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babysitting fees

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
HI! I'M AN AT-HOME MOM IN OREGON. MY LITTLE GIRL IS 20 MONTHS OLD, AND I'M READY TO LET HER EXPERIENCE OTHER CAREGIVERS, ALBEIT IN A LIMITED WAY!

I HIRED A 16 YEAR OLD GIRL TO BABYSIT, MAINLY WHILE I WAS AT HOME, AND PAID HER $4/HOUR. SHE TURNED OUT TO BE LESS THAN REGULAR/ RELIABLE, THO A NICE GIRL. NOW I WANT TO TRY A YOUNGER GIRL, AND WONDER WHAT TO PAY HER. I'M THINKING OF $2.50 OR 3/ HOUR WHILE I'M HOME, AND $4 IF I LEAVE HER TO TAKE CARE OF THE BABY FOR AN HOUR OR SO WHILE I RUN AN ERRAND.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU PAY CHILDREN OF VARIOUS AGES AND EXPERIENCE. IT MAKES SENSE TO ME TO BASE IT ON THESE FACTORS AS WELL AS "DUTIES" ASSIGNED (DIAPERS? FEEDING?), BUT I'M OPEN TO YOUR IDEAS!

ADVICE PLEASE!
post #2 of 37
It seems like babysitting pay varies from area to area. I pay my 14 year old sitter $6 in RI. She has a ton of energy and my dd loves her. While she sits she plays with my dd a ton, changes diapers, feeds, cleans-up after and puts her to bed. In addition to sitting, I ask her to empty the dishwasher and sweep the kitchen floor.

A friend in MA who pays her same age sitter $10/hour. That seems to be the going rate for a great sitter in her area.

My only advice would be for you to spell out the rules up front. ie. no friends over, no tv, etc. Good luck to you!
post #3 of 37
as an adult (22) with a degree in ece, i always got $10 and hour, i would ask for between 8 & 10, i think that a teenager should get at least $5 and hour, but ask the child what she things, she may say lower. Older than a teen should really be paid more than $5, at least around here they would be....
post #4 of 37
We have a wonderful 16 y.o. girl babysit for us. She charges us $4.00 b/c he's so young. She charges our friends $4.00 for their 2 children. That really is the going rate! When we stayed at the ski resort, we hired a friends' sitter to come stay at our room for a couple of hours and she wouldn't accept more than $4.00/hour. Wild, isn't it!?!
post #5 of 37
holy cow, that really is awesome , you all are so lucky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! they would gape here if we offered that much!!!!
post #6 of 37
I am always amazed at the range of babsitting fees in different parts of the country. I pay 10.00 an hour--and that is the going rate here in No. California. We have 2 different babysitters that we don't use often enough (need to get out more ) and they are both 16 years old.

I pay the same whether they sit for just one of our kids, or all 3 at once. Some families with 3 kids pay 12.00 per hour, but I have not gone that far yet!
post #7 of 37
Hi Tree !! I am here in Eugene too. Wanna have a picnic ? Look under oregon on the finding your tribes forum..there is a bunch of willamette valley moms talking about getting together

I haven't used a sitter yet (DD is 14 mos) so I can't say what I paid, but I will ask around...

Glad to meetcha neighbor
OM
post #8 of 37

Wow!

I guess babysitting fees really are all over the map. Here in a suburb of Philly I pay $10 for both college age sitter and a high school junior. I should also say that I am a SAHM of 4 (6 yo, twin 4yos and a 5 moth old) and that mosttimes my sitters are "sitting" with me there since I need an extra pair of hands (or two). Sometimes my sitters have extra kids because of friends that come over. Sometimes I leave some of the kids to run and errand with the others or pick up from school. Usually I take the baby with me. The college age sitter also picks up from school (3 kids, 2 different schools, so I can't be at 2 places at once). She also helps with laundry, helps the kids clean up after themselves, etc. She is really great. If dh and I go out on a date -- rare but it happens -- that involves putting the kids to bed, I hire 2 sitters at $10 a piece . When you have 4 kids 6 and under thats what you have to do I guess. I have another sitter who sits occasionally. She is 19, her brother is 16 and her sister is 14. They sit is pairs and I pay a total of $20 a hour. BTW, this is the going rate for a family of my size. Some sitters get as much as $20 by themselves for being a "nanny" for working Moms, etc.
post #9 of 37
Geez, at $20/hour for a date...it better be a pretty hot one!

