Where do we find our proverbial village, the people and places that weave the net of support for us and our children? From drop-in child care to nannies to support groups and top doctors, having a reliable network of support is invaluable. Check out the parent-picked resources voted for by you, our readers.
2016 Parent Resources — Winners + Finalists:
2016 Golden Teddy Awards — Other categories:
Drop-In Childcare Location
It’s fun for kids and parents at the YMCA. Family-membership holders receive two hours of complimentary child care per day at every location (except the downtown Seattle locale). Members can drop off their children while they increase their heart rate and lower their stress level, or even attend to work emails thanks to free wi-fi. Caveat: You must remain on site while your child is at day care. Age range is usually from infants to tweens, but check with your local branch, as specifics do vary.
Readers are pleased with Seattle’s Penny Pumpernickel Pants Playcare, which puts play-based learning first while offering nutritionally balanced lunches and snacks, outside time, yoga instruction and a well-stocked reading nook. “You feel the joy right away!” raves one reviewer.
The Nest in Woodinville ranks high with readers who love its daily enrichment classes. One reviewer says, “My kids have fun, and the convenience is great.”
Blossoming Buds Cottage in Seattle “is saving the sanity of Seattle moms one drop-off at a time,” says one gratified parent.
Nanny or Babysitting Resource
Winner: The Nanny Consultant
Trust, plus your version of Mary Poppins, is the all-important equation when it comes to finding the right caregiver for your beloved little ones. The Nanny Consultant, aka Kyla Lopez-Perkins, provides the tools needed to quickly find and fully support your ideal nanny. “Very knowledgeable and very patient with my never-ending questions,” enthuses one reviewer.
Yet again, parents agree that Annie’s Nannies, Inc. is “always very professional, prompt and sends great nannies!”
AuPairCare is touted for matching U.S. families with international au pairs who provide live-in child care. “Through this experience we have gained extended family,” says a satisfied parent.
The nannies at Starling Agency are known for being experts in child development and education.
My Loving Nanny links parents to fabulous full-time nanny care and trustworthy last-minute child care.
College Nannies + Sitters + Tutors has been helping greater Seattle area families with their nanny needs since 2009.
Parent Education or Support Group
Puget Sound–area parents are buoyed by the lifesaver known as PEPS (Program for Early Parent Support). For more than three decades, PEPS has supported new parents by creating neighborhood-based parent groups that fill the early parenting years with friendship and answers to all those brand-new questions. “PEPS kept me grounded, helped me to feel ‘normal,’” says one parent.
Parents and their infants or toddlers play, create and explore together at Woodinville Toddler Group. “Wonderful school, wonderful program, fantastic playground!” says a reader.
Bellevue College’s Parent Education program offers parent-child classes and cooperative preschools on the greater Eastside and online. Thankful alumni include thousands of parents and children spanning the past 45 years!
Parents of infants learn to turn the present moment into a positive moment at Listening Mothers — Community of Mindful Parenting. This eight-week program helps parents find their inner wisdom.
Readers praise coach Sheri’s one-on-one teen life coaching at Teen Wise. “She opened up the lines of communication again,” says a teen client’s mom.
Families of Color Seattle (FOCS) parent/toddler groups “provided a great environment to discuss racial, cultural and parenting concerns in an open and respectful manner,” lauds one parent.
Birth or Postpartum Support Service
Winner: Birth Matters NW
Pregnancy, birth and postpartum professionals support parents through the journey of a new lifetime, from pregnancy to birth and beyond. Impressed parents praise the birth and postpartum doulas at Birth Matters NW. “Motivating and compassionate at the same time,” says one reviewer. “She cared for the baby and me, and even had energy left for our older son,” adds another thankful parent.
Baby Diaper Service (BDS) has cleaned cloth diapers in the Puget Sound region since 1946. One satisfied reader says, “BDS makes this one very important aspect completely effortless.”
Open one year this May, NW Pregnancy & Birth Coaching offers whole-hearted support for families. Birth doula Tatyana also offers postpartum care, placenta encapsulation and lactation cookies crafted with ingredients believed to boost milk production.
Puget Sound Midwives & Birth Center draws rave reviews for its warm, loving care providers while readers say Rebecca Michi — Children’s Sleep Consultant gives you back your sleep (and who doesn’t love that?).
Parents of newborns learn from the mindfully trained facilitators at Listening Mothers — Community of Mindful Parenting.
Mamas really appreciate Nurturing Expressions’ in-home lactation support and private appointments in its West Seattle breastfeeding room.
Belly to Babies — Birth & Postpartum Doula Services is an Eastside family favorite; “a mother’s (or father’s) best friend!” says one reviewer.
Winner: Lynnwood Kids Dentist
Establishing healthy dental habits is easy when children eagerly anticipate their dental appointments. Lynnwood Kids Dentist claims a sixth consecutive win in this category. One contented parent says, “This is honestly the best dentist office I have been to for children.” Pluses include its colorful atmosphere and a waiting room stocked with video games.
The Eastside Pediatric Dental Group receives the parent love; “A beautiful, clean, kid-friendly place with super-friendly, smiling staff all around,” reveals a reviewer. And kids adore the fully stocked waiting room: toys, books, a Lego table and a movie playing.
Readers give positive reviews for Everyone By One, Bellevue: “Very patient and compassionate dentists,” and “My kids left there wanting to come back!!” say some reviewers.
Rama Oskouian, DMD, receives accolades for her chairside manner. “Always upbeat and very positive,” says one gratified parent.
