How to Ask for a Raise as a Nanny

Being a nanny is a job, and depending on your commitment to the craft, it’s a profession.  It’s a demanding, exhausting, mentally and physically taxing job with an immense moral reward – shouldn’t the compensation match the effort? Most businesses have in place quarterly and / or annual reviews with the opportunity to discuss a raise, your nanny position should be no different; but it is. If you have been with a family over a year, you deserve a review and very possibly a raise. Below are some important points to consider when asking for a raise as a nanny

Nobody will Hand you a Raise out of the Blue. 👈

Asking for a raise is tricky business in any career path, and can be especially difficult to do as a nanny. You work and sometimes live in their home, you’re part of the family! It can feel awkward asking for more. A great place to start is by making a mental decision that you WILL ask for a sit down with the parent/s to discuss the possibility of a raise. Tell a few people close to you that can hold you accountable to it.

Do Your Homework - What to Know Before You Ask for a Raise 📚

Next is to start preparing. Once you begin to write a list of all of the things you’ve done with the family, the more motivated you will be to ask and the more confident you will feel. Write down all of your new job tasks, how you’ve taken classes and bettered your skill-set, how you started to drive more, how you now cook for the family, how you’ve helped with the new baby, any additional duties that has been added since you began working should be used as a justification for a wage increase. Have these handy when you ask for your raise, it will be apparent that you are deserving!

Additionally - Consider the natural rate of inflation in your economy. Gas prices increase and suddenly your pickups and drop offs are beginning to cost you more. Rent rises and your hourly rate isn’t going as far as it used to. These are important factors to take into account when bringing up your raise with your employer.

Set the Stage for the Conversation - Timing is everything! ⏰

In addition to preparing your points, choosing the right time to bring it up to them is crucial. Most parents are excessively busy, hence the need for a nanny! It’s imperative that you find a slice of downtime to approach them face to face. Around the year mark is a great opportunity to ‘raise’ the topic, as it’s a common practice in most industries to negotiate compensation after one year. Additionally, asking for a raise after you’ve completed a major accomplishment is also a good time to present your expectations.

Bite the Bullet and Ask! 🙋‍♀️

It also helps to plant the seed and give them some time to think about your request before catching them off guard. Depending on your relationship with the parents, you might say something like: “Would you happen to have some time this week to sit down together to discuss how things have gone this past year with my position, and the prospect of a raise in my pay?"

Know Your Worth: Why You Deserve a Raise as a Nanny 🌟

Know your worth, know that you give your all and you work hard for this family. Know that if you have been with them a year, you are continually doing the right thing day in day out and they want to keep you around. You have formed a strong bond with their children. You are irreplaceable – there is no other you! They respect your hard work and know that a raise is more than deserved. Chances are your employers are no strangers to a corporate or business structure – they know you deserve a raise and it’s expected of you to ask! 

If you think you may have difficulties articulating your needs and would feel more comfortable reaching out via email, that’s okay too. Have a close friend or family member write the first draft of the email for you, it removes any anxiety, provides a great starting point, and your friend has far less hesitation about describing your value than you do. My nanny Resume has composed many ‘Raise Request’ emails and we would be happy to do the same for you. You can read more in our services section.

Be Specific: How Much of a Raise to Ask for 💛

Know exactly how much you’re asking for, but also be realistic. Don’t set your hopes too high and don’t ask for $0.25 per hour raise. We’ve seen increases range from 5-40% after the 1st year, so decide where you would like to be on that scale. If you currently earn $15 per hour and want to make $18, that’s a 20% wage increase ($3); $16.50 is 10% wage increase. Ask other nannies in your area to get a feel for what they make, and check if your experience and responsibilities line up with theirs; the INA has a census they run which could contain useful information on your area.

I asked, they said no… now what? 🤷‍♀️

Even if you got your courage up and did all the work and they said no, ask why. Without letting emotions get the best of you, listen to their reasons; ask them if it would be possible to set up another review in a couple of months to approach the topic again after you make adjustments per their feedback (within reason of course). Check if there are other responsibilities to take on that could see your hourly wage increase accordingly. Remember that there are many reasons why a family won’t or can’t offer a raise, and it’s important to understand what they want moving forward. Perhaps providing an increase is not within their financial capability, which means you may want to reconsider working with this family for the long term. For parents that possibly cannot afford a raise, an alternative could be to ask if they would consider paying for courses specific to your job or sending you off to a nanny conference (INA) and assisting with hotels and airfare. There are many alternatives to a financial raise to consider that can help save you money and demonstrate to the family your dedication to your job.

Discussing a salary increase is a standard yet sensitive aspect of nannying, or any professional job. With the right preparation, timing, and articulate explanation of your unique contributions, you'll be well on your way to negotiating a salary that genuinely reflects your value. And remember, for personalized guidance on how to ask for a raise as a nanny, we're just an email away to support your career growth.