Apr 032014
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Have you ever wondered what the going rate for a babysitter is?  I have.

Back in my day when I used to babysit, I think I cleared $3 or $4 and hour and if anyone offered me more than that – it was like I had hit the lottery.  I remember babysitting one New Years Eve for nice couple that had three kids under the age of five.   The kids were all asleep by the time I got there, so all I had to do was sit there and hang out with Dick Clark.  When they got home around 1 am (a little more than a little tipsy) and the mother handed me a $50 bill as my payment, I’m pretty sure I cried a few tears of joy.

When my kids were younger, I always had family (either my mother or my sister) babysit.  I mean, it doesn’t get much better than free, right?  But now my sister is married & living north of Boston with her new husband and mother is in failing health & can’t handle them like she used to, so I have been starting to explore my options.

I truly had no idea how much a sitter would cost these days, so I did a little crowdsourcing and polled some people on my Facebook page.


I suppose it comes down to several factors.

1.  How many kids you have.
2.  Are they going to be awake or asleep for the majority of time the sitter is there – and is that child/children self sufficient.
3.  Will the sitter have to feed them, etc.

There were many more responses than I had room to picture here, but from what I can tell, the average price for a babysitter is between $10 and $12 an hour.

I’m curious, how much do you pay your babysitter?

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  91 Responses to “How Much Do You Pay Your Babysitter?”

  1. My older boys watched my younger ones. Now they’ve grown up and moved out, so we have a ‘just-turned-15-yr-old’ and a 6 yr. old. Maybe next year our daughter will be old enough for the job, right now she’s too self & friend-absorbed to entrust w/a child. 😉 NO, I should say, ‘to trust w/her little brother.’ She’d probably be great w/someone else’s child, but she’d let her brother do what he wanted while she texted her friends. We don’t go much of anywhere w/o the kids in tow.

  2. You have to remember to include the snacks and drinks u leave for the Baby sitter in the price how much they eat

  3. I was shocked when my one granddaughter started babysitting at 10 an hour this year. I remember doing it for 3 or 4. Wow!

  4. I don’t pay a babysitter. I had my children late in life, and by that time I had babysat everyone else’s children in my family and church who were now grown themselves. For free. Clearly, I would not be paying anyone to babysit my children when the need arose. Mostly, though, my mother or nieces are my go-to babysitters and money is not ever discussed. I do often give my nieces nice gifts, though. My daughter, however, babysits on occasion, and she charges $15-25 – for an afternoon or evening – not an hour. It’s our belief that people sometimes need a break from their children and not to be robbed to have that break.

  5. Usually one of the grandmothers babysit here, but this is good to know, because I was a lithe unsure of the going rate myself. I also babysat back in the day, but the price definitely rose. I guess good old inflation can be blamed for this, too!

  6. I think rates start at $10 an hour here and go up from there depending on the number and age of kids and how late you stay out. Thankfully we haven’t needed one in awhile. I remember babysitting when I was 14 for this one woman who’d be out til 4am and pay me next to nothing. Sucked!

  7. Back when I was a kid, one of the parents would hand me a $5 bill and that was for multiple kids for several hours. Times have sure changed!

  8. i have never hired a baby sitter before – I wouldn’t even know what to charge for a rate! When I babysat I charged a few dollars and hour but that was eons ago!

  9. I don’t have kids and my sister only uses family, so no babysitter price experience. BUT, when I was a kid and first did babysitting I watched 4 kids and often until late at night and got $1 an hour! I know I was robbed!

  10. Babysitting is really expensive…one of my co-workers pays $15 a hour for a babysitter on a weekend evening. She is fine with paying she says she trust the lady and it is worth it for her to have a fun evening with her hubby.

  11. $10 an hour is our price. We have had babysitters ask for $8.

  12. I am a mother of 2 girls (3 and 2) I personally would pay $10 1st child and $2 for the extra

  13. I pay our high school sitter officially $7/hour for my 8, 6 and 4 year old in CT. That said- I usually pay her rounded up. I want her happy so she’ll pick us over another family if more than one asks 🙂 And she’s a good kid saving money for a school trip each year and I think that’s respectable so I support it.

    My niece is 21 this week, when she sits its $10/hour but again I round up- but she drives herself to and from our house which is HUGE.

    And I always make sure to have their fave things to drink.

  14. That’s one thing I’m happy about, we live by enough family that we’ve never needed an outside baby sitter. We repay family by taking them out to dinner or something like that.

  15. I agree, it depends on the situation, how many kids, etc. $10/hour per kid is a lot for us, with 3 kids. We’ve never formally used a sitter, just family or friends.

