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'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 She is also the editor of

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Comments (220)
Photo of Aidah C.
Aidah C.
I have been a live-out Nanny for 6 years now. The family I am currently with I have been with for 3 years. When I first started there were 4 children, 6,4,2,and 6 months. I was making $16 an hour while having the Mom home the majority of the time. Since then, they have had another child who just turned 2. I have not seen an increase in pay. I didn't mind because I loved the family. However, now the family has relocated to Boston and asked me to go with but be a live in for 40-45 hours per week. The Mom still will not work, and they've said they will keep my pay the same, yet I think the transition has me feeling that I'm being taken advantage of and working more than I should be. Any suggestions on how to approach the situation to ask or a raise or another route to take would be super helpful.

Thank you!
Posted: August 17, 2015 at 4:05 PM
I have been a live-out Nanny for 6 years now. The family I am currently with I have been with for 3 years. When I first started there were 4 children, 6,4,2,and 6 months. I was making $16 an hour while having the Mom home the majority of the time. Since then, they have had another child who just turned 2. I have not seen an increase in pay. I didn't mind because I loved the family. However, now the family has relocated to Boston and asked me to go with but be a live in for 40-45 hours per week. The Mom still will not work, and they've said they will keep my pay the same, yet I think the transition has me feeling that I'm being taken advantage of and working more than I should be. Any suggestions on how to approach the situation to ask or a raise or another route to take would be super helpful.

Thank you!
Posted: August 17, 2015 at 4:03 PM
I have two 7-year old twins. One is bright, engaging and loves our nanny. In fact she 'teaches' the nanny English after school! Our son is autistic. Even though he does not speak, he is pretty self-reliant, toilet trained and does not require much more supervision than a typical 7-year old. Our nanny arrives at the house at 2PM. Our 'typical' child - the daughter - arrives home at 2:45 and she and the nanny (they love each other) play for about an hour until our son's bus arrives at 4PM. Along with his bus, also arrives a tutor who works with him for 1.5 hours so the nanny does not typically (unless a tutor cancels) have responsibility for him. In a case where she would, she would give him a snack and supervise / observe his independent outdoor or indoor play. At 5:30-6:00 The nanny prepares dinner only for my son under my direction and most evenings helps him feed himself (this is a skill he is learning). Some evenings the tutor may perform this task instead. She does not feed my typical child. Often I prepare or purchase take out dinner including food for the nanny and even food for her to bring home to her own children. After dinner she bathes both children. Our son is also learning how to shower on his own which she supervises though she gives my daughter a bath because they enjoy the playtime. She has left by 7:30 if I have not given her earlier leave (7:30 is the official leave time). She does do laundry in the time she is waiting for the kids to return from school (she arrives at 2 and first child gets home at 2:45) but often I do the laundry myself. She usually makes the beds. She does not perform any other housekeeping chores even if I am out of the house with both kids and, say return 3 hours after she has arrived. She does not shop, run the children to activities, cook except a very small repertoire for my picky son. We pay her $500 / for those hours 2-7:30 pm M-F. She gets all Federal Holidays though this year she took also a few that weren't quite Federal. She also gets 3 weeks paid vacation and pretty much unlimited 'sick' time although she's actually never called in sick but perhaps has used a few days here and there to go to the doctor. We buy gifts for her and her children / grandchildren for all holidays. We do love her; I feel she is part of the family but I sometimes feel she may take advantage or does not appreciate how generous we are being. If in fact we are being generous. For example, last year we brought her on vacation. We were away 3 weeks. She didn't want to stay all 3 weeks (she does other cleaning jobs in the morning). In addition to her regular pay ($500/week) we paid her $900 for the 2 weeks and when she got home and we weren't there we paid her anyway though she said she cleaned. After reading these comments above either you girls work for really stingy people or we are too generous. BTW, we are not rich people, in fact recently money has been tight and I have scarified my own luxuries to pay her. Any thoughts?
Posted: August 16, 2015 at 10:03 AM
Well firstly, it seems as if many of you are drastically overpaid.

Victoria B: You should be accepting no less than $25/hr for the three kids. I would start interviewing elsewhere in the mean time. If they refuse to meet your offer, go w/a new family that's paying your asking rate.

