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Trying to gauge nanny compensation market--fair or highway robbery?

Original post made by Nanny Searcher, College Terrace, on Jun 17, 2008

I'll be returning to work in September and have just started a search for a full-time nanny to care for my 8 month old daughter. One of the nannies I'm really excited about is charging $30/hr for childcare and some very light housekeeping. She is wonderful, but this seems a bit steep. Since this is my first child and I'm unfamiliar with the market in this area, I was curious to hear other people's experiences with compensating nannies.

Does this sound like fair and equitable compensation for the person who will be entrusted with my most precious asset or is it highway robbery?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.


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Posted by Big Al
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 17, 2008 at 7:45 am

Don't know the answer, but a couple of data points:

50 weeks x 40 hours = 2000 hours/year * $30/hour = $60K/year.

Here is the PAUSD teacher salary schedule Web Link A teacher with a BA and 10 years of experience is paid $59.7K/year (though probably more vacation than you would give, better benefits, etc). These are teachers of course; aides are paid less (can't find the schedule).

We have young teachers with special ed credentials work with our challenging special needs child for $20/hour. These are spot-hours; for longer-term gigs, we negotiate a lesser hourly rate.

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Posted by Grandma & Office Worker
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2008 at 8:27 am

This is a classic case of supply and demand. When the demand is higher than the supply, seems to me you can asked for the moon. This lady is smart, $60 an hour to sit around while the new baby sleeps. Think I'll be a Nanny rather than an Admin Assistant in my next life!!!

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Posted by Mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 17, 2008 at 9:32 am

I don't understand why you decided to have a child if you don't want to stay home and be there for the child for at least a few years? If you don't want to, how about your husband? Entrusting a newborn baby to a stranger is irresponsible and you will look back on this time later and know how much you missed. I find your situation very sad.

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Posted by Too Expensive
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2008 at 9:33 am

If you'll be paying her cash, it's more like the equivalent of $80,000/year.

(80K - 25% taxes = 60K)

18 years ago we had a Nanny. Cost then was room and board plus $1000/month.

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Posted by Simon Firth
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 17, 2008 at 9:34 am

A good source for information about local nannies (both for rates of pay and leads for people looking for work) is the Parents Club of Palo Alto and Menlo Park: Web Link

My impression is that $20 an hour or so is at the higher end of the current market rate.

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Posted by Stay-at-home mom
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jun 17, 2008 at 10:29 am

Re the comment by "mom". I agree it would be better for the child if she stayed at home for the first three years but I give her credit for at least staying home until 8 months. Some people turn their kids over to another at 3 months--hardly any bonding period.

It isn't easy being a stay-at-home mom, especially for us intellectuals. It's basically blue-collar work, and no sense of accomplishment--kids eat then need to eat again; laundry is cleaned and needs repeating; dishes are dirtied and need cleaning again; taxi driving the kids...someone once said she likes to work because the house stays cleaner because the kids are gone all day! But my children have sure turned out well and when I am older and our roles are reversed, they are going to care about me as much as I have cared about them. I know this, because they already show interest in how I feel. Again, staying at home with kids is not as stimulating as working, but if a mom is going to be grouchy all the time because she can't stand to be around her children all the time, it is more detrimental to them.

Nanny Searcher, be sure to give the child lots of hugs and affection when you are together.

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Posted by Working mom
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 17, 2008 at 11:25 am

Check with nanny agencies, I believe you can get one through agency for $18/hr full time

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Posted by RL
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2008 at 1:44 pm

Stay-at-home mom, I know you didn't mean anything hurtful by your post, but let's not downplay the big positives parents from all walks of life get from staying at home. My wife has the usual high-powered "Bobos in Paradise" academic credentials that would put her on par with the "intellectuals". She left Silicon Valley behind to take care of our daughter after she was born and has never regretted it. Yes, of course, it's stressful and tiresome at times, but she'll tell you that the experience of witnessing the day-to-day development of our child is a priceless, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Also, like all Dads these days, I've changed countless diapers, cleaned bottles, etc. and wouldn't have it any other way. I would call it caring for one's own child, not "blue collar" work. My wife and I both agree that spending time with our daughter is far more interesting than sitting through business meetings.

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 17, 2008 at 1:45 pm

You know, the original poster was asking about whether the salary asked by the nanny was too high, not whether some of you thought she should stay home.

Different women have different abilities. I know some great stay-at-home moms and, frankly, I know some who would be better *mothers* if they were working at least part of the time. One of the saddest things I see are formerly working moms getting over-immersed in their kids because they've given up so much of their own lives to take care of the kids. Some stay-at-home moms can keep their perspective, but other ones, frankly, go a little nutty.

And, by the same token, I know working mothers who can handle the juggling and others who can't.

And, of course, given housing costs around here, it's also likely that there's a two-income mortgage here. Or maybe she's involved in critical research and curing cancer. Or, heck, maybe she likes her work--hmmm, no, that's not an allowable reason, is it?

You don't know the original poster, you don't know her circumstances, but you're willing to judge her. Why? Why this endless, endless judging of mothering? This justifying of one's own choices by putting down those of others? Why not offer help to those who seem over their head and new to the mom game?

And, yeah, $30 an hour for one kid seems high.

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Posted by MidtownMom
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 17, 2008 at 2:07 pm

Nanny Searcher - you have your own reasons for going back. Do not let anyone else push you on a guilt trip. I have two kids and yes, I did go back to work after the 8 weeks of maternity leave. Do my kids feel less secure than those kids whose mothers are at home - I don't think so, my kids dont' think so.

Going back to work after a child is a decision that should not be taken lightly; being a stay at home mom after the child is born is a decision that should not be taken lightly either ..

Back to your question of $30 per hour - yes, I do think that is very steep. $18 to $20 sounds more reasonable. Check out the nanny agencies - they have a good assessment of the salaries paid in the market area. Consider the taxes that you are going to pay on top of $30 - that will effectively cost you approximately $33 per hour ( maybe a little less )

Finding care for the child is tough. Give a good thought to nanny vs day care. I have done both and for me, day care won hands down. One fine morning, our nanny decided to move out of state and was gone within three weeks. Yes, she did give us a two week notice - but that was hardly any time to find someone reliable!

