Saturday

Pay Increase Irks Parent

opinion 1
Am I being unreasonable? I’ll be going back to work in February and have decided this time to get a nanny for our two children. We’ve met with a few candidates, and have one in mind that seems to fit our desires. She’s educated, experienced, good references, friendly, good with the kids, non-smoker, willing to do some chores, we’d like more, with a clean back ground and a good driver. The thing is I think she’s trying to take advantage of us. I know for a fact that at her last job she was not paid what she is asking for now, I checked into it.

We are thinking along the lines of $250 a week to $500-ish. Now we certainly can afford the increase, it just irks me that she’d ask more from us than she received from the others. I’m getting mixed reviews among my inner circle. Some think I’m on target and should question her about the salary change. Others, mainly one friend of mine who is a notorious pushover, thinks I’m being rude and possibly pushing away a potentially great nanny. What say you?

38 comments:

Sarah said...

I recently changed positions and asked for more than I was receiving at my old job. Reason being - I needed a cost of living increase. It was nearly our nanniversary and I would have most likely received an increase with the previous family so I worked the increase into my new salary request. I also rather ask higher than what I need because it gives me the opportunity to negotiate with the family and to have room to drop my price slightly without negatively affecting me and most families I work for, appreciate a nanny who is willing to negotiate a bit and doesn't come in with a "this is my price, no negotiating". Regarding chores - our days are long and busy, a lot of the time we don't get a chance to sit down and breathe or even go to the toilet alone, so too many chores will make your nanny's day overwhelming and negatively affect everyone. I only do child related chores (ie children's laundry, children's cooking, tidying of children's areas etc)

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I think you should forget about what she was making before and consider if what she wants to be paid is appropriate for the job you are offering her. Besides, maybe she left the previous job because she wasn't making enough money? Or perhaps she didn't have any extra chores to do there? In any case, you can't always compare one family to another when it comes to rate of pay.

I am not sure what the nanny's hours would be and how old your kids are but that is definitely a factor. That information would be helpful for experienced nannies here to tell you if your proposed rate is too low or not.

hmmm said...

i think you're being totally weird, frankly.

if you went into an interview and asked for the same pay you had at your old place, doesn't that seem like a stupid way to run your finances.

that nanny sounds excellent and just cause your friends are paying less doesn't mean you will. if she's worth what she's asking pay it.

i have made staggering salary leaps from job to job, literally doubling my pay. and in other circumstances what works out to 2 or 3 more an hour, which makes a huge difference in the nanny's quality of life as well.

Bre said...

Personally, I think you should pay her what YOU determine your nanny is worth. Consider how many hours she will be working, exactly what duties she will have, & what you expect of her.
Also, along the lines of what Sarah said-- keep the chores "child related" (i.e. their laundry, straightening their rooms, preparing & cleaning up after their meals, etc), unless you do plan on paying a little more. You want to make sure you have a nanny who feels appreciated by you-- & as her employer, that usually comes in the form of monetary compensation!

Taleia said...

Have to say, I'm with Hmm on this one... Maybe she was barely making it before, feels she is more experienced and thus worth more, or just needs more margin. Either way, her right. If she's worth it to you, give it to her. If not, that's really not her fault that you can't afford what she feels she's worth.

alex said...

I think you are being absolutely unreasonable. The nanny should be paid what you think she is worth, not based on what she made at her previous position. Not only that, did she do chores at the other place? She has more experience now and $250 a week is not a lot at all! I don't know where you live and whether that is before or after taxes but that would be approximately $1000 a month and then $12,000 (a little more I know) a year to watch your most precious possessions. That is poverty.

MissMannah said...

Your "pushover" friend is right here, you will potentially lose a great nanny. Ever hear of you get what you pay for? Your nanny is not trying to take advantage of you if you are going to be paying her what she is worth. Here are two questions you need to ask yourself:

1. Why do you really feel the nanny doesn't deserve a little more money (incentive) to work for you?

2. Will you end up resenting her if you do pay her this amount?

If #2 is a yes, then you need to move on and find someone else.

Nanny who doesn't do windows said...

If you agree to pay her what she is asking you say you are going to feel taken advantage of. If she agrees to a lower salary, she will not be happy. You want her to do chores she is not willing to do. If she ends up doing them, she will resent it. If she doesn't, you will resent it. I don't think this is a good match for your or the nanny. Keep looking, and if you want non child related chores done, you need to describe the job as housekeeper/nanny.

Nanny in pgh said...

That pay seems low..most nannies are at 12 to 15. More experienced nannies may command a higher salary...as I do

Yes you need to try and make this job enticing to the nanny. Why would she want to come and work for you over another family? I have had travel offers and bonuses to consider when I am interviewing.

