We all know, how much we hate the question, ‘how much do you pay to your babysitter’, being thrown our way. In fact, we even hate questioning others about it too. Not because it’s an inappropriate question, but due to the fact that we think it will portray us as a cheapskate.
That’s exactly what’s wrong with our society! We have created bizarre standards of living and socializing which exempt us from asking even basic information from others.
Since I’m nothing but against such cultures, I decided to share with you all MY standard of paying teenage babysitters.
But before I unfold, what is a reasonable price for babysitting per hour, let’s get one thing clear;
A nanny and a babysitter are NOT the same thing.
It is essential for you to know the difference between duties of a nanny and a babysitter, in order to pay them right.
So we went forward and asked, Ask Neysa - the nanny expert, and this is how she explains the difference between a nanny and babysitter:
‘Nanny: A person, often with special training in early childhood development, and great experience caring for children, employed to care for children on a daily-basis, whether part-time or full-time. This person usually comes up with exciting and engaging challenges and activities for kids, and is a part of their growth and development.
Babysitter: A person hired to take charge of a child while the parents are temporarily away. Usually a night gig or an after-school role. This can also be a person who is in charge of daily shuffling, school drop-off and pick-ups, getting dinner on the table, but does not typically play a role in creating engaging activities.’ Source
In plain words, a babysitter is someone who would attend to your child occasionally, for a few hours. Such as, when you and your partner are busy, catching up on some alone time or maybe you both are busy with work agendas.
Since this has been cleared, let’s go straight to our point - teenage babysitting rates.
How Much to Pay a Babysitter Depends Upon Different Conditions
Well, before you decide on a specific rate, you will have to take a list of things into consideration, such as:
1. Maturity level and experience of the babysitter
Some would say age matters, but I believe maturity level and experience of the babysitter matters far more, when it comes to fixing their pay.
Let’s say, it could happen when a person is in his late teens but his maturity level is far worse than a ten-year-old. On the other hand, you can have a soon-to-turn 13 year-old kid who is way more mature and has experience handling his own younger siblings, who would you pay better?
I’m sure the latter!
Whichever the case, a basic rate or base-pay for a teenage babysitter should be somewhere between $2 to $4, plus added bonus.
2. Where you live
Just as location matters in real estate, surprisingly, it does in Babysitting, too!
Turns out, if you live in a major city, where the cost of living is expensive, compared to other small towns and rural areas, the average babysitter rates will be a few bucks higher than usual.
So suppose you had been paying $3 per hour in Idaho, you will be expected to at least pay $5 or $6 in New York or L.A.
Keep in mind, just like your living expenses or job salaries vary from city to city, babysitting rates vary as well and there is nothing wrong in that.
3. Number of children to look after
You cannot expect a person to babysit more than one baby at the rate of one. Because with another child comes another set of responsibilities. So as the number of children increases, so does the pay rate.
Usually with every child, $1 to $2 per hour is increased, so let’s say you were paying your babysitter $5 for looking after one child, but for one day you want the babysitter to look after your child as well as his 3 playmates. The rate will instantly shift from $5, to $5 + $1 for each of the three children. Making a grand total of $8 per hour, for 4 children.
4. Age of the children
Now, the age of your child matters significantly. For toddlers and below, the rates are a dollar or two higher as compared to kids above 4 years of age.
If your child is 3 or under, then he will require close care which would include nappy changes, feeding, putting them to sleep and keeping a close eye on them to avoid them from getting into any potential danger. Whereas kids aged 4 years or above, can eat, sleep and use the toilet on their own, thus decreasing the work load by half, on your teenage babysitter.
5. Job timings
You will have to pay more than the normal babysitting price, if you are calling your babysitter in at an early hour, or asking them to stay till late. The usual babysitting timings are from 8am to 12am.
Now let’s assume, you go out on a girl’s night out and expect to come back home after 12am, then you will have to notch up the rates by $2, for every hour after the usual timings.
6. Amount of tasks or responsibilities
If you are planning on keeping a babysitter while you are around, then they obviously will be payed lesser than someone who takes care of your babies when you aren’t around.
If your baby sitter tends to clean your house, walk your kids to the park or do chores you don’t usually expect a baby sitter to do then you will have to give her extra bucks per hour.
So what I simply do is, fix a base rate of $2 per child and then add on whatever amount according to the above mentioned factors.
For two children my base rate totals to $4 per hour.
Now, since one of my child is 3 years old, so $2 extra would be paid for him.
My babysitter also neatens up my home and does all sorts of activities with my kids, so $2 bonus for that as well.
In total, I get to pay her $8 per hour.
If yours just keeps your little ones occupied and out of danger, without any activities or extra chores, you shouldn’t hesitate paying your teenage babysitter no more than $6 per hour for 2 kids.
Apart from that, I make sure to leave snacks and allow TV time when both my kids are safely tucked in bed. Christmas gifts and thankyou treats here and there are always on my list.
Thankfully, my boys love their teenage babysitter and so does she.