Pay Dilemma

Received Friday, June 20, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
I work occasionally for a great family that lives close by. Every year the parents take a vacation for their anniversary. While their parents usually keep the kids, this year they have asked me to stay at their house for around 5 days while they go out of town.

Here is the situation. They will be leaving sometime Thursday and getting back some time Monday. They have 3 kids, ages 2, 9, and 11. In the mornings I will get them ready for school, drop them all off at school and daycare, and then go to my regular morning nanny job from 7-12 (this job has nothing to do with them) and I am supposed to pick up all 3 kids from their respective places around 4pm. Take them home, feed them, homework, play, get ready for bed, etc. Then I'd be spending the night and starting all over the next morning. Saturday I take the 2 older kids to their relative's house so I'd just have the 2 year old for the remainder of the time. I will not be able to be at my house really at all, maybe 3 hours or so in between my other job and when I have to pick up the kids. I have a husband and step son of my own, so this will be taking away from my family/home life.

I'm very open to doing this, but neither I or the parents have any idea what a fair and also reasonable price would be to pay me for these 5 days. We both agreed to ask around a bit and then decide. Since I am not their nanny, and usually just their babysitter, I charge around $10 an hour for childcare when they go on date nights and such. I want to make these 5 days worth my time, and profit some cash, but at the same time don't want to charge them an arm and a leg. I did tell them any and all driving would cost extra, so I just want to know what I should charge them for my time. Thanks in advance. Any advice or ideas will be much appreciated!

-San Diego Nanny


Anonymous said...

Wow!! You don't charge alot do you? I would ask for $800 for the week.

What ballpark where you looking into?

chick said...

Charge your regular rate (or a few dollars more) for the hours you are with them and the kids are up (2 hours in AM, 5+ in PM?), then half-rate for sleeping hours, unless the 2 yo still wakes up at night needing care, then charge a bit more.

Keep your rate the same regardless of how many of the kids you have at any one time. The 2 yo needs full attention even if the older kids are gone.

If my estimate is right, this formula will garner you about $750, which seems reasonable.

Anonymous said...

Calif nanny here...I just spent Friday night thru Tuesday afternoon watching 2 little ones who's parents went to Cabo. I charged $75. for the overnight on Friday and $200. each for Sat/Sun/Mon and hour per hour at my regular rate ($16.) on Tuesday starting at 8am. The parents thought it was fair and I did too. I didnt charge extra for driving though. That included everything. My kids also had school on Mon and Tues. That wasnt a factor in the cost because I was there overnight and morning, and didnt go home either except to check on my 4 dogs. Not to dogs were taken care of by my live in boyfriend. They need their own nanny as well.

cheryl said...

My overnight rate is $75.
My overnight rate covers the hours between 10-6 AM. I am a salaried employee and my day ends at 7. From the hours between 7-10PM, I get $25 an hour (which is almost time and a half) and for the hours of 6-9 AM (when I normall start) I get $25 an hour. I don't like to work overnights, who does? But my employers are fair. The breakdown is essential because if I just babysit late, ie from 7PM-12AM, I would make $125 for the night. I'm young and energetic and have a great social life. Even if I get off at 12AM on a Thursday or Friday, I would still go out for a few hours. My employers appreciate that I am foregoing my social life to accomodate theirs and they pay fairly. Because everything is spelled out, everything is factual and there is no hemming and hawing. I write down what I worked and they pay it. I'm a pretty lucky person to have found this family but my employers probably have the coolest, fittest, most fun nanny on the eastern seaboard and they know it.

Marissa M. said...

Use a overnight rate for sure that should make it worth it for you financially but not too bad for them

LindaLou said...

my nanny friends occasionally do this and i think they get paid about $150/day.

Seaside Nannies said...

If you are a nanny in San Diego you should be charging a flat rate fee for your overnight services. I have been a nanny for 23 years. I now own a nanny agency and I still travel with specific families that will only take me to travel with them. I have been traveling with families for over 15 years and I have always charged a flat rate PER DAY. I tell my nannies that are registered with me to do the same. The "market rate" will depend on your demographic, however I would say for all you do with three children, you should be charging at least $225-$250 per day. All of this depends of course on their budget. However, parents that travel with their nanny are usually financially secure. And its usually a good sign that they can afford to take you with them and pay what you are worth. HAVE FUN!

mom said...

Wow. Things have gone up!
When I was in college (in the 80s) a family called me out of the blue to babysit for their daughter when they ewre on trips. I charged them $2.00 per hour as long as i was with their daughter (as in, not when she was at school), which they thought was outrageous...and were doubly mad when I wanted paid even for the hours the child was asleep. My reasoning was that I would rather be at home in my own bed and if I stayed there I wanted paid.
After two or three trips they replaced me with somebody cheaper!

UmassSlytherin said...

mom, that is really cheap, even for the 80's! :(

erics mom said...

Well I guess because the price of everything else has gone up. So they have to raise the cost for childcare too.

Mom, can you believe where I live to buy a loaf of Callandra's bread is $5.50!
Its crazy
Who would think I can't really eat what I love. Example: Cherries I love but where I am there at least $6-$8 a lb.

Anonymous said...

Here in upstate NY the agencies say to pay half the hourly salary for overnight hours, which would be about $50 a night for you plus you should be paid all day (maybe a lower rate) since you are emergency contact should something come up for their children. I always charge $2 more per hour for weekend hours. So, with all that said, if I were you I would charge them $600?

mom said...

