I am not sure what part of the country you are in to see if what you are paying is current market value, but I think you answered your own question. I can't imagine living on barely mininum wage and with that being said, along with how happy you are with the care she provides, why even ask? Its standard to pay her when you go on vacation, its not really a perk, its standard. I don't understand what you are saying about not paying her for the 26th and 27th that she would normally work, you would need to clarify. Because if you ask her not to come in for some reason and she is used to getting paid for those days, they must be paid, so I am sorry I am confused? I am also confused about you referring to a Christmas bonus as being paid for "no work" for the Christmas Holiday, I am again confused, please clarify. As the owner of a Nanny Agency in a Major Metropolitan city and a former Professional Nanny, I can tell you what we think and what we expect. You don't base a Christmas bonus on performance regarding her dependability issues. Honestly, you are getting such a "cheap rate" I would expect there to be some flexibility if you can, otherwise its going to be hard to keep anyone. Not that you shouldn't expect dependability, but lets be honest, if you offer that rate and take taxes out, thats a breeding ground for the revolving nannies. Parents try to pay the least amount possible and what they don't understand is time is money, they will only stand for it until they don't have to. Until they find a better paying job and one where they feel appreciated, they feel nickel and dimed all the time and its frustrating for them. They are taking care of your child and usually your home, your two most prized possessions, and its usually the most thank less job. I don't mean to sound curt, but its like you are struggling so much with this very easy question. It seems you don't want to pay her, because families have a hard time giving nannies what they deserve, I don't know why, but they do. You seem to need validation that you not wanting to pay her is ok and you aren't the "bad guy", a bonus of any kind speaks volumes and its your nanny. I mean, its the woman caring for your child, and if you can't afford to pay her what she is worth, and what is standard, I can't condone it. If you can't or won't pay her what is current market value or what every web site tells you to, I won't condone it? If you cannot afford these things, then you aren't in the market for a nanny, you need to reconsider your options. Because they live off of what you give them, this is their life, its $160.00, and its separate from any other gifts or pay you give her. What happened to just feeling good about giving, instead of bargaining and stressing over a beautiful gift? I research for my families to let them know what is standard for a Christmas bonus, and its a weeks pay, some say a months. The time you have spent stressing and researching and reaching out to others for confirmation is money spent. Its your time and time is money and its time away from your family and time spent wasted on negative thoughts. If you wanted to know what the standard bonuses were, I could commend you, but its not that. As I said you are clearly looking for validation and confirmation on not wanting to pay your nanny, and I question anyone willing to give it to you. I speak to 10-30 nannies per week while I search for a family and I am only willing to take families who pay current market rates and give benefits. They must adhere to what is standard, no question, if they don't, I don't take them. Because if you cannot afford to pay what is fair, then you aren't in the market for a nanny, they are a luxury item and no one needs them. Most cannot afford them and most everyone has turned out just fine without them, but most won't consider Day Care as if its barbaric or something. So the countless nannies I speak to weekly have nightmare stories of being take advantage of. Of the 200-300 nannies I have spoken with, only 2 had not experienced something negative yet, and both were new to the industry. I find that disgusting and shocking, they are bargained down, lied to and mistreated. That is the lighter side, I won't even go into the abuse they have been subjected to, its astounding, so they are very wary, and should be. A great deal of families mislead, refuse to adhere to a contract or mislead stating they will have one, doc pay for no reason to name a few. I could go on and on, the funny thing is, everyone talks about the "nanny nightmare" stories, although I have heard maybe 3 of them total. Then I hear the families and what they pay and expect out of the nanny and I don't doubt it. I don't condone it and no children were hurt, but more of a lapse in judgement, well, if you hire someone for pennies on the dollar, you get what you pay for. Parents must understand that statistically, not appreciating your nanny or underpaying her etc., your children shouldn't get hurt. But should you chance it, I mean, these are your childern you are talking about? Perhaps they won't hurt the child, but there will be resentment and a lack of inspiration and motivation to work like they should, you have seen those nannies. They are on the phone at the park, ignoring your children, or you catch them on the nanny cam watching tv, reading a magazine or who knows. All the while your