Overtime for Nannies

Parent Q&A

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  • My wife and I are looking into getting a nanny/nanny share for our 1 year old. From what I've read from recent posts, it looks like a nanny can run from anywhere between $15-30 per hour per kid. A couple of questions about pay:

    1) What are the additional expenses? We want to make sure we do this right, so I'm curious what people know about PTO, vacation, OT, etc.

    2) Aside from OT, does the rate change depending on hours worked. For instance, my wife and I will likely need someone from roughly 7am-4:30pm, 5x week. Any idea what the going rate for those hours might be?

    [Moderator Note: see BPN's 2021 Nanny Pay Survey]

    We generally gave two weeks of vacation and 10 federal holidays, along with separate sick time. OT is set by the state and must be paid at 1.5x the hourly rate after 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week. (Daily max is CA law and weekly is federal law.) We set a schedule so we would know how much OT was needed which days. You might expect to pay extra for a late night or weekend, but your hours are pretty typical. The stretch from 3-4:30 would be at an overtime rate. Also be sure to factor in taxes, which are not insignificant. The State has a good guide for household employers that outlines what's involved, and it's pretty straightforward once you set it up. Other costs to think about are mileage/gas if you need the nanny to drive and year-end bonuses. Some families also contribute to health care costs, though that's less common. If you are hosting, check that your home insurance policy includes workers' compensation (but I think we got a notice from our insurer recently that this is now standard in CA).

    We always budgeted to pay for 52 weeks a year, as a way to cover her vacation, our vacation, etc. We always tried to have at least one week of vacation overlap.

    In one nanny share, we paid half rate for her vacation time. Most of the time the most conservative way to budget is to plan to pay for your hours 52 weeks a year.

    In California, you are required to pay overtime after eight hours of work in one day. Many people mistakenly think the standard is OT after 40 hours per week but that is not the rule in California. Looks like you will have 1.5 hours per day of OT based on your desired schedule. OT is paid at 1.5x. 

    After 8 hours of work which should include 30 min. meal break, it's considered overtime (x1.5). I think after 12 hour day, it's double overtime.  For people who pay cash and not run a payroll (illegal, by the way), I have seen people pay just the hourly rate without OT (again, not legal), especially if the extended hour is occasional. We always made sure that the nanny should feel free to help themselves to drinks and light snacks (fruits, usually). We always reimbursed for gas mileage for anytime the nanny took the child to a fun place. The nanny would log miles or just text the location and a picture of the kid having fun and then I calculated the miles based on google map and paid according to the IRS gas mileage reimbursement guideline for that year. We bought memberships for the nanny to take kids (fairyland, zoo, other museums, etc.). Occasionally we bought dinners for nanny. We also bought supplies and equipment / food that the nanny recommended for our child. Our nanny specifically wanted our child to have a particular brand of bedsheets, crib rail covers, cups and bowls she thought would be helpful. As the nanny is highly experienced baby whisperer and we were clueless firstime parents, almost all of those suggestion were very helpful. 

    We offered 2 week PTO plus 10 federal holidays. In addition, we did a cash gift for the nanny's birthday and a holiday bonus in Dec. We were in a share, so if our baby was sick, the nanny would be with the other family, but we paid the same rate. We worked together to try to align our vacations, but if we were on vacation and the nanny was not taking vacation or had already taken 2 week PTO, we would continue to pay the nanny at the same rate, as we believed that it was not fair for her to lose wages because we decided to go on vacation. 

    My friend is a nanny. Basically she is your employee. You pay her any overtime that she has or any time that she is scheduled and you do not need her. Also pay her sick pay.

    It’s best to go through something like home pay through care.com or other pay services which actually makes it simpler on you. apparently they set up an account and are you required to do is submit the weekly hours and they take care of all the forms required for taxes. 
    As my nanny friend states you have to remember that they live in the bay area and it’s fairly expensive.
    She makes $35 an hour plus overtime plus a monthly medical Contribution. 

