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What to Pay your Nanny

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Childcare > Nannies > What to Pay your Nanny


Also see : 2008 Survey of Nanny rates
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I realize now that I'm paying too much

Sept 2009

We resently started having one of my friends Mothers watch our 8 month old son for 4-6 hours a week. She is amazing in every way but I feel we might be paying her too much, $15.00 an hour. I checked around before we told her a price and thought that was pretty standard but now I am running into people who tell me we are crazy. Not only that but she doesnt like to walk so when she is with our son she can't take him out in the stroller. She is overweight and I feel badly asking her to take him to my work which is two blocks away from my house, Yikes. Does anyone have some advice on how I can hanndle these two situations: one lowering the rate and two the walks? Thanks


$15 an hour seems standard for a high quality, experienced child care provider. Not sure that is what you have though, so maybe too much for what you are receiving? Tough to drop her wage ex- post. Perhaps you could say that you had an opportunity to hire someone else who is willing to work for less, so she has an option to either keep the job at a lower wage, or choose not? Shouldn't pay for more than what you are actually receiving
You have two separate problems and the solutions are simple, if not easy. Your first problem is that you hired someone to watch your child who cannot or does not wish to give you and your son the services you want, i.e., walking. The second problem is that you hired someone who charges more than you want to pay. The solution is not to decide whether the caretaker is wrong or unreasonable to resist walking or to charge $15. The solution is to get clear about what your requirements are and what you are willing/able to pay, then find that person. I won't pay $15/hour for babysitting, but many sitters/nannies charge that amount and get paid that amount. I pay $10/hour, but it isn't easy to find good child care for that amount. I have to look far and wide and be really up front about my requirements. I have two fabulous sitters but it wasn't easy to find them. It's even harder with an infant, who requires more care. I suggest you reevaluate your requirements and then decide if you need to find a new sitter. Anon
As someone who used to do child care - please do not underpay child care workers. Are you telling me that taking care of your 8 month old son is worth less than $15/hour? Really? In my opinion, it is a huge problem that child care workers are not paid enough - and we start devaluing our children.

The walks are another thing - if you are employing her, you can state what you want her to do. If she won't, find someone else. But please don't underpay them. been there.


$15.00 per hour for part time care is fair. Assuming that this is a person with some childcare experience. I run a home based daycare and started out pay my employee the same amount. I also charge $15.00 when I do babysitting on the weekends. As far as the going for walk, I would not be so concerned now as your baby is still an infant. I would be concerned about her ability to look after your baby as she becomes more mobile. Will she be able to chase after your baby as he begins exploring with crawling, walking etc? $15.00 is fair

New baby - how much to raise nanny's pay?

March 2006

A friend of mine who has three kids and not enough time on her hands to post this note will soon return to work full- time. She currently has a FT nanny who watches her 2.5 year old twin daughters. She is at home now caring for her 3 month old but will return to the office when this little one is 5 months old. She's wondering what is a fair and reasonable increase for her nanny as she takes on a third child to care for. She's interested in getting feedback on percentage increases in gross or net pay from people who have expanded from one to two children, two to three or more. Currently, she pays her nanny $13.50/hour net for the twins, pays for all of the nanny's taxes -- including income, plus health insurance. The nanny gets 10 federal holidays and 3 weeks off (though 2 have to be when this family takes their holiday). Thanks for your input -- she'll really appreciate it!


Typical take home pay rate for 2 kids is already $15-18/hour, and her nanny is getting only $13.50. Also, pay increases per child are usually $2/hour. Hope that helps
With our first child, we started the pay for our nanny at $9/hr and bumped her up to $10 about one year after she started with us. This was 5 years ago. In additional, we also paid for her taxes and gave her quarterly bonuses, which was anywhere from $300-$400. It really depends on what kind of bonuses my husband and I received from our jobs. If our bonuses were of a significant amount, we had no problem in passing more of that money to our nanny. We loved her greatly. Still do as a matter of fact.

Now, we have 2 children and have a different nanny. We had to let our first nanny go when I got laid off from my work, and decided to stay at home, with our first child for about 2 years. We pay our current nanny $15 an hour. We feel that this is a fair price since our oldest is in pre- school 4 days a week. So the bulk of the time is really taking care of our 2nd child. We also do not pay taxes or medical benefits. With $15/hr we can't afford to acquire those cost. We do however, pay for 2 weeks vacations, all major holidays and is accomodating to our nanny if she needs to do personal things. For instance, we still pay her for a full day's work, if she needs to go to the doctor's office in morning and comes to work after.

