What Do You Pay a Teenage Babysitter?

Updated on May 21, 2011
M.P. asks from Corona, CA
13 answers

My almost 17 year old daughter babysits and does not set a price . She gets anywhere between $6-$10 an hour. She drives herself back and forth. The problem has started when a friend asked her to sit for her 2 kids and a niece. Then asked for my 14 year old to come also because 2 more kids would be there and it would be from 4:00 pm overnight until 10:00 am or so in the morning. It ended up being 8 kids/4families and each of my daughters got $40 from 1 family only. Next time they asked I said only for their kids. Well it was their 2 plus niece and nephew. They left and another couple dropped off 2 more then another 2 more got dropped off for a total of 8 again. I advised my daughter to call and say it would be $5 per child per hour and she did get $200 from 1 family for 5 hours. That was way to much but I felt they were taking advantage. She just babysat Sat morning until Sun 6pm at our home a 6 year old girl and got $100 plus $20 for movies and food out. They didnt know what to pay and she didn's know what to set. She was very happy but wanted to make sure they didn't feel obligated because we said something that was fair for both parties.

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answers from Dallas on

My daughter babysits for 3 families regularly.

The families who pay well and respect the sitters keep the good sitters.

My daughter averages $12-$15 per hour CASH and she does not set a rate. She also drives to a job if needed.

Rates vary depending on the area. A rural area is less pay than a larger burb area like we are. $10 is pretty much the average for most teen sitters here.

I do think your daughters were taken advantage of with the 8 kids/4 family night. If that happened to my daughter she would never sit for that family again. She has 1 family with 3 girls that are wild and she refuses to sit for them because they are so much trouble and the dad pays $5/hr for all 3 kids.

Good luck


answers from St. Louis on

Actually the five dollars per hour per kid is fair and the norm. If you are handling more than one then it becomes a harder job, ya know? Really if it is going to be eight kids then a second sitter is needed to do a good job. The fee is the same but split between the two.

I think the fee is less a problem than your daughter not telling them she has a firm limit on children she can watch, say four. End of discussion, if more than four show up she can try to bring in another sitter but if not she cannot watch them. There is no way a teen, or an adult not used to it, can take care of eight kids! There is no way without potentially putting them in danger.


answers from Kansas City on

Her age has nothing to do with it. If she's capable of keeping that many children safe, tucking them in, getting back up with them when they wake up, then she's a childcare provider, not just a babysitter. Those people should be taken out to the woodshed. What were they thinking? I've provided care for 25 years and would be turned into the state for having that many kids from different families in one house. Some states won't even license that many for one person and a 14 year old isn't old enough to do daycare in most states...then again neither is 17 in most states. Grrr... The whole thing stinks.

25 per night, per child is what I get and overnight is the same price but I want them picked up by 8am. 10 am is pushing things.



answers from San Antonio on

When I was younger and babysitting I got $10.00/hour but I usually had only 2 kids at a time. Now when I need a sitter we pay $10-$12/ hour and usually will have pizza delivered or have something easy to fix for dinner so that both sitter and kid get something to eat. We use the same sitter and asked her when this started what she thought was a good rate of pay and $10-$12/hour was what she told us. We do round up to the hour so if we leave at 6pm and come home at 9:15 we pay her for 4 hours. I would say that each family should pay her to watch their kid or do a group rate.



answers from Salt Lake City on

Wow ok I'm so glad I don't live out there. I wouldn't be able to ever go with with those prices. Thank goodness I have a bunch a really great young ladies in the neighborhood that know that I have little ones and I'll often find their baby sitting cards on my front doors with their prices on it. I usually give them a better tip but what sitter get paid for in this neighborhood is $1/hr for 2 kids. After that its $1/her for each additional kids. I asked my friends with kids in this neighborhood what they thought about that price and they all anonymously agreed they paid that too.

I do think that in your daughter situation that she agreed to sit for their children and not everyone else and that they need to be upfront with her about who she is sitting for. And then discuss the pay.


answers from Appleton on

I can not believe that family taking advantage of those girls. That is too bad because they sound like really good babysitters. I guess I would think twice about accepting a job with them again.

