Bring Back Brunch with Super Bueno and Poppy

Poppy and SUPER BUENO
Join us for brunch, and we’ll watch your kiddos!
This event has been hugely popular with parents, and we hope you can swing by to join in on the fun. (details below)

 

Details:

WHEN:
Sundays in August, September and October from 11am-2pm
WHERE: 
SUPER BUENO
3627 STONE WAY N
SEATTLE, WA 98103
HOW IT WORKS:
  1. Just reserve or grab a table for brunch
  2. Then swing upstairs to drop off your kiddo
  3. Sign in your kiddo with the Poppies on site
  4. Stick on a nametag
  5. Everyone has a blast
  6. Come back in 30-45 mins to pick up your little one.

AGES:

Ages 2+

Qs?

Any questions, just email us at hello@meetpoppy.com
$20 off your first Poppy Booking
If you take advantage of Bring Back Brunch, we’ll give you a $20 promo code in your confirmation email (after you sign in your kiddo).At Poppy, our mission is to Build the Modern Village by finding the most rave-worthy caregivers and matching them to families like you when you need childcare. Whether it’s for a weekly date night, when the nanny is on vacation or simply running errands while the kids play, let Poppy build you a village full of talented, trustworthy caregivers.

Book a sitter with PoppyVisit Super Bueno (& the super kids’ play area)

 

Tax Tips for Caregivers

Here are some helpful things to keep in mind in the run up to tax season

Please keep in mind that these are simply helpful resources and that you should consult with a tax pro for specific advice.

This guide should answer most of the high-level general questions you have about taxes, but we are not able to give specific advice and highly recommend you talk to a tax professional especially if this is new to you. All of the below is guidance based on general situations and may not pertain to you given your specific situation so please use this information only as a starting point.

Do I need to report income and file taxes?

You are required to report any income you make through Poppy (though you may not need to pay self-employment tax if it’s under a certain minimum threshold). You will use the Annual Summary provided by Poppy to fill out the relevant tax forms (more info with how Uber drivers do theirs here).

Where to find what you need:

In your Poppy account on the Payments tab, you’ll find your ANNUAL SUMMARY for [year].

This summary will list the income information you need to file your annual taxes.

The gross amount is what you will report 

for Gross Income and the Poppy Service Fee can be reported on the Schedule C under Expenses: Commissions and Fees.

 

Will I get a 1099-K or 1009-MISC?

You will receive a 1099-K if your Gross Amount was greater than $20,000 AND you had more than 200 payment transactions. If you have done other work for Poppy and/or referral income is greater than $600 then you will also get a 1099-MISC. If you do not meet these thresholds, you will generally not be issued a 1099. Otherwise, you will use the Annual summary to get the information you need to file your taxes.

Do I need to file quarterly or annually?

Consult a tax professional on your specific situation, but the general rule-of-thumb from the IRS for determining if you should be paying taxes quarterly: If you expect to owe more than $1,000 in taxes for the year for your freelance or contracting work (which amounts to around $3,000 or more in profit) then you may need to pay quarterly taxes. It’s a safe rule of thumb to put aside 30% of each paycheck so it’s available to pay taxes when the time comes. However, again, it’s recommended to talk with your tax accountant when you have questions.

What other expenses can I deduct:

Tracking expenses may help lower how much you owe. Common expenses include anything that is “ordinary and necessary for your business.” Talk to a tax professional to see what might qualify for you. Common examples may include:

  • Mileage going to and from bookings
  • Phone expenses (% used for Poppy)
  • Wi-fi (% used for Poppy)
  • Supplies for bookings (eg activities/ toys)
  • Software for business/tracking (e.g. Microsoft Office or Excel etc)
  • Apps to help tracking: Hurdlr & MileIQ (not endorsed by Poppy)

 

What are the tax filing deadlines?

Some popular tax preparation services that may be helpful (not endorsed or recommended by Poppy):

Other resources:

 

DISCLAIMER:

This guide is intended solely for information purposes and no Poppy caregiver or other third party may rely upon it as tax or legal advice or use it for any other purpose. As such, Poppy assumes no responsibility whatsoever to Poppy Caregivers or other third parties as a result of the use of information contained herein. This page contains information in a summary format. It does not provide tax advice to any taxpayer because it does not take into account any specific taxpayer’s facts and circumstances. Readers are encouraged to consult with professional advisors for advice concerning specific matters before making any decision or taking a position on any tax return, and Poppy disclaims any responsibility for positions taken by taxpayers in their individual cases or for any misunderstanding on the part of readers. While Poppy has used its best efforts in preparing this booklet, it makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this page and specifically disclaims any implied warranties. Poppy shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other damages, including but not limited to direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential.

