Hiring a nanny is a big decision; there are many things to consider when deciding to go this route. Once deciding what your needs are, the next step is to decide what the nanny’s duties will be and to determine the appropriate compensation to offer. Hiring a nanny can be expensive, but there are pitfalls in hiring a “bargain nanny” who may be just looking for a paycheck instead of viewing this as a career choice and a calling/passion or lack the necessary experience to do the job well. Stretching to hire a great nanny from an agency is an investment that pays off in massive dividends for your family.
Before hiring a nanny, spend some time contemplating exactly what you are looking for in an ideal candidate. Will your nanny be responsible for childcare duties solely or will she be in charge of some housekeeping, cooking, running errands, etc.? The pay scale offered should reflect the responsibilities of the position. Greater responsibilities and qualifications or education and experience should translate into a higher wage. If you are looking for someone to help tutor your children and having a college education is important, then you need to consider paying comparable to what such a candidate could command in a career in their field.
Another consideration is how many children will your nanny be caring for; the wage offered would be different for one infant child versus a family with more children or multiples. This factor should be continually reevaluated as your family grows and your needs change or the responsibilities of your position evolve and grow. If you hired your nanny initially to look after only one child but she is still with you two babies later, her wage should reflect these additions. An annual review and contract renegotiation for an extended period after the first year is a great time to discuss these changes and the resulting actions that may need to be taken as a result.
There are many factors to consider when coming up with an hourly wage or salary for your nanny. Remember that you often get what you pay for and you are entrusting your precious loved ones with this nanny, so don’t go bargain shopping! This mentality may be appropriate for Black Friday but not when choosing a parenting partner!