I hope this helps in deciding what is the appropriate rate increase for your nanny. Also on the 2003 Salary Survey (Berkley Parents Network site) I think you can find what the typical hourly rate is for 3 children. anon


Jan 2006

We hired a nanny to care for our first daughter, born in Feb. 2003. She has taken care of her since May 2003. We now have a second child and I will be going back to work in Jan. My question, how much more, if any, should the nanny be paid for caring for the 2nd child? It's somewhat different than a share since it's the same family. Also, the older child will be going to part-time (8 a.m. - 12 noon) daycare in March and full- time in September. I did review the nanny survey from 2003 (can we get a new survey to get more up to date info?) but didn't see this particular issue addressed. Thanks. new mom of two


In my case, my nanny cares for one of my children for $12/hour, and when she has both of my children I pay $15. Have you talked to your nanny about this? It's an issue that should be negotiated with her. have 2 kids and a nanny
You can negotiate with your nanny whatever works for you and her, obviously, but I think whether a nanny is watching two children from different families, or two children from the same family, that a ''two-child/share'' rate applies. So in my opinion the survey from 2003 that describes share pay should be a good guide for what the two-child rate was at that time. We currently pay our nanny $18 an hour for two kids (and she makes $14 an hour for one).

With your son being in pre-school for part of the time, I would simply pay her the single child rate while he is in school, and the two-child rate when she is watching them both. That said, I know a couple who paid their nanny $15 an hour all day, for the same situation you are in (one child in kindergarten for part of every day). They figured $15 was high for the time the nanny was with only one child, and low for the time she was with both children, so it averaged out. I also know it took the nanny (experienced in the Bay Area) a bit of time to get comfortable with that arrangement. Good luck!


when we had our second child, we simply asked our nanny how much the new rate would be. it went from $9 per hour for our son in a share to $18 per hour just the two of them. I thought at the time maybe I should compare rates but when all is said and done, I trust her. If I didn't I couldn't leave my kids with her.

Since then I've found that she's near, but not over, the top of most rates for nanny. and considering her experience and all that she does for them - transportation, teaching them spanish, etc. I think she's worth stretching our finances for. first time employer


Sept 2005

Now that we have a second child (3 months), how much should we pay our nanny for caring for our two children? My older son is 3 years old and we have had our nanny since he was 4 months old. We have had nanny shares in the past where we pay $9 for each child but this is from separate families. Can anyone recommend an appropriate rate? Thanks Stephanie


To my knowledge, the going rate for two children is $18/hour. I don't know why this would be different if the two children are from the same family, as opposed to two different families. It's still the same work for the nanny. amg
In the last issue someone said it's the same work for a nanny whether she works with children from the same family or more than one. This is very untrue, folks. In addition to making 4 parents instead of 2 happy, she needs to deal with 2 families' sometimes conflicting desires and rules. A style or behavior that is common or allowed in one family may be completely unappreciated with another. This takes some good juggling. If this weren't the case, we wouldn't see so many cases of parents asking about parenting others' children on playdates, or nannyshares talking about one family wanting to give the nanny autonomy and another wanting a tight hold on the reins. Nanny shares certainly deserve to be paid more. ~Nanny who works for one family at a time.
Sept 2005

We are in a Nanny share with one other family, currently our Nanny takes care of two almost-two year olds (ours and the other family's). We are expecting a baby in a couple of months and our Nanny feels she can watch all three children and the other family is amenable to that. Currently each family pays $9/hour and the care takes place equally in each home. My questions are: 1. how much to raise the Nanny's total salary, and 2. what should be the breakdown for each family (i.e. do we just pay the extra or do we pay two thirds of the total?). I looked on the 2003 Nanny survey but didn't find much guidance there. What have other people done? Shannon


I'd raise her pay from $18 for two to $21 for 3. And yes, you pay pro rata - $7 per child - so your family is paying $14 per hour and the other family $7 per hour. So this does mean the other family is paying less than they were before you had the baby, but their child will also be getting less attention, so it's fair. My Two Cents

Raise for nanny after a year?

Feb 2006

Our nanny has been with us nearly one year and we are wondering what is an appropriate raise for her. She's done an excellent job and we definitely want to keep her happy. At the same time, costs are high and we need to consider what we can afford. Does anyone know if there is an expectation among nannies about annual raises? Can anyone share what they've offered in the past? Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.


