17 December, 2012

Family Trying not to Underpay for Overlap

OPINION
My wife is a nurse and I'm a restaurant manager, and we need to hire a nanny for our 4 year old daughter for 3 days a week one week and 4 days the next week, always alternating 3 then 4. We only need a nanny 7 to 8 hours a day for each of these days, for the hours my wife's schedule and my schedule overlap. The best I think we can afford is $10 an hour. We feel bad about such low pay, so we thought if we threw in a few benefits it might help. We are considering offering a $25 gas gift card weekly, meals provided while she's at work, an entertainment allowance for her to take our daughter on outings, a doctors visit (check up) paid in full once every 6 months, and a dental cleaning and check up paid in full once a year. Can we get a good quality nanny for this rate? We know it isn't the greatest pay, but it's the best we can offer. Thanks. - Anonymous

44 comments:

a mom said...

why not just offer $12 an hour without all the other benefits? A $25 weekly gas card is equal to another .75-1.00 an hour anyway and the doctor and dental visits aren't going to be cheap. Just offer 12 an hour without all those benefits....for 1 kid you should be able to find a good sitter at that rate in most parts of the country.

oceanblue said...

Paying for your daughter's outings isn't a nanny benefit. It is what you are supposed to do.

Allowing your nanny to eat your food is also pretty standard, and not a benefit.

As is paying for the gas your nanny uses to drive your daughter around.

Health benefits are nice, but unless you are the doctor or know someone who is going to offer free services health insurance is also expensive.

If you are able to do all that maybe you can consider upping the rate

Ann O'Neemus said...

I agree with oceanblue's comments.
I guess a lot would depend on the average rate for your area but if your budget is limited maybe you should look into finding a nice family daycare in your area.

Manhattan Nanny said...

I never understand why employers would rather pay for "perks" rather than give the money directly to the nanny in the form of payment.
Unless you are hiring an 80 year old or someone with a serious medical condition, your nanny will not need a medical checkup twice a year. Two thorough checkups, and a dental visit with cleaning and x-rays can come to hundreds of dollars. Why not just put that toward her salary? Since this is a very PT job, she may well have insurance through another job, or a husband's job anyway.
You might also look into family daycare which would work well with your schedule.

ericsmom said...

Really you each can only afford $5.00 each out of pocket? No offense but I know a nurse starting out here first year making $45 an hour. Just feel its not nice to offer such a low wage. I am thinking of why not using daycare. Oh yeah daycare usually closes at 6-7pm is that why?

Cough up another $2-3 dollars an hour.

RBTC said...

alot is going to depend on the kind of nanny you wish to hire. The "super" nannies who have the education/degrees/experience/work history/great references/extensive knowledge/energy level and more --will not work for that wage

you will need to find maybe a college student or retiree - it' spossible to find a ggod one with luck

Pittsburgh nanny said...

I think it's nice that you would offer a dental check up..and of course a female nanny needs a yearly check up and maybe she can use the other visit for if she's sick..I do think you will be able to find a nice nanny..just be sure you pay her weekly and don't cancel her and not pay her.

NannyBrandie said...

Where do you live? It depends on your area and the nanny demand.
25$ gas card each week, should be included in her pay, it's not a perk. Also you should be paying .555cents for every mile, that includes gas and maintenance of the car. If she will be driving a lot, I would also look into her insurance policy to make sure your child is covered in case of an accident. Food isn't necessarily always included, but that is nice. And the "entertainment allowance" that you are mentioning is called "petty cash" in the nanny world and that allows her and your child to do things such as go to the museum, etc. Just up the pay to 12/hour and you will find a great fit, with the quality care that you are looking for.

redridinghood said...

A good nanny with experience would consider that the things you're offering as "benefits" ought to be standard - so if you're looking for that kind of nanny, you need to be paying more. Otherwise you'll be looking at a young, inexperienced sitter.

Nanny S said...

I agree with the other comments, that the allowance for your potential nanny to take your daughter out is standard, and for your daughter's benefit, NOT the nanny's. Eating at an employer's home is also pretty standard as well. If a potential employer ever denied me that or presented it as a perk, I would think they were a huge cheapskate.

I don't understand the other "perks", I would rather have a higher wage than a gas gift card or doctor's visits. I don't need to see a doctor all the time, so if I were your potential nanny, it'd be something I wouldn't be able to really factor into my life. Most likely, it'd go unused.

