Ideas for Activities and Advice on Income

I'm negotiating for a job in a suburb of Boston. What do you think would be a fair rate for 7 children ranging in age from 8 months to 9 years old. I wouldn't have all the children at once. The two oldest live most of the time with their mother but do spend a significant amount of time with their dad. The third oldest spends part of the week with her father. I'd only have 4 on a regular basis, 3 year old triplets that are in preschool 3 half days a week, and the baby all the time. The hours are 6:30am to 5:30pm Monday through Friday year round and possibility of travel 2-3 times a year to coincide with school break. They have regular household staff so I am not responsible for any cooking or cleaning. Strictly childcare only including taking kids to and from activities. I also have to plan activities so suggestions on what to do with young kids in the area would be great. I live south of Boston and I'm not too familiar with what to do in the burbs that are closer to Boston.


Bethany said...

I'm not sure there is enough money in the world to make me want to care for 7 children under the age of 10 55 hours a week.

No matter what they say, at some point probably more often than not you'll be responsible for all 7 of those kids.

Make sure you get specifics on the visitation schedule for the 3 kids. A significant amount of time is extremely vague.

Will you be responsible for pick up & drop off?

bostonnanny said...

Holy crap that's a lot of kids. I personally wouldn't take anything less then $30 per hour but couldn't give an exact number because I would need to know more about the position. Where did you find them? If through an agency, they would be able to give you a price range.

Activities depend on where you are located in MA. Are you north like Lexington, concord area, more metro like Cambridge/Newton or are you south like Milton, Wellesley?

Day trips to all the local museums are great, find the story time schedule at your local library and check out any mom groups in the area. is a great website that lists all kinds of activities around Boston and surrounding towns. They have a daily events calendar and lists of every local playspace, sing a long and children classes.

bostonnanny said...

Oh and I mean nothing less then $30 for the main 4 children.

NoWayJose said...

You're nuts for considering this position! You are going to wear yourself thin.

MissMannah said...

Unless they give you a specific schedule and you can see for yourself that there is NO overlap, you'll probably have all 7 kids at some point. I think that would put me in the loony bin.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

It does depend a bit on how much experience you have, and on the benefits you're offered, but I would go no lower than $30, plus additional $75 - 125 for each older child each week.

If they are willing to set down a specific schedule for the older kids, then you can give them a more definite hourly cost and make their lives and the lives of their book keepers easier.

soontobebostonburbnanny said...

Thanks fo the suggestions bostonnanny & Talesfromnannyhood!

I don't want to say where exactly the job is or give too many details, but I'll look into your suggestions.

Manhattan Nanny said...

I would want $1,500 a week, and would only take the position if I had help when the older children were there. ( Don't kid yourself. You WILL have all of them at once when they are there.) A PT sitter who could do pickup and run around with them to after school activities. Seven children at those ages is too much for one person if they want a nanny who will do more than park them in front of the TV or computer.
Activities will be a bit difficult. You could look for a class for the baby during the triplet's school hours, something like Music Together or Gymboree, and something similar for the triplets that doesn't require adult participation, as you will have the baby along. Then you can put together art and craft projects. Involve them in cooking, and make playdates with kids from their school.

soontobebostonburbnanny said...

This isn't my first nanny job. I have experience caring for groups of kids as a daycare teacher and as a nanny. I'll admit the most I've ever had at one time all day on my own is 3.

This job just sort of fell into my lap. I was in the right place at the right time, and talking to the right person who knew this family was looking.
The parents seem nice the kids are sweet, well the 5 I've met. I'll meet the other two this weekend.

The benefits package is generous and they said salary was negotiable. I don't want to be greedy, but I want to give myself a good rate.

soontobebostonnanny said...

Here's what I know since I asked this question.

J & K are 9 and 6 years old, they are from Mr. B's first marriage and live with their mother the majority of the time. They are required to have 2 weekends and a week and 1/2 a month with dad. Mr. b said during interview that that he and his wife have a good relationship & the girls have cart blanche as to when they stay. J & K are in school from 8:30 to 3:30 during the school year and are in camps and other activities during those hours during the summer. I woud not be responsible for picking them up or dropping them off.

