Why Your Live-in Nanny Shouldn't "Pay" for Room & Board

Employing a live-in nanny can oftentimes be a little confusing. Many parents think that because a live-in nanny is receiving "free" room and board, they can pay their nanny less by deducting room and board from their nanny's monthly income, or pay them a lower hourly rate, or simply have their nanny work in exchange for room and board. A nanny who doesn't have to pay any rent, electricity, water, internet, cable, food, etc. surely should make less money per hour! While I understand how at first glance this seems like a fair deal, the industry standard is to pay a live-in nanny their full hourly rate...not a reduced rate. Legally live-in nannies must be paid for all hours worked, including applicable overtime (live-in overtime laws vary state by state, so it's important to check your specific state laws). In fact in some markets, such as Chicago, live-in nannies actually make MORE per hour than live-out nannies. Why? Because being a live-in nanny is extremely hard work and a huge sacrifice.

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Nanny Pay: Guaranteed Hours Vs. Salary

These are the two most confused terms in the nanny profession. I frequently encounter people using these terms interchangeably when they're not interchangeable. While similar, guaranteed hours and salary are not the same thing. Let me repeat, they.are.not.the.same.thing. Let's break it down:

Guaranteed hours are exactly that -- hours that are guaranteed to a nanny so they can rely on a consistent paycheck.

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Nanny Overtime: Pay Up Or Get Sued

Oh overtime. How I love you and hate you at the same time. I love you because I work hard and I deserve it. I hate you because so many parents ignore their LEGAL obligation to pay it, so I'm stuck deciding whether or not to risk my job by bringing it up or quitting my job because after bringing it up, they still refuse to pay it. And then I'm stuck deciding if I should sue the parents who did it to me -- which would then forever tarnish the relationship, and I love the kids so much. But it's money I deserve. Money I worked hard for. And more than that -- it's about justice. If a family did it to me (someone who very vocally laid out the laws to them and provided them with sources on nanny overtime), they surely are continuing to do it to the nanny after me and will continue doing it to all of their future nannies -- again and again -- until someone says ENOUGH.

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Part 2: Top 10 Reasons A Nanny Feels Taken Advantage Of

Okay, here it is. Part 2!! Numbers 6-10 of why a nanny feels taken advantage of. If you haven't read Part 1 yet with numbers 1-5, CLICK HERE and get caught up!!

6. JOB CREEP. Job creep is when slowly more and more duties are placed on a nanny. This can happen even when a contract is in place and the roles of the nanny are clearly laid out. In my experience, the job creep generally happens one of two ways. The first way is when parents simply start adding more chores/tasks for a nanny to do. It's usually a one time thing, such as, "We have guests coming over tonight, can you please tidy up the common areas?".

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Part 1: Top 10 Reasons A Nanny Feels Taken Advantage Of

Before I get into this list, I understand that this is not everyone’s experience. Some nannies may relate to all of the issues listed, some may relate to a few, and some may relate to none. Some parents will read this and think “Wow, I’m totally guilty of that” while others will know they absolutely do not do these things to their nanny. As this blog progresses, please keep this in mind for each post. My posts are in no way claiming to be representative of all nannies or parents. However, in my experience, these are the most commonly heard complaints, which is why I feel it is necessary and appropriate to address them.

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