Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« It's Budgeting Time of the Year | Main | Online Threats, The Financial Side of Pancakes, and More! »

January 08, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

$12 minimum in our area, but it really depends on the location. Annual bonuses and raises depend on whether the babysitter is regular or not. If the sitter is there at least once a week, that's a nanny - not a sitter. Nannies will be making enough that they need to file for taxes, etc. The occasional evening babysitter doesn't. Nannies should be regarded as household employees. Expect to pay more if you want your dishes and clothes washed.

Of course you could always get someone for $6/hr without a car, minimal english, and questionable citizenship.

I pay my "we're going out babysitter" around 5 bucks an hour, usually rounded to a near logical amount. This would normally be a teenager that the family knows that we trust to care for the kids. They would be expected to interact with the kids, get them ready for bed and keep them safe.

We pay for our daughters after school care at $70 per week for around 3 hours of care a day. The woman we use provides snacks, they do lots of interactive things like crafts and outdoor activities. She is just plain fantastic. She watches about 8 kids all together for around 3 hours a day each. So 8 * 70 / 15 = just under 40 bucks an hour. Wow, I have to watch kids . . . I never did the simple math :)

Now, if only I could have her skills of interacting with 8 kids from different backgrounds all seemingly getting along together . . . I think I'll stick with my day job.

We have an inexpensive babysitter, and pay her officially $10/hour. Our daughter is 7 so it's pretty low maintenance for her. We always give her a bit extra, probably amounting to about 20%, and give her a lift home.

She has a real job - at my daughter's school - so babysitting is a once-in-a-while thing not her primary income.

When I've thought about an extra kid stay over, my idea has been to suggest another $5/hour, usually to be covered by the other family.

This totally depends on the age group not only of the children but of your babysitter--not to mention the location (i.e. local demand for babysitters and quality of sitter that you prefer).

If you're paying a neighborhood pre-teen/teen to "watch" your kids (i.e. watch television) while you go out for a few hours, you may be able to get away with $5 an hour or so rounded up to the nearest $5.

If you want/need a college aged sitter who can drive themselves over when needed and perform basic tasks like feeding the kids dinner, you may have to pay more to entice her to give up an evening out with her friends.

And if you want a regular sitter, the fee can really go up. I am a recent college grad and I had friends who made an absolutely obscene amount of money to watch local kids a few afternoons a week. Like $20/hr and up. But these parents pay up because they HAVE to have a sitter from 3-5 and they HAVE to be able to rely on him/her; they can't be looking for a new sitter every 3 weeks.

$5/hr per kid, 2 kids (2 & 4), $10-$20 tip. Dinner, cold drinks, and anything in the fridge (location: Greenville, SC).

Good sitters are hard to come by. While we have no expectation of domestic service, we do expect the sitter to watch and interact with my kids while they are awake. That means kids shows on TV and no talking/texting on the phone until they are asleep.

While we do not want to just hand out money, we want the good sitters to WANT to sit for us. Also, whatever we pay for a GOOD sitter is fine with me, my boys are worth it (I want the sitter to understand that too!).

I think it really depends on the area. When I was a teenager in Alabama, I did some occasional baby-sitting for neighbors and family friends and was paid in the $8-10/hr range. I moved to NYC shortly after college graduation and again did some occasional baby-sitting for one family here with one two-year-old who was always asleep when I got there for the evening. Those parents paid at least $20/hr, and it wasn't unusual to end up with $80 for the night. I was blown away, but I guess the bigger cities are much different. They've since moved away, and I certainly miss that easy income! :)

We hire the grandparents every chance we get...they work for free.

Greenwich, CT - I pay $12/hr for one 2 year old, 5 days per week. When she works evenings, she has two kids and is paid the same amount. I rarely use for evenings because it might end up being a $100 + for one night, including food, entertainment and babysitter.

If the previous commenters' amounts are the norm, babysitting rates have become almost lucrative, compared to many jobs.

When I lived in Royal Oak, Michigan in the early '60s, the going rate in our neighborhood was 50¢ an hour. The inflation calculator at claims that this is equivalent to $3.55 in 2007 dollars.

However, the Fed also claims that inflation averages only about 3.5% a year, probably to keep Social Security and other payouts as low as possible. But the Fed contradicts its own CPIs by continuously increasing Medicare withholding by double digits.

