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The Nanny Poll Results

What Boston parents expect and pay in 2013

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Nanny. That's what 94.4% of us call the woman who helps us take care of our children. Our nanny, to be more precise (say 74%). And while 61.1% of us who have nannies are working in an office full- or-part time, 22.2% of us are working from home, and 16.7% of us are not working.

The average nanny work week is shorter than a typical corporate work week (only 33% employ a caregiver for more than 40 hours). But it's a busy one. Beyond the childcare, 72% of us require our nannies to do the kids' laundry and 68% require them to cook their meals. But for some, the job does not stop there: 25.9% require grocery shopping for the kids; 16.7% require the parents' laundry washed; 14.8% require light dusting; 12.9% require floor washing; 11.1% require vacuuming; and 7.4% require family grocery shopping. A small percent of us have even more needs met—3.7% have our dry cleaning dropped off; 1.9% get hardcore housekeeping (as in bathrooms); and 1.9% have our own meals cooked.

While 3.7% of us never bathe our kids during the week (and 24% of us always bathe our kids), the majority of us (72.6%) bathe our kids some, if not most, of the time. Dinner is a little bit different: 9.3% of us never serve our kids dinner during the week; 42.6% of us always do. About half of us (48.1%) do it some, if not most, of the time.

And what are we willing to pay for all of this? Well, it varies. The vast majority (83.3%) pay by the hour. And the going rate is $16-18 (35.2%)—though almost as many families (29.6%) pay $13-15 per hour. At the low end, 3.7% pay $10-12 per hour, and at the high end, 14.8% pay $19 an hour or more.

And the perks? Well, 64.8% offer paid vacation days; 55.6% offer paid bank holidays; 59.3% pay for sick days; 42.6% pay for snow days; and 27.8% pay for personal days. Only 11.1% do not offer any paid days off at all. Less than half of us (46.3%) give an annual raise, but most of us (75.9%) give a cash bonus during the holidays. Most of the time that bonus is equal to one week's salary (42.6%) or two weeks' (22.2).

We are largely territorial over the traditional "mom" duties. Only 24% of us are comfortable having our sitters take the kids to a birthday party; 18.5% to the doctor; 9.3% shopping for clothes or shoes; and 3.7% for a haircuts.

Finally, let's talk about trust. Exactly half of us (50%) found our nannies through word-of-mouth. Many of us through an online service (38.9%), and 11.1% through an agency or classified listing. More than half (53.7%) called at least one reference. (25.9% also did a formal background check; but 20.4% simply took the nanny's word for it.) At 61.1%, most of us are comfortable without a contract, and only 1.9% of us have nanny cams.

Overall, things seem to be working out pretty well because 90.7% of us feel that we have an open and honest relationship with our nannies.

--Survey results are based on a poll of StrollerTraffic Boston readers conducted in May, 2013.