by Reha Sterbin

As rough as it’s been for my family since the pandemic started, I know how lucky we are. We haven’t contracted COVID-19, yet. My husband Ben and I are able to work from home, and we haven’t lost our jobs, yet. Our kids are young — two and six — and need a lot of our time, but our bosses have been understanding, so far. Despite occasional anxiety flare-ups, my mental health is okay, for now. My daughter’s daycare is holding her place, at least for the next month. We have a dedicated device and wifi that…

by Eileen Boris

You don’t have to be a scientist to know that smoke kills. In response to the intensifying California wildfires that each year break records in numbers of acres burned, homes destroyed, and people killed, State Senator Maria Elena Durazo (Democrat, Los Angeles) introduced the Health and Safety for All Workers Act, SB 1257, in late February 2020.

A long-time labor and immigrant rights leader, Durazo was responding to the stories that house cleaners and other domestic workers recounted about pounding headaches, burning eyes, and shortness of breath that followed working in perilous conditions without personal protective equipment…

In this moment when anti-Black violence and racism is in the national spotlight, many of us are having hard conversations about events that have unfolded across the country in recent days and months. For those of us who are parents and caregivers, this also means having age and developmentally appropriate conversations with our kids.

With the help of the Hand in Hand community, we’ve compiled the following set of resources to help you have these conversations in your families and communities. The links below include information for parents and caregivers of white, Black, and non-Black children of color.

White child with long blond hair/pigtails playing paddycake with black women with short hair and green shirt on playground
White child with long blond hair/pigtails playing paddycake with black women with short hair and green shirt on playground

Just as parents and caregivers are negotiating unprecedented challenges this school year in the midst of COVID, nannies are also struggling with shifting working conditions and expectations by employers. In August, the National Domestic Workers Nanny Council met to discuss some of these crucial issues and larger trends, and Hand in Hand and NDWA New York hosted a conversation between employers and nannies to hear their experiences. Below are some of the takeaways from these conversations.

What Nannies Are Saying

Nannies alongside other domestic workers have been some of the hardest hit during the pandemic; many have lost their jobs and still remain out…

The Domestic Worker Industry is Inextricably Linked with Anti-Black Racism

To fully understand the connection between police violence and killings of Black people to domestic workers rights, we have to connect the legacy of slavery and anti-Black racism to the criminalization of domestic workers, the passage of labor policy that developed using this racist lens, and the ongoing racism faced by domestic workers in the United States, in many of the homes where they work and beyond.

Black and white photograph of black woman wearing a long checkerd dress holding a white child from 1858.
Black and white photograph of black woman wearing a long checkerd dress holding a white child from 1858.

The historic roots of anti-blackness and white supremacy began with the rise of chattel slavery and colonization of the Americas. …

by Purva Gujar of Inceptive, a Hand in Hand partner

The Zero to Three 2016 national parent survey found that over 80% of parents used internet search engines to look for parenting advice but less than 50% of them found the results to be trustworthy. Many existing online resources are either biased, offer conflicting information or have advertising-driven business models.

Not everything on the web is bad though-university, research centers and hospital-based websites are sources of safe, accurate, and reliable information. But most parents aren’t aware of their existence because these organizations do not focus heavily on outreach.

We started…

Anna Reade, staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council

Do you have a favorite cleaning product? Maybe something whose smell just tells you everything is going to be sparkly and disinfected? A bleach or a spray, a powder or mopping liquid or a wipe? Now: Do you know what they use to make that product?

Just like OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) works to ensure our offices and workplaces are safe, we want to ensure that our homes are safe places for anyone we hire to work in them. (Oh, and also safe for ourselves and our loved ones!) …

The summer talk, that is!

Photo by Trust “Tru” Katsande on Unsplash

Summer is coming!

There’s still snow on the ground in many parts of New York, but families here are already getting a head start on one very important part of their summer plans: childcare.

When I ask Lee, a mother of two school-age kids who works full time and employs a nanny for ten hours a week to help with the after-school hours, when parents need to bring up summer plans with their childcare providers, she says, “Now! Yesterday, actually!”

“Kathy, the woman we’ve employed for years, is so organized, she brought it up to me first,” Lee says. “She works in a…

by Via the Village, a Hand in Hand partner

Religion and politics. Eek. Two topics most steer clear of in the workplace, right? Typically these topics aren’t directly relevant to the work anyway… unless, of course, you work for a religious organization. But few stop to think how relevant religion and politics can become in a domestic workplace… that is, until there’s conflict. So how do you prevent issues from arising?

A thoughtful domestic employer of a nanny might think to broach the topic during the interview. …

We haven’t had a chance to read Stephanie Land’s memoir, Maid, yet, but its full-page review in this past weekend’s New York Times Book Review by Emily Cooke got us plenty excited. Cooke’s opening lines get right to the deep dark heart of domestic work–the work in the home that makes all other work possible.

“I’m not your maid,” goes the outraged refrain of the mother; “I’m not your mother,” the outraged refrain of the girlfriend or wife. The declarations are pleas for respect, consideration; they invoke roles in which women can’t necessarily expect either. …

Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network

We are a national network of employers of nannies, house cleaners home attendants, and allies advocating for domestic workers rights. domesticemployers.org

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