Most people think about an office cubicle or suit when they think about a job. However, care giving work is difficult work and should be financially recognized as such as well. Learn how to ask for a raise as a nanny.
Many nannies play such an integral role in childcare and also as support to the family. The relationship can become skewed as this job doesn’t have as many strict boundaries as a more conventional job.
How to Ask for a Raise as a Nanny
- Know your worth, both in terms or market value and what you bring to the family
- Continue to exceed expectations for the family
- Pick the right time to ask, typically at the end of the year
- Pick the right way to ask, preferably in-person
- Suggest other options if your employer says no to a pay increase
Nannies shouldn’t feel intimidated to ask for a raise from their employer. If you feel like you are not being compensated for the amount of work you put in, then this is something you need to address with the family. Being a nanny is already a very emotionally and physically taxing job, so there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel valued for your work as a nanny.
Unfortunately, not everyone views the work of care giving in the same light. The fact that this job is done in someone’s home may give the impression that there isn’t any challenge or difficulty.
In asking for a raise, your employer needs to understand what’s involved in the occupation of being a nanny through your eyes. Then, they will have more of an appreciation for all the work you do.
Of course, there is a right and wrong time to ask for a pay raise as a nanny. It is also important that you know your value as a nanny and why you are a good fit for that family in particular.
All of this should be stated in the conversation of negotiating a pay raise. The following are a few ways how to ask for a raise and things to consider before doing so.
Differentiating Between Babysitter and Nanny Pay
There’s a common misconception between being a babysitter and being a nanny. In both jobs, you are usually required to monitor a child or adult whom may be elderly, disabled, or mentally compromised. The overall assistance provided usually differs in the extent of care giving a person gives. Being a nanny is a much more intimate job as you are more involved into the lives of those you are assisting.
It is important for employers to know the difference between these two similar jobs. In essence, much more is asked from a nanny.
For instance, the duties of a nanny might include the following:
- Planning meals Preparing food
- Feeding the children
- Assistance with homework
- Extra tutoring
- Arranging outings
- Bathing & dressing
- Doing laundry
- Light housekeeping
- Up keeping a safe environment
- Driving children to school
- Indoor/outdoor activity
- Changing diapers
- Shopping & errands
- Dish washing
- Reinforcing rules
- Parental aide in raising the children
The following is more in alignment with the tasks of being a babysitter:
- Get kids ready for bed
- Cleaning up play areas
- Preparing bottles or baby food
- Ensuring a safe environment
- Being watchful
- Reinforce rules and limits
- Monitor children’s receptivity to following rules
- Feed children
As you can see, babysitting is more of a monitoring and reinforcing job whereas the responsibilities of a nanny require a bit more. Because some people confuse the two occupations, this can reflect negatively on your pay as a nanny. For instance you may be doing the work of a nanny, but only receiving the pay of the average babysitter. Raise Guide has an article on How to ask for a raise as a babysitter.
Nannies are also more required on a consistent basis in comparison to babysitters and are paid regular on average than babysitters. Once your family understands this, they may be more understanding of your inquiries for a pay raise.
Negotiating A Pay Raise
The national average for nanny pay is around $16.30 for one child, with the price increasing a couple of dollars with each child in the household. When asking for a pay raise, you should try negotiating with your employer.
If you are a live-in nanny like an au pair, then you likely use the resources provided to you by the family such as rooming, food, and shower. It’s essential to ensure that this is a part of the conversation as well.
Some employers may be a bit apprehensive in regards to giving you a pay raise because they feel they fulfilled and exceeded obligations by providing you with those basic necessities. However, if this wasn’t a part of the original agreement, then this is something to bring up. This may already be in mind when considering your pay and present as a fee or deduction from your pay. If you want the most out of your earnings, find out what percentage they are taking out of your pay and if renegotiating is an option.
As stated previously, the pay typically varies depending on how many children are in your care as well as their ages. If children happen to be a bit smaller, the pay may increase as younger children usually need more time and energy. An older child is much more independent and able to tend to their own basic necessities.
The pay may also arise if children are special needs or have a disability of any kind. Certifications are many times preferred by families to ensure their loved one is left in the proper care. So, this information should be addressed when asking for a raise.
Show Your Work and Show Your Worth
Having physical proof of your work as a nanny is great to have. Documentation will show your employer how serious you are about your occupation. For some, being a nanny is an actual profession.
