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Resource Center for the Media

Who is today’s nanny?

A nanny is an educated professional with a working knowledge and genuine love for children.

GTM's 2003 on-line survey of Trends in the Nanny Industry indicated the following demographics of the 800 nanny respondents:

  • Two thirds were 20-30 years of age
  • Over a third had a college degree
  • A third had 2-5 years experience
  • Had more than five years experience
  • Most (63%) were live-out nannies

What is a nanny and what does she do?

A nanny is a child care specialist. A nanny’s workplace is in a family’s private home and his/her job is providing one-on-one attention and the best possible care for the family’s children. The work may be full-time or part-time, and the nanny may or may not live with the family. The nanny’s role is to provide support to the family by serving as a loving, nurturing and trustworthy companion to the children. A nanny tends to have special child care skills and a deep love and understanding of children. A nanny offers the family convenient, high quality care to meet each child’s physical, emotional, social and intellectual needs.

A nanny is responsible for the complete care of their employer’s children. Duties include tending to each child’s basic physical needs, meal planning and preparation, laundry and clothing care, organization of play activities and outings, providing behavioral guidelines and disciplining when appropriate, intellectual stimulation, language activities and provide transportation when required. Housekeeping responsibilities are child related. A nanny must be able to communicate well with both children and parents. Depending on the individual family, the nanny may be treated as an employee, a cherished friend or as a member of the family. – The International Nanny Association

What does the Occupational Information Network define a nanny?

Care for children in private households and provide support and expertise to parents in satisfying children's physical, emotional, intellectual, and social needs. Duties may include meal planning and preparation, laundry and clothing care, organization of play activities and outings, discipline, intellectual stimulation, language activities, and transportation.

Visit their site for additional classification information and facts and figires on the nanny industry.

What does a professional nanny earn?

The International Nanny Association (INA), the largest and oldest non-profit association for nannies and those who educate, place, employ, and support professional in-home child care providers, announced the results of its Nanny Salary and Benefits Survey. A total of 617 nannies took part in the survey, representing more than 31 cities and 22 states.

The INA survey summary reveals that on a national level, live-in nannies earn an average of $532 per week and live-out nannies earn an average of $590 per week.

Click here to read the full survey

Are nannies employees or independent contractors?

Nannies are employees and not classified as independent contractors. An independent contractor is defined as someone who supplies their own tools of the trade and works on their own schedule. Nannies are considered an employee because they use the diapers, bottles, food, toys and other supplies that are in the household, they also work on the schedule that is set by the family, thus the family is their employer.

Are nannies subject to tax laws?

Nannies must be paid legally, which means legal payroll taxes should by withheld and paid to the proper entities. Nannies are subject to the minimum wage law and live out nannies are to be paid time and a half for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Failure to abide by legal hiring and tax withholding guidelines as outlined by the Internal Revenue Service, puts you, the employer, at risk for significant fines and penalties.

To simplify your obligations as an employer we strongly recommend using payroll service providers or research nanny specific payroll and tax software. Using a service makes this process easier and keeps the financial and tax errors to a minimum, reducing the risk of fines and penalties caused by incomplete, late or inaccurate filings. It also significantly reduces your time involvement. GTM, the Household Employment Experts offers a complete line of products to make this process simple and stress free.

What type of benefits do nannies receive?

According to the 2003 GTM Household Employment Expert’s Nanny Employer Survey, the following demographics were reported from the 800 nanny respondents and 150 employer respondents.

The top five benefits currently received by nanny respondents are:

  • paid vacations and holidays (73%)
  • Internet/TV access (64%)
  • salary when family is on holiday (63%)
  • car usage and money for gas (60%)
  • paid sick days (58%)

The benefits nannies would like to receive are:

  • dental insurance (69% would like, vs. 8% who actually receive)
  • retirement savings (62% vs. 9% actually receive)
  • medical insurance (55% vs. 37% actually receive )
  • health/gym membership (46% vs. 15% actually receive)
  • annual raises (43% vs. 54% actually receive)

Employers responding to a similar question give their nannies

  • annual bonuses (84%)
  • medical insurance (42%)
  • holiday savings (12%)
  • dental insurance (5%)
  • None gave retirement savings

Do nannies receive “perks?”

