If you’re considering hiring a nanny to care for your children, it’s important to consider the financial impact it will have on your budget. So….just how much does a nanny cost? Although pay for babysitters and nannies can vary widely depending on location, these helpful facts and figures can give you a general idea of how much a nanny costs each month.
Nanny wages vary depending on a number of factors, such as education, level of experience, special certifications, and the age and number of children your nanny will care for. Whether your nanny is full time, part time, or live-in, it’s best to pay a weekly or monthly salary based on a calculated hourly wage.According to the 2017 International Nanny Association Salary & Benefits Survey, the average hourly rate for nannies in the U.S. is $19.14 USD per hour. Of course, in higher cost-of-living areas like New York or Chicago, wages will be higher. Conversely, if you live in a smaller city or rural area you may be able to pay less.When deciding what to pay a nanny, keep in mind that the hourly rate for nannies caring for newborns will cost about 2 percent more than those caring for children over the age of one. If you have more than one child, expect to pay at least $1 or $2 more per hour per child. If you’d like your nanny to do light housework and cooking, you’ll have to add a dollar or two for that as well.This will put the average weekly pay for a nanny at about $765 for 40hrs per week for 1 toddler or $3,315 per month (52 weeks/12). That sounds like a lot but most people don't need a nanny for 8 hours per day or 52 weeks per year. This is where part-time nanny rates can start to differ. The average cost for a part-time nanny might actually be slightly more per hour but overall your cost is less with fewer hours. As an example, if you payed $1 more for a part-time nanny ($20.14) but you only needed 3 hours per day on weekdays you would be closer to $1,300 per month. You may be able to negotiate better rates for a longer commitment and more hours.Additionally, the going rate for a nanny could change if you share your nanny with someone else. If you had a neighbor or friend that had an additional child that needed care you could help split the cost. Nanny share rates could add a couple dollars (let's say $22 per hour) but by splitting it you could be close to $715 each per month at 3 hours per day Monday - Friday.But remember that there may be additional costs if you don't go through a nanny services company.
It’s important to consider whether you will offer your nanny benefits like sick time, holiday pay, paid time off, health insurance, and travel costs. If you want your nanny to stick around for the long haul, offering benefits will attract people who have chosen this profession as a career track, not just someone who’s looking for a short-term gig.Remember that you’re hiring a nanny to care for and nurture your children, which is one of the most important jobs on the planet. Providing fair compensation for the vital work your nanny does is well worth having someone you trust properly care for your children.
While it may be tempting to pay your nanny under the table or give her a 1099, the IRS considers household workers employees. Do you need a nanny payroll service? When you are figuring out the best way to pay your nanny we can start with the basics. If you pay your nanny $1,000 or more per quarter or $2,100+ per calendar year, you likely will need to pay the Nanny Tax. You are obligated to pay income tax, social security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes. Depending on the state you live in you may need to pay local and state taxes as well. Nanny payroll services can handle all of this for you.It’s also vital to note that nannies are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act--their hourly pay must be at least minimum wage; and if your nanny does not live with you, he or she may be entitled to overtime for work over 40 hours per week. If figuring all this out seems daunting, consult an accountant before you write that first paycheck.
Exploring the benefits and drawbacks of different types of child care can help you make an informed decision that works well for your family. Sometimes the terminology alone seems confusing. There are nursery schools vs preschools vs pre-k. In 35 states kindergarten is optional with 15 states requiring children attend as the stepping stone between early-childhood education and first grade but many of these early types of education are not standardized which leads to confusion as each tries to differentiate themselves. So how do you best prepare your children for school? You're probably thinking about the pros and cons of each especially when it comes to cost and the impact on your child's academic, social, and physical development.If you decide to send your child to a school there are a number to choose from including teaching philosophy-based schools such as Montessori or Waldorf academies. Then there is the decision of just deciding between daycare vs staying home (home care) vs hiring a nanny vs having grandparents watch your children. There is definitely a lot to consider. We'll start with the most common questions.
Let's start with the biggest question people have. What is the difference between daycare and child care?
Actually, the term "child care" is broader and includes many types of care including family, friends, daycare, nursery schools, preschools, and specialty schools. All of these are considered child care by the IRS, if that helps.
A "daycare" typically refers to a center that is located out of the home. This can be confusing because many people use the term "in-home daycare". In recent years the term "child care" has become more common because the care can be offered at any time and not just during the day and represents the larger scope of all early childhood education.
First, from a tax standpoint, both a nanny and an au pair are considered household employees by the IRS even though they are still accepted as being in the child care industry. One difference between them is that an au pair often comes from another country and is part of a cultural exchange. They learn the culture and language in exchange for helping with the homeowner's children and in some cases light housework. Another difference is that nannies are also usually professionally trained and are a little older with more experience. An au pair is not professionally trained and are typically younger in age.
Education: Some have classified the difference by the level of education the teachers have but this is actually misguided. The caring for a child can come in many forms and technically preschools are a form of daycare center (a child is being cared for during the day). A child care worker will typically be required to have a high school diploma but it isn't uncommon for many daycare centers to employ teachers with college degrees in Early Childhood Education or advanced certifications. This is especially true if the center has reached higher levels of accreditation by state and national child care associations, such as NAEYC.
