JFF What Do You Pay Your Babysitter?

Updated on July 12, 2011
T.R. asks from Claremore, OK
15 answers

My husband and I are looking for a new backup sitter. I asked someone I know that is currently a part time nanny. I asked her if she wanted to fill in 1-4 times a month when my regular sitter isn't available and she said sure but wanted $15per hour!!! Wow...guess I'm spoiled cause I pay my current sitter $15 for the first hour and $5/hr after that to make sure her gas is covered. Little background....my son is almost 2, my regular sitter just got bumped up from the back up when my cousin recently moved an hour away. My cousin was the regular sitter and we paid both of them the same. We mostly use a sitter for evening (about 4hrs) and sats (about 8hrs). I don't even make $15 per hour...so it would cost me more than I'm making to pay the sitter...CRAZY!!

But it got me thinking...what do other moms pay for one toddler? Am I really that spoiled, or was that a lot to ask for??

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answers from Dallas on

I have a 4 and 5 yr old. They are at the sitters house 8:15 to 5:15 m-f. We pay her $30 a day for every day she watches them. That is way below the norm here. Average in a daycare is about 150 a kid per week. But she's a stay at home gramma already watching her own grandkids, so, I get out pretty cheap. The problem you are having is asking anyone that thinks of themselves as a nanny. You need a good old fashioned babysitter.

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answers from New York on

Um... we have a full time daycare provider (group daycare) and we pay $210 per week. When we have a date-night sitter we pay $10 an hour. She's a college student who drives to our home to babysit and she has NEVER asked us for $20 per hour. That's ridiculous!

Find someone else. If you live near a college, email the student services department and ask if they have a babysitting list. When I was in college, our "student center" maintained a list of students interested in babysitting (including availability) and parents called all the time looking for someone! I know that I made a ton of $$ sitting in college.

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answers from Richmond on

My MIL recommended a babysitter that she was paying $15 an hour for 2 very independent kids. I called her and asked if she would take $10 an hour for 3 younger kids... and she agreed. I made sure she didn't have to do anything but put the kids to bed (I fed them, bathed them, gave them their vitamins and medicine, and had them brush their teeth before she came)... so all she had to do was play for an hour, put them to bed, then play on my computer and watch tv the rest of the time. I think that made up for the extra $5 ;)

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answers from Dallas on

When I was living in Minneapolis, MN they did a news story on this topic. They said pay range for babysitters that can drive and have a flexible schedule expect between $9-15 per hour. The higher end went to those who lived closer into the big city (I at the time was paying $10 and lived about 30 minutes outside of Minneapolis). However, if it's a neighbor girl who can not drive (you may need to get her and drop her back home) and is still in a regular school schedule the pay rate drops to $6-8 per hour. However, every parent on the news segment stated that if the babysitter is coming after hours to just sit while your kids are sleeping, then $5 is totally appropriate as all they are doing is sitting and most likely playing on their phone.

Nanny prices were completely different though as they spend more hours at your home through out the week/month.

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answers from Houston on

I have two sitters that I use regularly for date nights. One just graduated and is heading off to college and the other is already in college (graduated high school a year early). I have two kids ages 3 and 5 and I pay them $10 per hour to watch both kids. In fact, since it's summer and my kids aren't in school, I have one of the sitters coming one day per week for a few hours so that I can get a break. Today is that day! Yay!

A nanny will likely ask for more money than a "babysitter" because it is their livelihood and they may do some laundry or cleaning along with watching the kids. I would suggest trying to find someone that is qualified, but not using the babysitting for their only means of employment. I would think you could find a college student home for the summer to help you out for around $8-10 per hour depending on where you live. Best of luck to you!

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answers from Dallas on

Well, I'm not sure why that surprises you- it's her job. Watching kids is her job. Shouldn't she get hourly compensation that is at least somewhat similar to what she would make if she got any other job? That's JMO.

The pay range should really depend on lots of things- how old your kids are, what the hours are, does she watch only your kids or other kids, is it at her home or yours, etc, etc.

Our babysitter watches our two girls (4 & 7) part time right now at her home and she also watches other kids. She watches our two girls roughly 4 hours per day, 4 days per week, and we pay her $125 weekly. That amounts to almost $9/hour. If she got a job at wal-mart, that's about what she would be making. Seems MUCH more than fair to me that she's caring for my most prized possessions on wal-mart pay.

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answers from Dallas on

I think it depends a lot on your area.