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Posted by Ada
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 17, 2008 at 4:15 pm

How much should a mother earn herself to be able to afford paying $30/hr for a nanny? Of course, if the mother is a doctor or a lawyer, I can see it being worthwhile. Byt to address the question - I am paying $15/hr for my Polish nanny (who drives a car, is young and energetic, though her English is rather basic) and she is very happy with the pay. So $30/hr seems really over the top.

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Posted by Mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 17, 2008 at 5:06 pm

If a couple decides to engage in such a serious and lengthy commitment as parenting,then they better be ready to take responsibility for the day-to-day upbringing of that child. It doesn't have to be the mom who becomes the main caregiver. It should be family though. What big house is worth handing your child over to a stranger. What fancy car is worth missing your child grow up. It's over faster then you imagine right now. When you are on your deathbed, you won't be thinking about the number of lawsuits you won or how far you climbed on the corporate ladder. Both the law firm and the corporation will replace you the very next day. If the house is too expensive to afford on one salary, get rid of it. Look for something in a less expensive and safe area, and go live life.

OhlonePar - You can't be "over-immersed" with your kids. It's impossible. Working "moms/dads" are not "juggling" poorly or well . . . He or she is neglecting his/her own kids in order to generate more money. SAD.

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Posted by mom of the 50's
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 17, 2008 at 5:26 pm

i'm absolutely appalled at how this thread has gone from a new mom simply asking for some advice about compensation to an assessment of her choice to go back to work. how shameless.

i was a young mom in the 50's when women had no other choice than to stay at home. i came to love it but when i saw moms of the next generation go to work, i celebrated their ability to make that choice.

choice. the word means so much. and it's what we as women have faught for for eons.

didn't seeing a woman stand up for the presidency teach us anything about how far we've come? why must we keep cutting each other down?

let's let our sisters make the decisions that best fit their lives, not ours.

as for the question of $30 an hour (i haven't lost track of the question at hand and i hope other posters won't either), i think it's high. maybe there's a way to add some more duties so that it seems like a better value. on the other hand, you're hiring a nanny, not a housekeeper. i'd suggest you keep looking around. you may be able to find an equally suitable candidate who charges much less.

good luck and keep making your own choices!!!

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 17, 2008 at 6:24 pm


Right now, I'm trying to get a severely depressed friend of mine into therapy. Part of the reason she's depressed is because she's not working and taking care of a toddler. She's a lovely person, but she doesn't have the temperment for that part of the maternal job. But guilt-trippers like, yes, you make it very hard for someone like her to look at what would be best for her in her particular situation. And, no, it wouldn't have been having no kids. That's a draconian approach. Fact is, mothers have *always* worked. Check out what farm wives do sometime.

And, of course, you can over-immerse yourself in your kids--what do you think a (s)mother is? Ever met any stage mothers? (Yes, they exist.) A woman with thwarted ambitions who channels it through her kids can be a scary person.

As I said, some mothers do fine staying at home and are happiest that way. But that's not everyone by a long shot--and I know some great moms who do, in fact, work as lawyers. And while I think great moms in all stripes, I think the women who have careers they care about seem a little happier, but that's just a personal observation.

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Posted by Non-hypocrite
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2008 at 7:32 pm

Poster "Nanny Searcher" came on here for opinions on the reasonable compensation for a Nanny. She didn't come on here to be reviled by Palo Altan's that she's not a "stay at home mom".

That one went away decades ago when industry, backed by government reduced wages to the point that it takes a husband and wife both working to achieve the same standard of living a husband was capable of a generation earlier.

Working moms are the result of corporate greed aligned with liberal "women's libbers" in much the same way corporate greed and liberals align to enslave 3rd world Illegal immigrant Hispanics now..... Cheap labor for industry. A dependent class of future voters for liberals.

But then we could go the way of the mono-culture of Japan where the population isn't breeding sufficiently to replace it's numbers. And where the corporate culture "works people to death", even to the point that the government has instituted holidays, just to give people a break.

In Japan they are hoping they will develop advanced robot technology to care for the elderly in society, as they have no other resource.... But at least they have some consideration for the elders in society. A function of their culture, not ours.

In my opinion, any successful family in the USA who breeds to replace their numbers and has the means to provide for their children is a blessing to society.

While the converse is a curse.

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Posted by Stay-at-home mom
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Jun 17, 2008 at 8:15 pm

RL, I didn't mean to "hurt" your feelings by saying being a stay-at-home mom is blue collar work. It IS blue collar work--nothing intellectual about it. That said, I love being a stay-at-home mom and wish that every woman could do it. I'd rather go on welfare than have someone else take care of my kids. But obviously many moms can't stand being around their children 24/7 because they choose to work instead. And if that insults them, then they should reconsider having children at all or at least having only one child. You get back what you put into your kids. You respect them and they will respect you back.

Ask any child, even a high schooler, and they enjoy having a mom home when they leave and return home from school. And most men would love their wives to stay at home and raise their children--that is, if the men also adore children. Some men are more concerned with business adventures and want the wife to work. But most nurturing
fathers would want their wives to raise their children IF THEY KNEW THAT THEIR WIVES WOULD BE HAPPY DOING SO. I know parents who are extremely nurturing who send their kids to daycare or hire a nanny and the children are fantastic. But that's not the majority. Kids and husbands want their mom/wife to be around for them. But as I said, staying at home and raising kids isn't ideal for everyone and if the mom is grouchier if she doesn't work, that is not good for the kids.

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Posted by another stay at home
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 17, 2008 at 8:45 pm

$30/hour sounds really high - the mother must have a very high income to justify that...I worked p-time when mine were small and paid much less (though costs may have changed, naturally). I think p-time professional work should be more available. What used to get me was a mother of 3 in my old neighborhood (not Palo Alto) who worked p-time yet had a full-time nanny as well as home cleaner (sigh) there is no way that was justified economically...

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Posted by had a mom who worked
a resident of University South
on Jun 17, 2008 at 8:46 pm

I think $30 is too much. At the end of the day, it's a personal decision, but to give you some perspective, that's more than a teacher makes to take care of 20+ students.

As for the other comments, I'm the product of two parents who worked. My mother was a loving, strong, accomplished woman and instilled in me the importance and value of work. That said, while she loved work, it didn't define her. That was the beauty about her--so many things defined her. I've followed in her footsteps and am raising my children to know that women can work outside the home and still have wonderful, loving families.

