4 Times Nannies Should Earn $20+ an Hour

Nannies provide a higher level of customized childcare, often earning $10-20 per hour. If your family needs or wants higher quality or specialized childcare, nanny wages can exceed $20 an hour.

While babysitters offer occasional childcare, nannies are hired for regular after school or full-time childcare. Nannies provide a higher level of customized childcare, often earning $10-20 per hour. If your family needs or wants higher quality or specialized childcare, nanny wages can exceed $20 an hour.

Job requires special skills.

Childcare positions may require special skills if a child has special needs, has a life-threatening allergy, an ongoing medical condition, or significant behavioral issues. Other specialized skills may be desired by the family and can include speaking a second language, being certified as a lifeguard for the in-home pool, or having a special musical or artistic skills to teach the children.

A higher wage not only recognizing the special skills but is also important to retain a good nanny. If a nanny feels under-appreciated or underpaid, they are more likely to look for a more satisfying situation elsewhere. Nannies who feel valued are more likely to enjoy their work, avoid burnout, and stay with a family. Consistency and longevity benefit the family and children as the children often form attachments to their nanny.

Seek high quality childcare.

Working as a babysitter for ten years is great experience but the babysitter’s skills are supervisory, not focused on child development. Nannies who’ve invested in Childcare Certification have learned about positive discipline and how to teach children about self-regulation. In addition to tracking age appropriate milestones, certified childcare providers can implement literacy, STEM, music, art and fitness activities into a daily schedule that can be optimized for each child.

Career nannies and those seeking top wages should have invested in quality and comprehensive childcare training. Top training programs include colleges with early childhood education curriculum or childcare programs, like those offered by Amslee Institute, which specialize in training nannies. A comprehensive program includes a childcare curriculum with classes taught by college faculty, required proficiency exams, and documented childcare work or clinical childcare experience.

Located in competitive or high cost of living area.

Our economy, and the childcare industry, runs on supply and demand. In high cost of living areas, nannies may leave childcare for higher paying positions in other industries, creating a greater need for nannies that can increase the local hourly rates. Alternatively, there may be few nannies in suburban or rural areas that can increase competition among families seeking to hire in-home childcare.

The cost of living can also impact salaries. The unemployment rate has been low, and wages are up, increasing the cost of living across the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index, the United States experienced a 14% increase in the cost of living between 2016-2019. To cover their expenses, Nannies in NYC and San Francisco earn significantly more than those living in Raleigh or Tampa.

Nanny Shares.

Nanny sharing occurs when two or more families employ one nanny. In this situation, the nanny either watches the children as a group, or splits her time among the families. Most nanny shares watch the children together, but many families work together to come up with a schedule tailored to their specific needs. This arrangement often requires nannies to watch 3+ children and adapt parenting styles and discipline techniques that align with each child and family.

Babysitters, daycare workers and teachers have a range of salaries based on education and experience. It’s the same for nannies. Nannies provide a customized approach to childcare, allowing families to hire childcare providers with the skills and services desired. Thus, when hiring a nanny, it’s important to define the job and skills needed as well as assess the local market and cost of living.

Household Management Skills that Elevate Family Assistants and Nannies

Whether it’s part of a job or for yourself, managing a household is an important responsibility.

Whether it’s part of a job or for yourself, managing a household is an important responsibility. Many skills are needed, and these include managing a schedule, creating and implementing a chores list, shopping, and efficiently completing domestic tasks including cleaning, laundry, ironing, and sewing. Some people have a plan for every hour of the day while others enjoy living in the moment. Although the approach will differ for each person, having the tools to effectively manage the necessary tasks in our lives can help make them easier to achieve and reduce daily stress.

If you are working as a Nanny or Sitter, there may be confusion about the different roles and activities associated with your position. Some families assume Nannies are also household managers while these same Nannies may feel their role does not include any domestic chores and only requires supervising and caring for a child. For the purpose of this discussion, we will define the Nanny position as being responsible for the care of a child and the tasks associated with caring for a child which may include some directly related laundry, cooking, and cleaning.

