Tips for Hiring a Nanny

Some things you need to know before searching for a nanny. What should you expect from a nanny.

A Nanny is a Career Professional  - First things first. A nanny is not a babysitter. A nanny is a career professional who works a regular schedule that is generally more than 20 hours a week.

Compensation, Wages and Salary

Nannies are paid a salary commensurate with their experience. You will need to do some research in your area for the pay scale. The pay will depend on whether your nanny is a live-in or live-out nanny.

The pay for a full time nanny that is live-out can vary greatly. Factors will include where you live, her duties, the number of hours she will work and how many children you have. A good starting point for a nanny wage would be roughly double a baby sitter wage. A live-in nanny may be paid less because room and board are included as part of her compensation. If paying an hourly wage you may want to come to an agreement of a minimum number of hours for which you will be paying. This will assure the nanny that she will be paid for cancelled hours if you have decided to take a day off and don‘t need her. This is fair as they will be dependant on a certain wage each week.

Other compensation and benefits may include travel with the family, health insurance fully or partially paid, paid sick leave, a car to use while on duty and a bonus at the end of the year.

Nannies are employees not independent contractors. You should plan to withhold and pay payroll taxes unless you are working through an agency.


Duties that you are expecting your nanny to do should be clearly stated and written in an agreement of understanding.

Typical Nanny Duties and Tasks:

  • Taking care of the children’s immediate needs
  • Fixing meals for the children
  • Directing the activities of the children such as play time, homework and chores
  • Doing the children’s laundry
  • Tidying up the house and kitchen as needed from the daily activities of the children
  • Taking children to activities and events
  • Disciplining the children according to agreed upon methods

Additional Duties May be Included for Nannies:

  • Grocery shopping
  • Preparing or starting dinner for the family
  • Setting the dinner table
  • Running the vacuum
  • Additional light housekeeping
  • Organizing and running the kitchen

If your agreement requires your nanny to do additional duties that do not revolve around the children directly you should expect to pay a higher wage or salary.

What a Nanny is Not

  • A babysitter
  • Your child’s playmate (although they will usually engage in play time and fun activities)
  • Your housekeeper
  • Your therapist or marriage counselor
  • Your personal maid 

Every nanny is different and these duties may vary according to your needs and the duties that a nanny is willing to perform. Take time to write down what you are hoping for or need from a nanny and carefully interview your candidates to see if you have a good fit. Some nannies for example may include academic tutoring while another may not see that as part of her duties. If you are looking for someone to run errands be sure to include that in the agreement. Communication is the key.

Au Pairs and babysitters are different from nannies and you may want to research further before deciding that you actually want a nanny.


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Phoenix Montoya
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Posted on Nov 14, 2010
Judith Barton
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Posted on Nov 13, 2010
Phoenix Montoya
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Posted on Nov 13, 2010