We've all been there! Whether you are a new nanny who is just starting out, or an experienced nanny in a puzzling situation - if you have a question, we are here for you. Just "Ask Nanny".

Simply submit your question to professionalnannyassociation@gmail.com with "Ask Nanny" in the subject line. We ask that you be as specific as possible, and add helpful information (such as ages of children, how long you've been in your position, etc.) so that we are able to assist you.

Dear Ask Nanny....

Average Hourly Rate in LA


I am currently a Nanny in Los Angeles California for two infants, agaes 9 1/2 months and 11 months. My questions is, how do I find the average hourly rate for this region because I believe I am being underpaid for the amount of reponsibilities that lie apon me.

Thank you,


Dear Amy,

There are several factors which influence what one might call a "fair wage" for a nanny. Location is definitely a large factor, as are job responsibilities, and the experience/education of the nanny.

There are also several avenues you can use to determine what the range of pay is in your work area. The International Nanny Association ran a nanny salary survey in 2008. You can review those results for a general idea here: http://www.nanny.org/pdf/2009%20INA%20SURVEY.pdf

Sittercity offers a "babysitter" rate calculator that offers the ability to add options (that affect the going rate in a particular zip code) and that can be found here: http://babysitters.sittercity.com/rate_calculator.html

You may also want to contact a local nanny support group. Some nannies are willing to discuss their salaries/benefits, others prefer to keep that private. However, they may have a good clue as to what is appropriate in your area. Or, you might want to try contacting a few different local nanny agencies and asking them what they think is a fair wage in your situation.

Good luck!!
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I Want To Be A Nanny


Hello! I am a 27 year old college graduate with a BA in sociology who has been working as a Teacher's Assistant with infants/toddlers in an Early Intervention Center for over a year now. I recently decided to look into becoming a nanny because I enjoy by work with children, am seeking full-time employment, and would prefer a closer connection to my charges then what I get through once-a-week playgroup interaction in my current position. I am CPR and First-Aid certified, have experience with special needs children, and sent in my application to the MA Dept. of Early Ed & Care for certification as an early educator. I am curious as to what steps I should take in order to continue towards becoming a nanny?



It sounds like you have some excellent preparation for becoming a nanny!

Many nannies find it helpful to have a resume as well as a portfolio. Some portfolios are very elaborate, others are quite simple. It is a way to introduce prospective agencies/employers to who you are and your qualifications. You would want to include, at the very least, a cover/introduction letter stating a few things about yourself and why you want to work as a nanny, copies of any/all certificates and diplomas, a resume, copies of reference letters. You may also want to detail your philosophy on discipline, etc.

You might also find it helpful to get involved with a nanny community. There are several communities online as well as many locally based support groups across the country. This link has a relatively updated list of various in person support gropus: http://www.nannycredential.org/page/page/4225840.htm or you can also search something like yahoogroups.

You'll want to think about various types of work situations and what works best for you and your personality/style. (Nanny support groups can help you see various situations to help you make up your mind). For instance: Do you want to live in or live out? If you live in do you want completely private accomodations or are you willing to share a bathroom with children? A bedroom with children? If you live out, how far are you willing to drive? Are you willing to relocate? Are you flexible on hours or do you prefer a set schedule? Are you willing to do housework and, if so, what specific tasks? What about benefits (are they mandatory for you)? Vacation time...some employers decide when the nanny has time off, others let the nanny ask for specific time off. Holidays? Paid sick days? How many children are you comfortable caring for at any time, and do you have a preferred age group? Do you require being allowed to drive the children places or are you okay with always staying at the house?

It's not that there are "right" or "wrong" answers to those type of questions, but it IS important to know what will or will not work for you. That will help you define what you are looking for, know where you are flexible (and where you are not) and also help you to articulate yourself for a contract that you can live with.

You may also find some helpful information on contracts, taxes, etc in the library archives at www.nannynetwork.com

Best of luck to you, and please feel free to keep asking questions!

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Discipline Trouble With 11 Year Old


I'm having trouble disciplining my 11 year old girl.
I started the job 2 months ago, and she says she doesn't respect me yet.
Taking away privileges like TV or video games doesn't work, because she will do nothing at all.
Spending time with friends is important since she is an only child.


Hi Abby,

It's important to remember that discpline is not just about punishment...discipline is primarily about guidance and teaching.

It is hard to give specific advice without knowing specific disciplinary issues. While this child may or may not respect you yet, she certainly has figured out that saying she doesn't respect you seems to be an excellent excuse for not behaving. She's effectively put YOU in the passenger seat and is controlling the wheel.

