How Much Do I Pay a Nanny? - Nanny Cost Guide

A woman holding a baby in front of her and smiling

A nanny’s average pay is about $19/hour and can be affected by their schedules, location, education, experience, and responsibilities. Additional variables to consider as an employer are overtime, taxes, and raises.

Not sure how much hiring a nanny is going to cost? Here’s a breakdown of the most important factors that affect a nanny’s salary:

How Much Do You Pay A Nanny

The cost of hiring a nanny depends on where you live and your family’s needs. Some nannies are paid minimum wage. Others can have a starting pay of $25/hour. Make sure to consider what you’re looking for in your nanny (e.g. full-time vs part-time, responsibilities, qualifications, experience, and education) before settling on a salary.

Average Nanny Pay Rates

According to the INA

The national average hourly rate for a nanny is $19.14 per hour. The national average gross weekly salary for full-time live-out nannies is $766. The national average gross weekly salary for full-time live-in nannies is $670.

You can learn about how different responsibilities, work schedules, and the age of the children being cared for can impact the average hourly rate in your city by going here.

What Can Influence How Much A Nanny Costs?


Where you live and work matters. Typically, large metropolitan areas have higher costs of living and therefore, higher salaries. This is also true for a nanny’s salary.

For example, if you live in a large city on the east coast, such as Boston, you can expect to pay more for a nanny than if you live in a rural Massachusetts town.

Did you know: The most expensive states to have a nanny in are California, Washington, and New York. The most affordable state to hire a nanny in is Ohio with an average hourly rate of $15/hour.


Years of experience leads to higher pay. A more experienced nanny can provide a higher level of care. Although parents can feel reassured about having an experienced nanny, experience for nannies can come from closely related fields. Especially fields that are closely related to nannying.

Examples of roles related to nannying:

  • Daycare providers
  • Early childhood teachers
  • Infant and toddler nurses
  • Au Pairs

Hours & Availability


Nannies have different schedules. Some choose to make nannying their full-time job while others work on a part-time basis. The difference is the number of hours worked on a weekly basis. As a general guideline, if a nanny works less than 32 hours weekly, they can be considered a part-time nanny.

Live-Out vs Live-In Nannies

Nannies can be either live-out and live-in.

Live-Out Nannies

  • Live on their own, separately from the family
  • Focus on clearly defined schedules each week to accurately calculate pay
  • Have long commute times and can sometimes ask for higher wages to help offset the travel
  • May not always be able to accommodate last-minute shifts if they live farther away

Live-In Nannies

  • Live with the family
  • Require outlined responsibilities to distinguish boundaries between work and personal time
  • Costs will be slightly less since living space is provided for them

Keep in mind that whether live-in or live-out, the more time you want from your nanny, the higher the wage should be.


If employees have a university or college degree, most industries pay them more; the same goes for nannies. Nannies with a college degree in education, early childhood education or another related field are paid a higher wage. Some parents look for nannies with these educational backgrounds, given the nanny’s role in their children’s development.

Similar to secondary education, nannies with CPR and First-Aid certifications are offered higher salaries. With these certifications, nannies can help during potential emergencies.

Number of Children

The number of children a nanny cares for can increase a nanny’s overall hourly rate. 76% of nannies in the United States care for 1-2 children. In daycares, the cost increase is likely to double with an additional child, while with nannies the cost increase won’t be as drastic.


Nannies that work overtime have to be compensated for their time. If they work more than 40 hours within a 7-day workweek, they must get overtime pay, according to federal law. Overtime pay for nannies is paid at a rate of 1.5 times your nanny’s hourly wage.

Did you know: 58% of nannies in the United States are paid for working overtime.

If you feel like your nanny will work more than 40 hours regularly, then it can be built into their salary. For example, a nanny who works a 50-hour workweek might get a lump sum wage based on an hourly rate of 40 hours plus 10 hours of overtime pay. The hours should be agreed upon with the nanny beforehand.

Paying Taxes

As a family employing a nanny, you have a responsibility to pay the nannies’ salary and taxes. These include Social Security taxes and state unemployment taxes.

If you’re having a tough time figuring out how to set-up payroll, paying taxes for your nanny can be made simpler if you decide to get some help with a payroll service like Nanny Lane payroll.

Household Employees or Independent Contractor Status?

Just like any other workplace, hiring a nanny means adhering to employment regulations.

Nannies are usually classified as employees and not independent contractors.

For nannies to be independent contractors, they need to provide their own:

  • Hours
  • Place of business
  • Work tools (e.g. will they provide all of the children’s development materials like books?)

Household employees work with the families to determine their:

  • Hours
  • Place of work
  • Work tools and responsibilities (e.g. will the nanny be using the family car or their own?)

Because a nanny typically works in a family’s home and on a schedule set by the family, it makes it difficult to qualify a nanny as an independent contractor.

What Else Will Affect Your Nanny Pay

Another thing to note about your nannies pay is how long your nanny’s been working for you. Additional years of experience working for the same family can lead to nannies receiving raises. Make sure to discuss this with your nanny!

The costs of hiring a nanny can widely vary. What’s most important is that you find a nanny that’s the best fit for you and your family, and when in doubt, reach out to nannies and get the conversations started, so that you can find the best fit for your family.

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