Press Release: The 2013 Nanny Survey



The Bright (and Dark) Sides of Nanny Pay

The 2013 Park Slope Parents' Nanny Compensation Survey reveals that Brooklyn nannies receive higher pay ($15.79) today than they did 2 years ago, an amount more than twice the state minimum wage ($7.25). The majority of nannies also receive holiday bonuses, yearly raises, and generous paid leave. However, they continue to be paid off the books and appear to work overtime without receiving at the legally required time-and-a-half compensation.


Brooklyn, NY

November 15, 2013

Nannies earn an average of $15.79 per hour - more than double of the NY minimum wage of $7.25 - according to new survey data released by Park Slope Parents (PSP), the local Brooklyn-based community group. The survey also shows that the majority of nannies receive yearly raises (most often a dollar per hour), annual bonuses (typically 1 week’s pay) and an average of 19 paid days off each year.  The average weekly take home pay for nannies is $570, translating into roughly $29,500 per year. Comparing this data with the legal requirements set forth by the Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights requiring minimum wage and 3 paid days off after one year tenure, nannies would seem to be fairing quite well.

The survey, which is the fourth of its kind in the last seven years, has found a steady increase in pay over the years. The hourly rate increase from 2011 is $0.90, with hourly pay for nannies taking care of three children increasing $1.45 per hour.  Other changes from prior years include an increase in the number of employers who use a written agreement (49%, an increase of 10% from 2011), which is good news for both employers and employees.  “A written agreement spells out issues like holidays, vacation days, and pay rate. When these issues are not spelled out up front it can lead to confusion, tension and resentment,” says Dr. Susan Fox, Founder of Park Slope Parents.

Park Slope Parents also spell out typical and recommended practices as well as advice in hiring. The majority of employers give raises and bonuses, pay major holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, 4th of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day), give two weeks' vacation and sick days as well as having an open kitchen policy. PSP has also found that successful employer/nanny relationships often allow the nanny to schedule at least one of the vacation weeks, pay a higher rate for flexibility in hours or added household responsibilities, and pay the nanny on the books.

Employers, though, do fall short in some areas, including paying on the books and overtime. Only fifteen percent of employers pay completely on the books and very few pay the legally required one and a half times hourly pay above 40 hours. Failing to pay on the books means that nannies may not receive unemployment payments should their jobs end, can’t receive worker’s compensation if they get hurt on the job, or disability benefits. It also means that nannies are not paying into Social Security benefits that they can draw from in the future. They also don’t have a documented work history, so advancing to other jobs becomes more difficult. However, most full-time nannies are entitled to these benefits and can take legal or regulatory action to receive it, meaning headaches for employers. 

“It’s a tricky situation,” says Dr. Fox.  “Paying on the books can be costly, and some nannies ask to be paid off the book to retain social welfare benefits they would otherwise lose. The lack of other affordable childcare alternatives also leads parents to cut corners, and needing a job causes nannies to want the immediate cash that off the books pay gives them. In these situations, laws such as the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, the Wage Theft Protection Act, Unemployment Eligibility, Worker’s Comp and Disability Insurance are overlooked since many times both employers and nannies are just trying to make ends meet.” The laws, however, are designed to protect domestic workers, whether they are paid on or off the books, and employers take on all the risk if the employment situation ends badly.

Average Pay Highlights:

  • $15.79 Average OVERALL (Up $.90 from 2011)
  • $15.06 Average pay for 1 child (Up $.84 from 2011)
  • $16.44 Average pay for 2 children (Up $.48 from 2011)
  • $17.77 Average pay for 3 children (Up $1.45 from 2011)

The report, "The Park Slope Parents Nanny Compensation Survey 2013," is currently available HERE