Gosh, can you imagine a mom who works a min. wage job ever being able to hire a sitter?
post #10 of 37
When I was a teen, I did a lot of babysitting, and I always thought it was nice when the person I was sitting for asked me what others pay me or what I would like to be paid. Often I felt shy about saying (I would usually underestimate), but it taught me about negotiating and at the same time ensured our deal was fair on both ends.

I agree that the going rates will vary from place to place. Up here in Seattle, $10 is the going rate per hour, more if the babysitter is particularly experienced.

I think one thing to keep in mind is that when you are paying someone to babysit, you are paying them to carry an enormous amount of responsibility. Even if the kids are in bed while the sitter is over, that sitter is being paid to spend time with a huge responsibility on her shoulders, and she must be able to take that on should it ever be called on. A good sitter is worth her weight in gold. For this reason, I think it is *really* important to never underpay a sitter, even a teen. Only hire a teen your truly trust with your most precious little people, and pay at least the going rate in your area. That's my two cents.

Again, I'd just say don't be shy about asking the girl what sounds reasonable to her.
post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your ideas! I might add that it is pretty hard to get good paying jobs in Oregon, unless you are in the "right field"--???? I have a masters degree and started off self employed getting $7.50/ hour, working my way up to $12 for quite physical work--gardening. No benefits.

I agree that babysitting is a position of great responsibility, but I also think that kids get the wrong idea of how easy it is to earn money--money a lot of us Oregon adults have a hard time getting.

Oregon is a wonderful place, but money doesn't grow on trees here!

A difficult thing to work out.
post #12 of 37
Oh, I wasn't addressing the whole "worthy wages" issue specifically to the amount you'd mentioned, just wanted to add it to my "ask her what she thinks is reasonable" advice. Believe me, I am unemployed in Seattle, and money is tight here as well.
post #13 of 37
Thread Starter 
Sierra, Yes, I think your strategy is good. I'll ask her what she wants and pay it the first time--I have a feeling she'll be modest in her request. We'll see how good she is, and work it out from there. We can always offer more later, or give bonuses as a sign of appreciation.

Thanks.
post #14 of 37
Wow, I thought I hated living here. We pay $3.50 an hour for our two children. She is our regular sitter though and I have to drive 20 min. to pick her up (we were going to pay $4 if she provided her own transportation) . She isn't great though so I don't feel guilty paying her so little. I came home to grab something the other day and every light in the house was on (it was sunny out and noone was even in the house) the tv was on and it was on FOX (I had said no t.v while the girls were awake, and good grief especially fox) and there was food all over the living room (no eating in the living room : ).

For aomeone who came on a saturday night we have a $15 minimum and at least $5 per hour. More according to age, if there is something exciting going on, if they cancled something (this would actually include flowers and eternal greatfulness), if they drove themselves etc. . . Less if I am home when they baby sit. I usually pay about $2.50 an hour for this. since all they are doing is basically hanging out and chasing kids around. i usually have someone fairly young do this sort of job (10 or 11 year old) so it really isn't such a big deal. They are usually happy to be getting away from the folks and having snacks at my house.

Wow, if we paid $10 poer hour per kid we would never get out. Then again we would be running a babysitting service instead of slaving away at the bike shop.

