There are several factors that can impact the rate you need to pay a babysitter in order to have someone take care of your kids with the experience, qualifications and education you require.
Care.com has a babysitter pay rate calculator that will calculate the going rate for sitters in your area. Use the calculator to get the basic babysitter pay rates for your neighbourhood and then adjust them according to the following factors.
1. Amount of child care
The amount of babysitting and time of day you need a babysitter can impact the rate you will need to pay. For example, do you need a babysitter full time, part time, or just for occasional help? If it’s part-time, is it for the same days and times each week? Is the job during the week, on weekends or some of each?
For occasional babysitting, you will generally pay more if the kids will be awake the whole time you’re gone, and less if they can put the kids to bed and watch TV.
Major metropolitan areas tend to have higher babysitting rates than rural areas. Suburbs can also have much higher babysitting rates than rural areas, especially if they serve a large commuter population and are near a major city. A higher cost of living equals higher wages.
3. Number of children
Keeping an eye on 1 child is a lot different than watching 2 or 3 or more kids. The rate you pay should reflect this. Your babysitter needs to control a larger group, deal with kids interacting with each other, and be more aware of group dynamics than if she’s watching 1 child. You should expect to pay $2 to $5 more an hour for each additional child.
4. Additional responsibilities
Many babysitters are happy to help with chores, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their caregiving. Asking your babysitter to help with laundry or pick up groceries are definitely tasks requiring extra pay. Expect to pay at least another $1-2 per hour in addition to the basic rate. Basic tidying up and getting the kids a snack are usually included in your basic rate—just be sure your babysitter knows what your expectations are.
Is your babysitter required to drive the kids all over town for lessons or play dates? Is she using your car or hers? If she’s using her car, you’ll want to offer extra compensation for the gas she uses while driving the kids. If she’s using your car be sure you provide her with gas money if the tank needs filling. Some families offer their babysitter gas money if she’s commuting a long distance.
Experienced babysitters get paid more than those with less experience. Paying more for experience can get you a sitter who can better meet your childcare needs–and you get peace of mind too.
7. Special qualifications
If you have a newborn or twins (or triplets!), you’ll want a babysitter that has specific experience to match your needs. Expect to pay more per hour than the basic rate in your local area. It’s worth it.
You will generally need to pay more if your babysitter will have the added responsibility for taking your kids to activities – whether to soccer practice, the dentist or a birthday party.
9. Babysitter’s Age
Younger sitters will usually expect a lower rate than older babysitters with more experience. However if a sitter stays with you for many years, you may need to increase her wages as her experience increases to make sure you don’t lose her!
In the end, you get what you pay for. When you hire a babysitter, pay her fairly to help establish a long, trusting relationship–and to make sure she’s not lured away by a higher-paying neighbour.