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  #1  
Old 07-27-2011, 01:15 AM
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Default Am I Being Fair In Pay?

I would like daycare providers opinions on this, I would really like to understand the other side before I respond to my provider.....

I am a single mother of a 6 year old girl and a 10 year old boy. I work 4 nights a week from 10pm until 6:30am. When I took this job my mother was living with me so it worked out because she was here to watch the kids. A few months ago my mother moved out of state so I had to make other arrangements. I ended up hiring another single mother who lives nearby to come to my home and watch the kids. She already works a full-time job as a teacher's aide at a nearby elementary school in the daytime. She brings her 6 year old son with her to my home.

She arrives to my house at about 9:30pm. My own 2 kids are already in bed sleeping. I leave for work and she puts her child to bed, then spends the next 2 hours watching tv, using my computer/internet, balancing her checkbook....basically whatever she wants until she goes to sleep at about midnight. She then gets up and wakes my kids to start getting ready for school at about 6:45am. I arrive home at about 7am. She and her son eat breakfast here.

I am paying her $55 per night, which comes out to $5.78 per hour. This is the pay I offered when she took the job and she had no objections at the time, but yesterday I got an email from her stating that she believes I should be paying her at least minimum wage and she may need to look for another job if I will not. I really do not want to be unfair here, but:
1. Am I supposed to pay her minimum wage for her to veg out on the tv and internet, and for her to sleep for 7 hours? What other job in the world pays you to sleep? She has a full time job in the daytime, and yes, she may not be making minimum wage but she gets to make some money and still get sleep so she can go to her full time job the next day.
2. I allow her to bring her own child, saving her the expense and trouble of finding her own arrangements for care.

Please do not attack me if you think I'm way off base here.....I really want to understand the other side which is why I am posting this
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:29 AM
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Wow! I'd like to get paid 5.78 per hour for sleeping too! She can make minimum wage when she stays up all night. I don't know but to me it sounds like a cushy "job".

Find someone else who is happy with that kind of pay for basically 2 hours of work.
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:31 AM
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That is more than I get for 50 hours a week with two kids.

I also provide all the food, toys and supplies.

Granted, It would be very difficult to get me to do shift work now that I have my own family.
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:45 AM
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I think $55 is pretty reasonable personally. If it were the same situation at but at my house, I would charge the daily rate ($30) + half (so $45/child = $70 each night). BUT, that would be with me feeding the kids a snack, bathing them and putting them to bed and then waking them, feeding them and sending them off to school, so I would be providing food, utilities, a bed to sleep on, etc, as well as doing all the work to get them into bed in the first place.

Besides that, if I charged minimum wage, most of my parents wouldn't be able to afford me -- they'd basically be signing their whole paycheck over to me.

I guess it all comes down to how easily you'd be able to replace her, and whether it's worth it to you to keep her. You'd likely be able to get a college student (or even a very mature high school student) to do the same job, and they'd be quite happy with an extra couple of hundred bucks a week for so little actual work.

Anyway, just my thoughts, my colleagues may disagree with me
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:25 AM
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It's fair BUT despite the fact that she is sleeping part of the time it is inconvenient b/c she is at YOUR home. Generally speaking care in YOUR home should cost much more than care in a provider's home. If you are happy with the level of care she is providing (which I realize is minimal) I would suck it up & offer her more. Or ask yourself this, would you personally go to someone else's home to work for $5 something an hour overnight? Yes, she can balance her checkbook, watch tv, etc but when you are not in your house there are tons of things you can't do b/c you aren't at home. It's a convenience factor.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:14 AM
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It sounds to me as if she's decided that it is too inconvenient for the amount of money she is making. I would say that if you want her to stay, you'll need to pay her more. If you think you can find someone else who you are equally comfortable with and who will work for the amount you are willing to pay, you should do that.

Everybody has to do what works best for them!
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:26 AM
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Well if she took an overnight job at a center or homedaycare she would have to be up all night. Her child would count as a spot. She would probably have to pay a bit to keep him there with her or maybe he would be free. She would have to bring her own meal. My boss doesn't provide my meals. My check book has be balanced on my break. I don't have a tv or internet to use. However I do get paid over min wage. For her to say that she may have to find a new job well does she mean an over night job like she has from you? Cause I think she has it pretty good.

For her to come to your home is a huge convience for you and is easier on your kids. (I feel it is best for your kids that they are at home during these hours you get to eat dinner with them, bathe them, put them to bed.)

