Is Paying for Nanny's Cab Fare Fair?

opinion 2 Is it typical for a family to pay for a taxi after a certain time at night? Is it something you would bring up? I babysat for a family last night and they got home a little after 1am. I decided to just take a taxi home because waiting for the train could take a long time and I also didn't feel completely safe taking it home by myself that late at night. They didn't pay me extra for the taxi so I ended up spending a little over an hours worth of my pay that night on the taxi. I was bummed about that! I live in NYC if that makes any difference.


Emily said...

It's perfectly fair for you, as the contractor, to make it clear to the parents that after a certain time in the evening you require the additional payment of $X to take a cab home b/c you don't feel safe on public transit at that time of night. That way the parents can weigh your actual costs against other options and chose accordingly.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I live in CA where no one takes the taxi and everyone drives so my opinion is not from any personal experience. However, if I lived in a city like NYC, and I got off at 1 AM, I would most definitely ask for cab fare..however it would be fair to ask prior to accepting the job, not springing for it last minute.

For instance, you can say, if the position ends after a certain hour, then you would not feel right jeopardizing your personal safety on the way home and would require cab fare.

nycmom said...

Yes, it is fairly standard for the family to provide cab fare, though the hour varies. I have heard anywhere from after 8pm-10pm. We do 10pm because my job routinely gets me home at 9:30pm.

I also just do a flat rate $20 late night bonus. I have heard too many stories of annoyed parents b/c the nanny pockets the "cab fare" and takes the train. I prefer to just call it a bonus and she can do what she chooses. This might not work if my sitters lived in far Queens or Brooklyn as a cab would be $30-35, but luckily mine are all closer.

I definitely agree with JMTT that this is something (like *everything*) that needs to be discussed by both parties prior to hiring. However, since you seem new to night sitting in NYC, just be honest and explain the situation. Many families will arrange a car service for you.

Village said...

Yes-It should be part of the initial contract. If the parents are not home by a certain time, then cab fare kicks in.

AMom said...

I live in NYC, it's very common practice to pay for a cab to send the nanny home in 9if one of the parents can't bring her home themselves), after a certain hour. usually 9pm or 10pm. At 1am, they certainly can't expect you to get on the subway.

Ms.Nanny said...

I agree with nycmom and like the idea of a late night bonus for cab fare if the nanny so wishes. My employers have always been incredible about making sure I feel safe getting home if there is inclement weather or if they are home late. They have driven me to the subway sometime or called a cab and paid the fare for me. Employers should view the safety of their employees as a priority and employees should use their best judgement when it comes to their safety. An employer showing extra concern by paying cab fare or at least checking in with the nanny and making sure she feels safe getting home shows respect and concern that goes a long way in cultivating a positive employer/employee relationship and having a nanny/regular babysitter who is loyal and willing to go the extra mile for their employers.. a win win situation!

CalcuLATER said...

I was born and raised in NYC and have been babysitting here since I was 13 (10 years) I have always been given cab fare home if the parents get home late. Usually if the parents get home after 9, I get cab fare. In fact, I have a personal policy that I will never ever take the train alone at night. If I don't have enough money to afford a cab home, and i know i wont be able to take the train with one of my friends/roomies, I just don't go out. If I were you, I would I would adopt a similar policy. The trains in NYC are usually desolate and shady at night.

But you should absolutely talk to the parents! Tell them that you feel unsafe and uncomfortable taking the train alone at night, and that you will only be able to watch their child in the evenings if they include money for you to get home safely.

Vanessa said...

Of course they should! Especially in a place like NY where many people use cabs and public transportation as their only way to go from one place to the other.

People can be so inconsiderate.

aria said...

I think it is definitely fair, but that you should make it clear what your rules are for the next time. Where I live, the metro closes at a certain time (between 11:30-2:00) and so I say that if I stay past 30 minutes before the closing of my line, they have to pay me cab fare. Decide what you're comfortable with, and make your rules accordingly.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

As a suburbanite, I have no experience with this issue, but I would just say to nighttime clients from now on:

"I charge an additional $20 for late night sitting so that I can take a cab home instead of using the subway. That fee kicks in after X pm."

And if they don't want to pay for you to get home safely, why would you want to work for them, right?

Manhattan Nanny said...

Yes, in NYC cab fare at night is standard and the time varies from 8-10 PM. If they are new parents, they probably don't realize that. When you interview with parents, always mention it, for example you might say I charge $17 an hour for two children, and cab fare after 9 PM.
Never take the subway alone at night!

Wow said...

