A New Way to Request a Caregiver

Requesting a Caregiver is Now Easier and More Transparent

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Poppy connects families to the best caregivers when they need them. Behind the scenes, it’s a complex process, involving schedules, preferences and qualifications.

We’re excited to share a new process that makes requesting a booking easier and more transparent. Now, when you click Request a Poppy, you’ll see a list of caregivers who are likely a good fit with your neighborhood, needs and preferences. Choose the best options for you, reorder, add details to share directly with your caregiver.

How it Works

1. Use Filters to Customize Your Request
Use the Date/Time, Kids, Address filters to add details for your request. You can also specify desired Tiers or favorite caregivers from the additional Filters tab.

2. Select Caregivers to Ask
See all the caregivers that are a fit for your parameters based on their inputted schedule. Select as many caregivers to ask as you’d like. TIP: adding more caregivers increases your chances of getting a confirmation, because schedules can change. 

3. Reorder Caregivers Based on Who You Want to Ask First
Before you send out the asks, you can change up the ask order – each caregiver will be given 30 minutes to respond before the next caregiver is sent the request.

4. Add Details for the Caregivers to See
If there are important notes to share you’ll be able to add those details so caregivers are able to see that when they review your request.

5. Check Status of Your Request in Your Account
The most real-time way to find out about the status of your request is in your Poppy Account. We’ll show the status of who has been asked, and will also show if the booking has been confirmed.

With this new process we hope you’ll be able to connect more easily and directly with the caregivers that work best for your family’s needs. Give it a whirl and let us know what you think!

Request a Caregiver

Get Your Poppy Payments Reimbursed Through Your Dependent Care FSA

Many employers offer Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (often referred to as a Dependent Care FSA) as a benefit. It’s a way to earmark pre-tax dollars, so you can put those funds toward childcare. For those of you who are taking advantage of this benefit, did you know that Poppy spending is often an eligible expense?

 

Poppy makes it super easy to download a history of your charges as a PDF, so you can submit it to your (likely pretty old-school) FSA provider.

 

  • Step 1: Log into your Poppy Account
  • Step 2: Go to the main menu and select “Bookings” 
  • Step 3: Scroll to the bottom of your bookings to “FULL YEAR BOOKING SUMMARY”
What’s a Dependent Care FSA?
Poppy is not the expert on this — we just focus on providing amazing childcare! Here’s what we do know: 
Every little bit helps when it comes to covering childcare, we’ve all felt that. There’s so much American companies and law makers could do to help lighten the load, but there actually is an existing U.S. benefit that can help a tad with caregiver expenses…. and it is shockingly undersold and under-utilized.

 

About 70% of companies offer this benefit, but only a tiny fraction of employees sign up, and even among those signed up, a lot of people don’t submit the claims to get that money back.

 

Many employers offer “Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts” (often referred to as a Dependent Care FSA) as a benefit. It’s a way to earmark pre-tax dollars, so you can put those funds toward childcare. If you’re familiar with Health FSAs then you probably can make some guesses on how this works, but because there are many options for childcare, it’s currently a very manual, pretty annoying process. 

The catch is that super-busy parents, and you forget to submit those claims by the deadline… the money goes away. Poof. (You do typically have a grace period after the end of the year).

Many companies are actually now in Open Enrollment Season, so it’s a good idea ask whoever manages benefits if they offer a Dependent Care FSA and how you might enroll for it. If your company needs some education on the Dependent Care FSA, two companies we know of that offer managed programs are Gusto and Kinside.

 

P.S. Poppy also often partners with Seattle companies to offer Poppy as a benefit to their employees, so feel free to put them in touch with us at hello@meetpoppy.com

Using Amazon Alexa for a Mini Storytime at Home

“Alexa, ask Amazon Storytime to read me a story” …. is what it takes to make mornings happen,  make snack prep happen, just a helpful thing to buy you 5 minutes.

How it works: You’ll set up on the Alexa app, then activate skill with your lovely voice…

“Alexa, ask Amazon Storytime to read me a story” …. is what it takes to make mornings happen,  make snack prep happen, just a helpful thing to buy you 5 minutes.