My nannie started with us when my son was 2 months old. We started at her at $10/hr for 1 child and have given her a $1/hr raise every September (the month she started with us). I am very happy with her and wanted to keep her happy too. Since I knew that I was going to send him to preschool when he was 3 so that just meant 2 raises, so I was comfortable giving her the expectation of an annual raise. Nannies do a very important job for us and I think good ones are very worth it. Good Luck
I think annual raises are pretty standard, unless you are already paying your nanny well above the normal rate. The specific amount matters less than the fact that you graciously offer her one. For instance, if you're already paying her $15 per hour, can you afford $16.50 or $16? It's not a huge amount for you, and it'll make her feel appreciated and valued. If you can't afford a dollar per hour extra, maybe raise it by 50 cents an hour and give her an annual bonus or gift along with it. been there
On my first anniversary I got a $2 per hour raise. It was a great surprise and very welcome. If you don't feel financially comfortable with an ongoing raise in pay, perhaps a one time bonus would be better for you? Failing that, how about some ''perks''? One paid personal day earned each month? Major holidays off (with pay) or if you already do that, how about some minor holidays off with pay? Of course, this must coincide with your work days off - and it probably won't. Since I don't know what you already offer this nanny it is difficult to suggest alternatives to a raise. How about a gift card tucked in with the paycheck once a month. Not a huge one, maybe $25 on a different card each month? Nothing beats a pay raise!

Nanny pay with one child in preschool

Sept 2005

I am looking to hire a full-time nanny for my 2 yr old and 3 month old children. My 2 yr old will be in 2 full days a week of preschool. What are most people's experiences in this situation - should I be paying the two-child rate on those days my one child is away (planning on paying $16/hr) or is it reasonable to pay a one- child rate ($13-14/hr) on those days?


Your pay seems very decent, better than many offers, so I think you may safely pay for one child for the hours when there's just one. Best of luck - Kat, happy Nanny :)
Industry standard: you pay the full rate to reserve her for the older child just in case. So many things happen in a year's time. Sick days, holidays, occasional weird schedules, doctor/dentist appointments, etc. anon
We are in the same situation, and for the hours my preschooler is in preschool, I pay the 1-child rate. On hours that the nanny is watching both kids, she gets the 2-child rate. THere are also times that I have the nanny watch the baby while I take my preschooler to have some one-on-one time with mom, and then I also pay the 1-child rate. It seems fair. Good luck, -Kim Kim

Nanny salary for 3-year-old twins

Sept 2005

I have checked the BPN website and have not seen anything about Nanny salaries since the 2003 survey was conducted. Our Nanny has asked us for a raise and I want to be fair and understand the current market rate. We live in North Berekley and have 3 year old twins. We are currently paying our Nanny 16.50 plus taxes which comes to approx. $18.00 an hour. Could others tell me what they beleive the going rate is for a full or part time Nanny caring for 2 children in this area. If you could indicate whether the rate includes taxes or not that would be helpful. Thank you very much.


