Tips for Coming Out on Top

I have been with my family for nearly 8 months now and am happy with them for the most part. My DB's sister has a 2 year year old, and since she has gone back to work part time for the past three weeks, I have been doing them a favor by watching their child. I'm being paid for it and it's great for the cousins to play together and it has been working out so well that DB's sister, along with my MB and DB, have been talking about doing a nanny share once the school year starts.

I am currently being paid $15 an hour for a 3 year old and 10 month old. The cousin will be dropped off and picked up with a packed lunch and snacks and I will have him for a minimum of 17 hours a week. I will have a separate contract with this family and be paid separately. I understand that I will only have him part time and I will not have the responsibilities with him as I do with the primary children I care for (laundry, bathing, cooking/meal preparation, dishes) so I'm aware it would be wrong to ask for $15 an hour from this family for their one child. I do feel that I deserve more than minimum wage though. I was thinking of tossing $12 an hour around but am not sure that is an appropriate number to negotiate. On top of all of this, my MB asked me this morning how I felt about a single/double family rate.

Since this is my first time being a nanny I'm unsure how to handle this. Is opting for a single or double family rate logical? Will it deplete the amount of money I earn overall? Another thing she asked which I found kind of unbelievable, is if she and her husband had a third child, would I be looking to earn more per hour for that extra child! I mean, of course I would, right!? It's another child, a newborn with another schedule to follow, more laundry, dishes, etc.. Am I ethically wrong in looking for a couple more dollars an hour for a potential third member of the family? We're talking about her children full time, her nephew part time and then potentially that third baby.... I'm not a greedy woman nor am I driven by money (I certainly wouldn't be nannying if that was the case) but at the same time I have financial obligations and responsibilities and I would just like to handle this in a way where we all come out on top. Any advice/suggestions would be great. I am located in the DC/Northern VA/Maryland area. Thank you! - Anonymous


Moniker said...

I think asking 12 an hour would be outrageous and greedy.

For real said...

I might get eaten alive for this one but really....twelve more dollars an hour to add one more kid in. That seems like quite a lot for me. The kid is family so I would say adding an extra five bucks and making twenty an hour for those few hours he is there is good. I am a nanny and get appalled at the little amounts people want to pay for quality child care, but I also find that many nannies really do charge outrageous amounts. I understand if you live in new york city or somewhere where almost thirty an hour is typical but in Virginia 15 an hour for three children is pretty normal. I watch two children both infants and make 15 an hour. I think of you demand to much you may lose a great oppurtunity for a little extra money. Ofcourse adding another baby deserves a slight pay raise but adding the cousin in at 12 more an hour is crazy, it's not like a typical nanny share to me

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the advice, For Real. And Moniker, I didn't actually consider it in that way. I asked simply because I am a first time nanny and unsure of what is realistic, not because I have greedy intentions. I've been asking around elsewhere too and have gotten a mixture of replies so I wasn't sure. There is no third child yet, I think they are just being hypothetical. -OnlyAQuestion

OceanBlue said...

Since you will have a seperate contract with them I'd say $12/hr is more than fair.

They should not be getting drop in care for $5/hr.

At the very least you should request minimum wage for those hours which I believe is $7.25/hr.

If the families want to truly split care for 3 kids under the age of 5 I'd say a total of $20-$25/hr is a fair rate each family would then contributr roughly $11/hr.

A few hours or not an extra baby is a lot of work.

Karli said...

I don't think she's being outrageous in asking for $12 at all! Come on people, if you go through an agency you get paid at least 10 an hour for temp work, but full time/perm always pays more! I just started at a new job with 2 kids for $15 an hour, but if they only had one kid, they'd probably be paying 10-12 and that would be fair. Just because they're dropping him off to some place where she already has kids, doesn't mean it should be cheaper. They are a separate family looking for child care. See if they can find someone to take less than 10 an hour, and I bet they wouldn't be able to unless they want some 13 year old watching him for peanuts. This is the going rate for career nannies, that's just how it is. People always act like they're over-paying us. How about you drop them off at a daycare then?

OP - Ask for $12!

EastBayNanny said...

You are NOT being greedy! How can anyone on this shared earth claim that expecting $27/ hr is greedy? Wtf?

I think it's a good sign that your MB is so communicative and thinking ahead with your input. Is there a reason that you feel defensive beyond the info you gave? I don't get the impression she is trying to take advantage- she just wants to gauge what your expectations would be. This is called business.

I personally look at the situation as a referral, and for this reason I would want your MB to feel that she will benefit by the new set-up (beyond keeping her wonderful nanny). I would not work with two families and three children for less than $25/hr personally. I also would not go below $15/hr period, no matter how many kiddos/ duties.

How they decide to divide it up is between them. I think this is the simplest for YOU. So, $25/ hr when both families overlap, $15 when they don't.

As for when another new baby arrives, who knows what the family dynamic will be at that time? But I would definitely increase your rate once another newborn arrives- an intense amount of work as you know :)

How awesome that you have so many little ones coming your way! You have some busy years ahead and your MB is right to look forward and make sure you're comfortable!

traveling-gypsy said...

