How Much to Pay a Nanny

Parent Q&A

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  • Hello,

    We have 2 kids, 8 and 4, and are looking for some occasional care, between 3-6 hours per week. I saw an old thread about care for 1 kid, but am wondering what a fair rate is for 2. We spoke to a sitter who seems great and said their rate is $40-50. This felt high to us. Any thoughts? 


    We pay $25-30 for 2 kids 

    We pay $25/hr for date night babysitting for our two kids. We’ve paid between $15 and $18 for a nanny share. 

    Hello. I have two children. $40 to $50 is high unless the person is a professional nanny and I mean certified etc. We typically hire for our two kids at a rate of $30 to $35 per hour. I have had success with I typically pay $30 and have found wonderful people.  

    My daughter in law babysits for a family, 2 afternoons a week, 4-6 hours at a time. The children are 3 and 7 years old. She is paid $35 an hour. FYI 

    $25-$35 an hour is what i have paid for my two children.  The person who charges $35 will also clean if the kids are sleeping or don’t need her full attention. I hire teachers from preschool or my friend’s nanny. The teachers charge less and the nanny charges more  

    $40 is usually the starting point for two kids in my experience.

    I pay our sitter $35 for 2 kids but I think that might be low. 

    The average base rate for a babysitter is $22.08 per hour. The weekly cost for a babysitter working a 40-hour is $883 while the monthly cost is approximately $2,870 for 130 hours of work.

  • Hi!  We recently moved to the area, and don't have any family here.  My husband and I have never had anyone look after our toddler before, but are at the point where we are ready to try a baby-sitter for the occasional date night/night out with friends.  I have no idea what the hourly rate should be for this area and was wondering what others pay per hour for evening babysitting?  We live in the Alameda area.

    Thanks so much!

    I think it depends on whether you’re looking for an experienced nanny who also does occasionally babysitting or a less experienced high school/college student. In my experience, more experienced folks charge $30-$35/hour for 1-2 children. I’ve seen rates around $20/hour for less experienced sitters.

    Ours charges $25/hr for babysitting. She's a nanny during the day to another family so this is supplemental income for her. We're in Berkeley for reference. 

    $25-30 per hour is the most common range I've seen for watching one child (in Berkeley). Some college students I interviewed with asked for $20 an hour. Some experienced sitters and nannies have asked for over $30 per hour... 

    Hello! We have a person in her mid-twenties, not a childcare worker professionally, but she likes to make some extra money on the weekends. We give her $25/hour. On urbansitter I have experienced similar rates for adults that do not work in childcare. I have seen some college students charging a few dollars less per hour on urbansitter, and childcare professionals charging a few dollars more per hour (close to $30/hour). I would suspect that a responsible, high-school kid in your neighborhood would be a good, less-expensive option, consider putting out a question on Nextdoor or to your neighbors in-person!

    Our babysitter charges us $30/hr plus we usually give her a tip. Hope you find someone and can a much-deserved date night!

  • Hi all! My mom has been watching my youngest so that I can work a few hours a week, but I’m thinking about adding on my hours and I don’t want to overwhelm my mom. I posted in one of my local groups (I am in El Sobrante/Richmond) asking if there are any moms who would be willing to watch my toddler in their home for a half day 1 or 2 days a week. One person said they would do it for $40 a day, which seemed really cheap. Another one, who is a former preschool teacher, asked me how much I would offer. What do you think is a reasonable rate? Thanks!

    On the low end $20/hr, up to $35/hr.  I'd think of it of less of whether that person is a SAHM or rather a nanny.  Depending on the age of their kid, if it's close, it could be mutually beneficially as long as you're super clear on the expectations.  We had interviewed one family for a nanny share and their expectation was that when the nanny wasnt taking care of the kids during naps, she should be cleaning the house and doing dishes. Not how we do things but to each their own.

    I would go with the average hourly nanny rate, since you're basically looking for a super part time nanny situation.

    I would go with whatever the current rate for one child in a nanny-share situation is. Because it's really not that different except that the nanny happens to be the mom of the other kid(s).

    Assuming the SAHM is caring for her kid(s) at the same time, you should pay the going rate as a nanny share partner, which is $18-25/hour or less if the mom has more than one child.

    If you have time to take their kid sometimes, you could also see if anyone is interested in doing a trade - so they get some time to themselves too.  Even if they aren't working for money, they might want to go shopping, get some exercise, whatever. And the kids would also then get to spend a little more time together. If you can, I also recommend building a little time into your own child care arrangements - whether you mom or someone you pay - so you also have a little breathing time to yourself that isn't work/commute.

    I am both a parent and child care provider who is currently providing care for a child.  My pay rate is 25 and it is low for friends.  The labor of caring well for children is energy consuming as you know and worth the investment as you know.  I would ask what rate they need.  Market pay in an unjust economic system is no guide for what's fair so researching cost of living and at least ensuring you're exceeding the poverty line is best practice.  I think your own income makes a difference.  If you are in the same income band fine, but if you're in a higher income bracket, pay them as the professional they are, please.  Thanks for listening.

  • Nanny Hourly Cash Rate

    Oct 4, 2023

    What is the hourly cash rate of a nanny in Berkeley/Oakland/Albany/Emeryville area?

    We have a nanny who we pay $30 an hour - 40 hrs a week (mon- Friday 8am to 5pm). We watch our baby during a lunch break for her so she can have some down town every day to eat. She is dependent, has been doing this for 30 years and we trust her implicitly. She has CPR and other safety certifications and it great with communication! We also pay a weekly gas fee of $25 as she takes our girl to a park everyday. I don’t know if this is over or under (not something we can afford for too long). But each day with our nanny is amazing. 

  • Hoping to get an input on the current hourly nanny rates.. we have a two year old and a full time nanny to look after her (50hrs min per week, at $25/hr)… we love our nanny and hearing this is below what most Nannies make in the area? 

    starting in a new year, our toddler heading to preschool and we will have a newborn. So idea is for current nanny to look after new baby full time (plus a few hour overlap with our toddler in the morning).

    What is a current going rate per hour for Nannies looking after one newborn (starting at 3months), and a rate for two kids (given some overlap with our toddler)? I know rates typically different for two kids if from different families, etc. 

    thank you! Appreciate your input

    for one child, $28 and up. For two, $36 and up. The rates have been climbing alongside cost of living. The best way to do this economically is to share with another family, so that each of you pay 18-20 per child. 

