Babysitters: The Going Rate

Babysitters: The Going Rate

So, what’s the going rate for a babysitter these days? This is a question I have asked and been asked many times over the years. Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a pay scale somewhere? We could punch in our number of kids and the number of hours we had a sitter and it would tell us the magic number to pay them…

I’m no expert on this matter, and it may vary depending on where you live, but I’ll share with you all what I shared with a good friend recently. 

Here’s what I consider when setting my rate for babysitters:

-How many children will be in their care, and what are the ages? 

-How many hours will my children be active vs how many hours will they be asleep while the sitter is here? 

-Will they need to prepare/serve a meal while I’m gone?

-How old is the babysitter? I will pay a little more for a sitter who is older and able to drive themselves to and from our home.

-What is the hourly wage for jobs in my community? If our sitter worked at X, what would he or she make?

-Does this particular sitter go above and beyond? Ie: do they clean up messes, dishes, etc? I will pay a sitter who leaves my house equal to or better than I left it in gold!

Considering the questions above, you might wonder how to broach the subject of pay with your sitter. I’ve found it easiest to be straight forward! You can start with “How much do you charge per hour?” I’ve found that most sitters we’ve used respond with “I’m fine with whatever you want to pay me!” So from there, I’ll state what I’m willing to pay. This is a good opportunity to lay out your expectations also. Things that are important to me are that they are engaging with my kids and not just giving them screen time, that meals and messes are cleaned up and put away, and that they stick to our bedtime schedule, to name a few.

There is no right or wrong rate to pay a sitter. What is affordable to me might vary from you. I think the most important thing is that you land on a rate that feels good for both you and your sitter. You want them to feel valued, and you want them to say yes the next time you ask! And most importantly, enjoy your time away and trust that your kids are having just as much fun back home!



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