Can I Pay a Nanny Minimum Wage?

Can I Pay a Nanny Minimum Wage?

Paying a nanny can be a family’s top cost item, and it’s understandable to want to keep the expense as low as possible. But can you pay her minimum wage?

Legally, yes. However, minimum wage should merely be a starting point for figuring out how much to pay your nanny. Ethically and competitively, paying your child’s caregiver minimum wage is not the best long-term solution.

The problem with only paying a nanny minimum wage is that their hard work, patience, flexibility and problem-solving deserves financial respect.


What is minimum wage anyway?

As of July 2016, the federal minimum wage was changed to $7.25 per hour. In October, 29 states listed their minimum wages as higher than the federal minimum. And in January 2017, Massachusetts and Washington (state) posted the highest state minimum wages of $11 per hour. However, there is currently momentum to change the hourly rate to $15.

  • Learn your state’s minimum wage here.

How much should nannies earn per hour?

The decision on how much to pay your nanny is going to come down to how much you can afford, combined with the going rate and the quality/experience-level of your nanny.

If this seems high to you, ask around. Go to playgrounds and use local message boards to learn what people pay, and for what level of past experience (i.e college nannies earn less than life-long nannies)?

Once you determine your rate, you will also want to remember that this is your child’s caregiver, and you want to treat her as well as possible.

Paying taxes, providing paid time-off, and giving bonuses are typically all part of the nanny package. However, a nanny share can offset a lot of these costs, making the decision to hire a high-quality nanny much more affordable!