Household managers, also called Personal or Family assistants, help keep the family organized and are responsible for the day to day operation of a home with tasks including running errands, supervising home repair, laundry, cooking, and cleaning. These tasks apply to the entire family, not just the portions associated with childcare. Thus, a family could have a Nanny, a chef, and a housekeeper. Another family may have a Nanny who is also the Household Manager and cleans the home. Some families may have older children and just hire a household manager. No matter the role, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the position and what will be expected by both the employee and employer.

What type of tasks are included in household management?

Busy families, especially those with two working parents, may hire household management help so that the free time they have can be spent with the children instead of completing the household tasks. These roles provide a huge value to the family as it allows the parents time to spend with their kids, in a less stressed and often, a more meaningful way. Household management duties can include:

  • Shopping and Errands. Completing the shopping for a family may require trips to a few stores including grocery, hardware, general, drug, and pets stores as well as dry cleaning. Errands may also include getting the car washed or dropping items off at a local donation center.
  • Transportation. Transportation may involve taking the children to and from school or other activities. It may also involve taking other non-driving family members to doctor appointments or social engagements. To provide these services, you must have a safe driving record. You may be provided with an automobile to use as part of your employment, or you may have to rely on your personal transportation. Whether you use your personal vehicle or one owned by the family, it is important to make sure that you keep the automobile fueled and clean. You may like the challenge of running on empty, but a family will not appreciate the time lost to stop at the gas station when a child is supposed to be at soccer practice.
  • Food and meal preparation. Managing meals and safely handling food is a life skill. Having a basic understanding of nutrition will enhance the ability to plan healthy meals and author a grocery list. This depth of understanding in nutrition can be gained from online college courses.
  • Housekeeping. Everyone uses housekeeping skills to keep their home clean and organized. These include cleaning, especially the kitchen and bathrooms, making beds, taking out the trash, and washing laundry. Family assistants should understand what cleaners can be safely used on different surfaces, how different types of clothing can be laundered, how to unblock a toilet, and other household skills.
  • House and yard maintenance. Most household management positions do not include appliance, house or yard maintenance; however, the are becoming increasingly common with family assistant positions. House maintenance will require the identification of repairs needed such as the dryer not functioning correctly, or that the sink is blocked. To remedy, family assistants should be able to contact the service company desired by the employer and arrange for repairs. The family assistant may also be responsible for being at the home when repairmen are scheduled to arrive and collect any paperwork or invoices for work completed. In some cases, basic yard care such as cutting the grass and edging may be included in the job description. It’s not reasonable that an assistant would know how to repair a broken lawn mower so make sure the equipment is in good condition and serviced regularly. Similarly, if a large tree has died and needs removed, this is a task for a professional.
  • Pet care. Pet care will depend on the type of pet, but activities may include providing food and water for that pet. Walking a do or cleaning cat litter boxes are also common household management pet care tasks.

What is the most important task when managing a household?

If you are working for an employer or a family in a position that has you paying for family expenses, it is vital to clearly communicate how the money will be managed. Clarify how and when employer money can be used as this is very important to make sure the employer is the decision maker for how their funds are spent. For example, an employer may agree to pay for all grocery and fuel expenses that are directly related to approved tasks. Make sure to provide receipts that itemize all expenses.

Make sure you clearly understand when and how to use employer money so you can be confident and comfortable with managing the money allocated. Families may allow meals to be added if a mealtime occurs as part of a child event, such as buying lunch at the concession stand during a baseball tournament. It is never appropriate to use employer money for your personal items or expenses – these should be paid from your salary, not employer cash.

There are several ways to manage expenses including developing a petty cash process. Petty cash can be actual cash provided in advance or a pre-paid credit card. It is vital that every purchase made with employer funds is tracked with a receipt. You should be able to account for and provide documentation for every cent. This means remembering and keeping all receipts from the dry cleaner and all the stores. At least every two weeks or less, you should provide an expense report to your employer that lists the amount of money spent, date of transaction, and items purchased. The report should total the amount spent and the amount of funds remaining.