Nanny Searcher, I hope you enjoy this time with your daughter. And when you go back to work , I hope that it's an easy transition. There are many pros and cons of working outside the home. You have to weigh the costs and benefits based on your own circumstances.

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Posted by Stay at home Mom
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2008 at 9:37 pm

I am writing this even though I have no experience of being a working Mom, but I do have some observations.

$30 an hour seems very high. I would ask the Nanny if this is a per child fee or per home fee. Some Nanny's charge by the child. Some Nanny's share more than one family, e.g. take one child to another's home. Is this charge for daytime or would it be the same if you need her for an evening (or overnight) or weekend hours also.

Some Nanny's really do not want to do any housework other than give the child lunch and clean it up. Some Nanny's do laundry, empty dishwashers, etc. If you expect the Nanny to take the child to classes (I know this is a newborn, but in good time this will be an issue) you have to know if this includes their gas money or do they want gas money on top.

Some Nanny's have their own children who come round after school or when there is no school. Some Nanny's have a Nanny's club (informal or otherwise) which they take their charges to.

Basically, I think $30 an hour is high, but if the Nanny is going to be in your house, doing what you want them to do, not looking after any other child, then perhaps you will find that this is just someone trying to make a good living. Some Nanny's end up being part of the family and part of a child's childhood. If you really find someone who you want to be that important in your child's life, then perhaps you won't mind the cost. But remember, to make it worth your while, you have to be earning at least double this to make it cost effective for you.

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Posted by Question
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 17, 2008 at 10:14 pm

Are we comparing comparable situations here when we compare a nanny's hourly salary and a teacher's salary.

Will the nanny be getting paid time off for vacation? Will she get health and dental insurance and a dental plan? Teachers get all that and more ON TOP of their pay. So, their pay plus benefits adds up to much more than just their salary. So, the teachers' cost to their employers is much higher also than just their salary.

If you take this into account, if the nanny does not get any of the benefits, a $30 per hour rate may not be that high after all, relatively speaking, if she has to purchase her own health insurance and save up for any vacation time, etc.

Just a thought.

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Posted by Question
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 17, 2008 at 10:15 pm

I meant to say: "Will she get health and dental insurance and a PENSION plan"... Sorry.

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 18, 2008 at 12:06 am

The more children a woman has, the higher her likelihood of being depressed. That's not about being "grouchy". My friend's depression isn't about being "grouchy". It's worrying the hell out of me, frankly. And, yeah, her kid would be better off in good daycare than being with a clinically depressed mother 24/7.

None of us are perfect mothers. But I think most of us are decent ones and there's more than one way to be decent. Decent can mean knowing that you're a better and less crazy parent if you know your limits. Decent can mean providing financial as well as emotional stability.

Decent can mean knowing that yes, you are in for the long haul and you're going to need non-child interests and activities to maintain your sense of self for the duration.

Decent can mean ongoing work so that you can provide for your family if your husband dies, divorces you or loses his job.

Decent may even mean that mom works forty hours so dad can work forty hours at an established company instead of sixty to seventy hours at a start-up.

And, yeah, decent can mean staying at home.

Back to original poster--nanny share is a pretty common option around here--I've seen it work well. There's also some great daycare--Geokids has a great reputation, though I think babies are better off at home.

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Posted by Working mom
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 18, 2008 at 7:10 am

I think $30/hr is high...I'd expect to pay half that. I agree with OhlonePar that a nanny share situation can work well. It's also worth keeping in mind that your family's needs will change over time.

I hope you understand, NannySearcher, that it takes all kinds to build a well-functioning society, including women (and men) who have both careers and children. I do, and it's working well for us. I also completely dismiss the strangers posting on this thread who so easily condemn families organized like mine...managing two careers but also placing our child's needs first. It can be done, with excellent results. Best of luck on your return to work.

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Posted by Funny
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 18, 2008 at 11:11 am

This thread is a hoot - all these PA moms having at each other. And all the lady asked is what do nannies charge!

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Posted by momma
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 18, 2008 at 11:49 am

Anyone who takes care of my child is worth more than I could possibly pay. That said, $30 is way above market (high end is more like $24) for one child. If the nanny is truly wonderful, perhaps it would work to find another family with a child the same age. That would be more fun for the babies too.

And I agree with Funny. It is.

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Posted by GetAGrip
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 18, 2008 at 4:01 pm

Ladies .. there is no reason to justify your own decisions of either staying at home or returning to work - its your own decision and as long as you are happy / secure with it, why do you care what the others are doing?

The new mother did not ask for your opinion on her decision to go back to work - answer her question if you can !

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Posted by Sigh
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 18, 2008 at 7:32 pm

Why did women fight for the right to vote, for equality at the work place, for the right to get education? All the moms on this thread who are looking-down on the new mom wanting to go back to work - take a step back, respect the fact that there are other choices - isn't that what one attempts to teach the children?

New mom - I wonder if you are even reading this thread after so much negativity that has been slammed at you !

If you are reading - consider the following while hiring the nanny:
- Clear understanding of how the nanny will get paid when you go on vacations. Some people pay the nanny 1/2 salary; we paid our nanny entire salary for our vacations - our thought process was - the nanny has a family to feed, teh nanny has bills to pay; just because we are going on vacation her bills are not going to stop. She did not get paid for her vacations

- Contingent plan for the care of your child if the nanny calls in sick, goes on a vacation

- Clear rules about visitors while the nanny is at work ( her friends and family should Not visit - that was our rule )

- An open and honest conversation about how she should communicate her concerns about her job back to you (yes, its a job for her, she may be feeling overworked and underpaid )

- Incase you are running late on some days, would she stay longer; what are the salary guidelines for these late hours (people pay slightly more if the extra hour(s) are at a last minute notice).

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Posted by Another stay@home mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 18, 2008 at 9:46 pm

I just can't see handing over a baby to someone else. Can't these women at least stay home for the first three years? Those are such important years for the child. Just don't complain when the child ships you off to a senior citizen home later.

