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How much do you pay for a sitter? (2 children)

In a metro area. Thanks!

Tue. Apr 22, 2:00pm

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I'm in MN. I pay $5.00 an hour for two kids. If the babysitter picks up after the kids and keeps things a little tidy, I usually pay $7.00 an hour.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 2:53 PM

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Silicon Valley, CA part time nanny

I was a part time nanny after school in highschool. Two children ages 7 & 11. Picked the kids up from school took them to karate, did homework, fed them dinner, and sometimes put them to bed. I was making $10 an hour this was about 8 years ago. Looking on Craigslist the going rate is about $15 an hour for that sort of responsibilities.
Basic babysitting, if you are looking for the freshman in highschool kid to come over on a friday night you are looking at about $10 an hour.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 3:22 PM

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Silicon Valley, CA part time nanny

I was a part time nanny after school in highschool. Two children ages 7 & 11. Picked the kids up from school took them to karate, did homework, fed them dinner, and sometimes put them to bed. I was making $10 an hour this was about 8 years ago. Looking on Craigslist the going rate is about $15 an hour for that sort of responsibilities.
Basic babysitting, if you are looking for the freshman in highschool kid to come over on a friday night you are looking at about $10 an hour.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 3:22 PM

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I'm in downtown Chicago, and I babysit occasionally. I make $10/hour to watch one toddler, and I think I get paid badly. I know people who make upwards of $15/hour to watch 2 kids. But, it really depends on the situation, the area (affluent/not as affluent), and the time - you'll need to pay more for "prime time," Friday or Saturday evenings. It also depends on the quality of person, and the age of the person, that you want to sit for you. Younger teenagers will proably be happy with less, as might college students (though they may not be as willing to sacrifice a weekend evening).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 3:23 PM

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In Philadelphia, the sitters usually get paid between $10-$20 per hour. If they are just coming over while your children are asleep and hanging out on the couch, that would be less money. If your sitter is a high school student, that would be less money. If your sitter is cooking, cleaning, and driving, that would be higher.

I wouldn't mind paying a sitter more if I really liked her and wanted her to keep coming back.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 3:28 PM

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$5 an hour??!! I made more than that in highschool 16 years ago!

I will never understand why babysitters aren't paid more. Doesn't it make sense since you are trusting them with your children's lives??

Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 3:35 PM

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Heck, I got paid ONE dollar an hour when I was a teen and that was for 2 kids! Okay, so that was 20 years ago, but one dollar? Even I felt cheated back then.

I pay $7-10 for one very easy kid. I pay my college student the $10 and the $7 for my junior high girls. There's usually only 30-45 minutes of awake time and then the sitter is getting paid to watch tv and make sure the house doesn't burn down :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 3:43 PM

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I pay $6-8 per hour for 2 kids that are well-behaved. That's more than minimum wage, and no taxes taken out, for a sitter who's not old enough to get a "real" job yet. Several girls have been shocked / thrilled with the amount I pay.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 4:34 PM

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PP, that works if 14 year old girls are who you'd like to watch your children. I'm not saying that anything is wrong with that (I did that when I was 14), but there is experience that comes with age. Experience = greater pay.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 4:37 PM

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$15/hr in Seattle for 1 kid. And that's not the high end of the scale.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 4:49 PM

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I pay 7 and hour for one kid (6&3) and when they are together I pay 12 an hour. I live in twin cities. I would like the number of the babysitter in MN who only gets paid $5 an hour!! WE could use a night out but I cant afford the sitter and dinner!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 8:34 PM

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As someone without kids and has no intention of having kids, I'm amazed teens get paid more to babysit than they would work a "real" job. My babysitters pretty much were there just to make sure that my brother and I didn't burn the house down, kill each other, or stay up too far past our bedtimes. Of course, the sitter was also to get help if we did hurt ourselves doing something stupid. But seeing as where I live the minimum wage is 8.50/hr, the very thought of paying someone 15 when they're gonna spend most of their time watching TV or talking on the phone or surfing the net, is ridiculous.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 9:51 PM

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9:51 - I'm paying my sitter those prices and I couldn't agree more! There was a time I used a sitter my friend was paying $10/hr for her one child and my kid was already asleep when she got there! And the crazy thing was -after the first time she sat for my friend she told her, "I think you payed me too much." I thought if that's not a clue you're overpaying, then I don't know what is!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008, 10:06 PM

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To the 8:34pm poster -

My mom recently told me that when my sister and I were little, my parents would hire a babysitter for the night, get themselves all dressed up in "grown up" clothes, and then go out for fast food or a picnic, or a stroll around a cute area for a couple hours, and maybe an ice cream cone.