Village said...

I think she can do way better than you. Move on. There is nothing to see here but a highly qualified nanny for whom you wish to pay squat.

MissDee said...

Let me ask you something OP: would you ever accept a position in your profession that paid a low wage with the same job description and responsibilities as previous jobs in your profession? Bottom line: If you worked at Companies A, B, C and D in the past and then accepted Company E's offer, only Company E is paying you a lower wage than what Company A paid you several years ago when you first started in the profession, would you still want to work for Company E?

When I first entered the field of early childhood education back in 1998, I had minimal experience with children, no education in terms of classes, and was paid $7.75/hr starting full time. In 2005, with 7 years experience and more training in early childhood education, I worked at a center that paid me $7.25/hr full time. I had more experience in centers than most of the staff, including the director. The owners were idiots, the director was a bitch, and the center was run with such egocentrism (the center revolved around the owner's needs, rather than employees) a teacher almost got fired due to calling in sick and time off for appointments was given depending on what the appointment was for.(I asked for time off for a school issue, and was denied, but my co-teacher, who was on WIC at the time, was given time to attend to her appointment. I asked the director why I couldn't have the time off, and she tells me that "'WIC is essential to survival, but school is optional'".) I DID NOT respect the owners or director because they didn't respect the profession of early childhood education, nor did they respect me and my life outside of work, or my futute goals. I quit without notice based on pay, their overall management style and didn't look back.

If money is that important to you, stay home and take care of your own children. The field of early childhood education is very demanding, challenging, and we, as teachers and nannies, need to be compensated fairly for a job that involves caring for the most precious thing on Earth: children.

BTW: You do realize that things cost money right and that nannies have bills?

Nanny Franny said...

I am with all of the above posters on this. You can NEVER pay your Nanny too much if she is good. You say this woman has education, experience and all the other attributes of a perfect Nanny so she should be paid accordingly. I think you are being negatively influenced by your friends. So what if she made more at her last position? Like the other posters say, perhaps she had no chores (or less chores!!). Regardless, do not feel like she is taking advantage of you. To pay her what you are paying her for chores and childcare is most definitely not taking advantage of you!!!

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Op, without a general iudea of where you live, the job you are offering (i.e., ages of kids and duties) and the nanny's level of experience, I can't tell you if your (extremely broad) salary range is reasonable, so I'll go with generic advice until/unless you return and give more info.

Nanny care is the most expensive form of childcare, and truly excellent nannies command higher rates than do average or mediocre nannies. That's a fact. Also, as an employer, you must follow minimum wage laws and, for a live-out nanny, you must pay overtime for any hours over 40 a week. So if you are seeking 50 hours a week of care, the absolute minimum you must pay (unless your state has a higher minimum wage than the federal rate) is $398.75 per week. And that will get you a mediocre nanny or a nanny without nanny experience in most areas of the country.

But beyond those facts, you need to decide whether you are going to resent paying a higher rate than you wanted to pay, because if you do resent it, you won't manage to keep the nanny for very long. So determine your budget, determine what the care of your child(ren) is worth to you, and stick with that number. You may find a hidden gem, or you may rotate through nannies faster than you can imagine, but if you know paying for high quality care will annoy you, don't do it.

And one more tip - consider a few things before setting a nanny rate:

1) Would YOU do the job for the pay you are offering?

2) Would YOU be able to pay your bills (housing/gas/insurance/food/etc.) on the wage you are offering?

If the answer to either of those questions is no, then either raise the pay you offer, or find a cheaper alternative to nanny care.

Momwest said...

Are you talking about a full-time position, i.e. 40-50/hrs week? By educated, do you mean a college degree? If so, I cannot believe you are even mentioning anything lower than the 500's to start for a nanny, let alone one with experience! As a mom who is no pushover and employed several nannies successfully, I think you are being cheap and will regret turning away this promising candidate by not paying her adequately.

Momwest said...

Momwest here again. the fact that she also speaks English and a good driver makes her even more of a find! Hope you are not expecting your nanny to use her car to drive your kids around without compensating her for the extra insurance, gas and wear and tear on her vehicle.

unreal said...

I hate to beat a dead horse, but all of the above posters have it spot-on.

OP: do you really feel it is unfair of the potential candidate to ask for more than what she made previously? You seem like a very insecure person, and also not very world-wise if this is a real and true brainbuster for you.

If you want to know what the nannies were previously paid, by all means ask them. I have always had to list what I made at my last position on job applications. But the bottom line is there are two factors in what you pay your nanny, first being how much you can afford and two who is the best candidate for the position.

