Bringing Your Own Brood

I'm helping a friend research nanny options for her baby who is on the way. She had thought about either a nanny share or hiring a nanny who brought her own child or up to 2 children to cut down on the cost but still provide more one-on-one care than a childcare center or in-home daycare. Apparently she has had some good candidates with great experience who want to bring their own kid or kids, but they all charge around $15/hr. We live in Seattle, WA so $15/hr is a low average salary for an experienced nanny (within a few dollars/hour). Her thought (and mine too) was that the salary should be more like a nanny share salary...she was thinking she would pay more like in the $10/hr range since the baby would have at least one other kid being cared for at the same time.

What do you nannies think? I remember reading a discussion on this board a while back about whether or not a nanny with her own kids would ignore the charges, etc. and I don't think she's worried about that as an issue but doesn't feel like she should pay $15/hr for divided attention when she could pay just slightly more for one-on-one. I know we all have to make a living, but presumably the nanny doesn't have to pay for childcare if she brings her own I'm a little confused as to the logic of only reducing the rate by ~2 dollars an hour to bring your own children along. - Anonymous


RBTC said...

it is a huge savings to the right person to be able to bring their own child and not have to pay daycare

some - not all- candidates with this issue might have a feeling of entitlement so be very careful who you hire

MissMannah said...

I think it is odd that you and your friend think a nanny bringing along her own child is more or less the same as a nanny share. In a share, there are two families paying, so she is making a good amount. In a single family setting, your friend would be the only one paying and I'm assuming it is very difficult to live off only $10/hr there.

EastBayNanny said...

Please PLEASE pay this person what you can afford. I'm always curious what a family who can afford a nanny in the first place feels they need that extra $20 a day for by saving a couple dollars off a wage for someone who cares for their children.

My point is, nickle and diming about a few DOLLARS an hour is silly IMO. Why??

I consider it a wonderful bonus that your friend's baby would have another baby friend around to learn from everyday. So much social learning to be had!!! And as far a "undivided attention", after 20 years working with kids and families (and currently getting my teenager through life), I can definitely attest that the earlier the concept of delayed gratification is learned, the BETTER!

Please do not worry yourselves about whether it is fair to pay her less. Pay her what you can afford, and consider the fact that she is a parent herself a BIG PLUS!

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

For a working mother to be able to bring along her own child to work everyday is a HUGE perk!

I do not think your friend should hire someone who is caring for another child at the same time yet. When a baby is newborn, they need to eat every few hours, be changed every few hours and they need peace and quiet for frequent naps. At this stage, socialization skills are not being formed yet and if the other child were ill and the baby caught it, it could be serious.

I would have a nanny who could provide one on one care for the newborn for the beginning.
Then once the baby grows up and develops the need for socialization, your friend can hire someone who cares for an extra child as well.

EastBayNanny said...

Amy you bring up very important points regarding how intensive infant care is. The nanny would definitely need to be top-notch with full ability to prioritize tasks and needs. But I disagree about socialization. Babies learn socialization skills very early on- it's a joy to observe- and I believe helps them form into more accommodating human beings :)

ericsmom said...

Great perk if someone can bring their child along. The nanny shouldn't expect to make the same as a nanny not bringing along a child. I know where I live most people that can afford nannies do not want someone that brings their child. It is kinda of sad in a way that is how the world is.

Yeah, the nanny should expect a lower wage. She would have to pay someone to watch her child otherwise.

ericsmom said...

The child will socialize no matter what. You can always go to the parks, mommy and me playgroups, have playdates, just being around the nanny he/she will learn.

WashintonNanny said...

I am a nanny in the Seattle area. When I first started nannying for My current family I agreed to $15 an hour because I was able to bring my baby with me. Seattle is expensive and I can't afford to live off of less!

oprm said...