I am not a professional nanny, but when I do have a nanny job, I see it as that- a job. When a family starts giving me a schpeel about "all they can afford", I leave. It's just like if you got wind your company needed to cut corners, rights?

I don't know what your area rate is, but it sounds like $10-12/hour could be a good rate for the right person. Post on Care.com and see what comes up.

Have you considered sending your daughter to a SAHM's house who maybe has a child your daughter's age?

Moniker said...

Something is majorly wrong if your wife is a full-time nurse and you manage a restaurant and you are claiming you can only afford ten dollars an hour.

You should cut down on other spending to allow you to pay at least 15.00 an hour. Your child should be your biggest concern in your life. Underpaying someone to care for her is the last thing you should be considering.

As for the other benefits, she shouldn't have to pay for outings or bring her own food anyway. The doctor/dentist visits are nice, but won't make up for undercutting her pay.

Instead of the gas card, just include that in the 15.

Really, I think you should just put her in an in-home daycare if you really can only afford 10.

Bethany said...

Depending on where you live $10-$12 an hour might be considered good pay even for an experienced nanny.

You would have to research your area and see what the going rate for good quality nannies is.

As others have mentioned things like mileage and paying for activities for your daughter doesn't count as a benefit. Those are your responsibilities.


I would suggest if you decide to go with a nanny is that you have in your agreement that you will pay for the 32 hour week every week even if you don't need the nanny 32 hours.

Nanny S said...

Also wanted to add--if you are expecting odd hours from this nanny, as in leaving after 9pm or beginning before 7am, that needs to factor into her wage as well, ESPECIALLY if there are times when she leaves at 10pm to return at 5am, for example.

Please post an update on what you've decided--always curious how people's situations turn out.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

Where do you live at? Depending on where you are, $10/Hr may or may not be a low rate. I live in SoCal and that is a very low rate around here.

No offense, but you sound kinda cheap. Paying for your nanny's gas card should be a given as well as entertainment "pin" money $ for both the nanny + your child. Did you really expect the nanny to front the costs for gas + fun while entertaining your daughter? Remember: this is a JOB!!!!

I think letting your nanny eat whatever she wants at your house is pretty much a given as well. Most parents I work for tell me I am welcome to any food in the kitchen. ☺

The medical/dental care sound great in theory, however they are not worth working at a low rate for.

Try to re-structure your budget to pay your nanny AT LEAST $12-13/Hr if you can.
Can you cut back on your Netflix account? Can you get rid of the landline?

There will be no better investment for you than paying your nanny a good salary.

Trust me on this.
Take my word for it.

You really do get what you pay for in life.

Keep us posted and best of luck to both you and your wife OP !

Pgh nanny said...

I worked for 2 surgeons...I drove my own car and in 7 years, once was reimbursed for gas...if I took the kids out to lunch it was on my dollar. If we wanted to go to activities they didn't have memberships for, I paid...so yes while these things are considered standard, not every nanny has it available...maybe 10 is all they can afford. It's not up to us to tear their finances apart and call them cheap..at least they want their child to be able to go out!! Which is nicer for the nanny. I would absolutely accept a little bit less of an hourly wage if the players were nice.. Just post on care.com..you will find a nice nanny. Maybe a college student or a mom who wants to bring her child along and is willing to take a little less. I may be in the minority but I think it's nice you would help the nanny to get to a dentist and to the doctor!

katydid said...

PGH you let yourself be taken advantage of plan and simple. Don't act like the behavior you accepted from your previous employers is acceptable.

A nanny is not responsible for paying for her charge's outings or any gas beyond what she uses to get to and from work.

You are not helping these parents or other nannies by acting like what they are offering is okay.

I will agree with you that it seems like they want to do the right thing, but wanting to do the right thing isn't enough.

Sure health coverage is nice, but a nanny shouldn't have to take a low salary to get it.
In fact they aren't even offering health insurance just a couple of visits. That if the nanny has insurance will either be free or cost $30 or less. If someone takes this job the would probably qualify for free health care. I know in my state you would because the income is that low.

They want someone to commit to up to 32 hours a week, and given their jobs I doubt it's the same days every week, so they need someone who can be very flexible. which won't allow them to take on a second job.

All that said they might find a good person, but more than likely that person will want more pay and eventually will leave causing them to go through nanny after nanny.

Start of right and pay the fair rate in your area( you even admit you are paying low for your area) or pursue other options.

Are you open to daycare?
Could you join a nanny share?

Sammi said...

