As the greater Seattle daycares fill up at a fast rate and families are being waitlisted, some parents argue on various social media platforms that hourly rates shouldn't exceed daycare costs or are comparing the rates to daycares. I thought writing this blog would help the general community understand why a nanny should not be making less than the going rate reflective of their experience and education. While I agree all forms of childcare are crazy expensive, a nanny is the luxury version of childcare, and it is definitely not in everyone’s budget – including my own. Like all luxurious things, this luxury service comes at a high cost.
INDIVIDUALIZED CARE// A highly skilled and experienced nanny provides individualized attention to your child, focusing on their physical, emotional, and cognitive growth one-on-one. They are dedicated to ensuring your child's well-being and safety while respecting and adhering to your unique parenting preferences and beliefs. Whether engaging in age-appropriate activities or providing attentive care, a nanny is committed to nurturing your child's development and fostering a warm and supportive environment for their growth. They come to your home for this personalized care focusing on your children, not a room full of children. So, when your little one is having a rough day, they can be given all of the support they need, even if that means snuggling and reading all day.`
GROUP CARE RATES// A daycare can provide a somewhat cost-effective solution for childcare as it involves group care. Daycare is much more reasonable than a nanny regarding the total cost when you have 1 child. However, when you have an additional child or two, the cost of daycare nearly doubles or triples. Even with sibling discounts, a nanny would make more sense in these situations. While a nanny will ask for a raise when the care of an additional child comes into play, it’s usually not as much as two or three daycare tuitions, especially if you attend a highly sought-after private daycare. Similarly, when you participate in a nanny share, where two families share a nanny at the same time, your hourly rate gets lowered while the nanny's hourly rate goes up. This is because the more families that join in, the more the cost gets shared amongst everyone. I have a separate blog on nanny shares that would be a good read if that is something you are thinking about.
CONSISTENCY IN CARE// Consistency of care is an important aspect to consider when choosing a childcare provider. Some parents may not prioritize it as much as others. It is common for daycare centers to have a high turnover rate, which can lead to rotating providers and a lack of consistency. Hiring a nanny can provide the added benefit of having a consistent caregiver for a longer period of time, allowing for a stronger bond to be formed between the caregiver and the child.
GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND// Many nannies go above and beyond their responsibilities and handle various tasks that keep your home running smoothly. They are not just responsible for watching your child/children, but they also assist with light household chores like the child's laundry, the child’s dishes, and tidying up the house. Moreover, some nannies will occasionally run errands for you, such as picking up groceries, dry cleaning, or dropping off/picking up your child/children from school. They are also responsible for researching different play spaces, parks, and hiking trails suitable for the children in their care so your little ones can have a fun and engaging time.
UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES// Another benefit of having a nanny is that they are there when you run late due to unforeseen circumstances like heavy traffic. They are generally flexible with their schedule and can adjust their timings accordingly, ensuring that your child/children are taken care of without any inconvenience. It is best to limit these circumstances as much as possible, though they do happen, and it is a part of life, especially with Seattle traffic.
SICK POLICY// You should also consider the strict sick policies that daycares have in place and the impact this will have on your work schedule. Unless the child is running a fever or has a highly contagious illness, your nanny will be there to give love and support to your little one, and you will make it to work without interruption.
CONTINUING EDUCATION// It's not uncommon for nannies to spend several hours taking courses on child development to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in parenting. Many even take courses from Newborn Care Solutions, becoming a newborn care specialist, or becoming certified as a Doula, which can be a great support if you choose to have more children.
COST OF LIVING// One of the reasons for the high nanny rates is the increasing cost of living. Nannies require a wage that reflects their experience and education and enables them to afford everyday necessities. If their compensation is insufficient, they might have to work a second job, which will exhaust them and affect their work performance. Therefore, paying nannies a fair and premium wage is essential to help them lead a comfortable life.
ADDITIONALLY// I strongly believe that daycare providers deserve to be paid more for their valuable services. They are often responsible for the well-being of multiple children simultaneously, and many possess degrees, yet they are not compensated fairly. It's quite evident that they are drastically underpaid and undervalued. Therefore, I want to emphasize that those working in group care are much appreciated, and without them, the childcare industry would face a rough time. So, if you know a group care provider, do something special for them to show your gratitude.
I hope this helps clarify why a nanny should be paid appropriately and not the same as a daycare.
Kyla is the owner and founder of The Nanny Consultant, located in the greater Seattle area. She is a mom to three beautiful children and two adorable kitties, Tilly and Oliver.