How it works: If you have an Alexa device (like an Amazon Echo), go to the Alexa app on your iPhone/Android, click on the menu in top-left corner and go to “Skills and Games” search for any of the below “Skills.” Once you’ve enabled them, you then need to remember the exact words you need to say to activate the skills…yes.  You have to fit these phrases in your brain -OR- print out / grab a screenshot of the below.

Story selections are pretty limited, and don’t expect an award-winning performance (we’ve noted the narration style in the far-right column if you want to pick and choose). But lots of kiddos are enthralled even by the Alexa voice reading a story… and you’ll be shocked how quickly they start interacting with the story. 💗

Alexa “Skill” Name

Voice Commands

Narration Style

search for these on the Alexa mobile app say this to your Alexa device once you’ve enabled the skill on your mobile app what to expect
Amazon Storytime Say: “Alexa, Open Amazon Storytime” or “Alexa, ask Amazon Storytime to read me a story” professionally narrated stories with sound effects
Baby Einstein Story Time Say: “Alexa, launch story time” or “Alexa, start story time” Professional narration, asks listener some “choose your own adventure” questions, but there’s not much of a plot
Tale of Peter Rabbit Say: “Alexa, begin Peter Rabbit” or “Alexa, open Peter Rabbit” Read by creepy Alexa voice, but asks the listener some “choose your own adventure” questions
Three Little Pigs Say: “Alexa, begin Three Little Pigs” or “Alexa, open Three Little Pigs” Classic tale read by creepy Alexa voice. Asks listener, “should I continue?” prompting kiddo to shout “yes!”
Short Bedtime Stories Say: “Alexa, open bedtime stories” or “Alexa, ask bedtime stories to list all stories” Classic tale read by creepy Alexa voice. Asks listener, “should I continue?” prompting kiddo to shout “yes!”

 

 

Thanks to Poppy Parent and staffer, Sharon Pope, for the tip #whatittakes #poppyhacks

This story originally appeared on our Instagram — follow us there @meetpoppy

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10 minute emergency planning

Wills, emergency plans, life insurance. Most of us suck at them all. I know I do. I’ve procrastinated to the point of irresponsibility. Because I don’t want to think about who gets my kids if I’m not there or worry about Ms M having to hand my 3-year-old the hastily written note in her earthquake bag. I hate the thought of a reality that remotely needs my having thought through these questions.

So I don’t.

But if there is one thing that this past year has shown us with all of the devastating floods and fires, mudslides and errant missile alerts, it’s that we all need to have these conversations. And we need to plan.

It’s because it’s hard, that it’s necessary.

At Poppy we try to make the hard, delightful. So we thought of finding a way to make this as pain-free and straightforward for families.

So here’s a wonderfully simple and non-overwhelming approach to emergency planning. A quick little quiz that spits out a handy-dandy emergency plan for you, put together by Sharon Pope, a marketer and a mama that loses sleep like we do over this stuff.

Let’s do this.

1) Make a Plan.
Take 10 minutes and fill out the Emergency Plan form now: 
FAM DISASTER PREP Home

This plan is West Coast-centric and focused on earthquakes but plan for the emergencies that are most relevant for where you live: Family Disaster Plan

2) Gather Supplies.
Then, buy whatever supplies your home might be missing: 
Disaster Supply List FAM DISASTER PREP

  • Don’t forget that water, fire extinguishers and flashlights
  • Also photocopies of personal documents

3) Share and Practice. 
Finally, tell the people that will need to know about your plan: family, nannies, teachers, neighbors. And practice the plan.

It’s not fun to think about or plan for. But if you’re like me, you’ll definitely sleep easier once you have.


Other Resources:
1) Government emergency info: Plan Ahead for Disasters | Ready.gov

2) American Red Cross: Make a Plan

3) Build your own kit list: Build a Kit

4) Emergency Planning with your kids: WIRED article 

5) Ready-made Earthquake Kit: Earthquake Bag