The Nanny Guide: Nanny Cost

Find out about pay rates for nannies.

Factors Contributing to Cost

Many factors come into play in determining the cost of a nanny. Check out this video from Care.com's senior managing editor Katie Bugbee to learn what you should take into account. And here is a breakdown of the typical factors that contribute to the pay variability:

  • Type of nanny: Do you require live-in or live-out nanny? Full-time, part-time or summer only? Live-out nannies are paid more than live-in nannies because they don't receive room and board (learn more about what to pay live-in nannies). Part-time nannies typically receive higher hourly wages than full-time nannies, given that there are less perks and job security.
  • Additional responsibilities: Variables such as housekeeping, weekends, evenings, overnight care and traveling with family during vacation add to the expense.
  • Transportation: Nannies who are expected to use their own car for the job will need to be compensated accordingly for mileage reimbursement. Check out these tips on how to reimburse nannies for gas and mileage.
  • Experience: Age, years of experience and formal relevant academic coursework/training add to the cost. College nannies can be a great resource and often have flexible schedules, and if you hire a nursing or education major, coursework related to child care.
  • Number of children being care for: The more kids being cared for, the higher the cost.
  • Geographic area: Higher cost of living areas = higher wages. For example, Chicago nannies may have a different pay rate than New York nannies or San Antonio nannies.
  • Included benefits: Full-time nannies typically receive paid time off, health insurance (partial or full) and federal holidays off. Also consider factoring in sick days and a routine dental cleaning and/or eye exam.
  • Additional incentives: You may wish to present additional incentives for excellent performance, such as an end of the year bonus, yearly raises, reimbursement for training (e.g., childhood education classes, CPR training), a gym membership, etc.
Cost Estimates

According to various web sources, in 2006, full-time nannies (45-50 hours/week) caring for one to two children received:

  • $325-$450 live-in; $8-12/hour live-out -- for a nanny who is 18-20 years old or has less than two years verifiable child care experience. Remember, cost will vary widely depending upon your location.
  • $450-$600 live-in; $10-15/hour live-out -- for a nanny who is 21 years or older, has two or more years verifiable child care experience, or has no prior experience but has a college education.
  • $450-800 live-in; $10-20/hour live-out (higher in major metro markets) -- for a nanny with two + years of experience and/or a college degree in a child-related field.

Want to learn the going rate for nannies in your area? Check out our pay rate calculator for families. If you're a nanny, try this calculator just for you!

* Note that nannies are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Their salaries must meet minimum wage (although you likely won't find a top-notch nanny willing to work for minimum wage), and live-out nannies are entitled to overtime (time and a half) for work above 40 hours per week. Check your state guidelines to determine whether live-in nannies qualify for overtime above 40 hours per week.

For part-time nannies, hourly nanny rates start around $12 per hour and can run as high as $20-25 per hour in affluent areas, particularly those without public transportation.

You get what you pay for. As you prioritize and tally your nanny requirements and associated costs, the price tag may seem exorbitant, but remember that you are hiring someone to nurture your children and they deserve to be compensated accordingly for this important work. As you work the numbers, detail the responsibilities expected, compensation, benefits, tax parameters, and take-home amount so you are prepared for the financial conversation to come.

Christine Koh is a music and brain scientist turned parent and writer about parenting issues for Care.com. She is also the editor of BostonMamas.com.

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Comments (245)
Bianca
Hi ladies so I've been s nanny did going on two years ! I feel like I'm being under paid when I first started I was getting paid a salary of $2500 for four kids then I got pregnant and only was watching two of the fours kids after I had her and was making $1800 I just took a huge pay cut as the 5 year old started school and now get paid $1000 for the month . I work 50 plus hours a week make the little girl food and clean the house ect . Any idea if this is an ok pay I feel like I'm cutting my self shot as j have my CDA and have soo many hours under my belt and CPR certified. These parents travel out of town 3 times a week and I'm texted the night before to come early sometimes at 5 and get no extra pay for it at all . I'm getting really stressed out and started looking for actual day care jobs but don't know if it's worth it .
Posted: September 12, 2016 at 2:58 PM
Photo of Doreen S.
Doreen S.
The parents are going to Hawaii for a week. What should I t paid for watching 2 kids, living with them for the week? One child is in school the other is not. Help!!
Posted: July 28, 2016 at 8:19 PM
Justin
I am a 30 yr old Army veteran with 6 years experience watching kids. I have cooking, cleaning, CPR/First aid, Child and infant CPR/First Aid, diaper changing, medication disbursement and application experience.

