Raises are important to every professional, and nannies are no different. As an employer, it’s important to reassess your nanny’s pay rate regularly to be sure they’re being compensated fairly and competitively. Many families do this annually or when their nanny’s role has undergone a significant change. And while there’s no one-size-fits-all amount to offer, the standard is an increase of anywhere from 3 to 10 percent of the nanny’s wages, depending on several factors. Here’s what to consider when it’s time to give the nanny a raise.
Cost of living
It’s standard in the industry to offer nannies an annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). This is usually equal to the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index–the average price being paid for consumer goods–and it’s intended to make sure the value of a consumer’s money keeps up with the rate of inflation. The current COLA is set at 1.3 percent, per the US Social Security Administration; however, it’s important to remember that giving your employee a COLA doesn’t give them more spending power, it simply ensures that their pay rate is keeping up with increases in their basic expenses. A true pay raise is usually 3-10 percent in addition to the COLA.
The chief responsibilities of the nanny are to care for the children and to make your life easier. Is the nanny succeeding in doing these things? Is the nanny meeting the expectations you set forth when he or she was first hired? Whether or not your nanny is deserving of a pay increase ultimately comes down to their ability to meet and anticipate your needs, be flexible, be engaged, show initiative, and communicate well.
Increased job duties
In addition to a great performance, nannies should receive a raise if they step up to take on additional duties, and are successful in those endeavors. This can include anything from adding pet care to the routine, adding more household duties, running additional errands, or taking on personal assistant duties. These things don’t have to result in the largest possible raises, but the additional time and effort should be accounted for when considering how much to adjust the nanny’s pay.
Changes in the nanny’s job description
It’s important to revisit your nanny’s pay rate anytime their job description changes. For example, if you recently welcomed a new baby and the nanny has been responsible for the bulk of that baby’s daily care, that’s something for which he or she should be compensated. Similarly, is the nanny has assumed family assistant or household management responsibilities, do you see those continuing to be a part of her role? That would constitute an increase in pay.
For significant changes in the nanny’s role, it is common to offer a raise that’s anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of their wages, depending on how much their duties have expanded. Consider:
- How many children the nanny is currently caring for
- Any increase in the number of days or hours worked
- Significant changes to the nanny’s daily schedule
- Any specialized childcare for which the nanny was not previously responsible, such as newborn care
New education or certifications
Ideally, your nanny should constantly be growing in his or her role. If the nanny has completed courses in areas that specifically add to his or her skillset, that’s a bonus for your family and definitely something to consider when calculating a pay increase. Not only are you paying your nanny more based on his or her increased qualifications, but you’re keeping the nanny’s pay competitive, which is important to retaining a nanny who is highly skilled and educated.
How long has your nanny been with you? Does she regularly do more than what’s expected of her? Do your kids love her? Do her contributions enable you to live the kind of life you want to live? It’s important to reward loyalty and dedication whenever possible. Even a small pay raise is a clear way of showing your appreciation for a nanny who has been devoted to your family and done the best possible job for you.
What if I can’t offer a raise?
Though it’s typical to offer raises annually, it’s not always possible for families to shoulder the burden of a large pay increase. In these situations, even a small increase in the nanny’s hourly rate is often better than no raise.
Nannies are professionals who rely on their wages to cover their expenses, so it is important to budget for regular pay increases, just as you would any other expense. Still, if a raise is not a possibility at a certain point in time, communicate with your nanny about what he or she is doing well and when a raise can be expected. In the event that you don’t feel your nanny’s performance merits a raise, have a discussion about what the nanny can do better to earn a raise in the future. Either way, clear communication is vital to your relationship with your nanny and will go a long way towards letting your nanny know that you value her work and respect her as an employee.