Mrs. B's daughter A is 4 years old she splits her time between Mrs. B and her father's house. She does 3 days at one house and 4 days at the other they switch each month on who gets the extra day.

A is in school Monday through Thursday from 9:00 -11:45 On days she is with her father he picks up & drops off.

N,O,P are 3 year old triplets they attend school Monday, Tuesday, Friday from 9:00-11:30am. I'm responsible for pick up & drop off.

Q is the baby at 8 months old and I'd have him with me all the time. He is on a set eating & sleeping schedule, that mom would like for him to stick to and she would also like for me to plan outings for him atleast twice a week.

There might be a little overlap but just a few hours.

Bethany said...

Oh my! that's a busy schedule to keep up with. I got a little stressed just reading through that.

Definately ask for no less than $30/hr, though I think you deserve more.

If I read it correctly the majority of the time you will have no less than 4 kids with you.

I second the advice to see about having a part time sitter for the older girls.

That part of the schedule concerned me, it's great the parents have such an open relationship for the sake of the girls, but it means you'll have 7 kids more often than you think.

Do you know what happens on school vacations? Will you have A, the triplets, and the baby all day?

What happens when you travel with the family?

So many questions.

I'm glad you have a job, and wish you the best.

Lyn said...

I once Nannied for a family with 5 children ranging in age from 6 months to 9 years. I charged $32 an hour with a minimum of 40 hours paid each week. It was a great experience though believe it or not. The kids were all very well behaved the parents (the DB being a WAHD) always had my back and let me be 100% in charge of my day. If I didn't have to move away I would probably still be with them. I really hope your experience is as great as mine was. It was a crazy hectic day but it went by fast, a perk in my book, haha.
Also, request a week longer than you normally would in contract negotiations for vacation time. You will absolutely NEED it at one point or another.

nynanny said...

I don't mean any disrespect OP, but I honestly think you're in way over your head. I have a feeling they won't pay near what the cost of this job should be because it sounds as if you don't have the necessary experience, not for seven kids under 10yrs of age! That's just insane, especially for one FT nanny. They should have at minimum 1 PT helper to assist you.

Katie said...

I think you should consider this position very carefully. Seven kids on your own is a huge challenge, add to that dealing with parents and other household staff.

I don mean to say you can't or shouldn't do it, but don't let the promise of a potentially large salary cloud your thinking.

Take it slow make sure the kids' schedules are clear and in writing from you and your duties including picking up and dropping off are very detailed and in writing.

Please let us know how this works out for you.

soontobebostonnanny said...

I'm not upset. I can see why people think I'm crazy for even considering this position. I've had my doubts, but I have a good feeling about the family in my gut.

The schedule is busy, but runs well, from what I see it was put in place by the nanny who is leaving

I've decided to ask for $30-$40/ hr in hopes that I at least get

CA nanny said...

Actually a set of 7 may not be TOO bad. In larger families, the oldest kids tend to be extremely helpful. I helped out in a temporary gig for 5 kids under 5yo.. The 5yo was extremely helpful with feeding babies and cleaning up, etc!! GL!

Another Boston nanny said...

I am in the Boston Burbs too, and have three big suggestions for activities.

First, google "music man Ed". He does free 1 hour music events every week all around the area. Kids might be wild the first time you go, but if you find a good location & go once a week they'll love it.

Second, if you are within 20-30 min of drumlin farm, I'd get a membership and go once a week. There are huge open spaces for kids to run & mine get attached to the animals and love to go visit the animals every week.

Third, if it's not too far, the discovery museum in acton would be great for the triplets. I have had my own membership there for 8 years and will never go to Boston's again. The acton one might be crazy on the first visit, but once the kids learn what's there & don't feel the need to run through to see what's next, you'll have a great time.

