How Much Would You Pay a Sitter For...?

Updated on December 11, 2011
K.K. asks from Fredericksburg, VA
27 answers

Question; how much would you pay a sitter to watch your 2 very young children for 18 hours a week in the sitters house? I was talking to a lady about a babysitting job and she said my prices were too high! I was very upset. The families I babysit for all pay me by a scale; $10/hr 1 child...$12/hr for 2 children. I think that is reasonable seeing how I'm not a teen. Anyhow, I did research online with care.come and pay calculator on there say $14/hr for 2 children. Hmm...So frustrating.

So what do you all pay your babysitters?


update: she just informed me that she could only pay $80-90 a week for 18hrs for 2 kids....hmm...that's like $5/hr...isn't that below minimum wage?!

*She needs 18 hrs a week, every week for her 2 little children....she wants to only pay $80 a week for 18 hrs.*

*Just to clear up things; I do not have "other" children that I am watching during those hours she would need help. I'm not running a home day care or anything. I am listed on as a babysitter and a nanny. Also; if I had say about 4 or 6 kids at one time weekly, I would charge less. Therefore; I would only be watching her 2 kids only...I don't think anyone could live on $80 a week alone. That's only $320 a month...would just cover the car payment and that's all!*

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answers from Dallas on

I charge $25 a day for one child. So, yes, I think you are asking a bit too much. If you were going to her house, that would be a different thing.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I am paying 140 for two children who are dropped off about 7:30 and picked up at 5:30 Monday through Friday.

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answers from Seattle on

Just because that's all she can afford... doesn't mean that you should adjust your prices downward.

Prices, come to find, vary VERY regionally. HERE... the YMCA charges $10 per hour per child for group care (the cheapest you'll find anywhere).

In general $100 per DAY or $50 per 4 hour half day is pretty standard for older kids. $1600-$2500 per month (per child) for infant to age 2.

Round here... $180 a week is a screaming deal. Even if that's *per child*.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I pay my sitter $10 per hour when the kiddos are sleeping, so I think your prices are very reasonable! If you are willing to take less for this family, then do so, if not, then simply move on. You are offering a service and have the right to set your prices, but not everyone will buy!

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I would pay a babysitter what you are asking! I know a lot of people just can't afford it AND I also know that there are many people that would take what they can get (saints -lol). But in all seriousness... watching other people's children is a BIG DEAL! The state (Michigan anyway) subsidizes childcare... at $50/day... not that much money, but there are many who will do it for that! It really comes down to what people can afford. It does sometimes come down to the fact that people will make as much as they pay a sitter... making it a wash and obviously not worth it. That's tough and I feel for people in that situation.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

She sounds like bad news and wants something for nothing... keep your sanity, do not work for her.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

In today's economy you have to think about how much the average person makes per hour. I would pay the sitter less than min wage. One they are in their home and can continue their everyday life (cook, clean, etc.). Two if they have an equipped vehicle they are always allowed to take my kids wherever they are going (shopping, lunch, outtings etc.) Lastly, if I pay my sitter more than I make an hour how is that helping me financially? Our Nanny gets $25 a day. I have tried to pay her more and she will not take it. However, my kids never drag her down and if she needs to do something she still does it. I'm not sure how much $25 a day breaks down to, but that seems reasonable to me.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

If she can't pay what you are asking, you can't afford to work for her. Simple.

I pay my sitters (for my one 4 year old) $10 an hour, unless they are young sitters, and then usually 8. (By young, I mean the 14 year old who is almost a big sister to him and that I helped to raise.) My high-school age sitters get $10 too. Keeps me at the top of their babysitting priority list!

