While babysitters offer occasional childcare, nannies are hired for regular after school or full-time childcare at a higher hourly rate. Nannies provide a higher level of customized childcare, often earning $10-20 per hour. If your family needs or wants higher quality or specialized childcare, nanny wages can exceed $20 an hour.
Some Nanny jobs require special skills.
Childcare positions may require special skills if a child has special needs, has a life-threatening allergy, an ongoing medical condition, or significant behavioral issues. Other specialized skills may be desired by the family and can include speaking a second language, being certified as a lifeguard for the in-home pool, or having special musical or artistic skills to teach the children.
A higher wage not only recognizing the special skills but is also important to retain a good nanny. If a nanny feels under-appreciated or underpaid, they are more likely to look for a more satisfying situation elsewhere. Nannies who feel valued are more likely to enjoy their work, avoid burnout, and stay with a family. Consistency and longevity benefit the family and children as the children often form attachments to their nanny.
Parents seek high-quality childcare.
Working as a babysitter for ten years is great experience but the babysitter’s skills are supervisory, not focused on child development. Nannies who’ve invested in Professional Nanny Certification have learned about positive discipline and how to teach children about self-regulation. In addition to tracking age-appropriate milestones, certified childcare providers can implement literacy, STEM, music, art and fitness activities into a daily schedule that can be optimized for each child.
Career nannies and those seeking top wages should have invested in quality and comprehensive childcare training. Top training programs include colleges with early childhood education curriculum or childcare programs, like those offered by the US Nanny Institute, which specialize in training nannies. A comprehensive program includes a childcare curriculum with classes taught by college faculty, required proficiency exams, and documented childcare work or clinical childcare experience.
Located in a competitive or high cost of living area.
Our economy and the childcare industry runs on supply and demand. In high cost of living areas, nannies may leave childcare for higher-paying positions in other industries, creating a greater need for nannies that can increase the local hourly rates. Alternatively, there may be few nannies in suburban or rural areas that can increase competition among families seeking to hire in-home childcare.
The cost of living can also impact salaries. The unemployment rate has been low, and wages are up, increasing the cost of living across the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index, the United States experienced a 14% increase in the cost of living between 2016-2019. To cover their expenses, Nannies in NYC and San Francisco earn significantly more than those living in Raleigh or Tampa.
Nanny sharing occurs when two or more families employ one nanny. In this situation, the nanny either watches the children as a group or splits her time among the families. Most nanny shares watch the children together, but many families work together to come up with a schedule tailored to their specific needs. This arrangement often requires nannies to watch 3+ children and adapt parenting styles and discipline techniques that align with each child and family.
Babysitters, daycare workers and teachers have a range of salaries based on education and experience. It’s the same for nannies. Nannies provide a customized approach to childcare, allowing families to hire childcare providers with the skills and services desired. Thus, when hiring a nanny, it’s important to define the job and skills needed as well as assess the local market and cost of living.