Finally, there is a great toddler playground designed by doctors on Fairbank Rd in Sudbury (in case that's close) and Beaver Brook Reservation has nice fields & walking trails & spray park in the summer.

gypsy said...

There is a reason why this family doesn't already have a nanny. I can't wait to hear how this dream job pans out. Where to start?

Those poor children are forced to live double lives because their parents insisted on forcing this rediculous schedule upon them. Imagine how moving back and forth every four days would feel? I think Id feel so ADD & out of control.

You don't have a set schedule of how many kids you'll be caring for & when. You should assume the "unknown" times, that they WILL be in your care & not the other way around.

I would expect them to pay you $40/hour & for them to allow you to select a "mothers helper" for YOU. That person could earn $15/hr & be your assistant.

I've cared for six toddlers full time by myself. With seven & mixed ages and whacked out schedules, you're going to feel outnumbered, stressed & underappreciated. I honestly don't think these parents will pay u $40 an hr & pay $15 for a helper. If they would, then they would've been able to retain past help.

Honestly, I am a positive person. But this really does appear to be a nightmare of a situation for anyone. Why aren't they looking for two nannies?

Also, I bet these kids have mental health issues.

gypsy said...

My son has the same preschool schedule as the triplets. Its only 8.5 hrs a week. It feels like NOTHiNG. It goes by so fast. You'll have an eight month old & three three year olds full time. That is a ton of work! I guess you're stuck taking the baby out two out of the three days the triplets are in school. So there goes your break, gosh what a mess. I truly hope this works out for you. But I doubt they'd let u talk to their former nannies. I bet they have some stories
to share. So who said you won't have all seven @ once? By the sounds of what you've posted, it sounds like you could have all seven about half the month. You have GOT to figure out your pay very carefully. Because what if one month you have on average four kids & seven the next? How would you figure out the pay?? Maybe have a "base" pay. That covers the nine month old full time, the three y/o triplets(minus 8.5 hrs/week+transportation time) J& Ks two weekends & half the month & As half the month. That would the minimum you earn per month. When there are any extra days or hours, you'll need a payment schedule. Each child costs them $X/day or $x/hour. Have that figured out & posted up on a communication bored. Along with your base salary & kids/days that base salary covers. Color code that. Have another calendar to manually fill in any additional kids/days/hours, INCLUDING playdates if ur the only caregiver, errands, extra chores. Create an additional fee per chore or per day for errands. Put that on your ala carte menu. Make sure the parents sign the back of your calendars & ala carte menu. People always tend to forget when they agree to pay for something. Good luck..please let us know how this turns out!

soontobebostonnanny said...

@ AnotherBoston nanny, Thank you so much for the suggestions I will look into all of those.

@gypsy, all your concerns are valid. I'm nervous, but I honestly have a good feeling about this.

Also I will not be responsible for any chores or cleaning they have someone who cleans, who does laundy and housekeeping. I'll be there only for the kids.

I spent sometime with them this weekend, and met their current naany as well as J&K.

first off, J&K are two of the sweetest little kids I have ever met. Their mother is also very nice. I met her during drop off.

None of the kids seem to have any emotional problems from their lives they seem to be very happy and well adjusted.

A seems to want a need a little extra attention and her parents are aware of that fact, but she by no means seems like anything other than a typical 4 1/2 year old.

Their current nanny had nothing much to say.

All I can do is give it my best shot.

soontobenostonnanny said...

I'm supposed to work with current nanny this week. Then the family is going away on vacation for a few weeks. Their last week of vacation I'm supposed to join them again with their nanny and few more days together at their home and then I'm on my own.

I have yet to meet A's father. do you think it would be out of line to ask that I meet him?

J & K's mother wanted to meet me so I didn't need to ask.

OceanBlue said...

I don't think it would out of line for you to ask to meet him before agreeing to the position.

But, you might meet him anyway, as half the week he comes for his daughter.

Although it sounds as though you've been hired.

I hope you negotiated an excellent contract for yourself.

If you haven't I would try and talk to current nanny away from the job. It's not like she's going to badmouth the kids or the bosses while in front of them.