I would never work for them again if I were you. They went out, had their good time, then sent you into the NYC night alone at 1 a.m.? That's so inconsiderate and uncaring.

It's good you asked the question, though. Now you know what to ask for in the future.

UmassSlytherin said...

Wow is right on the money. They were completely unconcerned for your personal safety and welfare. I would absolutely not work for them again based on that alone.

NYC sitter said...

As a nanny, I ask for either cab fare or a ride after 10pm. I have many families that do the 'late night bonus' as opposed to calling it cab fare. While I appreciate the sentiment I don't ever pocket the money personally, I want the cab ride! Maybe if the train ride wasn't so long it would be worth it, but I'm doing it so I can get to bed at a semi-decent hour and be up for work the next day.

Nanny of One said...

Dear OP:

In my various years of experience it is expected that the family pay for the nanny to get home during a late night or drive her home themselves.

If I were you, when taking on any babysitting position I would for sure have a contract or a simply letter that both yourself and the parents sign.

In this letter I would state:

A $5.00(or more) surcharge applies when the parent(s) are 15 min or more past time of which they agree to be home.

The sitter(namely myself), shall be provided either a.) Cab Fare or b.) safe mode of transportation home, in the event that the shift exceeds 9:00pm. (insert a time you are okay with).

The parent is responsible for providing contact information. THus, Please list emergency contact information, as well as medical information below:

You (the client) are responsible to provide any infromation pretaining to a.) the child, b.) pets in the household, or c.) the family household/neighbourhood in general as it pretains to child-care related duties and personal saftey.

By signing this contract, you agree to abide by the above terms.This contract begins on (insert date of service) and terminates upon my arrival home on (date of service)

I (insert nanny/sitter name) agree to provide you with the following duties while in service:

- An outdoor activity
- Provide snacks/meals/drinks
- A craft
- A game (monopoly or what have you)
- Bath/Wash-up
- Bed time routine.
- Provide saftey and security to your child(ren) in your absence.

At the end of this evening I will give you a breif review of the night's events. Thank-you for using my sitting service.

I know it may seem a bit much but I treat this job as professional service rendered and thus expect to be treated as such in return as well as provide exceptional child care.


Nanny of One

TC said...

I think it's reasonable and it seems as if it's pretty common.

I live in the 'burbs and everyone around here has a car. When I was too young to drive the family always took me home.

Question though, wouldn't it be considered part of the cost of the job? Most jobs don't pay for transportation to and from work or the clothes you wear so on that same token wouldn't it be considered your responsibility to pay for your cab fare home?

bluebell said...

I can honestly say that I've never had a babysitting job where the parents have not either driven me home after they get back or paid for a cab for me. Not looking after a sitter's welfare is just plain cheap, as well as uncaring, and will guarantee they won't want to sit for you again!

MissMannah said...

No one takes cabs or any public transportation here, so maybe I just don't get it, but shouldn't it always be your own responsibility to get yourself home? I'm assuming you are an adult and the parents told you ahead of time they were coming back really late, so I don't see why they should have to be responsible for you. I don't ask the parents I babysit for to provide gas money.

I agree with everyone that it seems like a common courtesy, same as them paying for your dinner while you're at their house, but it isn't something they should HAVE to do.

calcuLATER said...

TC and MissMannah,

In NYC, not many people drive, obviously. To get to and from work, most people use public transportation for $2.25/ride. You guys wouldn't ask an employer to pay for your gas money, because regardless of the time that you arrive/leave the job, you would always be driving home no matter what. If someone finishes babysitting at 7pm, he/she would most likely take the train home for under $3.00. However, if someone is babysitting until 1am, it is SERIOUSLY unsafe and time consuming to take public transportation in the city, and taking a cab home can cost anywhere from $5-$20, depending on how far away from home you are.

Just to give you guys an example of the kind of shit that happens on the train, here is the story of something that happened to my best friend on her way home from work at 10pm on the Q train to 59th street:

She was buying a metrocard when a large man approached her and mumbled something to her. As this guy was a stranger, she simply ignored him and went through the turnstile. While she was waiting for the train he came up to her, and said "did you hear what I said?" and she said "i don't know what you are talking about" and he goes "I said, you are going to go missing." My friend was seriously scared, and told an MTA employee, who said he didn't want to get involved. then the train arrived, so she got on, instead of staying on the track alone with this psycho.

He spent the ride staring her down and muttering things under his breath, and she ignored him and avoided looking at him until her stop. Finally, it was her stop and she got off. He got off too and started following her. She saw him get off and got back on the train in a different car. He followed her back on the train and started threatening to stab her and murder her.

