Underpaid and Overdue for a Raise

I am a FT Nanny (over 50hrs a week) and have been with a family in Cleveland, OH for almost a year now caring for their toddler. I make $10/hr and also help around the house. (Childs laundry, bedding, Parents laundry, Dishwasher, Sweeping, etc.) I have also potty trained her. I agreed to this rate because I had no prior experience with toddlers. I worked with my last family for a little over 2yrs and the children were school age. I have over 3yrs of paid Nanny experience. Is it reasonable to ask for a raise? And for how much? I have been looking off and on for a new job. I love my job and this child but I feel like I could be making more and with less hours. Help!


Bethany said...

Yes. It is fair for you to ask for a raise.

I don't know your area well, but I would think you should atleast be getting $15/hr for being a nanny/houskeeper.
You should be making time and a half for the hours you work over 40 in one week.

Now in reality, they aren't likely to give you a $5 raise and start paying overtime.

You might be able to talk them into $12 or $13.

You ask for a sit down, have all your information ready to go and negotiate.
Your one year is a perfect time to do this.

If you don't have a contract get one. Discuss your hours, and a reasoble wage for the work you do ( check the rates in your area)

for me I always specify that my rate is x for strictly childcare(including baby laundry and baby room tidying) and an additional x for each household chore.
You need to figure out what you are comfortable with. Some nannies don't mind doing the washing for mom and dad and cleaning house, some are completely against it, some (like myself) will negotiate certain chores for additional compensation.
Think about it.

If you need examples of contracts many great ones have been posted here before, and I'm sure if you asked the authors would be willing to repost.
It's highly unlikely they will go for this.

But give them a chance.

So I would continue to look for a new job, and if you find one that is a good match for you with better pay put in your 2-4 weeks of notice and go.

Loving your job and caring for your charge are great things, but you also must care and look out for yourself.

I hope everything works out for you.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I would wait until the actual one-year mark and then ask for a raise. Considering you have proven yourself a good Nanny by now (being on time, not calling in sick,etc.) I think you deserve at least $12-13/Hr by now. I mean, you work such long hours plus you do housework on top of that.

If the family won't give you a raise, I would look for another position where you can make more and work less hours.

Personally, I think you are being underpaid for all you do.

Susannah said...

Wait until your anniversay, then you tell mb/db you want to negotiate/renegotiate a contract.

I'd say you should atleast be making $12 for all you do for them and overtime pay.

If they refuse to negotiate or give a raise, find a new job. I would start looking now just in case.

Village said...

I'd get out there shopping for another job.

Get a better offer, and then go to your family. Ask for more than your offer, and see what they say. If they don't want to match or better the offer, you can quit for more money.

But unless you have a better job offer, I don't know what leverage you have in negotiations, other than please, I need a raise, and then settle for $.50/hr. while MB and DB feel GENEROUS.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great comments, they're very helpful. I hadn't thought to ask for overtime pay, as I didn't have it with my first family I worked for. I also have taxes taken out of my check, so my take home every week evens out to $429 (for 52hrs/wk). My rate really comes out to $8.25/hr. I did sign a 1yr contract with them and will have to go through it again, it has been some time since I've looked at it. As I stated, I agreed to this rate & hours because I didn't have any prior experience with toddlers. They hired me anyway and walked me through it. They also got me CPR & First Aid certified, paid for a passport and have taken me on work related trips to Europe twice (which were nice, but I was working absolute full days).
Anymore insight or advice would be entirely helpful, I really need to make a decision soon for myself and let this family know as well. Thank you.

Lyn said...

I would definitely wait until the contract review period comes around and then mention needing a salary closer to $13 hourly.
And you should ABSOLUTELY add an overtime rate of 1.5x your normal pay to your next contract. Truthfully, if you didn't ask for a raise and managed to get them to agree to pay you overtime then it probably evens out. But I do not think it would be wise to push for both of these things. Pick one (in my opinion it should be overtime) and then either wait until the following year to also ask for a raise, OR, ask that contracts be reviewed every 6 months instead of annually and bring up bump for $12 hourly in six months time.

Good luck OP!

gypsygirl said...

At the year mark, its time to revise the agreement. Definately get paid for overtime, anything over 10 or 12 hours per day(whatever works for you) and for anything over 40 hours per week. If you fail to get paid overtime on a per day basis, they'll take advantage of that and you'll have some very long days!!

Remember, by asking for what you're ensuring that you don't grow resentful. Growing resentful will lead to you leaving this family. Its easier and better for everyone if you can work this out. Ask for what you deserve. If they don't agree, let them know you'll be looking for another job.

gypsygirl said...

I actually didn't accept a job because of something that was said to someone else, during an interview. The parent was talking to a friend about me, as if I was not there! What the....??? I was *right there, yet she spoke about me as if I was a hologram. "The nanny who is starting this week" She did this a few times and never introduced me to her friends. They would look over at me as if I was a science experiment. She offered me the job & I would've been very good at it. She's a very meticulous mom & I am very meticulous myself. However, I turned down the job. I don't need money that bad! How dare she act like I'm invisable. Rude, rude, rude! I wonder if she ever found a nanny who didn't mind the map she made of where the kids toys go, LOL!!!???

gypsygirl said...

This is supposed to be posted under the five things to never say around your nanny. Sorry guys!

nycmom said...

Yes, annual raises are standard and 3-5% is "standard" though .50-$1/hr is common. It's hard to recommend an exact amount since it depends entirely on the market wage for a nanny in Cleveland, OH. $10/hr does not seem low for some areas based on what many nannies on here have posted. It would be low for major cities like NY, Boston, SF, Chicago, etc.

