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The Nanny Guide: How Much Does a Nanny Cost?

Christine Koh
May 10, 2018

Thinking of hiring a nanny? In Part 4 of "The Nanny Guide," learn about typical nanny salaries and pay to help budget accordingly.

The Nanny Guide: How Much Does a Nanny Cost?
Image via Getty Images/Guido Mieth

Cost Estimates

According to Care.com data from 2016, full-time nannies (who work 40 hours/week) caring for one to two children received:

  • $14.12/hour if they worked in a family's home -- about $565 per week/$29,380 per year.

The data also show that a nanny's education level had a significant impact on her rates. Specifically, the more education a nanny had, the more money she made. Here's how much families paid for full-time nannies with a:

  • High School Diploma: $14.72/hour -- about $589/week and about $30,622/year
  • Some College: $15.39/hour -- about $616/week and about $32,012/year
  • College Degree: $16.25/hour -- about $650/week and about $33,800/year
  • Graduate Degree: $16.56/hour --  about $663/week and about $34,450/year

NOTE: Nannies are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Their salaries must meet 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.

In 2016, part-time nannies (10 hours/week) were paid an average rate of $14.69/hour -- about $147/week and about $7,638/year.

That said, there was a wide range in pay ranges, depending on location, schedules, and nanny qualifications. In 2016, families paid a pretty wide range of rates for part-time nannies:

  • Lower Pay Range: $10.83/hour -- about $108/week and about $5,629/year
  • Upper Pay Range: $18.55/hour -- about $185/week and about $9,646/year

Ultimately, you need to remember that you get what you pay for when it comes to child care. As you prioritize your nanny requirements and consider all of the associated costs, the price tag may seem a bit high.

But remember: you are hiring a nanny to nurture your children and take care of them in every capacity while you’re away. They deserve to be compensated accordingly for this important work. As you work the numbers, make sure to lay out the responsibilities expected, as well as your compensation, benefits, and tax contributions so you are prepared for the financial conversation to come.

Factors Contributing to Cost

Many factors come into play in determining the cost of a nanny. 

  • Type of Nanny
    Do you require a 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 fewer perks and less job security.
  • Additional Responsibilities
    Variables such as housekeeping, weekends, evenings, overnight care and traveling with family during vacation add to overall expenses.
  • Transportation
    Nannies who are expected to use their own car for the job will need to be compensated accordingly for mileage reimbursement. If she uses a family vehicle, or you live in area with good public transportation, you’ll need to provide a gas card/metro card.

    Check out these tips on how to reimburse nannies for gas and mileage.
  • Experience
    Age, years of experience, and academic coursework/training add to many nannies’ rates. College nannies can be a great resource and often have flexible schedules, while full-time nannies often offer many years’ experience, and sometimes have degrees in early childhood development or education.
  • Number of Children
    The more kids being cared for, the higher the cost. Also keep in mind that newborn nannies will cost, on average, 2% more than children ages 1 and up. A nanny may increase her rates if you decide to have more children down the road, as well.
  • 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, dental/eye coverage, and even maternity leave. 
  • Additional Incentives 
    You may wish to present additional incentives such as an end-of-year bonus, yearly raises, reimbursement for training (e.g., childhood education classes, CPR training), paid memberships, a nanny credit card (for child care expenses), etc.

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.

Want to learn about other child care costs in your area? Find out the cost of different full-time child care options in your area. 

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.


Depends on experience. A better nanny will cost a lot more.