She's old enough to have a voice in what is or is not expected of her. Perhaps she might respond well to sitting down together and coming up with a contract. Let her have some input on rewards AND consequences. If there are specific issues, address those. Then sign it together. If she later throws out "I don't respect you yet" you can simply remind her of the contract SHE signed...and remind her that by violating the contract she is disrespecting herself, as well.

Some situations, too, have natural consequences. For instance, if it is your job to do the laundry, then the agreement can be "I will wash whatever clothes are in your hamper on laundry day". If she neglects to put her clothes in the laundry (and thus leaves them all over her floor) not only will her room be a mess (for which there may be other natural consequences, such as not having anyone over when it is unpresentable) but she will not have the clothes she needs when she wants them...and that will be HER problem. She can then pick up the clothes and wait until the next laundry day or she can be taught how to do her own laundry. No punishment, just the natural process of "This is the expectation, if you meet it then the natural consequence is X (clean clothes) and if you do not the natural consequence is Y (dirty clothes)"

It is important, too, to engage the support of her parents. Ask them for a meeting and present them with your ideas/plans. If you draw up a contract with the child, have the parents sign it, too, to show that they are aware of it and support it.

That's just one idea, and not the only viable solution. Not every solution works for every child.

Good luck!
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Stuck at Home All Day with Twin Infants


I'm in a difficult spot right now, I'm 22 years old and happily married to my husband of almost 9 months. I've been watching twin boys who will be 11 months old in less than two weeks. They are crawling and sooo full of energy!! I've been noticing that they've been getting bored a lot lately no matter what we do inside of the home. They do not have a park within walking distance and the one that is...isn't in a safe neighborhood. I have a park across the street from my home, a lovely neighborhood and maybe 15 minutes from the home of the children. I've been working with the boys since December of last year and was full time the beginning of January. We have never been out of the house,except for doctors appts but as far as to the park or to the mall that has yet to happen. I've always driven children to the zoo, park, museums wherever to expand their minds and interests. The parents are having a hard time and I'm about to go stir crazy doing the same thing for the last 7 months...granted every day is new with the boys! The routine though, no matter how much I switch it around...the boys get bored. I try to keep with a schedule especially with them being twins its gets pretty difficult without. I've tried to set up play dates at the house...but none have worked out so far. I'm all out of ideas. The parents say they are going to discuss the park/mall and driving this weekend. They say they trust me but yet hesitate on the driving. I understand its ultimately their decision...but I'm going to go crazy if I don't get a change of scenery. Any suggestions and how to ease into the subject??



Hello Lauren,

It really can get tough when you're confined to the house, especially with busy twins!

It sounds like you've done some good communicating with your employers, so kudos for that!

Perhaps you can ask them what their specific concerns are about the driving and figure out ways to ease their concerns. Some common concerns and common solutions include:

Problem: Parents are worried the nanny will be out and about all day, every day, going all sorts of random places, parents are thus also concerned they won't know their children's whereabouts.
Solution(s): Nanny can agree to notify parents of each outing, with the understanding that parents can veto some outings. Nanny can also agree to call parents on cell phone when leaving home, arriving at destination, leaving destination and arriving back home. Parents and nanny can come up with mutually agreed upon list of accepted places to go.

Problem: Parents are worried about safety of driving, vehicle, and carseats
Solutions(s): Parents can (really, should) purchase carseats for nanny's vehicle (if nanny is using her own vehicle). Parents can go on a test drive with the nanny prior to allowing the children to ride with her. Parents can also pay for a routine vehicle inspection of the car to ensure its safety, and nanny can agree to keep up with regular car maintenance (and offer proof if asked). Nanny can also do extensive research on carseat safety and show her employers that she does know how to install and use carseats safely. She can also offer to routinely get the carseat installation checked by a CPST.

Problem: Parents are worried about the cost...mileage, purchasing carseats, outings
Solution(s): Parents purchase carseats, so they get to choose the price on that. If nanny purchases carseats, she gets to choose. For mileage and outings reimbursement, parents can set a weekly or monthly budget amount that they agree to reimburse and nanny can plan accordingly.

You may also want to come up with some specific things that would be beneficial to the twins. Social interactions are important. It is also important for them to be exposed to public places so that they learn how to cope with and integrate all the random and various sensory stimulus at an age appropriate level. Perhaps find a library storytime, or a music class, or a gym class, or something similar that you could take them to once a week as a start.

If all else fails, and outings are just flat out forbidden, perhaps look into getting the parents to purchase a toddler curriculum that you could do at home with the children. Or, come up with one yourself!

Best of luck! As a nanny of young twins myself, I do understand how easy it is to get frustrated staying at home!

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