The International Nanny Association recently asked of nannies “What rewards/gifts have you received from employers that you especially appreciated?”

Responses included:

Monetary bonus, clothes, jewelry, gift certificates, notes from children and parents, vacations, camera, stock certificates, spa gift certificate, tickets to concerts/sporting events/theater, pictures of kids, artwork, paid vacation with my husband, books, unique gift with me in mind, DVD's, holiday gifts, beauty basket, computer and printer, designer clothes/shoes/handbags, surprise time off with pay, movie tickets, dinner and theater tickets, signing bonus, free long distance, appliances, birthday gifts, vcr, bicycle, scrapbooking supplies, Disney World vacation, trip to Australia, flowers, perfume, digital camera, trip to London, nanny sweatshirt, car, I adopted a child and was able to bring to work with me, TV, unexpected day off with pay, boss took time off and took me to lunch, personal trainer, their love and respect, palm pilot, watch, cruise, video camera, paying for conference expenses, telling me how much they appreciate me.

Who employs a professional nanny?

In today’s world of dual income families, nannies are no longer for only for the rich and famous.

Many dual career households opt for in-home childcare not only for convenience, but for financial reasons.

When there are two or more children in the home who need full time childcare, hiring a nanny is often more cost effective then paying for two slots in the local daycare -especially if the parents have a schedule that needs a little flexibility. Some facilities will charge up to $1.00 per minute for each minute the parent is late for evening pick up, while the average work week for a nanny is 50 hours, leaving time for parents to commute and have a bit of flexibility based on a 40 hour work week.

Can I hire a nanny from abroad?

The International Nanny Association  receives many requests from Americans who want to hire trained European nannies. U.S. immigration laws make it virtually impossible for non-American nannies to find work in the U.S. The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service rarely grants work visas to foreign nationals to work legally in the United States as nannies.

Nannies who travel to the United States on tourist visas and accept jobs as nannies are working illegally; their employers are subject to fines, and the nannies themselves can be deported.

A handful of cultural exchange programs operate in the U.S. to assist families interested in hiring foreign au pairs. Child care workers who visit the U.S. for a year through these programs usually are here for a cultural exchange. This is not a work program.

Visit the INA page to learn more.

What is the difference between an au pair and a nanny?

According to the United States Information Agency, nannies are child care providers who are paid for their expertise and experience and they are employees of the family for whom they work. Au pairs, on the other hand, are participants in a USIA exchange program. Au pairs provide up to 45 hours of child care per week as part of their responsibility to their host family and are considered members of the family, NOT employees. They are required to attend classes while in the US and must return to their country after one year.  They also must be under 26 years of age and must acquire a J1 Visa in order to come to the US as an Au Pair.

The International Nanny Association defines an au pair as a Foreign national in the United States for up to a year to experience American life. Lives as part of the host family and receives a small stipend in exchange for babysitting and help with housework.  May or may not have previous childcare experience.

The International Nanny Association defines a nanny as one employed by the family on either a live-in or live-out basis to undertake all tasks related to the care of children. Duties are generally restricted to childcare and the domestic tasks related to childcare. May or may not have had any formal training, though often has a good deal of actual experience. Nanny's work week ranges from 40 to 60 hours per week. Usually works unsupervised.

Who governs the nanny industry?

The Department of Labor categorizes nannies as unskilled domestic workers.

What does the government say about the nanny industry?

The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics defines a nanny in its Occupational Outlook Handbook, defines a nanny one who “generally take care of children from birth to age 10 or 12, tending to the child’s early education, nutrition, health, and other needs. They also may perform the duties of a general housekeeper, including general cleaning and laundry duties.” To read the detailed report visit http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos170.htm