    We paid our nanny $28/hour when she was just with one kid and $34 when she was with both. When we sent our kids to preschool she found another family and she's getting $36/hour. I think the going rate is $35-40/hour for two kids in the bay area right now. 

    So we pay 20/hr(45hrs a week) as part of the nanny share and I'd expect that if she was taking care of our daughter and our son it would be $40/hr. For your family I'd probably say between 40-50/hr for two kids based on what you're currently paying her for one kid. Keep in mind that newborns need a lot of time/attention so might be cheaper to see if the preschool has some kind of aftercare component.  It would likely be cheaper then what it would cost on an hourly basis to have your nanny watch both kids.

  • 2023 Nanny Rates 2 kids

    Jun 5, 2023

    Hi! Can anyone share the current rates for a nanny w/2 kids? Our nanny has been watching our son (now 3) for about 2 years and we recently had a baby. He is in pre-school part of the day but there are overlap hours when she will have the 3 yr old and 4 month old. Curious what the going rate is these days. Thanks so much!

    We are in a nanny share with two toddlers that started when they were both 1 (so we missed the infant stage where costs might be a little higher?) and each family pays $14/hour, so our nanny gets $28/hour. We pay in cash which she prefers but obviously if you paid in a more over-the-table way, a caregiver might want a little more than that.

    So we're in a nanny share where our son and the other families son is 8months old and we're both paying $20/hr so $40/hr total.  You could probably find someone for less but then its the process of getting someone you trust etc.

    We do a nanny share with two toddlers and pay the nanny $35/hour (17.50 each per family).

    I would guess that this would be comparable to a nannyshare rate, for which I've commonly seen $40/hr. There might be different considerations since nannyshares are typically two kids of similar ages, but hopefully that's a helpful starting point.

    Our nanny charges $32/hr if the two kids are in the same family. And $36/hr if different families. 

    We’re in a nanny-share and it’s $38/hr for 2 kids. 

    We are at 18$/hr/kid but will be going up to $20/hr/kid in a couple of months.  Our nanny said it's the rate most of her friends are getting these days.

    Seems like $25-35 for 1, I’d guess $30-40 for two? 

    We pay $34 in our nanny share in El Cerrito. Curious to read others' replies!

    It varies between $34-$40 (for 2 kids - we do a nanny-share, so, it's whatever the final number is divided by 2). It's rare to find someone for under $36 though. Most are closer to $38 or $40. Usually, under-the-table is cheaper than over-the-table.

  • We are about to let go of our long time nanny and I'm hoping to hire her for the occasional babysitting evening or morning drop off, but I know she would like her hourly rate to go up. What are people paying for babysitting hours these days? Thank you!!!

    About $25 an hour.

    It’s gotten expensive! We pay $30 for a college student to watch two kids and one parent is often home at the same time. For more of a nanny role, we’ve been hearing 30-35/hour for one kid and 30-40 for two. 

    Currently paying $25 for my 6 year old when he’s solo, $30 per hour when it’s both kids (6 and 10) . Often it feels like a lot to me but I couldn’t find anyone lower than $25 (for some sitters that was for two kids but most wanted more)

  • Nanny salary update?

    Jun 8, 2022

    Hi all

    just wondering what parents think the nanny salary range is now. I saw a couple internet sites listing the Bay Area avg at around 22. (Our first interview seemed to think it was much higher now.). There have been a lot of economic changes in the past six months and it seems the most recent post on the subject here was from last year. Thanks in advance!

    I don't think it's been $22 for some time. My youngest child is eight, and that was on the low end back when we were looking. I'm sure others can weigh in with more current rates, but remember that minimum wage in Berkeley is about to go to $17/hour, and as you noted, there have been a lot of recent economic shifts, contributing to the childcare labor shortage. I'd be surprised if the average is much below $30 (maybe a bit lower for one child, and more for a share).

    We are in a nanny share and each family pays $16 an hr for a total of $32.  That is going up to $18 an hr and if it's one kid it's $28 an hr.

    Our nanny was $22 in 2020 but raised her rate to $25 for a single child. 

    Hi! A nanny for one is at least $25 but like the other commenter said the cost is likely closer to $30. I'm in a nanny share and last year we signed a contract that the price per family is $15 per hour but we recently upped it to $16. She mentioned the other nannies are receiving $17-$18 per hour.

    We just hired a nanny for a full time share in Oakland and will be paying $35/ hour ($17.50/hr each family). We came across many nannies asking closer to $40/hour+ for two kids. I get the sense that COVID plus the overall high cost of living here has caused the market to tighten. From my recent research, I think high $20s to $30 per hour were more common for one kid, but there is a lot of variation within the region and based on what you desire (e.g. nannies that do not speak English well or at all may charge a lower rate). I also think there is a lot of variation based on the specific location within the East Bay that you are hiring. 

    We are in a share and pay $27 when there is one kid, $34 when there are two kids. Both are under 1.

    We hired our nanny back in February of this year. We looked on Urban Sitter and BPN. While rates could run the gamut, I would say that for someone experienced with a solid history of good references, people were looking for $25-$30/hr under the table, or $30-$35/hr if you want to pay legally (which we did). 

    We’re looking for a nanny for our infant and have been hearing $35-40/hour for one kid over the table.

  • Nanny rates and contracts

    Jan 11, 2022

    Hi parents!. We just found a part time nanny and we wanted to understand current market rates, what is fair to pay for driving as part of her duties, and how vacation / holidays off work in terms of compensation. We need her for 25 hours per week. She’s mainly watching our 3 years old and would have a one hour overlap with our 2nd child but we would be around. She is responsible for picking our older child from school solo using her car and the school is 6 miles away from orinda. This gig is guaranteed until june. What is a fair compensation package? I’d really appreciate it if you could share any  intel. Thank you! Nezha

    Moderator Note: See 2021 Nanny Survey: Pay & Benefits and Compensating Nanny for Driving

    For driving, we have always used the IRS guideline for reimbursement based on miles. We never paid for the nanny’s commute to our house abs calculates the miles from our house to the destination and back to our house unless we authorized the nanny to take the kids to another location at our request. Our nanny brought kids to her house sometimes to be with her kids and we did not pay for those miles as it her at her request  and a mutually beneficial arrangement.

    For pay rate, it really depends on the person’s experience and the type of duties. I think $20-25 per hour is a minimum standard pay. I have had some people ask for $28-30 especially if they used to be a preschool teacher or have unique and desirable experience or took on mother’s helper/housekeeping duties in addition to childcare. 

