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What benefits should I give my nanny?

You are excited about the prospect of hiring a nanny to help take care of your children, but you’re not sure what types of benefits you should be providing.  Adding to your challenge, there’s no hard-and-fast “rules” that outline how you should handle this situation.

Salaries and benefits vary depending on:

  • The nanny’s experience.
  • Their responsibilities.
  • The number of hours needed .
  • Whether they live-in or live-out.
  • Your geographic location (nannies in big cities typically earn more than nannies in small towns.)

Other guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Determine an hourly rate that you’re willing to pay, and discuss the salary and responsibilities with your nanny up-front.
  • Be prepared to pay overtime for nannies that work more than a certain number of hours per week.  Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 40 hours is a standard workweek in most states.  A live-out nanny should be paid 1.5 times their hourly pay for overtime hours.  But State Labor laws can supersede the FLSA, and there are exceptions by state. In California, for example, standard pay is based on a daily eight-hour day, instead of a 40 hour work week, so if your nanny works a 10-hour day, you’d need to pay her two hours of overtime, even if her weekly hours don’t exceed 40. In Minnesota, 48-hours is a standard week.  Additionally, there are other exceptions for live-in, salaried employees.  Good resources for more specifics are www.DOL.gov and www.GTM.com.
  • Nannies will expect to be paid weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
  • Paid time off, vacation and sick leave typically accumulate over time.  Some families require that a nanny work for a certain amount of time (usually 2-3 months) before they offer paid time off.  Two paid weeks off per year is standard after the nanny has been employed for a determined amount of time.
  • Families who hire live-in nannies many times offer a car for the nanny’s exclusive use.
  • Many families will travel and take their nanny along; paying their travel expenses.  The nanny is usually responsible for some childcare while traveling but will also be allowed to enjoy the vacation as well.
  • Many families offer paid holidays for New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
  • Providing medical insurance can be negotiated between the family and the nanny.  Some families will pay the entire policy while other may pay a certain dollar amount.  Negotiate that with your nanny if that is a benefit you want to provide.
  • Bonuses are always appreciated.  If your nanny is doing an exceptional job, consider rewarding her with a financial bonus, either at the holidays or during the year “just because”.

What benefits do you provide for your nanny?

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2 comments to What benefits should I give my nanny?

  • Very informative article, thank you. There are lots of benefits a nanny may earn, that’s why it’s hard for parents not to burn a hole in their pocket. The main tip for parents is to plan their budget and discuss all possible bonuses with a nanny BEFORE hiring.

  • Great article! Having the benefits discussion up front is definitely the best way to go.

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