What Every Family Should Know

rant 1
1. Paying taxes is not optional.
2. You must pay minimum wage, i.e. $150 for 50 hours of work is NOT ok.
3. Having a nanny is more expensive than daycare.
4. If you want your nanny to have a degree and 5 plus years experience with references, expect to pay accordingly.
5. It’s not the nanny’s job to scrub your bathroom, wash your underwear, walk your dog, drop off your dry cleaning, and buy your groceries.

Hire a maid, housekeeper, or personal assistant!


ColoradoNanny said...


ELam said...

6. Just because you have children does not mean you are entitled to a nanny. It is a privilege/luxury that not all families can afford. THERE ARE OTHER CHILDCARE OPTIONS FOR YOU.

Momwest said...

7. You need to have extra coverage for employees on your homeowner's insurance policy.

8. You should have your nanny covered as a driver on your car insurance if she uses it. It is not advisable for her to use her own car on the job since you will be liable should she get into an accident.

9. Have your nanny sign a confidentiality agreement which extends to the internet and includes photos and video. You would be surprised what gets posted on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

ELam said...

Momwest, good ones! #9 especially, I'm surprised more parents don't think of that nowadays

Beth said...

I would add boundaries to this list for both parents and nannies.

Things get blurry in these situations and it's definately not the typical employer/employee relationship.

Boundaries are very important!

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Amen Sista!!

January said...

10. You might be turning off potential great nannies with an add that assumes all nannies sit on the couch all day. Being specific about your needs doesn't give you an excuse to be rude and talk down to people.

11. Just because someone is a mother doesn't automatically mean they will be a better nanny than someone without a child.
12. YOU post the salary. We know what your up to when you ask a nanny to leave her rates. Don't be cheap.

The Honey Bee said...

Lol @ #12. Good one, January. Some of these parents even have the audacity to post $100-$140/week for 40+ hours. I understand times are hard, but it's hard for everyone right now - nannies included!

MissMannah said...

January, thank you so much for #11. I can't tell you how many times I've had someone look down their nose at me and ask condescendingly "Do you have children?" Because caring for children for 11 years just isn't good enough.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I have to disagree on the mother part. I know I will get flak for this, but I personally think someone who is a mother and has already raised her own children makes a much better Nanny than someone who only does so as a profession.

A mother has the unique experience of raising a child that a non-Mother (is that even a word??) does not have.

However, I am not saying someone w/out children cannot be a good Nanny..they sure can. But a Mother's childcare experience runs deeper than a Nanny's.

Just saying'

January said...

I'm not mad you're free to disagree.

I would only offer that it depends on the mother. Not all mothers are equal.
So having your only requirement be that the person be a mother is in my opinion silly.

Heidi O said...

I guess my 20 plus years of experience counts for nothing then.

Biology didn't bless me with the ability to have a child, and the cards never fell in place for my husband and I to adopt.

So I've never been a mother.

Would you chose the 20 year old with a two year old over me because she was lucky enough to get pregnant? Would you hire the woman in her 40s who has grown children, but hasb't cared for an infant in over 15 years and doesn't know the new standards of care?
Would you pick the woman down the street who is technically a mother by virtue of giving birth but her kids are wild or worse she doesn't see them over me because I've never been pregnant?

Sorry, if I'm ranting but I have gotten pretty sick of hearing over the years that I'm somehow a second class citizen because I'm just a nanny not a mom.

123 said...

I can understand why a parent might think having a mom for a nanny might be better.

But just because she's a mom doesn't mean her feelings for her kids will translate over to yours.

Katherine with a k said...

@Heidi hugs to you. I'm sure you're a lovely nanny and any family would be lucky to you.

I'm not a member of the hallowed sacred parent club so I can't say that I wouldn't pick a mom over a non mom all things being equal, but I wouldn't rule out many potential great nannies because they aren't mothers. Imagine if we did that with all professions related to children. I'm sorry you can't be a teacher, inspite of your incredible gift for education you haven't popped a kid out yet. Imagine turning down the world's best pediatric surgeon for your kid's surgery for second best because second best was a mom.
Perhaps, extreme, but I think you get my point.

