Originally Posted by femuhnistmama
i thought i would have no problem finding either a nanny job, or a position in which i could provide childcare in my home. what i have found out is that no one wants to hire a nanny (even if she has tons of experience) you has to bring their child. .... Can some of you please let me know how much you charge, how do you stay cost effective, last but not least is there anything else i can do to get some business??
I used to babysit in people's houses before I had my own kids, that was 9 yrs ago, and I charged $7/hr. That was the going rate then. When I had my first child, I continued working for a year in someone's house - I still charged $7/hr, but for watching 2 kids (in other words, if I did not have to bring my own baby with me, I would have charged them $8/hr for watching 2 kids, so I gave them a discount of $1/hr). I did that for a year, and it was just too exhausting for me and my baby to do all the shlepping (including picking up the kids from school etc.) She literally lived in the carriage and never had regular naptimes or mealtimes, since we were always on the go or in someone's apartment. After a year of this I decided to stay home and it took me a while to get clients; I did get them through people that knew me already.
I never set out to watch more than one kid at a time, so I charged $6/hr. THat was a little less than the going rate of $7 for babysitting in the family's house, and many people didn't want to pay that, but some did. Since I wasn't looking for quantity, one family at a time was enough for me. I had a triple carriage and all the equipment for the kids, and I always went out for walks etc, so the babies were not confined to the 4 walls of my apartment.
I think that people pay less when they bring the kid to you because of the inconvenience to them; but the care I provide is still the same, it is not worth less. (Besides, it's your house that gets trashed, not theirs, so it's another benefit to them). So I charged a dollar less per hour; now that the going rate has climbed to $9 to $10/hr, I feel that I should be rasing my prices too (I'll start in September, I guess).
I also recently starting charging $8/hr for part-time (less than 25 hrs a week) or night-time babysitting (or basically anything that's not a regular am hrs). Like in any job, you would get overtime rate if you work nights, weekends, or are on call.
Advertising never worked for me - it's mostly through the parents I worked with that I found new clients. One example of self-advertising: Just recently my neighbor (a college student) had a baby, and I gave her a cute gift (diapers, wipes, changing pads, assorted teas, granola bars etc.) etc., calling it "New Mother's Survival Kit"; wrote a whimsical list of what was included in the kit (sounding like it came from some charitable organization) and included my magnets and business cards. She thought it was hilarious, found the presents very useful, and actually started using my services once she went back to school.
I am not good at advertising myself, but I realize that just letting people know you are available and having some cards on hand can sometimes work miracles. (The magnets and business cards I order from vistaprint.com. They have 250 free cards (you pick one of 30 designs), and you just pay the shipping. Ocassionally they have promotions of free magents, calendars etc. If you want to choose another design, it still is pretty cheap).
Good luck, and don't undervalue yourself! Just make sure you find out what the going rate for babysitting is in your area, and charge a little bit less, but not by much. You will find your niche.