7 answers

How Much Should I Pay a "Mother's Helper"?

I am returning to work full-time, and I would like to have someone come over 2-3 Saturdays/month, for 2-3 hours, and do housekeeping such as dusting and sweeping, taking the trash out, etc. I would be at home, cleaning at the same. It might also involve a half hour or so of babysitting, while I ran across the street to the grocery store.

I would like to hire a younger teenage girl--a "mother's helper"--around 12 or 13. For one, when I was that age, I wanted to earn money, but I was frustrated at the lack of opportunities. For another, I can not afford $25/hour that a "professional" cleaning service would charge.

How much should I pay per hour for this? I was thinking around $8/hour--is this too little? I have no idea what to even charge. We live in a modest neighborhood in St. Paul.

What can I do next?

More Answers

$8 an hour is A LOT of money for a 12 year old! That is more than minimum wage. 17 year olds work for minimum wage, heck a lot of adults work for minimum wage! I would start lower than that and if they are really good bump it up a little. Or if you are willing to pay that much you may be able to find an older child who would be a more efficient at cleaning, get more bang for your buck. I agree that 12 and 13 year olds love the opportunity, but I think you may be setting yourself up for having to pay more in the future.

I pay $5-6/hour depending on experience when someone is in that young age range. If they turn out to be really hard working and efficient I would think of bumping it up. Someone that young usually still needs a lot of supervision to know what needs to be done. BTW, I have just one child.

A mother's helper, when a teenage girl or younger helps you out while you are still there tends to get paid less than a full babysitter (who takes care of the kids in your absence). I live in Bloomington. My friends who have "hired" these neighborhood girls tend to 1) have a meeting/talk with the girls with the girls' moms present to discuss their expectations and responsibilities; 2)then they discuss "wages". One of my mom friends pays $2.50/hour but she doesnt' expect the mother's helper to clean, just to watch the kids while she's home doing whatever she wants/needs to do. Another one, doesn't "pay" a wage but takes the mother's helper on any activities and pays her way. They also invite her every now and then to join them if the family is just going to a local event as a way of including her. As a comparison, the moms who hired babysitters in my area tend to pay $7.50-$10 for 2 kids.

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We pay our sitter $2.50 per hour per kid. I have three kids so it is $7.50 per hour to babysit. I have never hired her to help me clean, but if I did I would pay more than that. But that is because I know how hard it is to clean up after my kids! I mopped the kitchen floor last night before I went to bed and when I got up this morning they had poured themselves cereal and milk... Mess! I'd say $9/ hour would be good. You're only looking at spending about $50 a month if you just do every other Saturday for 2 1/2 hours.

I think $8 at that age is perfect but you might want to consider $5 or 6 to start. If they don't slack to stretch the hours in order to get more money then after 3 or 6 months evaluate them and surprise her/him with a bump in wage. You can stretch the bumps on a semi-annual or annual basis and it'll give her/him incentive to do a good job and do their best because they'll work up to making more money. Just an idea.

I am curious to see what others say but that sounds reasonable.

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