I started babysitting for a friend of mine watching their 2 kids (under 3 years old). Initially, I was only watching the kids 2-3 hrs a day 3x a week for $20 a day. However, that was back in may. In June, my hours went from 6-9 hrs a week to 45+. We had agreed to $3 an hr flat rate. Now, end of July I have done the math and found out that she doesn't want to pay that rate, and wants to pay me at $2.2227 an hr which comes out to $100 a week. Both her and her husband work fulltime jobs that pay $12-18 each.

Since going fulltime sitter, my duties have taken on: Cooking, cleaning, taking them to the pool, taking them to the doctors, administering medications, cleaning and feeding their new fish, washing clothes, washing dishes, taking out the trash, vacuuming, and more.

What I am asking is: Is she taking advantage of me or paying me way less than she should be?
Posted: July 22, 2016 at 12:58 PM
Bhola
Emma J
You are not being paid fairly. Ask for a raise or simply say NO to extra work
Posted: July 11, 2016 at 12:40 PM
Mukti Agarwal
If I have care giver only couple of days for my 7 and 13 year old kids what should be the day price be giving to the provider.
Posted: July 01, 2016 at 3:08 PM
Victoria Webster
Hello, I will be working with 4 kids ages 2,4,6,8 and the two oldest kids are in school. How much should I expect in pay?
Posted: June 30, 2016 at 9:32 PM
Emma J
Okay I recently started a nanny job watching 3 children ages 1, 3, and 9. When hired I was told about 8 hrs a day and I get paid $50 per day 5 days a week. Therefore I make $250 a week. But since then my hours have been extended so I'm working 12 hrs each day at the same rate. On top of this the "light housekeeping" turned into me being their full on maid. I come everyday to a sink full of dishes, I do all their laundry and put it away, literally do all the housekeeping. Am I being paid fairly? I also use my own car to take the children places and run errands for the mother.
One thing though is that this is my first nanny job, I just graduated high school and am attending college in the fall.
Posted: June 09, 2016 at 6:06 PM
NewNanny
In just a few weeks I will be starting a live-in Nanny job for three children ages 8,6, and 4 months. I anticipate to be working 40 hours a week but I have truthfully never had a serious nanny job. Its always been for friends children or coworkers. I have my bachelors in child and family studies and have allot of experience working in pre-schools, classrooms and other child related activities. The family has not decided on a pay yet and truthfully I have no idea how much to ask for. I was wondering if anyone has any good research or ideas on how I can back myself up if I need to make a counter offer. (they have never had a nanny before)
Posted: June 07, 2016 at 5:37 PM
Crissy
I am the single mom of a special needs child. Her disabilities are mild, but she takes a little longer than other kids to eat and walks a bit slower. I work 7am-3pm, so I ask any nanny to be there at 6:30 and I am home by 3:15. My daughter is in publuic school for three hours while I am at work, so the nanny has that time to herself. I just ask that she be available if my daughter is sick. I was hoping for a little help with meal preperation and to pick up toys if they are laying around. The nanny normally gets off work early on Thurseday and has Fridays off, since my ex picks her up and cares for her during that time. I just need someone available in case he goes out of town or has to work. I pay $325 a week and I know that is low, but it is really all I can afford. The nanny also gets 6 weeks paid vacation, since my daughter's dad takes her but if I have my daughter and have to work on a holiday then I have to have the nanny work too. Daycare is a lot cheaper, but my daughter does best with her eating when she is one on one. I live in an affluent area, because that is where I work but I don't make as much as the average person in my area. It is rough for everyone. I don't want to cheat anyone, but I can only pay so much and I want to try and do what is best for my daugther.
Posted: April 05, 2016 at 11:54 AM
Photo of Sabrina S.
Sabrina S.
I am a Nanny working with 3 kids. One is 6 months and the other two are 5 and 6. I'm trying to figure out what I should be getting paid. Does 13 an hour enough?
Posted: March 31, 2016 at 11:21 AM
Photo of Noelia R.
Noelia R.
Is 20/hours good for taking care of twins 3 month old babies am a baby register nurse and live in Florida.
Posted: March 25, 2016 at 10:58 AM
KristynL
