Learn How SmartSitting is Handling Child Care During COVID-19 ›

Learn How SmartSitting is Handling Child Care During COVID-19


SmartSitting is committed to the safety of our families, nannies, babysitters, and private educators. We are inspired to continue providing essential childcare services, especially for the workers on the front lines of this pandemic. In order to do so, we are taking extreme precautions and transforming the way we operate. Should you have any questions about child care, please call us at 646-396-0230, and we will support you or guide you to an appropriate resource.

We are available to all members of the child care community, regardless of whether you are already in our network. Please reach out and allow us to help!

New SmartSitting COVID-19 Policies:

  • SmartSitting is only working with individuals who are committed to practicing social distancing. Our definition of acceptable social distancing means leaving home only for grocery runs and solo walks or exercise. Everyone in the household must be practicing at the same level of vigilance.
  • SmartSitting has suspended all temporary babysitting services (date nights, last-minute babysitting, occasional sitting) in order to minimize exposure. Instead, families may request caregivers on a two-week minimum basis, with a minimum of 20 hours per week.
  • SmartSitters and SmartSitting families will both go through an illness assessment prior to being connected for a position. Our SmartSitters are also regularly reminded to be impeccably hygienic, wash hands constantly for 40 seconds, use sanitizer when appropriate, not to touch their faces, bring an extra set of clothes, wipe down phones, and use the safest means of travel available to get to every booking.
  • To ensure the safety of everyone involved, we will temporarily suspend services if either the sitter or the family show signs of illness and provide guidance in accordance with CDC guidelines regarding quarantine.
  • While we are doing our best to make geographically convenient matches, we are asking families to consider providing rideshare or taxi fare to SmartSitters if applicable. We are open to whatever transportation arrangements are agreeable to both family and caregiver and will adapt at a moment’s notice if new information becomes available regarding the safety of rideshare vehicles and public transit.
  • We expect parents to take the same precautions that are being expected of our SmartSitter community and to notify us if someone is experiencing symptoms of illness.

Available Babysitting, Nanny, Private Educator, and Related Services During COVID-19:

  • One-on-One Home-Schooling Support/In-Home Babysitting
  • Virtual Music Lessons, Homework Help, Interactive Entertainment, Online Mentorship
  • Private, Dedicated Babysitting and Nanny Services (one family to one sitter)
  • Corporate Back-Up Child Care Programs for NYC employers with remote employees (specifically serving companies under 500 employees).
  • Consultations regarding compensation practices, unemployment insurance and disability claims, legally mandated paid time off and sick leave requirements, and domestic employer-employee contracts.
  • Private screening services for the nanny you are considering hiring.

Guidance for Compensation of Nannies and Babysitters During COVID-19 Pandemic:

Child care services are considered essential in New York City. However, families and caregivers are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing before coming together again in a dedicated, one-sitter-to-one-family relationship. This may result in a few weeks off. Depending on your employer-employee relationship, you may be unsure of how to navigate this situation. Here are the steps we recommend taking to ensure that we are taking care of each other. We also encourage families and caregivers to call us at 646-396-0230 if they have any questions.

Communicate Openly and Honestly with Your Nanny or Babysitter

We strongly encourage you to discuss the effects of the pandemic with your caregiver if you haven’t already. Open and honest communication will set the foundation for establishing next steps. Some questions to consider asking your nanny may include:

  • What is your personal policy on social distancing?
  • What happens if one of us or a family member gets sick and must self-quarantine?
  • What happens if we ask you not to come to work as scheduled?
  • What happens if you don’t feel comfortable working because we work in a high exposure risk job or our workplace has been shut down due to potential exposure?
  • Would you consider a live-in arrangement to practice social distancing together and if so, when?
  • What does our work agreement say about paid and unpaid time off?
  • What if you are at work and begin to feel ill?

Confirm Nanny and Babysitter Compensation Plans

As a family who employs a babysitter or nanny, you can continue compensating your child care provider during this period of social distancing. If this is feasible for your family, it is the best case scenario for your household employee who still must pay their bills and buy groceries during the pandemic. If you have a contract in place that guarantees compensation for a minimum number of hours per week, you should honor that contract if you are able to do so. If you are unable to continue compensating, you can reduce hours or lay off your nanny or babysitter so they can file for unemployment benefits, even temporarily.

There is a lot of new information coming out regarding emergency paid family sick leave act, tax credits, unemployment eligibility, disaster unemployment insurance, and more. We encourage you to read this helpful article from our friends at GTM.

Practice a Firm Personal Policy of Social Distancing

After a sufficient period of social distancing (in accordance to guidance from NYS and the CDC) we anticipate a shift towards small group interactions with trusted, like-minded individuals in the coming weeks and months. If you are on the same page with your babysitter or nanny regarding how you both practice social distancing and what preventative measures you take, you may feel comfortable working together again soon. Once you feel comfortable working with your nanny or sitter, we also recommend discussing travel plans to minimize exposure.

© 2020 SmartSitting, Inc. All rights reserved.