We have been in a nanny-share situation for a year and a half. We each pay $10 an hour flat, so the nanny makes $20 an hour with 2 kids. Or, we pay $15 an hour if she is just watching one child. We don't pay taxes for her, but we do pay on holidays, her vacation, and we still pay her if we are on vacation and our child is with us. Expensive, but glad we have been able to do this
I am not in exactly the same situation you are, but I thought I might share for comparison's sake. I have three kids who were 4mos, 3 and 6 when I hired my nanny 3 years ago. She had quite a bit of experience and so we paid her at the upper end of the going rate at the time $20/hr (we paid taxes above and beyond that using the Breedlove service, which has been helpful to us). Each time we get a cost of living raise, we increase her salary by a similar percentage. I think we pay her about $23/hr now. I also give Christmas bonuses and recognize each anniversary of hiring her in a special way. Many of my friends have hired nannies for less than I pay, but most of them have not stayed for more than a year. My first nanny was with us for 6 years, and my current nanny 3 years. When you find someone that works for your whole family, it is worth it to make them feel valued. When I was looking for a nanny and trying to decide what the going rate was, I found the website www.bay- area-sitters.com very helpful. Good luck! heidio
I pay my nannie $12 per hour for my son only. She has been working with me for 2 years and have given her a $1 raise yearly (she started at $10/hr) When we have another child I pay her $10 and the other mother pays her $10 as well, so she gets $20 per hour for 2 children. Her share rate has also gone up at a rate of $1 per year. I have chosen to give her a $1 per year raise because her job will end, or significantly decrease, when my son goes to preschool. Also, my son absolutely adores her and, frankly, I couldn't get through the week without her. I believe that great nannies deserve yearly raises. monica
We just interviewed about a half dozen people for a nanny position. Generally, for one kid, the rate was $12-$16. For two was $18-$20. If someone was more experienced with childcare, had additional qualifications like CPR or Trustline, or was willing to do additional things like laundry or light cleaning during nap time, the rate would be on the higher end of the range.
$18 per hour for two kids is quite generous. We live in Piedmont and have had four nannies over the past 6 years. We currently employ two of them part-time. We have two children and she is paid $15 per hour under the table. We sometimes share with another family and if there are more than 2 children she is paid $20 per hours total regardless of which children she is watching. I ahve talked to lots of friends about this subject and I can tell you that the going rate for two kids in the Oakland Hills/Piedmong is $14-$16 per hour (the ones on the high end are usually college students or recent college gradautes, english speaking, drive etc) Good luck don't get guilted in to paying more
I am also very curious about the going rate for nanny salaries. We are currently paying our 2 day a week nanny $18.00 an hour for our 2.5 year old twins. Would like to know if this is in the ball park (which it sounds it is according to anon' nanny). anon2
I think the going rate is $18/hour for two children -- but that is after taxes, so if your nanny's only taking home $16.50, I think you're under market. anon
Why not just give her the raise? I'd say $18/hour plus the additional 1-2 dollars/hour for taxes would be more sufficient. This would mean giving your nanny a raise of about $1.50 per hour. Going rate for 2 children is variable and dependent upon a number of factors. However, it seems that anywhere from $15-20 is considered reasonable by both professional nannies and parents. Since you've clearly been paying a fair wage, and gas prices (and subsequently many other items) have gone up, what is an extra $10 or so a day? Not much, when you are putting the lives of your child(ren) into this person's hands. A satisfied nanny is going to be more enthusiastic about her job, hands down. Smart mom
At $16.50/hr PLUS taxes, I think you are already paying through the nose for childcare. Recently, I needed to find a regular sitter to care for my two daughters (ages 5 and 3) one weeknight a week, from roughly 6 to 9. I was amazed--mmm, make that appalled--that sitters were asking as much as $16/hr. With no little effort, I found two lovely sitters who charge $10 and $11/hr, respectively. Granted, these are are not career nannies providing full time care for twins. But my lord--$17 an hour for two kids? I think that's amazing. Anon
My recent N Berkeley experience when looking for either a live- in nanny or daily babysitter for 20hrs/wk after school care for our 6 yr old daughter + occasional overnight help while both parents are on business travel: Live-in would get $150/week plus private furnished bedroom and bath, free utilities, internet access, share of laundry room, family phone,cable TV, and 3 dinners per week. Hourly rate for a daily babysitter of between $10 and $16/hr for 20 hours a week. Each overnight an extra $40 or $50. I look forward to input from others. Curious to know too
We gave our shared nanny (2 kids) a raise last year to $18/hour, which she had requested and several of her nanny friends were making. We also paid taxes. Don't know how you calculate your nanny's taxes, but we started with that base salary of $18/hr, then withheld taxes from her paycheck, reported to the state and feds, etc. Berkeley mom

Pay rate for stay-at-home-mom working as nanny

Aug 2001

I am a stay at home mom of a 6 month old. I have experience with children as a teacher. I wonder what people are paying for quality childcare. I was asking between $11-12 an hour and no one has bitten. I wanted to know what people were willing to pay for high quality childcare that involved one other baby at the stay at home mom's house. I just need to supplement my husband's income to afford healthcare and dental. I was a school teacher who makes less than it would have been to have someone watch my baby so I decided to watch him myself. So, my question...how much are people paying for high-quality childcare or daycare.


