What Should I Pay My Nanny?


Unlike a piano, a potential nanny's compensation is not listed on her as she walks in the door to interview. One of the most important aspects of hiring a nanny is the compensation.  It is generally best to leave it for discussion at the end, because unless you know the value to you, the cost has little relevance.

Most agencies will send you a nanny in your budget range, so it will be generally +/-$100/week of your target. If it is much more than your budget, the agency will be remiss if they did not prepare you for the difference. Most legal and skilled nannies are in the price range of $600-$1200/week.

Occasionally you will find a skilled nanny that is looking for more and worth more. In cases when they will be expected to work long days, be on call 24/7, travel, be specifically skilled in childhood education, foreign languages and can run the house, or do PA work; you will have to pay for it. Top end nannies are hard to find and some clients will be willing to pay up to $2,000 per week.

For a family to find the right pay for a nanny, it is best to make a list of what you want in a nanny and what value those skills have for you. Below is a basic guideline to help you determine what an appropriate pay is for your nanny.

  • Live-in nannies and live-out nannies generally make about the same amount of money.
  • The largest influence in the nanny compensation is number of hours of work and number of children. For each added child, the compensation goes up by about 10 percent. About half the nannies will not take care of more than three kids. And about half the nannies will not work more than 55 hr week. A typical nanny will cost about $700/week for two kids and 50 hr work week.
  • If she is also cleaning your home while children are at school, expect to pay about $100/week more.
  • Nannies that cook for the family, and do laundry for the family… add another $100/week
  • Nannies with specific skills in childcare, swim, foreign language, flexibility to travel, new born and twins experience.. etc .. You can add about $30-50 each added competency.

Another important thing to consider is what the nanny may be thinking.

  • I deserve it because I am good and have skills.
  • I need this to take care of my home and bills.
  • I have been taken advantage of in the past and now I will make up for it.
  • You have a huge house and can afford to pay what I ask.
  • I love children, you are a nice family and money is something I need to survive.

Irrespective of where a nanny is coming from in her pay expectations, it is very important to pay them on time and with clarity. There are occasional misunderstandings, which can be easily avoided. Some nannies will be shy to ask for money, and will feel bad if not paid on time and accurately. You would think that they would raise the issue, but some nannies see the families in a very superior way and can be timid.

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