​I have spent the last 20 years working with children in different settings mainly under the age of 6 years. I lived the life of an au pair and done the nanny share.

Living and working in London in the best job in the world doesn’t always come with a fat pay at the end of the month. I don’t think nannying is well regulated regarding qualifications and pay! It seems to me not just the nannies but also the families are uncertain when it comes to wages! 
What we all need to consider (and please add to this if I forgot any points) is experience, qualification, job description, hours.
Looking at the gross-net debate. Personally I believe if you want to be seen as a professional know your gross. No other self-respecting profession deals in net!
For the new and younger nannies out there check out the minimum wage: https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage/what-is-the-minimum-wage
Personally I used to think: as long as I can pay my bills I don’t have to ask for more money- I don’t think that was a very professional attitude!
Remember that family you interviewed who was just the best? All the boxes on your job hunt list were ticked apart from THE WAGES!  It’s a hard decision! I have been there and accepted the job. We all have to make a living and pay our bills but if you don’t believe in yourself then why do you expect others to?
The “going rate” must be a fantastic fairy story! There are rates ranging from £8 to £13 and beyond!!! Mostly £10 is being talked about but who wants to start back at that rate after years with a family, personal development, experience and confidence gained? Let’s call £10 net an hour a starting wage in our profession for a live out nanny!? And no that is not for part time job! This is where it becomes even more confusing! “Going rate” for a part time job? Anyone? “Going rate” for a temporary position? 
All I can say is set yourself a minimum GROSS ANNUAL income you need to live and pay your bills and don’t undersell. Here is the website to check it out: http://m.thesalarycalculator.co.uk/
We all know there are plenty of afternoon jobs or term time only jobs but nothing to fill the rest of your hours.
The annual pay rise is mostly forgotten about in our profession and a thank you bonus at Christmas has bought a few nanny friends of mine a nice meal out on their own!
Some have however found a predetermined quarterly bonus sweetened a financially sour deal!

I want a survey!
I want to collect anonymous details about area working in, years of experience, qualifications, years been with family, how many families working for at the moment, how many hours a week, how many children, live in/out, mothers help, au pair+ (please add if I forgot any). Perhaps then we can speak about “going rate”!

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4 thoughts on “Wages

  1. Hey, I’ve been in childcare since I was 16 as a holiday help, leading clubs and so on. Got QTS qualification and plus a few more courses like Montessori and of course the first aid with 18 years of experience.
    My partner keeps telling me that it’s wrong to accept a job on an hourly net pay bases. He works in the city and knows what he’s talking about. Getting to the point where I’m not even worried about the technicalities. What actually makes my blood boil is when in interview the family offers to pay part legally and part cash,… Do they get an offer like that in an office?!? We aren’t self employed builders and most of us want pension and mortgage,… Who do they think we are?!? dont undersell yourselves and stick with the rest of professional nannies DONT ACCEPT A JOB WITHOUT HAVING ALL WAGES GOING THROUGH THE LEGAL ROUTE, PLEASE

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  2. Brillant article..I’m like you years of experience and I’m now finding a lot of familes don’t even want to define the hours or days..they say two days stepping up to whatever they need..then dropping when they dont need..a mare..I wish we were regulated more salary wise it’s so unfair. .I can’t say how often I’ve heard about part cash, drop rate and it makes me feel undervalued as an proffesional.

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  3. I went for a job 2 years ago I was asked if I would be paid this way ,so I said ok as long as I get my money then after speaking to nannys they told me why it was not a good idea . ,so if I go for new job that wont happen, I finished today and I have bent over backwards for them to be given a purse which is something I don’t use and if it was 3 weeks more I could have had redundancy ,but I didn’t get no good will nothing I felt very under valued as a nanny ,I wasn’t even able to finish early to go for jobs or agency now I am unemployed feel sad as I really loved my babys

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  4. Hello, my friend and I just hired a fantastic nanny to look after our babies and after reading this article I wanted to share the point of view of the family hiring the nanny.

    First, I think all families HATE the net per hour system in the nany world. The employer wants to know how much it’s going to cost them to hire the nanny and they want to be able to compare the nanny salary to the rest of the workforce, which as the article above mentions is in yearly gross. So I really agree with the point made above: stop with the net per hour wage, no one works like this and nannies really don’t realize what they are asking sometimes when they ask in net per hour. We had a nanny asking us 16 pound net per hour!!!! That’s more than 55 k gross per year for a 50 hours week, a salary that most people who work in banks don’t have! So I really agree: know your gross, realize what you are asking the family to pay for.

