What to Charge

Sunday, November 21, 2010
Opinion 4 
Hi I am new to the whole nanny career. I am just curious on what I should be charging. I live in Bergen County NJ My experience includes: attending college majoring in Early Childhood Education as well as a few credits shy of minoring in special education. I plan on graduating next month with my AAS I have been a part time/full time long term/short term babysitter/nanny for the past 10 years. I have worked with children ages 2 months-17 years old. Some children I have cared for have special needs including autism, add, adhd, aspberger syndrome, ocd, dyslexia, bi polar, cyrbral palsy. I have experience being a student teacher in both preschool and teaching hearing babies and their caregivers sign language certified in first aid cpr, and I give piano lessons and swim lessons.

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Ohio Nanny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NYCMOM2 said...

I think you would do well to market your special ed experience and education. This will give you fewer families, but likely those who will respect and treat you well since likely they now it is hard to find someone with that expertise.

I think you can research the hourly wages of the area by going to places where special ed nannies may go (such as JCC, ymca special ed classes) to learn more about this niche.

I would assume 15 dollars an hour minimum taking into account the functioning level of the child.

Ohio Nanny said...

I left a comment for a question I saw on another site, which is why I deleted above! Oooops!

You have experience for special needs but if you are not nannying special needs, then I would guess that your pay should not reflect that as it would if you were?

I agree that going with an agency might be best, but don't you think you may make more money working for a school system or private intervention program?

Anonymous said...

Hi guys this was my posting. I already have a profile with abc source, they just "wont introduce me to a family until I graduate" bs. I originally went to school for early childhood education but now realize I don't want to teach. I really love the one on one interaction with children, lately with sitter city and my highest paying gig is 12 an hour (lowest paying is 10) and I just feel I am worth a lot more and do not know what to ask for

ny mom said...

Why on earth would you work as a nanny with all that experience? You got all that education to be a glorified babysitter? Get a job in a school where you will get benefits, get to contribute to a retirement fund or a pension etc. If you want to earn a bit extra, babysit in the summer months or work at a day camp. Where is nannying for a family going to leave you in 10 years? The parents of these SN kids don't have all of your experience with SN kids - they learn as they go along and so could any person off the street hired to care for kids. If you want to be paid for your experience, get a job with a school district - you were trained to work with a group of SN kids or a class of kids. Don't expect a private family to pay you that much more than a regular nanny- unless MAYBE you get a job with a celeb like Angelina Jolie

bostonnanny said...

I'm actually gonna have to agree with NY Mom, you will make more money and have better benefits as a Special needs teacher. You are going to want job security and nannying won't give you that. Special needs teachers have smaller groups and more support then other teachers, they also make more money. Even if you found a job as a nanny you would most likely end up making the same or less then a special ed teacher but without most of the benefits teachers receive.

If teaching is absolutely out of the question then I'd say around $15 for one child without special needs. Be prepared to search for awhile and negotiate. I would also try to meet with local nannies and see what they are getting paid. If you find a family who needs a nanny for a special needs child be prepared not to make much more then normal nannies. Families are not paying nannies what they used too. Its a hard market and many settle.

nanny and mommy said...

As I don't live in your area, I'm not sure what the best rate to charge would be. However, on ANY site that you post your qualifications, I would highly recommend checking your spelling and grammar. Several words -- cerebral, bipolar, Asperger's -- were misspelled in your post. As as potential employer reading all of your qualifications having to do with your education, I would hope for more attention to those details. Yes, it is a small thing, but it counts. Good luck with your job hunt!

Manhattan Nanny said...

I also find being a nanny more satisfying than teaching. With your qualifications I suggest you consider looking for a live in job in Manhattan. There are families who pay top salaries on the books with benefits. Some families provide a separate apt. for the nanny. Top tier salaries vary with the number of children, but are generally higher than teachers here. Register with a selective agency that only works with baby nurses and nannies. These families don't use on line sites.
Unfortunately, this is not the best time of year to be looking. The beginning of Sept. is best, followed by the end of the school year, but it can't hurt to register, couples become new parents all year round.

Not a glorified babysitter said...