Pgh:
I agree. You sound completely naive. {No offense btw}. When one is working and has work-related expenses, one should not have to pay for them out of pocket.

If you are expected to drive a child around, you should not only be expected to be compensated for gas, but mileage as well since add'l wear + tear on your vehicle is made. Also, if you are expected to entertain a child w/trips to the aquarium or zoo, then the parents should pay for BOTH of you to go.

I do not think families are obligated to compensate a nanny for gas going to and from work nor do I think they are obligated to provide meals on the job. If they do, then those are optional + nice perks.

If a family is seeking a good nanny, one who will stay on for awhile, then they should pay good money $$ for it.

The hours on this job require one to be flexible so the person who takes this job cannot take a second job.
Ideally, a SAHM, college student or perhaps retired person could take this job.

Nannies:
If we ALL stick together and not allow being taken advantage of, sooner or later parents will realize our worth to the family. They will see what we do as legitimate work and give us all the respect we deserve and have deserved for years.

Remember:
There is DIGNITY in ALL work. ALL.

workingmom said...

I am a parent, and I fully agree with the posters who say that the parents should consider paying for gas, meals at their house, and outings with their child as THEIR responsibility.

I am also in the camp that says that the parents should pay a slightly higher wage v.s. offering the medical & dental visits the OP mentions. If the medical/dental coverage was more comprehensive, and the nanny wanted that as a benefit and all parties agreed, well then fine. (I could see this option more for a FT or live-in)

But I'm willing to bet that the nanny already has access to health coverage elsewhere, and would most likely prefer a higher hourly wage from the nanny job. Period.

My two cents.

ericsmom said...

PGH are you being serious. So if a family is "nice" you would take a lower wage? How does that pay your bills? Shouldn't both players (as you call it) in game be considerate of one another?

Megan said...

I agree with what basically every other person here has said. If you can afford these "perks" (gas reimbursement is NOT a perk, nor is providing cash for the nanny and child to have outings...I will be willing to say that there is some gray area in the meals provided area) of paying for a doctor's visit and dental cleaning, you should just pay her a little more.

Pepperish said...

I have never thought a parent's income controlled the pay, a job is worth what it is worth. But, new nurses (R.N.) in Seattle start at around $24.00 an hr, in the large hospitals, pre-tax.

Pgh nanny said...

I definitely got taken advantage of in my first job..but it was great experience and for my second (and current) job I definitely knew what to ask for. I do agree that mileage and reimbursement are not perks...but I also know of families who don't offer any sort of petty cash. My current family is awesome and provides a vehicle and a credit card. In regards to the whole working for less money--I meant if it was a small amount. I myself ( just my opinion) would rather work for a nice fily and make 20 less a week than a family who pays me 1 more dollar an hour...

Not every nanny is going to start out at 15!! I have a degree in education and 10 years experience..so I expect to make more than a nanny who has 6 months of babysitting experience. I am at 22 on the books, guaranteed for 41.5 hours a week..all holidays and vacation are paid and all of my expenses are covered..I pack my own food from home because I per plan what I eat but I am welcome to eat my employers food..I also pay my own medical insurance. That being said..I know I have a good deal. The agencies here start at 12 and typically 15 is good..

It depends

Anonymous said...

In defense of the OP...I think maybe he meant the gas and petty cash perks not as part of compensation but as a nicer environment to work in (like having a window office vs a cubicle). As for food, I think it's a HUGE perk to provide food. I have always welcomed our nanny to help herself to something if she is hungry (yogurt, fruit, cheese, etc.) but expect her to generally provide her own meals. If my employer provided meals (or hell, snacks), I would consider that a HUGE perk and savings of around 10 bucks per day ($20 if you throw in espresso :))

Anyway, like other posters I do think $10 is a bit low in most markets but I think it's great you're being thoughtful and coming here for advice!!

Ness

Jenny said...

As a nanny, I have my own family Dr. and would be pissed if I had to switch Dr.s just because my new family would now be providing my medical care. Presumptuous much?

So...you are going to provide dental/medical care? Does your nanny get the luxury of choosing which provider she wants or do you choose? If the latter, then that is no benefit at all.

I think if you want quality + responsible caregiving for your daughter, then you will have to pay for it. Sorry, but that is life. I wish I could eat steak for dinner every night, but I can only afford a cheeseburger once or twice a week. Just because we want something does not mean we are entitled to it.

Pay your nanny at least $12.5 per hour and you should get someone highly qualified.

nameless said...

