Nanny Compensation Database Findings

The wonderful moms on the google group Pennsymoms completed a survey about their experiences employing nannies in the Philadelphia, PA area. As a soon-to-be Mom and researcher, I decided to run some statistical analyses on the survey data and below are my findings.

A few notes— “n” stands for the number of people who filled out the survey or answered a specific question, and generally the bigger the “n”, the more reliable the findings. Sometimes “n” is used to show how many of the people fell into a certain category. For instance, in table 1 below, the “n” for Mt. Airy was 1, meaning only 1 person who filled out the survey said they lived in Mt. Airy, but there were 7 who said they lived in West Philly, and 5 in Fitler Square, etc.

M stands for the mean (average) of whatever number we’re talking about. Usually this number is something like the nanny’s hourly wage or hours worked per week. SD stands for the standard deviation of that mean, which is a measure of how much the typical responses from families varied. A bigger standard deviation means there was more variation in what people reported doing. You can subtract or add the standard deviation to the mean to find out what most people were doing, like how much most people were paying their nannies an hour. Another measure of variation is the range, which is the minimum and maximum numbers reported by families.

For instance, in table 1 below, you can see that the average hourly rate paid in Mt. Airy was $17.50, but only 1 person who filled out the survey was from Mt. Airy, so there isn’t an SD or a range. However, seven people said they lived in West Philly, where the mean hourly pay was a bit cheaper, at $16.80/hour, with a standard deviation of $1.10. This means most people in West Philly paid somewhere between $15.70 ($16.80-$1.10) and $17.90 ($16.80+$1.10) per hour. The range was $15-$18, meaning the lowest hourly rate paid by anyone was $15/hour and the highest was $18/hour.

Table 1. Average weekly salary & hourly wage paid by location

Note: In general, hourly pay is more informative than weekly salary, as the hours nannies worked per week varied a lot; weekly salary for some families was for 20 hours/week, for others, it was 50 hours per week. In the tables below, I only include hourly rate.

Table 1 Conclusions: The overall mean hourly pay rate is $14.59/hour and $526/week across all locations. The most expensive reported hourly wage was $23/hour in graduate hospital, and the least expensive was $7.50/hour in South Philly. (You could multiple the mean hourly pay for the neighborhood you live in by the number of hours you need a nanny per week to come up with a weekly salary estimate for your own family.)

Table 2. Payment under or over the table

Table 2 Conclusions: Most families (71%) do NOT pay employer taxes and issue the nanny a W2 (“over the table”), and instead pay them cash and do not report it (“under the table”).

Table 3. Average hourly pay by number of children being watched

Note: 1–2 and 2–3 children categories are typically 1 or 2 children with an additional child at home only once in a while.

Table 3 Conclusions: The average number of hours a nanny worked for 1 child was 35 at $14.10/hour, but there’s a big standard deviation(12.4 hours per week) and a large range (one person reported their nanny only works 3 hours per week, while another reported 57 hours). Average hours worked/week increased by 3.2 to add a second child (mean = 38.2 hours/week). The average cost increase to add a second child was about $1.10/hour ($15.20 vs $14.10), so do a nanny share when you can!

Table 4. Chores most often completed by nannies by hourly pay and weekly hours worked

Note: Families reported any/all chores performed by the nanny, in other words, these categories are not mutually exclusive.

Table 4 Conclusions: Doing dishes/emptying the dishwasher was the most common chore completed by nannies (130 people, or 64% of everyone who filled out the survey, reported their nanny does dishes/empties the dishwasher), followed by child laundry (62%) and cooking child meals (50%). The rest were performed in less than half of the households. There wasn’t a big difference seen in hourly pay or in the average number of hours worked per week by type of chore performed.

Table 5. Number of chores performed and mean salary

Note: “# of chores” is just a sum of the total number of chores (from the list in table 4) that families reported their nannies do.

Table 5 Conclusions: The difference in hourly pay for doing 0 versus 9 chores was $1.40 (from $15.30 for 9 hours to $13.90 for doing no chores); however, nannies who performed more chores worked more hours per week, and cared for slightly more children on average.

Table 6. Paid time off (PTO) by hourly pay and average hours worked

Note: PTO includes vacation and sick days.

Table 6 Conclusions: Offering between 6 and 10 PTO days/year was the most common (31% of the sample fell somewhere in this range). Offering 10 days PTO/year was very common. As average hours/week increased, so did days PTO offered. Zero PTO days was also pretty common, at 28% of families, however the vast majority of those were families that paid their nanny by the hour (as opposed to offering a salary), and those nannies worked an average of 31 hours/week.

Wrap-up: There were a bunch of other questions in the survey that might be helpful to others, like whether most people pay overtime rates, guarantee the nanny a minimum # of hours per week, or offer perks like food or transportation reimbursement. You can should be able to see some summary statistics put together by another pennsymom here, but these were the ones I was most interested in. I hope they’re useful to some of you, too!