Whats Your Opinion?

Updated on April 03, 2014
O.S. asks from Portland, OR
24 answers

So here is my question:
What do you find is a good pricing for "family" to help and watch kids.
3 days one week and 4 days the next week and rotates back and forth.
3 yr old 9-5 and 6&8 yr old from 3:30-5 for the last 1.5 hrs.
Transportation is included as she DOES NOT drive or own a car, which comes to about $197.88 in gas ALONE!!!!

What is a fair price to pay? 3 yr old is potty trained so no diapers involved!!!

Please dont post any rude remarks! I m just looking for kind opinions.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

I did watch my friends kids for free for the longest time ever.. which was probably my mistake! But until her two kids started school and watching 3-4 days per week... so am not sure...what are good rates for families? or am i the only one that would watch for free? just an idiot of some sort?

Featured Answers


answers from Grand Forks on

I would never ask family to watch my kids on a regular basis. If I were at home with my own kids all day I might do it for $36 a day. (I charged $20 for the full day, and $8 each for the after school kids). That is if I am at home anyway, and I am in my own home, so I can do my housework, laundry, cook supper and so on.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Instead, can you get someone local so that you aren't paying transportation costs? I really think that would be something you should consider. Just because someone isn't family doesn't mean that they wouldn't be a good caregiver.

It is too much work to do all this back and forth driving after working all day every day.

More Answers


answers from Washington DC on


Am I understanding this right? YOU want to have someone babysit your kids on a rotating schedule ...and you would have to drive her to pick her up and take her home? I'm sorry. I would choose someone else.

What would I pay someone to care for my children? $200 to $300 a week - they are, after all, caring for MY children...and my children do NOT deserve the lowest bidder. They need someone that is TRUSTED and will care for them...if this person is a family member? Great...so be it...but they need to get their own transportation.

Just because they are family does NOT mean they get to offer their services for free.

good luck!

12 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Ok as a childcare provider myself. Even if you took your children to a outside caregiver. You would still be paying for gas. Now as far as $20 a day. Ridiculous!!!! You should be paying at least $30 for the 3 year old per day, and $10 per child after school. And what about during the summer and school breaks. Then it should be no less than $50 for all 3 children all day. Oh and by the way since you are paying for what can be considered a Private Nanny are you claiming it on your taxes, if so are you paying into your sister SS, State taxes and unemployment benefits. You have children did you seriously think it would be cheap? If you pay her more than $400 a month and she works solely for you. You are required to report this on your taxes. And what about health ins do you provide that as well? Really $20 a day you should count your blessings and smile when you pay her.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Didn't you just ask this question? New name now?

Minimum $10 per hour. My daughter averages $12-$15 an hour for a weekend night.

Remember your priorities, your children, I hope!!

You get what you pay for, family or not.

The price of gas is a non issue since it is YOUR choice to provide transportation. Those costs should not factor in to the pay for a sitter. Nor should you charge her for food, drinking your water, using your facilities, etc

I'm sorry you felt other responses were rude. You're asking a question on the internet. It's absurd to think everyone will be blowing smoke up your pants... We all have different opinions and you will not agree with all opinions just like the majority of posters here think its crazy to think $20 a day is acceptable pay fir a 10 hour day!!'

Maybe you need to rethink things and decide if you would be ok working for $20 a day.

Eta: per your SWH. You obviously think
It's ok to work for free and that's your choice. Most people would be appreciative of payment for their time and not willing to work for free. My time = $$$

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You don't get to include gas in your thoughts on payment for babysitting. It's YOUR choice to WANT to use her, she's doing YOU a favor, not the other way around. Until you figure that out, you're going to be upset over this.

Just because someone is family doesn't mean they get paid any less. That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard. Yes, some family does do it for free, but that's the people who CAN and WANT to do it for free. Your sister wants a fair rate to watch your kids, which you are not paying her. Time to move on.

Diapers realy don't matter either - great that your kids are potty trained...doesn't mean they are any easier to watch. Seriously, pay her fairly and stop thinking you're doing her a favor. Or let her leave and don't make her out to be the bad guy, because she's not.

A fair price for that? I'd do at least $200 a week.

For what it's worth, I pay my sitter $100 a week for my three kids. She comes at 615 and puts them on the bus at 825....so that's $20 per day. The real kicker? She never has to work all 5 days or all 2 (plus a little) hours. Never. But I don't change her pay. Spring break, she won't work at all and she will still get paid. She didn't work a lot of Christmas break-mid-Feb because we had a lot of snow, so a lot of no school days...she got paid for every single one. All holidays, everything. So we are both happy with our arrangement. If she wasn't, I would find someone who was or pay her more...plain and simple. My kids deserve a happy sitter who doesn't HATE coming over...so do yours. And trust me, if she is resenting you for not paying her enough, your kids will know it and that will change their relationship with their aunt. Let it go and move on. Get other childcare.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i'm a little amused by the request not to post any rude remarks, then your nasty yelling SWH when no one....er.......made any rude remarks.
why is 'family' in quotation marks?
no, families are not required to provide free daycare. and what you pay in gas to transport your kids back and forth is irrelevant. there are a few professions where the boss will factor in gas and driving time to the salary, but not most. if it's too far for you, find someone closer.
i myself would not be farming my kids out to the lowest bidder. but whatever floats your boat.
you should expect to pay somewhere between $250 and $500 for what you're demanding.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Richland on

Well I charged my family nothing but then I was a stay at home mom and my ex made bank so it wasn't like I needed money.