I think that your rate is fair (and maybe even low given your experience) if you're just taking care of someone else's child- however, you're really talking about more of a share situation since you'll also have your child to care for. I don't think that I'd want to pay much more than $7-8 for a share arrangement. Lisa
You sound very well qualified to charge $11-12 per hour. I pay my nanny $13 per hour for one child, $15 for two, so I think your rate is good. Things I'm thinking of: People may be viewing it similar to a "share" situation if you are also watching another baby in your home (your own) and shares seem to run about $8 or $9 per hour. Perhaps they also worry that you will give your child more attention than you would give theirs? I also think you can command a higher rate if you are willing to be more like a nanny (i.e. go to someone else's house with your child -- I let my nanny bring her kids with her, for example --).
I've heard of paying $10-$12 in a one provider, one child situation. (Or even $14 an hour one on one but that is in Santa Clara.) When my child's shared a sitter with with 1 other child we've paid between $6.50-$7.75 an hour. I think the more kids there are the less it should cost for each child. Personally, I think $10-$11 is a bit high for this area when the provider is taking care of more than one kid.
I think you are asking for too much money. Someone who comes to my house and cares for just my one child will cost me $8-12/hour depending on experience, demand, and the going rate in the neighborhood. If the nanny is caring for 2 children, I would expect to pay $6-10/hour for my part. Since you are caring for two children I don't think you can expect to get more than $10/hr, if that much. However, the fact that you want to do it in your own home may be the bigger sticking point. The great convenience of expensive childcare (and $10/hr and up is expensive) is that I don't have to get my child dressed, packed up, and in the car in the morning - the nanny comes to my house. I think that taking my child to someone else's house is more the situation of a family day care. This is less convenient and there are other children than mine, so I would expect to pay less than the minimum nanny rate of $8/hour. You should consider other alternatives such as bringing your child to the other mom's house, or come down a few dollars on your rate, or take two other children instead of just one - perhaps siblings where one of the children is older.
I don't think that $11-12/hr is an unreasonable rate to ask. However, considering the financial situation of many working parents needing childcare, it is unrealistic for many of us to be able to afford that rate. I found a very warm and reliable caregiver for my baby and pay her $7 per hour for her to care for my child in my apartment. It's a service everyone needs, and it's very expensive. People want high-quality childcare, but it's also important to make sure one can afford to pay the caregiver. I think a lot of caregivers are supporting themselves by caring for more than one child at once. If you watch two children and charge $8/hr for each child, that's $16/hour, which really isn't too bad.
We are currently looking for childcare for our 14-month-old, and most nanny-share situations seem to be $7.00/hour. Our current nanny is on the low end at $6.00, but I think she plans to increase to $7.00 after we move on. The rates we've seen for private nannies seem to be in the $12/hour range. Hope this helps! tracy
For your rate $12 per hour, for a ten hour day, 20 days a month, you are charging $2400 a month. For families with more than one kid, how many working moms can afford high rate good care? Most people I know are paying $750 to $1000 a month for full time care at different settings. Some moms do not want to sent their babies to a caregiver who is also tending her own baby, especially at caregiver's home.
In my recent experience, the going rate for childcare for one child seems to be about $9 - $10/hour. If it's shared care with one other child, each family pays about $6 - $7/ hour on average, although I did see one person charging $8/hour per child, but they had exceptional credentials.
$11-$12 seems high for what is essentially a share situation. I have used a number of different child-care situations and now use a combination. When I shared with another family (one child each family, an infant and a toddler) we paid $7 per hour per family. The nanny alternated houses and had her own car, CDL and spoke english. I have also had my own nanny who watched my son only in our house. Initially she didn't drive and her English was not very good, though we could communicate. I paid $8 per hour. She now has her own car, CDL and her English has improved dramatically. She still only watches my son (now 2 1/2) and I pay her $10 per hour. I also take my son to a wonderful family day care one day a week with a fabulous woman in her Piedmont home. She has approx 5 children ages 18 months to 4 years and charges $5 per hour, she provides two snacks and I provide lunch. They go on outings to the park and or the Rose Garden every day. Hope this helps. I guess what I'm saying is that for $11-$12 per hour one can find their own nanny that will come to their house and be one-on-one with their child.

Nanny rates 2000 and earlier

Dec 2000

I am looking for nannies and I am baffled at the range of the rates that are charged by individuals nannies. I would like to find out what people think is the best way to negotiate a rate, especially with people that prefer to be paid cash (to avoid taxes).

Nov 2000

Regarding going rates for nannies. When we were in the share situation it was $14 per hour ($7 per child) The nanny drove and had her own car, her english was o.k. - not great. The nanny we have now was $8 for our one child, we now pay her $8.50. She does not drive and has limited english, though there is no problem communicating. I have promised her another raise as soon as she passes her driving test.
We pay our nannies $10-12/hour, with overtime, two weeks vacation, sick time and retention bonuses. We've offered to pay health insurance but, to date, they've already had it through spouses.