Jeffrey B. Marks, DDS, makes having a healthy smile fun. “Charming, calm, funny and thorough,” raves a reader.
Parents compliment Highlands Kids Dentistry’s Saturday hours and its Halloween candy buy-back program, and say that doctors and staff are “gentle and sweet.”
Lakeview Kids’ Dentistry wins accolades for its compassionate care team and super-comfy chairs, with TV screens running shows on the ceiling.
Winner: Allegro Pediatrics
Readers commend this year’s winner, Allegro Pediatrics, for its same-day appointments 365 days a year, a 24-hour nurse line and more than 80 providers in eight locations. “Communication is stellar ... providers return calls,” raves one reviewer about this physician-owned primary care practice. Another says: “These pediatricians know their stuff and take your concerns seriously!”
Swedish Pediatric Specialty Care makes taking care of your children’s health simple and straightforward, thanks to more than 20 locations, online access to medical records through MyChart and pediatric providers who match your family’s philosophy of care.
Ballard Pediatric Clinic features convenient morning drop-in hours, no appointment necessary; kid-friendly, kind and knowledgeable doctors; and calm receptionists who ensure smooth patient flow. “From the time we call in until the time we actually see a physician, Ballard Pediatrics is on top of its game,” says one reviewer.
Woodinville Pediatrics earned your votes for its outstanding, attentive care: “If you are looking for a place for your infant all the way through their teens, this is the place!”
Patients extol Dr. Alexander M. Hamling at Pacific Medical Centers (Canyon Park clinic) for his compassionate, relationship-based patient care.
Richmond Pediatrics has served its community for more than 50 years; many families have trusted its providers with caring for their children and teenagers for three generations.
Walk-In or Urgent Care Clinic
Winner: Seattle Children’s Hospital Urgent Care
When your child’s non-emergency medical care can’t wait until your doctor’s office is open, an urgent-care clinic appointment is your ailing child’s godsend. Seattle Children’s Hospital Urgent Care is this year’s winner; pluses include no need for appointments, and estimated wait times listed on its website. “Stupendous care during a really tough time,” says one reviewer.
Parents tout the first-come, first-served rule at Swedish Urgent Care and After-Hours Clinic, while noting its “quick and efficient” service and its “clean and friendly” atmosphere.
Seattle Children’s Hospital Bellevue Urgent Care Clinic wins reader accolades. “The entire staff was wonderful,” says one reviewer, while another pleased parent says, “They completely put my daughter at ease.”
Readers give positive reviews for The Everett Clinic’s Walk-In Clinic: “Professional and information rich” and “My experience was five stars.”
University of Washington Medicine Urgent Care Clinics earned your votes for ease of service, thanks to six neighborhood clinic locales, with wait times conveniently listed on its website.
Overlake Medical Center Urgent Care Clinics elicit exclamation points from reviewers: “Efficient, caring and fast!” and “Skip the ER and come here!”
EvergreenHealth Urgent Care, Redmond offers parents a modern and welcoming facility with a “knowledgeable, friendly and caring” staff.
With seven Seattle locales, Zoom+Care Neighborhood Clinics are “great for a last-minute appointment, with flexible timing and late-night hours,” says one reviewer.
Drive-Through or Food Delivery Service
When parenting well depends on a quick food and caffeine boost, our readers called Starbucks this year’s drive-through winner. The Starbucks logo means your soy vanilla half-caf latte always tastes the same, with healthy food options for all ages alongside “super nice and friendly” service.
Taco Time is a Northwest original that prides itself on sourcing many ingredients locally. One satisfied reviewer says, “Nobody makes a crisp beef burrito like Taco Time does.”
Dick’s Drive-In wins reader votes for its tasty burgers, hand-dipped shakes, real potato (napkin-necessitating) fries, lightning-quick service and reasonable prices.
Reviewers report that even monstrously long drive-through lines move fast at the three Chick-fil-A locations while praising its “reliably delicious” menu options.
Amazon Prime Now restaurant orders are delivered within one hour, and parents gush over effortless grocery shopping: “From cereal to eggs to medicine to chips . . . Love this!!!!”
When time is short, readers praise Munchery for “delicious and savory” chef-made meals delivered to their doorsteps, ready to heat and eat.
App That You Can’t Live Without
We may no longer live in villages, but our readers say Facebook makes child-rearing feel less solitary and more communal. Readers find answers to their latest parenting conundrums through its virtual private parent communities and they love to chat (read: vent) on our planet’s largest social media site, home to more than 1 billion users.
Amazon makes us look like we’ve got this exactly when we don’t have this. Way fast delivery means school lunches will be packed in the morning and the raincoat for camp will arrive before your kid departs.
Parents applaud The Wonder Weeks, an iPhone/Android app that keeps you informed about the mental leaps and bounds of your baby. SheKnows.com says this app is a lifesaver when you wonder “what on earth is going on” with your baby.
While our tweens may have flocked to Instagram first, parents praise this app as the place to share their peerless moments in picture, video and quote form.
Readers rave about Vroom, a free app that offers tips to help turn everyday moments into brain-building minutes for your child.
Our readers don’t mind scheduling summer and after-school classes at 6crickets, which has more than 5,000 activities to keep your child occupied and a single registration form for all bookings.
With the College Nannies + Sitters + Tutors app, parents can book fully vetted sitters in plenty of time or at the last minute. “Every person we’ve had come over is great,” says a reviewer.