Why it's Great to Be a Seattle Nanny
12 reasons Seattle is #8 on Care.com's list of the Best Places to Be a Nanny.
"You can always tell a Seattle nanny because she's carrying a coffee mug in one hand and a child dressed in galoshes and rain gear in the other," laughs Suzanne Royer McCone, president of Annie's Nannies.
While that's true, you can also tell a Seattle nanny by his or her passion -- for both this city and this career.
"I love Seattle!" says Whitney Radant, who has been nannying for the past two years. "Being a nanny in Seattle I love even more!"
"Seattle is one of the most nanny-friendly places I have ever been," agrees Brian Watkins, who has 12 years of nanny experience.
In addition to local nannies' passion, here's why Seattle sits at #8 on this list.
The Country's Second Highest Number of Jobs
Seattle has the second largest number of nanny jobs per capita in the country. Plus, it's also the sixth fastest growing city, with the second lowest unemployment rate in the country. All of this means one thing: lots and lots of jobs for nannies.
"We have a rock solid job market," says Nicole Lang, who has been a nanny/household manager for 20+ years. "With business giants such as Microsoft, Google, Boeing, Expedia, T-Mobile, Nordstrom, Starbucks (and so many more) located in the greater Seattle area, there are always great jobs available!"
"It's been so fulfilling to live and work in Seattle because it's a very diverse and family friendly city," says 10-year veteran, Andrea Hanson.
"The people are very progressive, the city is diverse and it is a great place to teach children about different people and cultures," concurs Jennie Jex-Landoe, who has been a nanny/personal and family assistant for four years. "I take my charges to Pike Place Market, where they can learn about healthy food, hard work, crafts and culture from people who come from every corner of the world."
Requests for Multiples Languages
"Because Seattle is a fabulous melting pot, many families choose au pairs or bilingual nannies to provide their children a dual language experience," says Anna Stivers, who has been a nanny for over 10 years.
High Nanny Wages
The average Seattle nanny makes $13.27, which is one of the higher nanny pay rates in the country. And while the cost of living may also be high here, it"s much better than in most other West Coast cities.
"Seattle has amazing families," says Lang. "For the most part, nannies here are treated more like family than anywhere else I have worked."
In addition to giving nannies high wages and treating them professionally, families in Seattle also pay nanny taxes, showing that they value their employees.
"You can't go to a park, museum or story time without meeting at least one nanny," says Lang. "We're everywhere!"
"Seattle is full of parks, play groups and tons of child-friendly activities all over the area," says Christina Burshek, a nanny for five years.
Check out these places recommended by local nannies: Pike Place Market, Seattle Center, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Children's Museum, Pacific Science Center, Washington Park Arboretum, Stone Gardens Seattle, Burke-Gilman Trail and Seattle Children's Theatre.
Great Public Transportation
Seattle's transportation system ranks high and makes getting around the city even easier.
"Taking the metro bus anywhere in Seattle is definitely a favorite activity to do with kids and of course we sing "the Wheels on the Bus" (sometimes the drivers will sing with us!)," shares Hanson.
Appreciation for the Outdoors
Sometimes living in a city can be limiting, with little access to outdoor activities. But not in Seattle!
"We have the best of both worlds: a mix of urban and outdoor life," says McCone. "Lots of fun culture things to do, along with lush mountains and beautiful lakes."
"I can't get enough of the outdoors, so living in a city with so many opportunities to be outside suits me perfectly," says Radant. "If you travel outside of Seattle proper, there are innumerable state parks that offer a natural wonderland, great for packing lunch and going hiking, rock collecting or floating down one of the rivers."
...Even When It's Raining
"Nannies in other areas may huddle indoors with kids on rainy days, but Seattle nannies are out there jumping in puddles with kids," says McCone. "If we hid from the rain, we'd only go out four months of the year!"
"Even on the days when it is rainy and a little foggy, the city is alive," says Stivers. "A little rain never bothers a true Seattleite!"
"Our nanny culture is very different from other cities because most of the nannies that live here are locals from the area or people that move here to settle for good," says McCone. "Other areas have nannies that are more transitory, but here we have built-in networks and communities."
A Supportive Community
"I love our nanny community," says Lang, who is chairman of the Northwest Nanny Association. "We are diverse, educated, passionate, experienced and proud of our chosen profession."
Her group and the Emerald City Nanny Association (which Stivers founded) plans events and classes to keep the Seattle nanny community active.
Why do you think Seattle is a great place to be a nanny? Let us know in the comments section below.
Tiffany Smith is an associate editor here at Care.com. She has written for All You, Time for Kids and the Boston Globe. And as a former babysitter, she knows a lot about fun games to play with kids. Getting them to eat their veggies -- that’s a different story!
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