Chapter 5: Cost to Hire a Nanny

The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Nanny

Child care costs are often the highest or 2nd largest family expense and the salary you can afford to pay is one of the most important elements in finding a great nanny. Families cannot realistically hire Nanny Poppin at a sitter rate, so it is important to help families understand the different types and rates for sitters, nannies, and family assistants.

Salaries vary widely across the country and even within states. When other child care options are limited due to closures or shortage of staff, local wages for nannies can increase significantly. According to ZipRecruiter, the average full-time, live-out nanny earns $54,574 with a salary range of $19,500 to $80,000. Top nannies in premier markets can earn over $100,000 although most salaries are between $35,000 and $60,000. The wide range in salaries reflects the flexibility in hiring a nanny and that hourly salaries can vary from $15 in Ohio to $23 per hour in California. According to the 2020 Cost of Care survey, the average nanny makes about $565 a week in the US or about $14.13 per hour.

Research local pay rates to determine an appropriate range of compensation. Many websites offer information on local sitter and nanny rates and some professional salary sites, such as and also provide this information. Check several sites including nanny job boards to determine the average for your area.

“Nannies deserve fair wages as families seek affordable child care. It’s a challenge as families don’t always think of themselves as employers,” shares Samantha from Washington, D.C. “I have a full-time nanny and have to pay her a living wage out of my salary. It’s not easy.”

Before you begin negotiations, you should know the average rate for your area and what level of experience the average salary represents. For the most part, the average wage reflects supervising 1 to 3 children with child care-only duties and holding the position for 1 to 2 years. For jobs that have additional children, meal preparations, and other duties, the salary should be higher. Also, nannies with training and certifications have invested in their careers to provide better care for the children and deserve higher wages. Keep this in mind when you are evaluating and posting hourly wages with the job description.

A nannies primary role is to care for the children so be prepared to pay for additional services. They may help with household tasks causally related to child care including cooking children’s meals and light housekeeping pertaining to the children (i.e. children’s laundry and dishes). Services such as pet care, dog walking, grocery shopping, household chores and party planning are not traditional nanny roles. These are services that pay extra and/or fall into the higher-paying family assistant and/or household manager position. When adding to a nanny’s position, be mindful there are a limited number of hours in a shift. If the nanny is overwhelmed with a list of additional responsibilities, they are not able to provide quality child care.