There is a HUGE difference between a NANNY and a BABYSITTER. The babysitter's club is if u want to return home w a decent home and an alive child. Care.com comes with an amazing babysitting calculator that ALSO includes situations that can EFFECTCHANGE the going rate via the location A nanny is to foster the care and growth of the child while in their care. we arent just warm bodies we are there to govern education, fun, and care for these little ppl. Getting to know them, the family, the environment in which they are in and using all of that to make sure they get the best care in the absence of. So when parents who sign up for CARE.COM to use their database of varies leveled providers and refuse to pay the bare that the site recommends to care for the children that they cant at the time because of life circumstance, it's extremely insulting. It feels as if parents use the site to just get someone to watch their child. Not considering that they NEED SOMEONE TO WATCH CHILD.You are asking one to take care of your family. ESPECIALLY families who want drop/pick up kids, take them to various classes, be there at 6/7am until 6/7pm feed the dog, do laundry help w homework and read the kids to sleep. But making sure the house is clean as well. LMAO. Right. Do not put your personal issues on someone who will potentially be in care of your kids. including your financial ones.If you are getting paid crappy at your job, would you do it the best of your ability? Probably not. And the job is taking care of kids..ive heard many horrible stories of babies not being strapped in properly, expired bottles being served to kids, sitters having strangers in the house.and the common denominating factor: parents w high standards and penny pinching fingers. If u arent paying well, why do they care if your baby is fed properly. So before ppl complain about "i dont like ppl all about the money" realize that the ones who do it just for the money are the ones who are actually the most careless.if all the parents who lowball w high expectations took those same expectations to their work, like knew their worth, they wouldn't have to be fighting/losing care providers who understand their own. I've had a great share of clients and a good handful of people I turn down asap because they respect the college education, the niche in child study,reviews, but somehow they think that's worth $9.You want the best, u have to pay for the best. It's about the children, but they arent our children. live in the gratitude that someone highly educated, well spoken, understand kids and take time to love them like they are their family, isopen to caring for your children in your absence because they can be doing anything else possibly, but caring for children is what they do. if a mother's job cant have a price tag, then a nanny's will be a bit steep. It's a job, so when you need that job filled, be mindful. It will save you the stress and us senior child care providers the disappointment

I am very glad to see this post. I have been working in child care most of my life. Babysat since I was a teenager then moved into being a nanny and studying child development on my own time. I have 8 years experience of being a professional nanny alone, and it was very disappointing when interviewing for families I met off care.com complaining at the rate in which they have to pay us. However, I also don't just sit the child down and watch them do whatever. I actively engage them, prepare nutritious meals, make sure they get enough physical activity in their day, educational activities, working on the child's vocabulary, teaching them whenever the opportunity presents itself, and yet parents just want to pay 15 an hour? 

I have been lucky and got a few families that would go up to close to a  normal level but they also need to calculate the cost of living. I should be able to afford an apartment. In San Francisco, I could only afford to live in someone's living room, while working 50 hours a week. It is expensive for parents, but it's also the only source of income for the nannies so that really needs to be considered.  

Nannies are highly underpaid and under appreciated. We care for your most prized possession. 

Parents: Before beginning to interview nannies think can we afford this service? how much can we afford annually to hire a professional caretaker, not someone that will just sit and stare all day--- including what it will cost to tax your nanny, end of year bonus, and yearly raises if you plan to have a long relationship with one nanny.. Many parents will think we want a nanny vs. public care but forget that you're paying for a private service. Nannies are commuting to your home so you can simply race to work with minimal stress of dealing in the morning. Nannies rarely call out- when we do it is mahem and parents must be given enough of a notice you're not making it in. Nannies are responsible for a life. Yes, a human being. I see sooo many nannies that do this for the wrong reason. I see soooo many parents hire a nanny but their concerns include unload dishwasher and dog walking. Please understand that we are entitled to breaks. Our eyes, ears, and words are constantly working all day, that's if you hired a professional. We are making sure your child is safe and interacting with them all day. A professional nanny shouldn't be doing parents laundry when she could be reading the child a book. I see so many nannies complain about their job environment. Do you really want the person watching your child for 10-12 hours a day miserable and underpaid. I'd say thats a bad combo. If you're in an expensive neighborhood with all the amenities in your building offering 12.00-15 an hour for 50 plus hours. You will get exactly what you pay for. Someone doing it because they're illegal, uneducated, and most importantly you have someone who is maxed out by Wednesday afternoon and wants to fall asleep at work. Nannies: know your worth if you're providing excellent care KNOW YOUR VALUE, if you don't know and you simply content with little pay thats fine but parents should not think all nannies can survive or even function with these low salaries and these 50-70 hour schedules.

Sept. 12, 2016

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 .

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