Zzzzz... How Much Should Nanny Charge?

Friday, November 19, 2010
Opinion 4 Please help me out guys! I need your input here! I recently watched a 5 1/2 yr old boy and the father is leaving the rate up to me. I have already watched him earlier this week and the father is holding payment for me until we can agree on a set amount. Note: I have babysat for this family before, but only a few hours here and there, so I know they WILL pay is just a matter of HOW MUCH and what is fair for me. I know we should have discussed payment amount prior to me accepting the job and we meant to, but we always got distracted by details and such of other aspects of the job.

Okay. I arrive at my employer's home at 3:30 AM, then Mom & Dad leave (they took a business trip to Humbolt CA). Boy was sleeping, then per instructions, I woke him up at 6:00 AM and got him ready for school. Drove him to school at 6:30 AM (across town, about 1/2 hour drive), then after I dropped him off at 7:00 AM I went home to my house and stayed until he had to picked up at 1:45 PM. Then picked him up, went home to his house, where he played, watched T.V., played video games and we went swimming in his backyard pool. Then he went to bed at 8:30 PM. Then woke him up at 6:00 AM and drove him to school at 6:30 AM again, dropped him off at 7:00 AM and then went to my house and the parents were going to be home to pick him up after school so my job was done at this point.

I have two questions. After I dropped off the boy at school, while I was free to go to my house, I still felt like I was "on call" in case boy fell ill at school or otherwise. Do I charge for this? Also, while many 5 1/2 yr old children normally sleep all night, this boy did not. I think he must be a sleep walker as I awoke 3x during the night and he was standing beside my bed speaking to me over and over. Also, about 5x during the night, he woke up crying he missed both parents and I gently rubbed his back to comfort him and put him back to sleep again. Needless to say, I did not get a sound sleep. My friends (who are not nannies by the way) all say that since the boy didn't sleep all night and I had to get up multiple times, that I should charge my normal daily hourly rate. I was going to ask for a flat rate, but that was on an assumption that I would get some rest. Zzzzz...

Also, do you think even though my charge was in school, I should still charge something as I was "on call" which meant that I could not plan anything DEFINITE for myself during those hours in case the worst case scenario occurred? For example, kid got sick, injured, etc. and I had to pick him up from school unexpectedly? Thank you so much in advance for your input/advice. I really need to know from a nanny's perspective. I live in Bakersfield, CA.


nycmom said...

This is tough without knowing the going rate in your area. In NYC I would say a very common average rate is $15/hour. My experience on 24-hour rate is $250-300. If I'm doing the math correctly it sounds like you worked 24 hours, plus an extra 3.5hrs. Since your nights were tough, yet your day was free but "on call" I would venture $300. But there are admittedly a lot of variables in terms of your area, your experience, your expectations, and your prior rate with this family (which is probably the biggest factor).

ohionanny said...

When I do a job like this, we negotiate a flat rate. I feel the flat rate takes the - 'well, you slept at night and didn't have to do anything, and then you had 8 hours free while he was in school'- out of the equation. While parents, even well meaning ones, do know that you're 'on call', sometimes it kills them to have to pay you hourly for 'doing nothing'.

like nycmom says, tho, it really depends on the area you are in. I vote flat rate!

Tired and Confused Nanny said...

Thanks both of you for the advice. nycmom, the going rate and what they paid me previously when I did "date night" babysitting was $11/per hour. And yes, I did do 27.5 hours total. My experience is that I have raised three children already + I have been doing short term (5 mos or so) part-/full-time nanny and babysitting jobs off and on for the past three years.
ohio nanny, I cannot stand those lines about "how I am doing nothing." Believe me, I get them all the time. But during the day, I could not do anything dedicated 100% to me (see a movie w/a friend or visit the zoo) w/out checking my phone every say 10. min or so. I truly felt "on call" the whole day. God Forbid if the child fell on the playground or got a fever, et. cetera, and both parents were out of the city. I would have full responsibility and I could never have lived with myself if the school wasn't able to get in touch with me. Also, indeed my night was tough and I didn't sleep well at all. I have had toddlers who sleep much better than this child.
I live in California..Bakersfield.
Help!! The father needs an answer tomorrow.
Keep all the great advice coming please.

Village said...

Minimum $10 a hour no matter where you are, or $240 for 24 hours. You can work it out so that is it more per hour during the day, and less per hour during the night, but the bottom line is the minimum for 24 hours should be $240. I'd round up to $250 and call it a day.

Manhattan Nanny said...

You arrived at 3:40 A.M. I would charge an extra $1,000 for that! Seriously, I think you should charge your regular rate for the hours you worked, half rate for the hours you were on call, plus a flat overnight rate. For overnights I charge $100, or $150 with infants who don't sleep through the night.

Tired and Confused Nanny said...

Manhattan Nanny, I love your idea of charging $1,000 for having to be there at such an early hour. I sure will run that by my boss and we will see what he says!! LOL.
Thanks so much guys for the support.