I also charged a family I used to nanny for $10 an hour for afterpreschool care at my home. If I had another child with them, my rate went down to something like $7.50 -$8 or so per hour. I had my infant son with me at that time, too. I think some of it has to do with who you want to work for and do business with. I found that I liked professional moms best... they seemed to value my time and the high quality of care. (No tv, planned activities, healthy snacks, etc.)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Call some local daycares in your area and see how much they charge for 18 hours (less than half of full time). I think your going to be suprised at how much they DON'T make. It is certainly not 10 dollars an hour! Well, actually, in Fredricksburg, it might be, but that doesn't mean that someone with a minimum wage job can pay out more than they make, especially if there are other bills (mortage, food) to pay.

I think for just babysitting (which I define as a couple hours here and there, think date night or dr appt) 10-12/hr for two is reasonable, but for a full time working parent plus commute in this market, it just isn't doable for most.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

Hate to break it to you. But in this economy, the most important job in the world (caring for young children), is the lowest paying job. Home daycares really don't make any money after paying for food to feed children, arts/craft supplies etc.

I will admit that in my town I am one of the lower rates in town, but I'm not making anything close to minimum wage. Another thing to consider is she is using her gas to bring the kids to you, not you going to her. I know, kids are eating your food, should be an even trade. But it doesn't work that way.

You can pick and choose, only take those who can afford to pay what you're worth. Or you can choose to care for children for their benefit, not your income. All I do know is a lot of people are struggling to make ends meet, myself included and they don't have the available funds to pay for child care.

Personally, in my town, I would take them for that price. It's more than I'm making with the rates I'm charging.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I get paid by the state to watch my friends children. She is a single mother and she goes thru the assistance program to help pay for the cost of daycare. In Pa I get paid 14.58 for an infant, 10.75 for a school age child and 11.73 for a preschool age child. This is per DAY! Not hourly!
I watch them 5 days a week from 7:30am to 6pm. She pays me $172 a month out of pocket that is deducted from the check that I receive monthly. Could I charger her more? Yes I could. But im not state run, licensed or anything to that affect.

If you are not state licensed then you shouldnt be charging daycare prices. They are priced that high to cover employees pay, insurance and the cost of the facility.
If you watch them from home when it comes to your taxes you can write off part of your mortgage, electric bill,food bill and anything that you pay for out of pocket for the children that you watch.
Contact your locale Child Care information services and see what the state pays their providers.

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answers from Des Moines on

Around here, it's not by hour but by day or half day. So, since you are sending your children to her, I think it would be cheaper (compared to her coming to your home.) Around here, we would pay about $50-$60/day for both kids, maybe half that for a half day. So, I think it depends how your hours are split up. Even if you only have the kids there for an hour or so one of the days - you are still taking up her time and there should be a minimum. Most daycare homes around here would consider only two rates - full day and half day and nothing less. So....maybe at 3 half days/week, I would pay $130?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

Just say no. Your rates are not negotiable. Someone will appreciate you.
I would.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

To clarify. You are the sitter and you watch others' children in your home?
Are you CPR certified? Do you provide meals? Do you do more than just baby sit? For example provide crafts, play with the children, etc.

I wouldn't be concerned about one woman who says you charge too much. Yes, it's too much for her but obviously not too much for the parents of those you're already caring for.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My 16 yr old babysits regularly for a few neighbors in my neighborhood with children ranging from 1/family to 4/family and she never gets less than $10/hr. She averages $12-$15 and hour.

Granted, this is not "set scheduled" work although it is pretty much every Fri and Sat night, especially this time of year.

$5 an hour is less than minimum wage... You are keeping her 2 children, entertaining them, probably feeding them, and keeping them safe.

For $5/hour, she better watch out... you get what you pay for.

Stand your ground, sounds like she is trying to hose you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

When my kids where in day care if they where there during the summer all day Monday thru Friday I paid $125 a kid a week. and after school from 3pm to 6pm $65 a week. Unfortunatly unless a family is VERY well off they can not afford to pay $10 an hour. Her only being able to pay $80 to $90 to me is not unreasonable. But if you don't want to watch them for that just tell her no.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

The big question in my mind is: do you only watch her kids? If yes, $12/hour is fine. Or do you have an in-home daycare where you have four or five or six kids? If that's the case, then charging $10 hour for single kids and $12 hour for siblings is super high. You'd be making $40 to 50 an hour if you had five or six kids!

