Tuesday

When is the appropriate time to give a nanny a raise?

Received Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Okay, so this is not a nanny sighting, but I have a question for nannies and their employers... When is the appropriate time to give a nanny a raise? We have a nanny who has been with us for 6 months now. I have no complaints, she is reliable and my children adore her. We pay her the salary that she suggested during her interview. While we are financially strapped a little as it is, I don't want to miss the "right time" to acknowledge that we are pleased with her work. And before you all start in on me about not having a nanny if I can't really afford one... save your energy. I choose to have a nanny rather than daycare (which would just never be an option for me) or whatever other suggestions you have for me. If I have to do without a little something extra in my life to have really good childcare, then so be it. My question is what is the typical time frame before a raise, and what is the typical amount of a raise. Thanks in advance for your advice.

21 comments:

Nanny B said...

OP-thank you for asking for advice, rather than just letting time pass by without knowing what to do to compensate this nanny. Traditionally in a contract raises and reviews would be built in, so I'm assuming this was not talked about before the position was filled. Typically around 6 months you can do a performance review and instead of giving a fiscal raise, maybe compensate this nanny in another way, such as a massage or extra time off if that is possible. Around a year is the time to give another performance review and a minimal raise, such as 20 extra a week or in some cases, to compensate in other ways such as paying for health benifits, car insurance for a year. While nannies are not always looking for monetary gain, we do however ask for positive feedback,encouragement, and trust me, any extra time off paid is wonderful! Kudos to you for putting your children first and beliving in a nanny.

Anonymous said...

nanny b said it great! And yes, OP, you must be a great employer to think of this.

A raise is usually not expected, unless outlined in the contract, but it always welcome :)

An extra paid day off would be nice, as would a cash bonus or gift certificate to a favorite store/restaurant. A nice note of appreciation is always welcome!

jill said...

A raise is normally given annually. I have given employees raised after a shorter time if I hired them on the cusp of the average salary, they were excellent and I wanted to secure that they would be with us for awhile.
You however, didn't use the word excellent. I think a nice note and a gift card to somewhere, even a bookstore would be much appreciated. Don't forget, it is standard for nanny to get one week pay after she has worked six months.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the earlier posters. A raise is not necessary at 6 months, but positive feedback is always good. You should make sure you also give her a bonus at her birthday (I gave ours 1/2 week's pay in a card and the children threw her a little party with a cake they decorated with me over the weekend and pictures they drew for her) and at the holdays (one week's pay).

Anonymous said...

Do you have a contract? Some employers like to do bi-yearly raises..(every 6 mo) and some just yearly. But watch out if you choose to do yearly and make it a bigger raise..I only got 50 cents..and it doesnt seem fair that it should last me the whole year!

Anonymous said...

People usually give raises at the 1 year anniversary. If you want to do something nice for her at 6 months, I would suggest sitting her down-telling her how happy you are with her work and giving her a little gift. Perhaps a gift certificate to a local salon where she can get her nails done or a massage and facial would be nice. Then at 1 year-if you are pleased with her work, I would give her a raise of a dollar per hour.

Annie said...

Nanny B: That was a very nice comment, and I agree with you on everything except the $20 a week bit. I suppose if you are a babysitter working for $10 an hour 20-30 hours a week, $20 extra/week would be fine. However, if you are a professional nanny making $15-20/hour 40-50 hours a week, $20 extra/week is a very piddling amount. A percentage of your salary is a much better guideline. Somewhere between 5-10% is standard for an annual raise.

Of course, if you didn't stipulate this in your contract before hand, you're somewhat at the mercy of your employer.

Jill: It's totally news to me that it's standard for nanny to get one week pay after she has worked six months. I wish I'd gotten that memo years ago!

OP: I want to echo what the other commenters have said. Positive feedback is worth a great deal. Everyone likes to know that they are appreciated.

jill said...

I am sorry,
I meant it is cutomary for the nanny to get her first week of paid vacation after working six months. And always encourage her to take it! It helps recharge your nanny & keep things bright!

Anonymous said...

Wages and hours worked are not what distinguishes a babysitter from a nanny.

Annie said...

11:25: You're right that wages & hours are not the only things that distinquish a nanny from a babysitter. I felt comfortable making the generalization, however, because often it's true that babysitters work less frequently and for less money than nannies.

Anonymous said...

On the anniversary of her start date a formal performnace/salary review is a great idea. A 3% raise is standard in the business world. 4% -5% suggests that you think she is doing an exceptional job. My suggestion would be to give your Nanny a small "bonus" now, and let her know that you will be reviewing her salary at her one year anniversary, and you couldn't be more pleased with the care that she is providing for you and your family.

