Babysitting rates can vary from about $7.00 per hour to $20.00 per hour or more! There are many variables to take into account when figuring out how much the babysitter's pay should be. Babysitting rates vary depending on any or all of the following:
- The age of the babysitter - Generally, mother's helpers are between the ages of 10-13 and receive about half of the regular babysitter pay because one or both parents are home while the mother's helper is caring for the children. Older sitters often get paid a little more.
- How many children the babysitter will be caring for - Obviously the nanny pay rate or babysitter pay rate will increase slightly for each additional child. Often the nanny pay for daytime care is higher than the babysitting rate at night for the same number of children. The reason simply being that at night the babysitter would have less work to do because the children would probably be sleeping most of her working hours.
- Age of the children - A newborn requires much more care than an eight year old. If you have a newborn and other children as well, be prepared for babysitting rates to be about $2.00 more per hour.
- Multiples (twins, triplets, etc.) - Multiples under the age of 2 will also raise babysitting rates by about $2.00 per child per hour. If the average babysitter pay in your area is $10.00 per hour for one 2-year-old, then $15 - $16 per hour for 2-year-old or younger triplets sounds about right.
- The babysitter's level of experience - Babysitters age 14-17 would probably start at the minimum babysitting rate in your area. College age babysitters often get paid a couple of dollars more per hour and then mothers, retirees etc. generally get paid even more because they usually have much more experience and may even be preparing meals or doing light housekeeping as well. Nanny pay would typically be equivalent to experienced babysitter pay because generally a nanny's duties extend to light housekeeping and possibly preparing meals.
- Extra duties - Requirements such as preparing meals, driving children to and/or from activities, or any other service that is above and beyond just keeping the children safe and entertained may increase babysitting rates as well.
- Holiday date nights - New Years Eve and Valentines Day are popular holiday date nights. You may pay one and a half times the regular babysitting rate or more on these nights depending on where you live.
- Your zip code - Believe it or not, the babysitter's rate of pay can change from town to town even within the same geographic area.
The first step to take in figuring out how much nanny pay or babysitter pay is in your area, is to ask friends and family that live near by how much their sitters charge. If you live in Boston Massachusetts, it will do you no good to call your sister in Topeka Kansas and ask her what babysitting rates are there.
Also keep in mind that the number of children and their ages have a large impact on babysitting rates. Try asking more than one person so you can get an accurate idea. Some parents may pay their sitters more than the expected babysitting rate if they've been babysitting for the family for a long time.
If you don't have anyone in the area that you could ask, or if your friends all have volunteer babysitters such as family members to watch their children, then you can check the newspaper classifieds. Check the childcare rates advertised by babysitters and nannies looking for jobs. Many libraries and grocery stores also have public bulletin boards where sitters and others advertise their services.
Another fabulous resource for checking out babysitting rates and nanny pay rates are the online babysitting services and nanny agencies. Visit one of these web sites and most of them will have a place where you simply type in your zip code and you will get a list of babysitters and nannies right in your area. Most have photographs, babysitting rates, experience level and a short biography. Some even have availability, background checks, comments from other parents and more.
You can compare rates among sitters yourself based on age and experience, although most advertise a price range which would depend on the variables mentioned above. Most of these sites also have an area where you can fill in additional criteria and narrow your search.
Some online babysitting services such as Care.com have a Babysitting Rate Calculator on their website. Just plug in information such as your zip code, number of children, age of the babysitter, and years of experience, depending on which website you visit. The rate calculator will then give you the approximate rate of pay for a sitter with those qualifications in your area. Check out their link at the bottom of this page.
Lisa McLellan, Child Care Expert
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