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nanny pay

Fair Wages for Nannies?

runningWe 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?

  1. 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.
  2. Job duties:  Will the job be childcare focused or will it include additional duties?  Generally more duties equals more dollars.
  3. 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.
  4. Nanny’s Experience:  how much experience a nanny has, education or other child development training, diversity of experience, etc.
  5. 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.

Seattle Market:

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.

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Tax Time!

With taxes due next week, it seems like a good time to refresh on tax laws as they apply to nannies.

Employee or Independent Contractor?

As a nanny, you are always considered the employee of any family you work for (regardless of how many hours).  The IRS allows families to employ nannies without putting them on payroll, if they pay the nanny less than $1,700 per calendar year.  This law is primarily to allow families to have temporary nannies and not have to deal with payroll.  As a nanny, you are required to claim all the wages you make throughout the year.  It is a good idea if you do a lot of temporary work to keep a notebook and log all the families you work for, and how much you made.  If this is your primary source of income, you will want to keep aside a portion of every dollar to pay for your tax portion in April. Read more »

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Annie's Nannies, Inc. / 6041 California AVE SW Suite 105 / Seattle, WA 98136 / PHONE: (206) 784 - 8462 / FAX: (206) 789 - 1921