Maybe if she wants more money she will have to be asked to supply her own snacks or food. I would also put a password on your computer. (something she finds out when she goes to use it) And oh you can also limit your tv to not be accessable I beleive there are parental locks on that as well. After 10pm it doesn't turn on without a code. Or only one channel is available to watch. Weather channel maybe to be informed of weather in the area. Or better yet get a weather radio that will go off with an annoying noise to inform you of bad weather heading your way. I have one of those.

I know over night care to take your child somewhere else would probably be more expensive. Also I know that many people do pay more when they have someone come into their home to watch children. (A nanny so to speak.)

It is a tough one.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:32 AM
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I wish someone would pay me $220 per week to sleep! Maybe you could offer to pay her more, but only for the hours that she's awake?
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:34 AM
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I think that you are not off base at all and that you have a very valid point.

However, if she no longer wishes to do the job for the pay you are offering, you may have to find someone else. Personally, I don't think I would pay a higher amount (like other posters have said, that is pretty decent pay). I would simply explain to her that you are only willing to pay $xx and no more.

Be prepared for her to quit. Unfortunately, if that is not an option for you then you may be forced to pay more. Good luck, I hope it works out well for you.
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie View Post
I would also put a password on your computer. (something she finds out when she goes to use it) And oh you can also limit your tv to not be accessable I beleive there are parental locks on that as well. After 10pm it doesn't turn on without a code. Or only one channel is available to watch. Weather channel maybe to be informed of weather in the area. Or better yet get a weather radio that will go off with an annoying noise to inform you of bad weather heading your way. I have one of those.
What exactly would the point be in not letting her watch TV or use the computer?

Generally speaking, irritating the crap out of the Nanny won't get you anywhere. Your suggestions are demeaning and petty.
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:58 AM
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If this is all you can afford and you think its fair, then just find someone else to do it, OP. You are not required to pay her minimum wage. It may just be that she really needs to find a way to make more money and its not anything personal. Either way, it doesn't sound like you think a wage increase is reasonable and I don't believe it would be that hard to find someone else to do this job. However, it does cost more when you hire people to come to your house. You just have to weigh the options like another PP said. How hard is it to find another person to do this job?
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:20 AM
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Default there are evening daycares

I don't know how you would find them, but there are evening daycare providers. A friend of mine provides evening care out of her home. I don't know what she charges, though, to compare to your case. I'm also finding that it really depends on the situation for charging, regardless of whether it's inhome or out of home. Considering that she has to do almost nothing except for wake the kids and start getting them ready for 15 minutes plus she and her child get to eat breakfast using your food at your house, I think she getting paid more than she should be. I only pay $4.44 per hour for my daycare for my child (average cost) and that includes 2 snacks and a meal and full care during the day in a center setting. I'm thinking the arrangement is inconvenient for her and her child and she's trying to get out of it or make it more worth her while - I don't think she realizes how well she's got it now. Sounds like she's got little birds chirping in her ear. She's not a nanny, nor a certified or licensed care giver, and even they don't make minimum wage per child - imagine if they did - none of us parents could afford care! You have a babysitter who gets to watch TV, use your internet, eat your food and go to sleep when they want and doesn't have to use their own water, electricity, sewer, internet, TV, nothing. This woman is actually saving money by being at your house (it's only costing her gas money and depending on how far away she lives from you, that may be almost nothing). Who knows what she's searching for that will be on your internet search record - I would never trust someone else to use my internet at home using my computer. Also, something to think about using your own home is theft - you might be better off in the long run bringing your children to a evening care giver's home instead. Otherwise, I would highly suggest your getting passcoded locks for your bedroom where you keep your jewelry and other areas you keep valuables. If I were you, I would keep her on for the money she's asking for and then get busy finding someone else in the meantime during the weekends. Employers are never honest about why the incumbant left their job anyway, so you don't have to tell people interviewing that she's asking too much money. That way you won't have a gap in care. You can interview someone else on the weekends and you don't have to worry about your current provider finding out because you can always post blind ads that ask them to email you their resume to a newly set up blind email address. I'll bet college kids would jump at the chance to work for you because they'd be able to have a day job and then could just sleep at your house. If you have a local college, I would post a blind ad in their child care program area.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:23 PM
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I'd do it for $55 a night!

It's hard to always sleep in someone else's home, and never be at my own home... but, I think that's a fair price.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaddidle Care View Post

Find someone else who is happy with that kind of pay for basically 2 hours of work.
This is what I would do too. I think i'd find a responsible college student who would love the place to just kick back and study.

