Child Care Jobs: 9 Ways to Get the Salary You Want
Figure out how much you should get paid for your babysitting or nanny job.
Lisa Flam, Contributor
Articles> Child Care Jobs: 9 Ways to Get the Salary You Want
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You've decided to look for a nanny job, now you've got to make sure it pays the bills.

Before you look for a position, Care.com's child care expert Carolyn Stolov suggests figuring out the salary you desire and the kind of job you want and have experience with -- part-time, full-time, caring for one baby or perhaps a large brood. You'll also only want to apply for jobs that fall into your salary range.

  1. Research the Going Rate
    Make sure your salary requirements aren't off-base. Learn the average nanny salary in your area by using Care.com's salary calculator.

  2. Update Your Resume
    Make sure to list all of your relevant child care experience, and include any classes you've taken in the field or certifications you've earned Stolov suggests. More experience will not only distinguish you from other candidates, but can help you negotiate a higher salary. Stolov also recommends having written recommendations. Use this sample babysitter resume as a template.

  3. Ask for a Written Contract
    Stolov urges families to create a written job description or nanny contract that outlines duties, a work agreement that details salary and benefits and house rules (if your family doesn't have one, ask for it). If you're considering a job, Stolov urges you to take these documents home to review -- perhaps with a fellow nanny or friend -- before accepting a position. Do they spell out if and when you get a break every day and how overtime will be handled? Will you be reimbursed for gas mileage? Is your schedule clearly defined?

    One of the most important things that a work agreement should spell out is when both sides will meet. Stolov recommends scheduling formal meetings, perhaps once a month, so both sides can talk about any situations -- good or bad, and should agree on dates for performance reviews, especially one at the three-month mark. A nanny can ask for a blank performance review ahead of time to prepare.

    The work agreement should also spell out any situational changes that would alter the pact, like if the hours or duties increased or if a new child was coming into the home. "Make sure you feel comfortable with everything that is documented in the work agreement," she says.

  4. Compare Expectations
    Research sample work agreements to see what they look like or join a nanny support group and find out what other nannies have in their documents, Stolov recommends. And child care providers should familiarize themselves with labor laws to make sure they're being followed.

  5. Play up Strengths
    If the family isn't offering the salary you'd hoped for, Stolov urges nannies to play up their strengths and experience. Perhaps you speak Spanish or played soccer in college and can help the children learn a new skill, she says as an example.

    "It's about advocating for yourself, and what other experiences make you unique," Stolov says.

  6. Make Sure to Include Benefits
    Stolov urges sitters to ask families about getting paid on the books, and providing benefits like two weeks of paid vacation, holiday pay and some sick days, too. Check out the Care.com Nanny Pay Calculator to figure out your take home pay after taxes. And with low-cost nanny health insurance options available, she also suggests that parents pay at least half of their provider's health insurance. Parents should offer an annual raise that is part cost-of-living-based, part performance-based and an annual bonus of a week's salary.

  7. Consider Salary Alternatives
    If you're not happy with the salary and benefits being offered, perhaps there is something a family can offer instead of extra pay, like a gym membership or cell phone. A nanny could ask a potential employer, "'If you can't pay me this amount, are there any other perks in the job that you can offer?'" Stolov says, including more time off.  "I encourage nannies to think outside the box," advises Stolov.

  8. Set Annual Goals and Monthly Meetings
    And if you're still not fully satisfied, but still need or want the job, Stolov says you can ask your family if they can set goals, and agree to an increase if you meet them.

    The good thing about regular communication is that if something serious or urgent comes up, everybody will be used to talking with each other and talking should go smoother. If a family isn't living up to its end of the deal, like for example, not paying their nanny on time, she could ask for a meeting that day to discuss the issue and state directly that she needs to be paid on time.

  9. Consider the Family
    Sometimes a pay cut is acceptable (as long as you can still pay your bills), if the family and the job are exactly what you're looking for. Feel free to ask a family for references you can call to learn more about their management style and family dynamic. In the end, a family and a nanny have to feel comfortable with each other to make it work.

