Park Slope Parents Survey

Are any other nannies sick of seeing the Park Slope Parents Survey being used as the be-all-end-all of nanny compensation? 1) It states $15/hr is average. No problem, want an average nanny? Pay average. Want an excellent nanny with a college degree and years of experience who is fun, creative, and has a great rapport with children? You should pay as much as you can afford. It's your children! Why are you shopping around for who will raise your children?? 2) 63% of these nannies are paid off the books. 3) 52% of these nannies haven't been around a full year. 4) 47% of these nannies had to be fired due to unacceptable behavior or not being a good fit (which in my mind means the nanny is lazy, uncommunicative, or rude). So, if you want an average nanny who will stick around less than a year, will demand to be paid off the books, and will most likely need to be fired, absolutely pay the average. If you want an excellent nanny, you need to compensate excellently.


HobokeNanny said...

Why are amazing nannies who are U.S. citizens, have a college degree, as well as an extensive childcare resume, and speak English only considered average? I am that nanny.

Why would parents rather have an illegal citizen who barely speaks English or has such a thick accent that no one understands them, and pay so much money for that person? I used to nanny for an affluent family in NYC and became friends with Caribbean women who after my job ended, asked me to be a fake mom to give their friends a reference. So for those parents that look for someone better, try paying the college educated person a couple dollars extra.

Watch Yourselves said...

Yikes...I am also a college educated American, English speaking nanny...but tread lightly here ladies. This could get offensive in the blink of an eye and in some ways it already kind of is...I think I know what you're trying to say but its coming across with very racist undertones.

HobokeNanny said...

Racist? Why does everything need to turn to race? I mentioned location in my experience of a scam. I didn't allude to background when talking about an illegal citizen. Could be Russian or Mexican!

Manhattan Nanny said...

Yes, it is frustrating. That survey is ridiculous. In NYC, Park Slope has a reputation for low paid "park bench nannies." Of course there are some families there who pay well, and have wonderful nannies, but I don't think they are likely to answer the survey. Those who do have a vested interest in keeping salaries low.

Adele said...

I don't think that $15/Hr is that is actually on the "high end" where I live at. (San Diego, CA)

I also do not think a college degree equates a good nanny, unless the degree is in Child Development. What good will someone with a Business degree have on my baby boy? I need someone efficient, responsible, patient and very loving to care for my precious child. Those traits matter to me most than a piece of paper.

I agree that parents should be pay their nannies a good wage. Nannies do such an important job in raising our future generation. ♥

missmary said...

OP here:

I'm not saying that being a corn-fed, white, english-as-a-first-language USA USA USA 'Merican is the only way to be a good nanny. There are lots of excellent nannies of every ethnicity & creed.
I also don't think it takes a college degree to be a good nanny, and not all people with college degrees have the capacity to be good nannies. However, so many people want their nanny to have a college education, which comes with lots of student loans for most.
It's just very frustrating that people think b/c that survey says nannies are paid at average $15/hr, that they shouldn't pay a dime more for an excellent one.
I interviewed with a family (via Sitter City) who refused to discuss rate until getting to know me. Then they dropped the PSP survey bomb, that they'd pay $15.50/hr (for a newborn & 2yr old... see! more than average! /snark), and told me how the job was easy because Dad would often be home.
Uh yeah. clueless. no thanks. this stupid survey is really screwing up the market!

stupid,survey,I agree... said...

Dad home? What a nightmare. Poor nanny. I bet she felt undermined & under a microscope. That situation rarely works out, for the nanny. Easier? How so? That makes no sense. said...

I would've agreed in a heartbeat. And then told the prospective parents. ;-)

nanny.since.1993 said...

$15 is average/a bit low in the SF bay area. For two kids $20 would be average.

BrooklynMomma said...

Manhattan Nanny, you're quite right. Park Slope is such a hot ass ghetto mess!!

I once posted on ISYN after seeing a nanny chat on her phone for 45 minutes while completely ignoring her charge. Another serious incident (where the child ran into traffic) prompted me to reach out within the community and I ultimately found the mom. She was from Park Slope, knew her nanny didn't interact much with the child at the playground so as to "encourage individual play", and told me to mind my own business because she paid "good money" for her nanny and it was better than sending her daughter "to some daycare".

The Park Slope nanny survey should be what parents use as a guide on how NOT to pay your nanny a crappy wage.

a mommy said...

I have had 7 different childcare providers during my 12 years as a parent. I paid $10 an hour 12 years ago and pay $15 an hour now. I have never 'required' that my sitter have a college degree but some have, some haven't. Hands down the best nanny I ever had didn't even finish HS and English wasn't her first language. Oh, and I did pay one woman who had a degree in education $20/hr when we first moved to a new town...the 2nd time she sat for me, she took my kids to the park and lost my house key there (because she had put it in her bra she tells me). You don't need a college degree to raise kids and paying over $15 an hour for sitter is ridiculous unless it's more than 3 kids. It seems like people with college degrees want to get paid more...and I agree...but you can't expect more working as a nanny. I worked a job right out of college (with my 4 yr degree) and paid the same as my coworker who only had a HS diploma. Why? Because the job paid X/ hour....and a degree wasn't required to do the job...just like nannying

nycmom said...