Employers usually pay the gas so the gift card is just a gas imbursement.
Meals should be provided by employer as well, although there are really cheap people out there who refuse to feed their nanny.

A check up paid in full every 6 months sounds good but what if she is pretty healthy and only requires the yearly pap smear? Might be a bit ackward to disclose what she went to the doctor for. Worse if she gets meds on that day and you'll be wondering why it cost so much.
(re-posted for anonymous)

Anonymous said...

I just need to say this and I am not a parent: why everybody is so convinced that parents are supposed to provide meals? When you work in a office or any other kind of work enviroment, is your boss SUPPOSED to provide lucnch for you? Most of the times, the answer is NO! Although providing meals is a nice thing to do, it pisses me off when people here state that being a nanny is a job like every other job (which I AGREE TO) but then want the extra perks! This is called being hypocritical.
As for the gas, parents are supposed to pay for it when the car is used for outings with the child, NOT for when the car is used to get to the job place- how you get there is YOUR problem.

Ann O'Neemus said...

I suspect that the main reason nannies are offered meals on the job is that most of us do not get a lunch break.
When we sit down to eat with our charges we are still working - modeling good table manners and healthy eating habits.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I actually have NEVER provided a nanny with meals (but have welcomed her to snack or use our food if necessary like a forgotten lunch or just super hungry one day). I know that my 2 good friends with nannies also don't provide meals. I guess we are all "cheap parents". (Eye roll)

What about nannies to infants? You expect parents to provide food to a nanny when your child isn't eating it? I can get more on board with a nanny helping herself to some of a meal she's made for older kids, but particularly for infants...no WAY am I making sure there's food the nanny likes on top of making sure I have enough milk and baby food...

Ness

ericsmom said...

Wow you sound like a gem to work for

12 hour shift nanny said...

Anonymous,
Who watches your infant while the nanny goes out to eat on her lunch hour?

TIme to play fair said...

I have been a nanny for over 15 years, and I have ALWAYS been provided meals while at work. Nannies do not get a lunch break, or any other breaks, we are always on duty. We eat with the kids, so we should eat the family's food. Everyone I have ever worked for has said plainly, "Help yourself to any food you want."

The medical/dental thing seems like a nice gesture, but the nanny could feel very uncomfortable with this. You have no idea what a nanny's medical needs are, and no, you can't ask. It would be better to pay a higher wage, or to provide her with independant medical insurance.

I would also never accept a job that pays that low. I live in a middle class area, but no one would work for $10 an hour. Espeially considering your schedule would make it really difficult to find a second job.

Nannies are not babysitters. You may remember babysitting for $3 or $4 an hour, so $10 seems like a lot. But times have changed. Nannies are working adults, just like you, with bills to pay. You need to think about what a nanny needs to live on, then add in ALL food and ALL driving expenses(minus her driving to and from work). If this is something you truly cannot afford, perhaps you should look into a daycare.

Anonymous said...

I actually asked a couple of moms at my 4 year-olds play group today and again...none provide meals for their nannies. Sorry, I don't think I'm particularly weird about this one, at least in this area... I have yet to talk to someone who provides "meals" to their nanny. For the record, I buy diet coke and stock in our fridge for the nanny (which we do not drink) because she drinks that instead of coffee. I'm not a jerk, I just don't think meals are the responsiblity of an employer of a PROFESSIONAL person. On the other hand, when a high school girl comes to watch the kids after they've gone to bed in the evenings sometimes, we always order her pizza. Professional nanny ($20/hr) vs. babysitter ($12/hr).... different expecations and perks.

I no longer have infants but when I did they slept for about 3 hours every afternoon, so that was a decent break for our nanny to make herself lunch and read a book or watch TV. If I had an hour break every day I would die of happiness.

And further, I can count on one hand the number of lunches I've eaten in the last 6 months that weren't at my desk while I worked. Granted I popped to Quiznos or Trader Joe's to grab something, but lack of a lunch break is common in many, many, many professions and we still pay for our own food.

Ness

Anonymous said...

Gee stop with the "nanny don't get a lunch break!" In my office, as in many others, we don't get a lunch break either, you bring your own food and you eat at your desk, in front of your computer, and you keep working! Again, that is what I really can't stand: nannies who keep sayng that being a nanny is a job like any another, but then you go ahead and make up excuses to obtain all the extra perks!

