5 Reasons Nanny Care May be Cheaper than Daycare

GUEST COLUMNSubmitted by Teresa Blecher
While many parents think that nanny care is the most expensive childcare option available, this isn’t always the case. For families with several children in need of care or parents who work odd hours, nanny care may actually be cheaper than daycare. If you’re looking for quality childcare, don’t rule out the possibility of hiring a nanny, because it may be more affordable than you think. Here are five reasons why:

1. With a nanny you pay per family, not per child. According to the International Nanny Association 2012 Salary and Benefits Survey, nannies earn $700 gross per week on average. While nannies are often given a 5% increase if a child is born during their employment with a family, the gross weekly salary doesn’t vary much based on family size. With daycare, you are paying per slot. If daycare costs you $1500 per month, per child, hiring a nanny could end up being cheaper.

2. When you have a nanny, you set the hours. Daycares tend to have standard hours that start and end somewhere between 6am and 6pm. Securing daycare outside of these hours typically involves an added expense. In fact, some daycares charge parents per minute for every minute that they are late for a scheduled pickup. As a nanny employer, you can set the nanny’s hours to coordinate with your work schedule. If you require childcare for long or odd hours, having a nanny may be cheaper than sending the kids to daycare when you factor in the added expenses for early or late care.

3. When the kids are mildly ill, you still have coverage. Most daycares have strict rules when it comes to sending kids to daycare with any type of illness. When you have a nanny, caring for mildly ill children is part of the job. If you have to secure a backup babysitter for when the kids can’t go to daycare then it’s an added expense over and above what you are already spending. With a nanny, it’s an expense you won’t have to incur.

4. During school vacations and breaks, your nanny is still there. Many daycares follow public school schedules. If there is a break or holiday, the daycare may close. When this happens, you’ll incur additional expenses to secure childcare. While nannies typically get the major holidays off as well, you can negotiate what holidays she will get off when she is hired.

5. You’re the boss, you set the pay scale. Unlike with the price of daycare, a nanny’s salary can be negotiable. As a nanny employer, it’s up to you what to offer to pay your nanny. You set the rules, you outline the duties and responsibilities, and you establish the salary you are willing to offer. Nannies salaries differ greatly depending on geographical area, experience, education, and the duties and responsibilities of the job.

When you consider the overall cost of childcare, you may be surprised to find out that hiring a nanny is within your reach. Looking at the big picture and depending on your care needs, you may find that daycare could end up costing you more than having a nanny in the long run.


Bethany said...

While there are some truths here it's articles like these are part of the reason we see what we do with the cl-wtf.

People with beer budgets thik that having a nanny is going to be oh so easy and affordable.

After all they control the hours and pay why not offer $220 a week.

luckoftheirish said...

I don't really agree with the overall tone of this article. It sounds to me like she's saying you get to boss your nanny around. Unless she's very young or inexperienced, I think anyone who believes this article would be in for a bit of a surprise when the nanny presents her own needs and guidelines. But maybe its my perception?!

Village said...

And there are dreams of nanny creep. What every family wants; a nanny who keeps a clean house.

Susannah said...

I think the author had good intentions, but I think many people that take this as gospel might be in for a rude awakening especially if they come across an experienced nanny.

MissMannah said...

WTF? Do I just have a bunch of ghetto daycares around my area? I have never heard of charging $1500 a month per child and almost all of them are open year-round.

I also take issue with the line "You're the boss, you set the pay scale." Uh, not if you want a quality nanny. You have to listen to what she wants too.

Nanny Sarah said...

I think the line that states "you choose what to pay" is completely open for interpretation. It sounds as if there is room for negotiation when paying your nanny and that should never be the case.

If a prospective nanny states she charges such and such per hour to care for your child, then that is her rate. No ifs, ands or buts.

One can negotiate on a car, an appliance, whatever. But NEVER negotiate on childcare. Your child is worth more. ♥ ♥

LAnanny said...

my charges go to a preschool that is 1500 a month... plus the parents are expected to help out a TON. I do not get it...

bostonnanny said...

Daycare in MA at a nice facility is around 1500-2000 a month for full time. In home Daycares are about half that. I keep my nanny rates in line with the cost of daycare in my area, I figure if you have two kids and daycare is 4k for both then I should be making that or more since I offer one on one care, flexibility in hours and convenience. Nannies should always be more expensive then any other form of childcare.

bostonnanny said...

Also, the requirements to be a daycare provider are very limited, as of right now you just need a HS diploma and experience. MA is going to change the guidelines that every daycare teacher needs to have at least an AA or Working towards one in order to work. I believe MA is trying to change the entire early childhood education system. They have one of the only free public preschools in my town that is connected to the elementary school. All the preschool teachers have masters degrees and there is a lottery to get into the school.
Anyways, I think an overhaul in early childhood education is needed and there should be more qualified individuals working in this area but until then I can charge quite a bit since I'm experienced and have more education then most daycare employees.

Lyn said...

