How much should we be paying our nanny?

One of the first discussions I have with new clients involves how much a nanny should be paid. While I’ve seen many different arrangements, it is important to remember that hiring a quality nanny can be the most expensive child care option. Even if your children are older and don’t require as much care as an infant, the nanny salary must match the local market demand or high-turnover will occur.

Although the State of Washington’s unemployment rate is 5.1%, King County has the lowest in the State at 3.8%. This translates to a higher salary being offered to household employees, on average $40,000-$45,000 per year for a full-time nanny. If a family is looking for a part-time nanny, especially one that has a split schedule, they may need to pay at least $20-$25 per hour. The cost to families will be a little higher due to payroll and other taxes that will be paid by the employer.

Another important consideration is paid time off. As a full-time household employee, a nanny’s wage should not be affected if a family goes on vacation. All federal holidays and days off scheduled by the family should be paid. Additional days (average of 6-10 per year) are usually part of the compensation package offered to a full-time caregiver.