Sometimes there is a perception that daycare teachers are just glorified babysitters which isn't true at all. Most have years of experience and are highly qualified. That being said, designated Preschools will require higher levels of education, training, and experience. They will also usually have a more structured curriculum or teaching philosophy. This is where schools can diverge into active play-based curriculum, a more academic approach, environmental-learning, project-based learning, or a non-testing self-discovery philosophy.
More appropriately, the distinction is related to the age of the child. Maybe this breakdown below will help.
OK, now that we have the terminology covered let's talk about the other big question. Daycare vs nanny vs stay at home mom or dad?
The debate that almost every parent wrestles with at some point is whether to send your child to preschool, daycare, hire a nanny, or stay at home and care for them yourself. You start thinking about costs, career impact, safety, education, and probably your own sanity. If you are leaning toward the preschool route there are some benefits that high-quality centers can give you.
Daycare centers have a lot to offer both children and parents. Depending on where you live and the quality of care you choose, child care centers can be less expensive than hiring a nanny. Whether you have a baby or toddler who needs care, a quality child care center can provide a positive, loving environment that benefits your child.
While many of these facilities provide quality care and stimulation for children, they’re not for everyone. Children might pick up germs and have accidents more frequently in child care centers than they would at home. If you work odd hours, it can be tough to find a center with hours that fit your schedule. It’s also important to consider your child’s personality and how he or she may handle the transitions and stimulation that going to a child care center involves.
Having a nanny care for your child at home gives you more flexibility, convenience, and control over the way you raise your child. A good nanny will make sure your child eats well, gets plenty of attention, affection, and physical and intellectual stimulation. He or she may even do light housework such as cooking and laundry. Many nannies stay with their families for years and become part of the family.If you hire a nanny, it’s best to have the person fully vetted with background checks and child clearances before trusting them with your children. It’s also important that your nanny respects your parenting style and your wishes. If he or she gets sick, you most likely won’t have coverage and will need to miss work. On average, nannies usually cost more than child care centers. Having a nanny also means you are an employer and should pay taxes on your nanny's salary.Here is a little more information on how much a nanny might cost.
Being a stay-at-home parent has its own unique advantages and drawbacks. Of course, you get to spend more time with your children and be closely connected and involved in their development. You determine their schedule, the food they eat and the values you want to impart. You’re also responsible for their safety and intellectual and emotional development, which can be daunting.
However, you’ll get to experience more “firsts” like talking and walking. Staying home also cuts the cost of having to pay for childcare, which may be more financially beneficial to your family than bringing home a salary.There are a few cons to consider. You may miss working, interacting daily with people outside your family, or having the intellectual stimulation that comes with work. Depending on how long you stay home with your kids, you may have a significant employment gap on your resume. Make sure to take time for yourself to relax and recharge every day, even it’s only for a few minutes.
Stay-at-home parents also need to make sure that they are covering the key developmental areas that will prepare their child for success in school. This would include fine-motor development, speech, and all of the academic foundations they will need for the future. Additionally, making sure to set up play-dates for emotional and social development will be important, especially as the child enters school age with more structured routines and authority figures other than the parents. It is actually common for a parent to stay home for the first 2-3 years until the child reaches preschool age before returning to work either full-time or part-time.
Regardless of which option you choose, considering your child’s needs and providing a safe and loving environment will help your child flourish in any care situation.
Regardless of age, all children in Early Childhood Education (ECE) or child care centers have a set daily schedule of activities such as nap time, lunch and snack time, playtime, story time, and outdoor time. Providing specific activities and tasks each day gives children a sense of stability and structure that can benefit their intellectual and social development. This sense of structure also helps parents: children are less likely to resist adhering to a schedule at home if they are used to following a set schedule at daycare.
At child care, children spend time together in a supervised, structured, and safe environment. Kids learn about teamwork, problem-solving, sharing, empathy, and resolving conflicts. All of these learned values and behaviors can have a significant impact on their emerging personalities and developing minds.
When children are very young, they interact with and learn from adult family members such as parents, grandparents, and aunts or uncles. ECE and child care centers allow children to look to other adults as mentors and authority figures who can provide positive guidance. Quality child care providers give children encouragement, love, and affection, and respond to their needs in a positive manner that discourages negative behaviors and interactions. This type of social interaction teaches children not only to respect others, but to respect themselves.
The academic, social, and intellectual skills that children learn in ECE can make the transition to formal schooling easier to handle. A child who has spent the first five or six years of life at home may not be used to the more rigid structure of school, and may become more overwhelmed by it than children who are used to attending daycare.
Parents often chat with caregivers, teachers, and each other when dropping off or picking up their kids at their child care center. These moments and other events related to the center their child attends build a sense of community. Preschools and child care centers are also especially beneficial in low-income neighborhoods, where centers often serve as a resource for people to connect with community and government support services.
The answer to the question of whether or not child care is good for young children is really a personal one. It varies from family to family, center to center, and involves many different elements. However, there is one thing that can be counted on for sure: providing quality early childhood education in a positive environment where children are engaged, supported, and encouraged can help babies, toddlers, and families thrive.