Luckily an italian man on the train interfered and told this guy to leave her alone, and threatened to hurt him if he touched her. The lunatic got off the train, and then my friend stayed on the train for a few more stops until she felt safe enough to head back.

So MissMannah, if you were paying a 20-30 year old young woman to keep your child safe, would you feel like you were doing the right thing in sending her home late at night on a train where something like this could very likely occur? Or do you think it is appropriate for her to spend up to an hour's worth of pay getting home without risking her safety?

Basically what it comes down to is, if you are an employer in NYC and you don't want to pay your nanny or babysitter the extra money to get home safely, then plan on getting home at a reasonable hour so that the babysitter can take the train/bus home.

fyi guys-my boss also asks me to text her when i get home safely if I am sitting at night.

MissMannah said...

You must seriously underestimate my intelligence. I'm not an idiot, I know it isn't safe for a young woman to be riding the train alone late at night. You did not read my post carefully, I guess. I said OP is an adult and as an adult, it is her own responsibility to ensure her own safety. How she goes about doing this is a different matter. The most logical solution is to plan for the future. Most parents will give you a general idea of what time they'll be home when they book the babysitter. If they told her at the time "We'll be home late" then why didn't OP make the arrangement right then and there for cab fare? She doesn't have the right to complain if she just assumed the parents were going to pay for it, because like I said, it is not a requirement but it is a nice bonus or courtesy.

I'll give you another example to drive the point home further. In my state, we have a ton of toll roads and I was offered a nanny job that was going to cost me $7 round-trip. I told them I would accept if they'd pay the tolls and they said no way. So I turned down the job because I am not taking $35 out of my weekly salary plus gas.

OP Here said...

Thanks everyone for your input! It was my first time doing late night sitting in NYC so now I know to bring it up before hand.

CalcuLATER...I couldn't have said it any better. And wow...very scary for your friend!! Glad she got home safe.

I think it's totally different when you have your own car. You probably wouldn't think a job is worth it if you had to pay $10-20 worth of gas money just to get home right? If you don't have a car in NYC and your choice is to either pay $17 (in my case) or take the subway home and risk your safety...for me it's not really an option. I'm not going to risk my safety to save some money. But then the 5 hour job I took is now down to 4 hours worth of pay because of that. I'm not saying it's something parents should HAVE to do but I guess something that they should do.

Also, my husband works at an ad agency where they pay for a cab after a certain time (I think 9pm). So I know there are other jobs out there that do this.

OP Here said...

MissMannah- I wasn't complaining..I was just asking a question. I didn't think about the fact that I should ask for cab fare beforehand so yes that is my fault. I wasn't even sure if that is typical which is why I asked. They also told me they would be home around midnight when asking if I would babysit and for some reason I just assumed I would take the subway home at midnight and it didn't seem like a bad idea at the time. When I got there though they said it could be anywhere from midnight till 1am and then they arrived around 1:15 so it was a lot later than I originally thought it would be. But yes I know either way midnight or 1am is not that big of a difference and I should have asked for cab fare either way. Now I know.

calcuLATER said...

Yeah she got home safe, but she was utterly traumatized! i live close by so she made me come sleep over that night. Her salary also doesn't really allow her to take too many cabs, so after that experience she decided to re-work her budget so that she never has to take the train at night.

MissMannah, why are you always so confrontational with people? I don't think that you are an idiot, you have had some good opinions on here. But when the discussion is about whether or not an employer should pay for cab fare home for the babysitter, and you simply say "I don't expect my employer to pay for my gas money, OP is an adult and should be responsible for herself" why would I assume that you mean to clarify the cab fare situation up front? I read that and thought you were saying that the OP should pay her own way for a cab home. This is the internet, not a group of mind readers. There is really no need to get all crotchety.

Also, if an employer doesn't want to shell out too much extra money to get the babysitter home, its pretty easy to ask the babysitter where she lives and then look up how much a cab ride home would cost on I live about a mile from my charge's house, and at night when there is no traffic, the cab ride is about $8.00 + tip, so my boss just gives me an extra $10 to get home.

MissMannah said...

"why would I assume that you mean to clarify the cab fare situation up front? I read that and thought you were saying that the OP should pay her own way for a cab home."

You don't assume, just like OP shouldn't have assumed. No one should ever assume anything. I was saying that. She saw that she neglected to ask up for cab fare so she had to pay for it herself. That's exactly what I was saying. Of course she should pay for her own way.

ruth said...