It would be a shame if you counted this candidate out because you don't feel the she has the right to ask for whatever amount she feels she deserves. If you can't or don't want to pay that, then don't.

I would be wary of hiring a nanny who was NOT smart enough to ask for what they deserve.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

OP, I think that this potential Nanny has a lot to offer you. I.e., experience, education, clean background, etc. Is $500/wk really too much to ask??! So what if she made more at her last job? If so, she probably realized she needs to make more cash money and is asking for more. Times are tough now and us Nannies have the same bills as you to pay. From what you wrote it doesn't seem like she is trying to take advantage of you...in fact the very opposite. It seems like you are trying to take advantage of her. You are saying that you want her to do "more chores" for you, yet you really do not want to pay her what she wants. Shame on you. A Nanny who is asked to care for two children should not have a ton of chores heaped on her as caring for two children is enough of a responsibility. You want her to do "more" for you, yet you want to pay her "less."

I have met many many families like you and I usually do not stick around very long. :(

marymary said...

.... why on earth would you "question" someone about asking for a higher salary??? "So I see here you expect to be paid according to your experience.... why is that?'
I hope the nanny finds a family who will appreciate the fact that she's worth every penny she asks for

♫ Amy D said...

I agree with Two Cents that it seems like you are wanting more by stating that you want your nanny to do "MORE" chores, yet you want to pay her "LESS" than what she wants.

She sounds like a great nanny and if I was you, I would pay her what she was worth. Good nannies are hard to find and if you find a gem, pay her well and everyone will be happy. Yes, even you will be happy because you will have peace of mind knowing your 2 children are in the best hands. ♥

run nanny run said...

I hope this nanny does not get the position. I would not want to work for OP. This nanny can do better.

Former Nanny said...

You are suppose to pay her more than what she made at her last job. It's only fair. Being a Nanny is not like a regular where promotions and pay increases are given for your time and experience. Although some families are very understanding and try their best to create a true work environment and give yearly pay increases. But there's no kind of promotions when working as a childcare provider. When a Nanny changes jobs she is suppose to get a higher salary at the new job. Why? Think of the time she has already put in with the previous family and the experience she has gained working with them as insurance that she's a great Nanny. You are very happy and well pleased that she has this experience so why not pay her what she justly deserves. The fact that you are asking around shows that you know you are wrong. Stop being CHEAP and think of your children. Happy Nanny equals Happy kids equals Happy parents. FYI the friends that are giving you the ok with being, step and observe them. Do they have Nannies? Do they have good relationships with their Nannies? Are their kids well cared for by the Nanny? Don't expect the BEST and pay LESS. Expect the BEST and pay the BEST!!!!!!

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I had an additional thought and question for the OP.

When I started working as a nanny 18+ years ago, I made $300 a week. Do you feel that I should still be making $300 a week, or do you think that my experience, education, knowledge, and general positive reviews indicate I should be making more than I made as a novice nanny with nothing but a little college and babysitting experience?

If you do feel I should now be making more than $300 a week, what do you think would be a fair and reasonable salary for me now?

In addition, what did you make at the start of your work life? What will you be earning when you go back to work? Does your new salary reflect your knowledge and experience?

DJs mom said...

I agree more info is needed here...maybe the nanny isn't full time or something? But I read it as the nanny want to go from 250/wk to 500/wk, so double her previous salary...which is a huge increase and I could see feeling taken advantage of if the nanny is asking for this knowing the family is well-off?

But I will echo what others have said...if full-time, $500 is not great money...and if she's a great nanny you should pay her what you can afford.

nannybee said...

Are you nuts?! I made 500/week for a 50 hour week a few years ago. I had extensive babysitting experience but this was my first full time job. I wouldn't dream of taking a job less than $600 now. These are your kids, they're going to spend 60-80% of their waking hours with this woman. If shes really as good as you say she is and you shortchange her. She's going to be gone in a few months when someone else realizes what shes worth

MissMannah said...

You guys need to keep in mind that we don't know this nanny's hours, nor the part of the country she lives in. For those of you saying $250 is low, it isn't that low everywhere for PT.

Tina said...

Nothing to add, but parents are strange with money. I had the same person offer me $12 to take care of her kids and $15 bucks to clean her house. Nice to know your socks are worth 3 dollars more than your kids.

MommyL said...

You say you can afford the $500 so pay it and hush up or tell her you've gone with another candidate.

You may find a nanny for cheaper, but are you willing to go with one of the lesser qualified applicants to save some cash? I think if you do you will find yourself wondering if you made the best choice.
If you don't want her send her along to me. We'll pay the $500 plus!

ELam said...

