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How much does a summer nanny cost?

Wondering what a summer nanny will set you back? Here's a breakdown of what you can expect.

How much does a summer nanny cost?

School’s out for summer… but work isn’t! So you’re going to need help with child care. Finding just the right summer nanny for the job requires identifying someone qualified, reliable and with a personality that fits with your family — and creating a budget for the hire. 

But how much does a summer nanny cost anyway? The answer will vary depending on many factors. These include: “geographic area, schedule of the position, experience and education of the nanny and duties in the role,” explains Westside Nannies’ managing director Katie Provinziano. 

And there are many more details to consider, too. Our primer will help you go into your search with a general understanding of the going rate for a summer nanny so you can set reasonable expectations upfront and plan accordingly. Here’s what to know.

What goes into a summer nanny pay rate

According to to the Care 2022 Cost of Care survey, the average nanny made about $694 a week in the U.S., or about $17.35 per hour. But this figure should be considered as only a rough estimate of what you can expect based on your family’s specifics. 

As Provinziano mentions, summer nanny rates depend on variables like:

  • Where you live (higher cost of living areas naturally correspond with higher pay rates for summer nannies).
  • How many children you have (more children typically means higher pay).
  • The ages of these children (younger ones require more hands-on supervision).
  • The scope of the role you expect the summer nanny to play.
  • The candidate’s level of experience.

Provinziano notes that in Los Angeles, for instance, summer nanny rates average between $20 to $30 per hour. And the higher cost compared with the national average is what you might reasonably expect given the higher cost of living in that city.

Additionally, here are other factors that may affect how much a summertime nanny charges: 

Traveling with your nanny

Travel is another factor that goes into determining an appropriate pay rate for a summer nanny, according to Provinziano. “Families are often looking to take vacations during this time and hope to take their nanny with them,” she explains. “If travel is required in the role, we often see the rates increase 20% or more.”

When traveling with your nanny, it’s important to factor in pay for all working hours, including any applicable overtime. “Travel time must also be factored in and is also considered work time,” she says. 

Requiring extra duties

What duties will you expect your summer nanny to do? Do you expect your nanny to plan educational activities or fun, summertime outings outside the home? Will your nanny be supervising summer online learning? Is your nanny driving your kids to summer sports or camps (more on that later … )? These specifics all factor into the summer nanny pay rate. 

“Hiring families have the opportunity to determine the responsibilities they would like to delegate to their household employees,” says Shenandoah Davis of the nanny recruiting agency Adventure Nannies. “And the scope of these duties will be an important aspect of identifying a fair compensation package.”

Reimbursing a nanny for transportation costs

One more budgetary factor to consider: If your nanny will be transporting your kids by car or driving for errands or other obligations while on the job, you’ll need to budget for gas and mileage.

Fortunately, it’s easy to determine the reimbursement cost because the IRS standardizes the rate. The 2023 rate of 65.5 cents per mile covers all of the expenses that your nanny could incur from using their car, including not just gas but also maintenance and depreciation. 

Going rate for a summer nanny around the country

For a more precise idea of what your cost could look like, research the current average rates for nannies by location with our child care rates calculator. We also pulled the current going rates in top U.S. cities, using recent Care data, to help you get a general sense of your approximate hourly and weekly costs (based on a 40-hour workweek). 

Nanny pay rates for top cities*

San Francisco, California$25.75/hr$1,030/wk
Seattle, Washington$22.75/hr$910/wk
Brooklyn, New York$21.25/hr$850/wk
San Diego, California$20.50/hr$820/wk
Washington, DC$20.25/hr$810/wk
Portland, Oregon$19.75/hr$790/wk
Denver, Colorado$19.75/hr$790/wk
Atlanta, Georgia$19.50/hr$780/wk
Chicago, Illinois$18.75/hr$750/wk
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$18.50/hr$740/wk
Charlotte, North Carolina$18.50/hr$740/wk
Phoenix, Arizona$18.25/hr$730/wk
Houston, Texas$18.00/hr$720/wk
Orlando, Florida$17.50/hr$700/wk
Tampa, Florida$17.25/hr$690/wk
San Antonio, Texas$16.50/hr$660/wk
* Rate information as of 4/25/2023

Of course, these are sample rates and your costs will vary under real-world conditions. One mom of three school-aged kids near Sacramento, California pays $22 per hour for a summer nanny, a job that includes sick time, paid time off and paid holidays, and is priced competitively for the area.

One tri-state-area parent describes a minimum going rate for nannies among her community of friends around $700 per week — and way up from there with pets and other factors involved. That’s because, “the demand is higher than the supply” for qualified professionals here,” she says.

The good news for parents and nannies alike is that teaming up for a consistent, reliable summer relationship is mutually beneficial.

“Being able to provide a consistent schedule or a guaranteed number of hours every week will be important to ensure you are able to attract a great candidate,” Davis explains.

Research the “industry-standard hourly pay in your area,” Davis adds. “We advise hiring families to offer a competitive compensation package paid legally, on the books, to attract the most qualified and highly skilled professionals.”

How nanny taxes affect summer nanny rates

Paying on the books is not just important as a matter of legality and liability, but it works out in your favor financially, too.

Let’s take a look at a sample case study from HomePay. Let’s say you and your partner both work. So you hire a summer nanny for 12 weeks at $500 per week to watch your two kids, ages 9 and 10, while school’s out. You’ll pay the nanny $6,000 in total wages at the end of the summer. But with taxes, the full cost breakdown looks like this:

Budgeting example for summer nanny

Gross Wages Paid to the Nanny$6,000
Social Security Taxes + $372
Medicare Taxes + $87
Unemployment Insurance Taxes + $156
Total Employment Taxes: $615= $615 +$615
Total Cost to the Family (before tax breaks) $6,615
Source: HomePay

By paying your nanny on the books, your family qualifies for tax breaks because the parents both work and the kids are under 13. If one of you enrolls in a Dependent Care Account through your employer, you can pay up to $5,000 of child care expenses tax free. So now let’s take a look at your total out-of-pocket cost for that summer nanny:

Cost Before Tax Breaks


Savings from FSA -$2,400 (based on our sample tax bracket)
Total Cost of Summer Nanny


Source: HomePay

That’s right, you actually save $1,385 by paying your summer nanny on the books and taking the tax break! And that’s a win-win that sets the stage for a fun, safe and stress-free summer. 

For more information on finding, interviewing, hiring and managing a nanny, check out The Complete Guide to Nannies. Looking for even more cost savings? Consider a nanny share.