We just dropped Part 2 of my latest video “Top 10 Questions Answered About Working With A Nanny”. This should be super helpful for families thinking about hiring a nanny this summer or when school starts in the fall.
Every month my team and I speak with dozens of parents that are thinking about working with a nanny (last month alone, we spoke with almost 200 parents!). We’ve been compiling a list of their questions and today, we released the second part of of our series, “Top 10 Questions Answered About Working With A Nanny”.
Some of the questions that we answer in this video are:
How do I pay my nanny? Over the table? Or under the table in cash?
What are nanny taxes?
What are the most common job responsibilities for a nanny?
Can I ask my nanny to do household chores?
What standard benefits should I offer a nanny?
Scroll down and click on the video to check out the second part of “Top 10 Questions Answered About Working With A Nanny”
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A transcript of the video is below:
Hey everyone, It’s Laura from Nanny Parent Connection here.
Today I’m going to talk about the Top 10 questions I get from parents who are curious about working with a nanny.
Question #6: How do I pay my nanny? “Under the table or Over the table”?
The right answer there is, you probably want to pay your nanny over the table. Because that is the legal way to do it. Many people do pay their nannies under the table, but that’s not without its risks.
We did a nice video blog about this a few weeks ago, check that out in the description below (or click here), you can learn more about what some of those risks are.
It’s worth mentioning that there is a lot that goes into paying your nanny legally. If you’re good with numbers. Particularly I’m not there, this is not my thing. We do have some talented parents out there who are number whizzes, maybe some accountants!
If you have some time every couple of weeks to dedicate to payroll once you get things set up, go for it. There are lots of tools out there to help make that easier, I think QuickBooks is one of them. If it’s not your thing, if you have a new baby in the house, maybe you’re sleep deprived or you’re going back to work and trying to figure out different schedules, you just don’t have time! I recommend handing it off to a payroll company.
Nanny Parent Connection has partnered with a fantastic payroll company (click here to learn more about our payroll services). You can find that link for more information in the description below. You just fill out a form and submit some information to them, they reach out and they can help you get all set up, It’s really quick and easy. It saves the headaches of ensuring taxes are being done correctly or not and it ensures everybody is getting paid correctly and getting paid on time, so check that out. My recommendation is to pay your nanny the right way, pay them legally and maybe consider using a payroll company.
Question #7: What are nanny taxes?
Nanny taxes are Social Security and Medicare, together those are called FICA taxes. They can make up about 10% of your nanny’s gross pay. That’s a chunk of change, and there are some ways that you can offset that cost. There’s the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit that you can write off at the end of the year when doing your taxes. If you have a dependent care account through your employer, definitely take advantage of that, that will be a nice way to set aside some funds pre-tax to utilize those for child care. Check out some of those options, just keep in mind when you’re budgeting the nanny taxes, they do make up about 10% of the nanny’s gross pay.
Question #8: What are the most common job responsibilities for a nanny?
Nannies by definition are in charge of everything surrounding the care and safety they give the children that can include helping with the babies laundry, or the kid’s laundry, and can also include help with washing bottles. But that does not include things like the family laundry or weekly vacuuming or walking the dog or grocery shopping for example. Those things fall outside of the job description for typical nanny duties. If you’re adding in those things make sure that any of those types of job duties are listed in the contract and they are agreed upon in advance, and you’re compensating appropriately. If you’re getting care in your home, make it what you want, just make sure you’re compensating appropriately. So that’s gonna mean if you have things that are outside of just care of the children that you are probably going to pay $2 to $3 per hour or more, depending on the exact duties and the experience of your care provider.
Question #9: Can I ask my nanny to do household chores while the kids are sleeping?
Yes, absolutely, but it’s important to recognize that nannying is a very unique job. Nannies are always on the go, there’s always something to be done. They’re not truly getting a lunch break when the kids are eating lunch, right? because they might need to be feeding the baby or the toddler is always going to want something, they might spill something, kids always need things to be done. The nannies don’t get a chance to truly have a moment to unwind until the kids are napping. Just be cognizant of that, make sure you tell your nanny, hey, I recognize that this is a full-on go go go type of job and we appreciate that you give it your all and we want you to make sure that you’re taking some time for yourself every day when there is a nap time. Just make sure that your nanny is aware that you’re thinking about her, you want her to feel well cared for and well recharge throughout her day.