I used to work in restaurants as well, a double-shift was usually 12-13hrs long with no break since the restaurant wouldn't close. Where we given food? Yes! But guess what? We had to eat standing up and money would be detracted from our pay-check for meals (which consisted in family-meals, where you don't get a choice). I am pointing that out because some of you need to understand that you are not special or something! You want to be treated as in any other job? Then start by acting as any other employee!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ness, my point exactly!

Ann O'Neemus said...

I think someone is wearing their cranky pants today

MaryPoppin'Pills said...


ANONYMOUS poster(s):

Since there's already too many replies it would mess up the thread to re-post your comments but please pick a moniker so that others may address you personally.

All Anonymous comments after my post will be removed.

Thank you!

MissMannah said...

I agree that lunch provided is a perk and not a requirement of the job. I've had it go both ways in the past and I've never even considered that factor when choosing a job.

To all those who complain about nannies not getting a lunch break: You Don't Need One. Lunch is a time for togetherness with the children and modeling good table manners. Any good infant-nanny should know how to eat lunch with one hand and hold the baby with the other. Even if they aren't eating yet, they are still getting the message that mealtimes are for the family together.

Nanny E said...

I'm originally from St Louis, and $10 here is a pretty average rate, so I wouldn't be too concerned if you are in the Midwest somewhere. However, both coasts are have very high housing and living costs, and nannies command a higher rate. If you live in these areas, I would consider a in home/daycare situation, as the care you would receive would most likely be higher quality. In my experience, those willing to work for really low rates here in New York are those who usually aren't qualified and/or aren't reliable. Not everyone of course, but that's just been my experience.

Some posters have already recommended this, but as far as the extras you speak of, I would really recommend offering food while in the home and paying for activities regardless. As a former nanny, that always made me feel more at home. Especially when I was young, I had experiences where the clients were very stingy about me eating food, and it always made me feel unwelcome. Just my two cents.

Nanny E said...

I'm not saying let them eat you out of house and home, but having drinks, cans of soup, frozen pizzas, etc will go a long way towards making a happy nanny.

Denvernanny said...

No, no, no! There is a big difference between eating at your desk (your choice) and a nanny being required to remain on alert during the children's nap time. If I am expected to be at the home during my "lunch break", then the least my employers could do is to offer to supply my lunch.

Nannykins said...

OP The rate depends on where you live. Reimbursement for outings with your daughter is standard. Although it's nice when parents provide the nanny food it is NOT a requirement. I have also always been told to "help myself" but I don't expect it. None of my corporate jobs ever fed me. If she drives her kid around in her car then gas and milage needs to be covered.

All that being said...a college student might work well for you. Not everyone needs Supernany for their kids. One child, a non infant should be easy enough. Depends on what you want. Good luck OP!

Nanny, M.Ed. said...

I'm a college educated (BA: Edu, BA: Psychology w/minor in Theology, and M.Ed.) - I do not work for less than $20 net and "the works" as far as benefits go. But that is just me. :) You get what you pay for is my motto.

Anonymous said...

HI there,

I was a nanny for several years and contrary to a lot of the comments on this board, you seem like you are trying to do as best you can to find someone to care for your daughter with the resources you have. I want to tell you that not everyone is all about money. I have had high paying jobs and i have had low paying jobs. I always took the jobs based on the kids and the family and never based on money or perks. The sad thing is that these days, a lot of nannies are greedy. It is not rocket science to care for a child, although it is draining emotionally and physically at times. As long as you hire someone who truly cares for kids and is not just trying to get paid, and you make the job only about caring for your child and don't add on extra responsibilities outside of normal nanny duties, then I think you could find a person to care for your child for the money and perks you are offering. Don't ever hire anyone who just wants to talk about money. Hire someone with heart.

Beth Loves Lamp said...

All of those perks sound so complicated and you might as well just give her the money you'd use for them. One of my annoyances as a nanny is that most of the time "perks" aren't actually perks. A former employer would give me vouchers for a massage parlor each week. Sometimes she'd encourage me to go during my hour lunch, which was unpaid, and I usually had to be gone more than an hour for the massage (also unpaid). She convinced me that it was important for me to relax during my lunch break, which I agree. But I personally don't need a massage every week and I felt less than relaxed knowing I was missing more than an hour of work. This was all compensation for not being able to pay me a higher wage. But these vouchers she was buying were loaded with hundreds of dollars worth of needless massages. So I was wondering, why not just give me the money? That way I could use it in a way that I find it beneficial. Like, bills and rent. I just don't understand some people's logic sometimes.