Paying Your Nanny: Pay Basics


This article contains data on nanny wages data from PSP’s 2019 Nanny Survey. Please make concessions for higher pay  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 7 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 6 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 they set aside in their schedule to work - even if an employer comes home early or has other caretakers (e.g., grandparents).
Employers typically give yearly raises (the average is $1.28/hr per year).
Employers give bonuses (most frequently 1 week’s pay at the end of the calendar year).


What to pay: 

Pay averages*: (Based on 2019 Data)

1 child $18.65
2 children $19.94
3 children  $20.22

Use the Nanny Compensation Spreadsheet 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. 

2019 Nanny Compensation Spreadsheet Graphic


How to pay:

24% of employers pay by the hour (defined as “the hours vary week to week”).
51% pay “weekly plus" (defined as a set amount PLUS more if the nanny works more hours than typical/agreed upon).
and 25% pay a weekly amount.
31% 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 38%
Twins/multiples experience 17%
Helping with therapy (OT, Speech, etc) 7%
Admin skills 6%
Experience with special needs children 4%


Other extras and perks:

86% give their nannies a full day’s pay if dismissed early.
76% have an ‘open kitchen’ policy with their nanny.
64% pay cab fare home after dark or late hours.
55% pay for a MetroCard or travel subsidy. Note that some employers wished they would have added MetroCard later in the employment process than give it up front.
52% give their nannies access to home computer/internet access. 48% provide nannies an “allowance” to spend as they wish when with the children. This allowance ranges between $15-$30 per week.


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 their 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 $18.65/hour for 1 child, $19.94 for 2 children and $20.22 for 3 children (based on 2019 data). Adjust 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 their 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 them when they're 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. According to data from the 2017 Nanny Compensation Survey, employers gave an average raise of $1.28.


LAWS RELATED TO PAYING A NANNY (Includes federal, state and NYC)

NEW YORK DOMESTIC WORKERS BILL OF RIGHTS Spells out mandatory overtime compensation over 40 hours, paid time off, and more. 

WAGE THEFT PROTECTION ACT* Requires new employers to provide written documentation of their wage rates at time of hire (including nannies paid off the books) and current employers notification by 2/1/2012. 

UNEMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY Workers paid on AND off the books are eligible to file for unemployment benefits even if they have not paid taxes on their income. 

WORKER’S COMPENSATION AND DISABILITY INSURANCE A nanny who works 40 or more hours per week for the same employer must be covered by workers’ compensation insurance and disability benefits. 

PAID SAFE AND SICK LEAVE   Employers must provide 40 hours a year sick leave (or 1 hour for every 30 hours worked if not full time) which starts accruing at the onset of work. You must provide documentation of accrued leave, taken leave, and balance. 

*These laws apply to all domestic workers, regardless of whether they are paid on or off the books or their eligibility to work in the U.S.



What you need to know about the NYS Family Leave Law and your nanny

What should I pay my babysitter/ nanny overnight?

Unanticipated "Time Off": What Works, What Doesn't, and What's Fair

Nanny and Paid Vacation