Yeah, that's what I thought Umass. That's why, even being shy, I was willing to stare into the father's angry face and stick to my guns about being paid overnight. It wasn't worth it for me even to pack up my overnight bag for less. I didn't care if they hired me or not, really. They later called my younger sister, who was a freshman in high school, and wondered if she might do it fo $1.50 an hour. I just thought "Sheesh, how cheap can you be? This is your DAUGHTER!"

My sis babysat for them some, but wasn't even ALLOWED to do overnight babysitting at that age....which would have been 14 or 15.

Anonymous said...

My overnight rate for 2 children is $75 dollars which starts when the kids go to bed till 7:30 the next morning which is my regular work time. I charge $11 an hour for overtime so that would include hours worked on the weekend.

Sue Doe-Nim said...

If you don't get to go home then it's a 24 hour job.

$240 a day sounds like a bargain to me.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to charge for the hours between your normal job and the 4pm pickup time. I assume (having done this myself many times in the past) that you will need to be on-call for the children should a situation arise while they are in school. After all, the parents will have added you on as a person on contact should something happen. Also, make sure they give you a temporary power of attorney to make medical appointments and such if a child is ill or injured. I do this for a family at least twice a year (2 children) in the San Diego area, and never have been paid less than $1000 for a five day stay. Also, do they have pets you will be responsible for? That adds on an additional responsibility, and you should be paid for that as well. My pet rate is between $10-30 a day, depending on duties expected.

Just for info, I am a professional nanny of 10 years experience, have a degree in Child Development, doctorate in progress, and have also taught preschool and art classes. The families i work for have known me for years...

Anonymous said...

I charge my regular rate for the hours the children are awake, and $100 for overnight. If there is an infant who needs night time feedings, $150.
A Nanny

seattlenanny said...

I charge a flat $75 for sleep time, 8pm-7pm. I'm a little on the line about charging for time when I would be working at my other job. For sure I would charge them if I was pulled away from the other job to pick up a sick child etc..

nyc mom said...

When we take our nanny on vacation with us, we pay her a percentage of her weekly salary. If she has any nighttime childcare responsibilities, nighttime hours are included at an equal rate. She normally works 45 hours. So if, on vacation, she works 67 hours, we would pay her 1.5 times her weekly salary. We include all hours she is "on duty" regardless of whether we are helping or taking the kids entirely during that time. We usually just pay her for 7am-8pm (though she does not work 13 hours straight, of course) and assume we are paying paying extra for the luxury of flexibility.

I have never left my kids soley with one nanny for a few days. I always have a friend, family member, or two caregivers around just in case. I agree with other above that in your situation I would simply negotiate an overall rate. It sounds like you will work about 80 hours over the 5 days (4pm-7am Thurs and Fri night, 24 hours a day Sat and Sun, 2 hours Mon morning). It also sounds like you usually charge $10/hr for 3 kids and will often have only 1 child during this time and 40+ of the 80 hours all the kids will be sleeping. I would offer to do it for between $500-600. Please correct me if my math is wrong though. As an aside, I think the fact that you are working at another job has no bearing on what this family should pay you. Also, I would not bother with the driving hours as an extra. Just do a flat fee.

Anonymous said...

Here in Milwaukee it's around $75/ night for overnight care. So an overnight fee plus an hourly fee for your daytime hours would be fair. You should ask people who live in your area because obviously the rates vary depending on where you live.

mpp said...

Excellent advice, 4:01.
It is very important that you have Power of Attorney if you are to be the sole caregiver of a child for any reason.
A Custodial POA for a Minor is used when a parent or guardian of a child needs to temporarily appoint another adult to make decisions for a minor child.
This type of Power of Attorney should be used whenever a parent leaves his or her children with another adult.

fox in socks said...

OP, as I was reading your post I thought you were going to ask how you could get out of this arrangement, and why did you agree to this, because it is going to be rather impossible. I was surprised when your question was just regarding the proper price for your services.

I think that they way your schedule is set up now, it will be too hard. If you really must do this, can't someone else be hired for some of the time, to give you some relief?

You never know when kids get sick, have an accident, or whatever. The future is not predictable, and it sounds like you will be spread extremely thin. It could work out but it could also be somewhat disastrous.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Sarah and Mitch said...

Keep in mind that while they may be in school, you are not "off-duty." If the school nurse or principal calls for whatever reason, you will need to be there... otherwise, I don't know what to tell you. When I did a similar arrangement a few years ago, I was paid $950 for 10 days, as well as gas, groceries, and money for activities with the kids. This is in Reno, Nevada, however, not San Diego, and I really didn't know how to negotiate then... had never needed to.

But don't let anybody tell you that you are not working when kids are asleep or at school... do it, and watch one kid be up all night with croup, and one kid come home at 10am with a suspension slip... just be aware of that.

Anonymous said...

lol, good post S & M.

Anonymous said...

wow..I am shocked at the quotes that are being tossed around.

Who the hell can afford to pay someone $240.00 a day plus pay for their own vacation?
Is this really what it costs to lv your kids with a nanny for 41/2 to 5 days?
I know it is a huge job but wow..I am in the wrong line of work!

Anonymous said...

Not everyone can/
This is why some people hire uneducated monkeys to 'take care' of their children.

That is why people like me rely on our family to provide care.

If you dont have family, your SOL unless you find some pathetic schmuck who will work for crumbs.

Anonymous said...

1:51 PM
The $240 a day is not totally a vacation expense. At least half of that amount is what they are already paying the nanny when they are not on vacation.