  • I am new to the nanny search and would love some advice. My family and another are looking to split a nanny's time between our two families (NOT a share, we do live in the same neighborhood though) as our family needs 3 days of care for our 1 yo and the other family need 2 days of care for their 9mo and we understand the need for a FT situation for most nannies. Both families are also expecting second babies this Dec, so care will shift from 1 baby/family at a time to 2 babies/family at a time (1 toddler, 1 infant) in Spring 2022. I was recently quoted $36/hour for 1 baby and $40/hour for 2 babies and thought that seemed pretty high, but wanted to ask the community for reference.

    What is the going rate for 1 baby, and 2 babies in the same family vs. a nanny share?

    Thank you!

    Moderator Note: BPN's 2021 Nanny Survey is underway, and you can view preliminary results here: Nanny Rates for 1, 2, and 3 children  !! Please take the survey if you currently employ a nanny !!

    Our nanny charges $18/hr per child. So, for a nanny share with 2 kids (2 families each with 1 child), that is $36/hr. She would actually charge us a dollar or two less when she watched our 2 kids only. According to our (trusted) nanny, the current, average rate per child per hour is $17 / $18. In our situation at least, I can say that she is worth every penny and I'd pay her more if I could. Generally, nannies are a higher rate compared to day cares. Hope this helps.

    Our nanny’s rates were $26/hr for one child and $30/hr for two as part of a nanny share. I have generally seen rates $14-16/hr as part of a share. Agree, those rates sound high.

  • Hi Parents - We are in the middle of a nanny search and trying to see what competitive rates are.  We were planning to pay $25/hour for one child and $30/hour when it's 2 or 3.  Our youngest is a baby.  The other two are 4 and 8 and a bit more self sufficient.  Any guidance on whether this is high, low or just right?  Thanks!

    FWIW we're currently paying $35/hr total for our nanny share, which we understand to be the high end of the market. We have two babies (5 months old).

    $30/hour when it's 3 children, with one being a baby, seems just a teeny bit low, by maybe a couple/few dollars?

    We pay 25 for one and for two we pay $35. Typically it’s $10 per sibling but when it’s a share with other family’s it’s about $22 each..according to my nanny.  This is over the table. 

    Babies are usually at least $25-30 per hr in this area. You might have more success of you don't include a caveat that one or two others might be part of the deal---nannies don't really care if a parent says that 4 and 8 are self sufficient. Four, especially, is still pretty young and not that self sufficient. The nannies I've known want a very straightforward arrangement where it's clear what they're signing up for and the pay/benefits. Some nannies also specialize in baby care and don't want to take care of older kids.

  • Nanny salary

    Feb 27, 2021

    Dear community, my family and I are moving to Orinda from NY and we are in the process of finding a nanny. The nanny we are talking to now asked about the weekly rate. We have no idea what the going rate is for Full time nannies in the Bay Area. If anyone can assist, I would be grateful for any information. Thank you so much, Elena

    Moderator note: see BPN's Nanny Survey: Pay & Benefits

    $21 an hour is what we pay for 1 toddler.

    It depends if you're sharing the nanny with another family.  We're in Berkeley so our rates are probably a tad different.  We pay $15/hr and the hours are 7:45am-4:45pm Monday-Friday.  We give her two weeks paid vacation in the summer, and a two week holiday bonus in December.  Her single rate(ie watching one child) is $25/hr.

    In my experience, depending on the number of children and the nanny's experience and responsibilities, it's around $25-35/hr (So around $1000-$1400/week). A lot of families will guarantee a monthly rate regardless of hours actually worked, and then pay extra if 40/week is exceeded. You should also consider if you will be helping supplement health insurance premiums and providing paid sick days or vacation time. 

    We pay our full time nanny $20/hour for one baby, but she lives VERY close to where we currently live and she turned down other opportunities for this reduced commute.  In addition, we guarantee her 40 hours/week so she will always receive at least $800/week.  I would guess Orinda would probably be at least $22/hour for one child and closer to $27/hour+ for additional.  Additionally we provide her paid sick time and vacation days.

    We are in a share in Oakland and pay $12.5/hr (per child) for 2 children, $10/hr for 3 children, and $20/hr for 1 child (a couple hours a week it's just our daughter) - but I think we're on the low end and we plan to give a raise in the middle of this year. 

  • How much should I pay my friend to watch my 10 month old daughter? She has a baby she is already home caring for. This would be two days a week, three hours each day. Thank you!  

    I think you should ask your friend. But my humble opinion is that she should get 1/2 of full or nearly full pay for a nanny share hourly rate.

    You should pay her no less than the minimum wage for the city in which the care will take place. Work is work, it doesn't matter that she is already home with her baby.

    Agree that you should ask her. Since it isn't a huge chunk of time, it seems like you're paying babysitting rates. I'd offer her $20/hour or sitter swaps. Just because she's already home doesn't mean that it isn't a lot of work to watch a second. I remember the first few times I babysat our friend's kid (both boys were about that age) and it was EXHAUSTING. Much easier now that they're 3. 

    You should pay her what you would pay a nanny in a nanny-share with one other child.

    I think you should pay her the going- rate for child care or at least nanny share prices. She is a friend and working from home, why not support that work rather than denigrate it as SAH? Don’t take advantage! 

    I think about $15.00 per hour is reasonable:)

    Getting involved in financial affairs with friends is always tricky. If you want to keep your friendship on good solid ground, I’d recommend paying her more than you think you need to. 

    I'm not sure how much the "friend" factor would come into play... it's still a huge job, especially at that age! I don't think I'd feel comfortable paying a friend any less than $15/hour, which is basically like a nanny-share rate. 

    I agree with the posters who suggest you pay your friend at the going rate for care. I had a stay-at-home friend take care of my son--  her child, was younger than mine. She wanted to do it for free.  Financially, that would've really helped (my husband was a university student, I worked a rather menial job at the time.)  I am so glad I insisted on paying the going-rate.  Today, decades later, we remain friends.

  • Babysitter Pay? Oakland

    Jul 19, 2019

    We are moving to the area and trying to get an idea of how much babysitters charge hourly? We are looking for just occasional nights, weekends or weeknights. We have 1 child (she's 4). We paid our babysitter in San Diego $15 hourly. Is that approximately the going rate or is it more? 

    thanks for any advice or input! 

    Moderator Note:  see BPN's Nanny pay survey from last year:

    $20-25 seems to be the norm for experienced sitters and many older student sitters also charge that range. High school and college kids often charge $15-18. $10- $12 for younger high school kids. 