Kristin said...

I love positive feedback from an employer! I also love the gift certificate!

In my contract it states that I have two weeks of paid vacation and three sick/personal days. Those are in effect from the day the contract was signed.

I was at my current job only two weeks when my birthday came. They gave me a beautiful photo album and a $50 gift certificate to one of my favorite restaurants. That was definitely more than I was expecting, having just started with the family.

According to Emily Post Ettiquette books, a nanny's Christmas/holiday bonus should be one week to one month's salary. I have never received the month's worth of salary as a bonus, but have received one week of salary (in cash, no taxes).

fg said...

If this were any other job, I think an employee would get a review and possible raise after one year as well as some vacation time, and then of course, a cost of living/misc. raise at year end. How considerate of you to ask for advise on this and try to do the right thing for a good nanny, at least I hope a good nanny. Kudos to you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to everyone for the advice. We did give a Christmas bonus (one week's salary, plus a gift from the children), and I give paid holidays of course. I tell our nanny frequently how pleased we are... and if I get the day off of work at the last minute (which happens at least 2-3 times a month)I tell her to take the day off (paid). So, I feel like she knows that she is appreciated. I just didn't know the customary raise info. I would hate for her to be thinking... wow, if I was really doing a good job I'd have been given a raise by now! Anyway, thanks again for the great suggestions and comments.

Anonymous said...

As a nanny, reading all these, I feel like I've been ripped off. I have been with my current family for 10 months now, and haven't seen a raise at all. I have only recieved a $50 gift card at the 3 months (which was totally appreciated and unexpected) and then got gifts for Christmas. My birthday has recently passed and all I got was pictures the kids drew for me. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job. I love the kids. I get along well with the parents. I figure I will give them until the year anniversary rolls around to see if I get a raise at all. But good for you for asking what should be done! Your nanny is lucky to have you considering a raise at 6 months!!

Annie said...

I don't understand why you, 8:41, feel ripped off by reading the comments above. Most everyone above has said that a raise is not standard until a year has past. Gifts are always nice, but they're not something you've been promised, so I thing you shouldn't feel cheated if you haven't gotten as many as other people may have.

A raise, when you've worked for the family for 12 months, however, is something you are reasonable to anticipate. I do urge you not to wait and "see" if you get a raise, though. If you don't have a contract that stipulates what will happen at your anniversary, I think you should request a meeting with the parents. Sit down beforehand and make a list of all the things you think you've been successful at over your year with them, then give some thought to things you could improve with yourself and changes (if there are any) you'd like them to make.

Then, in the meeting, bring up the subject of a raise. Give thought to what would make you very happy, what would be a good raise, and what would simply satisfy you. Listen to what the parents say and take things from there.

It's always best to be proactive when it comes to your career. In many circumstances people aren't going to just hand you raises and incentives if they think you won't raise your voice in your own defense.

Anonymous said...

NEVER! not even a real job

Anonymous said...

I'm a specialist nanny in Australia valued around $65,000 per year. I have however taken a position at a very reduced rate. My employers are fabulous. Its the small things like something sweet at eleven am when the kids are starting to get cranky. Acknowledging birthdays, Christmas etc. Listening when they get home realising that you haven't spoken to an adult for a while. Money is realitive as long as she has enough to comfortably live ( no one expects to get rich from being a nanny ) and you provide 110% support and encouragement you can garantee she will stick around and be good to your children.

Anonymous said...

If the kids like her, and you feel comfortable with her, and she's responsible, etc., do whatever you can to show her you appreciate her. There are alot of nanny jobs out there and not as many good nannies. The gifts, extra days off, etc. are good to make up for it if it's too steep for you financially... also asking what snacks she likes to keep around the house is another good way to show you appreciate her without it costing you much.

Anonymous said...

Damn! I need to move to Australia!

Anonymous said...

From a nanny's perspective:

I have 5 yrs. experience as a nanny, AND over 20 yrs. experience as a babysitter.

Currently I work part-time in Wisconsin. Two kids, 8hrs./days.

THe family takes care of major medical insurance for me.

THat's all the good stuff, now for the mediocre stuff....

I don't get paid when they are off on a vacation.
Holiday bonus was $100.
No birthday gift.
No anniversary bonus.

Hmmmm. How does one gently mention that it is a nice gesture to give as listed in the last paragraph????

THey are by NO means strapped for cash, and i'm their 3rd nanny.

thanks from Wisconsin