  16. Sounds all about right. And they are definitely needed if you want your sanity 🙂

  17. Whoa! This is so low! I guess if the kids are sleeping or whatever, and the babysitter is like a high schooler, then that’s fine. I babysat all through college and I was never paid less than $15 an hour, and usually closer to $20 an hour. When I moved NYC I would babysit and make $30 an hour. We live in Atlanta now and I pay my son’s babysitter $15 an hour, because he is sleeping the entire time she is over.

  18. My boys are older now and I have never really had to hire a baby sitter when they were younger before – So I have no idea what the going rate is! When I babysat as a young girl, it was for a few dollars and hour and I thought I was making big money lol but times sure has changed.

  19. I was a babysitter when I was a teenager. This was the early 2000s and I feel kids ask a lot more than I did back then!

  20. Gosh, I really have no idea! I don’t have a babysitter that I use, but this discussion has been very eye-opening. Thanks!

  21. Ah, I remember babysitting. Such fun times and the most I ever made (as a kid) was $40.. you have me beat. It was an awesome feeling! I honestly can’t believe this, I’ve never used a babysitter.. ever! So I can’t weigh in, but I’d like to think $10-$12 is about right… assuming you aren’t asking them to sit the Brady Bunch, of course 😉

  22. Nothing. I pay in aggravation. My mother-in-law is my only babysitter! Although, in NYC I did pay $15 once. The aggravation is worth it, I am cheap!

  23. I only have had my niece and nephew do the job. My niece is in college, and my nephew is 14 or 15. I’ve paid them $8 or $9. Now I feel like I’m cheap.

    When I was younger my aunt used to pay me $20 for a day and night. I’d clean their rooms, vacuum, do the dishes and more.

  24. Wow, at those rates I am so thankful for family and friends who do it for free. I have never paid a sitter in my life. I remember babysitting when I was younger and I would get a flat fee. Not by the hour. Usually around $15 to $20 for a few hours in the evening.

  25. I agree some of it does depend on how many kids and how much you have to do, but even 15 years ago when I was doing a TON of babysitting I felt $8 was expected for two kids. I wouldn’t pay any less than $10, $12-$15 if the kids will be awake the whole time. – Katy

  26. man, i want to go yell at the people i’d bust my butt for in high school for $3 an hour!! kids awake, i made dinner, and i aLWAYS cleaned up the kitchen. ALWAYS

  27. That sounds about right. Fortunately we have a free baby sitter. My oldest is 17 and we can always count on her to babysit when we need her. You can’t beat free! I hope you find a good babysitter near you.

    I remember babysitting when I was a teenager too. Like you I think I got $3-5 an hour. Boy, times sure have changed! Have a terrific day!

  28. I’ve actually never hired one! Thankfully I’ve always had family who would watch them for free LOL

  29. I am on the receiving end of this situation. I mean I sit, but that doesn’t mean I get paid. One shouldn’t be paid to tend their own grandchildren, right? I’m going to have 3 and 3 in about a month or less. Ya. I’m glad you like my sparkle jeans and the watch collections. (I feel like I am so far behind lately) – dang surgery – dang cancer.

  30. We pay $10 an hour for both kids. Our babysitter is awesome.

  31. When I babysat in college, it was $5/hour. Not good. Now I’ve been paying $12/hour for our oldest three kiddos and figure $15 for 4.

  32. I don’t have kids, but when I did babysitting for others, I generally charged $12 an hour. It was hard work for that money too….

  33. Eight dollars to ten dollars for my seven year old twins. They usually go to sleep within an hour of the sitter’s arrival!

  34. I have 4 year old twins and pay our babysitter $11/per regardless of whether the boys are asleep or awake. So great to have a trusted babysitter!

  35. These days family are my occasional baby sitters. I would not pay anyone to watch my kids because they’d need like $50 an hour! lol

  36. Let me just first say that I made $1 an hour when I babysat. ONE DOLLAR AN HOUR. When my kids needed a sitter, I paid $5 an hour which was about $2 more than the going rate. I just liked her and wanted to keep her. But yep, I hear it’s $10 now. Unreal.

  37. When i ran my daycare I got 50.00 a week to watch kids for 8 to 10 hours a day. That pretty much works out to be 1.25 an hour. It also included me fixing two meals and two snacks that Provided. So yep kids do good now babysitting.

  38. I have a teen- but at times I need somone to ‘hang out” with my tween if the teen is busy, and I’ll pay about $8 an hour.

  39. I hated babysitting 🙂 My mom was the oldest of 16 kids and I had the pleasure of babysitting my younger cousins. I hated it…..It would have been so much better if I was one of the younger ones 🙂 That said I have never used a babysitter for my own kids. I am too cheap!

  40. My daughter has gotten $10-$15/hour when she babysat, which I think is outrageously high! How can a couple afford to go out to a movie and dinner and pay a babysitter? I don’t even want to tell you what I got when I babysat as a teenager but $1.00/hour was generous!

  41. We pay our sitter $12 for both kids. She is AMAZING and worth every penny, but like you, I remember making a few bucks and hour to babysit!