I agree with Mommy that I have found zero correlation between a college degree and a better nanny. If anything, I think I have found too many inexperienced young, white, educated Caucasian women who think they are automatically entitled to a higher base rate for nannying than experienced counterparts without those attributes (white + college degree). If anything, I have found a negative correlation between degree and performance unfortunately.

I think the PSP survey, as well as other surveys I have read including the INA one, are valuable resources. Of course, you cannot interpret them in a vacuum and have to apply basic common sense. Nonetheless, I have found them to be fairly accurate at evaluating the "average." I don't think knowing the average expectations for a job, as an employer or employee, is a bad thing. From there, each person or family can make their own choice as to what works for their needs. But having some reference points is quite helpful.

Plus, as someone who strongly believes in ANY evidence to support my choices in life, I am grateful for any piece of information in an area sorely lacking in real data. I equally enjoy reading and correlating the data from the Nanny Xmas Bonus surveys on here, recognizing that they also have limits and are skewed in some ways.

FWIW, Adele, I agree that $15 is high for San Diego. I have never seen lower nanny salaries than when we lived there, likely due to the close proximity to a large, lower paid illegal immigrant population. Likewise, nanny.since.1993, I also completely agree that $20 is the closer average here in SF and I think the Berkeley Parents Network surveys and the one I have seen for the Peninsula support that.

Manhattan Nanny, though I rarely disagree with you, I do disagree on who responds to the survey, though agree with the concept or responder bias. As a mom who pays above average and values my caregivers, I am glad to contribute to the higher numbers on the surveys I have responded to. Good employers do not have a true interest in keeping nannies' salaries depressed -- that would make them bad employers IMO!

AMom said...

umm, Park Slope is far from a hot ass ghetto mess neighborhood. It has high rents, highly educated people living here and beautiful homes. it is far from a ghetto and is one of the most desirable areas of NYC/Brooklyn to live in! As for $15 an hour, I think that is very fair for one child, for two children, it should be in the area of $18 an hour.

AMom said...

Oh, and who wants to bet that this post complaining about $15 an hour was written by a nanny?

nycmom said...

Also, because I think misinterpreted data is worse than no data:

1. Average pay for 2 kids, including part-time and full-time, on and off the books was $15.96/hour.

2. 63% of employers *reported* paying ALL of the books. Another 9% admit paying some on/some off. Plus, 13% declined to respond meaning a portion of these are also likely to pay off the books. Point being: my interpretation is that 75-80% is a more likely % of parents paying illegally to some degree.

3. Yes.

4. Unless I am misreading the data, no % or raw numbers are given for how many of the employers have ended an employment situation. The only data is IF you have terminated a nanny employment situation, WHY did you do so. That is why the total % of reasons for ending adds up to greater than 100% since employers were able to check multiple boxes as reasons. In the case of terminating employment, it is 47% for bad fit/behavior. But that is NOT 47% of ALL employers in the survey having fired a nanny for poor performance out of PSP nannies in the past year. It is reasons for ever terminating an employment situation. Of course, poor fit/performance is likely to be a major reason this occurs regardless of location. This is a vastly different interpretation of the data than presented in the OP.

Kyle said...

I think it is very important for a nanny to discuss rate on the phone prior to a personal interview. Who wants to drive across town, waste gas and time, spend an hour playing on the floor with a baby only to find out the family is only offering $5/Hour??!

My method of operation is that I need to know both the parents and I are on the same page regarding pay. I wouldn't want to waste my time and theirs by seeing if we are a good fit, then having it all fall through just because we were on opposite sides regarding a fair salary.

I have had parents tell me that "rate will be discussed during interview." Some other parents have criticized me for bringing up rate early on since they claim by me doing so, it seems I am only interested in dollar signs.


makes-sense said...

You make a very good point. Five years ago, when I ran a family child care, I would be put off by parents who would call & immediately & only ask about fees. And then one day, I was trying to think of things from their perception. If that's their first & only question, they may be very cheap. OR, they're truly strugling & can't afford child care, unless its from one of the $2 an hour crack houses. I'm going to remeber this POV, for when I post ads looking for a nanny for our son. If its not a certain amount, it wouldn't be right for some nannys.

makes-sense said...

Ask them if they would go to an interview for a job without knowing the pay scale? Who does that? Ask them if they would go through all the steps of the interview process if there was a chance the job paid 1/5 of what that usually make? Or minimum wage?

makes-sense said...

Encourage all of your nanny friends to inflate the survey!!! That can't be too hard, just pose as parents.

Katydid said...

In general I do not like nanny salary surveys.

I truly wish there was a standardize salary and entry point for the firld, but I don't think that will happen.


I've come to the point in my career where I set my rate. I do not negotiate. I do not defend it. My rate is my rate. If parents do not like it they are free to look elsewhere.