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Posted by Good Grief
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jun 18, 2008 at 9:55 pm

You moms are so funny/scary, judging others. My mom "handed me over" to someone else after a few weeks to go back to work - I'm only slightly psychotic today ;-). Two of our kids were "handed over" to the nanny while my wife worked after a few month; they are great kids, well-adjusted. The one she stayed home for seems to have the serious problems. Gee, what does that tell us?

How people can think there is one best way to raise a child. We see that all the time around here. Boggles the mind.

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 18, 2008 at 10:26 pm


So you can't put yourself in someone else's place--that's your issue. Doesn't mean you have any idea how other people should live their lives. In fact, your inability to see from another point of view means you're not suited to make those kind of judgments.

I mean, it's funny, we're in so-called liberal Palo Alto and I feel like I fell into Stepford.

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Posted by mmmmMom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 19, 2008 at 4:53 pm

I have had quite a bit of experience with Nanny searches over the last 10 years.

The current range in PA, for a GOOD Nanny, is from $18-24 hour, depending on the job specifics. Yes, you might be able to find less, but the quality of care is most definitely not the same. And speaking frankly, a good Nanny deserves this pay scale.

I also believe that the better Nannies are not with the agencies; the agencies take too big of a cut of their pay. Place an ad in the PA Weekly, & start networking with all your might. I would not suggest Stanford students, unless you are looking for very temporary help. They don't have the commitment, & they tend to move around alot. A professional Nanny who is depending on her wages to pay the rent will be more reliable (even if she is still @ part time student @ one of the local colleges).

My other suggestions is to not expect them to do more than a VERY little housework. That is not their job, obviously. They are there for childcare, not housekeeping. I did, once in a while, ask my Nanny to do a few things, & she always did. But I made it clear that I realized it was "extra," & didn't expect her to do anything like that on a regular basis.

BTW, I always gave my Nanny a bonus on Xmas, & her Birthday, even though I didn't have much extra to give. But she certainly deserved it.

It really takes a ton of work to find the right person, but once you do, it is totally worth it. Remember: this is your child!

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Posted by Awful Working Mom ;-)
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 19, 2008 at 10:38 pm

Nanny Searcher-

I was so wrapped up in the stay-at-home Mom viewpoints I may have overlooked a suggestion or two, but Palo Alto Menlo Park Parent's Club (PAMP) is a great resource- for EVERYTHING! Nanny turnover is very common- especially because when kids start school they are needed less. You can get really great recommendations from local parents. The cost will also take into account if you pay taxes or not. Cash is an easier way to get the price down. Many people do it that way and pay $15-$18 per hour for 1 child. It is also important to keep in mind that if you plan on having a nanny long term, than you may someday be paying her for 2 kids...which could be outrageous if you are already at $30. We have not given ours a raise because we know #2 is coming soon...and she will be at $20 or higher soon.

Also take into account your job. Part time may be a better option. If you and your husband can have flexible schedules you may also be able to swing taking a day off per week and lowering childcare costs. Or if you have a friend or neighbor looking for care you can share and then the child has a buddy their own age...the nanny makes more $ and you pay less.

We lucked out and found an incredible PT nanny on Craigslist- but that is not always the norm. She has been with us for almost 2 years now and is fantastic! Don't let others knock you...there are many of us who have great work/child balance and the nanny has added even more enrichment to my child's life. She is from another country and my son is becoming bilingual. He gets a ton of Mommy & Daddy time (one of us works from home) and we have also done our best to do playgroups, etc. Working Moms can do it all. You just won't get any "me" time...but obviously worth it!

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Posted by Linda
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 20, 2008 at 9:54 am

I found my nanny through an agency. I pay $18/hr and I provide 2 weeks of paid vacation a year. I give a $100 gift for Christmas and her birthday. But above all I treat her like she is part of our family, so she told me she dreads the day when she will have to leave our family and look for another one.

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Posted by Sarah
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 20, 2008 at 9:56 am

I'm a mom who work part-time. I take my daughter to parks after work around 4pm. Most of the nannies I have seen in the parks are very nice & responsible to kids. I chat with them about their rates, most of them charge around $18-$25. High $20ish are for taking care of more than 1 kid. Some include vacation and some don't.

Good luck in searching.

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Woodside
on Jun 20, 2008 at 10:32 am

Another option to consider is an au pair, IF you have space for another adult to live with you. The big downside is that you have someone living in your house, but the plus is that you get 45 hours a week of childcare for $175 or so per week, plus roughly $5K in fees.


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Posted by Other Options
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 20, 2008 at 11:29 am

Check out Cubes&Crayons in Menlo Park. They may not take babies full time, but their prices are good so perhaps between that & a nanny share you can save $ but have great care for your daughter. The people I know who use Cubes&Crayons really like it because they can work from there or leave their baby part time & you can work from their offices, too.

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Posted by Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 20, 2008 at 3:24 pm

I find this conversation amusing. I agree with Mom from the first few posts. Why have a baby if you're not going to be with it? A good woman's place is at home taking care of her kids and husband. And why even get married if you planning on being away from your husband when he can really use you at home. A big part of marriage means cleaning the house, wearing something nice for your husband when he comes home, and preparing dinner for him so he can relax and read the paper after a hard day's work.

And yeah, $30/hour is higher than the going rate.

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Posted by Wife
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Wow Dad!!

I hope you have your tongue in cheek as you say that. My kids mean that at present I am wearing baseball watching clothes, grabbing dinner at the baseball park, and he is probably on the computer before I get home with the kids. What age are your kids then?

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Posted by modern momma
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 20, 2008 at 6:22 pm

Yeah, like who reads newspapers any more? Get with it, Dad!

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Posted by Back to the 50's, yea
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 20, 2008 at 11:45 pm

I agree with Dad and (holier than thou) Mom. It's good for a woman to know her place. I'm sure that Dad will agree with me that it was a sad day when we gave women the vote. After all, how can they be expected to navigate the complexities of the world without a man to look after them.

Shame on you mom, going to work and setting an example that shows a daughter that she can grow to be an independent woman.

Btw, the going rate for nannies is $16-18 though paying an holiday season bonus. If you look for a while you will discover that the market is not all THAT tight....

Now fetch some slippers for your husband.