We pay $225 a week to the woman who watches our girls during school vacations. That's for full time, anytime between 8am and 5pm. No discount if the kids are only there 9 - 3 like ours are. I just checked and it works out to $5/hour. So $2.50 an hour per child. She also watches other children, it's an in-home day care. I think the rate for one child is $175 a week, so that's like $3.80 an hour.

If you're watching ONLY her two children and they come to your house, I think $12/hour is fine. We pay $15/hour for a babysitter if we need one in the evenings. If you have an in-home daycare, though, and you're watching more than her two, $12/hour is way too high. People are willing to pay more for one-on-one (or one-on-two) childcare, but not if it's a bunch of kids and one adult.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

When I worked, I only made $14.50/hr so there is no way I would have been able to pay $12/hr. My friend watched my son for $25/day which helped her make a little extra and be able to stay home with her kids and also helped me be able to afford daycare. When my husband and I need a sitter in the evening, we pay a base $5 per hour rate and then add $2/hr per child - this fluctuates because we do foster care and have varied numbers of kids in our home.

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answers from Washington DC on

I am a full time teacher, and I couldn't afford that. But don't be upset. She just can't afford you. I also can't afford a new car or a designer purse. Just because some people can't afford you doesn't mean you're not worth it. The fact that she is trying to negotiate with you means that she probably wants you and not someone else. If not, she'd just say no. But it may be why you aren't watching other children right now. The lower your rates the more business you get. You need to ask yourself how bad you need the money...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

if you are making a living on watching two kids then she might as well just stay home and save the living. i watched two kids in my house for 50 hours a week and only got 150. 95 for one kid same hours. this type of job is for a college kid or mom who wants to stay home with her own kids. someone that would just like extra money for spending or food. i was always taught it's 3 an hour for one kid and the second was half off. but sense i've had kids myself i've heard of some crazy high prices. i definetly can't afford to go back to work and pay a sitter. so for me i'd want 100 a week for her 18 hours and two kids.

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answers from Boca Raton on

I paid 10.00 per hour for my son's babysitter when he was 2ish.. 12.00 per hour when my son was a newborn.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I pay our babysitter $20 per day for one child and $30 a day for 2 kids. Per day, not per hour. A day for a child in child care is usually about 10 hours if the parents work an 8 hour day, plus a lunch hour, then travel time to and from work. So for about $25 per day for a child they are getting paid about $2.50 per hour. In a home child care setting. That's how much care givers get paid, not the $10-$12 per hour you are wanting. It's a no brainer, she would be paying a lot less for a licensed child care situation.

I am putting a link here that shows what the state of Oklahoma pays the child care facilities to watch children that get assistance. The facilities do not charge the other parents that pay cash any more than that. They get paid the same for kids no matter if they are state assisted kids or if the parents pay cash.

We have a STAR rating scale, the more STAR's a facility has the more hoops it has jumped through to get more Every facility in Oklahoma that receives a license is issued a 1+ STAR rating so anything below that is sort of sub-standard in my mind but it does exist. Most facilities stay with the 2 STAR because it is the easiest to maintain. The 3 STAR is harder due to some of the curriculum requirements and each person having a degree in some child development area.

Enhanced area means a more urban area verses an un-enhanced, more country type area.

I would call around and see what the facilities in your area are getting for kids this age. Then you should charge less, sorry if that annoys you, you do not have a license to have a child care facility, you did not say you have a degree in early child development or the hours and hours of education that all child care workers have to do each year. You didn't say you have CPR/First Aide certification, in my mind you would not be as qualified as someone working in the career of a child care teacher.

