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nanny wages

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