Babysitting Job for My Teens.....need Some Answers from Moms!

Updated on June 29, 2010
D.S. asks from Chesterfield, MO
10 answers

Hello everybody! I have two teenage daughters ages 13 and 16. My youngest brother is now the proud parent of a 3month old baby girl and his wife has just gone back to work 2 weeks ago after being home on maternity leave since March 18. My brother thought he would be able to work as a CEO and also take care of his daughter during the daytime. He does work from home but ,like I told him from the beginning.....this is a tall order and I don't see it happening. Today, he needed help and I have the baby. When he brought her over, he asked if my 2 teens could start watching the baby on a regular basis because the inevitable has ocurred...he can't do it all and he is not getting his work done. He also travels quite a bit. When this happens, my mom and I take care of the baby until my sister-in-law gets home from work and until my brother gets back from his business trips. Here's my two teens are capable of watching the baby and want to do it. They will also have my help. My brother wants to pay them. What is the going rate? How much should my teens get paid to watch a 3 month old from 10:00-5:00 each day? I don't want to gouge my own brother because we are family but this is hard work and I do agree that my girls need to be paid. Can anyone shed some light on babysitting fees or anything that they have worked out with family babysitting? I would appreciate the help. Thank you!!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Here in CA my Mom charges $135/week. If they had to pay daycare it would be well over that since its a baby. You'll need to have a discussion with them about who is doing what and at what times of the day, along with who is going to get paid what amount from what ever you decide. I would hate to see you get stuck watching the baby after the novelty wears away. Good Luck.
P.S. Business is business, and you just a tip, you should get paid on Mondays for the full week whether he brings the baby or not. Your girls are holding their schedules to watch her and thats the fair thing to do.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I get paid $6.50 to watch a 20 month old. I would say that since the baby is younger to charge a little more, but also since there are two people watching the baby instead of one to charge a little less.

Around $7 per girl per hour sounds pretty good.

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answers from Cleveland on

I'm not sure what the going rate is for everyone but family is prob a little different. My mom babysits for me and we pay her $150 a week. My husband works retail so every once in a while we only need her three or four days a week but no matter what we always give her the $150 regardless of how many days she babysits. On a long day she babysits from 8am to 6 pm ... her shortest day is usually 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Consider the opportunity cost of your teens working for their uncle rather than for anyone else. Babysitters make $10-$15 per hour (at least adults in the Los Angeles area do) so they could be making quite a bit if they were working for someone else. It's not fair to shortchange them just because they're babysitting for a relative. If he's a CEO, he can likely afford this much, and if he can't, then he'll have to hire someone else to babysit for him.

Presumably, this is just for the summer, and your daughters will be going back to school in the fall. What are your brother's plans for September? Is he going to put his child in daycare then?

What would your daughters be doing this summer if they weren't babysitting for their uncle's baby? Would they have another summer job? Take summer school classes? Work at a camp? Go to camp? Hang out with friends? There's an opportunity cost to them for what they're missing over the summer while they have to babysit for a relative rather than doing what they want for the summer.

I think it's fair for your daughters to be paid fairly for their work. It's not easy caring for a 3-month-old, as you know. Babysitting is a great job for teenagers, so they realize how much work and responsibility is involved in raising a child. They're much less likely to become teenage parents if they know how much work is involved.

When I was a teenager (25 years ago!) I made $1/hour, but times have changed since then...

I hope this helps!

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answers from New York on

I haven't had a sitter for more than a couple hours so I can't respond to that part, but I'm wondering what would happen if your girls get sick? When they go back to school? Your brother might want to consider hiring someone who will be long term so your neice can get use to him/her from a young age. I agree that it's hard work. I don't think it would be out of line to ask for $200 a week. $100 for each girl. That actually means only $20 a day per girl!!! Which is much cheaper than he'd find at a daycare center or personal sitter.

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answers from Boston on

First off this is a real long day for a 13 year old and a 16 year old to watch a 3 month old. Everyday the whole summer?? I would not let them do it.

Now if your brother needed a mothers helper I would consider letting my girls to do that for a few hours per day but with the girls taking turns each day. I just think its to much responsibility for the girls to have all week everyday.

As a mothers helper I would charge him 50$ per girl per week.

You say they want to do this but believe me after a while they will not want to do this every day.

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answers from Chicago on

usually its $5 for 1 kid out here, a little more for the older one, and maybe a little more since she's tiny.
so maybe $6 or 7 an hr.
you could do $50 a day
sounds fair to me : )

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answers from Houston on

A lot of teens I know get $5-7 per hour. However, for an every day situation I would think you could do a weekly rate. Most daycares in this area charge $125-200 per week for an infant. So I'd say for a couple of teens maybe $100-125?

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answers from Dallas on

I run a babysitting service in Texas with 30 families. You are in a 'higher' rate city. Most qualified sitters with ceritifications and experience will charge in your area 13-18 an hour for a sitter.

I charge here in Texas $12 an hour for 1 child and $2 per child per hour extra. No complaints. But I have 16 years exp, ran a childcare center etc.

That being said BEFORE having these girls watch the infant I would make them both take CPR/First Aid. Would they no what to do if the baby stopped breathing or was choking? Probably not. It takes 2.5-4 hours and will last them 1-2 yrs depending on where they get it.

Rate wise. I would probably go by the weekly rate. Avg full time care for an infant in DFW, Tx for a 3 month old is between 220-275 a week. that is m-f 6:30-6:30. This is center based. Now you are also in florida so rates are possibly higher. At home childcare is cheaper. But this baby is 1 on 2 so there is no other babies.

I would say $200 for no lower than $175 and the girls split. At $200 that is $5 an hour per child wayyyy below normal rate. Also min wage is now $7.25 so if your 16 yo went to get a job she would make more money.


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answers from Dallas on

My sister babysits my other sister's two kids. When it was just one kid, she charged $150 a week, for a four day week, roughly about the same hours your kids are looking at. She is in the DC Area and the going rate for childcare for an infant is anywhere from $200-$250 a week. So $150 is a great rate. I would see what the going rate for a daycare is in your area and base your judgment from that.

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