Child's laundry, child's bedding, dishwasher, sweeping up messes (not routine daily sweeping/mopping of the house) are pretty standard duties that most nannies do. Parents' laundry is variable and I would consider this a task that I pay extra for. Potty training a child is also a standard nanny duty for a toddler. Just to clarify that apart from parents' laundry and depending on what "sweeping" means, you aren't doing significant housework beyond the norm. Which doesn't mean you aren't a great nanny, just that I would not use that as a negotiating tool or assume a new job would be much different.

NannyBrandie said...

By law they are suppose to pay you 1.5 times your regular pay if you work more than 40 hours a week.

Do you have paid vacation with your family? Or sick/holidays? When you go over your contract with them, add that if you haven't already. Everyone deserves a little R&R :)

Ask for at least 12$ an hour.
And I chime in with the posters above, start looking for an alternative if they aren't willing to budge. You deserve more than 10$ an hour for taking care of young children.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

Since you are working on the books and have taxes taken out and all, it seems to me that it is illegal for them to not be paying you any overtime. They could get in some serious trouble for it.

I would look over my past checks and ask for back pay regarding overtime pay. Seems like they just might owe you more money.

Phoenix said...

If you are nearing your year anniversary working for this family, I think it is acceptable to ask for a raise.

Princess said...

I would never work for that low and think it is absurd! I started at 20/hr with my family and all the potential families I was talking with from my agency offered that or more. The very lowest I saw was 750 a week but I think that was one family. Most offered 8-900$ a week, gross.

Is it really illegal not to pay overtime? I'm on the books and work 45 hrs a week and am not paid overtime.

gypsygirl said...

Yes, princess. It is very illegal to deny you overtime. They owe you back pay.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for your comments and insight... you have truly opened my eyes.

gypsygirl said...

Good luck, OP. Please let us know how this works out for you. I'm glad you're going to get your just compensation. I'm thinking positive ;-)

Sarah said...

Sweetie- wow. Do you realize you make a little over $20,000 a year as an experienced live-out Nanny? How do you pay your rent on that? How do you pay for your car payments and utilities and food and medical bills and credit card bills? I'm sure you don't- which is exactly why this family is paying you this. They know that you can do it so they will take advantage of that since you let them. $10 an hr to Nanny and be a Housekeeper? Sorry but those are two separate job descriptions. You should be getting at least $15 for all of that.

How did they get you to do their laundry too for $10 an hour? Do you realize that hiring people to come into your home and do your laundry costs good money? Why do you think there are professional house cleaners? I have a friend who does it and get at least $70 in 2 hours. Thats for a small job.

people R crazzzzy said...

I just saw an ad where a family wants a nanny to care for two kids and clean their whole house for $10 an hour. I emailed them a loooong letter, lol. As a nanny $10 an hour doesn't even cover two kids. Were in the SF bay area. And a cleaning job pays at least $25 an hour.

If the ad is still up, Ill msg it to MPP and if she posts it, Ill post the letter I sent them.

nycmom said...


Where in the SF Bay Area are you?

What I found interesting upon moving here is that the nanny and housekeeper rates seemed the exact opposite (and more fair) than NYC. SF: Nannies roughly $20/hr; Hkers: $15. NYC was the opposite. But I am on the Peninsula so perhaps different parts of the Bay Area have different trends.

peopleare crazzzzzzzzy lol said...

This ad is for Moraga. The whole bay area is like this though.

Mrs. Billy Lamar said...

If you are making only ten dollars an hr and it is on the books, why not get a job as a cashier or in a restaurant somewhere? That way you can get daily 15 min./lunch breaks plus discounts on store merchandise or food, etc.

nycmom said...

I don't know the East Bay well so I don't know if the nanny would need to drive. But this hasn't been my experience from extensive interviewing and research in the past few months. I find that because nannies here need to drive, that eliminates most illegal immigrants for most families, thus meaning nanny wages are higher since an entire group of lower paid individuals are removed from competition. I did not interview a single nanny who asked for less than $16/hour (and she ended up not being legal as I later found out). All the rest asked for approximately $20/hour gross.

Housekeepers, however, can be independent contractors and do not need to drive your kids anywhere. Thus, I think I have met only one housekeeper getting close to $25/hour and she was with the same family for many years. Parents do not generally do the same level of background checks on housekeepers and immigration status is not usually something that you would/could ask.

I have no doubt there are cheap families everywhere, but IME the nannies in the Bay Area that are experienced,legal and qualified can absolutely command good wages. I haven't seen surveys on housekeepers, but I have seen two (Berkeley Parents Network and on Peninsula) for nannies which support that most nannies are making much more than $10/hour. If you are continually getting these kind of terrible offers, I would suggest working with an agency because you can definitely get decent pay here.

PeopleAreCrazyAndStingy said...

Nycmom....I was looking on Craigslist, when I came across that ad. I failed to mention the job requires a car bc they want the nanny to take the kids to the pool, etc.

I was such a b**** about it, because it was so offensive that I posted a fake ad for the same area offering $20 an hour. My ad will highlight their cheapness. I know that's crazy and no I have nothing better to do, LOL!!

Mrs.BillyLamar, I agree! $10 an hour is low, considering there are two kids and that its the bay area. And then they have the nerve to expect free house cleaning??? Hello no.

Aries said...

Wait until the one year mark an then bring up a raise, try atleast $12/hr and write down an explain why you feel you deserve this. If they trust you an you're good nanny they wont want to make you unhappy. 50hrs, I hope you're getting overtime and I hope you have a contract.

Don't quit until you've atleast talked to your employors.