What's the right baby-sitter pay?
Here are the factors to consider when deciding what the baby sitter is worth.
This post comes from Len Penzo at partner blog Len Penzo dot Com.
To be honest, the Honeybee and I rarely used baby sitters at all, even when the kids were younger, because we were fortunate enough to have two sets of grandparents living relatively nearby who would usually fill in for us.
The few times we didhire a baby sitter -- a very nice teenage girl who lived up the street —-- I was always a bit befuddled regarding the appropriate rate of pay.
The last thing I wanted to do was underpay her. After all, everyone hates underpaid jobs. Then again, after spending a hundred bucks or more after a night on the town, I really didn't want to overpay her either.
I usually ended up paying our baby sitter $10 an hour plus all the food and beverages she could consume from our pantry and refrigerator while we were gone.
The reason I bring this up is because my highly entrepreneurial daughter, Nina, has recently expressed an interest in baby-sitting some of the younger kids in our neighborhood as a way to supplement the income generated by her car wash, wallet and miniature clay charm businesses.
So how much do baby sitters get paid nowadays? (Post continues below.)
I did a bit of research, and it turns out the answer is: It depends.
According to baby-sitting website SanDiegoBabysitters.org, baby sitters typically earn somewhere between $5 and $20 per hour. However, there are multiple factors to consider when it comes to determining how much to pay them.
- The age and experience of the baby sitter. Sitters between 13 and 15 should get as low as half the pay of an older or more experienced baby sitter.
- The age of the kids. Add $2 an hour to their base pay for newborns and $1 an hour for toddlers.
- The number of kids. Add $1 to $2 an hour for each additional child.
- The cost of living. Big-city baby sitters should expect to earn more than their country cousins.
- If additional duties are required. Add $1 to $2 an hour if the sitter is required to drive the kids someplace, cook meals or perform other tasks.
- Time of day. Because there is less effort involved, evening rates can be a bit lower if the kids will be sleeping while the baby sitter is on duty.
As a quick example, let's say you hired a 15-year-old baby sitter to watch your two toddlers so you and your honey can enjoy a quiet dinner and a movie. Let's also assume a base rate of $20 an hour for an older, experienced baby sitter.
$20-per-hour base rate + $1-per-hour premium for the first toddler + $1-per-hour premium for the second toddler + $2 per hour for one extra child = $24 an hour
But since our sitter is younger, we can cut that rate in half (to $12 per hour). Who knows? Assuming your kids would be sleeping most of the time, you might even be able to shave off a bit more of the rate. Or not.
Anyway, I think you get the idea. I know I do now. I just wish I had these guidelines when my kids were younger.
At least I can now rest a little bit easier knowing that I wasn't underpaying our neighborhood baby sitter.
More on Len Penzo dot Com and MSN Money:
wow. $24 an hour, if full time, would be a $50,000 job (with no taxes - I don't see the IRS going after babysitters). While not a big salary in NYC or LA, it is a decent salary most everywhere else.
Who needs to go to college, just line up a bunch of babysitting jobs.
$24 in my little suburban corner of the world is crazy. Seriously, what kind my job can my high school or college-age baby sitters score that would pay them that much? I pay $8. They could be working foodservice or retail making maybe $10 an hour. I don't take out taxes, don't make them wear a uniform, feed them pizza, and let them have free reign of the house for the evening. Seems like a good deal to me.
While experience may matter when selecting a full time care giver for my children, for the person that's just going to hang out with them once a month or so while I work late or go on a date, it's really not so critical. In fact, I would consider it a good opportunity for my high school neighbor to gain some valuable experience for the modest sum of $8 an hour.
This CLOWN LEN PENZO is an idiot.
First of all Read some of his other blogs.
They're all just stupid and who calls their
wife the HONEYBEE anymore?
I am a stay at home dad, I Do the shopping,
the bill paying, the coupon cutting, the Dr. appt. Setting.
the yard work,the laundry, ETC. How does he get the BIG BUCKS
Writing this slop for MSN?? I'd rather read Karen Datkos crap
Actually, depends on age and experience.
The wife, 52 has raised our two, then spent about 10 years being a Nanny to two different families with a total of 6 kids. She also taught Special Ed and the 4th grade. There is a little thing called experience. It does matter to some.
Now, many will scrimp on paying thinking 10-15 is to much, but hey, it is your kids. You can have someone who has raised 10 kids or some 14 year old that spends the night texting who knows what or to whom.
It is laughable at some of the parents that think my wife is outrageous asking for 14 an hour. No problem, go get missy down the street to work for 6 an hour and good luck with that when she freaks out when the child gets a cut, or god forbid chokes on something.
Lastly, both of my kids attended classes and were certified babysitters from the local hospital. They got a cert that said they were at least trained in basic first aid and care of babies and young children.
In fact, the wife is sitting at this very moment, for ahh, 14 and hour.
Reduce the BASE rate for age and then add the full amount for additional charges. Sounds like you did screw over the neighbor girl who babysat for you.
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