Paying Your Nanny: Pay Basics

This article contains data on nanny wages data from PSP’s 2015 Nanny Survey. Here we map out the typical pay practices, including PSP community standards and FAQS from our members.


PSP takes the position that families should compensate nannies fairly, taking the nanny’s experience, responsibilities and value to your family into account. Remember, your nanny has most likely worked at least 4 years with extensive experience taking care of children. We feel that while you may want to start your nanny’s pay at the lower end, you need to pay according to experience and the situation rather than starting low. Given this position as well as data from over 5 surveys, PSP feels that employers should adopt the typical and recommended practices described in below in order to maintain a strong and healthy relationship with their employee/nanny.

PSP recognizes that some families pay on a salary basis while others prefer an hourly basis. To normalize the data across all situations, we developed hourly rates based on typical hours worked for those families who pay a salary. (NOTE: Employers are legally required to report and pay by the hour for domestic workers.)


As an employer, you should expect the following:

Employers pay their nannies for all 52 weeks, even if the family is on vacation outside of the agreed number of weeks.
Employers pay their nannies the number of hours she has set aside in her schedule to work - even if an employer comes home early or has other caretakers (e.g., grandparents).
Employers typically give yearly raises (most often $1/hr per year).
Employers give year-end bonuses (most frequently 1 week’s pay at the end of the calendar year).


What to pay:


Pay average*:

1 child $15.93
2 children $17.33
3 children  $17.34 
On the Books $17.76
Off the Books  $16.15  
Use the Nanny Calculator to figure out what to pay your nanny based on hours per week and how many children.

*NOTE: These averages are based on one family employing a nanny, not a nanny share.


How to pay:

88% pay a weekly amount (defined as “the hours generally stay the same”).
12% pay by the hour (defined as “the hours vary week to week”).
59% employ their nannies 40 or more hours per week.
33% pay higher than the average for their nanny employment situation. Reasons for higher wages: teaching a second language and twins/multiples experience.


When to pay more:

Pay rates vary depending on a wide variety of factors, including some not apparent in these statistics (e.g., how demanding the employer is, responsibilities, nanny’s ability to be flexible with hours, etc). 33% of employers feel they pay more than average for their nanny. Here are the skills they cite as reasons for a higher wage:

Teaching my child a second/third language 30%
Twins/multiples experience 18%
Helping with therapy (OT, Speech, etc) 11%
Experience with special needs children 6%
Admin skills 4%


Other extras and perks:

81%: respondents have an ‘open kitchen’ policy with their nannies.
84%: employers give their nannies a full day’s pay if dismissed early.
49%: employers give their nannies access to home computer/Internet access.
38%: respondents provide nannies an “allowance” to spend as they wish when with the children. (This allowance ranges between $15-$30.)
45%: employers pay for a MetroCard or travel subsidy. However, some employers wished they would have added MetroCard later in the employment process than give it up front.


Paying your Nanny on holidays and for sick days:


The following paid holidays are given off with pay (if they fall on a typical workday): Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day,  4th of July, Memorial Day,  Labor Day
Employers give at least two weeks paid vacation.
Employers pay sick days if a nanny is ill or needs time off for appointments. These sick days are typically covered by a parent staying home or paying for backup childcare.


PSP also believes that these practices will help establish positive employer/employee relations:

Allow the nanny to schedule her own desired vacation time.
Pay a higher rate for flexibility in hours, teaching a second language, and heavy housecleaning.
Pay appropriately The average hourly pay rate is $15.93/hour for 1 child, $17.33 for 2 children and $17.34 for 3 children, adjusted based on experience and tenure. (Nanny share costs are higher. See here for details).
Guarantee a certain pay amount regardless of hours worked. This allows the nanny to budget her income accordingly.
Pay a nanny on the books; it is legally required and helps both the employer and employee.




We agreed that the nanny gets 2 weeks vacation. However, we are going on vacation for 3 weeks. Should I pay her when she’s not working?
Since it’s not the nanny’s choice not to work, pay your nanny. The majority of respondents pay their nanny when they are on vacation, come home early, or have family/friends who take over during the nanny’s normal hours. If you make arrangements before hiring, consider an overnight or extra date night as a swap out for extra time off.


It’s been a year. What’s a typical raise?
The most commonly reported raise is $1/hr given at the nanny’s work anniversary



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