I totally agree with January at not all moms being made equal. I've worked with the less than stellar examples of motherhood.

Mrs. Jones.....(and no we do not have a thing going on.....♫) said...

As a mother who employs nannies, I personally prefer someone who has already raised a child. Meaning someone in her late 30's or early 40's who has grown children. This person already has personally experienced all of the stages of a child's development on a personal level vs. studying it at some community college. I wouldn't hire some 20yr old with a 2yr old child like someone mentioned.

If someone only has professional experience raising a child, I would consider it, however I prefer hiring someone who already has raised children.

Just my preference. May not be fair, but it is what I look for.Us parents who hire nannies have a right to have our own preferences. Some of us prefer to hire mothers, some of us prefer to hire bilingual candidates while others prefer to only hire females. Preferring to hire only a mother is just another preference.

Mom2MoM said...

I would only consider a nanny who was a mother. Sorry if that offends you non mom career nannies, but there is something special about being a mother.

There are things about raising children that only another mother can understand.

I would want to be able to relate to my nanny on that level. I'd want to know I was dealing with someone who had actually been through it.
I'd want my kids to have that benefit of that as well.

ELam said...

Hiring a mother as your nanny is a preference for some and that is fine, but this sentence from Jones:

"This person already has personally experienced all of the stages of a child's development on a personal level vs. studying it at some community college."

did not sit well with me. Once again, it seems to perpetuate the attitude that nannies are lowly, uneducated, deserving of minimum-wage-or-less individuals.

I have personally experienced the various stages of child development through my 10+ years of experience working with kids...nanny, camp counselor, youth sports coach, church programs, student teaching, babysitting, child psychology studies throughout college (and it wasn't "some community college"), paraprofessional, etc., etc., etc. There have been many times where parents have seen me do or say something to their child and they say "Wow, I never thought to do that".

A mother is special, yes, but to say that they are somehow worth more than a childless nanny simply because they gave birth is just ridiculous.

Mrs. Billy Lamar said...

I have to agree with Mrs. Jones and Mom2Mom that I would probably hire a mother nanny as opposed to a non-mother. I like the idea of someone who is matronly and has personal experience raising children. I would prefer an older mother versus a 20-something who is still wet behind the ears. By wet behind the ears, I am referring to someone who hasn't had much childcare experience aside from watching other people's children.

I recently went to a puppet show in my community and there were about 3 young girls in their twenties with their charges. They were all goofing off, talking + laughing and texting during the show that it annoyed me. To me it seemed they were just too immature to be nannies.

Mia said...

@ Billy Lamar I went to a sing-a-long last week with my charge. I'm in my 20s I don't have a kid but I wasn't talking loudly, goofing off, and on my phone with my other 20 year old friends we were with our charges engaged singing , dancing to the music etc.

You know who was being obnoxious and ignoring their charges/kids?

The SAHM moms and nanny/moms in their 40s.

And before you assume that I'm on the computer while I should be with my charge, today is my day off.

ELam said...

As with most things, it can go either way. Yes, there are obnoxious 20-something nannies and yes, there are obnoxious older women/moms as well. I agree that you change in a lot of ways when you have a child (I say that as never having a child myself, but all the mom's I know talk about it)...but I don't think having a baby somehow changes who you truly are. If you're a rude, inconsiderate, irresponsible person to begin with then I don't think a baby will cause you to do a 180 and magically become the sweetest most caring person.

I was at a marriage retreat this past weekend sitting at a table with the majority of the 20-somethings (myself and my husband included) and next to us was the table of 30-40 year old couples...and do you know who the speakers had to keep pausing and asking to "please sit down and quiet down" over and over again? The 30-40 year old parents, it was pretty ridiculous.

Age and babies does not automatically = mature adult.

mom and former childcare worker said...

I feel that many times nannies make comments about daycare that are offensive. Like, "put your kids in daycare: you can't afford a nanny."