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Posted by greengables parent
a resident of Triple El
on Jun 21, 2008 at 10:38 am

I'm appalled at people suggesting this woman should not have had children if she is not going to stay home with them. I have three children, older now, and did both -- with one stayed home until he started school, and with two went back to work between 3-6 months after they were born. There is absolutely zero difference in the amount of care they show towards me, or in any other measurable area. They are all very secure, happy children. If anything I'm a worse parent when I'm home all the time -- the monotony of laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. wears on me and I become a very uninteresting and often cranky person. To each his (or her) own. Some people love it.

I just read a wonderful book called Little Heathens about growing up on a farm in the Depression. Yes, the author's mother was a stay at home mom in the technical sense, but she was every bit a working mom, and did not hover and dote on her kids and was not around her kids more than the SV working mom - she couldn't have been with all she had to do. And those kids grew up to be remarkably independent, resourceful, self motivated and successful kids.

The kids (and adults) I know that have had the biggest difficulties in childhood and in life are the ones whose mothers stayed home from a previously high powered, ultra stimulating job and approached parenting with the same zeal - and then end up micromanaging every detail of their child's life, hovering and protecting their child from anything that might go wrong, solving all their child's problems for him/her, constantly making the child the center of the universe around which all else revolves, etc. I've seen so many of these kids (even those who are now adults) - they lack all resilience and coping skills, they are totally self absorbed and lack empathy, they have very few interpersonal skills, and their lives become very difficult around middle school and they have no idea why.

On my deathbed will I care whether I chose to stay home to eek out every waking hour with my kids or whether I went to work and made a lot of money? Neither. I will wonder whether I was a good example to my kids of what kind of person I want them to be.

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 21, 2008 at 12:40 pm


I suspect Dad is tongue-in-cheek. (I mean, didn't the last afternoon paper around here disappear around 20 years ago?) Unfortunately, the stay-at-home mom set don't seem to be. Likem the mom in Little Heathens, my "stay at home" grandmother was running a farm. And that was a major production--the kids were set to work milking the cows, but grandma was really a little too busy to do a lot of handholding--not when you're churning the butter, making the clothes, making the bread and tending the chickens.

This child-centered vision of stay-at-home momness is a recent development.

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Posted by greengables parent
a resident of Triple El
on Jun 21, 2008 at 5:11 pm

I totally agree - even in the 50-60s when my parents were parents to young children (and my mom was a SAHM), their children were not the center of their world, nor was that the norm among their friends, or my friends' parents of a similar era. The message that our kids are the center of the universe really does them a disservice in the long run and creates a generation of entitled, self indulgent, unempathetic, unmotivated young people. The SAHM's of my mother's era did not organize their whole day around driving to soccer practice and playdates - they had lives and hobbies and interests and commitments that served a purpose similar to today's "paid work" even though they were still the primary caregivers.

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Posted by for comparison
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2008 at 5:29 pm

Totally not the same, but for comparison when I worked as a dog walker I was paid $25 an hour. My friend is a doggie nanny. She trains and exersizes a families pets (2 dog/3 cats) 5 days a week for about 6 hours a day. She makes $25/hour after taxes + paid vacation.

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Posted by Wow
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 21, 2008 at 5:34 pm

Wow, so that family is paying $52,000/year for a "pet nanny." Truly the rich are not like the rest of us.

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 21, 2008 at 5:47 pm

I am with you Greengables Parent.

My mother was stay at home in the 50s, 60s and into the 70s. When I was very young she couldn't drive so we had to walk or take the bus everywhere and she would get one shopping trip per week on Saturdays with my Dad and the car. She did learn to drive when I reached my teens, but we still only had one car for a while so again we had to go places by ourselves. My mother spent a lot of her time in the house doing work that would not be done today, laundry day took all day long and the following day was ironing it all. She also did some piece work in the house occasionally (pin money) and did all the yard work, growing vegetables that we ate most of the year round. She cooked a proper meal for us each evening and also made our clothes by sewing and knitting. She did do an evening class once a week which was her hobby and I also remember her having swimming lessons as she never learned as a child. She did also bake for school events, and there were usually home made goodies at home.

What I also don't remember her doing was spending hours doing school volunteering or form filling. It wasn't that she didn't volunteer, just that there were never requests and I don't ever remember seeing volunteers at school. My parents would not have recognised my teachers or known their way around my school.

I am stay at home, and I really do not know how working mothers manage to do all the stuff that kids need done and manage to work. My kids constantly need my help with projects and homework, not because they can't do it, but because so many projects require family time spent on them plus trips to buy supplies which I prefer that they try to use stuff from home. My kids do much better than most getting themselves on their bikes to where they need to go, but since nearly all they do requires stuff it takes me a long time to teach them to organise this stuff. They do it, but it doesn't come easily to them. I also spend time volunteering for many school activities as well as after school activities and often meals are on the run, and my kids are not over scheduled. It is just that one sport takes up a great deal of time. And there are also plenty of times when I have to go to school presentations, concerts, back to school or open houses, conferences, etc.

Life has definitely changed for the stay at home mother, and I end up driving some of the working moms kids around too so that their kids get to the practices or games that they have to get too, so for some working parents they do depend on friends' parents to do some of the fetching and carrying.

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Posted by narnia
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 21, 2008 at 6:09 pm

the 30 dollars/hour is a bit high but I bet that nanny would have takers if you let her go.

oh, cut it out. I stayed at home when my children were young (it took a long 20 years, since between the first and last there is a good ten years) and returned to work (scientific/technical) soon after on a flexible schedule. I regret it. Most of what I did was busy work, had nothing to do with child raising and could have been equally done by somebody else. In my experience the best thing that came out of it was that I felt at ease to with the unstructured schedule. Nobody is convincing me that being in the kitchen while your toddler plays in the bedroom with a friend, or cleaning after them is an extraordinary gift to a child. If you want to do it and find value in it fine. But I am advising my daughter in law to think twice before considering staying home with the baby after the first few months . There are many options besides a nanny for great baby care. Some women on this forum consider child rearing to be a woman's work...
I did miss my first child first steps. I had gone somewhere and someone else was with him... Are people going to suggest that because you are a mother we should live with the children attached to you while they are young?
My children ended up fine. And they say the times they missed me sometimes was during their teenage years, but I was a phone call away.
It's none of anybody else's business how you want to conduct your life. It just shows what a good many years of child raising does to you- pretty soon all the opinions you have are about what "other" people are doing. Be an adult. Do your thing and stop criticizing others...