NY Mom,
I'm afraid it is parents who hire someone they look down on as a "glorified babysitter" who end up with the horrid caregivers we see posted about on this site.
It makes me sad to think a mom considers the protecting, teaching, nurturing and loving of her children is of so little value.

ChiNanny said...

You've gotten answers to your question, but I'm going to agree with nanny and mommy. You really need to go over your grammar, punctuation, and spelling when you post anywhere looking for a job. I read your post, but had a hard time taking you as someone who is serious and professional with so many basic errors. Proofread!

ny mom said...

Not a Glorified Babysitter,

I never said anything about 'looking down' on babysitters (or nannies for that matter). It's just that OP seems to want to be paid for her experience and schooling - she seems overqualified from an educational standpoint to work as a nanny. I know there are people here who are career nannies, but it doesn't take a degree to nurture, teach, love and protect children. It takes a person with a lot of patience and a kind heart. You don't gain those things from schooling. I've employed several nannies and sitters over the past 9 years and by far the BEST one I had was the one who was my former 1x a week cleaning lady who never graduated from high school.

On the other hand, I know there are families out there who are 'high end' types that eat the EC education thing up when it comes to a nanny - and they pay top dollar to their nannies. That accounts for the top 1% of the population. Maybe OP will luck out and score a job with one of these families (but it sounds like she has zero experience as a nanny). And she may be able to support herself well working for such a family....but what pension or retirement will she have when she is 70? Will she still be nannying at that age? Just sayin - with her background a nanny job doesn't seem like the best choice for her.

Mandy98824 said...

Hi guys OP here*
I know I really should have checked my spelling i wrote it really quick last night.
I understand there is "more money" in teaching but I really don't like the atmosphere of the classroom. I really like nannying. I do teach sign language and CCD still but thats only once in awhile type of thing.

nycmom said...

I agree with "ny mom" also. I think nannying is a great career that will earn you more on a cash basis if you are lucky enough to get a responsible, high-paying family as "Manhattan Nanny" suggested. However, I think MN is an outlier even in NYC. From what I've read she has much more experience and commands a much higher on-the-books salary than the vast majority of nannies. In general the population of nannies using ISYN reflect the more educated, experienced nannies in their area IMO.

Not to be a broken record, but I do believe the 2010 Park Slope Parents Nanny Survey (which you can google) is very accurate in reflecting the average wages and benefits for nannies in nyc and a good starting point. Your education is impressive, but I doubt it will afford you a much higher salary unless you get lucky enough to find a family that is a great match. You will do better in the long run if you can put your education to use in a larger organization with the opportunity to move up in salary.

Finally, I completely agree with "nanny and mommy" that you need to know how to spell and proof these things. If you have been in school for years studying these special needs areas, you should be able to spell them even on a casual post.

nycmom said...


Our posts cross-posted, so sorry if it sounds like I am harping on things you just answered!

Mandy98824 said...

it's all good =)
I know I could be making more as a teacher but it just causes more anxiety attacks then excitment just thinking about it.
I would love to start as a nanny (and if I wanna go to teaching I'll go do that and get my BA)
see around here with my AAS I will be lucky to get 10 an hour teaching. I really am tired and want to take a break from college. When or IF i decide nannying isn't for me I'll go back for my BA then masters (i tried to become a substitute already and the board of Ed laughed at me and told me I need my BA to sub and Masters to teach) -idk how true that is though.
I am just very curious to ball park how much I could/should ask for

ny mom said...