Ashley from Oregon: get a lawyer asap. If they agreed to compensation, you are owed money.
Posted: August 10, 2015 at 4:02 PM
I have worked for the same family for two generations. Started in 1990 making 150.00 per week for three children. One of those children grew up and had a child, I was that child's nanny/homeschool teacher for 200-300.00 per week (until just last year). I feel like I should be making more....but on the other hand, I LOVE the family and that is a benefit that has no monetary value. If I didn't need money to LIVE....I'd do it free of charge.
Posted: August 04, 2015 at 2:52 PM
Photo of Jessica H.
Jessica H.
Hello I just wanted to know if what I'm getting paid is a good price. I am currently a live in nanny Monday thru Thursday. I take home $383.00 a week. That's with taxes, it's suppose to be $500 a week but after taxes it's $383.00 a week. I nanny 3 boys between the ages of 15-10 all three boys have ASD, so it is very stressful most of the time. If anyone of you can help me I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance!!!
Posted: July 30, 2015 at 1:56 PM
Photo of Alyssa M.
Alyssa M.
I'm wondering how much I should be making...I nanny two girls 3 and 4 part-time during the school year and full time on breaks and during the summer. I fold and put away laundry, do the dishes, sweep, and pick up any toys. I also take them to gymnastics and swim lessons. I get reimbursed for any places we go that cost money or any craft supplies we get, but I do not get reimbursed for gas. I also teach them things similar to home school style during the summer. I try to make sure we always have activities going on or play dates. I don't just sit around on my phone and let them play, I actually get my hands dirty and explore with them. I make $10/hr. I love this family and my
Job, but I also want to make sure I'm getting paid the right amount. Especially since I have other families interested.