I paid 50 a day to watch two school aged kids, my ex paid 100 day, during the summer! These are kids that could take care of themselves just not legally.

So I would say the going rate is 50 a day, family discount, would put you at 40.

Veruca! Thank you, I asked her if she drove a tank but she wouldn't answer me. I go 60 miles a day and only use 45 dollars for gas a week!

Per your caps lock of rage 56 miles would not even use two gallons of gas in my car and I drive a crossover so not a small car. I go 380 miles a week, one tank of gas, 45 to 49 dollars a week.

Isn't her fault you drive a gas guzzler.

Oh and if you did not noticed I watched kids for nothing but I paid people to watch my kids. Just because you do something nice doesn't mean everyone will. Have you considered asking your friend if she would return the favor?
What really floors me about your attitude is you think you are doing her a favor. She is doing you a favor! When I was in college I paid my cousin to come over when I had early classes. I had both kids ready and all she had to do is sit there for an hour and watch cartoons with them, then get them on the bus and leave. 20 bucks!! I paid her the same for one hour that you do all day! Because without her I could not get the classes I needed! She was doing ME a favor and I compensated her accordingly.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

You are not an idiot. What you did was very helpful. Unfortunately, you helping 'Amanda' does not mean 'Jennifer' is going to be able to watch your kids for free.

Another poster said her sister wants more than $20 a day. I bet if you email that lady, her sister could watch your kids for $50 a day.

If you are the same person (odd for 2 people to have the same aged kids and location with the same gas price for a nanny), I would ask your sister what she thinks is fair. The older two are a bit easier with after school care (next year at school since I am sure it is booked up at the school through the end of the year).

Obviously you know you had it good with your sister and she feels used. Post on your Facebook (or local friend/family base) and see if anyone is willing to help until the end of the school year. Yes, you would be 'using' a friend, but maybe someone wants to help and do something good for a certain amount of time (I would ask April-June and then find a Summer plan).

edit: The driving is not your sister's issue, it is your issue. She is not benefiting by sitting in a car traveling to watch your kids for $20 A DAY. Your situation is not working. You are not happy about the driving/gas, yet you do not understand that money/time is NOT helping your sister. Please look for a better option. Maybe a local friend would help with your 3 year old. Be up front "Would you be willing to help me until my husband is at his job longer or until Summer starts and we can find an affordable solution?"

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Reading on

Are you saying you spend almost $200 per week in gas? What in the world are you driving?

ETA: wow! I'm so glad you shouted your SWH at me with caps and lots of exclamation points. How old are you? Perhaps you could have written it clearly in the first place. In answer to your question, yes, you are an idiot because of how you behaved here. I can only imagine how you act in real life.

By the way, that still sounds like a lot. With all my driving, I pay less than that in a month. Sorry my legitimate confusion so rocked your world.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Why don't you just find child care else where?
I don't think your sister wants to work no matter what you would pay her.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

$10/hour. Gas isn't an issue, as that's YOUR choice whether or not to drive out of your way. Day cares don't give you a discount based on how much gas you use to get there, why should a sitter?

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

You really should ask the caregiver how much she charges.

How much you pay in gas is completely irrelevant to how much she gets payed. Perhaps you should find a care giver closer to you or your work.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Who are you so angry at? Your sister who has been providing childcare for about $2 an hour? Or us who say that is a ridiculously low wage. You are very focused on the gas. OK, it's probably about $10 a day. Say it's a 10 hour day. That add $1 to her cost per hour and you would have some drive to another daycare. That's $3 per hour. That is NOTHING!!!! As someone else has said, she could do better at McDonalds and it may be more fun being out and about workign with other people than stuck home all day with a 3 year old. Get over yourself. Your past posts indicate you are not poor or broke so why are you so angry? You decided to have 3 kids btw. Did you not think of the expense so perhaps now you're angry at yourself?...