You are the boss and set the pay scale?! o.O

I hate when in interviews everything seems to be going perfectly well and then the mb/db want to offer me lower than what I've told them my rate is. Even if I've told them on my care profiles, my emails, phone conversations, etc, they still act like it's open to debate how much I "really need" to make.

I once interviewed with a family being completely open from the beginning that my rate for their situation would be $22 (I think it's been a couple of years) an hour with a minimum of 40 hours pay for 52 weeks. They seemed totally okay with that and then in the last few moments of my interview tried to offer me $14. They later emailed me saying they were willing to hire me at my rate of $22. I politely declined because I knew somewhere down the road they would try to "negotiate" how much I was owed in reimbursement for gas/crafts/vacations. Not worth it.

MissMannah said...

Boston, that is insane to me. Daycare at a "nice" facility is around $600-$800 monthly here. Come to think of it, the not-so-nice ones can be almost that much too. And lead teachers have to have at least the CDA, with most places requiring associate's. That was my only reason I went back to school, because I was just fine with only my high school diploma for 10 years then they suddenly made the rules stricter and then all I could get was assistant teaching jobs. (Doesn't matter now that I'm nannying again, but that's another story)

bostonnanny said...

Yes it's quite expensive but the cost of a private preschool is even more around here with limited hours. I think all lead teachers should have a BA and the director should have a Masters but if the state starts making preschool public like kindergarten that will benefit preschool teachers greatly but that will be years down the road. MA has a strong teachers union and teachers really know their rights.
More focus should be put on early childhood because it will affect a child for the rest of their life and having preschool available to all children can improve the quality of life for under privileged children. I think head start even with its flaws has should us what needs to been and if tax money should be directed anywhere it should be towards education.

bostonnanny said...

*shown us what needs to be done

Lyn said...

Boston Nanny, I SO agree with you about the importance of education in a preschoolers life. The brain changes and grows more in the first 4 years of life than at any other point. I read a blog post (written by the mom of "town idiot" where I grew up) several weeks ago where she goes on about what a HUGE waste of time/money/energy it is to try and teach your toddler/prek kid anything. . . I hate that everyone thinks they should be a Mommy Blogger lately. Especially when her kkids are all in their late 20's, still live at home and have NEVER had jobs. Ever. Not a single job. Seriously.

Sigh, just thinking about that blog pisses me off in case you couldn't tell, hahaha. :)

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I am not sure I like the tome of the article when it comes to pay. Expectations have to be realistic on all sides. I know of parents who want to pay $8/hour for 2 or 3 kids, and I know if a nanny who insists that she is worth $18/hour regardless of what the position entails.

Those types of parents cycle through nannies every 3 - 6 months, and the nanny I mentioned has been seeking work for months.

Teacher in a Combat Zone said...

My sister was paying $18,000 a YEAR for her oldest to go to daycare (and he only went PART TIME!). I couldn't believe it when she told me how much it was. I mean, it was a fabulous center, but still, that is A LOT of money! Seriously, I paid that much for my Master's degree. I know the higher prices tend to be in the cities/ ritzy areas (I'm thinking that a daycare in Greenwich/ Darien, CT will charge about that much or more), which I think is to be expected. These parents are willing to pay more and, like everything else in the city, daycare is more expensive.

I'm about 75 minutes northeast of Fairfield County and daycares around here tend to be more in line with MissMannah's $700-$800 per month. In my town there's only one day care center and then about 4-5 in-home day cares. The in-home daycares tend to be around $600/ month/ child.

I agree that the overall tone of the article is condescending towards nannies. They're basically telling employers that they can make all the rules about hiring/ payment/ job duties, etc. I think many parents who read this won't realize that nannies come with their own list of duties that they will/ will not do and their own salary requirements. Not everyone can afford a nanny. I wish people would understand that.

princessnanny said...

I agree that private preschools/daycares should be more highly regarded in terms of qualifications and pay BUT having them merge into the public school system would only benefit some of the teachers and some of the kids. The quality of the school system is a factor, of course, and private vs public is a whole new debate!

MonkeyNanny said...

Are you out of your mind or are you just trying to make life more difficult for nannies? It is so hard for us to find families that will pay a decent wage, and you post seems to indicate that nannies don't deserve good pay, or any respect at all.
I was really offended by your post. Please try to realize that nannies are people too, and while most of us are not looking to get rich, we do need to be able to pay our bills. You made it sound like a nanny is a slave, and you can treat her as such.
Good luck to any parents who take this post seriousy. If parents hire a nanny and treat her like crap, she is not going to do a good job.
We need to encourage nannies to stand up for themselves, not to let people take advantage of them. I hope you don't have a nanny, if you do, she probably hates you!

CHRISTY said...

This article is offensive trash and ruins the integrity of this profession. A Nanny is a Luxury- not a right. We stay with your children in the comfort of their own home- we come to you- you don't come to us.

We nurture, teach, play and provide Personal care and Attention to your children on an individual basis- we are essentially at their beck and call and yours for that matter- this is above and beyond any type of child care there is- day care or babysitter- even grandma.

