Paying Your Nanny Fairly: Guidelines For Compensating Your Elite Nanny

Today, many busy parents have hectic schedules that demand a full-time, live-in or live-out nanny. This individual lives in the home or commutes daily, and takes care of all childcare responsibilities. They instantly make everyone’s lives easier and less stressful.  They bring experience, expertise and education in a variety of fields to their profession, not “just” childcare. Everything from pet care to second language tutoring and many other skills may be part of your new nanny’s role.  Choosing the right person can be daunting, but hiring a nanny, many parents have told us, was one of the wisest decisions they’ve made since starting their families.

If you are new to this process, it can be a little bewildering to know how much to pay this professional. After all, they aren’t the neighborhood babysitter who charges fifteen dollars an hour while saving money for college! This professional childcare worker merits a good salary, along with benefits, and navigating this aspect of their contract can be confusing for many employers.

We have some guidelines to offer that will help clarify what can be a difficult matter when you hire your first nanny. And, of course, we at Elite Nannies will do everything we can to make the process easier for you, and the candidate you choose to hire.

1. Education and experience play a part in compensation.

Just as in other fields, your nanny may bring a detailed resume with several long-term positions to their placement with you. That experience earns them the right to negotiate a higher pay rate, as there is little or no “on the job” training required. For example, if you want a nanny who is experienced handling both newborns and toddlers, that requirement may mean a higher hourly bracket. The saying “you get what you pay for” is true when it comes to excellent employees, and as an employer, you should be willing to pay a little more for the right, experienced candidate. Asking how much they earned in any prior position is no longer allowed.  Ask them, what makes them feel valued in a position?  How much are they hoping to make annually working for your family?

2. Are benefits part of the contract?

Benefits (medical, dental) are negotiated when you’re interviewing and hiring any new employee, and the new nanny is no different. Some will take a slightly lower monthly compensation if excellent benefits are part of the offer, but it is an individual decision that is worked out prior to making a formal employment offer.

3. Is there a typical pay range for professional nannies?

Simply put, no, there isn’t. A great deal depends on what city and state you live in, as taxes, employment insurance and other deductions must be made by you, the employer, and may affect how much you are willing to pay.  A career nanny may request $25-50 or more per hour, depending on your locations, your children’s ages, and your specific needs. You may decide to pay weekly or biweekly – depending what state you reside in may allow you the option to choose. And of course, which option the nanny prefers should also play a role.

4. Do “perks” play a part in compensation negotiations?

No, they don’t. Your nanny must be paid fairly. It’s vital that you think of your nanny as you would any other employee, and treat them the same way. That means offering them annual increases, bonuses for excellent performance reviews and at least two weeks of paid vacation and at least the major six paid holidays per year, all of which must be made clear when you offer the job to the right candidate.

While it is true that nannies do not go into the profession for the money – childcare is a calling, after all – it is equally true that nannies work hard to obtain education and extra credentials, so they deserve to be rewarded monetarily for all that professional preparation.

This individual may be with your family for years, and it is vital that your relationship with them starts off on the right foot. Compensating them well for the job they do, which is looking after your most “prized possession” — your children – is how you show them you recognize the value of their work, and that they are a respected and valued employee.

At Elite Nannies, we help our clients discover what annual compensation range is appropriate, based on the job description each family develops prior to interviewing candidates. Because salaries range so much state to state, city to city, even town to town, it is virtually impossible to offer a “one size fits all” amount for the prospective employees our clients meet.

But once we know the type of nanny your family needs, and the age range of your child or children, we can offer greater insight into the compensation range your particular circumstances may fetch for the best candidate. The peace of mind that comes with having the best person possible in your home looking after your children isn’t just worth every penny – it’s priceless.