Giving Myself a Raise

Received Sunday, December 20, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN I have a question and I would love some advice from all of you.

I'm a college student who does some babysitting for a few families. Right now it is on a strictly as needed basis. One of the families has 4 girls, ages 3-8, and I have been babysitting for them for over 3 years. For one summer I was their live-in nanny, and for another full year I lived above the garage and had regular hours throughout the week. During this time I have never received a raise from them; I still make $10 an hour, which is the rate I agreed upon when I began as an occasional babysitter. I often feel taken advantage of with this family- they arrive home late without calling, I end up paying for things without being reimbursed, etc, and I know that this is mainly my own fault for not speaking up, but still feel that I'm not getting paid what I deserve for the work I'm doing.

The other family I babysit for has only one child, a 1 year old girl. From that family I am paid $12-13 an hour (the mother always rounds up, so my pay varies).

Now my question is this. I have no contract with either family; they simply text me to ask if I'm available on a certain night. Is it okay for me to simply let the first family know that I've decided to raise my rate? I'm not sure how else to go about this, since I'm not really their nanny anymore, though sometimes I feel like I still am, but I know I won't be given a raise if I don't ask for it. I appreciate any advice you can give me


Upstate Mom said...

It's fine to notify a family that as of the new year your rates are going up to reflect the "going market" or something like that. If they choose not to call you after that, that is their choice. Let them try to find someone they trust to watch all of their kids for $10. Can't be done. Happy Holidays.

Single Lady said...

I do this sort of business too, and if the family was treating me well I either wouldn't bother (respecting the good relationship we have and the good references I will get from them) or inform them WHY my rate was going up (i.e. I have more experience, I'm CPR certified now, etc). Once you have more to offer a new family, your time is worth more.

On the other hand, I've had a few families do what you're describing- arriving home late, not necessarily paying what you're owed, etc. and those families I usually just stop being available for. They're taking you for granted which says they don't think your time is worth much at all. I would look into getting a new family or two and see how much they appreciate you when they suddenly don't have a babysitter at all.

Nannytoo said...

I think both the pp's are correct. This family is taking advantage of you- one valid option would be to gently "ditch" them. However, if you prefer to ask for a raise, then just say, "After New Year's my rates are going up to $13 per hour" or whatever you decide. It's worked for me in the past.