child is just playing by themself or crying and she is unmotivated, who knows, but that is what you chance when you disregard them. You are talking mostly low income people, who live in tiny apartments, scrape to pay their bills, watching you take vacations, live in a beautiful home and enjoy life. While they hear you say, "we can't afford a raise" or not get a christmas bonus when they know you can afford it, they aren't stupid. They just know you don't care enough about the work they do with your children, its the most important work their is, do parents get that? They can build up resentment working in well to do homes for well to do families and feel they are just being taken advantage of and a great deal do. Its $160.00 investment that will make her feel so appreciated, like what she does, matters, because it does, it simply does, and it will show in her work and spirit. These are hard working, lovely women, who deserve to be told they do a good job, given a gift now and then, only to just say thanks. I wish I were wealthy, I would love to walk on the streets and give money away. Since I can't and since I choose to work in an industry where I will never be wealthy, but I do it because I am passionate and because I love it. I will then enjoy the gifts I can give, I don't understand anyone who doesn't enjoy giving a gift, especially at Christmas, especially the person who cares for your child. I hope you see what an easy question this is to answer for yourself, and I hope you make the right decision, if you are still struggling, try this? If you are doubting whether or not you think she "deserves" a bonus, even though this particular bonus is about giving, not performance, try this???? Ask yourself if you think she is doing a good job, if she is, why wouldn't you give you a bonus, if she isn't then maybe its you, maybe its her, or both? You are paying a rate affords you the luxury of not paying much at all, so its give and take, she might need to "cash in" on investment. That being, you pay her a little, you give some back and understand she might be late. Or you raise your rates to current market value, because to be honest, the lower amount of hours, the more pay they should get because gas and time. Under 20 hours typically pays about 10-20% more an hour for that luxury, so if you paid higher, you would provide a bit more insurance of dependability. Again, I am not saying its right, its just if parents make the low rate positions, expect the people who will fill them to not always be up to par. Its an industry that isn't governed much, no unions mostly, and its one of the most dog eat dog industries I have seen, its a shame, and saddening. I have been very lucky to have worked very hard and had the best families who I am a better person for knowing them, we love each other and I am blessed. I knew what to watch out for, and I never had a problem asking for what I deserved, negotiating, sticking up for myself and getting a contract. Its why I started my own business, there was such mistreatment I was seeing that I wanted to try to change things and help to make great exchanges. Great families making great jobs, attract great nannies and its a great experience, my families care about what nannies think and what they need. They listen to me and are willing to provide what is expected to make a position where someone will want to stay, and provide longevity. Its a beautiful thing to help someone get a job in a recession, and not just any job. But excellent jobs with excellent families where everyone is excited and they understand its an investment, I mean, these are the people raising your children. Their philosophies, their morals and values are instilled and who they are is implemented in the care of your children, its quite important. So everyone out there who has a nanny, provide a respectful environment. Be respectful and appreciative, have an atmosphere that promotes open communication. Listen to your nannies, research about pay and benefits, bonuses and contracts, give gifts, give raises and bonuses. But most importantly, give thanks that this person is working hard to make sure your children are happy and cared for. Good luck and take care.
Originally Posted by Rivka5
We have a nanny who comes to our home for 16 hours per week. I've seen some references to a "Christmas bonus" equal to one week's salary as being standard for in-home childcare providers. What do you all think? Do you do it? Do you think your care provider expects it?
A few details: she has a fantastic relationship with our baby, and we're very happy with the care our daughter receives. (We've had some reliability issues, mostly because the nanny has a child of her own who goes to preschool - when he can't go for any reason, it's a big complication.) We pay her $10/hour on the books, meaning that we're paying Social Security and Medicare taxes for her and are withholding her share of those taxes (but not income taxes) from her paycheck.
Our paid time off arrangement is that she is not paid for holidays but does get paid if we take a vacation for another reason - so, for example, we aren't planning to pay her for Dec 26 and 27 (ordinarily days she would work) but we did pay her when we went away for a week in August. So a week's Christmas bonus would also be equivalent to paying her (for no work) for the Christmas holiday.