FAQ by Families

Becoming a nanny employer is a new experience. There are many questions that you may have about your responsibilities and expectations. Here are a few of the most common questions nanny employers ask, along with insightful answers that will clarify many misconceptions.

1. Is my nanny an independent contractor?

The International Revenue Services views nannies who are over the age of 18 and who are paid more than $1800 per year (2012) as employees of the families for whom they work.

2. What taxes am I required to pay?

As a nanny employer you are responsible to pay FICA (Social Security and Medicare), Federal Unemployment Tax, State Unemployment Tax and other state tax requirements as required by law. The employer taxes amount to about 10% of the nanny’s gross salary. There are, however, tax credits that can offset much of this cost.

3. Is my live-in nanny always on call?

Live-in nannies should have a schedule just like live-out nannies. When they are off duty, it should be considered their personal time. If they are asked to work additional hours and are available to do so, they must be financially compensated.

4. Is my nanny responsible for housework?

Generally speaking, nannies are responsible to tidy and keep clean the children’s areas, including their bedrooms, bathrooms and play areas and to take care of the children’s laundry. Nannies are also expected to pick up after themselves and the children. This is often referred to as “light housekeeping.” Any additional housework duties must be negotiated with the nanny prior to employment and she should be compensated additionally for those duties. However, it should be stressed that the nanny’s primary responsibility is to the children. If you are looking for your nanny to do your daily housework or deep cleaning, you will need to consider hiring a cleaning service. 

5. What are typical nanny benefits?

Typical nanny benefits include paid vacation, paid sick days, 8 to 10 paid holidays, use of an employer’s vehicle during working hours and full or partial contribution to the nanny’s health insurance premium. Additional benefits some nannies receive include contributions towards retirement, paid professional development days and even memberships to gyms or health clubs. The benefits your nanny expects will vary.

6. Should I install a nanny cam?

Nanny cams are meant to deter, not capture abuse. If you feel that you need a nanny cam, you may have hired the wrong nanny. If you think your child is being abused or neglected, take action and let your nanny go. How your child greets and interacts with your nanny, checking in daily, dropping in unannounced and coming home early on occasion can give you insight into how your nanny and child spend their time together. 

7. How do I hire a nanny from overseas?

Hiring a foreign nanny is a very difficult, expensive and lengthy process. Families can only hire nannies if the are legally able to accept employment in the United States. This means that they must have a valid work permit, temporary work authorization or appropriate work visa. Securing these documents can take from many months to many years. If you are hiring a nanny, you are responsible for verifying their employment eligibility using Form I-9 from the United States Citizens and Immigration Services.

8. What is the average nanny salary?

While a nanny’s salary will vary significantly based on geographical location, work experience, education, special skill sets, references and job duties and responsibilities, according to the 2012 International Nanny Association Salary and  Benefits Survey, on average, full-time nannies earn approximately $700 gross per week.

9. Isn’t daycare cheaper than nanny care?

For families with more than one child in need of childcare, hiring a nanny may actually be more cost effective than signing up for two slots in daycare. Nannies are paid by the family to provide care for the family’s children. While nannies tend to earn a 5-7% salary increase for each child that is born during her employment with the family, the initial salary you agree on is for all children in the family.

10. Can I offer free room and board in exchange for child care?

By law, nannies must be paid for each hour that they work and they must be paid at least minimum wage. In fact, in some states, live-in nannies must also be paid overtime at the rate of 1.5 times their base hourly salary.



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