For parents with young children, finding time for date night can be difficult. That’s where the babysitter comes in. Here’s how to determine how much to pay a babysitter, because you don’t want to bear the pain or shame of paying too much or too little. This pricing information is for non-live-in sitters only.
How old are your kids, and how many are there?
Degree of difficulty is the first thing to take into consideration when it comes to babysitting. A sitter providing temporary child care for a 3-year-old will generally have a more difficult time than with a 5-year-old, for instance. If you have multiple young children, the babysitting job becomes that much more difficult, and hence, it should pay more.
If $6 per hour sounds right for a preschooler, double it if you have a preschooler and a second grader, suggests Money Crashers. Infants will command the most money, as they will require feeding, bathing, entertaining, burping, et al. And if all you require is a babysitter to remain in the house while the kids sleep, that will pay the least of all.
Consider the sitter’s experience level
Child care givers and nannies with multiple years of professional experience will command more money. Local teenagers with good heads on their shoulders may be able to do the job just as well, and they will cost less. Think high schoolers to save money and college-age or professional nannies for the coolness under fire your dollars will likely purchase. The length of service required should be factored in here, too. For a long stint, more responsibilities on the part of the babysitter will be required, which means more money. Two hours for a movie will cost appreciably less in most cases.
The geography question
Geography plays a role on a number of levels. First of all, if you live in an upscale, high rent part of town, babysitters will expect to make a bit more money. It’s basic economics. If you’re unsure, ask parents in your neighborhood for price comparison, or check online at sites like Care.com.
Where you live will also affect total babysitting expenditure. If the sitters have to travel to reach you, they’ll charge more for their time. If you have to travel a long way to get to the evening’s entertainment, you’ll arrive home even later. That also leads to a higher babysitting bill.
Special orders cost more
If you have a special needs child or want a babysitter with various professional certifications, such as in CPR, you will have to pay more for these things. In general, special skills will add a couple more dollars per hour. If you’re asking the babysitter to do more beyond child care, such as house cleaning or something else, expect to pay more. A babysitter who has a car and can carpool the kids to meetings and lessons should also make more, as fuel is a consideration.
Repeat business, with a smile
If you’ve already seen what your babysitter can do and are considering rehiring him or her, you’ll more than likely want to open the purse strings a little bit more to show your appreciation. A good sitter is hard to find, and once you’ve got one, word will spread like wildfire to the ears of neighboring parents. You may need to cough up more money to stay ahead of the competition on the babysitter’s appointment book.