Knowing how much living expenses have increased in the past year alone, the Fed's calculator is getting progressively further off the mark.

Here in rural Illinois we pay $5-$6 per hour for a high school or junior high girl to watch our 8 year old daughter. The babysitters all return for additional visits so they must be satisfied with the pay.

We pay double that on New Years Eve only.

In a university town in Northern California, we pay ~$10/hour for a college student sitting with a 2-year-old. When our son was an infant, we paid this much to have a sitter in the house while we were home, just so we could each get some work done. We gave our most frequent sitter a raise after 6 months (from $9 to $10/hour). No tips, but we gave small gifts for birthdays (when we knew the dates) and winter holidays.

At age 15 months, when I began to work regular hours, we shifted him to preschool daycare. Under age 2, daycare was $825/month, either full or part time. Over age 2, it's $725 full time, which is a steal for the quality we get. At the end of the year, I gave the daycare owner a gift card to a bookstore, and her assistants received a very modest thank-you gift of $50 each. I wish I could have afforded to give them more, but our budget has been tight--thanks mostly to daycare!

I pay my 16yo babysitter about $7/hr to watch my 2 kids (3 & 5), and always round up to the nearest $10 increment. So if we're out for 5 hours, I give her $40. I did bump it up to about $60 the one time we were out at the end of the year, as a christmas tip/bonus. The kids LOVE her and BEG for her to come over, which is wonderful. We lucked out, had her older sister as a sitter until she was too busy as a senior, and then switched over to her.. but when she gets too busy - no more sisters!

local teens we pick them up and drop them off

$3/hr for one kid and $4/hr for two kids

kids age 5 and 1.5

how do people afford to go out when they have to sick so much into a baby sitter??

i think that a good pay should be 12 dollar in hour,,,im a babysitter myself,,,,and i really take care of da kid,,,,like if was a kid myself,,,i play with them,,,,i talk with them,,and then wen they fall asleep thats when i back to doin my stuff ,,,, i think kid from the age 1 to 6

I pay my pre-teen neighbor $5.00 an hour to watch my 7,6,3,and 10month old. It is usually no more than an hour or 2 at atime. I pay my teen babysitters $10.00/hour and round up to the next hour. This is a very good rate in Kansas,.

How much should I charge for 45 hours a week, 9 hours a day???

How much should I charge for 2 10 month old twins, for 8 hours a day?

First of all..I think you get what you pay for in most cases. $5/hour for 4 children and one of them being an infant actually scares me.
I live in NYC, so I guess we just pay crazy amounts of money for childcare here. Either way, the amount you pay depends on the number and age of your children and the age and experience level of the babysitter.
Teenage sitters should be paid no less than $8/hr..more than one child means more money unless they are asleep the whole time.
College sitters-no less than $10/hr especially if they already have their degree! Again, more kids-more money.

In answer to the twins question-- for a full time long term infant twins sitter (again, in NYC) I'd pay $12-$15/hr..depending on age/experience of the sitter.

We have an older woman who has been with us since our son is 10 mos old, he is now 3 and goes to school two days a week. She watches him 4 days a week for about 6 hrs a day, minus one day while my son is at school. On that day she picks him up at school and brings him home and watches him from 12-3:30. When she started watching him she asked for $145/wk for 4 days. We rounded that off to $150 and sometimes we give her $170 or $160 depending on the hours past. I also have two other boys who go to school all day but on their days off they are home with her. They are self sufficient and help themselves with breakfast, lunch etc. My sitter is just there as eyes for them. We give her a weeks pay for christmas and a generous gift as well for birthday. My husband asked if we should we give her a raise or do you wait for them to ask? We love her and my son loves her too, but with this recession it is hard to just pay the bills. Can you help?

sherry and ellen - look up what people would have to pay at a daycare and maybe decrease that by 10-20%. Around here, it ranges from $180/wk for an infant to $150/wk for ages 2-5, with discounts for multiple children.

