How Much Do You Think You Should Get Paid?

Updated on August 10, 2012
J.E. asks from Erie, PA
23 answers, say you are babysitting a 3 year old kid. His single mom works part time. She drops him off between 1:00-1:30pm and he gets picked up usually around 5pm (sometimes a little later and sometimes a little earlier). He usually lays down for a nap around 2pm and sleeps until 3:30pm. How much do you think you should be paid per day?

I'm asking because my husband and I don't agree on what I'm being paid. I'm curious to see what others think!

TIA for the responses!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the responses so far! It's interesting to see what everyone thinks.

I watch this little boy and I also watch my 8 month old nephew, plus I have my 2 kids. I get paid $10 a day for watching this little guy. His mom drops off and his grandma picks him up...thats why he is only with me for about 4 hours. When I first started watching him two years ago, she was paying me $20 a day...that was how much I was charging. I had him from around 9am-5pm. Then about 6 months ago she quit her job and starting working part time at another one. She asked if she could start paying $10 and I said yes. I felt like I was helping her out since she wasn't making a ton of money...and she is pretty flexible if I want to go away for a week or have something to go to at my daughters school. And I am flexible with her also, if she needs me to watch him an extra day, switch days or watch him full days for the week (when I have him a full day, she pays me $20). I think that our arrangement is pretty fair. My husband thinks I should have told her no about lowering the amount she pays. He doesnt think it's right that she is a single mom only working part time, when she had a full time job (40 hrs) before and made a lot more money (she quit because she wanted to spend more time with her son, so in turn got less hours and a pay cut). And before that full time job, she had a nanny job making really good money and she got to take her son with her. But she didn't like the job because the baby she watched cried a lot. I personally would have kept the nanny job. I really get where both of them are coming from though. I babysit so that I can be home with my kids (which unfortunately might have to change because we need more money..ugh!).
Anyway, I think my amount is fair and I'm not changing anything. I was just curious to see what others thought. Thanks mamas (and dads)!

Featured Answers



answers from Columbia on

I'm pretty generous, and would be especially with a single mom. I'd charge $10 a day, and rationalize it to myself that a) I'm helping out someone that needs it, and b) I'm *really* only working about 2.5 hrs.

If the single mom had a great job and just wanted me to babysit b/c it works better (for whatever reason), then I'd charge $20 per day.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

I would say $20-25...

But to me, it greatly depends on my relationship with the mom... and her financial need. IF she seems to have plenty of spending money, and is always getting new thing, I might charge more. IF she really seems to be struggling, I might charge less. If she has an average lifestyle, I would stick to the $20-25.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Lexington on

Totally depends - you are going to get different answers from New York vs more inexpensive locations. And is this your profession? Are you doing it partially as a favor? Are you going to be home anyway? If she is a person barely getting by and I am doing this for a while partly as a favor and I am home anyway, I might do it for a pittance - like maybe $10. If something different is going on I might charge up to $5/hour - so maybe about $20.

If YOU were going to HER house to babysit, it would be a totally different story with different expectations. But this is drop-off in your home. Thus, I'd expect much less (thus the up to $5 per hour).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I'd say fair is 8 bucks an hour for for the 4 hours he's in your charge. Doesnt matter whether he's asleep or not, you are still responsible for him. 32 bucks a day.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

Id be fine with $20 - $25 a day, if she was a friend I was helping out I might take less, like $50 or $75 a week.
If she started coming late or taking advantage, I would start charging by the hour.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I pay a college student $8 AN HOUR to watch my 12 year old - a couple hours after school or if BF and I want to do something adult. Minimum wage here is $7.25 or something and I want to stay above that. Plus it's *under the table* so there are no taxes.

However, she's been with my daughter all day M-F for 5 weeks this summer and I paid her $220 per week (which was the amount the "camp" would charge that my daughter didn't want to attend).

When my daughter was little - things factored in that made me pay more.....sitter came to MY house, sitter had a degree or was *certified* in something, sitter would drive to activities etc.
I never paid less because my child was napping. The sitter is still *working* and if something happens needs to spring into action. However, being that it's at your house, I would pay you less. Unless you fed her - that factors in as well. Do you provide activities? Or just hang out?

I don't think it's relevant that she's a single mom or what her income is. YOU are a business. It's not fair to charge some clients more or less based on their circumstances.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think $20 would be fair.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would say $20 to $25 per day. He is not there very long and he is sleeping half the time anyway. I used to watch a little boy 4 hours a day 4 days per week and she paid me $150 every week, but I think it depends on how much she makes and where you live (the going rate for your area)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'd say around $ 27/ day
I don't think one should be paid less because of the nap. Its still an obligation on your part to be there and dependable. There are of corse other variables. Do you do it strictly for extra income, or is this in part a favor to a friend? Do you watch other kids, or his he the only one?



answers from Savannah on

You need to be home 4 hours a day, and you only actually provide "CARE" for 2.5 hours a day? Wow. I'm thinking like $15/day is what I'd charge. For babysitting on date night, I pay $10/hour for a sitter for my 2 kids (we have a backup sitter that charges $13/hour), if I'm not doing the free sitter swap with my friend whose 2 boys are the same ages as mine. HOWEVER a date night sitter is different than watching for her to work a part time job to survive. It just....feels different. It's a regular thing, not me having to make changes that day outside my normal schedule.
I worked at a well known private preschool / childcare, and I also provided in-home childcare in my home, and I really do agree with Gamma G on this. Playing with a little boy 2 1/2 hours a day isn't affecting insurance, you can wear whatever clothes you want, you aren't paying for licensing and all the other stuff involved, so I think if it were me, I'd cut the mom a break. I'd charge $15, but certainly NO MORE than $20/day (that's $5 an hour, half of that time is him sleeping).



answers from Washington DC on

I got $20 for a part-time 4 hour babysitting gig (the child was 2 1/2)... there was no nap involved, and I did not think that was enough, but I agreed to it. That translates to $5 an hour. Would never do it again because sometimes it took her 3 months to pay me, and she kept taking LONGER and LONGER to pick her up, it ended up closer to 5 hours...