A day care is cheap because its operates like a factory- your children are on the center's schedule not their own, and they are one of many other children bulked together- usually 6 kids to 1 adult-vying for attention, care and nurturing. This type of service is in no way equal to that of an in-home personal Nanny and definitely should never- under any circumstances- be relegated by just "any amount the family sets".

To even think you should be privileged enough to have a NANNY FOR LESS THAN YOU WOULD PAY TO HAVE YOUR CHILDREN IN DAYCARE IS AN EMBARRASSMENT AND TOTAL REFLECTION ON THE TYPE OF CHARACTER THE FAMILY THAT OFFERS THIS TYPE OF SALARY HAS. IF YOU GET ONE OF THESE "LOW-BALL" FAMILIES RUN AWAY FAST! THEY ARE CHEAP, DEGRADING, UNPROFESSIONAL AND HAVE NO RESPECT FOR YOU AS AN EMPLOYEE. A NANNY IS NOT just for any family off the street- especially one that wants to save money. A Nanny was originally only for the wealthy or relatively well-off; it has gone mainstream and downhill due to desperate young girls hungry for "cash" and woman from foreign countries willing to work for nothing. If you cant pay a Nanny for the luxury of having her working privately and personally with your children in your own home than you have no business even attempting TO HIRE ONE.

And all Nannies who continue to let families disrespect them in this way BY AGREEING TO THESE PATHETIC RATES are just ruining this profession for the rest of us! Respect yourself and set a standard! If a daycare can why wouldn't Nannies? Stay firm with pay- being desperate will only lead to the family taking advantage of you and you resenting them and quitting in the long haul anyway. AS MUCH AS YOU MAY NEED THE MONEY- THE ONLY WAY TO SET A STANDARD IS TO HAVE ONE.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

CHRISTY, I am generally the very last person to argue with someone who wants to support the idea of well-paying jobs for nannies.

But...this article was correct in making the point that families with multiple children can often pay less for a nanny than they would pay for daycare.

For example, where I live, a family with 3 kids, ages 4.5 years, 2.5 years, and 6 months old would pay between $750 and $1000 week for daycare, depending on the company they chose. You can find a nanny for less than that who can care quite capably for 3 kids under 5.

Nannies don't double their salary with every additional child. Or, if any nannies HAVE that ability, I don't know about them. So, again, for families with 2+ kids, a nanny may be cheaper than daycare.

Christy said...

Parents should never be ALLOWED to pay a Nanny cheaper than they would pay for daycare- Nannies are expensive- we offer more than daycares so why would someone assume we would be "cheaper" unless they are cheap- or better yet, just trying to have their cake and eat it too.

The overall tone of this article is not that a family with 3 children could get a Nanny cheaper- its more that the parents with average income can spin having a Nanny too- which isn't the case unless the Nanny is desperate or stupid.

And I'm sorry to say that I'm not promoting "well-paying" jobs for nannies- I'm stating that Nannies have always been more expensive than daycares and anything less is double dipping- Parents who do this are taking advantage and are just straight-up pulling a fast one on an otherwise naive Nanny.

Nannygal said...

Btw-for that many children the Nanny should be getting between $750-$1000 anyway. Duh? The problem with so many of you "Nannies" is that you base everything in cash- or weekly rate- which when actually summed up to a real salary is usually a joke.

Most people want to be making at least $35,000 a year to live on, lol unless you live with your parents and have no financial responsibilities- and that salary is nothing. Otherwise $35,000 is $675 a week. Really if you aren't getting between $700-$1000 for that many children- at least what the parents would pay to have them all in daycare per week anyway- you are just being taken advantage of.
The parents are laughing all the way to the bank- and you're letting them if you agree to this.

NolongeraNanny said...

That's a valid point Nannygal. I think the overall problem is that the mentality of a lot of these families toward Nannies is just low overall.

I mean when you pay someone under the table in cash you don't really respect that they are working for a real salary as a professional. I mean a professional person wants benefits and vacation and a salary above $20,000 a year right?

I hate to say it but if I was paying someone $400 a week cash that was actually satisfied with it I would wonder about them. I mean, most people like themselves enough to do jobs that at least pay relatively decent wages.

Anonymous said...

Everything is negotiable.

Eva Martin said...

I am eva Martin, Today I would like to share with you about childcare education system ,melborne,Australia.Advanced Diploma in Children's Services

This course will allow students to complete it in a variety of different modes. You can complete the course in whatever mode meets your needs. These are:

I)Part Time Course
2)Full-time Course

Look about: advanced diploma of childcare

Eva Martin said...

Hello dear blog owner,
At first i want to thank you for your great writing skills. I like your blog post. Thanks for this awesome content.
Attention Please-
Child is a job that everyone loves doing. However, these days people need to study child care in order to work in the industry, taking some child care course is a great way to start. Look about: advanced diploma of childcare

Your sincerely
Jessica Rosi