First of all, many daycares are wildly expensive. I worked for Bright Horizons and while the employees made the standard 10 to 12 dollars an hour, tuition was through the roof, especially for infants. Definitely comperable to nanny pay in parts of our country.

Many low-end daycares close by 5:30 (not our work hours) or are simply horrible. Some of us can pay less and employ a college student or a local mom. It doesn't mean we are bad parents because we don't make a lot of money. (and yes, I pay my babysitter more than minimum wage.)

Secondly, many people with special needs children need one on one care, yet we are working class and cannot afford a nanny, so we opt for a babysitter.

I just wanted to add that. It does bother me on this site.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

As a nanny with almost 20 years of experience who is not a mom, I am sincerely curious as to what those of you who prefer to hire mothers as your nannies think maternity gives a woman that makes her a better choice as a nanny?

IOW, what do you believe a mom has that a non-mom does not have? Feel free to use me as your contrast example of the non-mom nanny. I have been a FT (50+ hours a week) nanny since 1993, I babysat as a young teen, and I have cared for kids ranging in age from 3 days to 11 years old during my nanny career. I am now caring for my 14th charge. What would a typical mom-nanny candidate offer that I would not?

I look forward to your answers!

agreed said...

Nanny hood:

I am a mother. However, as a childcare worker, I know so many clueless parents who I would never trust to care for my kid. On the contrary, they don't know how to do it, that's why they hire me!

I agree with you. Being a mother does not make you a better caregiver.

Kate said...

When I make the daycare comparison it's because around where I live parents start looking for a nanny because daycare is so expensive.

I'm always confused why they think hiring a fulltime employee would be cheaper.

I know all about hardships but that is no excuse to hire a nanny or babysitter( doesn't matter what you call it law still applies) and not pay minimum wage ie the 150 for 50 hours example the OP gave.

Susannah said...

13. don't ask us to nix pull-ups, bottles, pacifiers etc and you give in on the weekends

mom and former childcare worker said...


I do pay my babysitter more than minimum wage.

"new" is not always "better" said...

"Would you hire the woman in her 40s who has grown children, but hasb't cared for an infant in over 15 years and doesn't know the new standards of care?"

Well that depends. Are the "new standards of child care" better or worse than the old ones? I for one can't stand a lot of the new crunchy overly-permissive let's reason with a two-year-old "new standards".

Kate said...

@mom and former childcare, you do and that's great unfortunately, at least where I live that is not the norm.

Greg said...

2Cents you are hot, but not very bright.

ELam said...

mom and former childcare worker -- I have often found daycare to be a less expensive alternative to a nanny, but of course that may not be true in all areas. If you want the creme de la creme of childcare centers (and what parent wouldn't?) then you have to pay big bucks for it. But times are tough and you have to settle for the mediocre daycare that is all licensed and background checked but may not be providing the utmost level of care to your little one. The same applies to a nanny. If you want the creme de la creme, you pay the big bucks to have her. If you can only afford minimum wage, then that's what you will often get: the minimum level of care.

I am confused as to your comment about the fact that you can't afford a nanny so you hired a babysitter instead. In your opinion, what is the difference? How many hours does your caregiver work? Does she do any household duties? Any outings or activities with your children? To me, a babysitter works occasionally, for only a couple hours at a time, and is there to simply monitor the kids until mom or dad gets back.

mom and former childcare worker said...

My babysitter works part time regular hours at 10 dollars an hour. No household chores at all of course, and she does take my child out. She is a 19 year old high school graduate.

I feel she is the best fit for my child. She has been with us for a long time and we love her. She may not have a college degree, but she is responsible and hardworking. I pay her slightly less than I make an hour.

I really don't understand the confusion and disdain for mothers who hire babysitters instead of nannies.

You can find a good match for your family without paying someone 20 dollars an hour. Just because you are low income does not mean your child deserves less.

I am so tired of this conversation. I'm done.

MissMannah said...

