of protection upon which to inform your hiring decision.
- Applicant Requirements
- Two years paid childcare experience (in-home or facility)
- Criminal/driving record review
- Valid driver’s license, reliable vehicle, and current insurance
- U.S. work authorization
- Agency Requirements
- CPR/First Aid certification or renewal
- Applicant essay and resume
- 1 hour interview with our placement director
- Personally verified references
- Multi-State Instant Criminal Check
- DMV Record Report (for the last 7 years)
- Social Security Number Trace
- DOJ Sex Offender Registry Clearance
- Criminal County Search (7-Year Address History)
- Federal Criminal District Search (7-Year Address History)
- Deep Dive Online Footprint Analysis
- OFAC Check
- Children’s daytime meals
- Developmentally appropriate activities
- General upkeep of main living areas where children spend much of their time
- Loading and emptying the dishwasher
- Child laundry
- Sweeping or vacuuming main traffic areas
- Family laundry (bedding, linens, and towels)
- Managing family calendar and appointments
- General errands
- Mailing packages
- Grocery shopping (in-store or online)
- Walking the dog
- Vet Visits
- Managing family finances
- Deep cleaning and organization
- Coordinating auto and home maintenance
- Family meal prep and planning
- Event planning
We do not place doulas; however, we have a relationship with the The Perfect Push, who provides local doula services, and we refer all inquiries for doulas to their door. After you are finished working with one of their amazing doulas, if you are interested in hiring a nanny, they will refer you back to us for a long-term nanny placement!
Your nanny is not an independent contractor, they are your employee.
In Washington State, employers are required to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes, as well as Paid Family & Medical Leave taxes from their employee’s paycheck each pay period. Federal income taxes should be withheld based on the employee’s selections on Form W-4. It is strongly recommended that you also pay federal income tax. Employers must pay employers portion of Social Security and Medicare, as well as federal and Washington unemployment insurance taxes (FUTA and SUTA) and small employment administration fund tax.
Yes. Families that pay any individual employee a certain amount, which varies from year to year, will be required to follow the household employer wage reporting obligations as outlined in IRS Publication 926. For the latest threshold, please contact our tax & payroll experts at HomePay by Care.com.
You are required to pay overtime if your weekly schedule exceeds 40+ hours.
A nanny who can afford to work limited hours typically has unique personal circumstances such as they are financially secure and seek only discretionary income, or they are a graduate student and can only work a limited number of hours per week to accommodate their studies. Due to the current health crisis, many families paying higher compensation to reduce the need for side gigs, thus reducing exposure.
Attempting to estimate the annual salary with a monthly numerical calculation (a common mistake) can be confusing as each month varies in number of days. We use the following formula:
Scheduled hours X Hourly Rate of Pay X 52 weeks (1 year)
Over the years we have witnessed many successful long term employment relationships and some that end prematurely due to misunderstandings that likely could have been avoided. Open and honest communication during the nanny’s scheduled work hours is the best way to ensure that both a family and nanny share realistic expectations. Our agency takes responsibility for establishing expectations for both parties based on industry standards as well as our decades of experience.
The baseline criteria we recommend include but are not limited to paying market rate wages and benefits, drawing up a formal work agreement and honoring it, treating your employee with respect but maintaining professional boundaries, scheduling regular informal check-in meetings and less frequent formal evaluations, and considering building in a longevity bonus/annual raises to your budget.
Our fill rate is nearly 100% and we find that families who join our program stay on board long term. We offer backup care to many Seattle and Eastside area companies, inquire if yours is one of them.
Every team member is trained and experienced with every age group, and all caregivers are subject to availability.
Fees for backup care are as follows:
- $49/month (first 3 months due at enrollment).
- $30/day booking fee.
- Rate of pay: $25/hour for up to 3 children, $4/hour per additional child.
Given the current health crisis, most of our clients have made the adjustment to working from home. Nannies in our pool appreciate the prevalence of this change and are making adjustments of their own. That said, there are still best practices to avoid communication and boundary issues down the road.
If you have an infant, or your child is young enough to not yet have developed separation anxiety, this is almost never an issue. It becomes more of a concern when the children are aware that their parents are nearby, and of course their preference is to be with them over the caregiver. The older the children are, the more they tend to question or challenge the presence of a caregiver in the home while parents are also present.
This can make the nanny’s job more difficult; although, some nannies have had terrific past experiences working in a team environment.
One way to avoid issues is to set and maintain boundaries and rules for the children interacting with you during the nanny’s shift, and to respect the rules and limits the nanny sets for your child while they are caring for them. This dynamic is based on trust, and the more consistency the children have from their caregiving team, the smoother each day will go for everyone.
Our candidates are made aware of the legalities surrounding undisclosed cameras in the home, and many of them admit to having worked under surveillance and even being critiqued for their performance. If you have a concern about the nanny’s performance for any reason, you should not wait to see what a hidden camera reveals. We recommend openly and respectfully sharing your concerns with your nanny as issues arise, to prevent misunderstandings and continuation of performance issues.
We also suggest installing cameras that are “out in the open” and allow you as parents to observe the daily interactions of your children and caregiver, without running the risk of losing the nanny because he/she has found a hidden camera and is hurt by what will likely be considered a lack of trust. Frank and honest discussion about your expectations at the outset, and regularly throughout the relationship, will ensure that everyone is clear, and no one will be surprised by long-held resentments or internal conflicts. This is also modeling respectful conflict solution for your family and encourages employee retention.
We offer a unique program with a range of replacement packages and a sliding scale of fees depending on the package you choose. This means that included in your one-time fee is a “free replacement” period, and if the nanny leaves during this time, you will receive a replacement nanny at no extra charge. Outside of this period, you still receive discounts on any additional fee. We offer replacement coverage from 60 days to 180 days.