OP, you sound young and I can't help but want to give you advice. An AAS is not going to get you far in life. You need to get a BA and even an MA these days to enter into any career-type field where your salary will increase with experience. School is hard, life is hard. You have never nannied before and you really have NO idea how hard that is. It's true manual labor, 10-12 hour days with NO break. You are starting a critical point in your life where the path you choose will either lead to a career that blossoms or a dead end job where your salary will be flat your entire life with the exception of standard cost- of-living adjustments. It is so easy when you are young to fall into the trap of taking a job (such as nannying) that pays a lot more NOW than you could be making taking a job in your 'field"....but in 10 yrs, that job in your 'field' will be earning 2x as much as that nannying job you took 10 yrs prior). That $10 an hour job in your field has FAR more potential than nannying at $10-$15 an hour. That is why it pays $10 an hour. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to go back to school because once you get used to earning that "good money" it will be hard to give up and 'start over'. Not only that, but to move into that career teaching job, you'll still start at the same bottom of the pay scale you are scoffing at now, except you'll be 10 years older and maybe wanting to start a family - and your expenses will be higher than they are now and it'll be even harder to take such a huge pay cut. I am sorry if I am out of line, but you sound so sweet. If my daughter were in your shoes, this is exactly what I would say to her. Like NYCMOM said, the nannies that post on here seem to be more 'high end' nannies in their area - and these types of jobs are hard to come by. Getting started on a path like that requires some luck and good connections - much of what you can't control. Your average nanny-employing family is paying $700 a week, off the books with no benefits. Sound GREAT except you aren't paying into social security, have no health insurance and no future.

Bitty said...

To everyone saying she's too educated to be a nanny... she has an associate's degree. That doesn't make her overqualified to pump gas, and she certainly can't be a teacher with that.

theresa said...

I agree with nycmom.

don't be a nanny. if you are truthful in your qualifications, be a teacher.

nanny said...

ny mom/nyc mom:

we have seen from the connotations of your posts that you do indeed look down on childcare providers.

sorry, but you have been outed as an elitist.

Bostonnanny said...

I must say that if you only have 2 years of colleges and no experience as a full time nanny, then your gonna have an extremely hard time making more then $12 a hour. These families seem to be paying you right. I thought from your post you were almost done with your BA in education and had a little more experience as nanny. I'm in college now for social work with a focus on early childhood but I have 5 years of full time nanny experience plus working at a nursery on weekends and dealing with special needs children/teenagers. I'm finding it hard to find families who are willing to pay my rate plus benefits and I have six
months to look for a job.
I agree with the ny moms, stay in school switch majors to something else and only work as a nanny part time. You will regret leaving school because most nanny jobs lead to dead ends. Very few can make it a life long career and fewer can actually retire with peace of mind.
Good luck

ny mom said...


Nobody is looking down on you. Not everyone has the opportunity to go to college. It sounds like OP does. All I am saying is that it doesn't sound like being a nanny is in her best interest. Most nannies do not have a college education. In most cases, nannying is a dead end job. Why anyone would encourage a young person with some college under her belt to pursue a career as a nanny is beyond me. You may be a wonderful career nanny with a heart of gold. It sounds like being a nanny has really worked well for you. But it's a risky 'profession' to pursue, especially for someone in OP's situation. I'm sorry if this sounds elitist to you.

ericsmom said...


I don't know where in Bergen County you are. Theres a center called the The Childrens Therapy Center, in Fair Lawn, NJ.
They may be looking for a one on one. And I think they pay pretty good. And you have a school schedule and get benefits.

Check out there website. Its a great place. I worked there in the past. And was a one on one.

ericsmom said...

One on for children with special needs. And they also hire teachers assistants as well.

Pattycakes said...

I would charge depending on the children 16 for one child, 18 for 2 p/h and if chores are involved 25 cents extra per hour per chore.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I would strongly suggest that you consider continuing to attend school PT (even taking only one class at a time!) while you work as a nanny.

I am not sure that an AAS + your experience is going to mean high end nanny rates for you, even if you do work exclusively for families with SN kids.

I think you should look at wrking with agencies if they will rep you (many good agencies now seek nannies with 5+ years of experience or equal schooling/teaching levels) as well as using all available on-line avenues.

And also, if you are not into classroom teaching as your final step into a progressive career, CHANGE MAJORS as soon as you enter college as a junior! If you don't want to teach in the classroom, it seems a bit silly to be an education major in Special Ed!

If you do want to be a career nanny (and there are many of us out there), then major in something related to children and child development that you could then (with more schooling) eventually morph into another career if Nannying isn't your lifetime calling.