    I have a 4 year old, and I've paid our last two regular sitters $20 per hour. In my experience, $15 an hour buys you a younger, less experienced sitter (who may also be flakier as far as responding, etc.)

    I'd say around $15-20 although recently my daughter (age 12) was paid $25/hour by our neighbor.

    got it! thanks for the input. very helpful

    In my experience, HS and college students charge $15 (which happens to be the minimum wage in Berkeley). Particularly skilled babysitters -- eg ones who have professional ECE/nanny/daycare experience -- charge $20 to $25, sometimes higher.

    You pay for the service you expect to get.  If you want someone who can actually get your kids to sleep, including a bath & bed routine, and perhaps dinner before, you're looking at the full one-child rate of $20-25/hour, and since bedtime is challenging for most kids with a sitter, it's probably close to $25/hour.  I also consider the equipping of the person I need - if my child were to wake ill or have another issue, is the person capable of doing the right things to care for him?   The informs the type of sitter I get.   I've erred on the side of paying more and having a super-capable sitter that gives me peace of mind.   I stick to the $15/hour folks for watching kids while I'm at home doing other things (ex: take kiddo to the park for 2 hours so I can get grad school work done).   Welcome to the Bay - you'll find everything is more expensive here - including sitters - who also have the much more expensive living costs you just transitioned to!

    My daughter, a college student, charges $15/hr for 1-2 kids, + expenses such as mileage for school pick ups or other errands.

    Hi, I would say at least $20/hour and quite possibly up to $25 depending on experience. Best of luck with your move! 

    I wanted to add to my prior response, though $20-$25/hr seems to be going rate, I have had good luck using services like Urban Sitter and Swiss Cheese where you can post a job and providers respond. I have found some high quality folks willing to take a lower rate ($18-$20) as my home was very close to them and made for easy commute by walking or short drive which was better than traveling for them.

    Best of luck with your move!

  • Hi, 

    My family is new to the area. We live in Central Berkeley and have a 2.5 year old and one more on the way. I'm looking to work 3 days a week starting in August when our kids will be 3 years old and 4 months. I received an offer for a part-time position, but I'm wondering what the average cost of childcare is so I can look at how the salary offer will fit with our needs. 

    I would like to have a sitter in our home with both kids or join a nanny-share for the three days I'll be working. 

    What is the average cost of an hourly babysitter/nanny for 2 kids vs. a nanny-share rate?

    The costs will be pretty comparable. BPN does a nanny salary survey every few years--last I checked it was around $12/child for a nannyshare, and the same or slightly less ($20-$24/hour) for your own nanny/sitter for two children. In your position I might consider finding a neighborhood nannyshare for the baby and enrolling the older child in preschool three days a week, though--that might ultimately be less expensive and would also build some friendships for your older child given that you're new to the area.

  • What is the going rate for a nanny to care for my 5mo full-time and for my 3yr toddler who will only need care after preschool (about 15hrs per week). What is reasonable price these days in Berkeley?

    No responses received.

  • Current Nanny Rates?

    Jul 5, 2016

    Hello, I am having trouble finding current information on nanny pay rates.  I would love some information on what the going rates are for 1 child and how that changes where there are more children.  (we have three children and need help in the morning getting them out the door and off to school but there will be very little active time with all three children as two are in elementary school.)  How are rates impacted by over/under the table pay? I assume paid time off and bonuses are standard aspect of an agreement, but would appreciate any insight. We have worked with nannies for many years in Boston and I am trying to get a sense for what the landscape is here in Berkeley on pay rates and typical terms.

    Thank you VERY much for any insight you can provide.

    In the East Bay we pay $20/hour for one child.  In our interview experience, anything below $18/hour for one child starts to compromise quality of care.  For 2 expect to pay between $22-$25/hour.  For 3 kids I would expect to pay at least $25/hour for the hours they are all around.  

    While you are not required to accrue sick leave for your employees in Oakland/Berkeley/Alameda (as opposed to SF where it is required), most nannies accrue some form of PTO.  We request our nanny take vacation while we are also on vacation, whenever possible. 

    Also note that in California child care providers who work more than 9 hours a day or more than 45 hours a week are entitled to 1.5x pay for those additional hours by law.  

    Finally, paying withholding and payroll taxes is the law.  Paying "under the table" is illegal and deprives your nanny of the opportunity to earn towards Social Security and Unemployment Insurance.  

So we pay 20/hr(45hrs a week) as part of the nanny share and I'd expect that if she was taking care of our daughter and our son it would be $40/hr. For your family I'd probably say between 40-50/hr for two kids based on what you're currently paying her for one kid. Keep in mind that newborns need a lot of time/attention so might be cheaper to see if the preschool has some kind of aftercare component.  It would likely be cheaper then what it would cost on an hourly basis to have your nanny watch both kids.

We paid our nanny $28/hour when she was just with one kid and $34 when she was with both. When we sent our kids to preschool she found another family and she's getting $36/hour. I think the going rate is $35-40/hour for two kids in the bay area right now. 

for one child, $28 and up. For two, $36 and up. The rates have been climbing alongside cost of living. The best way to do this economically is to share with another family, so that each of you pay 18-20 per child. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


I realize now that I'm paying too much

Sept 2009

We recently started having one of my friends Mothers watch our 8 month old son for 4-6 hours a week. She is amazing in every way but I feel we might be paying her too much, $15.00 an hour. I checked around before we told her a price and thought that was pretty standard but now I am running into people who tell me we are crazy. Not only that but she doesnt like to walk so when she is with our son she can't take him out in the stroller. She is overweight and I feel badly asking her to take him to my work which is two blocks away from my house, Yikes. Does anyone have some advice on how I can hanndle these two situations: one lowering the rate and two the walks? Thanks

$15 an hour seems standard for a high quality, experienced child care provider. Not sure that is what you have though, so maybe too much for what you are receiving? Tough to drop her wage ex- post. Perhaps you could say that you had an opportunity to hire someone else who is willing to work for less, so she has an option to either keep the job at a lower wage, or choose not? Shouldn't pay for more than what you are actually receiving

You have two separate problems and the solutions are simple, if not easy. Your first problem is that you hired someone to watch your child who cannot or does not wish to give you and your son the services you want, i.e., walking. The second problem is that you hired someone who charges more than you want to pay. The solution is not to decide whether the caretaker is wrong or unreasonable to resist walking or to charge $15. The solution is to get clear about what your requirements are and what you are willing/able to pay, then find that person. I won't pay $15/hour for babysitting, but many sitters/nannies charge that amount and get paid that amount. I pay $10/hour, but it isn't easy to find good child care for that amount. I have to look far and wide and be really up front about my requirements. I have two fabulous sitters but it wasn't easy to find them. It's even harder with an infant, who requires more care. I suggest you reevaluate your requirements and then decide if you need to find a new sitter. Anon

As someone who used to do child care - please do not underpay child care workers. Are you telling me that taking care of your 8 month old son is worth less than $15/hour? Really? In my opinion, it is a huge problem that child care workers are not paid enough - and we start devaluing our children.