Before that, I was getting $12 an hour to be a nanny for 5 hours a day... I did that for a year. The child was 2 1/2 to 3 1/2.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I think that babysitters do not deserve the same pay as professional child care workers so I think you should not be getting paid even minimum wages.

In Oklahoma a fully licensed child care center with a fully accredited teacher with hours and hours of professional training each year gets:

Full time is up to 10 hours of child care per day, part time is considered 4 hours or less. IF they are there for 4 hours and 1 minute they get full day pay.

This includes all supplies for crafts, art work, toys, etc...meals, drinks, and snacks too. The parents do not bring any supplies or food to the center.
1 STAR fully licensed child care facility:

They get $9.00 per day for 4 hours or less.

If the child is there 4 hours and 1 minute they get $13.50 per day.

In a fully licensed child care home they get less.

Part time is $8.00 per day and full time is $12.25 per day
In a 1+ STAR child care facility:

$12.00 for 4 hours or less per day

$18.25 full time per day, up to 10 hours per day

Fully licensed child care home:

$12.00 per day part time

$17.25 for a full day of child care, up to 10 hours
In a 2 STAR child care facility:

$15 per day for part time

$24.75 for a full day of care, up to 10 hours

Fully licensed child care home:

$14 per day part time

$21.25 per day or a full day of child care
In a 3 STAR child care facility

$17.00 per day for part time care

$27.75 per day for a full day's care, up to 10 hours.

Fully licensed child care home:

$16.00 per day for part time care

$23.75 per day for up to 10 hours of care
In my opinion these workers have earned the right to make more per hour than a babysitter. If you are making more than a professional person who works in this field you are getting more than enough money for watching this child a few hours.

Here's a link to child care providers web site:


answers from Grand Forks on

$5 an hour per kid here.


answers from Phoenix on

Daycares and babysitting are 2 different things. Daycares MUST be available generally Mon-Fri so they can charge a flat fee per day (or week) because they have to be there regardless. Babysitters are available per HOUR, and on occasion, so that is how they are paid. In my area, babysitters get paid $10 per hour. If you were to apply that to your situation, it would be $40 per day, which is WAY too much.

If she isn't struggling to pay you, then I would say $25 per day. If she is struggling, but still pays on time and you are already home with your own kids, then I would cut her a break and pay less, maybe $15 or $20 per day. Good luck.



answers from Phoenix on

I just paid 25 bucks a day for full time, licensed care for summer, so I think 25 a day for no more than 3 hours of care is too much. Considering he doesn't require much, and you are not licensed, and most likely not offering a preschool program, or outings or activities, I think something like $75 a week, would be the max.



answers from Dallas on

Is his mother working during the time he gets dropped off or is she attending school or is just having some "me" time??? It sounds like this is just for about 3 1/2 hours a day with him being asleep for about half of the time. If she is working, how much is she being paid during this time--is she at minimum wage or does she make $25 dollars an hour?? Depending on what she is doing during the time he is dropped off would influence my decision on how much to charge. I would try to encourage her to be improving her education. I would also be influenced by what I normally do during that time --am I home with another napping child or have I had to give up something to accommodate her schedule?? I would also look at my current financial situation--am I desperate for additional income or by keeping this child, have I reduced the number of other children I could watch and be paid for. I would also see what my "Am I being taken advantage of quota??" If I want to do this just to help out, I might charge her $50 a week. If other factors enter into it, I would charge her about $20 a day (usually 4 hours x $5 per hour). I am interested to see what others think is fair.


answers from Dallas on

So, you are being employed by this mother for four hours/day, and 1.5 hours/day, the child is sleeping.

I'd say $20-$30/day, depending on what the mother is doing and how much money she makes.



answers from Boston on

Baby sitting here is $10 an hour but I would probably cut a single mom a break, especially given how easy the day is. I would probably charge $25 a day.



answers from Dallas on

Well it does depends on your area. You can get full time care for home daycare at around 100-150 a week around here from what I heard. So if the mom is single and barely making ends meet I don't agree with the 10 an hour. In my opinion around $40-$60 a week.


answers from Denver on

I pay my sitter 30 a day regardless if its all day or half day and 9 bucks per kid if its just an hour before school for drop off. She is awesome and flexible to my hectic schedule.



answers from Allentown on

I think $10 a day is very fair. I charged much less than that for full time care when i worked as a Nanny as she was going through a divorce and money was tight. I watched one child every day for 9 hours a day, sometimes a bit longer. But he was a baby when I started about 3 months old and was 3 and a half when he started in head-start. In those 3 years I charged about $100 a week. It came out to about $2.22 an hour. I never increased the price, and to this day I think it was fair. Her situation was that she could not afford more. Mine was that I could afford to make that much. I was single living alone, and my rent was low enough(tiny one bedroom apt). I did not have things like cable TV, or internet, I had basic phone service no cellphone. And I budgeted well. It was enough for me to live on. I was happy, she was happy. I loved my job, and that was what mattered. I would do it again if anyone needed care for their kids and I could provide it cheaper.



answers from San Francisco on

It is completely dependent on where you live. I think the going rate for a 14 year old babysitter around here is $10/hr (regardless of if the child is asleep). But when I was a single mother, I paid what I could afford and babysitters realized they were doing me a favor.



answers from Detroit on

I would be charging her $20 for the 4 hours you watch him...even if he's napping, you are still responsible for him... $40/day.

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