    Then regarding the “underselling yourself problem”. Personnaly I think you should always try to find the highest paid job in a family your comfortable working with. Sometimes that’s hard as the families who pay the most can be those very uptight, control-freak, treat-you-like-dirt extra wealthy families. Not everyone will want to be paid well but be miserable at work working for this kind of families. And from what I heard from nannies, those horrible families are out there! Unfortunately it seems to me that nannies hear about other nannies working for those families and then they just want the same salary. But very few families would be able to afford a nanny for 40 k a year, even in a nanny share. Try to put yourself in the family’s position and imagine what they should be earning to be able to afford this. To be honest a lot of nanny simply won’t find jobs if they ask this much, they have to adjust down, it’s just the way it is. Better to have a salary than nothing at all. Try to wonder how YOU would pay for childcare if the cost of childcare was so high. Let’s say that your answer is “if you can’t afford it, don’t try to hire a nanny”. Fine. So the alternative is nursery. Most nurseries cost between 1200 to 1500 GBP per months for 5 days a week. If people with babies in nursery shared a nanny with the same cost as the nursery, they can offer the nanny between 28 k gross per year and 36 k gross per year (using the nursery costs I just mentioned above). So now the question is: are there any childcare professionals who would be happy with those salary? Well, given the average salary of a nursery practitioner is 16 k gross per year (full time which means 40 hours a week – often more as people are late etc…, and that includes a 1 hour lunch break which means more than 50 hours a week at the workplace). So YES, there are many childcare professionals who would be thrilled to become nannies and increase their wages while improving their workign conditions. Because they would only care for 2 babies instead of 3 at the nursery, the working enviornemnt would be much nicer (from somebody’s quiet home compared to the small, packed, and noisy nursery environment), with no one over your head looking at your every move and always concerned with saving the nursery money, and you get to go out with the children every day, see the children developing, be part of a family etc… I personnaly think that this is a great deal. Parents would pay as much as for nursery (they cannot afford more, not everyone earns 50 k or more per year) and people in childcare would be better paid.

    Unfortunately, the reason there are not more nanny shares is partly because established nannies try to restrict access to nannying to only very rich families by requiring uncredibly high net rates. The “10 pound” minimum rate you quote above is the equivalent of a 33 k gross salary and you say this would be the starting rate. For a nanny share, established nannies require at least 36 k gross (as if the families who share a nanny can pay more! there is reason why they are sharing a nanny…). You need to take a look at salaries around you and realize that this is just too high. I’m sorry but most nannies are fairly unqualified (and it’s ok, you don’t need a master degree to be a great nanny, because unqualified people can actually do just as good, as long as they have common sense, are willing to learn from children and parents and love being with babies). It’s a much better job than most unqualified jobs out there and a lot of people would kill to get it.

    Now I agree that everything should be on the contract, the nanny should know which hours she’s working etc…. But the same problem applies here. If the family can only afford to pay partly cash in hand or cannot afford to pay hours they are not sure they need, well if there are nannies for who this is still better than working at asda, then let them do it. Otherwise families will just find another way because they simply cannot afford to do other than pay cash in hand etc… Asking for all of this to be strongly regulated, and nannies to be protected etc… will only result in a lot of jobs disappearing because the families cannot afford childcare anymore.

    Naturally nannies who are better qualified and experienced will be selected by the families who can pay the most. The market regulates itself. There is no need for further regulation. If you think there is need for regulation to ensure the salary of qualified nannies, then it means you are asking too much. If families simply cannot afford to pay more, that’s just the way it is.

    Apologies if I am upsetting anyone. I just struggled to access nursery staff in order to find a nanny (but once I did, OMG how happy and excited those candidates were… compared to established nannies asking for 13-16 pound net per hour for a nanny share and acting very entitled) and it makes me sad that established nannies are spreading those crazy rates trying to protect all their advantages (net/hour rates…), making most families think they can only afford nurseries and preventing job creations that would make a lot of people very happy.

    I have 2 friends asking my advise to find a nanny to share and I told them “do not try to hire a nanny via another nanny or do not try to hire someone who is already a nanny with a net per hour in her contract, workout the gross yearly salary, write a job description, and try to access people working in nurseries to see if they would be interested”.

    Oh and I forgot one point: unfortunately all of the above is true for nannies who are native english speakers. Foreign nannies have much more accessible rates and are way more flexible. That’s the other advise I give my friends: if you don’t need a native english speaker, hire a foreign nanny!

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