Paying a Nanny $200,000 Seems About Right

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When I was 13, I babysat for a family down the street from me most Friday nights. While they went out to dinner and a movie, I wrangled their three monsters angels into pajamas, fed them their chicken nuggets, and eventually read each a story, rocked the baby, and put them to bed. By the time the parents got home, I was spent, wiped, totally exhausted, and for my efforts, I received a whopping $12 -- that's $1.25 an hour. For three kids.

Times have changed, it seems.

A nanny hired by a Russian family in London is being paid $200,000 for her services. And while that isn't the "norm," the norm is still business class plane seats, a fully appointed apartment, regular trips abroad, a car, and around $75,000 all for the care of the wealthiest children around the world.

To me, it makes a lot of sense.

I don't have a full-time nanny, nor do I have $200,000 to spare even if I did. But I do know that even as a 13-year-old neighborhood kid, I was vastly underpaid. The job is hard, so incredibly hard. And you get what you pay for in terms of loyalty and performance.

What parent doesn't want a nanny who loves his or her children as much as he or she does? And if not that, at least a nanny who knows his or her stuff? Many nannies today also speak more than one language, have degrees in child psychology or early childhood education, and have made a career out of this kind of childcare. Why shouldn't they be paid for their expertise?

The fact is, all the parents I know pay the grad students and college students who watch our children anywhere between $12 and $20 an hour. Even that seems like a steal on the days when I open the door still in my pajamas and she takes them to the museum, park, and then out to ice cream all while I have a leisurely morning to myself. They come home happy and I feel confident that they're feeling good and enjoying themselves.

We all need to leave our kids on occasion and hiring someone to care for them is terrifying, even under the best of circumstances. So why would we not pay top dollar for the best person if we can afford it? If I could hire a $200,000 nanny, I would in a minute and I have no doubt she would earn every penny.

We need to value childcare as a profession more in our culture. The people who do it well are worth every penny.

How much do you pay sitters?


Image via barb.howe/Flickr

elementary school, family

11 Comments

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chicl... chiclet731

Hmm, if a nannie deserves $200,000 then what is a SAHMS worth? I'll take it.

armyg... armygirl16

Not 200000 I don't even make a quarter of that. As a single mom I still pay my babysitter $10 an hour. This is for when I have to work and her daycare isn't open. My babysitter is young (senior hs) and doesn't take my daughter anywhere so I think that is fair. If she took her places or did more I may pay a little more.

TC00 TC00

I am a nanny and I make a pretty good salary, of course I won't say exactly how much except to say that I make more than most teachers do here in the area.


You can not compare a SAHM and a nanny.  A nanny has a boss or two and must please them as well as their kids.  A nanny can't decide to just up and go to the store on a whim, she has to ask permission.  A nanny can't just leave the laundry for another day or stay in her pjs all day or wait an extra day to give the kids a bath.  That's her job and she must be 'on' the entire time which is usually 10 hours a day.


I admire sahm but you simply can not compare them to a nanny.

lakis... lakissakay

I think quailty caregivers should be paid more than any other proffession.

sunny... sunnybunny5us

Where are these $10-$20 hr babysitting jobs - and who can afford to pay that? I understand the value of having someone take care of your kids who you trust and who does a good job, but working class women make less than that at their jobs in the first place, so they couldn't afford to pay someone else that much to watch their kids, and the rich folks I know don't want to pay more than poor folks do to get the same thing. 

ethan... ethans_momma06

It all depends on the quality of care, doesnt it?

easun... easunshine

Wow I'm underpaid. I'm a part-time childcare giver. Not a nanny-as in I dont/wont do it full-time. I will not be there right when you wake up to take over the kids while you get ready and so on. But I do provide top quality care for the kiddos in my life. Even as only part-time I take them out for ice cream, to the playground, swimming, playdates with their friends, trips to museums, and so on. We do crafts and have picnics and play games. I'm very involved and hands-on. I typically charge $6-$7/hour for my services, sometimes less.



I can't imagine having the money to pay someone $2OO,OOO to care for my kids. We wouldn't be able to pay our bills. lol!!

sunny... sunnybunny5us

       I'm not so sure that the quality of care goes up in relation to the money. I think it has way more to do with individuals. No matter how little someone pays they have a right to expect that there child is cared for well, and hopefully most of us would not leave our child with someone who would treat them differently because of how much or how little we were able to pay them. I also am ambivalent about whether or not credentials (such as college degrees or other qualifications) are a true determining factor in how well the children are cared for.


       I think what is happening here is like for example most of us can't afford to be nannys even though many of us would like to because of the pay and these people who are paying more are doing so to enable the person who they know they can trust to work for them instead of having to do something more profitable - essentially the same concept as paying  for what money hey would lose themselves if they stayed home. So in a way it can actually be better  compared to what it would cost to have the mom to stay home than what different childcare providers have to offer.

momka... momkaribg

Wow that's a lot but it depends on how many children, duties, etc.

Krist... KristinRox

It depends. Usually I have my 15 year old cousin watch my kiddos if my dh and I want an evening away. We pay her between 30 and 100 dollars depending on how long were out.

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