To learn more, a Household Management course is available with enrollment in the Specialist Childcare program at AmsleeInstitute.com.

9 Job Search Strategies for Nannies

Here are a few nanny job search strategies to help you find a great position caring for children.

Job hunting is always stressful! Maybe you’ve been a nanny for a family for years, the children have grown up, and it’s time to find a new job. Or maybe this is the first time you’re looking for work as a Nanny. Either way, the first step can be daunting. Here are a few nanny job search strategies to help you find a great position caring for children.

1. Start with Self-Reflection. There are many different types of nanny positions, so begin by thinking about what type of position you want. Do you want to work with a single child or multiple children? Do you prefer younger or older children? Are you looking to work full-time or part-time and what is your available schedule? Can you work in a home with pets and how much of a commute is reasonable? By clearly identifying the types of positions that you are interested in, you are better able to focus your search, communicate with potential employers, and save yourself time as you assess available opportunities.

Professional Childcare Certification

2. Get a Competitive Advantage. Identify and pursue things that set you apart from other nanny candidates. Some families are looking for specialized training and certifications. By investing 10-50 hours of your time, you can earn an online childcare diploma. Amslee Institute is a licensed technical school and offers on-demand classes taught by child psychologists, lawyers, nutritionists, early childhood educators, and special education teachers. Being able to present a diploma and clearly articulate the training you’ve accomplished can give potential employers confidence that you can provide the best possible care for their children.

3. Write a Resume. Many families hiring a Nanny may not ask for a resume, but it’s important to have one available. A professional resume demonstrates clearly identifies your skills and experience. Preparing a resume helps you organize your thoughts and prepares you for answering important questions about childcare training and work experience during the interview process.

4. Review Posted Jobs. Jobs are posted in many places on the web including Facebook groups and paid sites such as Care.com and Via the Village. There are too many to list but most of these services require a monthly or annual fee to view nanny jobs. Look at as many of these postings as possible to get a good idea of what families want. The ‘perfect’ job may be a little unrealistic and knowing what families want can help you manage your expectations.

Pretty little girl laughing.

5. Post Availability on Job Boards. Families often review candidates on these sites and reach out to those who fit their job requirements in order to shorten the hiring process. Nannies can input a lot of information into job recruiting sites and those who complete the profile demonstrate a stronger commit to finding a position than those who leave their profiles bare. Information that is commonly posted includes your experience, salary requirements, references, and background check information.

6. Network for Jobs. Many jobs become available when other nannies depart so chatting with other nannies at the park, during play dates, and at the grocery store can expand your network. It is important to stay connected with your neighbors and friends as families needing nannies often spread word of an open position with other families.

LinkedIn

7. Create a LinkedIn Profile. LinkedIn is a social network platform where professionals and employers. interact. LinkedIn is used by professionals and is career oriented so it’s a great resource where nannies can create a profile of their skills and qualifications. LinkedIn can also be used to find higher income parents in your local area who may be looking for childcare and connect with other nannies.

8. Join a Nanny Agency. Nannies can also find available positions by using an agency. Most reputable nanny agencies can place nannies with at least 3 years of experience and formal childcare training into local jobs. Before working with an agency, investigate their reputation with the Better Business Bureau, check for membership with the APNA (Association of Premier Nanny Agencies) or get a recommendation from a fellow Nanny.

9. Leverage Community Resources. Religious centers, professional clubs, gyms with childcare centers, and neighborhood newsletters are all great places to post your availability and network with parents and potential employers. University job boards are a fantastic way to find part-time help for after school care or a summer nanny position. Sites like Craigslist and traditional job boards like Indeed can also be used by those looking for part-time positions.

5 Communication Tips for Busy Families with Nannies

Communication is critical in maintaining family routines and minimizing stress.

child on bikeFamilies today have busy schedules and the larger the family – the greater the challenge. Playdates, school, work meetings, cooking, sports, and summer vacations are just a few of the family activities and commitments that can create a hectic schedule but strong communications between families and nannies can help child routines go smoothly. Communication is critical in maintaining family routines and minimizing stress. Here are 5 tips to help busy families and nannies better communicate.

