Poppy payments are here!

The long awaited day has arrived. Poppy is finally cash-free. Now, just like Uber, when your booking is done, your credit card will be simply and seamlessly charged.

Amazing right? Some people (many in fact), will ask, why wasn’t this done sooner? Well, first, payments are a complicated thing you want to spend some time on getting right, but the main thing was that while annoying, payments weren’t the most urgent thing in need of fixing.

Finding wonderful, qualified caregivers and figuring out an efficient way to match them to families was the more pressing puzzle to noodle on.

And now that we’ve made a sizable dent in that and grown to a respectable size, we’ve realized that payments is now the most broken thing. The challenges of hundreds of families having to run to ATMs or fish out check books each week, the trials of caregivers mistakenly being underpaid or being forgotten to be paid, the awkwardness of having to figure out names and sums and details….

Painful. Now over.

As of today, you’ll simply connect your credit card. Once your booking is complete you’ll see the amount to be charged based on the actual time worked and you’ll be given the chance to round up or add a bit extra if warranted. That’s it.

Imagine that. A night out, or errand run or the end of a busy day. Now you can greet your caregiver, run to the kids and focus on the next thing. No pesky details to worry about.

If you have any questions at all, check out this FAQ or just drop me a line: avni@poppyteam.com. In the meantime, we hope helps make your life just that much simpler.

Poppy’s recipes of the week

Happy Monday parents! Another week, another set of meals to plan. And if you’re like us, you could use all the help you can get.

That’s why we had Poppy caregiver and culinary school graduate, Marisa, come up with 5 easy recipes that are as delicious as they are nutritious.

Try one or try them all and hopefully it makes this week just that much easier.

  1. Apple Cookies
  2. Chia Coconut Pudding Pops
  3. Cheesy Chicken Taquitos
  4. Baked Parmesan Zucchini
  5. Quinoa Pizza Bites

Get the recipes here: PoppyRecipesJuly24th

Poppy’s humble beginnings

Poppy was never supposed to be a business.

It was never supposed to be a venture backed, technology startup.

It was the thing I was curious about while I figured out what my next career move was after my first failed startup.

Poppy was my personal attempt to figure out an issue that had plagued me and my friends for years. Nothing more or less.

Although, I guess if I had to be honest, I’ve always had this curiosity around “village”. What creates it, what sustains it, what feeds it.

Continue reading

Raising a healthy eater

Marisa Kerkvliet is a Poppy caregiver and a talented culinary student. Her passion for food developed early on as she grew up on her family’s small farm. When she was nine she found her love for cooking and has been in the kitchen ever since. As a picky eater herself, Marisa now has a passion for introducing healthy eating habits to the next generation. She will be finishing up her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Culinary Arts degree from Bastyr University this spring before she moves on to earn a Master’s degree in Nutrition.

Here are her Top 10 Tips for raising a healthy eater.

  1. Enjoy family meals at the table. They should last for at least 30 minutes. Keep conversations pleasant and save tense topics for another time to allow the focus to be on the food and family. Children learn how and what to eat by watching others.
  2. Get kids involved in their food. Plant a garden together or let them pick out a vegetable at the grocery store. Choose age appropriate kitchen tasks to help give children a purpose. The more they help, the more they will eat!
  3. Schedule snack time to be consistent every day. Three meals and one snack may be adequate for school age children, while toddlers may need to eat every 2-3 hours. Designate a snacking zone and serve food at a table as much as possible.
  4. Limit snack time to less than 2o minutes. Remove any uneaten food when the snack is over and offer it again at the next planned meal or snack.
  5. Give notice before a meal. Let children know 10-15 minutes before food will be served to help them prepare and settle down before eating.
  6. Limit distractions by removing toys, books and turning off the TV. This allows the child to focus on their food and they may be more likely to try more new foods.
  7. Serve small portions, only a few tablespoons of each food, usually 2-3 types. It gives children a sense of independence to finish their plate and ask for more. Follow the general rule of 1 tablespoon of each food for each year of the child’s age, or a portion that is the size of their palm.
  8. Maintain a neutral attitude at the table. Avoid being overly animated or becoming angry towards food. Giving a child a few gentle reminders to take bites of their food can be appropriate. Encourage independent feeding and allow age-appropriate mess to occur.
  9. Serve familiar foods with new foods. Ensure there is always a nutritious food that is liked by each child at the table. This allows for the exploration of new foods without the fear of malnourishment.
  10. Keep trying. Kids often need to be exposed to a food 10-20 times before they begin to accept it. Be patient with toddlers as it takes time for them to develop their tastes. Employ the 2 bite rule for older children to encourage giving new foods a fair chance. 

