Mom of 6 in SC

opinion 1
Hi ISYN readers, I've recently decided to go back to work now that my youngest will be starting school in late August (preschool). I was wondering if anyone knew the going rate in the Charleston, SC area? I absolutely will have a contract for her/him (Not opposed to a Manny). It will be from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM, Mon-Fri. I have six children, ranging in age from 13 to 4, and I want to be fair. My older two kids won't be much of an issue, but I know she'll still be expected to be there in case something does come up. I am asking for light housekeeping (Kids laundry, any breakfast/lunch dishes.) If you can help I'd be grateful. Thanks, Mommy of 6 and loving it.


6 is 6 said...

My advice is to first get the idea out of your head that your older two kids won't be "much of an issue." If the nanny will be respnonsible for their care and well being, end of story.

6 kids under the age of 14 is 6 kids. Don't sugar coat it to the prospective nannies.

I would get ready to dig into my pockets and pay at least 15 to 20 an hour. At the VERY least.

workingMom said...

I agree with the first poster - you have 6 six kids - when you are not there, all six kids will be cared for by the nanny. Period. And I calculated more like $25 - $30 per hr for that care.

What I could not get my head around was the hours: why do you need a nanny while the kids are in school? Even if your youngest are 4 and 5, and only attend school half-days, the nanny would only be interacting with them on a part-time basis, if at all. I'm just not following.

Personally, I think you should change your search and be looking to hire an actual housekeeper. Housekeepers can be paid by the task, not by the hour. The tasks can be done while you are all at work and school, and having THOSE chores done by someone else will free you up to enjoy your children when you are all home together.

If you don't have a job already waiting for you, I wish you the best in your job search, also. It's tough out there for everyone!

Lyn said...

Yes, to echo the first comment: 6 kids is still 6 kids. I would only consider a minimum of $20 an hour. But ii wouldnt commit to doing children's laundry at that rate. 6 kids make A LOT of laundry, haha. And, frankly, washing, drying, folding, hanging all while wwatching 6 kids for 6 hours a day would make the chore take the better part of 2 days. Its not that im anti laundry or consider myself "above" doing someone elses ( just to clarify incase we get one of those "bitch about everything" nannies on this thread, haha), the issue is maintaining proper care and a watchful eye over your children while doing so.

MissMannah said...

Lyn, I just want to let you know that I totally agree with you. As one of those bitching about everything nannies (it's ok, I know I do it), even I wouldn't do 6 kids' laundry. That's a lot! Dishes, sure, but only if they have a dishwasher! I'm not lazy by any means but I think if the nanny was going to commit herself to doing the laundry, she'd be spending the better part of her day doing it.

Also, if all the children are in school, I would ask for a weekly salary rather than hourly wage because I would want a minimum regardless of how many hours I would be getting. I don't want to give you an exact figure because I don't know the norm for your area.

Strike that, I probably would never consider you because I wouldn't want to take care of so many kids, especially older ones. Sorry to be so blunt but you may have a hard time finding a nanny with your situation.

Rocky Mountain Nanny said...

I want to commend this OP for coming on this site to make sure she is going to be fair to her nanny. I wish more moms would do this! This shows that you plan to respect your nanny as a human being, even before you have hired her! (or him). Good for you!

It is none of our business WHY the OP needs a nanny for specific times. Anyone can hire whoever they want to work whatever hours they want. OP was asking for advice on pay, not hours. It sounds like OP already knows what schedule she wants.

I wish I knew more about the Charleston area so I could actually give you some advice! Personally I would definitely want a minimum of $20 if all 6 kids were home, more for housework.

sick of the bs on here said...

To echo the PP, I'm not sure why its anyone's business "why" the OP needs a nanny for the times she seeking. Nor (I'm looking at YOU mouthy miss mannah) was she asking for applications, so the snarky "strike that, I probably would never consider you" was a complete waste of your typing efforts. Can anyone ever just answer a question without assinine side comments?

Dr. Juris said...

Well, OP, there are a few questions that should probably be answered first:

1) Will the nanny only be doing the younger children's clothing?

2) Do any of the children have learning disabilities, etc?

3) Will the nanny be expected to drive the children anywhere? If so, are you providing a car?

4) Is this a long-term job or full-time over the summer with hours tapering off over the school year?

5) What kind of qualifications are you interested in with this nanny: should she be able to swim? Know CPR?

6) Do you want to pay under the table or on the books?