Good luck to you!

nycmom said...


ny mom and I are two different people! However, we do both agree (as do some nannies responding) that it is tough to get a nannying position that offers long-term job security and benefits. Not impossible, but difficult, especially in this economy. If that is what = elitist in your view, then so be it.

OP, I would actually say the average starting salary in Manhattan is closer to $600-650/week for 45-50 hours with 80% or more of families wanting to pay you off the books with ZERO benefits including no overtime for those hours above forty. If hourly then I would say $13-15 cash, though $15 seems to be a standard number. I see no harm in trying nannying for a year or two - you are young and seem to have a passion for it. But I think ny mom makes a great point about getting used to the initial higher take home and having it be tough to go backwards later. Still, if you love it and find a great family, it should give you a solid work reference and perhaps even some good connections through the family if you are lucky.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I don't understand why so many families are more willing to hire a nanny w/a college degree, even if it does not pertain to Child Development specifically. There are many nannies that are pursuing or have obtained degrees in Business, Law, etc. that get a higher salary than those who do not have a college degree. Just because someone has a college degree, does not mean that she will be a better nanny than one who does not. You can have a Ph.D from Yale, however if you do not possess a GENUINE LOVE for children, along with a healthy dose of patience, energy and the ability to multi-task and engage with a child for a long period of time w/no dedicated breaks, then no college degree will help you succeed in this field. NONE! How a certain type of person interacts and loves/cares for a child should be the most important factors in childcare. Not how many degrees someone has hanging on her walls at home.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Yahoo had a list of the top ten worst degrees that one can major in now a days. Child Development and Social Work were included in this list. Yahoo stated that any degree in the Child Development field would result in very little pay in the future. I think this is sad. Even if you go to college, take the required courses and learn about all of the stages of a child's development as well as obtain some hands on experience working with children, your future financial outlook looks very bleak.
I was once a Social Worker major, but had to change it a few years back because my career counselor advised me that the pay would be very little. These types of jobs are very important to society, yet like the Military they pay very little. :(

Bostonnanny said...

look at this way, if you had two women with the same amount of experience and are both great with children but on had a college degree which shows she spent years educating herself and shows personal discipline, which would you choose? The degree for most is just an extra bonus that can get you hired over someone else. Plus as a nanny you def want a back up plan because supporting yourself on 30,000 a year is extremely hard when u have car payments, rent, utilities, health insurance, retirement, school loans, or children to pay for. Plus there is no job security, most of the time it's not based on your work performance it's based on a families financial situation.

What yahoo fails to mention is that those degrees can be used in different related fields that earn more money. You
can get a masters in social work and become a therapist
which can make 75-120,000 a year. You can become a
teacher and focus on speech therapy which I suggest op do becaus she will use her degree and get one on one time with children.
If she only wants to work with children in a nanny setting and expects to make a ton of money with benefits long term, she's been misinformed. Wait til you have your own children to play house, in the mean time get a degree and a job that offers you a life long career. Down the line you will regret giving up your schooling to be a nanny.

I love being a nanny but I won't be one forever.

NannyinNJ said...

After reading over your credentials, and being a nanny in Morris County, NJ, I would charge nothing less that $15/hr, however, if you can negotiate higher, I would!

Have you tried looking in NYC or Boston? They both pay much higher!

Good Luck girlfriend!

Mandy98824 said...

Hey all OP here
Thank you so much for all your advice. I do belong to an agency- I only attend school Wed and Fridays so once I graduate then I will make my profile active for monday-Friday. I talked to my parents about it and "if" I don't fall in love with my occupation (or if I fail to find a family) then I'll go back to school for my BA.
I know that having a college degree doesn't mean crap in this profession but it definitly does give me a "benefit" over someone else they might be hiring. I do have a portfolio as well. I think I do have more experience working with none special education but I do have experience handling special ed. children as well.
So for all of you who think it's dumb for me to go into this profession I do have about 2 back up plans.

NannyinNJ said...

Hi again...I would also sign up for a few more agencies.

I saw that you signed up for ABC..and their great..but, for regular people like myself..

For you, I would go to the high priced agences...



Again, Good Luck!!

bostonnanny said...