Mom/former childcare worker: in my opinion, you have a nanny. My distinction is that a nanny comes to your house regularly to care for your child and a babysitter does not have regular hours. A babysitter does not necessarily have as many skills about child development as a nanny does. You said your babysitter takes your child out, on what I assume are stimulating activities, so she is probably skilled and thus a nanny. But we're just talking semantics here, it doesn't really matter. I'm glad you're paying her $10 an hour, in my part of the world that is a high wage. You said she works PT so let's say 20 hours a week--$200. There's not a single childcare center in my town I'm aware of that charges that much, even for FT infants. The most expensive one I've seen is $175 a week. The average home daycare is $75-$125 a week for FT. It is all about keeping perspective. When we tell parents they can't afford a nanny and they need to look elsewhere for childcare options--this is what we're talking about. You can pay $400 for a FT nanny or $100 for a licensed home daycare. Sorry, this ended up being a lot longer than I expected.

As for all yall who won't hire someone simply because she hasn't given birth: I think you are snobs. That is all.

keep up said...

Hey Greg Brady,

That's a fucked up thing to say. You sound like a chauvinist. Two cents doesn't come off as an idiot in the slightest. You, on the other hand....

ELam said...

I 100% agree with MissMannah.

mom and former childcare worker:

I would definitely say you have a nanny, and that's fine. And it's great that you pay $10/hour.

I never said your child deserves less care based on your income, every child deserves the best care, my point is that I have come across many, many families (on nanny hiring websites) who send me messages requesting an interview, but then I read their info and find they are only able to afford $8/hour (sometimes less). They want me because of my experience, my education, and my certifications, but I know I am worth more. I'd like to drive a brand new BMW, but I can't afford it, so I settle for a Mazda. It's not as nice as the BMW, but it gets me where I need to go. That's my point. You get what you pay for!

That's fantastic that you have a caregiver that you love and trust. And good for you for paying her a fair wage. I'm sure you would find if you had only offered minimum wage when you were searching for a caregiver that you would have had some not-so-trustworthy applicants, and I'm sure if you had offered $12/hour+ you would have had some really experience and skilled nannies apply. That's the point I was trying to make.

Noa said...

I blame sites like and for parents thinking it's ok to offer low often illegal wages.

Those sites are totally favor the parents, and the sitters are more or less screwed.

Care. com lets you offer $5 per hour as an option. The recently have posted a disclaimer saying that parents are responsible for being in compliance with minimum wage laws, but yet the $5 option still remains.

SitterCity is just as bad, yes you can type in your wage, but so can parents and they are allowed to offer as low as $100 for 40 hours of work. I saw that one this week, and the person had the nerve to ask for a highly qualified idvidual too. To quote from my email response from SitterCity. Yes I emailed. I wanted to know why breaking the law was tolerated. They said parents can offer what they want. There it is ladies and gentlemen.
If I had the time and resources, I would start my own care site finding quality care for parents and insisting on fair wages for sitters.nannies.

ELam said...

Noa -- I sent an e-mail about 2 weeks ago to Sittercity as well about the same thing! No response. I guess since they are getting paid by these parents to use their site, then they really don't give a flying you-know-what what happens from there. I can't believe these sites offer $5 as an option. That's not even fair for babysitting unless you are 14 years old.

Mia said...

Noa & elam, you'll love this I saw one on there today where a mom wanted a highly qualified/experienced person to take care of her 9 month old 30 hours a week fo $80 a week. $80 a week and she had no interest in looking for daycare.

JulieJ said...

I wanted to add my own. it's not cool to drop our rated during nap time or ovwernights " Because the kids are sleeping."

My responsibility doesn't change.

I'm the one on call if heaven forbid the house catches fire or there is a break in.

Or something more common the kid wakes up sick or with a bad dream.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

13. You employ us. That means you have to comply with federal laws like minimum wage, OT, and paying taxes. You do not 1099 us.

MissMannah said...

Julie, that actually is one I disagree on. Because I rarely do overnights, my policy is that if I am provided sleeping accommodations and the children are ones who typically sleep through the night, I will work for a much-reduced flat rate. But I know I'm in the minority with this opinion.

Nikki said...