Hi. I should friend really can only afford somewhere in the neighborhood of $10/hr. She asked me for advice because when we just had one child we did a nanny share and each family paid $10. She's willing to consider that option but would want it to be with a family she knows and currently doesn't know anyone looking for that kind of arrangement so she thought of the "nanny who brings kids" option. The comment about how she could pay just a little more for undivided attention was my editorializing, I don't think she can afford $15-$18/hr. She's single and it's unclear the amount of support she will have.

And one pet peeve I have is when someone says "pay your nanny what you can afford". By that logic, Bill Gates' nanny(ies) would be billionaires and since some people can only afford $10/day, some nannies would only make that much. I certainly know our family has sacrificed to afford a professional nanny in the past to pay her what she wanted, so I'm not saying people shouldn't do their best to compensate great nannies with great salaries, I just think that there are so many factors that go into what a family can afford and what a nanny is "worth" in terms of salary.

I guess my thought was that if I was able to bring my kids to work with me (which, by the way, there is no way in hell that I could do), that I would be about $60K better off each year. So if my work said "hey, you can bring your kids to work every day and not pay a nanny, but we're reducing your salary by 40K per year" I'd go for it (again, not an option in my career, but just letting you know where I'm coming from). I guess I think of nanny share like a win/win/win (families pay less, nanny makes more). I thought a mommy nanny would be win/win/win too (nanny doesn't pay for childcare/still makes a reasonable salary/family pays less). I guess I just don't know the motivation of a family to hire a nanny who brings kids with little or no discount for the family? Do any moms out there employee a nanny mom and still pay nearly a full rate or a full rate?

Lyn said...

$10 an hour post childcare is NOT a reasonable salary op. Could you live on that?

MissMannah said...

OP, you seem a little clueless about nanny world.

1. Saying a nanny bringing her child to work is comparative to you bringing yours to work just doesn't make sense. You're comparing apples and oranges. (I'm assuming you don't have a job in the childcare field.)

2. I am not sure what averages in Seattle are, but I think it is apparent no one can live comfortably off $10/hour.

3. Having a nanny is a luxury, not a right. If you can't afford to pay your nanny what she deserves, then you can't afford a nanny. Choose a different childcare arrangement.

Jamie Delaney said...

OP- I apologize! I assumed your friend could afford a nanny- she can't. So while "pay your nanny what you can afford" is one of my favorite platforms, it would not apply to your friend. Also doesn't apply to billionaires, obviously- that would be silly.

Do you know whether she has looked into state subsidized child care ? In Cali, the maximum $ charged to families who qualify is around $100 per week. Teachers in these programs earn somewhere between $12-$20 (ish), depending on county/ wealth (joke!) of agency.

I'm not at all being facetious here. Subsidized child care is a crucial resource for most families.

another nanny said...

I think your friend should probably look into daycare instead. I'm pretty sure she could find a high quality daycare that would fit comfortably within her budget.
Nanny care really ends up being expensive. It's not just the hourly salary, but also taxes, back-up care when nanny is sick or on vacation, petty cash for nanny to use with baby during the day, etc.

Oprm said...

She's considering all of her options...this is just one. Part of the issue in our area is sparse availability for infant daycare spots. She is on several waiting lists. Pretty sure she makes too much for subsidized care but I will encourage her to look into it. Thanks for the tip!!

On another note...I am not a moron. I assure you that I understand perfectly that $10/hr is not enough to live on and that comparing my job (I am a registered nurse) with a nanny is not a direct comparison. My point was that being able to bring ones own children to work is a perk that saves the employee a lot of money. What would the alternative be? $20/hr pay is great but if she has to turn half of that over for childcare herself...back to square one. I can't live on my salary minus what we pay for childcare. Good thing I married rich (joking!)

Anyway, I do appreciate the opinions. Just because my opinion is different than yours, doesn't make me "clueless" however....

Jamie Delaney said...