UmassSlytherin said...

I don't think a college degree means everything, but it does mean something. It definitely can't hurt. Out me and my four siblings, three of us have a degree and the other two do not, and he makes the most money! lol

Mrs. Billy Lamar said...

I agree, it makes no sense not to discuss salary upfront. Can you imagine if you had multiple interviews, background checks run, references called, etc., then discuss salary?

Salary should always be brought up during the first conversation whether that be e-mail or phone.

;-) said...

My siblings have masters & doctorates. Whereas I have a BS. Guess what? They make more, but they have so much debt. Not including student loans. They have retail debt & made poor decisions in real estate. Guess who is debt free, retired @ 32 & owes $0 on our three homes, in three states?

My point is, its what you do with the money you earn, learning how to make your money work for you & making good decisions.

They make more income, but we can be a greater success, should we choose to. ;-)

missmary said...

I didn't get a degree to earn megabucks. I got it (later in life, not fresh out of high school) to learn an art-form I love, and to round myself out as an individual. I don't think college is the be-all-end-all and my friends that make the most money never went.

HobokeNanny said...

If you're retired at 32, you're obviously either married to money or did it on your own. It doesn't matter how, but your siblings worked hard for their degrees. I know I worked hard for mine and I should be compensated for it. As a nanny, I know I teach my kid more than park bench nannies. If a nanny has a college degree, it's valuable. Hands down.

:) said...

We all(myself & siblings) have college degress & worked hard for them. Not sure what you're trying to say. Your post is all over the place. But okay! :-)

Ex-nanny said...

Once I heard a mom complaining about paying $15/h for nannies. She said if you want to make $15/h, go get a college degree!! She was paying less than the minimum wage for this nanny I knew. It was disgusting. I am not defending that parents should pay really high and unreal wage, but it should be fair. Some people want to have a nanny but cannot afford.

About the $15/h rate, it depends where you live. In SF, $15/h is less than most nannies that I've met make. In L.A., this is average, but it is easy to find nannies getting as much as $10/h.

College degree indeed does not make a nanny any more special. In my opinion, unless you get a degree in Child Development, you'd be wasting your years in college getting i.e. business degree and working as a nanny.

Ex-nanny said...

Oh, about the paying under the table, most parents I've met prefer doing it so. I once did an interview where the parents preferred to pay me under the table, even though I was willing to get paid on the books.

The other thing I noticed is that some parents do not care whether English is your first language or spanish, chinese etc, they actually have been looking for bilingual nannies, so their children can be immersed on a second language in early age.

fed up said...

Ugh. What a bunch of absolute NONSENSE! $15 an hour in NYC? Are you serious? And these are the parents who want their nanny to cook, clean, speak French, play with them, cut their carrots in a 90 degree angle ONLY, and so on. Stop trying to low ball your nannies, many of us are very hard working, respectful, responsible people who genuinely love children and want to teach them and love them, and not just get paid to sit at a bench while the kids plays tag with a taxi cab.

Also having a degree does not equal to being a better nanny. Experience comes first in our field. Yes you can read a book on kids, but is every child like that? No. It helps to read and take classes on child development to help teach them according to their age group but some things cannot be taught by books. I mean you can read "What to expect when expecting" 40x but does that mean you will be a good parent? Nope.

Stop trying to kelley blue book your nanny as if she is some used honda civic you are looking for. Nannies who are highly experienced, and actually will teach and love your kid should be paid well and not a measly 15 bucks an hour in a city where you have to sell a kidney to pay rent.

You want to pay a little? Then expect a little in return.

College, Shmollege said...

The college degree thing is always funny to me. I attended 2 yrs of college, I do not have a degree, and I have never met prospective nanny employers who cared. Most of them don't even ask.

I had a friend who got her degree in communications. She was unable to get a job, so she fell back into nannying because she babysat in HS and college. She was furious to find out that I was making more than she was.

I have over 15 yrs experience in childcare, excellent references, and I do a great job. Nannying is what I love to do. My friend was only nannying as a fallback, and had limited experience. Yet she thought she should be making more because she has a degree (that doesn't even relate to childcare?) Good luck finding a family who shares that belief.

Illegal does not mean bad said...


Why do you list being a US citizen and speaking english as reasons why a nanny is worth more? That sounds incredibly prejudiced.

I had a nanny from south america who was here illegally and she was wonderful. Completely loving and nurturing, very safety conscious, and I am proud to have given her a chance in this country.

Remember, unless you are Native American, we are ALL illegal immigrants.

momoa said...

Native Americans are immigrants too. They just happened to do it earlier than others. I've always hoped that their would be evidence of an earlier culture that the Native Americans obliterated. Would blow a hole in all these arguments.

No illegal doesn't mean you are bad, but it does mean you and your nanny are breaking our current laws, but if you are into picking and choosing which laws you follow as long as they don't incovenience you have at it, and as long as you are cool with your choice making it so your fellow citizen has to take a lower wage so you can pay your illegal under the table at $8 bucks an hour have at it.