I totally disagree with jessica 3 and 4 dollars an hour what a cheap offer that is not even a lot

when i baby sit my neices i normally get paid about £10 no matter how long it is times range from 4 hours to simetimes the whole night. i work alot now tho so i only baby sit here and there and ask for some cigerettes instead lol. Only because there is a 2 yr old and a 7 month year old. Terrible 2's and the 7 month yr old likes to crawl around and grab stuff and eat it. I do not smoke around the children can i add.. i wait to they are asleep or simetimes when theyre in watching tv i sneek to the back door but there allways in my view

I have been watching an infant for 4 months now, along with my 16 month old. I go to their house, they provide food, diapers, and wipes for their infant and will mostly have food for me. I work Mon-Fri 10 hours a day unless the father gets home an hour or two early. I started out making $100 a week but since then it has increased to $130 a week, even if I don't work a full week. I feel like I am being jipped but I just don't know what the going rate is for full-time babysitters!

We live in Northeast Ohio, and have a 16 year old sitter that sits for our 5 year old and 2 year old. We pay her $9/hour, and we usually round up. We use her 2x/week regularly for 2 hours or so each night, and on the occassional date night. She is fabulous, very interactive with the kids, the kids ask us to go out so she can come over! She usually doesn't have to feed them, and if she does, I prepare something she can re-heat at dinner time. She does often put the kids to bed, including story time. We pick her up and take her home, paying her starting from when she gets in our car, to when she gets out, the time she is unavailable to do other things. We are lucky to have met her, I don't look forward to when she has to get a "real" job.

I dont know the answer to this question either I have one son age 16mo. old. We are going out for 4 or 4.5 hours this sat ..I am having a 14 year old babysitter, he will be alseep before she gets here

For standard American cities, start with $9/hour for one kid. Add $1.50/hour for any additional kids. Add $1/hour for an infant (under 18 months). Add $1/hour if the sitter has a degree. Add 25% if you live in a huge city with high cost of living.

Subtract $1/hour if the sitter is just a teenager. Subtract $1/hour if the kids don't require interaction (e.g. will be sleeping majority of the time the sitter is there). Subtract $1/hour if you live in a small town or rural area with lower cost of living.

This isn't an exact science, but it's close. I've been babysitting for 15 years, and now have a child of my own.

This is nuts. I called daycare centers to see how much it would cost to watch my nine year old for five hours a day three days a week. The cheapest I found was $90 a week. If you do the math that's $6/hr. Why would I pay the thirteen year old girl across the street $5/hr to basically watch tv with my child when I could pay a qualified professional who has activities planned to watch her for $1/hr more?

My neighbor wants me to start sitting her nine month old. She works unusual hours: monday - friday he'd be at my house 6am - 1 pm and then 2pm - 8pm. and then 10 hours on saturday. is 90$ a week fair? im 16 by the way, but i dont just sit the kid in front of the tv; we read books, go to the park, take walks, or paint. i give him all three meals, snacks, give him a bath, and put him to bed.

i just realized that if i charged her 5 dollars an hour for the 40 hours hed be at my house, it totals to more than 46 but im only charging her for the hours shes at work, rather than travel times, it would be 200 dollars a week, so id be getting jipped only charging her 95 a week, but i dont want my prices to seem outrageous

Marisa --

How'd you get 40 hours? Aren't you saying he'll be at your house 13 hours a day for five days a week, plus 10 hours on Saturday? If so, this is 75 hours a week and $90 is way too low in my opinion.

Stephanie- it seems like you are getting paid $2.60 an hour. You could get much more than that at McDonalds and a whole lot more working at a daycare. This family is taking advantage of your lack of knowledge of your own earning potential. Search around for another position and then tell them what you have found. If you like the family, give them the chance to come close to the price. If they won't budge, you have to decide if you like them enough to stay for less money. At least you know you explored the options and made an intelligent decision. Make sure you take into account that if you work somewhere else, you will have to find care for your child. I would decrease the going rate for watching a child about 20-30% becasue you have your kid along with you.


I was going to ask our neighbor (16 years old) to watch our girls ages 8 & 10 for the summer and pay her $200/week (I work 40 hours). Is that too cheap?

Diane --

I think that's at least in the realm of reason. Your girls are likely somewhat self-supporting at this time. One question: do you expect her to feed the girls? If so, you should probably kick in a bit extra for that (unless she's sitting in your home and they can eat freely).

