Working as a summer nanny can be a dream job for a lucrative and fun season: Demand is high, the mood is light, and the weather is ideal for outdoor activities. Families with school-aged kids need help with child care and it’s a chance to be a hero not just to the kids in your charge — but to their parents, too.
Because parents depend on this seasonal help with kids out of school, they understand the need to budget for this important hire, and that means a summer nanny can earn a competitive sum for a few months of work. And if you’re a regular nanny looking for work, summer is a good time to get started with a new family, too.
Just how much does a summer nanny make? Well, that depends on many factors — including your location, experience level and the specific demands of the job. Here’s what to know about the going rate for a summer nanny job so you can understand your value in the marketplace and approximate your earning potential for the season.
What goes into a summer nanny pay rate
Based on 2021 Care.com data, the national average cost of a nanny for one child averaged $694 per week, or about $17.35 per hour, and $715 per week for two children, or about $17.88 per hour. And while that’s a useful benchmark, your own earning potential will depend on many variables related to you and the family you might work for.
“The tasks associated with the role, the number and age of the children to be cared for, the experience of the candidate and the location of the job” are all among the factors that go into a summer nanny pay rate, explains Shenandoah Davis of the nanny recruiting agency Adventure Nannies.
Indeed, summer nanny rates depend on details like:
- Where you live (you can expect to earn more as a summer nanny in higher cost-of-living areas).
- How many children need your care (you can command higher pay for every additional child).
- The ages of these children (younger ones require more hands-on supervision).
- The scope of the role you will fill as the family’s summer nanny.
- Whether you will live in or out of the home.
- Whether you will travel with the family as part of the job.
- Your level of experience and any extra certifications.
In Los Angeles, for example, summer nannies command average rates between $20 to $30 per hour, explains Westside Nannies’ managing director Katie Provinziano. And that makes sense: You can expect to earn more in a city where the average cost of living is higher.
Additionally, other factors may affect your pay rate in a summertime nanny job, including:
Traveling with the family
Provinziano cites travel as a factor that goes into determining an appropriate pay rate for a summer nanny. “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.”
If you are traveling with the kids in your charge, you can expect to be paid for all working hours, including any applicable overtime. “Travel time must also be factored in and is also considered work time,” Provinziano says.
Taking on extra duties
In addition to providing straightforward child care duties, families may expect you to perform additional duties for the household — and for those duties, you can expect higher earnings.
“Hiring families have the opportunity to determine the responsibilities they would like to delegate to their household employees,” Davis says. “And the scope of these duties will be an important aspect of identifying a fair compensation package.”
For example, in your interview with a family, if you’re asked to plan activities outside the home, supervise summer online learning, run errands or drive kids to activities (more on that later … ), make sure to factor these tasks into your hourly rate.
If you’re going to be driving for the role — such as transporting kids to camp or sports practices or tackling errands around the neighborhood — you can expect to be paid for your mileage. The IRS standardizes the reimbursement rate, which is 58.5 cents per mile in 2022 and is meant to cover all your car-related expenses (including gas and maintenance).
How taxes affect summer nanny pay
Families paying a summer nanny will need to pay nanny taxes if they’re paying their nanny $2,400 or more during the summer months. And that means that you can expect to have taxes deducted from your pay as well, just like any other on-the-books summer job.
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with important tax and payroll tips for summer nannies.
Going rate for a summer nanny around the country
To get a better sense of the rate you can charge as a summer nanny, use our rates calculator tool to research the going rates for nannies by location, experience level and number of children.
Here are some examples of the going nanny rates based on location, according to recent Care.com data.
Current nanny rates for top cities*
|CITY||HOURLY NANNY RATE|
|Brooklyn, New York||$19.50/hr|
|San Diego, California||$18.25/hr|
|Charlotte, North Carolina||$16.00/hr|
|San Antonio, Texas||$14.25/hr|
Of course, these are sample rates and your earnings will vary. For a real-world example, we spoke to Sydney, a nanny for three kids ranging in age from 8 to 13 in California’s Central Valley. Her responsibilities include preparing meals and snacks for the kids, transporting them to activities and appointments by car, assisting the family with light housekeeping and engaging the children in age-appropriate activities. She earns $22 per hour, with sick time, paid time off and paid holidays.
“I have 10 years of professional nanny experience and college coursework in child development, education and psychology,” she explains. She also has first aid and CPR training and passed background checks to become registered with a state nanny database. With all these details in mind, she researched summer nanny pay rates before taking the job and felt comfortable that the rate was fair and competitive.
Indeed, Davis suggests researching the “industry-standard hourly pay in your area” to gain insight on the going rate for a nanny where you live and work. And she says, you should expect a competitive compensation package, paid legally and on the books, if you’re among the “most qualified and highly skilled professionals” in your market.
Remember that as a summer nanny, you’ll be fulfilling a critical role in support of a family. And you should be compensated fairly for the important work you do.