Nanny in NJ,

I work in Boston and Beacon hill nannies will not accept anyone who doesn't have years of full time nanny experience or at least BA. They also need to be able to drive

Op, I'm glad you have back up plan. I want to also let you know that you will be up against nannies with BA not Associates for those high paying jobs. They will most likely have years of full time nanny experience.
I just want you to be aware and while your in school try finding a family to work for pt that way you gain more nanny experience. Actual nanny experience is more important then your education in this field.

Also learn your rights, what the typical benefits nannies in your area get and have a CONTRACT!

Mandy98824 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mandy98824 said...

OP here*
I got scared and I called my agency to talk a few things over. I mentioned to them that since I am so close to graduation if they can switch my profile to full time (with the start day after christmas) they said sure. I also talked it over with them with my goals (as to earning 750 a week) and I asked them if I am being unrealistic. They told me no and thats about average as to what to expect. I also mentioned I was worried because I don't know if I should go for my BA or if that would make a difference as to meeting families because I have no prior "nanny" experience just working as a long term full time babysitter- she said not to worry about anything- maybe I am just obsessing and putting thoughts in my head.
But I now know my goal of making 750 a week is obtainable (sigh of relief)as well as being paid on the books, with benefits such as paid time off (double sigh of relief)
I know there are plenty of other agencies out there but I rather stick with one then move onto the higher names later down the road.
As far as retirement money I already have a retirement fund from my bank (I started when I was 18)
Also Manhattan Nanny I was thinking of becoming a live in but I also feel like I need a life of my own and living under someone else's roof doesn't sit well with me I live at home with my parents and trying to move out as well (I need me space at times)
I'll let everyone know on here how it turns out

bostonnanny said...

I find it odd that your agency said only having an associates with no experience was okay. But I guess it must be your area. I hope you find a good position and remember to make sure you have everything you require stated out front. Know what specific benefits you want, how many hours you are willing to work, what household tasks your willing to do and again I'll mention get a contract. Is 750 before or after taxes and for how many children?

I also i'm glad your prepared for retirement and seem to be doing your research.

Mandy98824 said...

Hi boston,
I'm hoping to make 750 after taxes but we shall see what happens

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

OP, I have to tell you I think your agency might be leading you on. Agencies are known to opccasionally promise more than they can deliver.

If you can find a job with your salary and benefit requirements at your age and with your credentials, I'll be happy for you, and completely shocked.

***Nanny in NJ, I think the OP would be unable to meet placement standards for many of the agencies you listed unless she wishes to gain experience as a "Mother's Helper"...

Nannies and more... placement standards:

"For those applying for Professional Nanny and Governess positions, candidates must have at least full time 5+ years (cumulative) of professional private home childcare experience OR possess a Bachelor's Degree in a child-related area of study and must have at least full time 2.5+ years (cumulative) of professional private home childcare experience.

N+m recognizes that stay-at-home moms may just need an “extra set of hands” versus a Professional “full charge” Nanny. Therefore, N+m also places Mother’s Helper’s and Household Assistants who may have less than 5 years of professional experience and education but still meet the N+m standard of being “polished.” "

Lindquist Standards:

"You must have at least two years of recent full-time professional domestic experience in the U.S. (If you have part-time experience totaling the equivalent of two years of full-time experience, you may apply for part-time positions.)"

Katie Facey minimums...

"•A minimum of two years of professional domestic employment experience in your chosen field with stellar references.

Exceptions to this requirement:

* You are a nanny applicant who holds a Bachelors degree or Masters degree with a child-related major/minor
* You are currently or have been a school teacher
* You are applying to be a Mother's Helper "

Mandy98824 said...

Well like I said- I'll see what happens and I will let you know!

GoatEater said...

If you get what you think you're going to get with your lack of education and experience, I'll eat a goat. And I hate goat.

The only problem is we all know you'll come back and say you got what you wanted even if you didn't, which you won't unless you can extort someone into it. So I guess I'll just plan on not eating goat.