I think all of these will help us get a better idea of the job description to offer hourly wages, etc.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I think you first need to define the job a bit better for us to give you truly helpful advice, OP. Start with Dr. Juris' questions, and then consider these:

1) Can the job (especially the laundry) be done in 30 hours a week?

2) What do you want this person to focus on? Kids first, or laundry first?

3) Would you be willing and able to make this a FT job? If so, you might get more candidates.

4) What is your budget? If you have fairly unlimited resources, our advice will be easier to follow, since most people are saying you're looking at $600/week MINIMUM. If you want a nanny who is better qualified or more experienced, you'll need to up that number a good bit.

Phoenix said...

holy crap 6 kids! Are they all from your body?

I really hope that money isn't an issue for you. If it is, you would probably save more money by not going back to work. Or my mom worked strictly from home and have your older kids help with the little ones.

My friend was a family of 6. They had a nanny for the "little ones" but there were still 6 kids in the house even if the older two were 15 and 14 she was still responsible for their well being. They paid her very well, her step-dad had tons and tons of money.

So lets say your nanny is responsible for kids dishes. 6 children make lots of dishes and lots of laundrey and lots of food. The above posters are right with their hourly assumptions. Please don't be one of those moms who says she can't afford to pay her nanny because you have thousands of kids. You had them, pay your nanny well and be honest. I think you are making a great first step by doing your research so I think your intentions are good and that says a lot about your character.

If you pay well you have a better chance at landing a good nanny. don't skimp out and be un-fair

Erica said...

If you go to they have a salary calculator that allows you to put in your zip code, the number of kids you have, etc. and it will give you a suggestion as to an hourly rate for your nanny. Now, if you scroll to the bottom of that page, you'll notice that the amount doesn't take into account if the caregiver is doing laundry and things like that. But it should hopefully give you a starting point as to what she should receive. Hopefully that will help!

--Erica (

Mary nanny of two said...

Mmmmh, 6 kids? Let's be fair. That's a daycare by itself do why not just give someone a flat rate. Say, a $1,000/week for 6 kids minus laundry is something someone out there in SC will consider taking. The end!

Phoenix said...

hey I know. Why can't your older kids do the laundrey and the dishes? Aren't they old enough to help out now? In my family once a child can walk they can clean.

Lyn said...

Thats actually a good idea phoenix!

Sheesh said...

The question the OP asked was if anyone knew what the going rate in the Charleston, SC area was for a nanny caring for six children ages 4-13 for 6 hours a day, five days a week with light housekeeping. Wish everyone would keep their judgemental comments to themselves.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I think it's great that you came on here to ask for advice, OP! Good for you. I will agree with the others on one major point... be upfront and honest about just how many kids you have. If you have six children, you have six children. It seems that by the hours you listed (930-330) the nanny would not be seeing much of any of the children, probably only the little one(s) if they have half day preschool. But, there is always the possibility that any of the children could be sick one day, forget their lunch, etc so always keep that in mind. The nanny is the one who will be on call for those types of situations and she/he should be compensated for that.

That being said, if the nanny is not actually with more than one or two children then I don't think that the pay should be as high as PPs have suggested. In reality, she is "on call" for all 6 children all day but possibly only watching up to a few children for maybe a few hours a day (unless I am understanding this incorrectly).

The housecleaning is a whole separate issue. I would not burden your nanny with all the laundry if she is, in fact, home with multiple children at once. That is just a recipe for disaster, in my opinion. If the children are in school during the day and the nanny is being paid to do house keeping, then that is fine. Then both the childcare and the housework should be reflected in the salary.

I think you should give a break down of what a typical day would be like for your prospective nanny, OP. That would maybe give more experienced nannies a better idea of what the compensation should look like.

Susannah said...

I'm glad you realize your nanny is responsible for your older kids.

Unless they go away on school vacations your nanny will be responsible for them "full time" then.

Though given the hours you listed you might be a school teacher and vacations won't be an issue.

On top of that you are asking her to do a lot of laundry.
Don't know the rate in your area but I would take no less than
$600 net pay weekly .

I'd also suggest you be honest with yourself about what you're looking for and what you'll need. Write it out.

Good luck to you.

MissMannah said...

Uh Strawberry, you seem to be forgetting there's only about 6 more weeks of school left until summer vacation. If the OP hires a nanny now with the assumption that she won't be in charge of all 6 kids all the time, she's going to be in for a rude awakening very soon.