Check out child care jobs near you:
North Jackson, OH
Arlington, TX
Pinellas Park, FL
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(20) Comments
Eliana L.
Eliana L.
After read all the comments here, I really feel that, we all should agree in NOT let people take advantage of us. Is really ridiculous the salary that most parents wants to pay. Many of them are not looking for nannies but slaves. This is against the law! Care.com should do something about it. They want everything in a package: clean, cook, laundry, groceries, run errands, teacher, driver, childcare and etc...and where is the money to pay for all of these services? And use our car? Did you ever made a math to see how much would cost every trip you drive their children around and to do errands for them? All I can tell is that, you would be making more as a driver then a nanny. the cheapest ride in a taxi, would cost you $7.00 for 1 mile without a waiting time here in Florida. A little while ago, my car broke down and I had to spend $380.00 in one week, just to simple get to places like, supermarket, drop my kids in school, go to the post office and I wasn't far from these places. A distance of 12 miles cost me $38.00 or $76.00 round trip. If you are using your car, take off how much would cost these parents to have a chauffer and a car driving their children around and run their errands, then what is left, is what they are really paying you. Your car should be for you own use since you are paying for it, for the insurance, maintenance, gas, etc. Not even talking about the big risk you are taking to get in a big trouble if you get in a car accident, because the insurance company won't pay anything and you are having an enormous chance to be sued. These people don't care because they won't be the ones to pay the price.
Is their responsibility to provide the car they need and you shouldn't ever agree in let them use your car. They won't think twice in sue you if you get in a car accident and have their children in your car. I saw this happens with a friend of mine. So please do not take the risk, be smart. Regarding our salary, only us can changed it not accepting ridiculous rate. If all of us do that, we will see people give value to us. Please first do your math before you accept any job.
January 2, 2015 at 3:04 AM
Patti G.
Patti G.
If the family values their children, they will pay. If not they will end up with a teenager sitting on the couch and watching tv/talking on their phone, etc. While the baby is still in the diaper he/she was in this morning. If the family gives you grief for what kind of money you are asking for, then tell them to hire someone who won't care for their kids. It's very simple.
August 29, 2014 at 4:47 PM
Ann D.
Ann D.
I can only say what I have learned the last few months of job hunting...Many, many people are pulling the old bait n switch. Please do not post 10-15 per hr if you mean 9-10, it is insulting. We take the time to respond, interview, allow them access to our Background Check, reference contact info because it is what they require from anyone that will care for the most important thing in their life. I would feel the same way, and then listen to them brag about the new waterfront home they are building, and hubby owns his own business and oh by the way the 10-15 per hour is actually only 10.00 period because they can find someone who will take that "under the table" leads me to believe that many people do not feel the care of their children to be that important.

Also, there is a reason why it is referred to as a personal vehicle. I make the car payments, insurance payments, and pay for oil changes, gas, maintenance, and I do this happily and most insurance policies that are for a personal vehicle will not cover you, your vehicle, or passengers if you are using it for work.
And it is not our fault that you are a single mom, I will not lower my standard of living because you are a single mom.
August 24, 2014 at 10:57 PM
Loriel A.
Loriel A.
Hello I am a caregiver looking for a nanny job and I applied to so many job applications. I couple of them told me that I'm not what they are looking for so I asked why and she said it is because of my age. Shouldn't a person be judged through what they can do and what they can provide instead of their age. A lot of people are driven to do so many things to figure out their life career. Some people like me actually start young because the were given the chance to do so many things at a young age. Then the person said I'm too eager in my application. Shouldn't a person be eager for something that they want or need. That just shows that a person who is eager to do something will go above and beyond and go past someone's expectations. If I were an employer I would love to hire and eager person and trust that person will live up to his/her words. I have a lot of experience and I'm looking for more experience with children because I love children and I am always eager to work with children.
August 20, 2014 at 12:32 PM
Errica H.
Errica H.
When my daughter was a newborn and I had her in day care, they were charging $200 a week. This was 15 years ago. Fortunately for me, I was accepted in a child care subsidy program so I only a fraction of the cost. If a parent has a full-time sitter of a newborn then they really should compensate them accordingly. That sitter also has bills to pay and a roof over their head that they need to maintain.
August 18, 2014 at 6:42 PM
Beverly R.
Beverly R.
I have read all these comments on here. I is a shame what you guys are willing to settle for. Then you get on here complaining about the pay. I can understand some of you did not do your research before you jumped in but as soon as I had been educated I would have gone back and asked for what I am really worth. See I to have learned something from reading all these comments. 1099's. I will not be excepting anymore 1099's unless extra money is put in place to pay my taxes. Written Nanny Contracts is a must. You are the most important person out there for Parents who has to work, start acting like it. Get your self esteems up and your self worth. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. He will make a way for you and he will place you with the right family that will pay your self worth. Please go back through and make a list of everything the families are wanting you to do place a value on what you do for them. Again if these families want to pay $2.00 an hour for their child/children, just remember if they are not placing value on their on Children how much Value do you think they are going to place on you. My family moved back to Colorado, and I miss them dearly. I only hope I find a family just like him and his children, because there are no better family out their. He was willing to pay extra for everything he asked me to do extra, because he saw the Value in me and the care I gave his Children when he was in or out of town. I also got paid for travel and staying over night while he traveled out of town on business meeting. He Placed a lot of Value on his Children, Therefore he placed a lot of Value on Me. Praying Blessing on everyone of you out there.
August 16, 2014 at 1:52 PM
Sandra J.
Sandra J.
I will be a nanny to 2 young girls, 6 & 4. I start 8am, but will be staying over nite, too. (2nites, 3 days) I charge $15 for day rate, but not sure for evening rate?
August 4, 2014 at 12:51 AM
Member Care Representative
Member Care Representative
Hello Nerseda, we understand how whenever there is a better opportunity out there, you should seize it! However, out of respect for the employer, maintaining professionalism and giving enough notice is essential when leaving a position. Check out this article for some very helpful information!

