Follow TSP on Facebook
Follow TSP on Twitter


Friday, July 9, 2010

What do you pay your babysitter?

By Rachel H

A few weeks ago, Jen P. ran a blog about this topic on Charlotte Smarty Pants. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the rates I use for my babysitters were very similar to what most CSP readers were paying their sitters. It is important to talk to other moms about this, so that you are not the mom who is underpaying or even overpaying!

The rates below are what Jen shared on her blog, and although I do not use sitters in all of these categories, I think these rates are very fair. I also base payment on whether or not the sitter can drive. If I have to pick up the babysitter and/or take her home, I usually pay a little less than if she can drive herself.

-Mother's Helper: $3-$5/hour
-Middle School: $5-$7/hour
-High School: $8-$9/hour
-College: $10/hour
-Nanny/Adult: $12/hour
-Overnight Sitter: $150-$175/night

Although this pay scale varies by location, number of children and level of expertise, wouldn’t it be great to know we were all paying our sitters basically the same thing? No more wondering if we sent the sitter home with too little and now they will never come back. And no more wondering if we paid too much and now we’ll always be expected to pay that much!

Another question raised was what you expect your sitter to do as far as cleaning up after the children go to bed, putting dishes away, doing laundry, etc. You may remember our guest blog from Brooke Farmer that touched on this topic with nannies. I would love to hear expectations from our readers in this area as well.

I think my favorite babysitter is always another mom. I value the trust I have built up with my girlfriends and we constantly lean on each other for help. I have not used a babysitter during the daytime in SO long. It makes so much sense to have a friend watch my children so that they will have playmates, and I will save money. My friends know they can always call on me as well when they have an appointment, meeting, or just need a break. (When we want to go out at night, we always hire a babysitter so that the kids can get to bed at a normal hour.) I think as long as the babysitting swaps stay equal between moms, this is a wonderful way to go!

So now it is your turn, moms. Please comment below and share your babysitter expectations, rates, and opinions. If you are unsure how to leave a comment, click here.

Today is the last day to register to win a family four-pack of tickets to see Peter & the Wolf, compliments of Eastern Music Festival. Two TSP newsletter subscribers will win four tickets each! To register for these tickets, click here. Good luck!


Elizabeth said...

I pay $10/hour for one kid and $12/hour for two kids when we use our college sitters. For high school sitters, $8/hour for one or two kids. If we ever split a sitter with a friend, we up the amount a few dollars.

Evie Curley said...

I haven't paid a babysitter in so long!! Don't even know where to find one because my family always helps out. Maybe you could do a post on that, too? This was really helpful though! I had no idea that babysitting paid that much per hour!

Anonymous said...

Newbie mom here ... thanks for the pay rate ideas. I had no idea where to start!


MrsAshley said...

When I babysitted, in the not too distant past, I was paid $12 an hour to babysit a darling 3 year old.

Anonymous said...

I think anything over $10 is outrageous for a highschool or college kid! These younger sitters would never make that much at a part time job elsewhere. I have never paid more than $10 I usually pay $8 or $9 and round up), and have never had trouble finding a sitter or getting sitters to come back. And we use them frequently!

The Cliffords said...

We use a college sitter and pay $10/hour for her to watch 4 kids. Granted, she is usually just watching them sleep because our kids go to bed right after she gets here (we use more friends/relatives for daytime). Does anyone pay different rates for sleeping vs awake babysitting? I just don't think someone who sits and watches tv for 3 hours should get paid as much as someone who takes care of them while awake!

Jill said...

Perspective: minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Of course we can't put a price on the value of keeping our children safe. But I think the $8-10 range is acceptable, and on the lower end if you have to either drive the sitter or if they arrive shortly before your kids go to bed. Heck, if you are paying your sitter $10-12/hr to watch TV, call me, I'm happy to do it - I do it for free at home!

fitness4u said...

I always told my kids that when they were hired to babysit, they were being hired to take the place of Mom or Dad for the time the parents were away. This means taking care of kids and doing whatever needed while they are babysitting. If the children eat, clean up the dishes. If they make a mess, help them to clean it up. This doesn't mean clean the bathrooms and toilets but if the dishwasher is finished running, put the dishes away. Look for ways to be helpful.

Celeste said...

I agree - once the kids are in bed, $8 is enough.

maythi said...

i have been fortunate to never have needed a sitter either, family helps out, but i think the $10 is fair. one of the girls i babysat when she was little now babysits and she updates her CPR course every year, which i think is also really important. and by the way, as of july 1, 2010, minimum wage went up to $8.25 in NC. just learned that last night.

Brooke said...

We pay our high school sitter $10/hour, which I know is very high for her age/experience level. But, she has never turned us down to babysit (as long as she was in town). Having been on the babysitter/nanny side of things for many years I will always pay on the high side though. I like to think of it in terms of the hourly rate for my peace of mind that my children are safe and cared for when I'm not there.
As far as expectations, I think as long as you lay those out when you hire them and have subsequent conversations about changes you want to make then the sky is the limit, especially if they are working while children are sleeping.

Post a Comment