How Much Does a Babysitter Cost?
Although the economy is not at its strongest, most parents are not willing to cut corners when it comes to the care of their children. Whether you need a regularly scheduled babysitter or just a night out every once in a while, choosing a babysitter is a very important decision. The price you pay them may have an effect on how they care for your children.
How much to pay a babysitter?
- According to sitters.com, most babysitters are paid $8 – $11 per hour. These babysitting rates can vary depending on a number of factors.
- Check with other moms in your area to see what they are paying. Generally the further outside a city you are, the less you have to pay per hour.
- Many moms pay a flat rate per hour, plus an additional $1-$3 per extra child. This means that for two children a babysitter may cost between $9 and $14 per hour.
- Older children will need less care; therefore, older children may cost on the lower $8 end while young toddlers or infants who need more care will be on the higher $11 end.
- SitterCity.com has a calculator that you can use to find out what the average babysitter over the age of 18 charges in your local area. For example, a babysitter in the Detroit area would charge around $9.50 per hour to watch two children under the age of four.
What is going to be included?
- If you are hiring a babysitter, as opposed to a nanny, the only thing that is included is child care. Depending on the time of day, this may mean fixing a snack or meal or putting the kids for a nap or to bed. The babysitter may do something simple like pick up toys, but no house cleaning is going to be included.
What are the extra costs?
- If your child(ren) needs to be driven somewhere or picked up, it is sometimes good to provide gas money in addition to the hourly rate.
- If a babysitter is CPR certified, or has any other special skills, she may charge more per hour.
- A babysitter that has to do more than babysit such as clean dishes and vacuum may ask for an additional few dollars per hour.
- Babysitters that have to stay overnight may just charge a flat fee for the entire night. Since the workload may be less, the hourly rate could come down.
Factors that influence the price:
- The age of the babysitter: Older babysitters are going to demand more money than a babysitter that is between the ages of 13 and 17 years old.
- Experience: The more experience that the babysitter has, the more you’re probably going to pay for one. Caregivers that have more than five years of experience can charge more than 20 percent on average.
- The location: The further a babysitter has to drive, the more money one may demand. It’s always best to find a babysitter that is within 10 miles of your home. Also, the geographical location can play a role. New York City is going to be more expensive than a town in the middle of New Mexico.
- The number of children: The more children a babysitter has to watch, the more it’s going to cost. Most nannies and babysitters will base their price on the number of children.
- The age of the children: Older children are going to be a lot easier to watch than younger children under the age of 3, especially those that aren’t potty trained yet.
- The job expectations: If you want the babysitter to do more than just babysit such as run errands, pick them up from school, or even do chores such as feed the dog, clean, etc.
- Requirements: Babysitters that have first aid and CPR certifications can yield more money.
Tips to know:
- It’s wise to pick out a babysitter that has the appropriate training such as CPR, or even babysitting classes. The American Red Cross offers babysitting classes for both young teenagers and older adults.
- Always try to have the babysitter come to your home. This way, the child knows of his/her surrounding. If you must take the child to another person’s home that you’re not familiar with, you’re going to want to check for things such as cigarette smoke, pests, the cleanliness of the home, etc.
- Make sure that the babysitter doesn’t smoke. Even though one may smoke outside, the second hand smoke can still be unhealthy to children.
- Ask your friends, family and neighbors, “How much do you pay a babysitter?” and see what their responses are. This will make sure that you’re not over or under paying.
Questions to ask:
- Do you enjoy working with children that are of all ages? If not, what age groups do you like working with?
- Are you good with enforcing rules such as bedtimes, and eating?
- What do you usually do with children to keep them entertained?
- Are you going to give them attention 100% of the time?
- In case of an emergency, who should I contact? Are you able to get here on time with reliable transportation?
- Do you have any sort of certifications? If so, what do you have?
Babysitter hiring checklist:
- Find your babysitter using online services such as Care.com or talk with neighbors for recommendations.
- Schedule at least three to five interviews. When interviewing, ask them the questions that were mentioned above.
- A finalized candidate should meet your children. Allow them to be comfortable to see what they think.
- Ask for references such as an older employer.
- Make an offer in terms of pay using the figures above.
- Once hired, create a contact sheet in case of an emergency. It’s also advisable to set the house rules for the children.
How can I save money?
- Many families like to trade babysitting rather than pay for it. Moms will agree to take turns watching each other kids for no charge.
- If you are doing something with a group, it is sometimes beneficial to share a babysitter. This way it becomes cheaper for each family. However, the most children a babysitter should watch at a time is 4 or 5, depending on the age of the children as well as the location (a person’s house versus a child-proof nursery)
- If you feel comfortable, ask a younger babysitter under the age of 14 to watch your child. Girls between the ages of 11 to 14 will often be more than happy to watch a child for a few dollars an hour. If going this route, just make sure that you only leave them unattended for a few hours at a time.
How can I compare prices?
- The best way to compare prices is simply to ask other moms that you may know. It is also good to choose a babysitter that you know or comes highly recommended from someone that you know. Someone that your children already know, such as a person from your church or school, may also be a good choice.
- Try sites such as Care.com to find a babysitter / nanny in your neighborhood.
- The summer months tend to be the cheapest for a babysitter. One of the main reasons is due to the fact that most are out of school. Due to this great demand, babysitters can be hired for a low price.