How Much Should I Pay My Friend to Babysit?

Updated on June 03, 2012
E.E. asks from Miami, FL
8 answers

I have an 8 and a 9 year old. I dont have a flexible schedule at work so my hours vary. I pay by hour. But I am wondering if I am paying too much so I am just going to ask....How much should i pay my friend to babysit? I do provide food/snacks and they take video games and toys etc..

-Summer Time (M-F) and random days throughout the year aside from the summer
-She does this to help, she loves the kids, and to make money.
-Just for MIN 4.5 hrs (incl travel) MAD 6.5 hrs (incl travel)
-She doesnt go out of her way to make her day available. I text her a few days in advance to see if she is available and she usually is as she doesnt go to school or have a job yet.

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answers from Portland on

If it were me, I'd be paying a sitter--friend or not-- about $10 an hour. Even with toys and video games, it is still work. I've worked with older kids and they can be just as demanding (in different ways) than very young children. I'm not saying yours are, necessarily, it all depends on their personality...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Not enough concrete information for me to give an answer.
Is this long term--like for the summer, instead of day camp?
Or is it more of a "just 2 days this week, because camp doesn't start until next Wednesday"?
Does your friend take in kids as a way to make money, or is she doing this basically just as a friend does a favor for another?
Is it for all day (8 hours plus travel time) for the day? Or is it all week? Or is it mornings from 7:00-noon M-F?
Does your friend need to be available all day long not knowing when you will arrive to pick up the kids?

There are a LOT of variables not spelled out...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Babysitters don't get even close to minimum wage from me. Call me mean or not nice, I don't care. I think someone that is babysitting is just doing it to make some extra money so they should understand they are not a professional care giver.

A child care worker is lucky to get 50 cents an hour above minimum wages and they often have 4 babies, 6 toddlers, 8 two year olds, 12 three year olds, 15 four year olds, or 20 school age kids per teacher with no helpers or aids.

They work their hineys off and take up to 20 hours of training on top of their credentials and certifications each year.

So a babysitter is lucky to get paid much by me.

When my grandson is watched while I work at the store for a 4 hour shift, I pay her $20. If she has both kids I pay her $30 for the same time frame. It is usually about 5 hours at most. My shift is 4 hours and they get dropped off after I am at work. They get picked up after I get off which could be 8:30 or later if I have a customer.

I just do not pay them more than that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

Check the prices of day care facilities in your area. In my area it is $3-$4 per hour per child at a center that feeds them. In home care can be found at as low as $2/hr. Find out what is typical in your area for the professional child care people, tell your friend your findings, and suggest a price close to that.



answers from Chicago on

I sit for a family with a 7 yr old and 10 yr old. I charge them $10 an hour for 1 kid and $12 when its both. I love the kids they love me. (which in a sitation about babysitting has nothing to do with the pay scale lol) They provide all food and if the kids have activities they give me gift cards for gas in addition to the pay.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I watch a friend's kid on the occasional "off" day through the school year.
I don't charge her anything--our boys are friends and it's fun for both of them to hang together.
BUT, this sounds way more of an employer/employee arrangement as you are talking daily throughout the summer.
What would this care cost you if you were taking them to a summer camp or child care? That's the price she should get.
Sounds like she will be watching your kids every day in the summer from 4.5 to 6.5 hours every day? Like $55-65/day minimum.


answers from Los Angeles on

Where do you live? We've lived in the Midwest and in CA and the rates here in CA are higher. So, that might scale it a little. Somewhere between $10-15/hr. We pay our sitter $15 an hour for 2 kids. She makes them dinner, cleans up, and puts them to bed so we feel she's worth it. And I do agree with Hazel that big kids can be just as much work.


answers from Grand Forks on

I usually charge about $5/hour per kid for casual. Parents send snacks.

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