1. Face to Face Conversations. In this day of cell phones, texting, and emails, the benefits of a face to face conversation are sometimes overlooked. Taking a few minutes when transferring supervisor responsibilities can make a world of difference. Nannies can communicate the highlights of how the children were feeling and behaving while in her care and the family can share the key activities for the day. Remember to make eye contact and be aware of how your body image impacts the meaning of your words. Speak clearly and listen attentively. If you are receiving a lot of information, take notes and then restate the information to make sure your comprehension is accurate.

2. Communication center. A communication center provides a place help the family and nanny share information. A communication center can be a physical location such as a bulletin board, refrigerator, or cubby hole. It can also make use of today’s technology and be a group email list or a joint electronic calendar. The crucial element is that every family member has access and regularly checks the communication center. Nannies and Families must have access to the communication center. Sharing key information about activities and events with their locations and times help the nanny know when and where to care for the children so she can do the job successfully.

daily log3. Daily logs. A daily report may be a one-page template or a quick written note highlighting the activities and key points from the day. The contents of the daily log will differ based on the child’s age and the desires of the parents. It may include feeding, toileting, activities, completed homework, and any household management duties completed during the day, among other things. Unusual events such as symptoms of an illness or a fall at the playground, as well as any actions taken by the nanny such as administering medication or getting medical assistance should be listed. The daily log should be shared in the communication center. Of course – an emergency must be handled appropriately and then summarized later in the daily log.

4. Expense reports. Nannies should have access to money for childcare related expenses – whether it is petty cash or a prepaid card. An important part of the job is communicating how that cash is spent. There should be a defined process to track finances. A weekly report which includes all receipts for expenses is usually sufficient. The report should list the date, location of purchase, items purchased, and total amount spent. For family assistant positions that include shopping such as picking up dry cleaning, groceries, and putting gas in the car, the weekly report should list all the receipts with a general summary of the items purchased.

5. Work agreements. Each nanny position is unique with respect to job duties and expectations. A work agreement is a great tool that lists the job responsibilities and expectations which allows the families and nannies to align on expectations. Work agreements are developed between the nanny and the family with both sides agreeing to the contents. If you don’t have one already, take a few minutes to review a work agreement. For free templates, visit AmsleeInstitute.com/courses which has a 30-minute video on work agreements as well as templates for Sitters, full time nannies, and live-in nannies.

Successful communication between a nanny and the family is critical to successful completion of the nanny’s duties. Communicating with the children can set expectations for daily activities and routines resulting in consistency for the children. Successful communicating with family members reassures all involved that the children are receiving the best possible care.

To learn more, a Communicating with Families course is available with enrollment in the Advanced Childcare program at AmsleeInstitute.com.

About the Author. Michelle Dragalin. Michelle earned an Educational Specialist in Educational Technology from Walden University, Master of Education from University of Phoenix, Bachelor of Art in Special Education from Old Dominion University, and Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Bemidji State University. Michelle is a Texas elementary school teacher (PK-8) and has experience in Colorado elementary schools and working as a special education teacher. Michelle is an adjunct faculty member of Amslee Institute.

 

24 Interview Questions for Full-Time Nannies

These twenty-four questions will give you a head start on interview questions to help you make an informed decision.

You need a nanny to help with the kids and through referrals, online job boards, or an agency, you have a few candidates to interview. Great, right!? So, what questions should you ask to understand if the applicant is the right fit for your family? These twenty-four questions will give you a head start on interview questions to help you make an informed decision.

woman holding baby

Background Information

Applicants may be nervous during the interview, so it’s often beneficial to start with basic background questions. This allows you to restate the requirements for your job and begin with easy to answer questions.