I agree with Phoenix that the older children should be learning to take responsibility for themselves and doing their own dishes/laundry.

Dude, if you're sick of the BS just ignore me, it isn't that hard. I said I wouldn't even consider a job with so many kids because that is how many nannies would feel about it, no matter how high the pay is. I don't ever sugar-coat things on here, and I wouldn't want this mom to think that nannies are going to be leaping at the chance to take care of 6 kids at once. It is going to be hard for her to find someone, simple as that.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

Uh, MissMannah, I was under the impression that OP was looking for a nanny for around August since she said that she has "decided to go back to work now that my youngest will be starting school in late August." I thought she was implying that when her child went to school, she would then be going to work too.

If that is not the case and she is looking to start work/hire a nanny soon, then yes, the nanny would be in charge of all 6 kids and the agreement would look a lot different.

And PS, only 6 weeks left of school?! We have like 13 more weeks of school before summer vacation up here in New England!

OP Here said...

Thanks to all that have given helpful responses. I read this site all the time and was hoping for some helpful tips. To clarify, none of my children are special needs. And no Phoenix they are not all from my body. Three are adopted siblings we adopted when their parents died.

I worked in a law office and plan to return to work AFTER school starts, not before. I gave those hours because my kids won't start school before 7:30, and my older two get out at 3:30. My husband is a surgeon so we're very comfortable. I don't expect the Nanny to do ALL of the laundry, just toss a load in here or there if I haven't finished. We do have a dishwasher btw. I can drive my kids to work, and will be providing a Van to pick the younger four up in, which we will have the Nanny on our insurance and will cover any gas or maintenance on the vehicle. Like I said, I want to be fair. I've read the horror stories on here and don't want to be one. I plan to work part time, which is why so little hours.

OP Here said...

*School, not work* that's what happens when you don't proofread.

OP Here said...

And for the record Miss Mannah, my older kids DO their own dishes and laundry.

MissMannah said...

OP, thanks for coming back and clarifying some of those points. From your first post it seemed you wanted the nanny to do all the laundry and even though you said the youngest would be starting school in August, I took from it you would be starting work sooner rather than later because you said the word "now". I apologize if my previous posts appeared judgmental. By the way, I think it is awesome you and your husband were willing to open your home and adopt the three siblings. Not too many people would be able to do that.

Strawberry, I just looked it up and the local schools here let out on May 8 weeks left, not 6. My mistake. :)

Preach said...

Yo go, OP!

Bethany said...

The only thing I would add to the other advice would be to clearly outline in the contract what you want her to do.

It's nice that you don't expect her to wash all the laundry.

However, just tossing a load here and there or finishing what you don't is very open ended. I can see that becoming a potential problem between you & your future nanny.

As far as job descriptions/ contracts you can never be too detailed in my opinion.

You seem like a very caring person and I hope you're able to find a great fit for you and your family.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

With six children, I think that would be too much responsibility for the average person alone. Can you possibly afford to hire two nannies? This would ease the work load and possibly allow some of that housework that you mentioned to be done.

Kudos to you for caring so much about us Nannies. Parents like you are what gives me hope that my perfect family is out there!!!!

Laura said...

Yay OP! I'd want a boss like you for sure!

Tell it like it is said...

Op I have a suggestion. I had a part time house keeper when we hired our nanny. SHe took care of the infant and the 11 yr old. After a short time the house keeper wanted full time and quit so Nanny took over and we paid her what we would have paid the part timer but we didnt have 6kids lol. If I were you since the older kids are being trained to be self sufficent I would just hire a part time house keeper who comes in 2 days a week to wash and fold and put away and do floors and windows. Things that with 6 kids and a doctor for a husband that you probably do not have time to do. This gives you time with your kids that you would be spending doing chores you really dont need to do and also you come home to a clean house and can relax with your hubby too after working all day. What extra money you would pay the nanny can go to the part timer. Imo it would also save wear and tear on a nanny. Nanny can do what nannies do ,NANNY lol and pick up after the little ones and play more and help with homework instead of washing clothes.

Phoenix said...