I have been a nanny for under a year and recently started working for a new family about 4 months ago. One child who is 1 and the mom just had another baby girl. I get paid $725 a week, I work from 8:30am to anywhere between 7-8pm. I sleep over 3 nights a week sometimes more or less. I am asked to help with laundry at times and clean up after the child. I find myself putting away clothes and other things of that sort. First, I want to know if i am making what I should be and if I should be getting a raise when I start to care for the newborn.
Posted: March 11, 2016 at 6:37 PM
Lauralie N.
What would be considered a fair, yet financially reasonable weekly rate for a summertime nanny? The position would last from July 1st-roughly the end of August, or first week of September (depending upon the official first day of school) I would include food, gas, and a possible pool membership, and the nanny would be caring for one child (age 5).Thanks in advance for your input!
Posted: March 11, 2016 at 12:55 PM
sarah
i am going to go of a job by working as a nanny so i need tips so i know what to it is some thing what we are doing.
Posted: March 09, 2016 at 2:27 PM
Photo of Kailey S.
Kailey S.
How much would you oh a nanny for 10 month old quadruplets?
Posted: February 28, 2016 at 9:49 PM
Tina
I charge $10 per hour per child. $15 per hour if that child is not potty trained. For children with special needs or infants up to 1 year of age I would charge $20 per hour. Don't under sell yourselves ladies. If you have more experience and have things like CPR and first aide training or took special classes to care for special needs children charge more! This is a job. Even if you love the family or kids you are with at the end of the day it's your livelihood. You are not maids, chauffeurs, or tutors. If you do anything more than taking care of the needs of the child. Then charge more for your labor!
Posted: February 25, 2016 at 12:17 PM
Photo of Rebekah W.
Rebekah W.
Victoria B! You sound like me! Finally found a new job after sending a complaint to the site I was hired from for my current position (I begin the new job in a week!) I have 3 boys. 4,7,9. The oldest has ADHD and ODD. Look it up. I've had panic attacks and had to go home early because of his outbursts. The other two are extremely disrespectful--cursing, yelling, hitting, kicking, punching, talking back, calling me names, telling me to "do it myself." Saying no or arguing with me when asked to do something. Constant battles with all of them. I also do laundry for the whole house, vacuum whole house, do all the dishes, clean bathrooms, dust main room, drive youngest to preschool twice a week (they think all the house cleaning is fine because he's gone for 3 hours, so I should be "busy.") I've gotten groceries for them, had to wipe down baseboards once, washed windows in kids' rooms, washed sheets of the whole family, meal prep regularly...the list goes on.
When the older ones are off school, I have them all day, and my pay doesn't change.
I have all three for an hour in the mornings and an hour in the evenings.
I have a BS in the education field.
I've been working with kids for almost a decade.
I make 13.50/hr.
Yeah.
You should make more. I should make more.
Posted: February 09, 2016 at 4:16 PM
Rose
I have a mother who needs help Monday through Friday for a couple hours, kids get out of school until the 6 o'clock. I am required to feed them and drive them to their sports activities and do a little light housekeeping for three kids (fourth-grader, seventh grader and a tenth-grader). how much should I be asking per hour?
Posted: February 05, 2016 at 1:36 PM
Jennifer G.
Anyone help please I have been a homeschooling mother of two older children for 14 years and starting nannying twins and a four year old and I work 42 to 45 hrs a week , expecting to clean the house and teach the kids
I make a salary of 1400 a month, they pay for my phone but when I work out the hours I only get paid 8.65 hr . I don't know quite how to handle it with them, they always tell me I am expendable and I work very hard for them their kids are two and in the last year I have taught them everything first year preschool learns and they are almost reading. I feel I'm getting taken advantage of and I love the kids and they love me what should I do?
Posted: January 30, 2016 at 2:22 PM
Dolly
The problem with post and comments like this are some people are working in an area where people make more. Down where I live I used to charge $75 a week per child to watch them in my home. I did crafts and tons of trips with them. I
Have also hired someone for $10 an hour to help around the house and with the kids. Finding a good family that you work well is very important it's hard to say but don't get greedy they might not have the money to pay you and you could leave to get a higher paying job and the family is a total nightmare. Plus not every location can pay the same.
Posted: January 23, 2016 at 9:13 PM
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