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Posted by a data point
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 22, 2008 at 4:11 am

I am fairly amazed at the number of people that think that $30 is at all reasonable for this market.

It concerned me that maybe I'm paying too little at $17/hour, so I polled six friends, and only one is paying more than $20/hour and she has multiple kids and a pretty unlimited budget.

This is for 20-30 hours/week. Median was $18. It was also all Menlo Park/Woodside. Maybe Palo Alto is more expensive :-)

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Posted by PAMP yuck
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Is this PAMP? Sounds just like it!

We all make these decisions for our own reasons. Women who judge each other on whether or not they should work make these decisions even harder.

$30 an hour seems very high to me, but as others have said, it's your kid!

Good luck!

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Posted by Nanny4Newborns
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 23, 2008 at 6:30 am

The cost of a Nanny depends on the neighborhood and the experience of the Nanny. I currently receive $32 per hour and earn every penny being the Third Parent to the same two children for the past ten years and assist in House Management, errands, laundry, traveling etc.
Being a parent or a Nanny is the hardest and most responsible job on the planet. You get what you pay for.
Good Luck with your search.

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Posted by balanced view
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 23, 2008 at 6:44 am

Well said, Nanny4newboarns: 3rd parent is exactly the position you are hiring. I worked 1/2 time for a while, and it worked great because I had a live-in "3rd mom" for 25 hours per week. Definitely hired someone who was better than I was at morning activities that I simply didn't have the patience for...long walks gathering leaves and doing art projects with the leaves, coloring, etc. But, if I worked in the mornings to get my "intellectual" rocks off, I had all the patience in the world to be with my babies after getting home.

That said, I can't imagine doing it full time. Being gone 10 hours per day from your baby is basically not raising your baby. How do I know this? Even with just 5 hours per day, once I started staying home full-time, even with fantastic women helping me, I saw I big difference in how calm my kids were, and our relationship, after just a couple months.

Big step for me in practicing selflessness, because it was clearly easier and better for me to work 1/2 time. But, I don't regret staying home at incredibly hard as it was. I put all my intellectual efforts into running the various groups my kids were in and volunteering in the schools to make sure they were as good as possible.

I was lucky, I didn't have to work for money. Frankly, all that I earned had gone to the 3rd mom...But that wasn't the reason I worked, nor the reason I didn't.

That said, make sure you get someone who really is at least as good of a mom as you are, so when that baby accidentally calls her mom ( as will happen), you can tell yourself that at least the nanny is deserving of the title and feel happy that your baby has 3 loving adults, not just 2.

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Posted by Nanny4Newborns
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 23, 2008 at 6:59 am


Think of it this way. If you live in Los Altos Hills, Woodside, Atherton or Portola Valley (just to name a few), you probably drive a Benz, shop at Draeger's or Robert's and receive your medical care from specialists at Stanford.

If you live in a lesser affluent area, you might drive a Saturn, shop at Safeway and obtain your medical care from an Urgent Care Center or a GP.

Thirty dollars per hour sounds like a lot if you are from the other side of Bayshore, but it's a bargain in an affluent area. Taking care of babies/children is hard work with long hours and many responsibilities. Paying for quality childcare is like water: it finds it's own intrinsic level.

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Posted by DadOfTwoBoys
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 23, 2008 at 12:46 pm

I am a dad of two boys; my wife is a high school teacher in a academically challenged school district.

All the Stay at home mom's - I respect your decision, it was the best choice for you. What I would like to understand is the way your kids are looking at the decision ( lets have an adult discussion here, no flying off the handles please )

If you have a son(s): Is the boy getting the impression that a woman's place is at home after the kids are born? i.e. is he growing up with a subconscious expectation of the women's place being of a mother/home maker ?

If you have a daughter(s): Are they growing up believing they their place is at home after they have kids?

Grown-ups: Those who are working right now and have hired help ( nanny, day care etc ) - can you reflect on your views of your own mother's staying at home / working?

I grew up in the 50s in a small mid-west town. Mining was pretty much the sole employment of the town. All the mother's stayed at home. They were focused on the "home" rather than the kids. Raising kids, being there for the kids was a part of the stay-at-home task. My mother got married right out of high school. My parents had two kids - myself and my younger sister. My mother never got a chance to gain skills that would allow her to work in the outside world - something that she regretted all her life ( but then that was the accepted way of life at that time )

Men went to work, men returned home and a smooth running household. Some got what they wanted, the others were not so lucky.

My mother made ever effort to teach her children that they had to go out in the world and "become" something. She made every effort to emphasize that raising kids was not just a women's job ( my father helped tremendously ). I am making a conscious effort of teaching my own two sons that they cannot expect their wife to wait on them.

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Posted by SAHM
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 23, 2008 at 2:31 pm

"Dad of Two Boys": You must really think kids are stupid if you think they can't figure out that some moms work and some don't.

There will always be those who will want to stay-at-home with their children and they can find those men who want wives who stay at home with their children. To think that parents SHOULD work so that their children can understand that parents can work is biased towards working parents.

Also, no apostrophes needed unless it's possessive. Just because there is an "s" on the end, doesn't mean you need an apostrophe.

"Balanced view" had the best post on this site because she tried both working and not working at saw the difference in her children's behavior. Part of the reason so many kids are wild these days has to do with not feeling loved by their parents because their parents either are not showing them love or spending enough time with them. Working (full-time) parents can make their children feel loved by spending a lot of quality time with them when they are not working. However, this is not the majority of parents in America today. Yes, there are lousy SAH moms too who are not nurturing and SHOULD work instead. They are the control freaks who fully immerse themselves in the PTA in an effort to feel some sort of satisfaction.

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 23, 2008 at 3:13 pm

Sorry, I'm a parent and I've been a nanny. There are much harder jobs than being a nanny. Kids aren't rocket science--I've known some real space cadets who turned out some pretty good kids.

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Posted by not pulling guilt, really. Just giving food for thought.
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 23, 2008 at 6:07 pm

I am the one who posted "Balanced View", having done both 1/2 time work and stay at home full time.

My mom was, frankly, a nutcase, and I was never happier than when she went to work full-time. I was a teen. Lucky for me, I was a good teen and didn't get into trouble.

