2021 Nanny Survey: Pay & Benefits

See also: Demographics ... Nanny's Duties

 •  Hourly Rates • Overnight rates  • Paid Time Off  • Bonuses  •  Other Benefits  • Hours & Withholdings

Hourly Rates

What is the total amount per hour the nanny is paid when caring for ...

1 child

  • avg: $22.70 
  • most common responses: $25 (11 votes) ... $20 (10 votes) ... $22 (8 votes)
  • total responses = 58

2 children

  • avg: $29.40
  • most common responses: $30 (33 votes) ... $28 (17 votes) ... $32 (17 votes)
  • total responses = 123 *

3 children

  • avg: $35.25
  • most common responses: $39 (3 votes)  ... $28 (2 votes) ... $45 (2 votes) 
  • total responses = 13

* Note about the 2-child rate: We did not include 3 responses that we assume misunderstood the question. They appear to have reported only what they pay for their own child, not the total paid to the nanny. These were excluded from the average: $16, $18 and $20.

Overnight rates

Have you ever paid a nanny to care for your child(ren) overnight while parents were away?

21 people (11% of respondents) said yes, usually at their own home. Four of the 21 people said their child(ren) stayed at the nanny's home, and one of these reported paying zero for their one child to stay overnight (no explanation given).  

What was the total you paid the nanny for one night?

This question asked for a flat nightly rate, but we should have asked people to also include any additional hourly wages in the total that were paid for the overnight. One respondent, who reported a nightly rate of $200, wrote in the comments: "For the overnight question, we also paid our nanny hourly up until our daughter went to bed, in addition to the overnight rate."  We didn't include this rate below since we don't know what the total was. It's possible some of the other nightly rates may not include additional hourly wages.

Three people answered this question with the hourly rate they normally pay their nanny, not the total overnight rate. One paid $30/hr for twin babies, and two families (2 children each including a toddler) paid $45/hr and $50/hr respectively.  We are not sure if they paid for only "awake" hours, or for all the hours the nanny was at their home for the overnight, so we haven't included these responses below.

Lowest overnight rate: $90/night reported by a family with two middle-school-aged children.

Highest overnight rate: $500/night. Two families reported this. One has a live-in nanny for more than 3 children in the South Bay. The other has 1 toddler and normally pays $26/hour. 

Responses, from most to least frequent:

  • $150 (4 responses) - 3 of the families have two children where the youngest is a toddler; the 4th family has one child, a toddler, and went to the nanny's house.
  • $300 (3 responses) - 2 of these families have one 2-3yo child, and the other has 2 children where the youngest is an infant.
  • $100 (2 responses) - both have one child, a baby in one and a toddler in the other
  • $250 (2 responses) - both of these were at the nanny's home. One family had 2 children and the other 1 child, a;; over 2 years old.
  • $500 (2 responses) - see "Highest" above
  • $90 (1 response) - see "Lowest" above

Paid Time Off

Covid pay: We didn't ask this question on the survey, but a number of parents reported paying nannies for weeks or months when they couldn't work because of Covid shelter-in-place orders, and/or because the nanny or nanny's family had Covid.  

Federal Holidays

Do you give your nanny paid time off for federal holidays that fall on days she normally works for you?

  Pct # Responses
Yes 93% 175
No 7% 14

Sick Days

Do you give your nanny paid time off when she is sick and can't care for your child?

  Pct # Responses
Yes, up to a specified number of days per year. 53% 100
Yes, as needed 40% 75
No, nanny is not paid for days she doesn't work 7% 14

Vacation & Personal Days

Do you give your nanny paid time off for vacation or personal days?

  Pct # Responses
I pay the nanny for days we are away. 79% 150
I pay the nanny for days we are away AND for a specified number of days of her choosing. 12% 23
I don't pay the nanny for days she doesn't work. 7% 14
Other * 1% 2

* Other:

  • "She gets two weeks of vacation of her choosing"
  • "I usually reschedule days so she works the same number of hours each week. If there’s no time that works, I pay her anyway"


Do you give your nanny a yearly bonus or are you planning to this year?

  Pct # Responses
Yes, an amount equal to 1 week's pay (the amount I usually pay the nanny for one week). 48% 90
Yes, an amount equal to 2 weeks' pay. 17% 33
No, but I give her a gift. 14% 27
Yes, an amount equal to less than 1 week's pay. 11% 20
No, I don't give a bonus. 5% 10
Yes, an amount equal to more than 2 weeks' pay. 5% 9

Other Benefits

What other benefits do you provide? Check all that apply.

  Pct # Responses
Some meals or access to family food 63% 73
Personal memberships (museums, zoo, etc). that nanny can use when not with my child 24% 28
Mileage or gas subsidy 22% 25
Other benefits (see below) 20% 23
An "allowance" of money to spend as nanny wishes while with the children 19% 22
Use of a car 16% 18
Pay during Covid when she couldn't work (for weeks or months) * 6% 7
Help with medical expenses (including Covid tests) * 5% 6
Gifts of money, food, etc. * 5% 6
Use of a credit card or charge account 4% 5
Bus or BART fare 3% 4
Cell phone 3% 3
Help with personal expenses 3% 3
Driving her to and from my home, BART, bus, etc. * 2% 2
Help navigating healthcare & financial systems * 2% 2

* This response was not listed as an option in the survey but multiple people added it under "Other benefits."  There may have been other respondents who also provide this benefit, but didn't say so because it wasn't one of the options.

Other benefits listed and comments:

  1. "room & board"
  2. "We don’t - didn’t even think about it. But we are definitely open to all of the above. She didn’t ask and we’re new to this!"
  3. "Insurance premium"
  4. "Flexible hours - she chose not to get benefits or be "on the books".
  5. "She does her laundry at our house"
  6. "Bereavement pay of two weeks"

Hours & Withholdings


How many total hours per week, on average, does your nanny provide care for your own children?

  Pct # Responses
fewer than 10 hours per week 2% 4
10-20 hours per week 6% 11
20-30 hours per week 15% 30
30-40 hours per week 51% 101
more than 40 hours per week 26% 52

Consistent with previous surveys, most parents (77%) employ nannies full time or close to it, and more than a quarter of respondents have a nanny for more than 40 hours per week. This suggests these are working families that do not have a parent at home.

Do you pay or withhold any of these for your nanny?  Federal & state income taxes, Medicare, state disability, unemployment, workers' comp.

73%  No

27%  Yes

These numbers are consistent with past nanny surveys on BPN: nearly three quarters of families say they pay their nanny "under the table."  In the past, we've asked respondents why they don't report the nanny's earnings as required, and the most frequent response is that the nanny has asked them not to, most often because the nanny is worried about losing income-based benefits such as medical insurance or subsidized childcare. Some nannies also are not able to legally work in the U.S.  Several parents noted in the comments that their nanny wants to be paid in cash. One parent wrote: "i wish the tax and low income benefits system will be reformed. Most Nanny interviewed only wants cash to maintain low income status for their family’s benefits ..."