Cool beans OP! I don't know too many women who have all 6 six kids from their own body that is why I asked in my typical blunt no sugar coat manner I have. Very admirable of you to adopt the other 3 chidlren. You are a caring person and that shows since you have every intention of treating your nanny well

Ok. I think if you tell the nanny that the older children are doing their own laundrey and dishes then it may be an easier pill to swallow. Also too I think you should pay her a salary for the kids she will be responsible for watching. Now in the event that she has a day where she has extra work related to the older children like driving one to a friends house or after school activity pay her extra for that. You won't have to pay extra all the time if she won't have that much to do with the older ones. To me that would be fair. So lets say she has to drive an older child. When you pay her her normal salary for that week or bi-weekly whatever you choose tac on an hourly rate, miles, gas, ect for the time spent with the older child. If its two older kids add an additional $1.00

To me that would be fair

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

OP, thanks for the clarification.

Now, I do have opne further question. Will you be home on school holidays, or will you be working. In other words, will the nanny you hire end up responsible for all 6 kids every time school is not in session?

If so, you need to either plan to add a bonus to her check those days/weeks, or you need to plan to simply pay her well enough that she doesn't feel "gypped" when she has all 6 kids.

I would also suggest you state in the contract:

1) Nanny will do X loads of laundry per week/Nanny will do 1 load of laundry per day/whatever fits your situation

2) Nanny will be provided with a vehicle to transport children. Family will insure nanny on that vehicle, will keep vehicle gassed up, and keep vehicle fully maintained per manufacturer recommendation.

3) Family will provide all car seats that are needed to safely transport children.

ums said...

I am so glad people brought up laundry. Gosh. I am a single mom responsible for just my own laudry and my one daughter's laundry. She is five, and all those little jammies and shirts and tights and skirts and panties and bathing suits, jeans, etc PLUS my own wardrobe which is sparse to say the least,and I HATE doing it lol I would never do 6 kids laundry. wow, no! lol

Teacher in a Combat Zone said...

OP- as a mom to six (three steps, three of my own body), I sympathize with you!!

But in all seriousness, I think people are overreacting on the laundry front. We have 8 people in our house and we do 1-2 loads a day in my ridiculous high-capacity washer. No big deal- it's just part our routine. Laundry is a "family" chore, as is setting/ clearing/ preparing dinner. With everyone helping (even the 4-year-old), we're done folding the laundry in 10, maybe 15 minutes, plus another 5 for putting away. I'm not sure why I always hear about how laundry is such a hardship to nannies (I understand that some of you have a "no chores" policy) because it takes less than five minutes to change the laundry around and you can fold clothes while the kids are there with you. When the kids were little (OK, we still do), I would dump the laundry on the couch and fold it while they were playing or watching TV. Before I get flamed for this comment, let's make it clear- I don't have a nanny. I just happen to think that laundry is one of those things that's no-big-deal. Just my opinion.

And truly, I find six kids to be the same as having 3-4, work-wise. They entertain each other (though we do have those days where they do nothing but nag and annoy each other) and I worked hard to make them independent and self-sufficient (as OP has with her kids). I know that it's different when you're the nanny and they're not yours, but I'm sure the OP will have no problem finding someone willing to do what she is asking.

As for the pay rate, I would tack $2-3 per hour onto the going rate in your area for the laundry and dishes, as well as being "on call" for the older kids. That should be plenty fair, considering for much of the time the person will only have 1-2 kids with them. Good Luck!!

Dani said...

Combat teacher, Maybe many nannies don't do chores because they are not housekeepers.

9 times out of 10 when a family asks for laundry it is never just throwing a load in here and there, and quite often involves scraping waste of some adult's undies. It's also on top of a multitude of childcare responsibilities and whatever else they can think of.

But you're right I'm sure she can find someone to do the job. She can probably get away with offering $250 a week.

1234 said...

If you can , OP hire two different people one for the laundry and one for the chidcare.

It'll probably be cheaper for you than trying to come up with an attractive enough salary for a nanny to be responsible for 6 kids and do laundry

California Annie said...

I used to be a nanny that did chores.

now I'm one of those "lazy" nannies.

I came across too many families that took advantage of me doing chores. Throwing in a few loads became detailed instructions of how to scrub out stains, which detergents to use for which people, explicit directions for how things were to be folded, how many pounds of laundry had to be done a day. Just washing up breakfast dishes became washing piles of dishes just so I had clean dishes to feed the kids. So no more. I only and I mean I only do laundry for the children I am directy in chare of and only for laundry they mess during my work week.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

The Nanny profession is unique in that many families do not see childcare as "enough." By enough, I mean they think caring for a child is not sufficient. No...if you care for a child, you must also do the laundry, dishes, take out trash, sweep, etc.