Learn more at our Raising a Healthy Eater seminar

On Sunday, June 5 from 6:30-7:30pm at Poppy HQ in Ballard, Marisa will discuss the ins and outs of eating habits throughout childhood. The main topics include the challenges of having a picky eater, the reasons a child may be picky, and strategies for parents to help children overcome unhealthy eating habits. Walk away with new insight on your child’s eating behavior, an introductory recipe packet and additional resources to help create a peaceful dinner table in your home. Marisa will provide light samples of some of her top kid-approved recipes.

Only 15 spots so sign up and buy tickets ($5) here: Workshop tickets


Additional Reading and Resources

  • Board Books for toddlers and preschoolers
    • Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
    • The Tiny Seed by Eric Carlie
    • The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons
  • Picture Books for school age children
    • Secrets of the Garden by Kathleen Zoehfeld
    • Sylvia’s Spinach by Katherine Pryor
    • How Did That Get in My Lunchbox? By Chris Butterworth
  • Parent Resources

On the mission to earn trust.

How can I trust this person with my most precious anything?

This is the question we obsess about every day. Every minute.

It’s the most fundamental question any parent has when considering childcare. Whether it’s a daycare or a nanny or a babysitter or even school.

I know because it’s the main question my husband and I have asked countless times in our search for our village, in the absence of living close to our families.

It’s one of the hardest questions out there and one of the toughest problems to solve.

The first part has to do with finding the very best, most qualified people. The second part is figuring out how to make this person not a stranger, but someone who is known.

For the first part of the challenge, we focus on where we can find the best people – referrals, childcare networks, preschools etc. Our rigorous vetting process then makes sure even these very qualified people can meet our even higher standards.

And it’s not only about the basics, like clean background checks or CPR/First Aid. It’s about going much deeper into the motivations and situational experiences each candidate has. We learn this through a detailed applications, multiple interviews and thorough reference checks.

Having done it hundreds of times, we’ve been quickly able to build up the expertise to see the who is the real deal vs someone just looking for a job.

But now actually comes the harder part. We know these are amazing caregivers. People that bring this incredible love for children with an orientation towards health and safety. But how can we share this knowledge with parents? How do we share what we know with the people who ultimately need to trust them?

That’s where we’re continually testing out new things. Detailed profiles or Facetime meetings or intro bookings or Open Houses. We’re open to new ideas but the heart of it is: how do we make the unknown known?

Childcare is probably the hardest business I’ve ever worked on (and I’ve worked on many) – even more than healthcare and food and packaged goods and groceries. Because ultimately we’re talking about trust. How we earn it. How we keep it.

It’s what our team obsesses over each day.

Because it’s the only way we’ll really ever solve childcare the way it needs to be solved. The way every family deserves it to be solved.

Imagining a rainy day away

Does the Seattle rain have you stuck indoors with the kids? Don’t let it rain on your parade – literally! Bring the parade inside and make it the most imaginative and silliest parade you’ve ever seen. No matter what kind of day it is you can always find new and creative ways to have fun! Here are a few great ideas to try during those rainy days- with items you should find in most any home.

  • Make an air fort: Grab a large sheet and a fan to create a tunnel for crawling around in… Pretend to be pilots or birds!
  • Indoor bowling: Find a ball and some toys around the house that would work as “Bowling Pins”. Time to score a few strikes!
  • Treat cookies: Who doesn’t love sharing yummy treats? Have the kids wrap a cookie for mom, dad, or even a teacher – you can even sit down together and design “just because” cards to go along with them. A thoughtful and rewarding activity for everyone!
  • Create your own time capsule: Have the kids gather a few special mementos and write down their favorites songs, movies, and hobbies they enjoy. They can even include a few personal goals – so much fun to look back on later down the road.
  • Paper bag puppets: A simple and creative craft for all ages! You’ll need brown paper bags, construction paper and glue, of course. Create themes and put on a silly puppet show for everyone!
  • Dress Up: Let everyone’s goofy side show and dress up a little crazy! Find items around the house and throw together a few colorful outfits – leave it to your imagination to create something great and march around the house parade-style. Show off that silly gear!

It’s true they say that every day is what you make it… So on those wet and gloomy days just put your heads together and make the day an unforgettable one.

Kelley has been a nanny for over 8 years.  Some of her favorite things to do with kids are art projects, outdoor games, and imaginative play. When she’s not engaging in silly games, you’ll find her in a yoga studio or cozied up with her cat and a good book.

Eastside – here we come!


Seattle has gotten all of the Poppy love until now… but no more! As of February 1, we’re officially coming to the Eastside. Our first communities will be Bellevue and Sammamish – and you can sign up for Poppy here.

If you don’t live there, don’t fret! Let us know if you want Poppy in your neighborhood and we’ll get working on it.

To celebrate, we’re having our launch party on Friday January 29, from 5:30-7pm at Wiggleworks Bellevue at Crossroads Mall. Regardless of where you live, come by, meet our caregivers and let the kids get a fun start on the weekend.

We couldn’t be more excited to bring Poppy across the “pond”. It’s just one step closer to our mission to make sure every parent always has an amazing caregiver, ever only a text away.