  42. Luckily we never had to hire a babysitter, but I know some who make $10-$15 an hour. It would definitely depend on how many kids and how active they are.

  43. Sorry It’s A Flat Rate Of $20.00 Take It Or Leave It! LOL!

  44. I never got paid by the hour, they would just hand me cash at the end of the night and I hoped it would be good! I was always pleasantly surprised. I can’t believe kids get paid that kind of money these days and that they negotiate the number of kids, how long they will be up, etc. That’s just insane!

  45. Thank goodness my daughter is grown. The cost of babysitting has really gone up!

  46. We paid a kid sitter $8/hour when we had 3. Now that we have the new baby, we haven’t left them all with a kid yet! But our regular adult sitter gets $14/hr.

  47. I babysit to earn extra cash. I’m a woman in my, ahem, early 40’s. I charge/make between $15-20 an hour. What I’m seeing here is people paying less when the child(ren) is sleeping. What happens if that child wakes up? Do you then factor in more money per hour? What you’re paying for is a sitter’s TIME, not what activity your child is doing. Also, please be respectful of your sitter’s time. If you say you’re going to be home at 11:00, be home at 11:00. Or close to it. If you asked me to be there at 7:00, I would never be an hour late. Please don’t be an hour late getting home. We don’t care what time you’re out until, just communicate it.

  48. Our weekend sitter gets $14 an hour – but she’s usually only for 3 hours tops. Our weekday sitter/nanny gets $15 an hour and she does it for 2 kids for four hours 4 days a week. it’s a pretty good racket. When I used to babysit for 6 hours on a saturday night when I was a teen, I got $30….and that was for 2 kids.

  49. I have to be honest, I have never hired a babysitter for my sons aside from the private daycare I paid for when they were babies. Maybe if we didn’t live in the urban jungle, I would trust hiring one sometimes so Hubby and I could have a date night.

  50. My mum helps to babysit too but my hubby can handle my girl alone if he’s not working. i’m curious to know the average rate for babysitting too!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  51. My old sitter I paid $10 an hour for 2 kids. Whether they were awake or not. She moved away and I haven’t hired a new teen sitter yet. Mostly just friends or family and they sit for free. Our base community centre has child care on thursday evenings and I pay them $6 and hour for the 2 kids. They are funded by the military family resource centre though which helps keep costs down.

  52. You know, thankfully we haven’t had to figure it out as we have family so close there is always someone available… After reading all of this, I am really thankful

  53. Hmm… This is a tough question for me as I don’t have a firsthand knowledge about babysitting rates. However, I’d advice that you be careful with who you hire. It’s your children’s welfare and safety after all, right? Please minimize hiring a baby sitter as much as possible.

  54. I don’t have kids so I don’t ever need a babysitter. But alot of my friends do and they pay about $10 – $20.

  55. I found this really interesting. I have never used a babysitter for my daughter but have always wondered how people determine what they pay theirs. I guess it’s almost like minimum wage.. I have found that the average is $10 within my group of friends which I guess isn’t so bad considering someone is taking care of the most precious thing we have!

  56. My family do a lot of babysitting for me, so I pay them with love and baking 🙂 I think here in NZ, you have to pay at least minimum wage, which is about $14 an hour. Really interesting reading all these responses!

  57. About $10 an hour. I haven’t paid in a long time thought, so glad to be updated

  58. In my area the fee is $15 per hour per child.

  59. I would get $50 a night a decade ago. Even if it was just a few hours. It felt like that was the minimum! Things haven’t changed much I See.

  60. I was a daycare provider and got $12 an hour. When I babysit friends kids I charge them $20 for a full day (8 hours). I babysat when I was younger as well and got paid like $3 an hour. I loved when I stayed the night and got that nice $40 or $50:)

  61. We paid $10 /hour. Now 3 of mine are teens and they watch themselves and the 5 yr old. I always made sure they were paid fair as sitters too. Day time vs night time, age of children, meals need to be made etc all come into factor when thinking pay. As well a 1 time gig usually pays more than an ongoing job. In my 20 years of parenting, one thing I learned is you get what you pay for with a babysitter. And when you pay well, they are on time, clean up and do not steal from you 🙂

  62. I run a daycare, so I know what those costs would be. lol. I’m on the end of thinking that just because you have more then one child doesn’t mean the second or third child was any less of a responsibility, so I wouldn’t think it fair to give a discount. Mine oldest two take care of my youngest, so not sure what it would cost. : )

  63. I’m not sure, we’ve never paid a babysitter before. I wish I had one though. We’d probably pay around $10 an hour, depending on what time of day he or she was watching our children. Great conversation though.

  64. I’m kind of in the same boat – I’ve never hired a sitter! But I guess if I were to it would probably be close to being the most expensive thing of the evening!