There is sparse availability for infant care across the nation, especially CA because infant care is so intensive and requires a smaller teacher : child ratio- 2x as many teachers in fact. It's just not possible for businesses to succeed . Not sure how the laws compare in WA? Also, many state subsidized programs also accept "full fee" families to supplement their programs. These full fees are usually a good deal lower than what private programs charge. So even if your friend does not qualify for subsidized care she may want to seek these programs out and inquire about full cost slots :)

Jamie Delaney said...

Ok and also just to offer another perspective . Perhaps it feels unfair that a nanny can bring her child to work while you can't, but (I assume) when you return home, you're returning to a house with a mortgage, a couple 30k cars in the driveway and a trip to Vancouver coming up? When a nanny making $20/ hr returns home she's thinking about how to afford new tires for her car and whether Obamacare is going to finally allow her to get medical attention for the lump in her breast. Get my point?

RBTC said...

Op - you are not "clueless" - there are posters on this site that are rude to the Ops - i apologize for that - other posters have made the point to you that for some nannies - bringing their child to work is HUGE - money in their pocket, an incredible perk !

as always with these situations - you have to find the right fit - a childcare provider who feels gratitude and not entitlement for that perk

then - both parties can save money - thank you for your patience with the site - and please let us know what happens !

Susannah said...

No $10/hr is not a fair rate for the total your nanny is making.

Yes bringing your kid to work usually gets a discount but that usually down to the $13-$15/hr as opposed to $18 to $20/hr.

Perhaps your friend should seek a true nanny share. Where she and another family share one nanny. Her $10 would go further with that.

Alternatively there is daycare. She can find wonderful ones for $80 or less she wants to play away.

Having a nanny is not a right. I do not care who that offends. If that makes me rude so be it I'm not going to sugar coat and coddle and make it seem ok to pay to pay someone such low wages because someone likes the idea of a nanny.

I like the idea of a benz but my wallet only affords me my camry. So I drive my camry with pride and don't expect the dealers to drop to my range.

Bethany said...

It's seems as though the minimum asking rate in Seattle is $15/hr. That's what your friend will have to go up to if she wants someone who will stick around.

If she sticks with the $10/hr I fear she will have high turnover whixh I'm sure is not what she wants for a child. $10/hr just isn't a liveable wage anymore. Unless your friend is looking for 55 + hours a week and is paying off the books. Which I wouldn't suggest she do.

A share and a a nanny bringing her kid to work are two different things.

In a share a nanny usually ends up making more even though the the cost to the family/employers is less.

Example if your friend found another mom with a baby who could only afford $10/hr together they's throw that in the pot in the nanny they find would be making $20/hr.
Bringing a child is an added benefit yes but she still has the work of caring for a kid not her own 40 hours a week. S400 a week or less really doesn't make it anymore especially when you have a kid to care for.
Think about the benefits of your job would you be ok with slashing your salary by 50% or more just to keep them? Probably not.
Since your friend is ok with another child being in the home maybe a true share would be a good move for her. She's be able to afford a wage that would entice an experienced nanny that would stick around.

Alternatively there is daycare. There are still excellent daycares. IF she goes the daycare route she should try the home/family ones that typically have excellent adult/child ratios.

I hope your friend finds a great soultion to her childcare needs. Good luck to her.

MissMannah said...

RBTC, do you make it your business to be as condescending as possible on every single post?

OP, all I can go by is how you present yourself. You did not previously say your friend is on daycare wait lists. You did say previously that you think nannies deserve to make half of a liveable wage just because they bring their own children along.

I am assuming this nanny has to work, or else she would stay at home. So if she has to work, why would she bother accepting a low-wage position when (as several people pointed out) she could get $15+?

SeattleNanny said...