    I would also recommend doing a contract. 
    good luck

    Hi there, we’ve had a nanny for the last 2.5 years for our son. We do solo, so no share. We pay $20/hour 40 hours minimum per week. We do 2 weeks (1 week of her choosing, 1 week of our choosing) paid leave plus all federal holidays paid. We also pay if we take go on vacation any other times. Basically we’ve committed to paying a min of 40 hours a week 52 weeks a year, regardless of everything else. 

    When we were looking for nannies for a solo we saw a range of $18-28/hour. 

    Hope that helps. 

  • Nanny Share Pay and OT

    (4 replies)

    Hi all,

    Looking into starting with a nanny or nanny share. We work 8.5 hour days (8-4:30) with a 1-1.5hr commute, so will need childcare for ~11 hours a day. We are planning to offer 12 hours of pay to cover a missed lunch. I see varying resources that cite OT to be paid at >40hrs/wk +/- 8hrs/day. Other families must also work 8 hour shifts and need childcare coverage for >8hrs/day. We would like to contract for 3x12hr days (36hrs), with OT at >40hrs/wk or more than any agreed upon length per day (ie if there is an emergency or issue getting home on time).

    Also, many of the resources for fair hourly rate are outdated. We are planning to pay $15 each family, so $30/hr total when shared. The other family does not need 11 hour days, so our family was going to pay $25/hr for the hour or so on each end of the day that the nanny is alone with our kid. We are also planning to offer 2wks paid PTO and essentially unlimited unpaid sick/vacation. Kids are 6mo.

    Is this too complicated? Does it seem fair?

    Thanks, BPN.

    Not too detailed. Writing everything down so no one is surprised is essential to avoiding misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
    I'd also add language around sick days, what it will look like to leave the share should it be necessary, and potentially understandings about vaccine expectations with the other family, etc.
    In this new world, you may also want to consider adding language around smoke days and, and precautions/expectations around covid/other illnesses.

    In California, I’m pretty sure you have to pay OT for any hours over 8 in one day. That’s a stricter rule than paying OT for any hours over 40 in one week. 

    I think the pay rate and terms you’re proposing sound fair. We paid overtime and PTO for our nanny. Too many families don’t pay overtime and there’s a term for that: wage theft. It’s immoral and illegal. 

    California law requires that OT be paid once you hit eight hours in a given day (vs. federal law, which only requires it over 40 hours per week) so if you have 12 hours days, four of the hours must be at the OT rate. (If you go beyond the 12 hours, you are required to do 2x the regular rate, so be aware of that for sure.) We had a similar situation with our share, and the way we structured it was that there was a one-child and two-child rate. Each day would have specific one-child and two-child hours (since one family used seven hours and the other nine hours, with a one-child hour on either end). So the first hour was one-child, hours 2-8 were two-child, and the ninth hour was one-child rate x 1.5. It was complicated on paper but worked out fine in real life. If, say, both families use 8 hours but they are offset by an hour (which we had with our second child at one point), you do need to pay OT as soon as the nanny's workday hits 8 hours, regardless of which child she's caring for. In a situation like that, you would want each family pay half of the total cost (regardless of whether they were the 8-4 or 9-5 family).

    This seems fair to me. My kid is almost 2yo, and when he was a ~4mo we started a share. We had a detailed contract that was good to have - I think the only times we went back to reference it were to confirm holidays and to check if we'd put anything in there about yearend bonus (we hadn't). There was lots of fluff language about development and stuff that we I don't think we needed. If the nanny ends up totally mismatched for the environment you want your kid to be raised in (i.e. development, manners, discipline etc.) you change nannies.

    RE: the pay structure, our nanny asked that we pay her $28h, at least 40h per week. That meant that if we needed <40h, we'd split up to the 40h mark. If one family needed the nanny for >40h, then they would pay the full $28h of those additional hours. Our nanny share was actually split between 3 families - 1 host kiddo full time, and 2 non-host kiddos half time each. I was surprised at the amount of time we spent emailing about the upcoming week's schedule and confirming $ amounts, but the other parents (my husband included) said they expected it.

    Feel free to message me over BPN if you want me to send you our google doc hours & dollars tracking spreadsheet.