Not only is she gonna appreciate that about you as if an employer and appreciate that about her job is going to make her day a little bit better. She’s gonna return the favor by being the best nanny for your family. Just be aware it’s okay to ask the nanny to do some tidying during the times where the kids are sleeping or having their quiet time. Maybe she uses that time to catch up with some dishes or tidying up the play area. Also, be aware that sometimes maybe she catches up on a personal phone call, just takes a breather and enjoys her lunch, or maybe recharges by reading her book for a few minutes.
Question #10: What are the standard benefits to offer a nanny?
There are some industry-standard benefits when working with nannies. So, you’re going to want to offer two weeks of paid time off, guaranteed hours, and mileage reimbursement. You’re also gonna wanna consider offering a health care stipend If your nanny is more experienced, maybe you’re having a hard time filling the role, that can be a nice thing to offer to help attract more candidates to your position. Or, if you just want to make sure that you’re making your nanny feel very well cared for and you’re financially able to do so, that is a great thing to offer. I’m going to walk through each of these and just give a little breakdown about what standard to offer.
For vacation, you’re going to want to offer two weeks of paid vacation, some families try to get one week of the nanny’s choice, one week of the family’s choice if that’s what you must do, have a conversation with your nanny and find something that works for him or her but also be aware that that’s just not the standard. Think about is how would you feel if you at your corporate job told when you couldn’t take your vacation time? That wouldn’t sit well with me and I’m guessing it probably wouldn’t sit well with you either. Be aware of what you’re asking them to take their vacation at your choosing. While that’s beneficial to you, that might not work well for your nanny, so it is standard to offer your nanny two weeks paid time off of their choosing, so just keep that in mind. If you have a very experienced nanny, they may even ask for more weeks of paid time off, and that’s pretty typical.
Guaranteed hours, this is an important thing to offer. You’re going to want to make sure you guarantee hours so that your nanny knows that they can count on a certain amount of income each week. Guaranteed hours will kick in, for example, you take a vacation and you’re gone for the week and you’re taking the work with you, AKA the child or children and the nanny is available to work but because you’re on vacation, she cannot work. That’s something to think about. You should still be paying your nanny, and that’s what we call guaranteed hours.
This is also the same model, If you had your child in preschool or daycare, you would pay for the month’s tuition whether or not you were going to be there the whole month, and that is so you reserve the spot at the daycare for your child, so the spot is there when you get back from your vacation. So it’s a great way to make your nanny feel well cared for. It’s the right thing to do as an employer and everyone should be offering guaranteed hours.
For mileage reimbursement, you want to offer your nanny the IRS standard rate, which for 2021 is $0.56 per mile driven. The IRS changes this every year, it went down this year from last year. This is for any miles driven in the nanny’s car while on the job, so this has nothing to do with the commute to or form. It’s only while on the job. This could be anything from driving the children around activities or school, maybe running an errand for the family, anything like that. Any on-the-job miles that your nanny is driving, should be tracked and those should be reimbursed.
Paid holidays, it’s very standard for seven paid holidays to be offered. I’ve seen as few as five, I’ve seen as many as 13. There’s a lot of flexibility here, but offer paid holidays is a nice thing to add to the compensation package. It is a nanny industry-standard and it’s a good employer thing to do.
For healthcare stipends, this isn’t as standard. But, I do see this being pretty standard for your more experienced nannies. If you’re looking to attract a more experienced nanny to your position, you may want to start by offering a health care stipend. I’ve seen as little as $150 to $350 being pretty standard, that can go up or down from that range. Offering a health care stipend for your nanny goes a long way to make your nanny feel well cared for, they can attract top-notch applicants to your position and it’s something to consider offering if you’re financially able to do so.
Alright, everyone, that’s it for today. Those are my top ten questions I most frequently get asked about working with a nanny. I hope this information was helpful, I hope it paints a clear picture of what kind of goes into working with a nanny for anybody who’s considering working with a nanny!