Welcome Seattle (Central) parents
Frequently Asked Questions
How does SMN screen sitters?
Every SMN owner interviews each applicant, checks childcare references, verifies current CPR certification, and conducts a background check. For more specifics on each owners screening, feel free to ask them after you inquire and read their personalized confirmation and welcome information.
How do I schedule sitters?
Using our software, you can search by day/time or by nanny. Since booking depends on sitter availability, it is not guaranteed you'll get the same sitter each time. For this reason, SMN is not best for consistency or regular scheduling.
Is booking guaranteed?
No. The owners work very hard to build solid teams of sitters that can allow all shifts to be scheduled. However, on rare occasions, all sitters may be booked or unavailable. You should always contact the owner if you are having trouble scheduling, we are always here to help with those needs.
Can I use SMN if my child is sick and cannot go to daycare/school?
No. Our sitters require at least 24-hours notice so we cannot provide last minute care. Our nannies see so many families, they do not want to be exposed to the illnesses that would keep a child out of school or daycare ( fever, diarrhea, vomiting). Exposure to these illnesses may require nannies to cancel on other families, especially families with infants. If you have scheduled a sitter and your child is sick contact the sitter to let them know the situation. There is no penalty for canceling due to a sick child.
Does the service include housework?
No. Sitters are expected to keep the house in the condition they find upon arrival. All SMN sitters are expected to tidy up the household areas used while nannying. You can expect dishes to be clean after meals and play areas tidied but the sitters do not offer housekeeping services.
How do I pay the sitter?
Parents pay the sitter at the end of each appointment for the time scheduled. If the nanny agreed before the appointment to stay longer than the scheduled time, parents are responsible for the extra time. The hourly rate varies by city. If parents ask the sitter to drive using the sitter's car, they are responsible for reimbursing the nanny for mileage. The federal reimbursement rate in 2023 is $.655/mile.
How far in advance do I need to schedule?
We recommend scheduling 3 days in advance. Scheduling depends on our sitters and their availability. On busy nights (like Saturdays) you may need closer to a week. SMN does NOT provide same day or on-call babysitting.
How far in advance do I need to cancel sitters?
It is advised to cancel as soon as your schedule changes but no later than when you get the reminder email 48 hours prior to the booking. This allows for the sitter to get rescheduled by another family. The website allows cancellations up to 25 hours before the booking. If your child is sick there is no cancellation fee, and we encourage you to cancel so sitters don’t get sick or spread illnesses. If your plans change last minute and you cancel a sitter with less than 24 hours, you are still expected to pay for the sitter's time booked.
Are there booking time minimums when booking sitters?
We have a two hour appointment minimum. Sitters can increase their own booking minimums to 3 or 4 hours if they choose. You must pay the sitter for the time you schedule.
Can you edit bookings once they are made?
Yes. Login to the website. Your homepage has a list of confirmed appointments. There is a “Cancel” button and an “Edit” button for each appointment. Your ability to change the time depends on the sitter's availability on our website. If you cannot change the appointment time, reach out to the owner.
What are your expectations for us (the family)?
Families in SMN are expected to be respectful, trusting, and kind to the sitters. You need to communicate specific expectations you have for each sitter regarding your childcare needs for the time they are there.