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

For working that many hours watching kids all day you should be paying her at LEAST $10 an hour if not more. It doesn't matter how much you spend on gas. That is your problem, not your sisters.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

It's impossible to say unless you live in the same location. Going rate around me is $20 an hour as I said. Find out the cost per hour for nannies around you. Use care.com or something to get an idea. Then I think it's fair to pay the going rate per hour less a gas charge. That cost is likely offset by the fact that you're not paying taxes or benefits though. Take that into account. It may not be worthwhile for your husband to work but you said once it wasn't about the money but him getting back out there and you get paid very well. I would guess that no nanny makes below minimum wage though plus taxes.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

I think it's a personal choice. It largely depends on how your family operates. I once watched my niece for my brother. I asked him for enough money each week to pay for her pull ups, as she was only 2. My mom got mad and said family does that for free. I would say throw an offer out there that seems reasonable to you. The family member will either accept or decline. But keep in mind that the family member may say yes because you're family, even if they do not believe it to be fair. For only 1 child the majority of the time, I think 9 or 10 per hour would be fair. For a continuous and on-going situation perhaps 40 or 50 per day.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

First, I would ask the caregiver what they expect. Then I would think about what the value to you is in this situation.

It doesn't sound like this arrangement is working. Even if you only pay her $20 per day...which is cheap, then your child care costs are over $300 per week (adding in gas expenses). At $20 per day, it doesn't sound like it is worth the "employee's" time and at $300 per week it is not a value to you. Not to mention all the additional road time and wear and tear on your vehicle. The gas you are spending has nothing to do with your caregiver's salary. When you go to work, most places do not reimburse for the gas spent getting to work on a daily basis.

I would find other arrangements.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

Gas is on you if the sitter doesn't drive and it shouldn't be mentally "deducted" from her worth. Our area has cheap child care (unaffordable to me, but cheap compared to other places). All day daycare for one child would be $36 in a high quality licensed daycare here. Sitters make $12/hr for three kids here. So, let's say $10 for two. I would figure about $500 for the three year old alone at 14 days per month. Plus $15 x 14 for other two...so $710/month? Granted sitters in homes may charge less (or more) than daycares with lots of kids....so maybe you could talk her down to $40/day for all kids at all hours....so...$560? You could TRY to get her to agree to $500 but that is CHEAP and you want to be sure our kids are with a GOOD, CPR licensed, attentive person, not a slouch. Dont' forget, you probably want food included in that, so even if it's a family, they can't do it for much less I wouldn't think...unless they're bored and they don't need money.

Daycare is not cheap. Lots of women don't work because of it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I agree with the posters that say gas us your issue--you chose a sitter without a car or other transportation.
3 days O. week & 4 the next sounds like a pretty big commitment to me.
Makes no sense to pick up & drop off someone that far away for 1.5 hours of work per day.
A fair price for sitting? $10/hr minimum, which is $80/day or $240 O. week, $320 the next.
You'd probably be better with school extended day service and a nearby daycare for the 3 year old.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

When my kids were little, we had a nanny who did not drive. We paid for her transportation (luckily, in our area there is good public transportation - but it's not cheap). Her salary was $500/week. At least around here, the amount doesn't really change whether or not the nanny has to deal with diapers.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

The cost of the gasoline figures into the babysitting how?

I don't get paid to drive to work or to child care, I only get paid for working so I am confused why the gasoline cost is so important to you.

Are you saying this person lives near you and wants you to pay them to babysit your kids> and????? it's up to you to select child care where you work or where it's on the way.

If it's not convenient then say no.

If this person is a simple babysitter then pay them a set fee by the day. I wouldn't pay them as much as child care charges because they do not have as much training and are not the professional that a child care employee would be.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

Sadly, nobody works for free in this country - not even family. Perhaps if you were reciprocating support beyond just the $$ (e.g. I used to watch my neighbor's kids once in a while for free, but they were always having us over for nice dinners, so it seemed like the least I could do).

Your sister is essentially a nanny, and nanny's are the most expensive form of childcare. I used to pay $25-30/day for a nanny, which did not include transportation (she had her own car) but she did keep my house clean, but that was in another state (slightly lower cost of living), and several years ago when the economy was not so good. The biggest advantage to a nanny, is that they just show up at your house, but because you are picking up your sister, you don't even get that benefit (that was MY favorite part anyway, because I hate shuttling my kids around).

I would suggest you pursue the alternate childcare route. I agree that your sister is probably slightly underpaid, but I would just tell her that you cannot afford to pay her more, and that you have decided to seek childcare outside the home. Childcare outside the home is WAY cheaper in general, and since you already have to shuttle your sister around, it wouldn't be much more work (perhaps even less??) to shuttle your kids to/from daycare, etc.

Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

$8/hr for just the three year old. When you have all three kids, I would say no less than $12/hr - especially since it includes transportation. I think this is all on the very low end of what to expect. A nanny would charge more. But if it is an informal arrangement, I would say those numbers are fair.

You were very nice to watch the kids for free, but since it seems to be on a regular basis now, it really has become a job. You should be paid for your time and effort.

And are you transporting your own kids in addition to hers? If so, you would be spending that much in gas already? If not, then she should absolutely reimburse you for gas and/or mileage.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions