Starting Out Pay for a Live-in?

I am looking for a job as a live-in nanny, I have 6+ years of combined childcare experience (live-out, hands on babysitting, my own sibling) and am 19, but before you start the age bashing please understand yes, I do know what i'm doing when it comes to caring for children. I am starting classes online this spring in child development/early childhood education. I have been on the look for about two months now in the live-in department (live-out's don't want to pay over $150 week here for 40+ hours). I have asked multiple other nannies what a starting out live-in should be paid and from all across the country I have been quoted about $450 weekly salary or $12-15 an hour.

I plan on being a career nanny and I do have experience with children and household management task so I really get frustrated when people tell me they will only pay $300 a week in cash for 40+ hours a week, and wont take taxes out. I even had a lady tell me if she hired me I wasn't allowed to take my own taxes out. 1. isn't it illegal to not take taxes out for childcare, well nannying, with the nanny tax and all? and 2. I need to have taxes taken out for social security etc for the future. So I guess what i'm really asking is what is a fair starting salary for a live-in position in your opinion? - Nanny Mar


Belle Vierge said...

I don't know who is quoting you $450 weekly for live-in. If you read other posts and discussions on here, $12-15/hourly is a good starting rate for a live-OUT nanny. To be frank, no way in hell should you make the same as live-in.

I just finished a live-in job. Honestly, I was underpaid at first for the hours I worked, but when we moved from New York to Toronto, I received a large raise, plus I worked less hours.

Here were my perks of being live-in:

-my own room & bathroom, in the basement, away from the kids (in New York, I even had a separate entrance)
-all utilities, including wifi
-all grocery expenses (so if I bought food for myself at the store, they reimbursed me, but I paid all my own eating out expenses)
-use of their car, they added me to their insurance, they paid my gas, I could use the car during my free time M-F & sometimes on weekends
-two weeks paid vacation
-occasional nice samples from MB's job
-nice gifts for Christmas, for moving to Toronto, for my birthday

In New York, I earned $250/week, and I usually worked 43 hours a week, plus I baby-sat 1-2 nights a week. No additional compensation for when they were on school break.

In Toronto, I earned $350/week, usually working 30 hours a week, rarely baby-sitting 1-2 nights a week. No additional compensation for school breaks.

This was all under the table, although that was from my naivete. My previous job had been in France, so it was definitely taxed for immigration purposes.

Lyn said...

I would agree $200-250 is pretty fair if you are receiving all the typical live-in benefits. Very few live in Nannies make $450 a week. And the ones that do have all been in the profession for a while.
Also, a professional Nanny typically only counts childcare experience from the age of 18 onward. Many parents are put off by the responses they get to their ads from people who are 19 but claiming 6+ years of childcare. And I promise I'm not trying to age bash you. I was 19 when I started the profession fresh out of college.

Bethany said...

I deally a live-in would be paid $450 a week, but sadly that isn't the case.

I still think $ anything below $350 for a 40 hour weel is too little even with typically living expenses paid for.

It stinks, but things like caring for you siblings or child care you did before age 18 doesn't count
on the resume.

Good luck finding a job! Being a nanny is great!

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Generally speaking, and there are states with exceptions to this "rule" that guarantee more pay, a LI nanny must earn at least minimum wage for all hours worked, but a LI does not qualify for OT.

A LI working 50 hours a week MUST be paid at least federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour) - $362.50.

Some families choose to deduct "room and board" from the LI weekly paycheck, but I am not sure about the legality of that.

This link discusses salary and benefits in detail:

Lyn said...

Tales, you're right. I amend whhat I previously said. A nanny should not make under minimum wage foreach hour she works. Whether live in or not.

NanonymouslyYours said...

Let me be frank without seeming snotty.

I am a nanny.