Id ask for $12 an hour & be willing to negotiate down to $10, for their cousin. As far as watching a newborn for FREE, wth? It sounded like a great situation until that. I think you'll need to be very aware & meticulous about your hours worked & added duties. Don't allow them to slowly bend your contract. This family has thrown out a huge red flag indicating a serious streak of extreme cheapness.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I've always calculated a nanny share rate based on 60% - 75% of what I would charge each family individually.

I'd keep your single family rate for your current employers at $15, and make your double family rate no more than $20 - $22 per hour. Let them figure out how to divvy the double family rate up so each family is paying a "fair share".

And new baby raises are around $2 per hour, or an additional 7 - 10& raise.

on-the-road-again-gypsy said...

Why should family #1 get a discount? I so do not agree with that thinking at all. What if family #2 leaves? She gets a raise from family #1?? I say keep it seperate for sure. And noooo way would charging $5 an hour be fair. That's what daycares in VA charge. If she wants to pay a daycare rate, she should be using a daycare. Just my opinion! :)

Village said...

The OP is not a nanny to the second family. The child arrives with snacks prepared. She doesn't do his laundry or clean his room. She is the babysitter, and as the babysitter, she can charge a babysitter rate.

I think 10-12 dollars an hour sounds about right. OP doesn't have to do it if she doesn't want to, and she may think, as I do, that to make it worth the hassle, that $170 or so a week is not too much to pay for an on-call babysitter. Sounds reasonable to me.

As for the new baby, yes, OP will be charging more, at least $18-$20 an hour with an infant. Do they know how much a baby nurse costs?

Village said...

I agree with the advice about minimum wage given above. Go no lower then $7.25 an hour for the second family. That is a separate job, and they must pay minimum wage, at least. But I still vote for $10 an hour. I think that's fair to both.

Shine Shine said...

//I don't think this'll get deleted since it's by the OP, but better safe than sorry//

Repost for Anonymous:

Thank you for the advice, For Real. And Moniker, I didn't actually consider it in that way. I asked simply because I am a first time nanny and unsure of what is realistic, not because I have greedy intentions. I've been asking around elsewhere too and have gotten a mixture of replies so I wasn't sure. There is no third child yet, I think they are just being hypothetical. -OnlyAQuestion

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Shine Shine! I replied via my cell phone and it did not post correctly.

! said...

Please stop posting anonymus comments. Its against the rules!!!!!!!!!!

another nanny said...

Usually in a nanny share, the nanny makes more than she would with just one family, while each family pays somewhat less. If your current rate is $15, I would aim for about $20-22. If possible, I would probably try to maintain a contract with just the original family. Amend it to reflect your rate for their 2 children and your rate when the cousin is present, and then let them work out how to split that cost between themselves and the sister.

DC nanny said...

It sounds to me like this isn't being considered a nanny-share (even though that's what it was named in the post) by any party involved. It is a separately contracted part-time babysitting gig that both sets of parents agree to. As such, the OP should absolutely charge a separate rate, and $12 an hour sounds reasonable. Heck, I made $12 an hour when I was 15 for a babysitting job.

There's no reason that the second set of parents should only have to pay a small amount. If it was a legit nanny-share, then absolutely each parent would pay less than what they would normally. But this is a different situation entirely, and the OP should charge the second family a normal rate for a babysitting job.

One thing that I could use some clarification on however, is the single/double family rate thing. Is that her way of asking for a nanny-share rate? If that's the case then the situation would be different and you would have to work out payment considering the families as a unit. But as another poster pointed out, if this is just a short term thing, you don't want to have to deal with one family dropping out of the share and then having to raise your rate again with the other family.

Oh, and yeah, you should definitely make more with the addition of another child.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I would up my rate from $15/Hr for two kids to $18-19/Hr for three. Let the family decide how to divvy up the money they each pay.

Also, if another child is added later on, you might want to re-consider this job. Four young children is a lot for anyone to handle, especially since newborns are so much work. They need to be fed and changed constantly and even daycares charge more for young babies.

I think the family would be better off hiring another nanny for the other two kids.

However, if you agree to care for another child later on, then all means...charge more.

MaryPoppin'Pills said...

OP's that post anonymous are an exception to the rule IF it is easy to note in their comment.

curious said...

on-the-road-again-gypsy said...
Why should family #1 get a discount? I so do not agree with that thinking at all. What if family #2 leaves? She gets a raise from family #1?? I say keep it seperate for sure.


Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Ok. Trying to explain this again.

OP, sounds like all you will be doing is "babysitting" the child from the 2nd family. Your MB asked what your single family/double family rates were.

You say to your MB: "My single family rate for TWO children is $15/hour. My double family rate for THREE children is $22/hour."

I do think $12/hour for babysitting a third kid is too high by far. Give the original family a $3/hour discount for the hours the third kid is there, and charge that 2nd family $10/hour.

Then, if they want to move ahead with this sort-of-a-share-but-not-really, it is up to the DB and his sister to hash out who pays what portion of the $22. And you also RE-WRITE your work agreement to reflect your 1 family with 2 kids rate and your 2 families with 3 kids rate.

The specific wording of the new work agreement will address any possible arguments from your main family about not giving a raise when or if they have a third child.

on-the-road-again-gypsy said...

Thank you, curious. :o)