I think $12 an hour is nuts! Why should I pay a kid (teenager and even college students) more than minimum wage??!! Men and women are supporting their families on less than that an hour, taxes and benefits taken out of the pay too, and I should pay a babysitter that kind of money? Any out of work individuals should look into being a babysitter to those of you paying $12/hr. For that matter, I'LL watch your kids! As an at home mom, I could use $12 an hour! For me to pay $12/hour just to hire a babysitter to be able to attend a PTO meeting at my kid's school is crazy. I've got 3 kids, and the oldest can take care of him/herself. The other 2 just want to play a little or watch TV. I say $7 tops for all 3 kids and I'm not rounding up.

5 is the BARE minimum for a young teen/preteen sitter. 7 -12 is about average. It depends on where you live and the age and experience of your sitter. A good way to do it is to pay her the amount of half of her age. If she has a college degree you may add a bit more. Also if there are many children or the children are very young a bit more is appropriate.

I watch my grandchildren around 50 to 90 hrs. per week.I've been doing this for years now without any pay.My husband doesn't make alot of money to support both of us, so I asked my daughter and son in law to start paying me something,(Between both of them they bring in close to $40.00 an hr.)I also clean their house,do their laundry,clean toilets,and litter box,and feed the kids and dishes. Alot of the time I supply the food.For this I get $50.00 a week.And I usually have to ask to get pd. So, with my husband bringing in his $7.00 an hr. We are still hurting.I tell them that I need more or I need to get a real job, Although watching children is very much a real job. They don't seem to understand,they think that I'm the grandma and they shouldn't have to pay grandma. I need to do something I know,I love watching the kids ,they are my life! But love doesn't pay the bills. Thanks,Sherrie D.

I need an opinion, I need a sitter 21.5ish hours a week for my 18mths old son and 8 of those hours hes sleeping. She doesnt have to bathe or put him to bed. Just dinner and a snack and to play with him. The current sitter I have is a 15yr old high school student that I pay $60 a week. Is that too low, and if it is what should I pay? Im a single mother and live alone with just my child.

Heather --

My opinion is that whatever you and your sitter agree is fair is fair.

I am a red cross certified 16 year old babysitter. I get paid about $10 an hour for 2-3 kids. Parents should be willing to pay even if the child is sleeping. Think about it, should the babysitter stop watching out for the kid and leave the house when they are asleep? No, so they should get paid. If something did go wrong during that time, the babysitter would take care of it. I also often use that time to clean dishes and put away toys. These are your children, if you want a babysitter who will play with them, feed them, put them to sleep, clean up, and be responsible in emergency situations, be willing to pay a reasonable amount. Also, emergencies do happen, so make sure the babysitter is qualified.

I am a babysitter that has an early childhood and elementary degree. The absolute base rate for me is $10, and only goes up from there. I can say from experience, a parent that pays more is certainly guaranteed to get their money's worth. It's always important to consider what you are asking the sitter to give up as well. If it's a weekday and they're in school, or if it's short notice and they're possibly giving up their own plans, it's important to pay more. Growing up, I received between 10-12 dollar an hour, and for parents that paid more I always brought craft supplies and other extras to bring to the job. Experience, training, and responsibilities should also be taken into consideration

@marisa - 75 hours a week? Really? For $90/week? That's less than a dollar an hour! That's 10% of minimum wage here in Massachusetts.

I babysat for a few families in the neighborhood, and depending on the family made $4 (weird family) to $12-15 an hour (when I got older for my regular family). Without knowing where any of these commenters are coming from it's hard to judge whether their dollar amounts are high or low - but I haven't seen many numbers that I would accept.

I'd say if you're with someone's child/ren more than once or twice a week, definitely go with the weekly rate and make sure you're AT LEAST getting $8/hour - although that seems awfully low - and any supplies, transportation, etc. that are indirect costs of you being a babysitter.

And remember to not depend on the TV! Bring a Kid-Kit a la Baby-Sitter's Club!

Does anyone know where to find rate on-line. I am a South Dakota grandma and would like to make some extra money.

