It’s important to have a price range in mind before you go on an interview . You don’t want to be caught off guard when the parents ask you what you are going to charge. Your prices should be fair and take into account your skills and abilities. Your rates should also be within the range of other local nannies.
First of all, you might just assume that getting paid hourly is the only way. While it’s true that most nannies get paid hourly, there are other ways. Live-in nannies and au pairs often get paid a salary. This is simply because when the nanny lives with the family, it becomes hard to separate hours spent working from hours spent hanging out with the family. Salaries also allow them to factor in rent, utilities, and car payments. These are expenses the family wouldn’t have to consider for “live-out” nanny. For most nannies, I recommend working for an hourly rate to save yourself the stress of figuring out a salary and the contract that would go along with it. Salaries can be beneficial for the nanny, but it’s usually hard to do if you aren’t regular or don’t have a lot of working hours with that family.
Working hourly allows me flexibility in my schedule. I don’t have to work for a certain number of hours to receive my pay. That being said, I don’t get paid for the time I’m not there, which makes sense.
Matching Local Rates
How do you know what other nannies are charging? Google is your best friend. You can Google search nanny prices in your area. If you type in “nanny price in [your city, state]”, google will bring up an average price. You can also check care.com. Look at what families in your area are charging. This will give you a pretty good idea of what nannies in your community are making.
Another thing you can do is ask an experienced, local nanny. She will probably have a feel for what a good price would be.
Consider Your Value
After looking around and getting an idea of the average nanny rates in your area, consider your resume. Take into account your experience or lack of it. If you’re just starting out, you should probably aim towards the lower end of the price range.
You have to be frank with yourself. Are you a bubbly person? Are you good with kids? When I say that, I mean:
- Are they happy when they’re with you?
- Are they well cared for?
- Are they educationally stimulated?
- Are you creating environments where they are always learning new things?
These are assets. Usually it can be viewed – especially by the parents – through what kind of education you have. Having a degree in early childhood development and education is comparable to experience. This is one way your rates can be increased.
You can also factor in whether or not you know a second language. That’s usually a really big hit with families – especially with a sign language. In fact, both my Instagram account, @ossimply, and my Pinterest have material to help nannies introduce sign language to their kids and families. Having these assets can really up your game. They can make you more valuable.
An “asset” is anything that you do to help your kids develop in any aspect:
They need to be better socialites for when they join preschool. If you’re having discussions with them on a more elevated level, you’re helping them develop socially. That doesn’t mean that you need to be asking them philosophical questions or teaching complex ideas. It can be done in simple ways.
For example, when you’re playing in a pretend kitchen ask them questions about how a kitchen works. Help them relate their pretend to real world scenarios. Ask them “when you cook, is the stove hot? What should you do to stay safe?” When you interact with them as the customer, say “please” and “thank you”. Ask for the receipt. See what they do when they’re presented with a situation they’ve never dealt with before. See how they cope with that stress.
Even though this is all pretend, these things will help them be better at socially interacting with others.
You can do anything like that to help them. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that you’re just teaching them their numbers and letters. It could be that you’re helping them develop in other ways. A personal favorite of mine is this math puzzle game and another education game.
If you’re struggling to evaluate yourself. Don’t!
Ask a friend, a family member, or better yet, an experienced nanny. They will give you frank feedback. You can ask your previous families too. Asking them for feedback will help you gauge why they were happy with you or not. Honestly letting them express themselves will get you the best results. Don’t make them feel pressured. Let them know that you want to know how to improve.
You can also ask the kids! Ask them “do you like playing with me?” “Do you think you learned a lot?” “Do you want to do more reading?” Those kinds of questions can gauge what the kid thinks.
If they are constantly asking “Can we just play a game? Can we just play a game?”, maybe you’re trying too hard. Maybe you’re being a drill sergeant and they just want to play and have fun. Maybe you’re doing too much. Maybe your overwhelming them.
Maybe you’re planning too many activities and they just want to stay home, which is fine.
When they’re little, and especially before preschool, they should soak in that time to play pretend because pretend play has a major effect on their development. So, listen and be a good listener.
Having higher technical qualifications or doing more with the kids make you an investment. The parents you work with will be happy knowing you are investing in their kids. So, they will invest more in you.
Another way you can increase your rates goes back to the could do, would do list from my article about Nanny expectations. These are domestic things like cleaning their house, helping with chores, running errands if they need you to. These kinds of things are also a big selling point and a way to add value that you can charge for when you’re looking into your price.
Consider Your Needs
Don’t forget to think about what your income needs are.
Figure out how much money you need to pay the bills. This is your baseline.
If your expenses are pretty low, which they could be if you’re keeping things simple, then that will give you a good starting point. If you do have a lot of expenses and you need a large income, don’t try to make it all from one family. Especially when you’re just starting out, your skills and ability won’t actually put you above and beyond the competition.
Don’t Get Greedy – Do More
When you first start in any career, the pay isn’t that great. You may need to look into working with more than one family or maybe doing a nanny share.
Start by looking for families that only need a few days each week. You may be able to work out a schedule that has you working full-time between different families.
The other thing you could start doing is nanny sharing. This is when you work with kids from different families at the same time. You usually alternate between the families’ houses throughout the week. Sometimes, you can find people who know each other already and are looking for a nanny. Other times, you have to present this idea to different families as you interview.
The idea behind a nanny share is simple. Each family pays you a lower rate and you ultimately make a higher hourly wage. For example, one family might pay you $15 an hour compared to having two families pay you $10 an hour. $10/hour is a low rate for a nanny.
Because you’re working with two families simultaneously, you’re making $5 an hour more than you would have staying with just one family. It works out for everyone.
These jobs can be hard to find, so don’t get discouraged. You can always start with a family that is open to the possibility of nanny share while you look for a second family.
Don’t think that just because you’re starting out or the local rates for nannies are low that you’ll never earn a livable wage. Once you have a couple of years of experience, you can find single family jobs that pay well. Especially in more suburban areas, you’re more likely to find families that are willing to pay quite a bit for a nanny. They will expect you to do the extras I mentioned above and probably have more than one kid. It will be worth it. Start low and in just a short amount of time, you can make a good living as a nanny!