How to Hire a Nanny in Seattle
I hear ya, Seattle! Hiring a nanny is a challenging process. When your maternity leave is ending or the start of school is approaching, it can be so stressful to find a qualified nanny to care for your darlings. Starling Agency is happy to break down the process for you. From our family to yours, we hope you find the best possible care around!
How to Hire a Nanny in Seattle:
Before you begin the nanny hiring process, decide what type of caregiver will best suit your needs. Full-time, part-time, live-in, live-out? Exactly how many hours per week? What responsibilities will your nanny be in charge of? What type of personality will work best with your family style? What are some must have professional qualities? What are some deal-breakers?
Insider tip: Be sure to ask yourself if your expectations are realistic.
What can you afford to pay your nanny? Don’t forget to factor in benefits, annual raises/bonuses, mileage reimbursement, activity expenses.
Insider tip: Become familiar with the current hourly rates in Seattle. (Contact us for up-to-date rate information) Your nanny’s rate will be determined by experience, number of children, and responsibilities. It is essential to honor minimum wage and overtime laws, in compliance with Fair Labor Standards.
Once your nanny job description is developed, post the opportunity through trusted resources. Be extremely cautious with large public sites that do not screen members/applicants in person! Be aware of issues concerning false identity, scams, phishing, and unreliable background reporting.
Insider Tip: Sharing too much personal information and/or family photos is not recommended.
Consider each candidates experience and professionalism. Does their experience fit your family’s needs? Do they convey interest with a professional dialogue, such as a cover letter, a detailed resume, and letters of recommendation?
Once you have a few potential candidates, arrange phone interviews. If your interests line-up, schedule in-person interviews in a safe location, such as a cafe. Be sure to review this deluxe set of nanny interview questions to help you break the ice and discover if a candidate meets your expectations.
Following the initial meeting, invite the top candidates to your home for an in-person interview. You’ll want to observe how they interact with your children. Try to arrange an activity such as a puzzle, coloring project, or game. This will help prompt an opportunity for the nanny and children to engage naturally.
Insider Tip: Listen to your intuition. Believe any red flags.
Take extra care while evaluating background check services. This is one of the most important hiring steps. Not all background checks are reliable, and unfortunately you get what you pay for. Contact Starling for information on acquiring a detailed and up-to-date background investigation performed by a licensed private investigator.
Contact a minimum of 3 professional childcare references. You’ll want to make sure references are indeed valid former employers.
Verify that your candidate is legally able to work in the US. Also verify whether their CPR/FA certifications are up to date. Ask if their training was hands-on or online. Starling always recommends hands-on training!
Insider Tip: Seriously, do not overlook the power of a true background investigation. A report that is upheld by standards for accuracy and cross-referenced through multiple databases, is crucial. We encourage you to research the the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Once you have found an ideal candidate, notify them with a formal job offer. If the offer is accepted, you’ll want to inform the other applicants that the position has been filled.
Insider Tip: Be descriptive in your job offer. Include details about the position such as hourly rate and start date.
Now that you’re an employer, you are responsible for paying employer taxes. Your nanny is considered a household employee, not an independent contractor. Determine if you want to organize the taxes on your own, or hire a nanny tax accountant or a payroll service. Contact Starling Agency for a recommendation to the best Seattle nanny payroll and tax service.
Notify your state’s employment office that you hired an employee and have the nanny fill out an I-9 to verify eligibility to work in the United States. You also need to have your nanny fill out a W-4 form for tax withholding.
Insider Tip: If you don’t have one already, set up a Federal Employer Identification Number. You’ll also want to consult with your insurance broker to make sure you have enough coverage to have someone working in your home.
An employment contract protects your family and the nanny. This will be the foundation for all responsibilities and expectations. If any questions arise, you can simply consult your contract. Include salary, job requirements, hours, duties, benefits, etc.
Insider Tip: The more detailed your contract, the better.
If you’ve had any hiccups during the sourcing or hiring process, contact Starling Nanny Agency for help! We are here to help you hire a professional nanny in Seattle! We also offer a popular nationwide consulting service for both families and nannies.
Insider Tip: Starling offers several service options at rates 30-40% lower than local Seattle nanny agencies.