So I emailed SitterCity about the low wages from parents and this is the response I got
Thanks for your message. Each parent is able to offer what wage they like and it is up to them to comply with local and federal laws. I will forward your request to the product team to see what can be done about this.

Best Wishes

JulieJ said...

@Miss Mannah,
Overnights are regular to me. i advertise m yself as both day & night.

I just get annoyed when the rates for my services are posted, and I get emails saying we like your qualifications , but can you negotiate(lower) your rate since the kids will be in bed.

Truthfully, I used to be more flexible, until I had one job where the kid woke up seriously ill during the night and parents were out of town. i That was a night mare.

ELam said...

Mia -- That's ridiculous. I live in Hawaii, you should enter in a zip code from Hawaii on those sites and see the obscenity that comes up. I don't think I've seen more than $10/hour ever offered for full-time care. And the number of 40-50 hours/week for less than $200 would blow your mind.

Nikki -- That response is completely laughable. I'm surprised you got one back, I never heard from them. "Each parent is able to offer what wage they like and it is up to them to comply with local and federal laws." That's like an oxymoron...$5/HOUR DOES NOT COMPLY WITH LOCAL OR FEDERAL LAWS!!!! So why is it an option?!?!?! Grrr...they make me sick.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I am a Nanny who charges the same rate for overnights as daytime hours. I have had families try to screw me over by saying they were going to reduce my rate for sleeping hours and it irks me to the bone. Hey...responsibility is exceptions! It's not like once the kid goes to bed that it is time for me to just kick back, watch a movie, listen to my i-pod or grab a latte from Starbucks down the street. NO!! I need to have my ears on alert for anything. A bad dream, an intruder, a fire, etc. That child is my number one responsibility once the parents leave and until they return.

Some parents have said to me, "Oh once little Lucy falls asleep, then you will just be sitting on the couch anyway, so why do we have to pay you the regular rate when you will be doing basically nothing?" I say, "Because it is MY time I am giving your child and it is MY time that is being taken away from my own family."

Enough said.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...


Thank you...I think.


Britney said...

Paying taxes on Nanny work is for the dogs. In Nanny work, there are no fifteen minute cigarette/coffee breaks or lunch breaks where you can meet someone at a nearby eatery.

Basically, you work a certain amount of hours, and then you get paid for them. That's all.

Alice said...

Hey Britney! If paying taxes is optional for you can I opt out of supporting you if heaven forbid you're out of work?

Nan said...

I'm a bit surprised at the number of nannies here who proudly proclaim that they don't pay taxes, and on a public forum. In my day under the table was kept quiet not broadcasted to who knows who. It was that dirty little secret everyone knew about, but no one dare discuss.

Britney said...

I seriously doubt all you nannies on here pay taxes like you claim.

I have never met a nanny who pays taxes.

Ms. Lucy said...

I personally don't care if others don't pay long as I keep my side of the road clean and pay my taxes, why should I care what others do or do not do? I don't see why other people get so angry.

Sure, it may seem unfair now, but if someone is indeed breaking the law, they will be caught eventually.

It's called Karma my friends.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Britney, if you want to get smoke and coffee breaks, do the world a favor and stop caring for kids. McDonalds is hiring, and so is Old Navy.

Anyone who goes into a nanny job believing they will get "breaks" that allow them to ignore their charges is an idiot. If breaks matter so much to you, but you want to work with kids, get a daycare job. Of course, there you'll have to actually pay taxes on your income, so I guess you'd have to choose between being a tax cheat or a person that gets strict work breaks.

If nannies in general wish to be seen as professionals and respected by other professionals, they need to suck it up and pay taxes. Period. If working as a nanny isn't bringing in enough money, then go work in another field.

Nannies who expect to make the big bucks caring for kids are also kind of stupid. There are not very many 100K nanny jobs, and let me tell you, those jobs don't give you ANY breaks. A 100K nanny generally is on call 24/7. Parents who can afford those wages expect nanny to work all the time.

Yeah, I am cranky this morning.

Noa said...

Well said Ms Lucy & Tales!

As for you Britney, you are probably right, but perhaps they are smart enough to keep their mouths shut about it!