  65. I haven’t paid for a sitter in a very long time. We have a blended family so every other weekend my husband and I end up being kid free. We schedule dates during those weekends. My Mom hangs out with the kids one night a week whether I’m teaching or not.

  66. Oh my gosh! We haven’t had to pay for babysitters yet, but I don’t look forward to when we do! That’s crazy! I used to get paid like 6.50/hr

  67. Interesting post! I had no ideas babysitters were getting paid $10 an hour. This is definitely good information for me for future reference. I now know the price range when I start looking for a baby sitter.

  68. I pay my 17 year old babysitter 12 dollars an hour for two kids. I think it’s ridiculous, but it’s worth it for my sanity and a date night with my husband.

  69. wow I used to make 10 dollars a hour babysitting. I’m kinda shocked the price is still 10 dollars a hour.

  70. I actually just reasearched the same thing the other day because I was filling out my daughters baby book and one of the questions was the average cost of a babysitter. I found that it was about $10 back in 2012, so $10-$12, sounds about right for 20`4. Back in the day, my sister would pay me to babysit her kids, but it was always a set price, or depended upon how broke she was. If she won at Bingo, I always received more. I only let my family babysit my children, so most the time I do not pay them. However, we recently took a weekend trip and I paid my sister a $100 to watch them for the weekend. She was going to do it for free, so the $100 was a good incentive.

  71. We seldom hire a sitter. When we do, we ask our neighbor teen if she’s available then ask how much she wants. That’s what we pay. I think it ends up being $20 for the night is all.

  72. I have no idea what the going rate is but $10 – $12 is probably right. That makes a night out happen a lot less as the price definitely goes up when you have to pay the sitter. My husband and I are the odd ball parents that have never left our kids with anyone to go out. My oldest is 17 so I am thinking we are probably never going to change, lol.

  73. My daughter babysits and she charges $10 per hour.

  74. I don’t hire babysitters for this reason! i am a single mother of 3 girls, the oldest 2 are in the spectrum and the smallest is a bit crazy. They don’t sleep well at night, either. So, I would prob be looking at $237/hour. 🙂 If my parents can’t watch them, they come with me! 🙂

  75. Babysitting prices have gone up for sure! When I was babysitting in high school I had one family who had three kids. They paid me the most out of all my families. I never asked why, I just took it. But one day the dad told me that he couldn’t justify paying me less than he paid the guys who took the trash out at his office. They were taking out trash. I was watching his KIDS. I never forgot that.

  76. I haven’t had to pay a babysitter in a long time and I have no idea what the going rate is. This does bring back a lot of memories about my own babysitting experiences. I remember being paid 50 cents an hour for 3 kids and doing the cleaning, laundry and having dinner on the table. It was a summer job and I was going in to 7th grade. Can you imagine that!

  77. My oldest babysits. I hope he doesn’t read this or I won’t be able to afford him.

  78. Thankfully I’ve never had to pay for a babysitter. I have two kids, and I’ve been really lucky that I’ve always had family to watch them when I needed it. I’m so grateful for them!

  79. I think I need to becoame a babysitter!! I had no idea they make that much… I have the perfect spot in my basement that it could be almost like a daycare.

  80. I think if I got handed a $10 at the end if the night I was in heaven. Times sure have changed!

  81. When I babysat as a kid, I charged $0.50/hour! There was quite a ruckus when I bumped it up a quarter. Ha!

  82. We don’t have family to help, and use a sitter service instead. It costs us $15 an hour PLUS a $20 flat fee for each assignment. Going out is expensive…$80 for 4 hours for one very well behaved 16 month old who is usually sleeping.

  83. Dang, I didn’t realize how much babysitters make nowadays! Crazy :O

  84. I’ve never used a babysitter before but $10 an hour is what I’ve heard is the going rate around here. I have two kids under 6 and would only be comfortable leaving them with someone after they had already gone to sleep at night.

  85. I pay my sitter 10 an hour. but she is 22 and an early childhood education major…and I have a newborn. I wouldn’t pay a high schooler that much.

  86. When I worked at a nursery and was in high school I got paid $7 an hour and had to watch a room full of infants and toddlers. After I got my degree and started working at a childcare facility I made $10 an hour and I would watch 25 kids (at one time) ranging in ages from 5 to 12…during the day time which meant feeding, teaching, and entertaining them. These babysitters have a nice racket going on 😉

  87. I honestly have never paid a babysitter. My kids have only been watched by family. I remember making some good money when I was a teen though.

  88. Wowzer… sure makes a night out extra expensive.

  89. We have only hired one once ever and it was recently. My kids are 10 and 6 so really all she did was play video games with them. We paid $8/hr I think. She even stayed an extra 40 minutes after we got home because she was having so much fun LOL

  90. Thankfully, my MIL watches my daughter and my mom watches my son when I need a babysitter. 🙂