The walks are another thing - if you are employing her, you can state what you want her to do. If she won't, find someone else. But please don't underpay them. been there.

$15.00 per hour for part time care is fair. Assuming that this is a person with some childcare experience. I run a home based daycare and started out pay my employee the same amount. I also charge $15.00 when I do babysitting on the weekends. As far as the going for walk, I would not be so concerned now as your baby is still an infant. I would be concerned about her ability to look after your baby as she becomes more mobile. Will she be able to chase after your baby as he begins exploring with crawling, walking etc? $15.00 is fair

Increasing Nanny's Pay after second child is born

Jan 2006

We hired a nanny to care for our first daughter, born in Feb. 2003. She has taken care of her since May 2003. We now have a second child and I will be going back to work in Jan. My question, how much more, if any, should the nanny be paid for caring for the 2nd child? It's somewhat different than a share since it's the same family. Also, the older child will be going to part-time (8 a.m. - 12 noon) daycare in March and full- time in September. I did review the nanny survey from 2003 (can we get a new survey to get more up to date info?) but didn't see this particular issue addressed. Thanks. new mom of two

In my case, my nanny cares for one of my children for $12/hour, and when she has both of my children I pay $15. Have you talked to your nanny about this? It's an issue that should be negotiated with her. have 2 kids and a nanny

You can negotiate with your nanny whatever works for you and her, obviously, but I think whether a nanny is watching two children from different families, or two children from the same family, that a ''two-child/share'' rate applies. So in my opinion the survey from 2003 that describes share pay should be a good guide for what the two-child rate was at that time. We currently pay our nanny $18 an hour for two kids (and she makes $14 an hour for one).

With your son being in pre-school for part of the time, I would simply pay her the single child rate while he is in school, and the two-child rate when she is watching them both. That said, I know a couple who paid their nanny $15 an hour all day, for the same situation you are in (one child in kindergarten for part of every day). They figured $15 was high for the time the nanny was with only one child, and low for the time she was with both children, so it averaged out. I also know it took the nanny (experienced in the Bay Area) a bit of time to get comfortable with that arrangement. Good luck!

when we had our second child, we simply asked our nanny how much the new rate would be. it went from $9 per hour for our son in a share to $18 per hour just the two of them. I thought at the time maybe I should compare rates but when all is said and done, I trust her. If I didn't I couldn't leave my kids with her.

Since then I've found that she's near, but not over, the top of most rates for nanny. and considering her experience and all that she does for them - transportation, teaching them spanish, etc. I think she's worth stretching our finances for. first time employer

Sept 2005

Now that we have a second child (3 months), how much should we pay our nanny for caring for our two children? My older son is 3 years old and we have had our nanny since he was 4 months old. We have had nanny shares in the past where we pay $9 for each child but this is from separate families. Can anyone recommend an appropriate rate? Thanks Stephanie

To my knowledge, the going rate for two children is $18/hour. I don't know why this would be different if the two children are from the same family, as opposed to two different families. It's still the same work for the nanny. amg

In the last issue someone said it's the same work for a nanny whether she works with children from the same family or more than one. This is very untrue, folks. In addition to making 4 parents instead of 2 happy, she needs to deal with 2 families' sometimes conflicting desires and rules. A style or behavior that is common or allowed in one family may be completely unappreciated with another. This takes some good juggling. If this weren't the case, we wouldn't see so many cases of parents asking about parenting others' children on playdates, or nannyshares talking about one family wanting to give the nanny autonomy and another wanting a tight hold on the reins. Nanny shares certainly deserve to be paid more. ~Nanny who works for one family at a time.

Sept 2005

We are in a Nanny share with one other family, currently our Nanny takes care of two almost-two year olds (ours and the other family's). We are expecting a baby in a couple of months and our Nanny feels she can watch all three children and the other family is amenable to that. Currently each family pays $9/hour and the care takes place equally in each home. My questions are: 1. how much to raise the Nanny's total salary, and 2. what should be the breakdown for each family (i.e. do we just pay the extra or do we pay two thirds of the total?). I looked on the 2003 Nanny survey but didn't find much guidance there. What have other people done? Shannon

I'd raise her pay from $18 for two to $21 for 3. And yes, you pay pro rata - $7 per child - so your family is paying $14 per hour and the other family $7 per hour. So this does mean the other family is paying less than they were before you had the baby, but their child will also be getting less attention, so it's fair. My Two Cents



Nanny pay with one child in preschool

Sept 2005


I am looking to hire a full-time nanny for my 2 yr old and 3 month old children. My 2 yr old will be in 2 full days a week of preschool. What are most people's experiences in this situation - should I be paying the two-child rate on those days my one child is away (planning on paying $16/hr) or is it reasonable to pay a one- child rate ($13-14/hr) on those days?

Your pay seems very decent, better than many offers, so I think you may safely pay for one child for the hours when there's just one. Best of luck - Kat, happy Nanny :)

Industry standard: you pay the full rate to reserve her for the older child just in case. So many things happen in a year's time. Sick days, holidays, occasional weird schedules, doctor/dentist appointments, etc. anon

We are in the same situation, and for the hours my preschooler is in preschool, I pay the 1-child rate. On hours that the nanny is watching both kids, she gets the 2-child rate. THere are also times that I have the nanny watch the baby while I take my preschooler to have some one-on-one time with mom, and then I also pay the 1-child rate. It seems fair. Good luck, -Kim Kim



Pay rate for stay-at-home-mom working as nanny

Aug 2001


I am a stay at home mom of a 6 month old. I have experience with children as a teacher. I wonder what people are paying for quality childcare. I was asking between $11-12 an hour and no one has bitten. I wanted to know what people were willing to pay for high quality childcare that involved one other baby at the stay at home mom's house. I just need to supplement my husband's income to afford healthcare and dental. I was a school teacher who makes less than it would have been to have someone watch my baby so I decided to watch him myself. So, my much are people paying for high-quality childcare or daycare.