Be mine, Valentine. 5 ways to celebrate with someone you love this week.

Depending on who you are, you’re looking forward to Valentine’s Day with giddy anticipation or eye-rolling dread. But no matter what you think about candy hearts and red roses, it’s nice to have a week that celebrates love and appreciation.

In that spirit, the Poppy HQ team share their favorite not-so-traditional ways to spend time with a loved one.

Rebecca – Operations:
Take an art class together or head to an art supply shop to pick up canvases and paint. Draw or paint portraits of each other. Don’t reveal until the end. Then laugh at how bad they are.


Sarah – Recruiting
Head to the market for a shop the market and cooking class. You’ll get to see where the chefs stop and pick up ingredients for a meal you cook. A fun way to play tourist in your own city but enjoy a meal you get to cook together.


 

Nik- Engineer

Head over to Ballard for an old-school record and pizza night. Buy a record at Bop Street Records, pick up pizza at Ballard Pizza Company and dessert at Hot Cakes and go back home to enjoy pizza and beer with new music in the background.


 

Avni – CEO
We love to hop on a ferry! Head to either Bainbridge for the day or even just a quick jaunt over to West Seattle and lunch at Marination Station. Grab a newspaper and do the crossword together or just enjoy watching the waves and catching up. Maybe even rent bikes on the other side if the weather is good. Something about ferries that make you feel like you’re “getting away from it all”.


Kate – Operations
Depending on your mood, you could get take-out from your favorite restaurant (mine is Tuk-Tuk Thai) and play card games or head to the mountains for some hiking/skiing and end the day with beers and nachos at Nacho Borracho.


 

Bookis – Engineer
For a longer adventure, we love to take a drive around the peninsula or down the coast, stopping at different sites, hot springs, beach, hikes, cute towns, then dinner and a b&b.

5 reasons why your sitter doesn’t want to come back.

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Caring for kids is hard.

We parents know that well. But so do the many millions of dedicated childcare professionals that help our families every week.

It take a lot of skill and talent to work with kids safely, enthusiastically and effectively. It’s why at Poppy we work so tirelessly to find people that can do it well and for the right reasons.

But parents might forget that the expectations go both ways. A lot of times when there are frustrating experiences, these talented individuals choose not to return, leaving parents wondering what happened.

We’ve dug into the data from thousands of bookings to understand the biggest drivers of caregivers’ frustration. And what we found was surprising — mostly in how common and simple the issues are.

We’re sharing the top 5 reasons that caregivers choose not to return to a family and some tips on what you as a parent can do to change that.

Punctuality.  You might only be 15 minutes late at the end of the workday or think tacking on a couple hours to the end of a date night is no big deal but this tends to be one of the biggest frustrations for caregivers. First, because if not communicating the change makes it hard from them to plan (sometimes there is an hourly bus that they end up missing, putting them in a bind). The second issue is not valuing their time as you do your own. Even for a date night, sometimes caregivers will agree to a booking that ends at 10pm because they can join a friend’s birthday party late. If you assume that they can just stay, it creates a lot of frustration, especially because they’re now also put into the awkward position of having to ask you your whereabouts.

Poppy’s advice: Always text to let a caregiver know if a change in the agreed time is okay — whether it’s running late in traffic or needing to add on more time. And next time if you think you need a flexible end time, request that in advance.

Orientation. One of the hardest parts of being an effective caregiver is being able to come into a completely unknown space and family and get up to speed on the parents, the kids, the home, the routine and the expectations, within the first 10–15 minutes. It’s why a through orientation is important. Ironically, it’s sometimes the self described “laid-back” families that get dinged on this the most. Even these families have a rhythm and a way of doing things. Even these kids have allergies or favorite activities. Setting the caregiver up for success means making every important thing explicit.

Poppy’s advice: I get how annoying and exhausting having to do the walk through every time can be so one suggestion is to have a rundown sheet that you make once that includes these sections: Parent contact info, Kids interest/health notes, Routines + Rules, Emergency contacts and Expectations for the day. Then as you walk the caregiver through the main parts of your home, you can reference the sheet. Even if you don’t create a sheet, be sure to cover the highlights of these topics.