Mandy98824 said...

lol goat eater
You think someone who will work with children will be dishonest enough to lie about her pay to everyone. You surely don't know me then- I am not one of those type of people. I will let you (and everyone else know) exactly what happens- why must you be rude?
I just find it amusing that you think a dishonest person will be able to work with children

mom who used an agency said...


Agencies make money when they make a placement. They like to have as many nannies as possible to send out on interviews hoping a family will take one that they offer. When I was a first time mom, I called Francis Stewart Agency in NYC. They asked what salary range I was willing to pay and if on or off the books etc....This was 10 yrs ago and I was offering $550/wk net paid on the books-45 hrs a week, plus 2 wks vacation of the nanny's choosing, 1 week sick time (and told them we also go out of town about 4 wks/yr that nanny would have off with full pay. Some of the women that showed up at my door to interview looked like street hookers. I asked one how she came to be with the agency and she said she just answered an ad in the NY Times the day before. The agencies will tell you anything to get you to allow them to add your name to their roster of candidates they send out.

another nanny said...

OP- it sounds like you have your immediate plan worked out, but I just wanted to chime in and encourage you (as others have) to keep working towards your BA, even if you do just one or two classes at a time. I don't think you necessarily have to change your major though. You might enjoy being a Special Instructor through EI or an SEIT, which could both afford a more one-on-one experience with young kids with delays/special needs. And you would be employed by an agency, so you get normal benefits, and better opportunities for advancement.

poles marmer said...

tenkyu for usefull post..

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Yes, OP stay in school and always have a back up plan. Like many posters on here mention, being a nanny is not a job you want to do the rest of your life. It may not be a means to an end, but it isn't something us women think of when we are little girls. "When I grow up, I want to be a Nanny..." *Sigh* I suggest doing it along with pursuing your education. Many girls do this. They work as nannies while still in college.
BostonNanny, I think the reason Yahoo listed Social Work as one of the top ten worst college degrees is because obtaining one does not include a lot of Math and Science courses. What they stressed in their article was that certain majors, specifically those that included lots of Math and Science education, were the ones where the money is. I guess they mean Nursing, Engineering and Business Degrees make more money over Child Development, Social Work and Hospitality Degrees. I personally loved working toward my Social Work degree, but could not take the chance that I would regret it someday as my sister graduated with her Master's from SDSU and does not make very much money. I hope with my Business degree that I am obtaining, I can make waay more than she does. She only makes $3000/mo and she has had her degree for about six years.

Anonymous said...

all i have is 20 years of experience. and i get 15 an hour for 1 child. with your education level you should get much more. but I agree with the other comments. you should get into teaching or something with benefits and room to grow. you are educated. use it.

Jennifer said...

No brainer... At least $850 to $1000 a week before taxes...based on a 40-50hr week (with paid OT). I know you can get that...

anon #2 said...

I agree with everything Tales from the NannyHood wrote.
I am 99% sure ABC Nanny Source is just leading you on. Out of all the agencies I signed up with, they were the least professional- lot of empty promises- and calls with jobs that were so far off than what I told them, but they still kept calling, and got upset with me- when I told them the job did not sound like a good match for me. But that was about a year ago, so I hope they've changed- but would love to hear your recent experience.

*Jennifer- where are you from?
And what are you basing your salary suggestion on?
Many nannies in Bergen Cty would love that salary range, but reality is that most families want to pay $15 tops- and 80% of families pay off the books.
Unless the nanny is top notch and on call 24/6 or 7- and willing to give her life to the family.

Having a great education is a smart move- but honestly- in the general nanny community- most families want affordable nannies-which falls into the $12 to $15 per hour range. So having that degree maynot be the key.

I also want to metion most nanny jobs last about on average- 5 years-so factor in looking for a new job about every 5 years or so -which is very difficult- and to find a good job- takes about 3-8 months.
Good luck- and I hope you keep sharing your experience!

repost for anonymous

Anonymous said...

Just a follow up. I found a GREAT position (I start tomorrow) hours are 7:45-4:00 m-4 for a special needs 2 year old for 550 a week!!

Anonymous said...

Hey all, so I didn't take the job* OP here. I got a better position 35 hours per week + over time + medical and dental 525 per week.
thanks for all your help!