How does a parent find out how much to pay a babysitter in their area; it must be different for a family in New York vs. a family in a small town in Kansas, don’t you think?
A woman posed the question on Facebook recently for our area:
OP: What is the going rate these days, per child, per hour, for a babysitter?
Answer: $7-8 per hour, although some people pay more. Many girls won’t tell you how much they charge; but if you don’t pay enough, they are never available. :)
OP: Thanks for the info.
Another: She is spot on!
The current Washington State minimum wage is $8.67 (federal is $7.25). Am I supposed to believe that we should be paying a 12-15 year old about the same or more than what an adult can get at a business? Perhaps it’s my frugal (i.e. broke) nature to be so *ahem* cheap, but I’ve been paying $4/hr for non-driving babysitters (12-15ish) and $5/hr for driving babysitters (16-18) and have had no problem with availability.
As a matter of fact, I’ve traded services for babysitting and haven’t paid out of pocket for a sitter in over six months. That’s not to say that people who watch my kids aren’t WORTH paying… just that we’ve been lucky to have people who love to come over and watch them.
A text conversation tonight with a preschool teacher:
Me: I want to have more babies just so you can preschool them :) (but I really don’t want to have babies)
Them: Hahaha. Well, if you ever do, I shall preschool them for free! Because you’re awesome and your offspring are awesome!
Me: Yesss (fist pump). But you’re worth $20/hr [this person has been paid to babysit for that much by other families]
Them: Just so you know, if I wasn’t already occupied, I would totally offer to babysit your kids… and for free!
Maybe the gal that says “but if you don’t pay enough, they are never available” has high maintenance children that nobody wants to babysit. Or maybe she adds housework on top of it. I hear some parents leave a list of things to do when the kids are asleep: laundry, dishes, vacuum, dusting, take out the garbage, clean the bathroom(s), etc. Yeah, if I had to do manual labor, then I’d be unavailable every time she called me to babysit.
Our babysitter’s get to watch two cool kids who can feed themselves, are polite, like to play video games (that the babysitter’s like to play) and can watch movies while eating/drinking our stuff after bedtime. We ask them to clean up meals (wipe the counter of crumbs, put the dishes in the sink, put away the food) but our kids are responsible for everything else they messed up while the sitter is here. Unless the teens have a school/church/friend function that keeps them from being available, they’d rather come to our house to hang out “babysitting” and make a few bucks than stay at home doing the same thing for nothing ;)
Comments section: Don’t be mad at me for being frugal and don’t compare teenager babysitting rates with professional service prices.