Tips & Advice

Q & A: What do I pay my new nanny?/What do I charge as a nanny?

by Martha Scully

One of the most common questions we get at is:

What do I pay my new nanny? / What do I charge as a nanny?

Here are some things to consider that will help you in determining a wage to offer as a parent, and to ask for as a nanny.

  • What are the duties of the position? Sometimes, it’s hard to compare your position to one with another family because every nanny job is different. If the position is to look after 3 children, 2 with special needs, expect the rate to be higher than one that is one caring for 1 child.
  • Competitive wage – as with any job, the more competitive the rate of pay is, the more likely it is that the nanny will be a great, committed nanny. If a nanny has communication with other nannies in the neighbourhood and finds out that others are being paid higher, the nanny may choose to move on. Usually, the nanny won’t disclose this to the parents and she will just find another job that pays higher. (This does not mean that nannies should be discussing wages, or that a nanny should be restricted to who she talks to)
  • Both the city that the job is in, and the area of the city will affect the rate of pay. Ask others that you know in your area what their opinion is on the current rate of pay for a nanny.
  • The nanny should always be paid for any overtime hours worked. Whenever possible, it is best that the nanny is asked about working overtime in advance, giving her an opportunity to decline. If it’s ok, a nanny should be given as much notice as possible if overtime is being requested.
  • Remember that it’s not always about the money. Some nannies only want to work with babies, or they prefer to take a job close to home rather than a higher wage. In some situations, a nanny with bring their own child to their job in exchange for a lower wage. Again, this should be discussed in advance.

Always try to be fair when setting out the wage you are offering/asking. Parents that treat their nanny poorly and pay a low rate will see a high turnover in their position; those that treat their nanny with respect and offer a fair wage will keep a good nanny for a long time.

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About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.