After the Phone Interview, In-Person Interview and Trial, it is time to see if this is the right job for you. Sadly, I have seen so many job offers fall apart due to poor negotiations between family and nanny. Remember that money is a very emotional subject, so try to be as professional as possible, and stick to the facts. Also, remember not to judge the family. Sometimes parents have their own financial problems and may not be able to pay what you are asking. Just because they live in a nice home does not you (or anyone) can assume their financial capabilities.
From the start, it is very important to outline all of the important parts of the job.. The range for nanny positions can vary greatly. Typically in NYC, the hourly rate can range from $18-20+ an hour for one child and go up based on the number of children being cared for. It is VERY important to note that many salaries are based around how much EXPERIENCE the nanny has OR her professional training, degrees or certifications. Just like all professionals, employers will likely pay a candidate based upon education, years of paid professional experience, or specialized training. If you do not have any of these items, it’s best that you stay open to all salaries and focus on getting more experience. Also remember that some families may want to pay you more, but cannot due to their own financial situations. If find if both nanny and family are open and honest about what they need in order to feel comfortable and pay bills, the discussions are much easier to handle.
SET THE SALARY
What will be your salary each week? Will you be paid on the books or in cash? Will they be withholding the taxes or do you need to do this on your own? It is very important to ask about these items when discussing your work agreement. Also, remember that if you were in your previous job for many years and you were given raises over many years, you may have to start a bit lower when beginning again with a new family. Websites like www.care.com have great zip code calculators (you can find that here: https://www.care.com/babysitting-rates). As a professional, you need to be thinking about:
- What salary is reasonable and fair given the job duties?
- What salary will compensate me fairly based upon my background and experience level?
A new nanny may have to start at a lower salary because she only has a small batch of experience, whereas an experienced nanny with many years of experience can command the market rate or above. It is SO important to understand that the LOCATION usually sets the salary. For example, NYC nannies may be getting an average of $22/ hour, but the same job in NJ may pay $17/hour. Keep in mind what you NEED in order to pay your bills and feel comfortable.
OFFER OPTIONS FOR WHAT YOU WANT
If there is something that you need that the family is not offering, offer alternatives to get that item. For example, if you are set on getting an extra week of vacation, offer to take it unpaid so the family will not have to pay double coverage.
If you really want health insurance, perhaps suggest a lower base salary in exchange for the family covering your insurance. There are ways to work together and be flexible so that both family and nanny get what they need.
THE WORK CONTRACT WILL CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING
- Overtime rate
What will you be paid after the set hours of 7am to 7pm? (or whatever the agreed upon hours are)
- Travel rate
If going on vacation with the family, what will the added fees be?
Keep in mind that if both parents work and do not get off President’s Day, it may be fair to ask you to work on that day.
- Sick day policy
Most parents do not want you coming in if you are sick, so let them know ASAP if you feel ill. It is also helpful to find a friend or fellow nanny who can cover you for vacations or sick days. That conscientiousness and reliability really makes life easier for family and nanny.
SPEAK UP AT THE BEGINNING
Just as I tell parents that they cannot change the duties after the job starts, so too do I tell nannies:you cannot ask for things AFTER the negotiations have occurred. Think clearly and calmly about what you will need to successfully perform this job. Also, think about items that are important to you that you will need to discuss. Consider the duties or expectations you think are unfair. Some common items nannies bring up to me during negotiations are:
- Cooking with young children around
If cooking is a part of your job, but your charges are small children, you need to discuss this upfront. Explain that if you are alone and need to cook a fancy meal, it is dangerous with young children present. Say that you would like mom, dad, or someone else present to help you.
- Driving own car
Many nannies use their own cars and do not ask for gas or mileage reimbursement. If this is important to you, speak up and clearly state what you need to feel comfortable using your car for your job.
- Rules that are important to you
Each nanny has items she needs in order to do the job well. For example, you may ask for plenty of notice to stay late or work weekends. Think about what you need as a professional, and lay out the rules or structure at the very beginning.