https://www.care.com/a/how-to-quit-your-job-1402131543
July 31, 2014 at 3:07 PM
Tiffany G.
Tiffany G.
I'm a nanny for 2 wonderful kids; 3 and 6 years of age. This is my first offical nanny position and I get paid $15/hour to pick the kiddos up from school/daycare, take them home, help with homework, feed, and entertain for 2 hours a day, 4x a week. I am not getting paid on the books, so I get the full $120 a week, plus extra if the parents get home later than 5:30pm.
July 27, 2014 at 3:07 PM
Nerseda D.
Nerseda D.
Well I do everything on a part time job with little pay...I found another better paying job. How do I tell the old boss I'm quitting. Help
July 24, 2014 at 9:10 PM
Rachel B.
Rachel B.
Why is it so hard to find a family? I havr never been late to interviews. I have my associates in early childhood. I have taught preschool and have nannied for other families and have babysat for over 10 years. I have awesome references. I dont understand when people say I am over qualified. Dont you want someone that is always on time and that knows what they are doing and can trust your children with? Please help me. Im getting frustrated.
July 15, 2014 at 9:43 PM
Rachel B.
Rachel B.
I hate when you have an interview with a family and they tell you they will let you know next week but they dont even call you to let you know anything. They leave you hanging.
July 12, 2014 at 12:35 PM
Sara A.
Sara A.
I literally saw a woman ready to pay $150 a week for full time care for her daughter. That's $3.75 an hour.
July 10, 2014 at 9:44 AM
Beth W.
Beth W.
Thank you all for sharing. I have learned of so many different scenarios that you all have encountered. I was aware of the taxes,I like to take them out of my pay either way and set it aside so I am prepared. Thank you for helping me to gain a better insight of new things to have my mind opened to. Thank you
July 3, 2014 at 10:19 PM
Erica W.
Erica W.
Connie I agree with everything. nanny care is soooo different than daycare. I take the kids to all their activities, all 3 kids, drive around, play all day fun and educational, give my all, and make sure everyone is safe & happy. I am in my late 20's and have a teaching degree and experience. And when I brought up a raise I was told they are on a budget..... ahhh I know I deserve more. even if just for gas alone!!
June 24, 2014 at 7:26 PM
Connie M.
Connie M.
I also feel the need to say that even though I am in my late 30's, I find it highly offensive and just plain wrong for parents to think that younger caregivers such as teens or college students don't deserve the same pay as someone older. I certainly understand paying more for someone with a lot of experience such as myself, especially if the caregiver is going to do duties that the teen may not, such as tutoring, driving, cooking, etc, but it's wrong to use the rationale that the teen shouldn't be paid properly because their parents pay their expenses for them. What if a teen went to McDonald's for a job and was told that they will be paid less than minimum wage and less than their older coworkers even if they are doing exactly the same work just because the manager doesn't think the teen needs the money as much. Pay for the job done and don't base it on the employee's age. I know I provided excellent care for children when I was a teen. I read to them, played with them, tried to teach them things and watched them like a hawk to keep them safe. I personally wouldn't want a young teen watching my children since I think it's too much responsibility for most to keep them safe unless you just have one older very well behaved child, but if a parent does think the teen can be entrusted with their child's safety, then don't say that you can't pay them as much. Don't say, "well they aren't CPR or First Aid Certified" and only give them chump change. Why are you letting them be alone with your children if they can't respond properly to an emergency? I understand (because I have raised all my nieces and nephew) that you can't always afford adequate care providers, especially if a parent needs a full time caregiver while they work a job that doesn't even provide them more than minimum wage, but if you have cable tv, dress your toddlers in the newest and most expensive name brands (to promote your image), are going on date nights with your spouse to the movies and out to dinner, then you can afford to pay properly.
June 21, 2014 at 12:04 PM
Connie M.
Connie M.