Oct 2000

To the parent wondering about current Nanny rates, we pay $12 per hour for our two kids, ages 5 and 2.5. Our nanny drives and speaks fluent english. She is also very well educated and really engages my kids.
We have a wonderful full-time nanny that we pay $10 for taking care of our infant and $12 when taking care of our 2 children. We pay vacation and sick days with a guaranteed weekly salary. She has been working for us for only 3 months. We interviewed many potential nannies and several were asking for $16.50/hr plus benefits. One was asking for $8 for one and $12 for two. We found that costs vary tremendously.
We pay our nanny $9.00/hour for 50 guaranteed hours of work per week, caring for one child. We occasionally share her with another family, and we still pay $9/hour and the other family pays $10/hour. If we use her for additional babysitting time, we pay her $10/hour.
I have another pay question -- about a live-in nanny. We found a great person whom we'd like to pay at the rate of $10 an hour for our one child, for about 20 hours of work per week. How much of that can count as an exchange for the room (separate entrance with bathroom but no kitchen, however we're willing to put in a kitchenette). Food is not included because the nanny chooses to eat out. This person is from outside the country, has no idea what to expect, and is uncomfortable talking about money. We have no experience, so we want to make sure we are being fair to all of us. Thanks for any input.
In response to the question about childcare rates, I've been using various part-time nannies for over 3 years now, and we used to pay $7 - 8 per hour ($4 - 6 per hour for teenagers sitting in the evenings); we now pay closer to $10 per hour for 1 kid, and $14 per hour for 2. I think it's possible to pay less (also easy to pay more: I have to work to find people at these rates), but after meeting so many potential babysitters and having working relationships with half a dozen over these 3 years, I've come to the conclusion that it's not worth it to worry about a dollar or two more or less an hour -- just as with most other things, the people who are really committed, responsible, dependable realize their worth and tend to charge more.... Good luck!
Rate depends on the number of hours you would use the sitter for. If you are using them on a part time basis and you want them to have a car then $10/hour is typical. However, for full time situations (at least 40 hours per week) the rate can be $8/hour for a very good nanny.

March 2000

I looked at the website - the responses are from Jan 99. They seem to range from a low of $6 (for shares) to a high of $11 (for one child). My nanny -- who is great -- wants $13 per hour for one child, $15 per hour for a share of two. She insists this is well within the range of reason. I really want to keep her and don't want to insult her, but her $13/hour rate for one child seems high to me. I feel she should be on the high end of whatever is being paid, because she's really terrific, but I don't want to pay more than that. (In addition to the hourly rate, I will pay SS and taxes, and give her paid sick leave and vacation). Have nanny salaries gone up since January 99? Any advice?
Nanny salaries have gone up substantially since January 99, and the market is very tight. $15.00 an hour for one child was average for the very qualified candidates we interviewed.
I don't have any advice, but I can share my experience. We have a very good, experienced, full-time nanny who spends 50 hours a week with our infant daughter. She does not drive and does not have a social security number. We started her last fall at $9/hour, with sick time and vacations as needed. She has been asking for a raise. We will probably give her $10/hour since we think she is very good, but also because we are very dependent upon her and afraid of losing her. She recently considered a share situation with a neighbor. The neighbor's child would come to our house 4-6 hours twice a week. I had always heard that in a share situation, both families pay less; these days approximately $7/hour each family. However, our nanny is insisting that the new child pay $10/hour, and we continue to pay our standard rate, which means she would earn close to $20/hour for two infants! She claims she would charge less if it were a full time share, but that part-time rates are always higher than full time. I'm assuming the neighbor will have an easy time finding a less costly alternative, but then again, perhaps demand for quality childcare has really increased without a concomitant increase in supply.
Prices have been going up as the market is tight. We just increased our Nanny's salary in January to $12 for 2 children and $9 for one. We pay vacation, holidays, sick time and she get's our vacation days off too. Our nanny is absolutely wonderful and I'm sure she could get more money if she wanted, but we are not in a position to be able to pay more. When hiring her about 1 year ago, we struggled with the issue of taxes and found that many of the nannies we interviewed only wanted the job if we paid cash. I decided to give in on that issue and hire the best nanny we could find and afford. Previously, we did pay the taxes on our first Nanny's salary. The problem I see for you is that if she isn't getting paid what she wants, she will be unhappy and perhaps start looking for another job.
I've been paying $9/hr for one nanny and $10/hr for another. When I've had a share it's usually been $6/hr. per child (so when there were three kids, the nanny received $18/hr.) In my experience, younger people tend to charge more and what your caretaker is asking for definitely seems past the high end. You might want to look around, especially at nannies who are not native English speakers.
Regarding what to pay a nanny. Of course there is a wide range, with many variables. If you want a nanny who is educated, has CPR, first-aid, Trustline, excellent references, and at least ten years of experience, expect to pay $13 for one child, and $15 for two. Also, nannies should be paid a weekly salary, week in, week out. Meaning, if you go on vacation, you should still pay her. I work as a nanny and my family pays me $300 per week ($15/hour, twenty hours/week) regardless of holidays, vacations, illness in their family or in mine. If they didn't, as a single mother with no other source of income, I'd really be up a creek. As a result of their excellent treatment of me and their respect for me as the person who cares for their children, and as the head of my own household, I am extremely loyal to them, and often go out of my way to help them out.
We pay our nanny $14 an hour and think she deserves that much. She works 25 hours a week caring for our two school aged sons. She picks them up from school, takes them where they need to go, cares for them when they are at home and does light housekeeping (mostly laundry) and some errands. We split the social security taxes and pay her when we are on vacation (at least two weeks a year - usually more) and when she is sick. A great nanny is hard to find and if you think she deserves to be on the high end of whatever is being paid, $13/hour doesn't seem high to me. I don't think there's anything more worth spending money on than quality care for your children so if you can afford it, I'd pay her that much to keep her.
We have had our childcare provider for 4 1/2 years. In addition to her 14 dollar/hr salary (for two children) we provide health insurance and money for car mileage - both of these are ways that her monthly take home is increased but neither of us pays taxes on this money. The health insurance effectively adds a dollar a hour to her salary, tax free.
I was a little surprised by what seemed to be somewhat high rates quoted for nanny salaries. Obviously it depends on amount of experience, level of responsibility (picking up, driving kids to different places, etc.). We are now paying $6/hr/child for a share with two children which we think is a competitive rate (based on our search last Nov./Dec. and on talking to friends with nannies). We also pay holidays and two weeks vacation. When we were looking we found the range was from $5/hr/child - $7/hr/child for shares with two children. Rates for taking care of one child ranged from $8/hr - $10/hr, but the child care providers charging $10/hr had many years of experience (10+). Anyway, that's just our experience, but we didn't go through a nanny agency. Just looked through BANANAS and this list.
When I looked recently, the rates for one child ran mostly from $8/hr to $10/hr. People with more experience, fluent English, and a car were on the higher end. For two children, there was more variability. I saw rates from $8 to $15 for two, with most around $10/hr. Shares tended to be about $6 or $7/hr each.

