What Do You Pay Sitter?

Updated on January 28, 2012
N.R. asks from Chicago, IL
17 answers

Just curious what you'd pay a high school age sitter (15 to 17 years old) for 1 child (age 8 & easy) in the Chicago area.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the responses, everyone. I think I want to come babysit at some of your houses!:-) I think $10+ is a lot of a young teen who gets a nice meal, does crafts or watches a DVD with my child for 2 hours, and then watches TV the rest of the night. And cleans up NOTHING as in the Giordano's pizza was still on the counter, plates still on the table. Not saying that with sour grapes, just that for $10 and up I would expect a lot more. The 22 year old that is fantastic and takes charge, really engages my daughter in cool activities, cleans everything up, we pay $12. Totally agree on rounding up and paying more for special nights, etc. I feel like we always "tip" in some way. Certainly don't want to rip off some nice young girl. We decided on $8 and then thought to just ask again - and she said for 1 kid $5! I think we'll go with $7 and give a "raise" soon. Thanks again for all the input.

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answers from Chicago on

At least 6-7$/HR. I've had people pay my teen 4-5$ for more than one kid, and it makes me kind of angry. They deserve more on special nights(new years eve), and if they come on short notice, and if they are only there 2 hrs, $20 minimum.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I truly think it is ridiculous to pay a baby sitter minimum wage. They are an untrained teenager watching kids for a couple of hours for the parents to go out for an evening. It is not professional child care or anything like that.

I do not pay that much. We are usually gone about 5-6 hours and for 2 kids we pay $30 maximum. If it's just one of them we only pay $20.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My teens get paid @10.00 an hour. Momma L. I dont think it is fair to assume that all teens are lazy babysitters. My girls play games with the kids, take them to the park, all kinds of things. That would be like me saying all SAHM eat bon bons. Not nice :(

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answers from Chicago on

That would depend on when they are sitting for you. My niece's friend babysits for a family on the weekends so mom can get things done or if they go out for the evening. The 2 or 3 hours on Sat in the afternoon or morning are a straight $20 but the evening is $10 an hour plus additional $20 if they come in after midnight. The girl is 16.

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answers from Chicago on

We always did $8/hour when we had one child & then upped it to $10/hour when our second was born. We usually (luckily) just use one sitter, who we've used for years. So now, even if one child is gone/at a sleepover/with us/whatever, we still end up paying the $10/hour because now that is what she is used to. And, if we end up coming home at an off/odd time, we usually round up to the next hour. Always good to stay in the good graces of a great babysitter! :)

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answers from Dallas on

My daughter is 17 and interacts with the children she regularly babysits. She averages $12-$15 per hour.

Whe she was younger and we were paying a sitter weekly for our date night... we guaranteed $40 for the night and paid $10/hr on top of that. Our bill was usually $60-$80 per date night.

Keep in mind that the sitter reserves her night for you for it is only fair to pay a good rate for the night.. We did the guarantee just in case we cancelled due to sickness, etc.

Last week my daughter got shafted by a family and she will never go there again. The house reeked of cat and dog urine, the kids were super needy, there was not 1 clean glass in the cabinet, daughter cleaned the kitchen plus she got sick again. I don't know what happened, it is a nice family in a good neighborhood but something was way off that night and she is not going back. This is after the last time she sat for them and got sick, missed 3 days of school, I paid $300 in medical/RX, she went to school at 6:30am to make up AP/Honors work and keep up with her cheer.

ETA: @Momma L. Not true.... maybe the teens you know are lazy but let's not generalize them all into one group of lazies. Tracy is right, that would be exactly like saying a SAHM mom is lazy and does nothing all day but eat bon bons.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I am amazed at how much people are paying their sitters... it is $7 to $10 on average here an hour. But really, most teen baby sitters seem to be so much lazier and yet they feel entitled to more pay than they used to be. But I suppose that is a different topic.

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answers from Chicago on

I have a 3 1/2 year old and 18 month old and we pay our 15 year old HS sitter $8-$10/hr and our 16 yr old sitter (who we don't have to drive home) $10/hr to watch both of our daughters. If I had only one 8 year old child instead of two toddlers, I'd probably pay $8/hr.

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answers from Chicago on

Not sure what others are saying, but we generally pay $10/hour for weeknights, $12/hour for weekends and then round up. In other words, if we're out for 4 1/2 hours on a Saturday, technically we'd pay $54. But we would round up to $60 and call it a day.

Our theory has always been it's better to overpay because you are more assured they'll say "yes" whenever you ask them to sit, and that is worth its weight in gold.

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answers from Chicago on

$10/hr...sometimes more...depends on how late and how long we'll be gone...it's worth paying more to keep them happy and coming back!

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answers from Washington DC on

My morning sitter gets $8 an hour. We pay her for a guaranteed 12.5 hours per week, and she never works more than 8 though. So she makes out, and we're fine with that.

For summer I'll pay our new sitter $250 per week. My kids will be 9, 7, and 5. It's not great HOURLY, but it's good guaranteed income. She'll still get $250 the week we're on vacation and the other half week we are on vacation. So she makes out too. Again, we don't care - she's good!

For nights out, even though your child is 8, I'd say $8 per hour. It's her TIME that you're paying for.


answers from Chicago on

$8-$10 an hour. Here's why. If you like your sitter and want to use her frequently, then pay a little more than everybody else is paying.

I had sitters who would call me first before taking another job, just in case I might want them for a weekend night. Sometimes I did! It was well worth it to me to be first on their list. If they do a good job and you want them back, that's what you do.



answers from New York on

My daughter babysits for a close friend (2 kids) and gets $5 an hour, which is very low. I understand the going rate is $10/hr for 2 kids, $8 to $10 for 1 child.


answers from Chicago on

$8-10/hr -- much better pay than most jobs that a HS kid is qualified to do, and no taxes



answers from Chicago on

We pay our 15 y/o sitter about $7-8 an hour. It is her first babysitting job - though we know her well, she was one of my very favorite students of all time - it seems like a fair "training" wage. She always says that it is far too generous....which even if she doesn't mean it, is the right answer. :)



answers from Chicago on

My daughter (14) babysits for our neighbor's daughter (almost 2). She is paid $10/hour. I told them that was more than she was expecting (and more than I was expecting her to get), but they are willing to pay it.



answers from Honolulu on

If you want a good sitter, and with experience, pay on par.
It is not about whether your child is "easy" or not... the Sitter is safeguarding your child, playing with her, feeding her, and minding the house etc.
$10 minimum.

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