Kids’ behavior. This is a tricky one. All of our darlings have their on days and their off days. Every professional caregiver understands that. The frustrating experiences happen when the caregiver isn’t given a heads up on some of the behavior to expect and effective strategies to deal with it (eg. are you a “time out” family, a 1–2–3 family or something else). Lastly, caregivers can also be frustrated if parents don’t set the expectation with kids (often the older ones) that the caregiver is to be treated as an authority figure, in the parents’ stead.

Poppy’s advice: First establish with your children that anytime there is a caregiver in the home, that they are an extension of the parents’ authority. Then share with the caregiver your family’s style of discipline and what to expect from each child. It’s all a part of creating a functional caregiving team that feels as seamless as possible for the kids.

Hovering parents. I often work from home, so I know what it’s like to have to discuss expectations with the caregiver so that I’m not undermining her authority or confusing the kids. It’s especially hard when working with a new caregiver but ironically, you won’t be able to get a proper sense of how good they are with your kids by hovering within sight or popping in and out frequently. This is especially true for the younger kids but often caregivers will have just settled the kids into an activity when a parent pops in, throwing everything off and then shortly leaving the caregiver to do it all again.

Poppy’s advice: Whether it’s orienting a new caregiver or working from home, try to give the orientation as efficiently as possible and then try to keep your distance, out of sight. Whether you stay at home in a separate area or go to run errands, it will be a better way to both assess fit or effectively get work done.

Cutting time short. I understand all too well the unpredictability of schedules and being tied to a often challenging childcare budget. But for caregivers, this is a matter of their livelihood — paying tuition and rent and bills. So if they plan on working a full day and then the parents chronically come home a couple hours early, it materially impacts the income they were expecting to make. If this happens a lot, they’ll choose to find other families that they can depend on more reliably.

Poppy’s advice: Try to predict more accurately the amount of time you’ll need — if you’ve booked an 8 hour day but might only need 6, share that before they agree to do it. You may not think they’re a big difference between 3 and 4 hours but for a lot of caregivers it’s the difference between it being worth the travel time to get there and back. Relatedly if you make a lot of 2 or 3 hour bookings, just understand that it’s hard for caregivers to justify a 40 min bus ride for $30-$40 so to perhaps combine two 2 hour needs into one 4 hour one.

Building an effective and lasting relationship with caregivers is hard work, like any relationship. But by understanding some of the important expectations and frustration drivers, I think it can be an easier process. Like any complex issue there are many other topics that create friction but by focusing on these 5, families can start building better, stronger interactions with their caregiver teams.

It’s always a fluid conversation though — what are some things that you’ve found to help in creating more productive caregiver-family relationships?

Keeping the fun safe in the sun.

dawn-nature-sunset-trees.jpg

Here in Seattle, it’s finally starting to feel like summer after what felt like an endlessly gray winter. It’s easy to get giddy in our rush to get outdoors with the kids but as we do, we have a couple of tips to keep in mind so that safety is still top of mind.

 

Sun safety:
  • Sunscreen needs to be applied (even if overcast or you’re in the shade) every two hours
  • Don’t leave house without water
  • Limit time outside if temperatures are super hot (80 or above)
    • At peak sun times, take an inside break (eg. between 11am-3pm)
Park Safety
  • Keep kiddos within eyesight (for younger children, within reach)
  • Do a quick scan of the park to see if there is anyone or anything that looks out of place
  • Avoid answering personal questions about the family/letting kids give that info out freely
  • Assess the ability levels of children, or if you know you are going to park,  ask parents how the kiddos large motor abilities are (climbing, balance, etc) 
  • Make sure to set boundaries of where kiddos can run and play (again, always within eye sight or reach
Outdoor Play Safety
  • Scan and assess areas for any potentially dangerous situations (eg. gardening stuff left out (fertilizer/ spades etc))
  • Lead the kiddos in age appropriate play if there are kids of multiple ages, try options that all can participate in safely (eg. bubbles or simple obstacle course)
  • If there any pools (even the little ones, filled with water), observe full water safety
Just a couple simple safety tips so keep in mind so that you get back to the best part play in the warm and sun.

A letter continued.

Poppy is a dreamer. She was born believing that better is always possible. That if you put your mind to it and work harder than anyone else, anything is achievable.