Depending on you who assist, being a nanny may require certain certifications. For example, a lot of employers highly prefer nannies who have CPR certification. This gives families much more clearance and incentive to leave their child with you, knowing that you are capable of providing emergency care in addition to your primary nanny duties. By showing proof of these documents and prior work experience, your employer will have high regards for you.
Some people are afraid to bring up the conversation of a raise because they feel as though they aren’t deserving of the pay increase. Live-in nannies especially find it hard to tell their employers this as many view their employers as family and feel as though their job should be more of an obligation. However, you should know your worth based on the work you provide. Certifications are often acquired through taking classes which can cost money.
If you spent time and money to learn these skills, then you have assets as a nanny and should be incentivized. The following are a few certifications that you can bring up during negotiations of a pay increase if you happen to have any:
- CPR and first aid
- Driver’s license
- Nutrition and cooking courses
- Water-safety certification
- Associate’s degree in early childcare
- Specialized certifications in early childcare
- Child development class
- Infant care classes and certification
- Fitness education
- Special needs care
- Positive discipline training
Pick the Right Time
Nanny or not, ask for a pay raise at the right time. This is to be mindful, respectful, and also effective. If you have not been working with that particular family for a long, then you should wait a bit until they bring up pay increase.
It may be too early for the employer to discern whether or not you are a good fit and if they like you as a consistent care giver. If you have been working for over 6 months, then this could be around the time to start negotiating a raise. Asking for a raise too soon can give off an unappreciative or rushed impression.
An employer doesn’t want to feel too much urgency and pressure when it comes to paying you. Year-end is around the perfect time to initiate this conversation as most industries are more receptive to hearing your proposals after the full completion of one successful year. You can review all of your year’s work and accomplishments with the employer before your next work year begins.
Be mindful of having this conversation when the employer or family has time as well. Adhere and compromise with their busy schedule. Ensure you do not bring this topic up after a long day or amidst a family emergency.
Picking a day off could be a good time to ask for a pay raise as they will have less on their mind and have more time to listen thoroughly. Having this discussion whilst the employer is busy or distracted can lead to major misunderstanding. These errors could potentially ruin the work relationship altogether.
Always be realistic with your demands. It is okay to be confident in your approach. However, make sure you are not crossing the line and becoming arrogant when it comes to asking for a raise. Being humble is your best bet.
Make sure you acknowledge your appreciation for the work opportunity and salary you are currently getting as to not appear ungrateful. Then, specify your needs and desired pay to your employer. Be willing to compromise when you state your initial proposal. It is also important for you to do your own calculations and averages to ensure you are not being unrealistic while also making sure you aren’t shortchanging yourself.
Try not to settle for a pay that doesn’t suit your desired earning. Perhaps the job doesn’t pay much but happens to pay a little more than previous paying jobs. This is a common reason why some people stay quiet when it comes to the money they are paid. Wager an adequate amount and be confident when asking for a raise.
Being a nanny is a very intimate job where bonds are formed with families that you are considered to be a part of. Be confident in the amount of hours you’ve spent working with your employer and the connections formed with the children during this process. You can not be replaced nor can your experience be replaced. If you know you have contributed satisfactory work, then they realize this as well and are likely waiting for you to bring up the topic of a pay raise.
Email During Holidays
Another great time to discuss a pay raise is at the very beginning of the holidays or at the very end of the holidays. Your employer may be on vacation or they may be giving you holiday time off.
If you still aren’t bold enough to initiate this conversation in person, then feel free to contact them through email with a drafted plan and annual agreement. You can recommend your earning proposals and negotiate on a more desirable pay. Send only one email. One timely and properly drafted email should be effective enough. If they don’t respond to the email, you can follow-up in person.
And If They Say No…
Don’t take this personally. There are several reasons why a family might not be able to increase your pay. Maybe they do not have the financial capability to do so. If this is the case, then you should probably reconsider working with this family for longer periods of employment if the pay isn’t feasible.
The first thing you should do is ask why they are saying no to your proposal. They may tell you some things they like or don’t necessarily like about your work. Listen objectively and seek to learn how to implement any improvements. Then, you can discuss rescheduling another interview after a couple months to see if you are more applicable to increase hourly wages after these adjustments have been made.
If there aren’t any changes to be made with your current care giving, then you can ask the family if there are any other responsibilities or extra chores you can do to increase your earnings. Try to be flexible and understanding as not all families are able to help monetarily. Employers can also show their support to you through offering to use one of their vehicles as means for transportation or even helping with any classes you are taking. This understanding with help you get the most from your family/client as a nanny.