I am so frustrated with parents posting in the HOURLY rate slot what they are actually planning to pay PER DAY or WEEK. This happens ALL the time. I am a very high quality career nanny in my 30's with a long list of impeccable references and impressive resume. I've acquired lots great jobs from Care.com and elsewhere such as the fellowship nursery where I work, but sadly I waste an enormous amount of time pursuing jobs that have grossly misadvertised the pay and didn't bother to mention that they expect a full time maid for the parents along with childcare. I earn at the top of the pay scale in my area (on average $15 per hour/always in the $10-20 range with little to no housework expected at the jobs I accept in Greenville, SC which is one of the lowest cost of living areas in the US). I am a professional and everyone says I'm the best nanny or babysitter they have ever had. This is how I support my family and I am proud of my occupation. I care for these children like they are my own and am loyal to my nanny families. A nanny is usually a luxury. Many parents think and post that they expect the nanny to cost the same as daycare, completely ignoring that daycare multiplies that rate by charging for more than just one family. Private one on one care in your home with your instructions carried out and household chores as well should cost substantially more. Daycare around here only costs a few dollars an hour, but it's shameful and a huge disservice to your children to offer that amount to the nanny. At least the daycare workers earn minimum wage (still pathetic pay) and if they are full time will get benefits and if nothing else, does get their employer's share of FICA paid. Nannies have to stop allowing parents to 1099 them. It's illegal and if parents want to collect the tax credit, then they need to be made to pay their share of the nannies taxes. And only offering a dollar an hour because the child "will be sleeping most of the time" or just flat out saying that you can't pay anything at all for the time that the child is asleep is wrong in so many ways. Security guards get full pay regardless of whether they are just "on watch" or in action. Another thing I experience in this area of the country (where I'm from) is that many parents expect, but sometimes don't tell me until the interview that they are looking for someone from a very specific religious background to care for their children. They sometimes imply or just come right out and say that a caregiver that keeps their religious beliefs private is not qualified or cannot be trusted to care for their infant who will not be aware at all of the nanny's religion or lack thereof and imply that I'm immoral for not worshiping as they do as though a person's character and actions don't have any value.
June 21, 2014 at 11:24 AM
Val H.
Val H.
This is what I have noticed..if the employer is willing to pay an amount that is satisfying to the new nanny, then they have you under the NANNY microscope and expect every thing to be super perfect plus they will load the work on as the weeks go by so they know they're getting their money's worth!

This profession is wearing on me,
Val

I just got let go by a family that Reposted my job In only three weeks. The parents were both home all the time and I didn't feel like I could do ANYTHING to meet their lofty standards. I'm their 6th nanny in 3 months ........ but it still hurts
June 13, 2014 at 12:30 PM
Maya G.
Maya G.
There is a movement in this country to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. And another to have equal pay for woman for equal work. That's the minimum that should be done. Income inequality is one of the major issues of our time. Why do women accept low wages for the most important job on the planet? Don't accept less than the minimum wage if you have to, but demand to be paid what you are worth!! What ARE you worth? Your judgement, wisdom, nurturing, protection and responsibility for children are certainly worth more than a greedy corporate CEO! Shame on Care.com for supporting low-wage jobs.
June 9, 2014 at 6:56 PM
Marion K.
Marion K.
I feel a lot of these parents are not paying enough for their nannies. Most of the parents want the nanny to drive their kids around in the nannies car, many have more than one child, more like three or four, and they only want to pay $10.00 an hour. If you can't afford to pay a nanny what she is worth, then maybe one parent should stay home with the kids. Marion K.
June 9, 2014 at 4:28 PM

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