I think that your rate is fair (and maybe even low given your experience) if you're just taking care of someone else's child- however, you're really talking about more of a share situation since you'll also have your child to care for. I don't think that I'd want to pay much more than $7-8 for a share arrangement. Lisa

You sound very well qualified to charge $11-12 per hour. I pay my nanny $13 per hour for one child, $15 for two, so I think your rate is good. Things I'm thinking of: People may be viewing it similar to a share situation if you are also watching another baby in your home (your own) and shares seem to run about $8 or $9 per hour. Perhaps they also worry that you will give your child more attention than you would give theirs? I also think you can command a higher rate if you are willing to be more like a nanny (i.e. go to someone else's house with your child -- I let my nanny bring her kids with her, for example --).

I've heard of paying $10-$12 in a one provider, one child situation. (Or even $14 an hour one on one but that is in Santa Clara.) When my child's shared a sitter with with 1 other child we've paid between $6.50-$7.75 an hour. I think the more kids there are the less it should cost for each child. Personally, I think $10-$11 is a bit high for this area when the provider is taking care of more than one kid.

I think you are asking for too much money. Someone who comes to my house and cares for just my one child will cost me $8-12/hour depending on experience, demand, and the going rate in the neighborhood. If the nanny is caring for 2 children, I would expect to pay $6-10/hour for my part. Since you are caring for two children I don't think you can expect to get more than $10/hr, if that much. However, the fact that you want to do it in your own home may be the bigger sticking point. The great convenience of expensive childcare (and $10/hr and up is expensive) is that I don't have to get my child dressed, packed up, and in the car in the morning - the nanny comes to my house. I think that taking my child to someone else's house is more the situation of a family day care. This is less convenient and there are other children than mine, so I would expect to pay less than the minimum nanny rate of $8/hour. You should consider other alternatives such as bringing your child to the other mom's house, or come down a few dollars on your rate, or take two other children instead of just one - perhaps siblings where one of the children is older.

I don't think that $11-12/hr is an unreasonable rate to ask. However, considering the financial situation of many working parents needing childcare, it is unrealistic for many of us to be able to afford that rate. I found a very warm and reliable caregiver for my baby and pay her $7 per hour for her to care for my child in my apartment. It's a service everyone needs, and it's very expensive. People want high-quality childcare, but it's also important to make sure one can afford to pay the caregiver. I think a lot of caregivers are supporting themselves by caring for more than one child at once. If you watch two children and charge $8/hr for each child, that's $16/hour, which really isn't too bad.

We are currently looking for childcare for our 14-month-old, and most nanny-share situations seem to be $7.00/hour. Our current nanny is on the low end at $6.00, but I think she plans to increase to $7.00 after we move on. The rates we've seen for private nannies seem to be in the $12/hour range. Hope this helps! tracy

For your rate $12 per hour, for a ten hour day, 20 days a month, you are charging $2400 a month. For families with more than one kid, how many working moms can afford high rate good care? Most people I know are paying $750 to $1000 a month for full time care at different settings. Some moms do not want to sent their babies to a caregiver who is also tending her own baby, especially at caregiver's home.

In my recent experience, the going rate for childcare for one child seems to be about $9 - $10/hour. If it's shared care with one other child, each family pays about $6 - $7/ hour on average, although I did see one person charging $8/hour per child, but they had exceptional credentials.

$11-$12 seems high for what is essentially a share situation. I have used a number of different child-care situations and now use a combination. When I shared with another family (one child each family, an infant and a toddler) we paid $7 per hour per family. The nanny alternated houses and had her own car, CDL and spoke english. I have also had my own nanny who watched my son only in our house. Initially she didn't drive and her English was not very good, though we could communicate. I paid $8 per hour. She now has her own car, CDL and her English has improved dramatically. She still only watches my son (now 2 1/2) and I pay her $10 per hour. I also take my son to a wonderful family day care one day a week with a fabulous woman in her Piedmont home. She has approx 5 children ages 18 months to 4 years and charges $5 per hour, she provides two snacks and I provide lunch. They go on outings to the park and or the Rose Garden every day. Hope this helps. I guess what I'm saying is that for $11-$12 per hour one can find their own nanny that will come to their house and be one-on-one with their child.


Nanny rates 2000 and earlier

Dec 2000


I am looking for nannies and I am baffled at the range of the rates that are charged by individuals nannies. I would like to find out what people think is the best way to negotiate a rate, especially with people that prefer to be paid cash (to avoid taxes).

Nov 2000

Regarding going rates for nannies. When we were in the share situation it was $14 per hour ($7 per child) The nanny drove and had her own car, her english was o.k. - not great. The nanny we have now was $8 for our one child, we now pay her $8.50. She does not drive and has limited english, though there is no problem communicating. I have promised her another raise as soon as she passes her driving test.

We pay our nannies $10-12/hour, with overtime, two weeks vacation, sick time and retention bonuses. We've offered to pay health insurance but, to date, they've already had it through spouses.

Oct 2000

To the parent wondering about current Nanny rates, we pay $12 per hour for our two kids, ages 5 and 2.5. Our nanny drives and speaks fluent english. She is also very well educated and really engages my kids.

We have a wonderful full-time nanny that we pay $10 for taking care of our infant and $12 when taking care of our 2 children. We pay vacation and sick days with a guaranteed weekly salary. She has been working for us for only 3 months. We interviewed many potential nannies and several were asking for $16.50/hr plus benefits. One was asking for $8 for one and $12 for two. We found that costs vary tremendously.

We pay our nanny $9.00/hour for 50 guaranteed hours of work per week, caring for one child. We occasionally share her with another family, and we still pay $9/hour and the other family pays $10/hour. If we use her for additional babysitting time, we pay her $10/hour.

I have another pay question -- about a live-in nanny. We found a great person whom we'd like to pay at the rate of $10 an hour for our one child, for about 20 hours of work per week. How much of that can count as an exchange for the room (separate entrance with bathroom but no kitchen, however we're willing to put in a kitchenette). Food is not included because the nanny chooses to eat out. This person is from outside the country, has no idea what to expect, and is uncomfortable talking about money. We have no experience, so we want to make sure we are being fair to all of us. Thanks for any input.

