Nannies allowed under new SIL restrictions?

Hi parents,

Are nannies and babysitters allowed under the new shelter in place restrictions (which took effect at the end of March) for non-essential workers? I can’t seem to find clear language about this, especially for Alameda county.

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My understanding is that nannies are not allowed for non-essential workers unless the nanny is a live-in and quarantines with you.  Though take a look at list of essential workers carefully as you might be surprised to find that many people who are able to work from home nevertheless can be classified as essential workers and so there is an interpretation that would allow them to have a nanny to be able to get their essential work done even though they are working from home.  

Yes.  Home-based care for children is allowed in Alameda County.  It is not within the city of Berkeley (they have their own health dept) which has restricted care to that for essential workers only.

It's quite clear, they're only allowed for essential workers. To the previous poster: trying to interpret the definition of "essential worker" to include non-essential jobs undermines the spirit of the law and increases both your COVID footprint as well as the risk for your family and your nanny. 

According to the statewide shelter in place order, only essential workers are permitted to use daycares or to have nannies during this time. An exception would be a live-in nanny who was already a part of your household when the SIP order began.

Some people have been confused since a couple of county orders say that nannies are allowed, but the Governor’s mandate is a statewide order which supersedes any less-restrictive county orders. Those residing in one of those counties can find language to this effect in the text of their county order. Another point of confusion is the listing of “In-home care for seniors, adults, and children” as essential. However, this refers to medically-necessary care only (following the WHO definition of in-home care).

If you need to take time off work to care for your children, you do have options! 

  1. The CA EDD has announced that those who need to take time off work due to school/childcare closures may be eligible for unemployment benefits (even if they still have a job to go back to when schools reopen). You can apply here:
  2. If you work for a company with less than 500 employees, a newly-enacted federal law, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ("FFCRA"), will generally allow for up to twelve weeks of paid leave (some of it at only partial pay) for those unable to work due to childcare needs during the health crisis.
  3. If your employer has 25 or more employees, you can take up to 40 hours of leave under California Labor Code section 230.8 for childcare/school closures or other care-related emergencies. A leave under Section 230.8 is generally unpaid unless you have accrued vacation/PTO you can use.

Thank you for helping protect our community! Be well and stay safe. 

I was very confused by this too, but I just checked the statewide order at and this is the exact language. Ugh. 

Are daycares still open? Can my babysitter still come to the house?

Yes. Daycares are still open, but only for children of parents working in essential sectors. Daycare centers that remain open should employ heightened cleaning and distancing requirements. Babysitters may also come to the house to care for minors of parents working in essential sectors.

It turns out that Berkeley's extended shelter-in-place orders allow for babysitters and nannies to take care of children in the child's home. Here's a response I received from the City of Berkeley on this: 

"The Shelter in Place order allows for home-based care for children. We encourage that nannies provide only provide care for a single household."