I do know a few relatively well-to-do families who have very experienced nannies with fluent English and a car, who pay more. My guess is that parents who can afford it are paying above the market to retain someone they really like (probably most of us with average incomes wish we could pay our nannies more!).


Jan 1999

We pay $8/hr for one child, and guarantee a minimum monthly payment of $1300 (even if hours worked that month fall under the minimum). Some light housekeeping if there's time.
I have a nanny share and she charges us $6.00/hour between 8am and 6pm and any hours before or after she charges $6.50. This cost is per child and there are two children. We do not ask her to do any household chores. For one child she charges $8.00/hour. She does use her own car and we plan to begin paying her for gas... We pay her share of FICA, etc, but not her portion of the income tax. I'll be curious to see how her wages compare. She is due a raise soon and she gives me the impression other nannies make $7/hr but we're not ready for that. The comparisons may help me also. p.s. I do think experience is a consideration and our nanny has about 14 years experience.
We pay $6/hour for a share (the other family pays her $6 also. She cares for both infants at the same time. When she is caring for just my child, I pay her $9/hour, which I consider high, but I also occasionally have her watch my older child too during that time and don't pay more for that. We expect her to wash up some dishes and fold laundry in addition to her childcare duties, but only when the babies are sleeping. In reality, she doesn't do much of that.
We have had multiple nannies (for one child, live out) and paid between $11/hr and $12/hr depending on experience.
We pay $10/hr (!) for our nanny. She does a bit of cleaning: I've come home to a sparkling, shiny, kitchen floor, our rumply bed made-up, baby laundry done, and the house generally tidied up. However, some days she's not able to do so because of my child's mood. She comes to our house and looks after our son two days a week.
1. 10.00/hr
2. one child
3. not a share; just our family
4. additional duties: nothing regular, but ocassionally, sweeping, dusting,dishes
We pay our nanny $7/hr to take care of our 1 year old full-time. We also pay her taxes. If she takes care of 2 babies, then she earns $11/hr. We live in Oakland. She doesn't do any cleaning. A friend of mine who has a nanny part-time for 12 hrs/week pay $8/hr to care for a 1 year old. She also lives in Oakland. Another friend of mine lives in Livermore and pays $8/hr part-time for 2 kids, 3 and 5 1/2. rates do vary.
We have a fabulous nanny that works 40 hrs/week (four 10-hour days), caring for two kids ages 4 and 2; she drives my 4-year-old to preschool (3 days a week) and does all the laundry for the family (YAHOO!) She also does other light housekeeping and errands. We pay her $10/hr plus medical insurance and we pay all the nanny taxes.
9.50/hr + all taxes + $15/week gas/food allowance takes care of one child 50 hours/week, does all housework, laundry and grocery shopping. We've also given her various personal loans over the past three years. Insurance Alert: I just read in Kiplinger's Magazine that the nanny has to have special insurance coverage if she/he drives your child around. They consider it commercial use of the vehicle and will not cover claims under astandard auto policy. We will pay the additiional premium for our nanny.