I have bee babysitting for families living on manhattan for 3 years and I have never taken the cab home. I take the cab at 2 am or whenever.

One time I got cab money when I finished at 4am down in tribeca but I took the subway home (96st) anyways, because it is faster and cheaper. Another time I got cab money when the weather was "bad". I walked home. (40 blocks.

About 95% of the time I have been babysitting and finished after 11pm I have not got cab money. I have never asked for it either, but accept it if they give it to me.

I live in manhattan and if I lived out in queens or brooklyn I might feel different. I also found that families living in my hood liked that I lived close by, probably because they dont feel like they have to pay me for the cab. Im 30 years old and not scared of taking the subway in the middle of the night.

ruth said...

I mean " i dont take the cab home at 2 am or whenever" I wished you could edit your post on this site.

bostonnanny said...

I live in Boston and have never been offered cab fare or know of anyone who has. However, now that we have a second car I refuse to babysit for anyone that doesn't have parking available for me. Because I'm not taking the train/bus home and I am definitely not using my money to pay for a cab.
I actually have an interview with a family in Southie for a babysitting gig, i asked if parking was available and they said there was and they would help me find a spot. ummm, I'm hoping they mean in a parking lot attached to their building because if they are suggesting I can find parking in Southie especially in the winter they are fucking crazy. I really don't need to be circling the block for 20 mins just to accidentally park in someones spot and get a rock in windshield.
so I can understand why in NYC paying cab fare is necessary. otherwise you could limit your options for babysitters.

Manhattan Nanny said...

Not taking cabs at night isn't brave or cool. It is naive. I wasn't afraid to take the subway at night when I first arrived in NYC. Either. I was mugged, and seriously injured while walking from the subway station to my apt.
You may take the subway at night without incident many times, but it only has to happen once. TAKE A CAB!

San Diego Nanny said...

@Miss Mannah:
OP was ensuring her safety by asking for cab fare. She is a big girl and needs to advocate for herself. Right?

I can't imagine any family in NYC where public transportation is very common not to give the babysitter any cab fare if they get home late. It would be rude and they should be held responsible if anything were to happen to the sitter on the way home. They have laws here in CA if you let someone leave your home drunk and know they will be driving and they get a DUI, you are responsible too. Why shouldn't that same law apply to sitters and safety measures as well?

TC said...

I understand NYC is much different than Houston, where everyone owns a car and public transportation is a joke but I still find it hard to understand why it's the parents responsibility to pay for a cab

I work late nights as well, sometimes not leaving until 1 or 2 am and just like NYC it can be dangerous out here late at night, even in the 'burbs. I babysit for the family I nanny for and there is a shortcut I use to get home, shaves off about 20 minutes off of my drive home as well as gas. The back road is great during the day time but because it's not lit, it's a 2 lane road and there are ditches on either side big enough to swallow an 18 wheeler I don't drive it at night. It's not a good part of town and if I was to break down I'd worry about my safety.

When I work late until 11 or later I don't take that way home, sure it's quicker but it's not safer. I drive the long way home or take the toll road which costs more yet I've never asked anyone to pay me for my gas or the tolls in a situation like that.

I just can't see why it's the parents responsibility or why they should be held accountable if something should happen to the babysitter.

Also trying to compare a drunk driver to a babysitter getting home late is a stretch. We have those same laws here and it's to prevent drunk drivers from getting in their car and killing people or themselves. It's a public safety issue.

OP Here said...

TC- I think having your own car and driving is a completely different situation then taking a cab over public transportation in NYC. Even if you have to pay for a toll, I'm guessing the price is not close to the almost $20 cab fare. I don't think the parents should HAVE to pay for a cab but it sure does say a lot about the parents who are willing to and consider the babysitters/nannies safety a priority. I mean we are the people who are protecting their kids right?

TC said...

Remember the cost of living is cheaper here.

You stated that you had to pay an hours worth for your ride home and now just mentioned it costs that would lead me to believe you make 20 an hour. I make 10 an hour and yes if you factor in the tolls, plus gas it's pretty close to 10 bucks. Tolls are 1.50 each and there are 3 plus add in 3.50 for a gallon of gas (I get about 15 miles per gallon and taking the long way around is pretty darn close to an extra 15 miles)

So yes cost wise it's about the same.

Again not that you're wrong, I just look at it differently.

My boyfriend works in another state and has to drive there and back every couple of weeks. We are talking about two tanks of gas each way at about 70 bucks a tank, his company does not foot the bill for that nor does he expect them to

OP Here said...