I wouldn't advertise that position though... I think i'd ask around first. There are also nice ladies who's own kids are grown, and perhaps the husband passed away, or moved out... she might like the chance to make some money and spend the mornings with little ones again.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:35 PM
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I would do it for that.
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:26 AM
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Since she goes to your house, she could charge anywhere from minimum to $12.00 per hour. With that said, I'm sure there are people who would be willing to work for that amount. Whomever comes into your home, make sure they have passed a criminal background check and have an evacuation plan in place in the event of an emergency.
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:20 AM
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I guess it depends on where you live. If you google the hourly rate for night nannies, you'll see that paying the minimum wage is actually getting off cheap.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:56 AM
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I'd tell her this:

"I'll gladly pay you minimum wage but you will be required to claim your income with the IRS."

Bet that will change her tune a bit.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:19 AM
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While I think it's a fair pay (since she's sleeping). The irs doesn't think so. She is a nanny, therefore a household employee. You are her employer and not only have to pay her minimum wage but withhold taxes, ss, etc and pay taxes yourself.
http://www.irs.gov/publications/p926...blink100086722
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:04 PM
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I think $55 for 2 children that are school age is a very reasonable rate. Can you tell me if she holds the position as a nanny in your home? If she is then she would be required to do other jobs other than watching your children during the night. Do you have her do the dishes, laundry, vacuum, or straighten around the house? If so, then I would def. pay her min. wage. I think part of watching children in others homes is inconvenient in a way bc your not able to do the things you need to be doing at your own place and if she works during the day and is at your home during the night she could be frustrating that she doesn't have the time to do what she needs to at her own home. That might be why she is asking for more money. I agree with a lot of the posts here about looking around for a college girl maybe even someone from your church. Maybe even asking friends or family if they know of any one looking to make some extra cash. Word of mouth is a good way to look also bc you can trust your friends or family when they are forwarding potential people over to you. Good luck!!
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jen View Post
What exactly would the point be in not letting her watch TV or use the computer?

Generally speaking, irritating the crap out of the Nanny won't get you anywhere. Your suggestions are demeaning and petty.
Personally I don't think it's demeaning or petty. She is in fact, not a nanny. But I also wouldn't just surprise her with these changes either. I would talk to her about it.

I think the point trying to be made is that there are a lot of liberties that come included with the price she is currently being paid for now. If she is asking for a higher wage and there isn't much "supervision" being done then the least she could do is either add on some responsibilities or not use up any more utilities/supplies than she has to. I know it's only 2 hours of tv/internet time and two meals (herself and her child) but I know that when I was a nanny I wasn't allowed any of these liberties even if the kids were sleeping.

Back to OP: I think that you need to keep in mind a few things first. Night nanny's start at about $12-$15 an hour. Keep in mind that they are trained in CPR and childcare, come with references, are experienced and have had a background check etc. They also typically have other household duties. If you can find another single mother that you can trust that will take the $55 a night then I say go for it and allow your current caretaker to find another job elsewhere. Ask your friends, co-workers, family etc. about whether they know anyone that could fit the bill. Maybe a close friend knows another single mom or college student that would like the job?

IMO $8 an hour seems reasonable if she were in fact a nanny with training and experience etc. and had all of those liberties that you listed and no duties (I'm assuming that you help prepare breakfast) but in my opinion I think that $8 an hour for someone that is not trained, experienced etc is a little steep.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
Personally I don't think it's demeaning or petty. She is in fact, not a nanny. But I also wouldn't just surprise her with these changes either. I would talk to her about it.

I think the point trying to be made is that there are a lot of liberties that come included with the price she is currently being paid for now. If she is asking for a higher wage and there isn't much "supervision" being done then the least she could do is either add on some responsibilities or not use up any more utilities/supplies than she has to. I know it's only 2 hours of tv/internet time and two meals (herself and her child) but I know that when I was a nanny I wasn't allowed any of these liberties even if the kids were sleeping.

Back to OP: I think that you need to keep in mind a few things first. Night nanny's start at about $12-$15 an hour. Keep in mind that they are trained in CPR and childcare, come with references, are experienced and have had a background check etc. They also typically have other household duties. If you can find another single mother that you can trust that will take the $55 a night then I say go for it and allow your current caretaker to find another job elsewhere. Ask your friends, co-workers, family etc. about whether they know anyone that could fit the bill. Maybe a close friend knows another single mom or college student that would like the job?

IMO $8 an hour seems reasonable if she were in fact a nanny with training and experience etc. and had all of those liberties that you listed and no duties (I'm assuming that you help prepare breakfast) but in my opinion I think that $8 an hour for someone that is not trained, experienced etc is a little steep.
If she's not the nanny, what is she? Either way, babysitter or nanny, the suggestion was to take away previously given "perks" simply because the employee asked for a raise. In my opinion, that is petty.

If the OP doesn't want to give her employee a raise, she should simply say so and be prepared to look for alternative care. It's just my opinion, but I think taking away her TV privileges because she asked for more money is immature.
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