When the time comes to ask for a raise in any line of work it can cause an employee to be nervous and unsure of the proper way to go about it. As a Nanny this can certainly be extra stressful as you may not find much time with the parents when the children are not present. Following some basic guidelines and being aware of the current industry standards can assist in making sure your request goes smoothly and professionally.
The first thing that you will want to have in mind and be clear on is why you are requesting a raise at this specific time. Typically, industry standard is for the family employing the nanny to give a raise on their one-year anniversary date. It is always easiest when the family remembers and gives the nanny a raise without her having to ask. If your employers have not yet suggested a raise and you have been there for a year, this is a good time to approach the subject. Keep in mind that you do not want to bring this up when the parents are rushing off to work or the children are present. So how can you best approach the subject? Take the time to sit down and compose an email or put it in writing. Be professional and courteous explaining what you would like and why. For example, you can let them know how much you have enjoyed your first year with them and love being their nanny, and would like to discuss an annual raise. You can detail it in the letter or email if you choose to do so, or you may simple write requesting a good time to sit down and have an annual review. Either approach is perfectly acceptable and allows the family to make the time in their schedule for a sit down. You want to avoid bringing it up when they are busy, having a rough day, or preoccupied with work or the children. Timing is key when discussing a raise. If you are able to find some calm time when the children are not present to bring it up in person this is fine as well. First begin by asking if this is a good time to talk. If the answer is yes then you may proceed, and if it is not the right time this gives you the opportunity to set it up.
Some other times in which you will want to request a raise are when a new baby has been added to the family or your job duties have changed. Be informed of the industry standards and current rates before putting in your request. Do your research and know what a nanny of your experience is making in your current area. Keep in mind that knowing these things is expected of a nanny before she accepts a new position as well. If you chose to settle for too low of a rate and are suddenly asking for a large increase to get up to industry standards you could find yourself being let go. Having an open dialogue is important and healthy, but keep in mind that you accepted the rate when accepting the job which was your choice based on lack of research or knowledge. Asking for a large increase could create frustration for the family who may not have known what the going rate was for a nanny upon hiring you because you were asking for less. In this case proceed how you need to but do so with understanding, an open mind, and respect. It may be time to begin looking for a new position if your current is unable or unwilling to take this much of a leap.
Typically, outside of adding children or duties changing, a Nanny can feel comfortable asking for a raise with each passing year. This is in essence a cost of living raises as we all know this goes up year to year. So, let’s look at what you can expect for a raise based on the reason of the request. When adding a new baby industry standard is a 2-5 dollar per hour raise. When adding on new job duties, depending on what the duties are, you can expect a 1-4 dollar per hour increase. Annual raises based on a rising cost of living are usually a 1 dollar per hour industry standard. Some families will offer more, but a dollar each year is something a nanny can reasonably count on.
After you have put in your request for a raise allow the parents the opportunity and time to discuss it. When it comes to finances parents will want to make this decision together before making the nanny an offer. Do respect this time, but do not let them take too long without getting back to you. If it has been a week it is acceptable to politely bring it up asking if they have had the time to discuss.
Remember that you are a professional providing a quality service! Proper raises are well deserved and you should not let time slip by without asking for one.
By: Anne-Marie Ferraro