I was just rounding up to 20. It actually cost me $17 with the tip for the taxi. I made $15/ hr at my job. So I spent more on a taxi then an hours worth of pay. Also, you are talking about how much it costs you to get to and from work while I was only saying how much it was costing me to get home. For you one way would be $1.50 for the toll and I'm guessing half of the $3.50 if that is your round trip gas money. That is less than half of what you make in an hour vs. the $17 which is more than I make in an hour. See the difference? Getting there, I paid $2.25 for the train but have no problem with that because it is cheap and I'm not saying the family should pay for my whole transportation to and from work. I was only stating it would be nice when it is a late night and for me the only option is a $17 taxi.

TC said...

No I don't take the toll road to work when babysitting, I use the back way because it's light outside and not so dangerous when you can see all around you. It's also about 15 miles MORE when I take the toll road home rather than the back way.

I'm only talking about the drive home, not the drive there.

I drive about 30 miles to work every day, so if you factor in what I have to do when it's late I drive about 45 miles to get home plus the 3 tolls.

The Houston area is HUGE, you drive a lot here.

TC said...

Ok that confused me so let me try to explain a different way

I babysit for the people I nanny for from time to time.

on a typical day I drive 60 miles round trip no tolls.

When I babysit on the weekends and it's going to be a late night it's 75 miles round trip PLUS 3 tolls

Nanny E said...


I don't think it's right that people take money that was supposed to be used for cab fare, and then just pocket it. Yes, they have the right to take the subway if they want to save their own money, but taking other people's money is just being deceptive.

MissMannah said...

San Diego, you said:

"OP was ensuring her safety by asking for cab fare."

No, she didn't. That's the whole point of this conversation. She did not ask, she assumed it should be given to her.

OP Here said...

MissMannah...I don't know why you keep saying I assumed it would be given to me. I never once said I thought they would pay for my cab. That is why I asked this question in the first place. Like I said earlier, I assumed I would be getting out earlier than I did and would just take the subway home but realized as it got later and later that I should not take the subway home for my own safety. So I asked this question to see what is the norm in NYC in regards to parents paying for a cab.

♥♥ Leslie ♥♥ said...

Miss Mannah loves to stir the pot.

highandmighty said...


You are always judging all the other posters on here, so you have no room to talk

♥♥ Leslie ♥♥ said...

High and mighty...I was being funny.

Geez...get off of your high horse lady.

Teddy Westside said...

I love how these threads always morph into catfights for no reason. It's like my version of a gossip column. :)

I get why some people are questioning paying for nanny's transportation home. I think the issue here is the late-ness of the shift. When I accept a job here in CA, I take into account what it will cost me to get there. However, if the job runs super late, it's not as inconvenient to me because I'm still just driving home. When the lateness of a shift impacts how the sitter gets home, I believe the parents should assume responsibility for that and offer cab fare or a ride.

Amy Darling ◄ said...

@Teddy: That is what makes this blog so entertaining, amusing and relevant..dontcha think so??? LOL.

Teddy Westside said...

Yes! The day Phoenix, MissMannah, and all our other outspoken members stop arguing will be the day I stop reading. But until then, keep it comin ladies (and maybe one or two gents)!!!

MissMannah said...

Teddy darlin' this isn't me arguing. This is my expressing my opinion one too many times. I don't know why Leslie felt the need to say that. Perhaps she was trying to rile me up so I really would start stirring the pot? Yeah, I ain't taking that bait. So sorry to disappoint the peanut gallery.

Summer3 said...

I would hate to have to rely on trains or cabs for transportation. I'm glad I live in an area where everyone drives and there is plenty of parking.

I was extremely uncomfortable once in a sitting situation where I went out to a holiday party with an entire family (parents and children) in their car. The parents were drinking (in my opinion too much to drive) and we don't have cabs here. I offered to the point of insisting on driving, but they refused to let me drive the car. My cell phone didn't work (again rurual area) so it was pretty much get in or walk 30 miles back to my house at midnight. It was a BAD situation and I now strongly hesitate to ride with parents unless I have known them for a really long time and fully trust their judgement. If I didn't have a car, I would never sign a contract or an agreement that offers a ride from parents instead of cab fare. A lot of parents like to drink while they're out and a sitter is probably better off in a cab.

Brenda said...

I live in CA where only the rich folks use taxis. LOL.

Tarif taxi Paris said...

Taxi becomes more useful while we get stacked out of some situation like yours. It helps us to save some time although we have to pay some more penny for the service.