Not diet-friendly advice, but, she basically said they couldn't afford to pay the babysitter and go somewhere nice, so they'd go somewhere cheap or free instead, but they still got their evenings out.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 10:26 AM

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i only have one child but i reccomend paying whatever the going rate is per hour if they were in regular childcare. thats what we do. plus we only pay one solid amount for the enitre time they are here. for example the rate for a toddler for one day care at a childcare in my area is 25 a day. i know its cheap but i live in the country. so that what we pay. but the sitter is usuallly only here for 2 hrs max. but i would go by what ever the rates are in your area

Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 11:03 AM

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The poster from Silicon Valley

Like I said in my post and I think this is the case in a lot of situations. You are not just paying for someone to insure the house doesn't burn down, you are paying for someone to care for your children. Even at 13-17 years old I considered babysitting a very serious business. I worked like a nanny and did everything from light house work, cooking dinner, taking the kids to afterschool activities, giving them a bath, feeding the pets etc.
Hopefully you can find someone you trust you doesn't sit around the house on their phone or the internet. At that point, if you can afford it, it's worth it to come home to happy cared for sleeping children and a safe clean house.

I like the PP's idea that if you can't afford a fancy outing and a babysitter, maybe pay the money for a good sitter and then enjoy a low cost acitiviy like a long walk, a free movie in the town square, a picnic, a friends house for a nice meal, a long drive to a pretty view etc.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 12:15 PM

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It totally depends on where you are and who you are willing to hire to care for your kids. I am a nanny with 16 yrs of experience and I am not just a "babysitter" if people want me for a random night for 2 kids I charge $18 an hour. But for my real job, 40+ hr a week with light chores and taking the kids here and there, I make $3500 a month and that doesn't include overtime and traveling/gas charges and they pay a % towards my insurance I also get to go on some vacations with them. I live in the Seattle area and have worked for some pretty wealthy families. Really your kids are the most important people you don't just want anyone watching them, especially in todays world. If you have the money why not pay for quality people to care for your kids?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 2:06 PM

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a nanny and the 13 year old neighbor girl are two separate entities. I am NOT paying my neighbor girl what I pay my daycare lady. When I was 13, I charged $1.00 an hour for two kids. It gave me something to do, a little extra cash to buy that cd, and kept me out of trouble.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 2:51 PM

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Think of it this way: not many people, especially teenagers, are willing to give up a weekend night for minimum wage. You've got to pay what it takes to keep a reliable, decent sitter or else she will cancel on you when a better-paying job comes along.

As for bargaining with a teenager - think about what goes on in her mind when you're trying to convince her to accept less than her friends make. You're saying that she's not worth as much. I entered a cycle of underpaying jobs through college because the bar was set so low that even minimum wage looked like a jackpot. Don't do to someone else's child what you wouldn't want done to your own, that's not a lesson they're ready to learn at such an insecure age.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 3:13 PM

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that's just enabling more Generation Y kids to get what they want without working for it or being responsible. If I would have canceled a babysitting job to hang with friends, my mom would have beat my ass then made me do it for free!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 3:58 PM

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3:58 - I couldn't agree more. That's why I have neighbors paying 13 and 14 year olds $10/hr. To me that is absolutley insane.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 7:07 PM

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We use our daughter's daycare teacher as our babysitter and we give her easily $15-17/hr for two kids, aged 8 and 3. We trust her implicitly, and she's giving up a Friday or Saturday night to feed, entertain, then drag our kids to bed. I think having a teenager is a different story, but I think you get what you pay for. Our sitter comes with activities, treats, and plans for the kids so that they're not camped out in front of the t.v while she dusts the couch with her butt. And frankly, I'd pay just about anything to get out of the house and have some alone time with my husband from time to time!!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008, 2:21 PM

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Tonight I paid an 18 yo college student 25.00 for 1 hr and 15 min. My 9 yo child was sick w/ a 100.6 temp and the sitter came and helped me at a moments notice.
Well, when she saw how much I had paid her after she left, she called and said she was returning some of the money, etc., etc. Then her mom (my friend) called and said the amount was ridiculous, etc. She was actually upset about what I paid.
So... What's right? I wish I knew!!

