We often get this question, especially with the recovering economy and many families having to be extremely cost-conscious. However, paying too low of a salary to a nanny could result in high nanny turnover and/or low quality providers. During your child’s early years, the quality of care is very important for their overall development. Many families choose to make high quality childcare a priority for these first years, sacrificing in other areas, knowing that once the child enters school childcare costs should lessen.
So, what should you consider when coming up with a fair wage?
- Hours: Full time is considered 40 hours+/week; Part time is anything under 30 hours/week. Keep in mind, part time nannies are harder to find and therefore tend to get paid a premium. Also, anything over 40 hours per week is technically overtime by law.
- Job duties: Will the job be childcare focused or will it include additional duties? Generally more duties equals more dollars.
- Number and ages of children: How many children and their ages will play a role. Good infant care is hard to find and we have been experiencing a “baby boom” in the Seattle area in the past 5 years. Good infant nannies tend to get paid a premium.
- Nanny’s Experience: how much experience a nanny has, education or other child development training, diversity of experience, etc.
- Market Value: Amazingly enough, experience is not always “queen.” Sometimes things like personality, life-goals, and other characteristics make one nanny more marketable than another.
In the current Seattle/Eastside market, we see most professional nannies earning $16-$18/hour (sometimes more) for full time positions, and $18-$20/hour for part time positions. Keep in mind these are GROSS wages. When you hire a nanny you are becoming their employer and you will be responsible for withholding taxes. A great tax resource is Breedlove & Associates, and they have a wonderful payroll calculator online that can help you with budgeting:
In terms of “benefits”, there are no requirements, but rather industry standards. Most professional nannies expect their hourly rate to be guaranteed, even if the family doesn’t need her (i.e. a “salary” that she can rely on). Guaranteeing your nanny’s pay can go a long way towards loyalty and flexibility. Most full time nannies receive 2 weeks of paid vacation per year, 3-5 sick days, and all major holidays off paid. Most part time nannies receive a guarantee of hours and paid holidays.
Remember to always keep in mind that a nanny is caring for your greatest asset-your children! If you treat your nanny well and professionally then you have a higher likelihood that she will be committed and happy in her position with you and will give your children the highest quality care.