We just got an au pair to live with us and watch our infant for 45 hours a week. The program is regulated by the government so they can't work more than 45 hrs a week or 10 hrs a day. They commit to a year and even though you pay a lot up front to the agency you only pay the au pair $200 a week which the government sets as the minumum wage minus room and board. If you add up all the fees it averages to $7.50 per hour - a much better deal than many of you are paying!! So, if you need close to full time care and have a spare bedroom I would recommend you look into an au pair.

Pay your babysitters well. As a college student in Baltimore, I work 5 days a week for a local family for approximately 2 to 3 hours a day, depending on the day. I get $15 an hour and am told to round up if I go over a whole hour. I drive the kids home from their individual schools and get them to their activities. Some days are lighter than others, but I have a good amount of driving involved. Sometimes I take them to doctor appointments as well. I generally make $150 to $200 per week. I think this is a fair wage for the work I am doing. They have been great to me and I am grateful to have them as my employer. Bottom line is, $10 an hour MINIMUM (especially in the northeast) for babysitters who have to do very little work other than keep an eye on the kids. $12 an hour is the standard rate IMO. $15 an hour is a good rate if driving is involved. Just use your head and think about the sacrifices the babysitter may have to make. I could be doing a ton of other things from 3-6pm Monday through Friday as a sophomore in college, but I choose to work and make money. Thankfully I am employed by a family who understands that!!

I live near Jacksonville FL and just got a job babysitting a 2 year old girl for 6 hours a day 4 days a week, along with her 6 year old brother and 10 year old sister for an hour after they get home from school. This is in their home and I drive and occasionally take the kids to the park. I'm getting $100 a week which is $4.16 an hour. Should I be asking for more? Especially over the summer when the older two aren't in school?

Caitlin --

I think it depends on what you're happy with, what they can afford, and what others in your area are charging. You need to balance all of these to get to the "right" price.

If the amount isn't enough for you and you'd rather not do it, then say so ask them for an amount you think is fair (you can find this in your area by asking around and seeing what others charge to babysit). You'll just need to be prepared to go away in case they say "no."

I only make $15 per hour so I could never afford that much for someone to watch my kids. I would have to quit my job just to watch my kids. I love my kids and I respect the people who watch my kids but I could never afford that much. The daycares around here only charge $25/day for an infant and my youngest is 3 so I don't see how I could justify paying 1 person $15/hr to babysit when I could send them to a daycare & get 4-5 professionals watching my kids for less. My oldest kid is 11 and the daycares only charge $15/day (if no school) and $3/hr on school days for after school care. You could pay $250-$300/week at a daycare for 3 kids (2 at 20-25 and 1@ 15/day) or $15/hr (for 1 kid?) - You do the math. I would rather pay for more people to watch my kids than pay 1 person to watch them for $15/hr. Plus my kids get to socialize with other children. If you want to pay more for 1 person be my guest - at least if someone at the daycare calls off then I still have care and don't need to call off. I can also afford to work because I wouldn't be able to at the prices you are paying. I can barely afford the daycare.

I just had this conversation with a friend of mine who said that I was getting a "steal" with my babysitter paying her $7 per hour for our three kids. She'll come over and watch the kids (ages 7,9 and 12) while I run out to accounts during the summertime. Our 12 year-old is a babysitter herself, but I don't want to put that responsibility on her for long and frequent amounts of time. They basically play the Wii and go to the pool. It's a very easy job. My friend believes the rate (in NC) should be around $10 per hour. I think that's crazy for a highschooler. Everyone needs to keep in mind that these babysitters ARE NOT TAXED. If she worked at McDonalds, she'd make the same amount and have to pay taxes on it. She couldn't have an easier job and she gets to keep all of her money. Now, when she becomes a college student, I do intend to pay her more...

I am a 26 year old stay-at-home Mom to a toddler while expecting our second. I have been asked to care for another infant for a few hours a day, 2-3 days a week up to full time (9am-5pm+), and the scheduled hours would vary each week. As a pre-teen and teen, I cared for children and was generally paid $10+ per hour. However, I haven't cared for anyone's children other than my own since well before my college years. We live in the SE in a very wealthy area and next to a very large city, but the family may not have much to spend and I don't know what would be a fair rate to charge. I don't want to ask to much, but I also want to be fair to myself. All diapers, wipes, formula will be provided by the parents. Anyone have any suggestions?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.