MissMannah said...

Lucy, I don't understand people like you who say they don't care if other people don't pay taxes. Why would you pay taxes if you don't care if Britney doesn't? Seems like you don't really think taxes are all that important, like she does. They ARE important and the only way they are effective is if every working person is paying them. If workers got to pick and choose what they were paying for, we wouldn't have much of a defense and our highways and bridges would be in a much worse state than they are in already. And think about local taxes. Do our children not need updated school textbooks or working buses? Do we not need traffic lights or clean parks? People like Britney are just bringing down the rest of society because she is not contributing to any of this, so how could you possibly not care?

Sorry, got into a bit of a rant there. As you can see, I feel very strongly about this. And yes, there was a period of time last year I was not paying taxes. (OMG Britney, you were right!!) I was beyond desperate for work and the only people willing to hire me wanted to pay off the books. So now I'm going to do a 1099 because I am not a cheat but it sucks because 4 months' worth of taxes really adds up.

Nema said...

Miss Martyr strikes again!

SundayRose said...

I like how now is charging nannies $20 a month just to have their profile advetised and get the most up to date job postings. That's ok, but requiring careseekers to pay minimum wage is to difficult. What a crock!

Nanny Sarah said...

As long as I am doing what I am supposed to be doing and paying my taxes, why should I care what others are doing or not doing?

If they are evading taxes for whatever reason, they will be caught! It is just a matter of time. Everyone's day will come.

It's stupid to get mad because others are not paying taxes. Worry about your own problems people. The bad guy will have his due one day.

ELam said...

The people who don't care about other people not paying taxes clearly have no idea how taxes work in this country.

Nanny Sarah said...

The point is...why waste time worrying about what other people in the world are doing or not doing? Sure, it does affect us, but so do other things that others do. We cannot live our lives worrying about other people breaking the law. It would be useless.

All the Nannies on here who judge people who work off the books have a right to be angry, but not to the extent that I have seen on this blog. Sheesh. People need to focus on their own lives.

ELam said...

The problem with that attitude is that nothing will ever get accomplished with it. Sometimes you have to focus on things outside of your own life. It's like saying you don't care about people who steal and rape and murder, because it doesn't affect you...until it does. Then you'll get upset about it. Obviously not paying taxes may not be as extreme as those examples, but I just mean to say that there's a lot things in this world that too many people don't care about until it actually happens to them.

Some nannies get paid under the table while still claiming unemployment and reaping the benefits of that. If anything it is protecting both the families and the nannies by paying on the books.

Nanny Sarah said...

I see a lot of people get away with things that they are not supposed to. I see people sneak in candy into movie theatres, I see fellow students cheat on their tests and I see driver's run red lights. All this stuff affects me one way or another, yet I am not a snitch and do not tattle tale on anyone.

My philosophy is that if someone is not following the law, they will be vindicated eventually. Karma is much stronger than anything I can do.

Hate to bring religion into this, but let God take care of it. It is HIS business only...not ours.

talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

The issue is that nannies who are tax cheats enable employers who are looking to be tax cheats. If no nanny would be willing to work under the table, then employers would be forced to pay us legally. Nannies who are tax cheats lower all nannies and make it harder for law abiding nannies to find work.

It's just like the issue of nannies who accept pay that is ridiculously low. As long as parents can find nannies willing to work for $5 per hour, those of us who know our actual worth will have a harder time finding decent jobs.

If some people have low standards, they lower the standards for everyone. If all nannies held to the higher standards of being paid legally and being paid a decent living wage, then we would have the chance to make a difference, don't you think?

Ms. Patty said...

I live in CA where many illegal woman cross the border, get preggos then collect Medicaid, Welfare, Food Stamps, WIC, Free School Lunches, etc,etc....and so on. It makes me angry that I am paying for all of this out of my taxes while my own children do not have health care and are not eligible for free lunch. However, I know that it would be wasted energy to get too mad.

Life is unfair. Let the hustlers hustle and I will just do what I am supposed to do and worry about myself.