  1. Are you 16 years of age or older? Are you legally eligible to work in the United States?
  2. Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a felony and/or a misdemeanor? Have you ever been the subject of a substantiated complaint of child or sexual abuse?
  3. Are you comfortable completing a background check? What about drug screens?
  4. Do you have a driver’s license, reliable vehicle, and auto insurance? Have you ever had a moving or driving related violation or traffic accident (including tickets)?
  5. Do you have any medical condition that could affect your ability to care for children? Do you have any diet restrictions? Are you comfortable with the physical demands of the position?
  6. Are you current on the common vaccinations? Are you willing to get Pertussis, meningitis, and flu shots?
  7. Do you have a checking account? Are you open to direct deposit payments?
  8. Are you available during the days and times needed for the position?
  9. Do you have a second obligation (part time job, college, or another childcare commitment)?
  10. How long would you be interested in this position? What is the longest you have stayed with a family or employer?

Young mother and kids tasting biscuits in kitchenChildcare Experience

It is helpful to share information about your family and the children before diving into child experience questions. Explain how you see the nanny fitting into the current structure and schedule of the family as well as share some insights on the personalities of the children. Then, use open ended questions to learn about the candidate’s experience.

  1. Do you have formal nanny training from a licensed organization (such as Amslee Institute’s Advanced Certification)? Do you have CPR and First Aid Certification? Do you know how to swim? Are you certified in life saving? Are you open to taking childcare classes?
  2. Can you share your previous nanny experience? Do you have overnight experience? What age children have you cared for? Can you describe each childcare position? Are you able to share documentation for the childcare work experience and/or do you have 3 to 5 professional references?
  3. Are you available to care for a child that is ill? Can you share a time you cared for a child that was ill?
  4. Tell me about a time you had to handle an urgent childcare issue (illness, injury, other). What happened and how did you manage the situation?
  5. What was your typical daily routine at your last childcare position?
  6. What is your favorite ages to care for and why?

Grandmother and granddaughter making fresh jam in kitchenFit with Your Family

Finding a great fit will be important for success with a nanny. The parents, nanny, and all children need to be comfortable. Here are a few questions to help you understand if the connection feels right.

  1. What is your working style? What’s an example of a style difference you had with a parent and how did you manage it?
  2. What would you do if my child disobeyed your request or was not listening to instructions?
  3. Can you share a time you handled a difficult situation like a baby crying uncontrollably or a child having a temper tantrum?
  4. What type of activities would you do with the child(ren)? What experiences do you have providing educational activities? Do you have experience helping with homework?
  5. Are you willing and able to cook meals? What type of meals can you cook? How would you feel about sitting down with the family for meals with phones and technology turned off?
  6. Would you be willing to travel and help the Family during vacations? Do you have a current passport?
  7. Are you willing and able to do housekeeping chores (laundry, clean kitchen, dust, vacuuming, mop floors)?
  8. Are you comfortable with a nanny contract?

Hiring a nanny and welcoming them into your home requires trust and a personal connection. Take the time to check references and complete a background check and then you’ll have the confidence to hire someone who can really help with the day to day of caring of your children.

To learn more about nanny contracts and get free templates, visit www.amsleeinstitute.com/courses.

8 Role Model Behaviors for Nannies and Babysitters

Ensuring children are around positive role models and childcare providers will help them learn a vast array of social skills.

It’s so cute when a 3-year old boy wears a team jersey and cheers for his dad’s team. It’s adorable when a 4-year old girl wears mom’s shoes and carries her purse around the house. Imitating the behaviors of adults and other children is commonplace from infancy through adulthood. It’s amazing how much children learn from watching others. Ensuring children are around positive role models and childcare providers will help them learn a vast array of social skills.

As a nanny, you spend a lot of time with children. These children look to you and will learn from your words, actions, and behaviors. Here are 8 things to consider when you are working with children:

1. Lead by example.

When you are driving and another car cuts you off, it is often tempting to yell at the other driver. If there are children in the car with you, think about the message you are sending to them. You don’t really want them to think it’s okay to shout or say mean things to others. Instead, keep the words of annoyance and frustration in your head. Speak to the children and share that the person driving the other car made a bad choice or a mistake and that you are going to focus on making good choices. This teaches accountability and independent decision making.