In response to the question about childcare rates, I've been using various part-time nannies for over 3 years now, and we used to pay $7 - 8 per hour ($4 - 6 per hour for teenagers sitting in the evenings); we now pay closer to $10 per hour for 1 kid, and $14 per hour for 2. I think it's possible to pay less (also easy to pay more: I have to work to find people at these rates), but after meeting so many potential babysitters and having working relationships with half a dozen over these 3 years, I've come to the conclusion that it's not worth it to worry about a dollar or two more or less an hour -- just as with most other things, the people who are really committed, responsible, dependable realize their worth and tend to charge more.... Good luck!

Rate depends on the number of hours you would use the sitter for. If you are using them on a part time basis and you want them to have a car then $10/hour is typical. However, for full time situations (at least 40 hours per week) the rate can be $8/hour for a very good nanny.


March 2000

I looked at the website - the responses are from Jan 99. They seem to range from a low of $6 (for shares) to a high of $11 (for one child). My nanny -- who is great -- wants $13 per hour for one child, $15 per hour for a share of two. She insists this is well within the range of reason. I really want to keep her and don't want to insult her, but her $13/hour rate for one child seems high to me. I feel she should be on the high end of whatever is being paid, because she's really terrific, but I don't want to pay more than that. (In addition to the hourly rate, I will pay SS and taxes, and give her paid sick leave and vacation). Have nanny salaries gone up since January 99? Any advice?


Nanny salaries have gone up substantially since January 99, and the market is very tight. $15.00 an hour for one child was average for the very qualified candidates we interviewed.

I don't have any advice, but I can share my experience. We have a very good, experienced, full-time nanny who spends 50 hours a week with our infant daughter. She does not drive and does not have a social security number. We started her last fall at $9/hour, with sick time and vacations as needed. She has been asking for a raise. We will probably give her $10/hour since we think she is very good, but also because we are very dependent upon her and afraid of losing her. She recently considered a share situation with a neighbor. The neighbor's child would come to our house 4-6 hours twice a week. I had always heard that in a share situation, both families pay less; these days approximately $7/hour each family. However, our nanny is insisting that the new child pay $10/hour, and we continue to pay our standard rate, which means she would earn close to $20/hour for two infants! She claims she would charge less if it were a full time share, but that part-time rates are always higher than full time. I'm assuming the neighbor will have an easy time finding a less costly alternative, but then again, perhaps demand for quality childcare has really increased without a concomitant increase in supply.

Prices have been going up as the market is tight. We just increased our Nanny's salary in January to $12 for 2 children and $9 for one. We pay vacation, holidays, sick time and she get's our vacation days off too. Our nanny is absolutely wonderful and I'm sure she could get more money if she wanted, but we are not in a position to be able to pay more. When hiring her about 1 year ago, we struggled with the issue of taxes and found that many of the nannies we interviewed only wanted the job if we paid cash. I decided to give in on that issue and hire the best nanny we could find and afford. Previously, we did pay the taxes on our first Nanny's salary. The problem I see for you is that if she isn't getting paid what she wants, she will be unhappy and perhaps start looking for another job.

I've been paying $9/hr for one nanny and $10/hr for another. When I've had a share it's usually been $6/hr. per child (so when there were three kids, the nanny received $18/hr.) In my experience, younger people tend to charge more and what your caretaker is asking for definitely seems past the high end. You might want to look around, especially at nannies who are not native English speakers.

Regarding what to pay a nanny. Of course there is a wide range, with many variables. If you want a nanny who is educated, has CPR, first-aid, Trustline, excellent references, and at least ten years of experience, expect to pay $13 for one child, and $15 for two. Also, nannies should be paid a weekly salary, week in, week out. Meaning, if you go on vacation, you should still pay her. I work as a nanny and my family pays me $300 per week ($15/hour, twenty hours/week) regardless of holidays, vacations, illness in their family or in mine. If they didn't, as a single mother with no other source of income, I'd really be up a creek. As a result of their excellent treatment of me and their respect for me as the person who cares for their children, and as the head of my own household, I am extremely loyal to them, and often go out of my way to help them out.

We pay our nanny $14 an hour and think she deserves that much. She works 25 hours a week caring for our two school aged sons. She picks them up from school, takes them where they need to go, cares for them when they are at home and does light housekeeping (mostly laundry) and some errands. We split the social security taxes and pay her when we are on vacation (at least two weeks a year - usually more) and when she is sick. A great nanny is hard to find and if you think she deserves to be on the high end of whatever is being paid, $13/hour doesn't seem high to me. I don't think there's anything more worth spending money on than quality care for your children so if you can afford it, I'd pay her that much to keep her.

We have had our childcare provider for 4 1/2 years. In addition to her 14 dollar/hr salary (for two children) we provide health insurance and money for car mileage - both of these are ways that her monthly take home is increased but neither of us pays taxes on this money. The health insurance effectively adds a dollar a hour to her salary, tax free.

I was a little surprised by what seemed to be somewhat high rates quoted for nanny salaries. Obviously it depends on amount of experience, level of responsibility (picking up, driving kids to different places, etc.). We are now paying $6/hr/child for a share with two children which we think is a competitive rate (based on our search last Nov./Dec. and on talking to friends with nannies). We also pay holidays and two weeks vacation. When we were looking we found the range was from $5/hr/child - $7/hr/child for shares with two children. Rates for taking care of one child ranged from $8/hr - $10/hr, but the child care providers charging $10/hr had many years of experience (10+). Anyway, that's just our experience, but we didn't go through a nanny agency. Just looked through BANANAS and this list.

When I looked recently, the rates for one child ran mostly from $8/hr to $10/hr. People with more experience, fluent English, and a car were on the higher end. For two children, there was more variability. I saw rates from $8 to $15 for two, with most around $10/hr. Shares tended to be about $6 or $7/hr each.

I do know a few relatively well-to-do families who have very experienced nannies with fluent English and a car, who pay more. My guess is that parents who can afford it are paying above the market to retain someone they really like (probably most of us with average incomes wish we could pay our nannies more!).


Jan 1999

We pay $8/hr for one child, and guarantee a minimum monthly payment of $1300 (even if hours worked that month fall under the minimum). Some light housekeeping if there's time.


I have a nanny share and she charges us $6.00/hour between 8am and 6pm and any hours before or after she charges $6.50. This cost is per child and there are two children. We do not ask her to do any household chores. For one child she charges $8.00/hour. She does use her own car and we plan to begin paying her for gas... We pay her share of FICA, etc, but not her portion of the income tax. I'll be curious to see how her wages compare. She is due a raise soon and she gives me the impression other nannies make $7/hr but we're not ready for that. The comparisons may help me also. p.s. I do think experience is a consideration and our nanny has about 14 years experience.