Unfortunately, my bro went off the deep end and could have used someone paying attention after school.

If someone can be a good and happy mom or a good and happy dad and stay at much the better for the kids. Nothing like "owning" the results of the behavior and attitudes of the kids since you are the one who has to live with the results of how they turn out.

But, on the other hand, if you are unhappy at home, don't have the patience, resent the kids ( like my Mom clearly felt like we were in her way)..then GO TO WORK and pay what it takes to get someone who can model loving care and attention to your kids.

As far as teaching the kids what the "role" of a mom or a dad is and that being the reason to work or gotta be kidding. Who is caring for the kids while Mom or Dad work? Another person, usually a woman...ergo a woman's place is taking care of kids. ( Assuming that is what you think the kid is going to learn).

Face it..women are programmed to be more nurturing and patient with kids. What is better to teach your kid...Mom doesn't enjoy my company so would rather pay someone to care for me, or Mom enjoys my company and stays home.

Clearly, having been on the receiving end of "Mom doesn't enjoy my company", some of us are better off having SOME woman love us as we are and enjoy us, even if it is a "paid mom".

Ok, so I think $30/hour isn't too much if the woman is everything you can imagine a loving caregiver can be, and would be a better mom than you for 10 hours/day.

On the other hand, think about it. If you can afford $30/hour, why are you going to work? If it is because you would be miserable at home and your baby would see how unhappy you are..ok, great reason! If it is because you fear losing your place in the work about 1/2 time? If it is because you feel you "should" or you won't have your self-respect..think again.

I have never heard anyone on their deathbed wish they had worked more. It is always about wishing they had spent more time with their loved ones, especially their kids. They grow up so fast...blink and they are gone.

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 23, 2008 at 7:44 pm

Not pulling,

I adored my mother--and, yes, she worked. Why? Because she was a kind of high-energy person who wanted to make a difference. Yes, she was at home during some early years, but for most of my childhood she was the one working mother in the classroom.

Particularly when I was an adolescent, her working strengthened our relationship. Her working also sheltered us from the ups and downs of my father's career. We never had to worry if someone could pay the mortgage because we had two people who could do it.

My mother's work was interesting and *she* was interesting. I mean, I had to laugh when I saw one mother suggest that the children of working moms would put them in nursing homes. One, my mother was financially independent. Second, I loved her company.

Yes, I used the past tense--my mother died some years ago. Her funeral was filled with people who appreciated the work she did. And as her child it meant a lot to me to know that she had worked to make a difference and that it was appreciated.

Her way was not for everyone--it took a lot of energy and a kind of focus. She did give up her hobbies--her life was family and work. But she made the choice freely and I am profoundly grateful that I had a mother who showed me how you could forge your own way in the world and that being a mother was compatible with many other things.

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Posted by SAHM
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 23, 2008 at 8:05 pm

OhlonePar, your mom clearly was a great parent as well as a working mom. "She did give up her hobbies---her life was family and work," says it all about her. She was able to work and still was a nurturing mom. Not all working moms put their children on as high of a pedestal as your mom seemed to have done. Women like her are more of the minority.

Not pulling has summarized this whole subject well.

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Posted by Old Mom
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 23, 2008 at 10:38 pm

$30/hour seems high. My sister-in-law, who is a doctor, is paying $22/hour for a nanny to care for two kids 6 hours/day. She and my brother-in-law have structured their schedules so they don't need a full-time nanny.

My kids were in a few Palo Alto CCC day-care facilities part-time before they started school, and they seem to be turning out fine. One is in grad school, having finished an undergrad career with high honors. The other is an undergrad at a good school and has spent every term on the Dean's List (so far). They know that a lot of people work hard in school and then get good jobs.

In my case, I was able to create a career with a lot of flexibility. My kids watched me nail huge deadlines many times a year, and as a result are terrific time managers. They also know that there's room in life for travel, fun, constant learning, love, friends and family.

So new mom, do what YOU feel is right for YOUR family, and enjoy it as much as you can. Parenting is an amazing adventure.

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Posted by skeptical
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 24, 2008 at 3:52 am

Nanny4Newborns says she is paid $66500/year ($32/hr). Since this is almost $15K/year above starting teaching salaries in Palo Alto which require an education degree, you apparently have quite a reasonable deal.

This is contrary to my experience. We have polled our local friends and found that only 1 pays more than $20/hr, with most at $17 or $18/hour. All of them think their nannies are a good fit for the family.

I don't believe that the market will support $32/hr but whatever works for you. I think that there are not all that many families that can justify spending $67K/yr of after tax dollars on a nanny even in the Palo Alto.

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Posted by MIdtown Parent
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 24, 2008 at 10:12 am

Salary of $66,500/year on cash basis is approximately equivalent to a salary of $110,000 on taxable basis at 40% tax rate. Wow! Nanny4Newborns is either trying to hike up pay expectations or she really got a great deal.

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Posted by Threads
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 24, 2008 at 11:36 am

Why do you assume that the nanny isn't paying taxes? When we had a nanny we paid for her social security matching, and took care of deductions for federal and state taxes, as well as health insurance.

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Posted by !!!
a resident of Duveneck School
on Jun 27, 2008 at 9:29 pm

Wow, unbelievable that some moms would pay some $60,000 to avoid taking care of their own flesh and blood. They must really dislike them.

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Posted by rp
a resident of Walter Hays School
on Jul 9, 2008 at 5:51 pm

I talked to an agency about 3 years ago, and at that time I was given the following (typical) rates:

$20/hour for 1 child, and $1/hr for each additional child.

If you know of someone who might be interested in a nanny-share, you may be able to get that great nanny for around $15 - $20/hr.

Good luck.

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Posted by Disgusted and laughing.
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 14, 2014 at 11:20 am

I'm a professional. Former teacher. I work part time for the State. I work privately for families. Obviously college educated, and all I can say is that I'm disgusted with this feed. The judgements on each other. The pointing of fingers on one another. To those who answered the question, good for you. For those who did Just wow. You sound like the 3 and 4 year olds that I work with. Everyone is entitled to their opinion...but if you have nothing nice to say...don't say it at all. Bottom line is...To Each Their Own.