It’s why she chose childcare. Or maybe it chose her. It’s her calling, her passion, her mission.

It’s why Poppy is dedicated to solving the very real challenges that families face each day.

A year ago I never dreamed we would be where we are today. I started with my cellphone, a small personal investment and big vision. Today, it’s grown almost 100x.  I want to thank you for your support.  Without you, it would still be just me and my cellphone and a dream.

Last week we announced important changes to Poppy, including substantial price changes. Since that time, we have heard from hundreds of families.  I’ve read thousands of texts and I’ve had countless phone calls with parents.  It’s been the topic of thoughtful debate and discussion on Facebook groups and in parent forums.

I’ve heard your feedback, and it’s in two key themes:

 

  • You were caught off guard at how quickly the change was announced and implemented.
  • You were surprised at the amount of increase, with our infant families feeling the biggest impact.

As hard as it was to hear, I want to thank you for your feedback.  I want you to know that our small but proud team has taken a deep breath and read every word that you’ve sent us.  At least twice.

I also want you to know that we could have done a couple of things better.

First, I could have given more notice. The simple truth is that these changes have been immensely hard to make and in my haste to find the courage to do what I didn’t want to have to, I did the last thing I ever meant to do – I caught families by surprise. I apologize for that.

Secondly, and more importantly, I could have shared much earlier that what we started with was for testing and learning, and that change was just a matter of time.

Here’s why:

  1. The caregivers make us great, so Poppy needs to be great for them.
    • As parents, we have all struggled to find the right people to care for our kids. It is hard to find those special few that can care for children reliably, safely and playfully. The fact that only a tiny fraction of applicants become Poppy Certified is a testament to this. It takes a lot of effort to find them, but then also keep them – something we do by making Poppy the place where the best caregivers feel rewarded and supported for these talents.
    • Compensation a big part of this. Many families use Poppy as a flexible part-time nanny option (especially for infants) but this requires a completely different level of experience and skills than the average date night caregiver. A level that expects to make more than $16/hr. These new rates opens up our ability to bring on more of the caregivers that your families will love but that we haven’t previously been able to get.
  2. Professionalizing childcare through standards and accountability is a complex endeavor.
    • Anyone that has ever tried to find childcare on their own knows how wildly inconsistent quality and qualifications can be. We all know what it’s like to be cancelled on last minute and be left in the lurch. Poppy works behind the scenes every day to create a vastly different experience. One that is reliable, delightful and safety-obsessed. We work with caregivers to give them feedback and stock them with resources like age appropriate play ideas or CareCards. We work on our technology to create even better matches and more effective scheduling. We are always on call to respond to parent or caregiver questions or concerns. Creating this higher standard of care is a job that never stops, day in and day out.
  3. Innovating new solutions means investing in technology and exploring radically new options
    • Poppy is not another agency. Our ambition is to completely transform childcare for families though choices like PoppyPool – a coordinated nanny share where we can connect two families looking for care at the same time for similarly aged kids. Think UberPool but for childcare – the caregiver is compensated for their experience and families pay half the rate. That’s just the beginning – other programs we’re exploring are better same-day options, screened high schoolers as mother’s helpers or after-school care with nannies that drive.
    • These are complex problems that require significant investment to make a reality. Poppy is committed to bringing these solutions to you but we need to be a sustainable operation first.

For the past year we have worked to understand whether there was place and a space for this vision of childcare – one that was satisfied with nothing short of delight. One that is built on reliability and accountability.

We now know there is.

So we choose to make some hard but necessary changes to give us a chance to keep fighting for the solutions our families so desperately need and deserve. We want to build a village that will endure for you, and for your family, for years to come.

We have thought through how to address your concerns and want to:

  • Offer 2 months of complimentary membership to our existing families to address the short notice.
  • Involve you in where we’re headed.We have made our Product Roadmap public so you’re able to see what we’re working on, what we’re considering and what we’ve “shipped”. You’ll be able to sign up to test new pilots and give feedback: Poppy Product Roadmap.
  • Continue to hear your feedback – however you’d like to give it – text, Facebook, or otherwise. If possible, we’d love to talk with you.  We’ll be having weekly open houses on Tuesdays at our offices and will be as flexible as you need us to be to call/meet/listen.

Our mission at Poppy is big and it’s bold and it’s rooted in a belief. A belief that better is possible and is necessary for every one of our families.

Thank you now, more than ever, for your belief in us and that this is possible.

– avni