How Much Do You Pay the Babysitter?

Updated on March 21, 2010
K.R. asks from El Cajon, CA
15 answers

I've never hired a sitter before, but am considering it so we can go on date nights. What is a typical hourly rate? Should I ballpark $5/hr or more like $10/hr??? Would you pay a teenager a lower rate than a college student? What about the kids ages? I have a 1 and 2 year old. Please share what you have paid and if you feel it is fair. Thanks

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So What Happened?

Thanks! I asked my neighbor too and $8-12 seems ballpark. Amazing how quickly that will add up for a few nights out. Babysitters have a good job!

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answers from Portland on

If they're already in bed and just need "monitoring" and sleep well I think $7.50/hr - $10/hr is fair - if it's watching them constantly, diaper changes, etc - putting them to bed - BIG stuff - since they're both so little I would pay more like $12-$15/hr

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answers from Seattle on

For two, of such young ages, I would say more like $10 an hour.



answers from Madison on

I have two kids. Our sitters are college age or older and we pay $10.00/hr. I would probably pay a high school or younger sitter a little less.



answers from Houston on

We use mostly hight school girls and we pay $8-$10 per hour (it sometimes depends on how long we're gone and how much of that time the kids are sleeping). I have a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old. We are in a suburb of Houston, TX (a lot of this depends on what area of the country you are in!). Enjoy your date nights! Had one last night and we just love our time away. :-)



answers from Boston on

I'm outside of Boston, and we pay around $15/hour for the hours the kids are awake and about $10/hour when they are asleep. So for a night out it normally averages around $12/hour. Normally it's one of our kids teachers from the daycare center, so that's about what they get per hour of work. I would pay a little less for a HS student, but not much. I would check with the sitter, especially if you are worried about offering too little.



answers from Chicago on

you need to find out the going rate in your area. In Chicago for two kids you are talking like $12-$15 an hour. Which I can't afford to pay along with a night out, so we never hire "sitters". Try and find another SAHM or maybe swap care with another mom. A SAHM would probably charge less and have more experience and another child for yours to play with--triple bonus. Another mom who wants to swap nights could be great too - doesn't cost anything and you all get a night out. Best of luck! You could give less to a high school student, but not much less and they won't have a whole lot of experience with two kiddos, just my 2 cents.



answers from Kansas City on

Wow, sitters have it made now days. When I babysat I NEVER said how much I expected to get. I never got paid by the hour either. By the end of the night I got a flat fee, usually like $20.00, & it was always for 3 kids, sometimes just 2 kids.



answers from Minneapolis on

It really depends on where you live and your expectations. We pay $8/hour for two kids (9 mos and almost 4). That is high for our area, but we also usually only hire college students with experience and education related to childcare and they drive to our house (which isn't far in our small town, but still takes a little bit of time and gas). We pay more than the norm in our town because we want to be able to keep getting the babysitters we really like so we try to pay well enough that they aren't likely to get any better offers.



answers from Chicago on

ours was in high school charged $6 and an extra $1 each kid after that. now she's in college and we pay $8 for the 2. sometimes we round up if/when we don't have change



answers from New York on

we are in NYC and we pay our college student $15/hr.
I have always asked what they charge and then go from there.


answers from Dallas on

I am in Plano (northern burb of Dallas). Most of our sitters were high school to early college aged.

When we used sitters, we guaranted $40 for the night even if we cancelled due to sickness or changing our mind because she saved the night for us. I feel that is only fair.

After that, we paid accordingly which was around $10/hour. Our date nights weekly ran anywhere from $60-$80 CASH. If you pay well, your sitter will tend to stick with you. I had girls calling me asking to come babysit our daughter because they knew we would never stiff them and we took care of them. In the end, our daughter has continued relationships with a couple of these sitters who are now in college and they are mentors to her.

Good luck


answers from Minneapolis on

I am a babysitter and with two kids both under the age of 5 I would suggest some where between 5 or 10 (Like 7) for a high school student and 10 for a college student. It also depends on how many hours you are gone for.



answers from Phoenix on

I pay $6 an hour and never have a problem getting a sitter or having them volunteer to come back. I have an 18 mo. old son. For 2 kids, I might pay $2 extra per hour. I've paid teenagers & college students the same.



answers from Honolulu on

I would say 10/hour AT LEAST for 2 kids. Especially if the kids are not already in bed when the sitter comes over because then the responsibilities are greater... And yes, you can pay more/less depending on experience. Have fun on your date nights :)



answers from Los Angeles on

We live in LA, and for 2 kids we usually pay $12-15/hour for a sitter, whether a college student, high school girl, or older sitter. The best is to swap with another family, but then you feel you have to come home as soon as you can! Good luck and enjoy your date night!

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