How to Pay a Live-in Nanny

So, you want to hire a live-in nanny? You may be wondering, what exactly is a live-in nanny and how much do they cost? A live-in nanny lives in their employer’s home, thus receiving room and board in addition to their rate of pay. While there’s a common misconception that you can save a little money on the hourly rate if you opt to hire a live-in, that’s actually not the case. 

How Much to Pay Your Nanny?

Live-in nannies are compensated at the same rate as a live-out nanny. However, live-in nannies are exempt from overtime rates which provides a huge savings to employers with positions more than 40 hours per week.

The Fair Labor Standards Act states that nannies must be paid at least Federal minimum wage. If the minimum wage rate in your state, city or county is higher than the Federal rate, you are required to pay that rate.  Per the FLSA, nannies are classified as non-exempt employees, as such, they cannot be paid a standard salary and must be paid for ALL hours worked, including hours on duty and on call. You can offer a nanny a salary as long as it’s based on a set of guaranteed hours to ensure the nanny is still being paid legally.

The hourly rate will depend on location, qualifications, experience, job duties and responsibilities. The national average hourly rate for nannies according to the International Nanny Association’s 2017 Salary and Benefits Survey is $19.14 an hour. 

In Miami, the hourly rate ranges anywhere from $15-$35+ per hour. Per Indeed, the average hourly rate for a nanny in Miami is $18.51. Most professional full-time nannies in Miami charge $20-$25 per hour. An educated high end, career nanny with 10+ years experience charges $25-$35+ per hour.

If the nanny provides care for children 24 hours per day, 8 hours may be deducted per night as long as the nanny gets 5 consecutive hours of sleep during that period of time. If they need to tend to the children and don’t get 5 hours of consecutive sleep, the full 8 hours would need to be paid. 

Full-time nannies, whether live-in or live-out, expect to be paid 52 weeks per year. If you choose not to take the nanny on a family vacation or don’t need them for any reason, they still need to be paid. 

What Does a Live-in Nanny Schedule Look Like?

Live-in nannies typically work 5 days per week and receive 2 consecutive days off, Monday-Friday or Tuesday-Saturday. It’s possible to find a nanny that is willing to work 6 days per week and only receive 1 day off. However, this is not recommended as it causes burnout and the nanny won’t remain in the position long term. This would only be suitable for a short term position, 6 months or less.

It’s important to understand that live-in nannies are NOT always on call because they live in your home. If the nanny is not free to come and go as they please outside of working hours, they are considered on call. This means, if a nanny works 7am-7pm and isn’t allowed to leave the residence after 7pm, this is a restriction on their time off which means they are on call and they will need to be paid. With that being said, live-in nannies can absolutely provide 24 hour child care and be on call overnight in the event a child becomes ill or they are needed for any reason. This will require a schedule to be structured accordingly as they will need to be paid for those hours. It’s important to communicate your family’s needs upfront. Establishing a mutually agreed upon schedule and respecting boundaries is imperative if you want to retain a nanny long term.

What Are Other Live-in Nanny Costs?

  • Mileage. If you don’t provide a vehicle and the nanny will be transporting the children in their personal vehicle, they will need to be paid standard mileage rates. 
  • Holidays. Nannies typically get 6 paid holidays off per year; New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. If the nanny is expected to work on major holidays, they should be paid time and a half.
  • Vacation. It is a nanny industry standard for nannies to receive 2 weeks of paid vacation time per year. 
  • Annual Bonus. It is standard for employers to provide an annual bonus that is equivalent to 1-2 weeks of pay. This is typically provided in December as most employers prefer to offer it around the holidays and nannies really appreciate a bonus that time of year.
  • Wage Increases. It’s important to give an annual wage increase of at least $1 an hour in order to retain a nanny long term.  It’s common for nannies to receive pay increases of 5-10% each year.
  • Travel Expenses. If you plan to have the nanny accompany your family on trips, as the employer, you are responsible for all travel expenses for the nanny; flights, accommodations, meals, etc.