2. Listen to children.

Children see the world in wonderful and surprising ways. Because of their curiosity, they often see things that adults overlook. It’s easy as an adult to ‘half-listen’ when a child is sharing something with you. Instead, focus on what the child is saying and ask questions to really understand what the child is thinking or trying to communicate. This teaches children that what they say is important to you. It also teaches them active listening and social skills. Adults can also benefit from this as they often see things from a different, and sometimes a more interesting perspective.

3. Use positive re-enforcement.

Caregivers can get into the habit of saying “No” a lot. Of course, in a situation where the child may get hurt – “No” is important and children must be kept safe. But if you find yourself saying “No” to everything – you may want to rethink your approach. If Johnny wants to go outside and it’s raining – instead of just saying “No’, you may want to say “Johnny, it’s raining so we can’t go outside right now. Would you rather play with your blocks or train set?” If you get down to Johnny’s level with open body language and a pleasant voice – Johnny will most likely choose one of the options and begin to play. If you encourage his selection and comment on how nicely he is playing, everyone is in a better day!

child playing with blocks4. Creative and positive outlets.

Everyone has stress in their lives. Having a way to manage stress positively is important for childcare providers and children. When you are feeling stressed, don’t be afraid to show children how you handle it. Let them see you taking a few deep breaths or jogging in place. When you recognize stress in children, help them cope by doing deep breathing exercises with them, or playing soft music, or running with them to let off steam. Children who learn stress coping techniques will fare better at handling adult stresses later in life.

5. Be confident.

Children want to feel safe and secure and if they think an adult is scared or unsure, then they may feel insecure or anxious. In day to day interactions, using a strong voice and clear sentences conveys confidence. If you tend to talk out loud to yourself and you say, “I wonder if we have food for lunch”, it may make a younger child worry about their next meal even if the kitchen is fully stocked. Watch what you say and think about how a child might interpret it. If you are thinking about lunch, ask Sally if she wants a sandwich or chicken for lunch instead of wondering what is available. This provides Sally confidence there is food and empowers Sally in the decision-making process.

6. Be Respectful of others.

Being disrespectful is often easy to see in others but harder to see in ourselves. The grimace on our face when we disagree with someone on the news or the comment about the woman in line who is wearing too much perfume are both behaviors that will be mimicked by children. To teach positive behaviors, we need to exhibit them, so this means saying please, thank you, and excuse me to others. It also means paying attention to our body language. When our words differ from our actions, children get confused.

7. Positive relationships.

Children will learn how to build relationships with family, friends, and future romantic partners based on their relationships as children. If a family hugs and freely shares their feeling, then children will be comfortable with these behaviors. If friends are treated kindly and show understanding and forgiveness, then children will be better able to adopt these traits.

8. Be humble and kind.

Teaching children about charity and kindness can help them see past their daily needs and understand more about our world and the power of working together. Children watch our daily interactions with others and we need to make sure they learn humility and politeness. Holding the door for the next person to enter a building, giving up your seat on a bus or subway car, and smiling at people you meet are all ways to show a child how to be a better person.

While it is incredibility rewarding to work with children, it also has important responsibilities including role model behaviors. As young children learn by watching others, it’s important to demonstrate the behaviors you want children to mimic and learn. If you want children to be patient, then show them how to patiently wait for an appointment to help them learn this skill. From fist pumping when our favorite football team scores a goal to calming an upset friend, children will mimic you. Take a few minutes to think about how you can use this to your (and their) advantage.

For more information about role model behaviors for childcare providers, a Professionalism course is available within the Basic Childcare Certification Program from Amslee Institute.

About the Author. Karli Ortmann is a professional nanny with over 8 years of experience and is currently earning a Master of Art in Counseling from Chicago Professional School of Psychology. Karli is also an adjunct faculty member of Amslee Institute, an organization dedicated to professional training and certification of elite Nannies, Au Pairs, Babysitters, and other childcare providers.

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