Posted on Jul 4, 2011 in Help & services, Money & finances, Parenting & pregnancy
What is the going rate for babysitters around the country? I’m paying a ridiculous amount, and wondered what other parents are shelling out.
There are so many factors that determine how much a babysitter gets paid — it’s really hard to pin down a solid number. Here are just some of the factors that come into play.
The above item numbers 1 and 2 are often (but not always) closely linked — but an older babysitter is likely to have more experience, may not have the same school-based time constraints as a younger person, and — if old enough and licensed — can offer help by driving the kids around as needed.
The above numbers 3 and 4 also often work in tandem, because you know that caring for three kids under age 3 is nothing like caring for three fifth-graders. (If you if you need caregiving for more than three kids at a time, you might want to get two or more babysitters.) Overall, the cost of taking care of newborns will be the highest, and will probably go down slightly as each child gets older.
Your location will also determine a babysitter’s hourly rate — both in your general region of the country, and then depending on your individual neighborhood. In a very broad sense, you can expect these to roughly parallel home prices.
Extra work, as listed in number 7, can mean everything from doing any housekeeping that doesn’t strictly happen during the normal course of the kids’ care — starting laundry, running the dishwasher, mopping/sweeping, etc. You can also expect to pay more if a babysitter drives your kids around (even more if she uses her own car), if she provides something like tutoring services, or prepares meals.
Finally, if you’re competing for a great babysitter, a free market economy dictates that you will want to sweeten the deal if you want that caregiver to work for you. You may want to pay a higher hourly rate, add a bonus, offer regular employment, or give some kind of other perk — which could mean anything from stocking the freezer with a few varieties of Ben & Jerry’s, to letting him or her borrow your skis, to letting your sitter do her laundry at your house instead of at a laundromat.
Here are two sites that offer tools to calculate babysitter pay rates.
SitterCity: SitterCity.com can help you figure out how much to pay a caregiver for your kids based upon your location, age and experience of the babysitter, and how many children need to be cared for. They also offer lists of babysitters in your area.
Care.com: The Care.com site offers a calculator to help you work out babysitter pay rates for your area, based on your zip code, number of kids, and how much experience you want your sitter to have. They also have a list of other factors that may affect the hourly wage.
How much do you pay a babysitter? Post the going rate for your area here in our Parenting forum!
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