However, I would in no way be comfy with hiring a nanny who has an Early Childhood degree from online courses, nor would I offer to pay her the same as a nanny who has a degree from an on campus school You have to get in there and get your hands dirty and learn the ins and outs of ALL different types of children to be able to have great experience. I'm not sure how you would get that experience from completing those classes on a computer. You should look into a community college - it looks better on resumes and I'm POSITIVE it's much cheaper than online schools that rob you.

It's the same with all other jobs - more so than not - employers dismiss the resumes that state they got their degree from Online Degree University.

You are 19, I think what you're being quoted seems fair - but like the others posters stated, you should in no way get any less than minimum wage.

Do not let your future bosses let you think they're doing you a FAVOR because you're a live in. If they wanted a live out - they would have advertised that. Too many nanny bosses put the guilt trip on young nannies by making the believe that they should be thankful for their quarters.

When in reality, being a live in is a straight up pain in the butt.

I started out with a very low pay when I first started nannying (375/week after taxes). When you get a few gigs under your belt, people will start taking you more seriously.

Do great at yor job - build great references and work your way up and you'll be on your way to a better paying job. Just remember that to get to the top, you've gotta climb the ladder.

Best of luck!

NanonymouslyYours said...

P.S. Require your future bosses to do taxes - it's the LAW.

Besides, if you got let go at no fault of your own - you'd have nothing to fall back on (unemployment).

You want to be able to show that you make money. What if you wanted to buy a car in the future, you couldn't because you cant prove your income.

Village said...

Let's do the math. Minimum wage for 50 hours a week is $362.50. (As a live in, don't expect a 40 hour week.) You are also getting room and board. Your room and bath is similar to a studio. How much is a studio in your area? Let's use $300 month, or $75 a week. I don't know of anyone who can spend less than $200 a month on food, or $50 a week, so $362.50 less $125 is $237.50 per week at minimum wage.

So your starting point should be $237.50 a week. Anything above that is a good offer for a new nanny, in my opinion.

You are correct in that you should be paying taxes. If the employers want you off their books fine, BUT YOU FILE YOUR OWN TAXES. They can't stop you. Just nod your head at them, and file your taxes.

PS You sound like a smart cookie who is thinking things through. Good for you, and good luck. Make sure you like the family. The money will come.

wizard said...

Agree with prev poster - seriously?? You put caring for your own sibling on your resume?? No wonder you are getting crappy offers! I'm sure you are great with kids - probably way better than a college grad with no experience - but girl, if you want to look professional, only put on your resume paid experience from age 18 on.. maybe even 17. No offense, but I would just laugh if someone applied for my nanny position and claimed experience from when they were 13. Just suck it up, take a decent offer and work on building your adult resume.
Oh, and I do agree it is best to stay on the books and be legal. (even though we all know that by the time we retire, Social Security will be totally bankrupt!! Start your own retirement as well, trust me)

gypsy said...

My only comment is to please stop including any experience before age eighteen. It only serves to emphasize your in experience. Babysitting as a minor child should never be mentioned. Your professional career starts when you become an adult, at age eighteen. This is not bashing you for your age. This is solid advice. I hope you'll listen to those of us who are sharing with you how it appears because its our goal to help you to be taken more seriously.

18+ said...

What kind of household tasks do you have experience with?
Babysitting your sibling when you're a child yourself does not count. Bringing it up makes you look unprofessional.

Dory said...

You seem very defensive of your allowing the experience before 18yo to be used, including the siblings, but seriously - it really does look unprofessional to most parents that are familiar with nanny hiring practices. If you're having a difficult time finding work, I promise you, this is why. Re-do your resume, please.

TaxLawyer said...

If you are a live-in nanny, your employer MUST file a schedule H on their taxes. This is definitely a conversation that you want to have prior to accepting a position - also, suggest that the family speak to their accountant to see a) how much employer taxes they will need to add and b) how much extra it will cost to do their taxes with a schedule H. As an employee, you will also contribute FICA taxes of about 9%

Eye opener said...

So you cannot use family or friends as references, no babysitting before 18 counts... By these standards, I have absolutely no experience.
So on paper, I have never bathed, changed a diaper, fed, held a child, how can i even write a resume? This is insane but now I understand why my interviews aren't going very well.