Why can't parents realize that caring for another human being is a huge job in itself with lots of liability involved. Why can't that be enough?????

had it said...

It is because people are greedy. It is sad but true. Childcare is not a valued profession. Some of these mothers can talk until they are blue in the face about how important their child is to them, but when it comes down to the wire, they really just want a slave. And they want it for as little as they can get it. And the proof is in the tasks that they expect their "Nanny" to do. Ha. What a joke. Most of these moms do not realize nor do they appreciate that they themselves would not last two hours in a toddler room or in a nanny situation for that matter.

Bethany said...

In general I don't think American society values caring for a child as hard work, and it's not just limited to nannies and the like. I know so many woman ( and some men) that were given a nasty attitude if they said they were going to stay home and take care of the baby after the child was born. Stay home as in forever or at least until the child was school age past maternity.

There were so many jokes about just sitting around in pjs and watching TV all day.

It's not valued by many and I don't now why.

Lyn said...

Bethany, on the other hand my face book feed is full of women posting things about how if they got paid to be a stay at home mom they would command a salary of atleast 100 grand. Where as we, as nannies, are essentially being paid to be stay at home "moms" and teachers to other peoples little ones. My stay at home mom face book friend get livid when i tell them i make over 50 grand as a nanny. They dont understand how people could pay a nanny that kind of money to watch their kids. I dont know about you guys but ive found those same moms who complain about my salary to always be talking about how hard it is to be a sahm. So frustrating! (Forgive all of my spelling and grammatical errors, im on my phone)

MissMannah said...

You can only let someone take advantage of you when it comes to doing chores. You are capable of saying the word "No." In my contract, it states I will do chores pertaining to the baby, ie: her laundry and washing her bottles, that's about it. But I find myself doing more because I want to. Today she is sleeping exceptionally well (hooray!) and I am just not feeling like doing homework so I asked MB if she had anything she needed doing around the house and she said DB's shirts needed ironing and the living/dining rooms needed dusting. I gladly dusted furniture because it gave me something to do, but I wasn't bored enough to iron shirts because I hate doing that and I told her as much. Now, I wouldn't volunteer to do chores if my bosses didn't respect me, but I probably wouldn't be working for them either if we didn't have a mutually respectful relationship. Also, whenever I do Baby's laundry, I almost always throw in the bosses' clothes too to make a full load, why not? I don't fold it up or put it away because that's getting a little too personal for my comfort level. MB doesn't care at all, she's just happy I help out whenever I do because the more I do, the more time she gets to spend with her baby when she's not working.

no big deal said...

I do think people are whining too much about laundry. As a nanny, I have always been willing to do certain housekeeping tasks, and laundry is among the easiest, in my opinion. It takes about 1 minute to load up the washer, and 1 minute to switch to the dryer. The only part that takes any time is folding, which can be done during naptime, homework time, kids are playing together, etc. Also, laundry is very interesting to little ones, you can make laundry into a game for toddlers. Older kids can help by sorting, folding, and putting away.

There are certain things I will not do, like scrub their toilets or clean their cars. But laundry really is an easy job, even with lots of kids.

Z said...

I don't mind doing laundry either, as long as it is only for the kids. What I hate is when there is a load of MB or DBs laundry sitting in the washer or dryer. I have to move it to do the kids laundry, and I feel like if I do the parents laundry just because it is there, I am letting them take advantage, if I ignore it and leave it lying there dirty, I am being petty.

As a potential employer, you may want to make sure you and your husbands laundry is out of the way when the nanny is there. She will appreciate it, and do you really want her folding your husbands undies?

OP Here said...

Thanks to all of your feedback, even the negative because it helps me to understand where ya'll are coming from. We've decided to hire a housekeeper as well as the Nanny.

Brittany said...

I am a nanny in Columbia, sc and for 6 kids (without cleaning and such since I read about you hiring a house keeper) I would do it for $800/week for 30 hours. With household chores, I would do it for $950-1,000/week for 30 hours. Feel free to get in contact with me if you have more questions. Where are you looking for nannies?

Phoenix said...

Good for you OP! Your nanny will appreciate that so much and it will give her time to focus soley on your children. It sounds like you are going to have a good professional relationship and not one who takes advantage.

Brittany said...

OP, any chance you still need a nanny? I'm looking to relocate to charleston starting in June.