Compensation Package: 10 Things Every Nanny Wants To Say To Parents About Compensation During The Job Search

woman talkingDear Parents I Might Meet In My Job Search,

I’m going to be honest with you.  Talking about my hourly rate and benefits is hard for me.  I’m not in the nanny business for the money.  Caring for kids is my passion and if I could afford to do it for free, I would.  Unfortunately I haven’t won the lottery yet so money and benefits do matter.  So here’s what I’d like to say before we get started. 

    1. Please understand that nanny care is the most expensive type of childcare there is. Every child deserves the very best care but unfortunately our society doesn’t provide a level playing field here.  The hard truth is while lots of families want a nanny, only a minority can truly afford one.  I sympathize with the difficulty parents face in their search however I have to keep my family’s needs in mind too which is why a competitive wage and benefit package is a must have for me.
    1. Please give me all the details of your job up front so I can make an informed decision about my rate and our fit. I know you want to present your job in the best possible light but being honest about your challenges doesn’t mean I’ll look for greener pastures.  It just means I’ll have all the information I need to make the right choice.  No job or nanny is perfect.  It’s all about how our imperfections align with each other.
    1. Please know your budget before we talk. I know there are lots of variables that go into deciding what you can afford and what you’re willing to offer.  By knowing what you can realistically offer beforehand, we won’t waste time if my rate is unworkable for your family’s budget.
    1. Please don’t compare my rate to a daycare’s rate. A daycare is a business that has multiple clients or sources of income.  I am an employee and rely solely on my employer for my full income and benefit package.
    1. Please don’t ask me to be paid under the table. I know it saves time and money however a nanny job is like any other job and comes with built in responsibilities and expenses for employers.  Your willingness to follow the law gives me the financial protections that I need and deserve and lets me know you take your role of employer seriously.
    1. Please don’t make me fight for overtime. I know you’re working within a budget and it’s a hard pill to swallow when you have to add on overtime to my paycheck. But let’s be honest, the typical nanny’s work week is already 45, 50 or even 55 hours.  And that doesn’t include the commute.  So when hours are added on to the already extended schedule, those overtime dollars are well deserved.
    1. Please be prepared to offer at least the industry’s standard benefits. I know you’re not legally required to offer any benefits however guaranteed hours, mileage, and paid time off are essential to my financial well-being and my work / life balance.  Just like you wouldn’t hire a nanny that only gave the bare minimum of care to your child, I can’t work for an employer that only provides the bare minimum of what’s legally required.
    1. Please know that I’m willing to be flexible however I cannot go below my bottomline. Finding the right job is like putting a puzzle together – there are lots of different pieces that have to fit together just right.  If the compensation piece doesn’t fit, the job won’t work for me long-term no matter how attractive the rest of the pieces are.
    1. Please don’t offer something up front then offer a lower wage or lesser benefit during the contract negotiations just as you wouldn’t want me to come back after accepting your job and say I can’t work the hours you need or take on some of the tasks you require. We’re both making decisions based on the verbal agreements we make along the way so it’s important we both keep our word.
  1. Please be willing to create a comprehensive nanny contract that captures the full job description, your expectations, our agreements around wages and benefits, and other important information before my start date. This helps us start our employment relationship off with clarity, confidence, and good will.

Thanks for listening,
Your Potential New Nanny