I am a nanny in Seattle and just found out that I am pregnant with my first child. I have been an agency nanny for 5 years and have extensive infant experience including multiples. I currently make $19.50 an hour for one infant. I am not sure if my current employers will be comfortable with me bringing my baby or not. The agency that I work through does not place nannies with kids. My plan is to offer my current family to cut my rate to a nanny share cost, somewhere in the range of $10-12 an hour. Yes, Seattle is expensive to live in, but that isn't really your employer's obligation to pay you more than what the market rate is. Nannies in this area are typically making $15-18 an hour. I know a few making less and a few making more. I see being able to bring my child with me as a huge perk and daycare or other child care options would not make it worth my while to work out of the home. I am lucky that I am married and my husband has a great job that will allow me to be a SAHM, because I am nervous about being able to find a job where I can bring my own child because there are not a lot of parents who want a nanny with their own kid. For $15-18 an hour, the family can find a nanny without a kid, which is why i think $10-13 is reasonable.

talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

OP, if all your friend can afford is $10/hour she has a few options:

-1- Pool resources with another family and do a true nanny share, in which the nanny will make $18 - $20/hour working for 2 families.

-2- Look for a family daycare environment, and enroll her child there

-3- Find a traditional daycare and enroll her child there

-4- Seek out a local SAHM who would be willing to care for your friend's child along with her own for $8 - $10/hour.

Your friend cannot afford nanny care on her own.

nycmom said...

As an employer, I have been allowed two long-term nannies and one occasional sitter to bring their child to work as needed. I did not reduce their salary in those cases.

However, were I agreeing to a full-time nanny share with the nanny's child as the share, I agree with OP that I would expect the $$ to work as with any nanny share since the nanny has no childcare costs.

These situations are extremely complicated, especially when the nanny's own child is present. Who pays for her child when they go out to eat? What happens if her child is sick? Your child? So many potential issues.

I would simply do as someone suggested above and find another family to do a traditional nanny share where you each pay $10/hr, the nanny sans child then makes $20/hr.

COnanny said...

I am a nanny who brings her own child to work. I have done it since she was born and have only work for families that were accepting of the situation. I do not sacrifice my rate because of the presence of my child while I work. I love what I do and do believe to give my best to my charges and my families. In fact, my child does not come first when I work, my charges do; if they all have dirty diapers, I will change my charges first and then my child. When lunch time comes, I get my charges' bottle ready and feed him/her and then I feed my child. If there were any kind of differential treatment towards my child, I would not be a good mom or a good nanny.
I have always cared for multiple children and that is the way I like it! Each of my families are completely satisfied with my work and love that I bring my child with me. My employers pay me well and I do receive raises and bonuses. They actually get a perk themselves: I have my own memberships to activities and I do not request any gas mileage fees since I bring my child with me. I also use my own car ;)

I am a little offended when others thinks that since the nanny brings her own child, she should be paid a lot less or even half, as in a nanny share. I do bring my child with me but I do not perform half of the work: laundry is done and folded, dishes are put away, kitchen and child's bedroom are cleaner than when the parents left and child is happy and safe.

To answer the questions of a previous poster: I pay for my child when we go out (why would anyone else pay?). If my child is sick, I do hire a babysitter or my husband can leave work to stay home.

Now, If your friend cannot afford the average rate in her area, than is fine. A lot of people are in that situation and there is no shame in that. A nanny is indeed a luxury and maybe she should consider a daycare or a in-home child care center. I know it is hard to find a good, mostly for a newborn but they out there, and you just need to spend the time to look for it. SAHM are another option.
My child will be in a in-home preschool soon and it took me a year and a half to find one that I trust completely, but it is in my budget.

Sorry for the long comment! :)

Lyn said...

CONanny, I think I love you! Best comment on this thread!

COnanny said...

Lol! Thank you Lyn :)

Tami said...

Lower yes?

Why should I pay a nanny her full two child rate when one of the kids is her own?

Why should I pay someone to take care of a responsibility that is their own.

I would agree to the standard one child rate covering my child. Even less if nanny wanted to use my respurces to feed her child while on the job.