My 16 yr old babysits regularly for 3 families on my street. She averages $12-$15 per hour. This past Sat night she got $15/hr CASH

When we had sitters for our weekly date nights, we guaranteed $40 cash even if we had to cancel and then we paid $10 on top of that per hour. Our date nights weekly which were priority were $60-$80 a week CASH

People around here pay well to keep a good sitter. Our daughter is especially popular with the little girls because she is a cheerleader, she teaches them chants, she also takes mani/pedi items with mom's permission and does their nails with little gems, etc. , she reads to them, plays school with them, and teaches them Spanish (she is in her 5th yr of Spanish) and the parents love that.



answers from Boston on

I pay $10/hr or $75 a day for appx 8 hours (usually we're running early and still pay the whole day, other days we'll run late and not pay extra because it evens out in her favor) for my college-age cousins or high school kids and that's for a 5 & 7 year old. When the kids were younger, we paid $100 a day for baby/toddler/pre-school care because it was more hands on. So for an 8 hour day that was $12.50 an hour for a high-school/college sitter 5 years ago.

Toddler care here at a daycare center runs $60-$75 per day.



answers from Cincinnati on

You were very lucky in the past. Avg in my previous area (Tampa Bay) for a sitter was $10-12/hr but a lot were asking $15. I only used two girls that I knew well (friends of family). I got them on the lower side ($10) but they did nothing but play with/feed/change my son. They would not even rinse out a cup, for example. I am not sure of going rates in my new area - I don't know anyone well enough yet to try a sitter.



answers from Minneapolis on

We paid $10/hour when we had one and $12-13 now that we have 2. She is also 29 yrs old with a masters on child development so extremely qualified. This is just for date nights and stuff. You might be able to work something out with her since it is a different situation. I do believe you get what you pay for though. I have a 7 month old and want to make sure I have someone who knows what to do if there's an emergency, other than just call us.



answers from Bloomington on

I charge $6/hour (for one child) for evening sitting (or other times with only a few hours involved). I think most people in my area charge closer to 8/hr on average.

For a full day I usually have a daily rate. $25/day which mind you is quite low when you think about it.


answers from Seattle on

Zero dollars. I trade childcare with my girlfriends. One of my best friends has two children about the same age as my own. My children absolutely love her kids, and love her. Today I have the four of 'em, and she has the day to run errands and clean. Wednesday, she's taking mine while I drywall a family member's wall. We'll trade for date nights too. In my area, 15 an hour is not unusual. I think it's a fair price for excellent care, but it's too much for us to afford. Also, I'm still anxious about leaving my children with adults who I don't know really well and who don't know my kids like family. It's just one of my things, I guess ;-)



answers from Chicago on

$15 an hour? Wow that's some good money. Like another poster stated It depends a lot on your area. We pay our sitters $7 an hour and we have 2 girls. Some of our sitters can walk to our house, and the others are neices, that either drive or we drive to pickup/ drop off but are less than 2 miles away. Some are in high school and others are in college. I did in-home daycare and charged $40 a day, for a full day. For $15 dollars an hour there better NOT be a television on, she better be playing with them the entire time, and she better be making them meals and putting them to bed, including reading a story and saying prayers. Still, even at that, I don't think I would pay a college girl $15 and hour. Wow. If you aren't making $15 an hour, you can't and shouldn't pay your sitter that much. Talk to some neighbors. I'm sure that they have sitters that cost less. I would call the local community college and see if they have college students enrolled in Early Childhood classes that are looking for a job. Those are the kind of girls that are in it because they love kids, not so that they can rake you over the coals. lol You can also post a help wanted sign at most colleges. This way you can ask for someone enrolled in Early Childhood classes that needs the money but also loves kids. Good luck!


answers from Toledo on

For our weekly sitter we pay $22 per kid/ per day...for our weekend sitter we pay $4 one child and $6 for both plus a gallon worth of gas if they drive to our house. We have 2 kids. I feel that yes this is low for a weekend sitter BUT if we had to pay $15/hr we could never afford to go out! LOL



answers from Seattle on

In my area normal for:

Intermittent Care

babysitters is $10-$15 p/hour + tip +$5 per extra child per hour

Single day group care / camps for toddlers & elementary kids (like parent teacher conferences, holidays, etc.) $50 per half day, $100 for full days... per child

Regular Care
Nannies make $20-$35 p/hour when it's on an hourly basis, or $50-$100 per day when it's regular. (but subtract 1/3 of normal for each child of their own that they bring along with)

Au Pairs make $150-250 per week, room and board covered, plus yearly 4k bonus

Group daycare (toddlers, potty trained at 40 hours) is about 1k per month ($6.25)

Group daycare (infant & diapered toddlers at 40 hours a week) is about $1600 per month

Afterschool care (older kids) at the Y (10 hours a week) is $500 a month

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