Thursday, May 01, 2008, 8:36 PM

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8:36 - I applaud the 18 y/o and the mom! There are professionals with advanced degrees who don't make $25 and hour ;) And I'm sure the rest of the neighborhood would thank them, too, for not inflating the price of babysitting! I think your heart was in the right place - wanting to give her a little extra b/c you were in a pinch; in the future you could always pay the going rate and if you felt an extra 'thanks' was warranted - send it later in the form of a gift card or Christmas bonus.

And if you don't know the going rate - ask your friends or the sitters, themselves. I find they're pretty honest and will tell you what others are paying. Hope your child is doing okay, btw!

Thursday, May 01, 2008, 8:53 PM

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is this casual babysitting or someone's regular job?

I pay our sitter $5/hour but she never goes home with less than $20 regardless of how long she's been here. That said she's never been for just a single hour. I have 2 kids, 8 & 10.

When we have called upon her in a pinch, needing her right now, for a short period, we want her to want to come so she always leaves with $20 minimum.

I want my sitter to like sitting for us and to do a good job with the kids and for it to be worth her while to take time out for us when we need her.

She sits for us on average twice a month.

I pay her a Christmas bonus of $50.

FYI - between her and her sisters we have NEVER been without a sitter when we needed one b/c they WANT to come b/c they know it's worth their while :)

P.S. - I don't think it's outrageous to pay a sitter $25 for coming over, on the spot and looking after a sick kid! Let them know it's not the norm, it's an exceptional fee for exceptional circumstances! $25/hour for a 4 or 5 hour night would be a bit much maybe but $25 for coming over and helping out in an emerg. seems fine to me

Thursday, May 01, 2008, 10:14 PM

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I just had a friend ask me this question, and I have always felt uncomfortable saying how much. I have two boys ages 7 years and 8 months, and my friend asked me to watch her 3 month old on Fridays while she is at work. I have no idea how much is fair! I know she doesn't have much money but it is not easy to watch two babies at the same time.

I used to babysit a lot when I was younger and I made $5/hour per kid. Is that still the going rate--seems fair?

Friday, May 02, 2008, 5:55 PM

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ten an hour is generous, but you should go over five. seven or eight is best. this is for like 5-10 year olds

Friday, May 02, 2008, 10:03 PM

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$10 is generous!?!

Good babysitters need to step up and tell these lousy cheap parents that it is REVOLTING to see them place such a tiny price on the safety and care for their own children! I pay my plumber more than $25/hour to make sure that my crapper is functioning. Some of you parents may feel differently about this, but finding a responsible, empathetic, intelligent, CPR certified and constantly cheerful babysitter is significantly more valuable than having a smooth flushing toilet. When my wife and I find a keeper of a babysitter, we don't spend less than $40/hour. I'll tell you what, though; if we ever need a babysitter at the last minute on a Friday night and our babysitter is sitting for someone else already, she'll leave her prior engagement high and dry and come over to our place in a heartbeat! Parents, PLEASE find GOOD babysitters. Send the message to your kids that their safety is more important than your plumbing!

Saturday, May 03, 2008, 7:43 AM

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What a joke!

I used to work at a preschool and the parents would like a date every now and then, I would charge 20 bucks minimum. On top of that I was usually tipped too.

This is in the Seattle area!

Saturday, May 03, 2008, 6:32 PM

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There's a value to teach - it's okay to break a commitment at the last minute and leave someone high and dry for a job that pays more money. If that were my teenager she would not be allowed to drop that job, just as my mother didn't allow me to drop jobs if something better came along. THIS is why parents pay outrageous amount of money to teenagers - competition, to be the 'best' family to babysit for, etc. There was a time when all you needed was good food to attract a babysitter. Adults keep pushing their adult values onto teens and the next thing you know - and we wonder about the decline in work ethic!