Hourly vs. Salary

I am currently in a share situation where we have been paying the nanny at a salaried monthly rate of $1900 (soon to be $2000) based on 42hr/week with two kids. She has all the benefits of being paid on salary including: 2 weeks paid vacation, paid holidays, paid sick days, pay when we chose not to have our child in care or if she needs to leave early or take a day off for her own family matters. All of this seems fare to us.

Several times in the past year, however, she has wanted to change the pay structure to be paid hourly at $12/hr. but still keep all of the same benefits. It seems to me that if you are paying someone hourly then you only pay them for the hours that they are actually with your kid (plus maybe some vacation time). Am I just being cheap? What do other people do as far as benefits are concerned when they pay hourly?

Basically she says she is going to quit unless we give her what she wants. We really like her and she clearly LOVES the kids, but I don't want to feel like I'm being manipulated or given an ultimatum. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks-


It sounds to me like your nanny just wants a raise in her monthly salary. If you pay $12 per hour for a 42 hour workweek, the average month has 4.3 weeks, she should get about $2167 instead of the $1900/$2000 per month you are currently paying.

I had a similar sort of communication problem with my nanny when we set her salary - I felt an hourly wage meant that I should only pay for hours worked, and yet she wanted to be treated like a salaried employee. I think the core of the problem is that when nannies compare wages they think about "how much per hour do I make?" rather than "how much per month do I earn?"

If you really like her, if you can possibly afford it, pay her the extra $167 per month she's asking for. $12 per hour for two kids seems reasonable, frankly. (I pay $15 per hour for two if that makes you feel any better - plus two weeks vacation, sick leave, taxes, etc etc!)


I'm in a similar situation that you are. Our nannie lives with us and takes care of our 17-month old son and currently makes $1,500 plus room and board, car, gas, and benefits -- vacation, sick pay, end-of-year bonus, to name a few. She works from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. Fridays, I let her go home around 2:00pm. On the weekends she goes home to her family, who lives in Daily City. Whenever her daughter or husband are sick, I take them to the doctor, pay for private consultation, medication,etc. Also, they don't speak English well (I'm Brazilian and so is our nannie) and I take care of all their home affairs -- e.g. problems with PacBell or PG&E. Why? Because we really like her and she absolutely loves our son and our son loves her. I trust and admire the way she treats our son. Anyway, I'm due with our second child in four weeks and told her that in December her salary will be $2,000. Nonetheless, I will be working from home, and it is very unlikely that she will take care of the two of them alone, and most likely my older soon is going to a part-time daycare twice/week. (Any recommendations for the Berkeley Hills/Montclair area?) She is clearly not happy and hopped for $2,500... My husband and I are very generous but we think she is not being reasonable. It seems your nannie is the same. You pay her very well, she wants hourly rate plus all the previous benefits. All I can say is that my employeer does not pay me for the hours I don't work, nor for holidays or vacation. It is just part of the hourly rate structure. I really don't think you are being cheap, and you are treating her as a professional. Perhaps you should explain the reality of the game when it comes to the trade offs of montly salary versus hourly rate. Good luck, Valeria-
To the person inquiring about hourly vs salary nanny care. We pay an hourly rate for a given set schedule. This is a set weekly salary and so pay her the same amount each week. We pay vacation, holidays and sick time. If we go over our hours for the week, I pay more at the given rate. If we don't use the hours, I still pay the weekly rate. This sort of blurs the distinction you asked about, but we feel this is fair. We pay $10 for one child and $12 for two.
We pay our nanny an hourly rate (with three other families who share her schedule), and we also pay her when we don't use her, when we bail out because of illness, etc. She hasn't been sick yet that I remember but we would pay her if she were. Essentially I pay her the same thing every week, even if I use less time, because of two reasons: 1) she relies on that money to help support her family, and 2) I am asking her to reserve those hours for me, which precludes her from getting other work during that time. That said, we don't give her particular vacation time, we just try to all take vacation at the same time so she can have that paid break. But sometimes that doesn't work out.
I strongly agree that paying a predictable salary that allows for hours and days off on both sides is far preferable to paying for precisely the hours worked. But it seems that what she really could be asking for is a raise from $2000 a month to $2167 a month (42 hours * $12 = $504/week; then $504 * 4.3 = $2167/month). And that doesn't seem like a lot. Keep that 4.3 multiplier in mind. It's really handy.
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