Determining how much to pay a babysitter can be tricky. I was started babysitting in middle school and hated it when people asked my rate. Many girls are reluctant to ask for a specific rate. The lack the confidence and business sense to set a price for their services. Asking around will get you a ballpark rate, but there are many other factors to take into consideration. These factors include:
- How many children will she be responsible for? I only have one child and it makes perfect sense to me to pay less than my friend who has four. My go-to babysitter agrees. She shared with me that one of her clients, who also has an only child, once invited four additional children over without telling her and paid her the same rate as usual. She was too afraid to speak up and tell them it wasn’t okay.
- What are the ages and abilities of the children? I worked for a nanny services. Nannies received a higher pay rate for infants or with special needs. I once worked for a family that both had a baby and a child with autism. This was a very complex assignment and being paid extra for it was extremely appropriate.
- Will they be awake? It may be appropriate to pay slightly less if your children will be asleep when she arrives, you will only be gone a couple of hours and she won’t be there excessively late. This is especially true if you have more than one child or a very active child that is a bit of challenge during awake hours. Make sure to clear it with the babysitter in advance.
- Will you be late? However, if you’re going to be out very late, you shouldn’t reduce her pay. She’s there when you would otherwise be at home sleeping in the comfort of her own bed. Expecting her to stay up late should be compensated.
- How old is she? It is appropriate to pay tweens and young teens less than older teens or college students. Older babysitters can easily get a job at a fast food place or the mall instead of working for you. Paying more than they would earn at those jobs will keep them available for you.
- Does she have her own car? If you drives herself to and from your home, it saves you time, gas and inconvenience. Throw a few extra bucks her way in exchange.
- How long as she worked for you? If she’s been your sitter every Friday night for months (or years) on end, pay her a little extra to show your appreciation.
- Are there special circumstances? I was on a babysitter registry at an exclusive social club. It was common for sitter rates to be double or even more on New Year’s Eve. If you are taking her away from celebrating with her family, it is a nice gesture to pay a bonus. You should also do this if she was able to work for you at the last minute.
Hiring a babysitter can be expensive. It’s understandable to want to pay a fair price. However, you also don’t want to take advantage of a young girl. These factors will help you determine the right rate to pay for your situation.