Being a Nanny, care giver, household manager, tutor and God only knows whatever else we may do is Not Easy Work. In fact I found it much easier as a Teacher than a private care giver. There's long breaks...and even if a baby is sleeping, there's always work to be done. Mothers and Fathers...your child or children are your most valuable possessions. (Please don't confuse my words for what they really are meant to mean) So why would you ever skimp on paying for the best care for them? Depending on the Nanny, caregiver, tutor, or HH manger, you should be paying 18-35 an hour to start. You should pay holidays. You should pay vacation. And for God Sakes...Pay Sick Days! It's usually your children that make us sick! And if it wasn't...then you risk them getting sick when we do come in because we can't afford to take a day off. Take into consideration the age of your nanny, education, years of experience, hours of work, number of children, twins, triplets, age of children, and most of all how your children love them or will love them. Remember having a nanny long term is best for development so be good to them. Give them raises. If you can afford to...give a bonus. Many of us spend more waking hours with your children than you do. So be kind to us. Don't ever assume anything and always ask politely if you need extra work to be done. But don't forget to compensate. Always pay on time. As my Father used to say about his corporation, "Dont mess with anyone's paycheck or your business will suffer." And last but not least and this may very well be the biggest thing that needs to be addressed...WE ARE PROFESSIONALS. AND THERE SHOULD BE ABSOLUTLY NO REASON EVER THAT WE SHOULD BE LOOKED ON AS LOWER THAN THOSE WHO NEED US. JUST BECAUSE WE DON'T MAKE THREE FIGURES DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE NOT AS VALUABLE OR BENEATH YOU. YOU WOULD NOT SAY THAT OF A TEACHER FROM BING OR CTC OR ANY OF THE WONDERFUL SCHOOLS OUT THERE & NEITHER ARE WE.

Thanks for reading and I hope you find an amazing Nanny who will love your children as much a children deserve to be! :)

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Posted by PA
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 14, 2014 at 12:04 pm

13 years ago when my son had a nannie it was between $15 & $20 per hour. I went back to work right away.
My son is doing great, no meds, lots of friends & does well in school (no tutor). I love him, just as all parents
love their child & he is awesome. Your child will do fine w a great nannie, just look around & keep asking people.
It IS expensive here, that no one can argue about.

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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 14, 2014 at 12:44 pm

That is totally reasonable. Somehow a lot of people seem to resent someone making a living. I happen to know well a woman who is a nanny and a good one who loves kids too. There is no way they "just" sit around while the baby sleeps - what rotten nonsense. If that is all you can I'm sure you could find someone much less expensive. My friend has a nursing degree, CPR, child development classes and she adds a whole world of stimulation and experience to a child life they would never have watching Mom do housework and seeing Dad after work at dinner.

She constantly watches the children for signs of a problem. She constantly shows them important things and teaches them. When they are able to toilet trains them, teaches them to read, makes sure they are where they should be when they should be there. She also helps with cooking, laundry and light housekeeping ... probably too much and that is because she is new to the business.

She goes way above the call of duty, willing to work anytime, on call without being paid on-call standby pay, has had to occasionally stay at the family house or housesit. She is honest and has a lot of integrity. For the kind of money nannies ask for these days I would have cameras in the house and make sure about what they are doing. Some of them will plop in front of the TV and ignore the kids, and of course some small number are crazy.

If you want to find a loving person to care for your kids you better believe that they are worth $30/hr and more, and that this time and money will make a huge difference in the child's life. As in hiring for any job you need to communicate what you want and people have different styles. There was one family we heard about who demanded that every time their child went to the bathroom they were cleaned and air dried with a hair dryer. Some people are nuts. For someone to do a good job and care about the health, safety and development of your child what is it worth, particularly in this area where it is so expensive. A lot of nannies also rarely get a chance to have much of a life of their own and must forego school and other opportunities to be a nanny.

The negative comments here are very uninformed and clueless. Really think about this and imagine what it is you are asking someone else to do, and of course, can you trust someone and do they have the skills and personality that will add to your child's life.

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Posted by Came a long way
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2014 at 4:31 pm

I swear, the most insecure women I know are the stay at home moms, continually comparing and evaluating themselves against others and trying to put down others as a way of trying to prop up themselves. Look at the posts here. My goodness. Is that the mentality that is created by frittering away all those hours while you're kids are in school? Oh, and I've done it for 15 years so don't lie and tell me its all work. Its not all fun, but I've been there and its great; much more stress free with a lighter kind of stress than the office. Just take the chip of your shoulder and congratulate the women who are doing it all, because they are.

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 14, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Whatever did become of "Nanny Searcher" the original poster of mid-2008?

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Posted by pampclub person
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2014 at 1:15 pm

@Simon Firth,
The Palo Alto Menlo Park Parents club used to be a great organization and is still filled with great people but it appears to be mismanaged. The board meeting was supposed to be this week, but like a lot of things they do, this band of leadership has chosen not to share the location until the last minute if at all, and they only brought up the board meeting because someone posted something critical.

They supposedly have around $500,000 in cash assets now for a non-profit volunteer organization -- they used to give away the excess every year through grants to non-profits that members wrote proposals to support. I saw a tax filing from 2012 from a link, and for some reason someone moved like half the money into non-interest-bearing cash that year, with no programatic explanation.

It also costs $60 to join. Ever since the club moved onto Bigtent (where members are heavily advertised to, which earns the club tens of thousands of dollars every year, even though they run an even higher surplus every year), far fewer people respond when people ask questions than used to. Nanny Searcher got more responses to this post than she would have gotten asking in the parents' club these days.

I seem to recall you making intelligent posts. Have you considered running for a club office? I would vote for you -- if they ever hold elections again! (Or share the bylaws with the membership so we can figure out if it's okay that they seemed to have stopped holding the annual elections.)

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Posted by pampclub person
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2014 at 1:19 pm

To answer your question, Nanny searcher, $20/hour for an experienced adult is a good rate of pay in this area, but usually it includes some kind of benefits. What is your arrangement? You need to ASAP look into employment taxes you may owe. I don't know what kind of arrangement you would have with a nanny as an independent contractor, but the default is that she is your employee. If she is an independent contractor and paying her own health insurance, taxes, etc., then her rate may seem different from that standpoint.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Portola Valley

on Jun 5, 2017 at 5:10 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?