I am sure you are a very nice person and would take good care of a child but a center or child care home would be worth more money per day because of the education and years of experience. In my mind baby sitters get a lot less per hour.

In my state minimum wage is only $7.25 so I would never pay someone to babysit for more per hour I was making. What would be the use?



answers from Portland on

Personally, I think your prices are too high for most. You figure that most people make about 12 an hour -- and after your 10.00 an hour - they have no reason to go to work. Just my opinion. Take it or leave it, mean no offense.

Here is what I pay:
$150 / wk for 6 month old - 34 hours week that's $4.68 an hour
$501 / month for 4 year old - 7 hours a day / 5 days a week - $3.57 an hour

The 6 month old is at a sitters home - and the 4 year old is at a daycare center.



answers from Santa Barbara on

I'm completely late to the game on answering this but the price you were offered and some of the fees parents are paying here are disgustingly low. This is a recurring topic here...why in the world would you want to get into babysitting if you do not need to be trapped at home with your own children?

What is so sad is my 18 year old daughter just started her shift in the restaurant she works 30 minutes ago....she will make more today than many parents are paying for daycare for the WEEK.

I can live with myself that I valued and paid generously for childcare when my daughter needed it.


answers from San Diego on

Even in home providers charge roughly 75-90 for part-time care, which is usually considered 25 hours or less per week, or anything 4 hours or less is part-time by the day and anything, even one minute over 4 hours per day is considered full-time. I am talking about 1 child. So on average, you should be getting paid AT LEAST 150 per week for 2 children and I'm talking YOUR home, not hers.

The rates you are quoting are for a nanny. For most of us, it's not so much the question of how many specific hours we are working. It's more the questions of ages, times, days, if the days are stable or do they change? Every single variable changes the scenario. A 3 and 4 year old child would be easier work in my opinion, but I would know that in a year or two tops (depending on their birthdates), one of them would be running off to school. Infant care commands a higher price for most, even though I don't charge more for infants. I don't charge more for infants because I like the fact that I can have them stable for 4-5 years unless they lose a job or move away.

Every space that any parent pays me must fit with the schedules that the other parents have. The more of my week a parent takes up, days, hours, or the oddness of the hours, the more they must pay. If they are limiting my options with other schedules, they are going to pay for that.



answers from Omaha on

As a childcare provider, I do think your prices are unreasonable as well. On a drop-in basis (not regular hours weekly) I think that $10/hour is reasonable but for continued care every week, I believe you may have priced yourself out of a job.

I think a reasonable fee would be for two kids/18 hours weekly, $120.

Here is the get to charge whatever you's your house/time. But the thing you want the job? Will it relieve you of some financial stress? Do you need the income?

Every year I give myself a $5/week cost of living raise. Two years ago, I didn't do it...I did not want to price myself out of work. I still make a very decent living.

You talked about living on $320/month...I don't think that this one family is going to ever earn you enough money to live on for a month. Maybe you should consider getting licensed/CPR certified/First Aid certified and become a licensed childcare provider. You would have to comply with your State licensing rules and open your home for inspection when someone rings your doorbell. You would also have to make some minor changes to your home to comply with your State's laws, but you could then earn enough money to support yourself and make not only a car payment, but also monthly bills, etc. You simply CANNOT expect to make the same income when you are simply a "babysitter."



answers from Washington DC on

Generally, for childcare, if it's a regular thing, I wouldn't expect to get paid by the hour, but by the day or week. Full time care 5 days a week (so 40 hours) ran my friend $170 a week in home and me $220 at a center... both of those come our really low hourly BUT it a guaranteed, consistent client.

For an evening out, then YES charge them $12 an hour or whatever, but for regular scheduled care, per week is more reasonable. Also, since it's at YOUR house, it's much more like daycare (whether you have other kids there or not). If you were going to THEIR hour following THEIR schedule, and not bringing your own children you could expect more money, but the way you describe it sounds fair to me.


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