It's interesting that you made a point to say that the friend disagreeing you with is a "notorious pushover". It sounds like your potential nanny would be a pushover for accepting $250/week (if this is for a full-time position).

Like others said, more info is needed. How many hours, ages of kids, exactly what chores you want her to do (you say you would like her to do more, if that is the case you need to hire a housekeeper or pay her to be a nanny and a housekeeper/"household manager"). I have run into so many families that think the term nanny is interchangeable with the word housekeeper, they are not the same. A nanny tends to the kids (and obviously picks up after the children and perhaps folds the child's laundry), if you want more, you pay for it.

She sounds like an ideal candidate and she knows it, good for her. Hopefully you will either pay her what she is worth (certainly no less than $12-15/hour for 2 kids, the chores, and considering her resume) or she will find a family who will, good luck!

this has got to b a joke said...

I have to agree with posters above...you need to look up minimum wage laws in your state and make sure you are paying her at least minimum wage.

Do not be a cheap Charlie said...

Here is my quarters worth. we had the same nanny for years 8 for one child. She started out with 500 a week 40 hours and that was 8 years ago, We paid her on the books, medical and car insurance and upkeep on the car and her gas. 2 weeks paid vacation and her little girl also came here after school and when she was ill or off of school.
When the house keeper quit she asked for the job so we gave her a big pay raise. Here is what WE got out of the deal. We had a woman who loved us and the kid. She kept the house immacualte and when we got home from work there was always a meal on the stove, a clean house and the homework was done and the wash. Our kids loved her to death and still see her. She got a raise every year and a nice bonus at Xmas and for her birthday.She has remarried and doesn't need to work anymore. BUT if this woman had asked us for a raise for any reason she would have gotten it. You get just exactly what you pay for. You want to get a babysitter for 7 bucks an hour go for it, You want a nanny housekeeper PAy for it!! NOt only does she probably have student loans to pay for and rent and food she needs to get paid hourly and overtime to do that.
There is nothing worse than a person who thinks someone should be grateful to work for them cheaply & use theirn own gas and upkeep on a car you have her use for YOUR kids. I have always paid the people more than they got on the last job when hiring them. It is the norm in the business world and I can bet you dollar to donuts that you, OP ,would want more money when YOU take another job. Pay a housekeeper and a nanny and see how that works out for you lol
Kids are her job not cleaning your house unless you pay her extra for it..sheeesh

MissMannah said...

"Charlie", you sound like a dream boss and believe me, those are extremely rare. Kudos to you!

Nanny S said...

To echo what everyone else said... it sounds like you want to increase her duties and the gyp her pay. I hope she doesn't end up working for you. I've worked for stingy families before and it is the most awkward and least rewarding environment I've been in. God forbid this nanny take ownership of her career and require a higher standard of living than her last position.. her "salary change"? Wouldn't you want a "salary change" at your job? Honestly, this nanny sounds way too good for you. She brings a lot to the table and deserves to be treated with respect in all forms, especially compensation. If you can't handle that, then hire someone less qualified. Sheesh.

another nanny said...

To answer your question: Yes, you're being unreasonable. But I'm going to chalk it up to you being a first time nanny employer.
As others have said, the nanny field is similar to any other field in that employees with more education and experience command a higher salary. As others have also mentioned, it makes sense to expect an pay increase when changing jobs. Maybe she felt very underpaid in her old position? Maybe she had other benefits?
You need to keep in mind that you will, preumably, be this person's sole source of income.

Tashinalove said...

Ha! So, let me ask you this - You are on the search for a new position. What are your thoughts regarding new income? Would you be totally content remaining with your current salary, or would you ask for what you know you deserve...?

Phoenix said...

I don't get you. So how would you feel if you left a company because they weren't paying you enough only to go to another company and they said you were being unfair by asking for more money. That is the number one reason people seek out new employment. You are saying she will do some chores and you want her to do more, and not pay her? I hope your potential nanny sees how petty you are early on. You are not a good employer. Kind of a clueless bitch

MissMannah said...

I am just dying for this OP to come back and respond to all these posts calling her a cheapskate.

justmary said...

The reason why everyone switches jobs is in search of greener pasture, period! Both moms & nannies have a life to live and bills to pay so pay accordingly. She deserves an upgrade.

Katie said...

Hate to say it but she sounds too good for what you are offering. Be happy she's even still giving you the time of day and pay her or she'll leave. She can obviously find something better. If you are ok with that then let her-if not than give her what she wants. But it sounds like if you don't come through her sticking around is most likely only until something better comes along. In this case most families find that no matter who they hire its only a mater of time before the other person wises up to your low wage or finds something better.