Everyone should do what my friend did - round up all the neighbors, decide on a fair price for babysitting, and then that's the going rate. Hey, that's what plumbers do, too - collusion. haha

Saturday, May 03, 2008, 7:02 PM

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John Locke and the Invisible Hand

The teenager to whom I am referring is 18. (essentially a young adult) Her parents counsel her as they see fit but do not constrain her to do anything anymore. She is most certainly intelligent enough to make reasonable decisions in a variety of situations including for whom she chooses to babysit. She treats her babysitting very professionally and is better prepared and equipped to care for my children than anyone her age I've ever met. She is worth more than I pay her, and WAY more than what some others pay her. She is smart enough to understand this, and nothing drives this message home more than turning down one gig for a more lucrative one. Collusion is a fine way thwart a competitive market and ensure that all services are mediocre. If mediocre child care is what your children deserve, then please, continue to fix prices and underpay and promote communist economic thinking. As for me and my house... I will ONLY allow EXCELLENT babysitters to care for my children. They will be compensated fairly, and capitalism will have won again.

Sunday, May 04, 2008, 5:34 AM

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Also, I'm sorry 7:02 that your mother didn't allow you to drop a job when something better came along. I hope that you realized how foolish her advice really is and have seized the opportunity when better jobs have come along several times since your teenage years. Also, I hope that you do not continue to propagate this defeatist and castist thinking under the banner of "work ethic." Since when do we call keeping a poor paying job while good opportunity passes you by "work ethic?" On another note: when was the last time that you got a babysitter to stay with the most valuable people in your life so that you could go out to a nice dinner? And upon finishing the dinner tipped the schmo that simply brought you the stuff that you'd be eating MORE than you payed your sitter? That should NEVER EVER happen!!! The value provided by someone who brings FOOD to you does not even COMPARE with the value of a great sitter!!! If the sitter does not get at least 10 times the amount that your server received, then you should reexamine your priorities and move your kids up that priority ladder a bit.

Sunday, May 04, 2008, 5:50 AM

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I leave it up to the person paying me.
Sometimes couples or a single parent just need to get away!
Sometimes I get paid and sometimes not.
I enjoy working with the kids and if they come to my house we bake, play games, watch videos, play or create stuff on the computer, go to the park etc.
I work full time.
Years ago, I would get paid fifty cents an family in particular, when her husband got sick she lowered the price to twenty five cents and hour.

For me, it is a minstry.

Monday, May 05, 2008, 1:37 PM

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I'm a full-time sitter (nanny) and I get paid $23 per hour. When I have children, my sitters will always be paid well.

Monday, May 12, 2008, 3:34 PM

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I consider babysitters and nannies to be two different levels of service, and the pay (and required experience) would reflect that. I don't mind paying my 13 year old neighbor to come over for a few hours while I get out for a night (and I'll pay her $7/hr, my 16 y/os get more, college students even more - the key word is experience...), but there's no way I'd do that for full or even part-time daycare. The fee, experience, and expectation of service would go up considerably. Of my 13 year old sitter, I expect her to not eat all my food (haha), keep my kids out of trouble the hour they're awake before they go to bed, and call me if she needs anything.

Monday, May 12, 2008, 5:04 PM

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My 18 year old daughter (high school senior) babysits for a neighbor with one child for 2-3 hours a couple of evenings a week and is paid $30 each time.

Monday, May 12, 2008, 6:49 PM

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$15 an hour for 2, NYC.

Monday, May 12, 2008, 6:50 PM

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In 1988 I used to charge $10.00 an hr on a Fri / Sat night for 2 kids, but I would feed the kids, do homework, bathe them, put them to bed, clean up, (dishes, tidy up, put toys away), and then when they got scared, let them curl up on the couch with till they fell asleep.
I used to babysit for 3 families, and I was so good, I used to get booked up 3 months out.
I made a small fortune as a teenager.

Monday, May 12, 2008, 7:37 PM

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