Nannies & Au Pairs during Covid

Parent Q&A

Nanny and Family Agreements During COVID-19 Jun 29, 2020 (9 responses below)
Au Pair "Training" During Quarantine Apr 4, 2020 (9 responses below)
Nannies allowed under new SIL restrictions? Apr 2, 2020 (6 responses below)
COVID-19 and nanny Mar 29, 2020 (21 responses below)
  • Nanny and Family Agreements During COVID-19

    (9 replies)

    Apologies if this has been posted elsewhere.

    Since our day care closed permanently (due to COVID-19), our family has transitioned to a nanny to provide care for our kids on a part-time basis. What expectations, specifically around wearing a mask, have other families asked of themselves and of their nanny's to keep everyone as safe as possible?

    Hi! We have a nanny for our now 19-month-old daughter. And as you probably know, keeping toddlers indoors for long periods of time in a small apartment can drive everyone crazy, especially when she's used to being outdoors. Our Nanny has stayed working with us since the start of SIP, and she has strolled around the neighborhood with our daughter. When she goes out she wears a mask. Inside the house, she doesn't need to. We are a shoes-off household, and maintaining good hygiene and wearing mask outdoors for adults has been the main rule. She has not been in contact with too many neighborhood kids, and other nannies until recently. The rule is for adults to maintain social distance with masks. With the children is to maintain good hygiene (washing their hands frequently and wiping down toys). It's all-new territory for us, but I understand how precious and important it is for children to have social interactions for their development. I hope this helps! 

    We haven't asked our nanny to do any of that as we have accepted the risk of getting Covid by sending our older child to preschool and having a nanny in our home.  I'd prefer if our nanny didn't wear a mask so our child saw the facial expressions of the nanny at this age in life (he's only 5 months).  However, if our nanny asked to wear a mask, we'd respect her wishes.  In addition, our nanny sees her family (which we would never ask her not to do) but she has let us know outside of her immediate family, she takes precautions.  

    We needed help but wanted to make the situation as safe as possible for our caregiver. So, we asked her to wear a mask at all times, we have spray bottles of sanitizer around the house for her to use and ask that she use it on herself and our daughter when she comes in. We also leave all the windows open and make sure the house is cleaned before she gets there and we wear masks at all times when in the house with her. We also limited her to only four hours at a time, and asked her to spend as much time as possible outside with our daughter. She has been fantastic about all of that and it makes me feel better as her employer knowing that I am trying to limit her possible exposure as much as possible while she is providing me with an enormously beneficial service. Just be upfront about it and make sure they know you are taking their health and safety very seriously.

  • Au Pair "Training" During Quarantine

    (9 replies)

    Hi All, 

    Would love your advice on the following matter. We have an AP who has been with us for 2 months (this is our 5th AP). I had concerns early on but was willing to give it the 60 days to get to know each other, etc. Long story short, we had a plan to rematch (unbeknownst to her) and that fell through due to Shelter in Place. While I am SO grateful to have childcare, wondering thoughts on either a) best approach to bringing up our concerns and training her to our level of expectations OR b) if we should just let it go since this is literally during a global catastrophe and she is able to more or less care for our children while we work. 

    Would love to hear your thoughts! Thanks so much! 

    Hi! This is such a tough question. We are on our third au pair and have also not been totally satisfied with all her choices. But I think for everyone involved this may not be the time to rock the boat. She is probably feeling a lot of disappointment about her experience abroad not being what she expected. And your kids are probably feeling some sense of the world not being normal, no matter how old they are. If she is giving you what you need to be able to work, I would try to make the best of it and keep the relationship as positive as possible. Maybe choose one or two areas to provide guidance as gently and positively as you can?

    Let it go and be thankful that you are so privileged! 

    Oh, my. Unless she’s literally setting the house on fire, I’d sit tight, be cool, and thank my lucky stars for the extra support. It’s hard to overstate the difficulty of WFH full time without the benefit of an extra pair of hands. 

  • 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.

    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. 

  • COVID-19 and nanny

    (21 replies)

    Hello families-

    I'm interested in knowing what families are doing with their nannies during this period of time.  I am an "essential worker" and need to go into my office periodically, but I am mostly working from home.  I had my nanny with us the first week of the shelter in place and then gave her two weeks off with full pay.  This is an unprecedented crisis- how are families handling paying their nannies if they are not working during shelter in place?  Should we pay them indefinitely if this continues beyond April 7?  I'm interested to hear how others are handling this situation. 

    RE: COVID-19 and nanny ()

    We sent our nanny home a couple weeks ago. We gifted/granted her some pay when we told her we would discontinue having her for awhile, and then helped her apply for unemployment (we pay her via payroll, so she's eligible). She is receiving some unemployment, not close to what we were paying her, so we'll have to evaluate as this goes on, if that's enough for our nanny. We want to support her if we can, and she's also helping run errands for us in between too.

    RE: COVID-19 and nanny ()

    Hey Oakland Fam- If you plan on retaining your Nanny maybe speak to her about a reduction in pay for now and/or set up Zoom sessions and keep her engaged as well. 

    RE: COVID-19 and nanny ()

    If you have been paying your nanny “on the books” (ie paying taxes) then she should be eligible for unemployment insurance. If you have been paying under the table then I think you have a moral obligation to continue paying until the crisis is over, at least as long as you still have income since she will have no income protection otherwise.