We pay $6/hour for a share (the other family pays her $6 also. She cares for both infants at the same time. When she is caring for just my child, I pay her $9/hour, which I consider high, but I also occasionally have her watch my older child too during that time and don't pay more for that. We expect her to wash up some dishes and fold laundry in addition to her childcare duties, but only when the babies are sleeping. In reality, she doesn't do much of that.

We have had multiple nannies (for one child, live out) and paid between $11/hr and $12/hr depending on experience.

We pay $10/hr (!) for our nanny. She does a bit of cleaning: I've come home to a sparkling, shiny, kitchen floor, our rumply bed made-up, baby laundry done, and the house generally tidied up. However, some days she's not able to do so because of my child's mood. She comes to our house and looks after our son two days a week.

1. 10.00/hr
2. one child
3. not a share; just our family
4. additional duties: nothing regular, but ocassionally, sweeping, dusting,dishes

We pay our nanny $7/hr to take care of our 1 year old full-time. We also pay her taxes. If she takes care of 2 babies, then she earns $11/hr. We live in Oakland. She doesn't do any cleaning. A friend of mine who has a nanny part-time for 12 hrs/week pay $8/hr to care for a 1 year old. She also lives in Oakland. Another friend of mine lives in Livermore and pays $8/hr part-time for 2 kids, 3 and 5 1/2. rates do vary.

We have a fabulous nanny that works 40 hrs/week (four 10-hour days), caring for two kids ages 4 and 2; she drives my 4-year-old to preschool (3 days a week) and does all the laundry for the family (YAHOO!) She also does other light housekeeping and errands. We pay her $10/hr plus medical insurance and we pay all the nanny taxes.

9.50/hr + all taxes + $15/week gas/food allowance takes care of one child 50 hours/week, does all housework, laundry and grocery shopping. We've also given her various personal loans over the past three years. Insurance Alert: I just read in Kiplinger's Magazine that the nanny has to have special insurance coverage if she/he drives your child around. They consider it commercial use of the vehicle and will not cover claims under astandard auto policy. We will pay the additiional premium for our nanny.

Hourly vs. Salary

I am currently in a share situation where we have been paying the nanny at a salaried monthly rate of $1900 (soon to be $2000) based on 42hr/week with two kids. She has all the benefits of being paid on salary including: 2 weeks paid vacation, paid holidays, paid sick days, pay when we chose not to have our child in care or if she needs to leave early or take a day off for her own family matters. All of this seems fare to us.

Several times in the past year, however, she has wanted to change the pay structure to be paid hourly at $12/hr. but still keep all of the same benefits. It seems to me that if you are paying someone hourly then you only pay them for the hours that they are actually with your kid (plus maybe some vacation time). Am I just being cheap? What do other people do as far as benefits are concerned when they pay hourly?

Basically she says she is going to quit unless we give her what she wants. We really like her and she clearly LOVES the kids, but I don't want to feel like I'm being manipulated or given an ultimatum. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.


It sounds to me like your nanny just wants a raise in her monthly salary. If you pay $12 per hour for a 42 hour workweek, the average month has 4.3 weeks, she should get about $2167 instead of the $1900/$2000 per month you are currently paying.

I had a similar sort of communication problem with my nanny when we set her salary - I felt an hourly wage meant that I should only pay for hours worked, and yet she wanted to be treated like a salaried employee. I think the core of the problem is that when nannies compare wages they think about how much per hour do I make? rather than how much per month do I earn?

If you really like her, if you can possibly afford it, pay her the extra $167 per month she's asking for. $12 per hour for two kids seems reasonable, frankly. (I pay $15 per hour for two if that makes you feel any better - plus two weeks vacation, sick leave, taxes, etc etc!)

I'm in a similar situation that you are. Our nannie lives with us and takes care of our 17-month old son and currently makes $1,500 plus room and board, car, gas, and benefits -- vacation, sick pay, end-of-year bonus, to name a few. She works from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. Fridays, I let her go home around 2:00pm. On the weekends she goes home to her family, who lives in Daily City. Whenever her daughter or husband are sick, I take them to the doctor, pay for private consultation, medication,etc. Also, they don't speak English well (I'm Brazilian and so is our nannie) and I take care of all their home affairs -- e.g. problems with PacBell or PG Why? Because we really like her and she absolutely loves our son and our son loves her. I trust and admire the way she treats our son. Anyway, I'm due with our second child in four weeks and told her that in December her salary will be $2,000. Nonetheless, I will be working from home, and it is very unlikely that she will take care of the two of them alone, and most likely my older soon is going to a part-time daycare twice/week. (Any recommendations for the Berkeley Hills/Montclair area?) She is clearly not happy and hopped for $2,500... My husband and I are very generous but we think she is not being reasonable. It seems your nannie is the same. You pay her very well, she wants hourly rate plus all the previous benefits. All I can say is that my employeer does not pay me for the hours I don't work, nor for holidays or vacation. It is just part of the hourly rate structure. I really don't think you are being cheap, and you are treating her as a professional. Perhaps you should explain the reality of the game when it comes to the trade offs of montly salary versus hourly rate. Good luck, Valeria-

To the person inquiring about hourly vs salary nanny care. We pay an hourly rate for a given set schedule. This is a set weekly salary and so pay her the same amount each week. We pay vacation, holidays and sick time. If we go over our hours for the week, I pay more at the given rate. If we don't use the hours, I still pay the weekly rate. This sort of blurs the distinction you asked about, but we feel this is fair. We pay $10 for one child and $12 for two.

We pay our nanny an hourly rate (with three other families who share her schedule), and we also pay her when we don't use her, when we bail out because of illness, etc. She hasn't been sick yet that I remember but we would pay her if she were. Essentially I pay her the same thing every week, even if I use less time, because of two reasons: 1) she relies on that money to help support her family, and 2) I am asking her to reserve those hours for me, which precludes her from getting other work during that time. That said, we don't give her particular vacation time, we just try to all take vacation at the same time so she can have that paid break. But sometimes that doesn't work out.

I strongly agree that paying a predictable salary that allows for hours and days off on both sides is far preferable to paying for precisely the hours worked. But it seems that what she really could be asking for is a raise from $2000 a month to $2167 a month (42 hours * $12 = $504/week; then $504 * 4.3 = $2167/month). And that doesn't seem like a lot. Keep that 4.3 multiplier in mind. It's really handy.