My son goes to a nanny three afternoons a week with two other toddlers in the neighborhood. He's got a contagious virus, so I am keeping him home with me this week. This has happened once before, and both times we have had to argue with her because she says we don't need to pay her. I just don't see how ethically it would even be an option to not pay her. She's had no advance notice, so it's not like she could line up another family for this week to cover the lost income (which is something she's done when one of the other kids was on vacation). I presume that she counts on the income to balance her budget every week/month, just like we all do. There have been other similar situations that I won't detail here, but it has happened several times over the past few months that she says we should pay her less than we think is fair.

I've already told her that I don't think it is right to not pay her, that it is already part of our budget, and that I'm not losing wages staying home with him because I'm a teacher and it's the summer. Yes, I'd planned on doing class prep right now, but that's life and I'll find some other time to get it done before September. I honestly thought this is standard practice, and I assume we'd still be paying this week if we had my son in daycare instead of with a nanny. Her most recent reply was that it was nice of us to insist and we could pay half, which still just does not seem right to me!

I feel like we keep butting heads (nicely, always) over this issue and I wonder if there is anything I am missing? Am I steamrolling her or being patronizing, as if I'm saying that I know better how much her time is worth? I just don't see how we could possibly justify messing with her budget because my kid got sick.