I started babysitting when I was eleven-years-old in the early 90s. I charged two dollars an hour, regardless of how many children I was watching, for how long or how late I was there. Times have definitely changed! I was shocked to learn that the going rate in my area for a babysitter with her own car is ten dollars an hour. I only have one child. I hear $12 – $15 is common depending on the number of children.
Here are some ways to determine the going rate for babysitters in your area.
Ask other local parents how much they pay.
Let them know that you aren’t trying to steal their babysitter. Many parents are tight lipped about these things out of fear that someone will offer the babysitter more money to lure them away. A dependable babysitter is hard to find. Once they know you aren’t a babysitter poacher, most parents will be open with you about what they pay.
Ask potential babysitters directly.
The problem with this tactic is that many younger girls, especially the shy ones, are afraid to set a rate. They take whatever is offered to them. You don’t want to take advantage of a babysitter by paying her less than going rate because she’s afraid to speak up and ask for what her time is really worth. However, other girls will be very outspoken about the rate they expect. Ask a variety of babysitters what they charged to get a true feel for the going rate.
Contact the concierge desk at hotels, private housing developments and vacation condos in your area.
These places often arrange for babysitters for their residents and guests. They should be able to give you a range of rates. Ask if they work with a babysitter registry services and if they would be willing to share the contact info with you.
Look on bulletin boards.
Babysitters often advertise their services, contact information and rates on bulletin boards. Check the library, grocery store and community center. Bulletin boards in college towns frequently have this information tacked to them.
Check out an online babysitting directory.
There are several online directories where babysitters advertise their services and rates. Look for sitters in your area. Each should have her rates listed.
Hiring a babysitter is expensive. Add in a pizza for the babysitter and your children to share, plus the cost of your night out and it often adds up to a considerable cost. However, a well paid babysitter is often a happy babysitter. That means your child is most likely to receive their full attention.