They've taken me on vacation and went above and beyond. I'm very grateful for this family and I look to the parents as mentors, but I hear what other nannies make around here and know what they do with the kids and it's no where near what I make/do.
Posted: July 20, 2015 at 12:39 PM
Hi, Victoria B. I see that you posted your question several weeks ago, so you may not see my response. You're being asked to do a ridiculous amount of work for $15 an hour. A professional nanny, which you are, should be expected to do light housekeeping related to caring for the kids (preparing the meals that they eat when she/he is with them, tidying up after them, etc.), but not the full time housekeeping tasks that you list. For 3 children, I'd ask for $20 - $25 per hour, and would only do light housekeeping. Of course, it sounds like she wants a housekeeper more than she wants someone who has substantial time to interact with the kids, so she will likely not be willing to pay that rate. You should earn far more than they are paying you.
Posted: July 07, 2015 at 2:37 PM
Photo of Alisyn L.
Alisyn L.
Hi guys I am needing to know if I am getting payed fairly. I am 21 years old and have four years of experience working with the children of all ages. I started being a nanny for a family back in September of 2014. I care for a one year old, six year old, and a 8 year old. I also was doing light house work like dishes, and the kids laundry and picking up after them if needed. Also cooking dinner if needed. My hours were suppose to be about 7:15-4:30. I was getting payed 450 a week. Well in January my pay got dropped to 330 a week and now I am doing much more cleaning. Like vacuuming all the kids areas and sometimes dusting when asked. My hours have gotten longer as well. I work anywhere from 7 to 6 or sometimes 6:30. Also the two older kids out for the summer so I am doing a whole lot more cooking and activities. My friends and family seem to think I am being under payed but I was wanting to get some advice from other nannies or employers that know more and could help me out. thank you!
Posted: July 06, 2015 at 10:16 AM
Photo of Sara S.
Sara S.
Hi, I've been working with the same family for nearly 2 years now. I started out at 300 per week for 26 hours per week. I have over 20 years experience, even taking childcare classes when I started. This is the first family that I've worked for that has never given me a raise, or yearly anniversary bonus, paid vacation, medical, gas reimbursement, taxes, etc. They moved recently and now my drive is twice the distance...I drive the boys to and from school, piano, basketball, swimming, etc., as well.When they go on vacation I am expected to make up the time if they pay me while they're gone. Last summer I worked full-time ALL summer for no extra pay. I cannot find another part-time job because of the hours they need me (I'm not getting something that has me up until the early morning hours). They are from a different country and I think there may be a cultural difference, but I am barely making enough to live on. How does one bring up these facts(they can be difficult to deal with some days) especially the fact that I just read they could be in serious trouble for not paying taxes (although if they DO starting taking them out I won't have enough to live on)
Posted: July 04, 2015 at 5:02 PM
Hello, I am wondering if I am being paid well or underpaid for the family I currently nanny for. I care for twin toddlers,M-F, 6-5:15/5:30 (depending on traffic getting home).In addition to the children I also do some light housekeeping (vacuuming kitchen, play room, the bathroom the kids and I use). I take them to any and all child related activities in the area. I get 2 weeks paid vacation, sick days and federal holidays (no insurance since I get paid under the table). I have been with them shy of 2 yrs and get paid 570 a week. I should mention this is my first position as a nanny but do have a college degree (not related to the position). What do you think?
Posted: June 24, 2015 at 1:04 PM
Photo of Gabriella E.
Gabriella E.
If I will be doing a 3 month old baby, nanny share plus using my vehicle what should I be getting paid an hour ? I live in Atlanta, Ga with 7 years experience and 2 degrees.
Posted: June 23, 2015 at 1:01 PM
I have been working a family for 4 years now--i have college degree, work experience is 12 years working with children live in and out-just offered me a job with 6 month old- live in position m-f 50 hours--no heavy cleaning-tidying place up caring for child-price 800 take home pay in Scarsdale ny,what do you think about pay?
Posted: May 29, 2015 at 12:06 PM
Photo of Victoria B.
Victoria B.
also forgot to mention the fact that the parents are very wealthy. I am not going to state their jobs but I know their annual salary is above average and significant. don't get me wrong I love children and I love my job as I take it very seriously. they treat me nicely and I love the kids to death
Posted: May 28, 2015 at 4:07 PM
Photo of Victoria B.
Victoria B.
Hi guys! Some advice would really be great for me! I am an experienced nanny and have been babysitting/nannying for 6 years now. I come from a family of 5, I am a nursing student with an associates degree but am still going to school for my bachelors and hopefully masters as well! I am a very hard working woman with loads of work ethic and I like to think I am very good at what I do. I'd also like to add that I am CPR and AED certified. I have been working for this one family for about 6 months now. My current pay is $15/hour. My situation is the fact that I believe I deserve a higher pay. The family that I watch consists of 3 boys, ages of 2, 5 and 8. only the little boy is very well behaved. the other two are very high mainentence. The mother has me taking the boys to school and picking them up, making them dinner, doing the dishes, laundry, organizing the fridge, organizing and cleaning the basement and toy room, taking one of the boys to dance class, and she also has me running errands for her at the grocery store, etc. 45% of the time the mother is home which not only makes me feel uncomfortable but makes me feel like I am being watched.
Please let me know if you think the $15/hour I'm making is substantial enough for all that I do. I believe I should get at least 18$. oh also let me add that I work M-F about 25-35 hour weeks, sometimes includes weekends
Posted: May 28, 2015 at 3:52 PM
Photo of Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.
Hi at the moment I make 21.00 an hour for 3 children. No benefits except paid vacations 3 per year when the family is away. I work in the Boston area. Wondering if I should be making more pet hour. I also run errands,grocery shop and do some housework. Ben with the family for 5 years. Only got one raise went from 20 to 21 an hour.
Posted: May 28, 2015 at 9:55 AM
Photo of Autumn W.
Autumn W.
You are getting robbed for that about. For 50 hours a week, that's $7.04 per hour which is under minimum wage. On top of that your getting paid roughly $1.40 per child. I would revaluate.
Posted: May 19, 2015 at 6:51 PM
Wow, I can't believe after reading some of these comments how underpaid some people are. When I first started nannying I would charge $10.00 an hour for one child and an additional $3-5 for each child after that. Now this is my fourth year of being a nanny and I start at $15 an hour. It all just depends on your experience and the number of kids you are taking care of. If you are a nanny you should not by any means be making under $10.00 an hour. Having a nanny is very different then sending your child to daycare. I've worked in both areas and a big difference is the one on one care your child gets from having a nanny compared to a daycare where the teacher is looking after at least 8 other children at the same time. There are pros and cons to both but especially if you are a live out nanny you should charge at least $10.00 an hour.
Posted: May 12, 2015 at 11:18 AM
Photo of Karah B.
Karah B.
I have been working as a shared nanny with two families for a year now. Family "A" has one little girl who is now over a year old and uses me 25hrs a week. Family "B" also has one little girl over a year and uses me 40hrs a week. Between the two families I make 500 a week. I have been talking with them about a pay change since I've been with them a year and now that the girls are toddlers and more busy. Family "A" is also pregnant with baby number 2 and would also like to know what my pay increase a week should be with a third baby.
I have 5 years experience in nanning and sleep training newborns and have always been paid 15-18hr
I really feel that these two families are getting a great deal with paying 6.25hr! I am interested in hearing other people's thoughts on what a per child rate is for two toddlers and one infant... Between two families.
Posted: April 29, 2015 at 11:18 PM
I have been reading all the posts here and decided that this is the place to get some sound advice.
I have been a live out nanny for 8 years. The children are almost 8 and 5 and I have had them pretty much 10 hours a day 5 days a week since the oldest was only 3 months old. I have also done occasional overnight care and a lot of transportation. For along time I was paid a monthly rate of $750 not including my gas expense or compensation for buying the children food on occasion.
This past year I decided to go to an hourly rate because of school schedule and my other job that takes 2 of my days a week. I am working around 25 hours a week and getting paid about $65 for my time. (I charge $50 a day on days when there is no school and I am caring for both children all day.
Here is my question; the family I nanny for wants to pay me $40 a day for the summer. It would be around 8-10 hours a day, 5 days a week. And that would be gas and any activities, such as museums or trips to the aquatic center or carousel, coming out of my own pocket... Do you think that is reasonable? I would also be caring for 2 dogs, one of which is completely blind.
I am just looking for some words of wisdom from other people who know what it's like to be a nanny.
I appreciate any comments anyone might have!
Thanks! :)
Posted: April 23, 2015 at 10:10 PM
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