When I ran a daycare I charged $3/ hour for one child and $5 for two for part time care and $.75-$1.50 /hour for full time care. That should help put the babysitter fees into perspective.
post #15 of 37
Thread Starter 
Well, it looks like I'm paying our 13 year old sitter $3/hour. (We/re here in Oregon.) More for when I leave the house, or times when she has to deal with diapers, meals, bad tempers, etc. Basically I'll be available for all these, though I hope to be cleaning or working in the garden or on writing projects.

I don't think an older kid would stick with it for this price, so I'll see how this girl lasts. She told me she gets paid as low as $1/ per kid per hour, and I have only one child, so I'm hoping I'm being fair. She seems very reliable and sensible, so perhaps I'll give her a fast raise if she comes regularly.
post #16 of 37
I can just add another thought...

In our house, I also have a sitter come into the home while I am there working. She is older (college age) but I don't think it really matters, as far as price goes, in our opinion. She helps me out by playing with ds, cleaning our toys up, sweeping and mopping the floor (although I appreciate her help, she isn't all that good or motivated).

I say all that because we choose to pay at least $7/hour. I would pay as much as $10/hour for the same thing. In our opinion, we think our children are worth it and just as important we want to pay a living wage for the work done in our home. Yes, I understand that a HS student isn't usually on their own, but I try to live in a way that doesn't further the ills of poverty.

Just my thoughts.
post #17 of 37
For our 2 boys we paid a sitter $5 an hour. No me that seems fair. I remember what I used to make years ago.... I also remember I used to pick up after the kids, do dishes and have the house cleaner than when the parents left it. Ihaven't had yet one sitter who has done dishes. Ofcourse the number one thing I'm most concerned about is taking care of the kids and I have never asked that dishes get done....just would be nice to be surprised by it! Our perfect sitter moved out of state Haven't found a good one since...last sitter talked on the phone tons and when my son had an accident (poopy accident I might add) she didn't clean it up...just laid a blanket over it and didn't sy anything to me about it! I didn't find it till the next afternoon and tell you what it was ripe!!! ERRRR!

I'd gladly be pay more for a good sitter just to keep her!!! It does get spendy, easy to spend $25 for a sitter, at least $50 for dinner, $20 for a movie....yikes!!!

momofthreecuties
post #18 of 37
I am having a hard time finding a good sitter. I don't think I am asking so much to have toys picked up and dinner dishes rinsed when i get home. I would definitely pay more if the girl was worth it.

I have one who comes and brings books she thinks my 5 year old will enjoy. Last tome she brought chronicles of narnia and tool the time to explain and remind of characters. Alas she has a life and a raal jobs. She also cleans house. either that or she just keeps the kids so enaptured they don't have time to make a mess. i love her
post #19 of 37

Well, this isn't what you asked, but here's a thought

I used to babysit all through junior high, high school, and college. I stopped at grad school. I am the oldest girl in a family of seven children. So I had lots of business, lots of experience. I had so many baby sitting jobs that I was able to be incredibly picky and turn down lots of jobs.

Years later when I had my own baby I was horrified that parents had left their precious infants (and, in some cases, I mean babies only a few weeks old) with someone as incompetent as me. My sister also did tons of babysitting and was similarly horrified. The thing is, I didn't really know what to do, and I didn't *really* understand how enormous the responsibility was. My sister and I both had "close calls" with our young charges, although nothing ever went seriously wrong. I'm not freaked by my memories of babysitting school age kids.

So I would hesitate before hiring a "younger" babysitter, unless I was going to be right there in the house.

Regarding rates... baby entertainers (there when the parent is there) run $3-$6 in our area.
post #20 of 37
$10/hour? That is more than I pay for a licenced, exprienced, adult provider. There is no way I would pay a teen-ager that much. $2-3 an hour would be max because that is nearly what I pay his regular day care lady. I just can't fathom paying that much. Heck, I just barely make than that myself. But I have no intention of leaving my child with a teen age sitter until he is much older, like 6 or 7 and then only for very short periods of time. If I need to do something that he can't be included at, my mom watches him at night for us.
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