But, OP I don't think $10 is a high enough rate.

Your friend may luck out and find a great longterm person, who works as a nanny, but is not dependent on the income.

I hope she is able to find someone great to care for her child.

Ashley said...

Let me be real for a moment.

I know most of us on this blog our nannies and advocates for nannies.

But, $10/hr is nothing to turn your nose up at.

I know her friend in this economy could find an excellent nanny at that rate.

If this person is working 40 hours they'll take home $400 a week which is more than what many are making now.

Sure it would be nice if we could all start at a $15 or $20 minimum but that's not the case.

Maybe, your friend can sweeten the pot and up her rate by $2.

MissMannah said...

COnanny, I also agree that was a great comment. You are awesome for being able to put the other child first while taking care of both. I honestly don't think I'll be able to NOT show preferential treatment to my own child, which is why my husband and I have been discussing me being a SAHM when the time comes.

Just wondering Lyn, how's the adoption coming along? Are you going to try to bring him or her along to work with you? (from what I've read about Korean adoptions, it will likely be a him, is that right?)

Lyn said...

Thanks for asking Mannah! It's slowly coming along! We are STILL waiting for our "placement" papers from Korea and according to our agency can expect to be waiting another 5-6 months. And then begins the resubmitting our dossiers and home studys since we will have moved across country by that point. Ugh. Basically it's just a terribly drawn out waiting game. :(
I'm going to be a sahm for the first year we have our little one. Likely our child will be 11-15 months at placement and then another 5 monthes older when Korea actually will allow us to take them home. So that first year is extremely important to build up that mother-child bond because they will have never had 2 regular parental figures in their life and there will be a lot of regression in the first months.
After that year I'll probably find positions where I can take her (we've been told we will more than likely be paired with a daughter). But I haven't decided if I'll be returning to full time work yet or if we'll work on another adoption immediately after (meaning another year off) or how soon we'll start foster parenting and what will be best for our little family from that point on. I would love to return to Nannying but unfortunately, it may be a few years out from our adoption.

So does this mean congratulations are in order?! Or are you and your hubs making future plans?!

Future nurse :) said...


The last family I worked for had adopted and I must say those children were my favorite! Adoption is such an amazing thing, you guys are giving an AMAZING life to a child who would not have experienced such joy. Congrats are in order and praise, for your willingness to open your heart to this child who might have never had a mother. Just had to put my two cents in, i love seeing great mothers adopt!

Lyn said...

FutureNurse, Thank you so much for your kind words and well wishes! I feel like I've been waiting my entire life to hold this little one and have our family expand. My Hubs and I are EXTREMELY excited. It's all of this waiting that's killing us! Haha! :) I'm so beyond anxious to hold our son/daughter! The day we paint the nursery in our new house (we are moving across country in the spring)I will just lose it emotionally!!! :)

MissMannah said...

Lyn, I don't know how you're doing it. Maybe I'm just an impatient person but I HATE waiting...for anything! I can't imagine what yall must be going through right now. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that you get your placements soon.

No, no congrats for me yet. We've been trying for 7 months now and I just took a test this morning and another negative. Boo!

ericsmom said...

Miss Mannah

Try and taking a vacation or time off for awhile. Maybe, you are under too much stress. Go away for awhile if you can. You never know!!!

MissMannah said...

Thanks Ericsmom, I do actually have a vacation to Florida planned for the last week of September! We both are stressed out and not only because of the baby-making, so it will be a welcome relief. Also, my husband has never seen the ocean so he is so excited!

ericsmom said...

Oh that sounds great Miss Mannah. You guys have a great time. Take lots of pictures for the memories. We are planning to go to the Dominican Republic this winter. My friend loves it and it make me now want to go. I think our son will love it there

MissMannah said...

Thanks we will!

You'll have a great time in the Dominican, I've always wanted to go. My cousin met her husband there and has gone back and forth between the two countries a lot in the past 5 years.