No one wants to hire people without experience and now even volunteer work requires experience. How can I build a resume?

Btw, I'm a 25 yr old female with apparently no experience...

Lyn said...

Have you cared for children at all in the past 7 years you've legally been an adult? Any and all of that can be added to your resume. As well as all certifications, and education post high school. Driving record too! I also find it helpful to include a separate envelope containg a sample schedule of what their child could expect to do with you, and pictures of past craft projects, a list of places you like to take kids on field trips with a synopsis beside each place of the things to do there and the opportunities the kids are presented with to learn/play in that enviroment.
If you are just starting out as a Nanny you can still bulk up your seemingly small resume with these additions. Selling yourself and your service as a package really sets you apart from a sea of applicants.

Lyn said...

Also, in my experience, you are much more likely to be treated as a professional if you "sell" yourself as sort of a daycamp that comes to their home. :)

Once again though, I have never been a Live-In! This is what I have found to work only as a live out.

OceanBlue said...

I'll have to try the synopsis of activities.

If you don't have any experience with kids at all I woul use the ECC certificate to get a job even a part time one at a daycare for a few months to get experience.

You can probaly use the experience with your sister to get smaller occasional babysitting jobs that you can keep for a few months and use as experience to get a nanny job. GL

Bethany said...


Did you care for your sister as a part time sitter or did you take her in and raise her for awhile?

If you were the one raising her for a period of time I would count that as experience and put it towards your resume. If moms can use their experience raising their kids on resumes I don't see why you can't use your experience raising your younger sister.

As Lyn said there are ways to bulk up your resume. I find little inepensive things help.

Get CPR certified for infants and children.

Take a first aid course.

Sounds silly but if you're looking to care for babies, take a free newborn care course at your local hospital.

Volunteer at a church nursery, while it may not be enough to get you a nanny job it's a way to build connections, perhaps as a refrence for a daycare job.

Since you have an early childhood degree, I would try and get a job at a daycare for and keep it for at least 6 months. You'll be getting the professional experience and perhaps making a future connection for a nanny job.

So many nanny jobs are word of mouth.

Exhaust all your resources sign up with several agencies, get on the care sites, advertise with local parent and play groups.

Hang in there it's a tough market right now. even nannies with 15 + years of experience are having a tough time finding a job.

MissMannah said...

You can use family and friends as references, as long as you've worked for them. I have a friend who worked for her brother and sister-in-law as their nanny for a couple of years and of course she put that experience on her resume. But this was a real nanny job, full-time with taxes taken out. It was not just her occasionally watching her niece. And she was an adult at the time. I agree with the PPs that it is very unprofessional to put teenage babysitting as "real experience." The other day I came across an ad on CL, it was a girl advertising her nanny services. I believe she said she was 25, with 13 years of experience. If I was a parent and saw that, I would just laugh in her face.

MissMannah said...

Just found another girl on CL. This one is 22 years old with 12 years childcare experience.

OP/Nanny Mar said...

Thank you all for your feed back! the majority of the extensive experience that I have I acquired after eighteen. But in the case of my sibling, we lived with my father who was NEVER around except maybe 24 total hours a week due to his personal agenda and whatever girlfriend he had at the time, even living with my mother I was always the one that was basically raising my brother from the time he was about 6-14 when I left for college. On my resume all references (minus character references) and families I have listed, about 6 total families that I have worked for multiple times are on there, I do not have jobs from before I was eighteen on my resume.

unknown poster said...

(re-post for anonymous)
Nosy woman is probably one of those people who either had a kid or knew of someone who had a kid who had sleep problems as a baby and then had autism so they linked the two together. They never use common sense just what they 'know'. As for napping yes babies need naps but when they start fighting it then they usually only need the afternoon nap. What time does the baby go to bed? What time does he wake up? If it's the same time as when he was smaller and sleeping more he might not need as much sleep.