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How To: Choose a Price for Babysitting

by Louise | November 4th, 2008 | Helpful Hints

As a babysitter, I know that picking the pay rate can be a delicate process. As stated in babysitters.com,  these rates, by the hour, generally range from $5 to $15. There’s quite a big gap between the two; it’s important to settle on a number that both sides are comfortable with. There are Websites like Sittercity that can calculate a rate for you, but these tend to run higher than the realistic payments. Here’s what you really need to keep in mind when deciding a pay rate:

Location is one of the biggest factors in babysitting pay rates. Where you live, there might be an existing base rate. How can you know what it is? You might have to ask neighbors what they’ve been paying, then you can ask your sitter if she has an amount that she usually charges. If those numbers match up, you’re in good shape.

Another thing to take into consideration is the number of children. Generally, you can expect to be charged one or two dollars extra per hour per additional child.

The age and experience of a sitter influences the cost as well. If the rate in an area is $7 on average, this may be acceptable for a sitter 15-17 years old, but the price can be lowered by a couple dollars if you hire a babysitter younger than 15. Conversely, an older and more experienced babysitter might take no less than $10.

It may be wise to take a step back and really look at how much effort your kids require. Will your babysitter have to really work or just watch? This can depend on the time of the day. If the sitter will have to prepare a meal, help the kids with homework, or even do some chores, you can expect to be charged more. If the kids will be asleep and the sitter is allowed to watch TV, talk on the phone, or use the computer, a lower rate might be acceptable. Then again, if you’re asking you sitter to stay until 2AM, you can be back to the original rate.

Deciding on a babysitting pay rate will never be easy because there are so many factors involved. The most important thing is that the parent and the sitter are in agreement.


  1. budi says:

    just $10 /hour

  2. Melissa says:

    I have two small children, we live below the poverty line so we cannot afford babysitters. We just swap with other parents.

  3. […] read some tips on how to determine your babysitter’s salary, visit our sister site, Your Parenting Info.  If you already have a set salary that works, please take our poll on babysitter […]

  4. Jenna says:

    I found that most younger sitters cost less, and tend to be more enthusiastic than older sitters. For example, I have hired 3 different sitters, one that was 16, one that was 17 and the other that was 18, all of whick the kids said were very boing and didnt want to play with then, also those sitter costed $13+ per hour, and one of then broke a vase. But my girl-freind has been hiring 12 and 13 year old sitters that live on her street. They charge around $6 an hour, and the kids love then beacause younger sitters love children. I have now been hiring a sitter for my 7 yr old on wednesdays, and it is way less expensive. Some people tell me that it isnt safe to hire sitters that young, since thay are practiacally children. But most are responsible and have certifications and can do CPR.

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