We pay our sitter $5 per hour per child.



answers from Dallas on

$80 was WAY too little for that first scenario. Then $200 was a little much, but some parents value knowing their children are in good hands that much. So not to offend the under-payers, I'd suggest set up a reason why she is setting a fixed price. I think she should go take a quick weekend class, then next time they ask to book her she should say "Ok, great... I do want to let you know that now that I am ______ certified, I do charge $8-$10 per hour to leave some discretion to the families, and if there are children outside of the family I ask those parents each pay an additional $5 per hour"
$5 per hour per kid is a little steep, and it may make a family feel like they can't afford her if they have 3 or 4 kids (and asking $15-$20 per hour from one familiy is WAY too high). At least this way though, it doesn't turn into a "Sure, go out with us, we have a sitter, she'll watch your kids too" type of thing like it sounds!
Our sitter always tells people "It is totally up to you, but going rate is $8-$10 per hour" But, it sounds like that leaves too much discretion for some people who want to take advantage.



answers from San Antonio on

$8 an hour for my younger girls who can't drive themselves.

$10 an hour for the ones that can drive themselves.

I have never used a girl overnight...but once negotiated for an all day 8am until 10pm price, but paid for meals out and a special trip for the kids. (It was on older girl who I trust and could drive my kids).



answers from Seattle on

I guess it depends on the person and maybe the area. Me being from washington and babysitting since I was about 12 or 13 and I would have anywhere from 2 to 5 kids by myself and most of the time I had them from about 4pm until about 1 or 2 am. I would get anywhere from 40 to 150 depending on how many kids I had. But I would agree with about $10/hr. I was reading this to my husband also and he said its rediculous and he would no be babysitting for them anymore. U or ur daughter needs to stand up and say this is not fair and start setting a price since she keeps getting stuck with sooo many kids. Especially since she is watching them overnight.



answers from New York on

When my kids were little $10 per hour for 2 kids was the going rate in the NY metro area. (solidly middle class area - not a wealthy area) My DD is now baby sitting herself and there are a few families who will pay about $10 an hour - but the one she sits for the most she gets about $7 ish.

Sounds liek these families are taking advantage of your DD. I think different families should be charged different amount based on the kids, the situation, etc. My DD babysits for a little boy is who slight autistic. he's well-behaved and his mom always prepares his food in advance since he's on a special diet. And, his mom is a newly single mom and has been going through a lot - so my DD wants to be helpful to her. When my DD goes for the day with this child (full day while mom works) she's paid $50 - but if it were for a couple who were in good financial shape, and had 2 kids to watch I'd expect a $7 *minimum* for both kids - and as the headcount increases so does the per hr fee.



answers from Cedar Rapids on

This depends largely on when I am going to be gone. If it's during the day for a few hours I might do like twenty to thirty for my two daughters (5 & 3). Now if it's so my husband and I can go out and we don't know when we're going to return (although it's usually by one if not earlier) I usually pay about $40. Now, these are 14 year old girls that I rely on, and so they can't drive themselves home. I would feel inclined to pay an older teenager more, because of higher expenses that a teenager has period, so that is why I try to stick with the girls I use. Plus they're terrific. I hope that helps. The only person I ever have spend the night is my sister (also 14) and I don't pay her any more than the $40 because I come home. Unless I can get her to get up with the girls so I can sleep an extra hour lol.



answers from Los Angeles on

my sitter is so reasonable that she only charges me $5/hour for my 2 kids. Most of the time she has them for an hour or so and then it is bed time. When we get home she is studying. She is older (20 i think) but she does not drive. So we do pick her up (sometimes she will get a ride) but i always take her home. If I only use her an hour or 2 I give her $20 min. I am pretty sure I always over pay because I trust her completely and she is so good with my kids so for 4 hours I will usually give her $30-$40. If money is tight I may tell her (up front) that I can only pay $20 but I feel I make it up to her at some point. Plus I think she likes to get out away from her brothers to study. And to get paid to study... =0) I have never used a sitter overnight but I think it is reasonable to Have a base of $150 plus expenses. 2 nights maybe $250 again plus expenses. That means if I want sitter to take them to the movie I would pay for the sitter too! When you have a good client it is nice to offer a break every now and then bit don't let them take advantage. In 4th grade I baby sat for my neighbor 2 days a week for about 45 mins each day and I got $5 for the week. It was across the street from my parents and I went over at 630a. The kids were asleep. I do not think they ever got up when I came. It was 1/2 hour before I would normally get up. They would stock the kitchen with whatever I wanted to eat for breakfast and I would watch cartoons. Since I really didn't do much except eat their food I would still call that reasonable. So I would also consider exactly what she would be doing. If the kids are a handfull then the price goes up for sure.


answers from Washington DC on

$5 per hour per child is the standard we use.
We've had 3 families drop 5 kids with my daughter at one house for a few hours. The kids were a little older - age 5 and up.
We have one family that has 3 children - one with downs syndrome - they pay far more than the going rate because she doesn't let the kids get away with anything and the family knows that they kids are well cared for. They want only my daughter to sit for them -- she had been known to give up parties and trips to the movies to sit for them.

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