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Old 09-05-2012, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone,

I WAH and I asked my kids' 11-year-old second cousin to come be a mother's helper one afternoon a week while I work in the other room.  She's excited about her first "babysitting" job!  I'm wondering how much I should pay her for her help?  Her mom said anything is fine but I would feel more comfortable knowing the "going rate" for a preteen helper.  She will probably be here two hours.  Thanks!!!

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Old 09-05-2012, 07:06 AM
 
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I've always used minimum wage as a starting guideline and then adjusted depending on what work I expected, what experience the person has and any other negotiations between us. 

 

Personally, I don't factor age into the equation since that would be discrimination. I figure that if I value the work, then I should pay up.

 

This seems a reasonable way to approach it to me but I'm sure there are other reasonable methods to figure out a fair system too. Eg. if minimum wage seems excessive, perhaps some kind of barter would be fair to negotiate with her.  If she hasn't yet taken a babysitter's course and first aid course, maybe pay the fees for her, so that she's well prepared to take on more babysitting jobs. 

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Old 09-05-2012, 07:14 AM
 
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I do $5 for mothers helpers, $7-10 for babysitters when I'm not there.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:03 AM
 
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My DD (13) is a mother's helper to a friend who has a 21 month old and 3 month old twins. She gets $5/hour.

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Old 09-17-2012, 01:39 AM
 
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$4/hr.


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Old 09-17-2012, 05:01 PM
 
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OP:  what's the minimum wage in your jurisdiction?  I wouldn't give less than minimum wage.  I live in high cost of living area too so I would adjust depending on that.  Maybe people think it is okay to pay underage kids less, but  my thought is that they are still working and should respected as such.  Minimum wage is 8-something in my town and I would at least compensate at that level.  Their youth and underage status doesn't make them indentured servants.  Just MHO.


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Old 09-17-2012, 06:36 PM
 
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I would pay close to minimum too and pay to send her to a Red Cross Babysitting program- it will benefit both of you and she is old enought to earn her CPR and can be done in most of their babysitting programs


 

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Old 02-25-2013, 03:18 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post

OP:  what's the minimum wage in your jurisdiction?

 

Minimum wage in the USA is $7.25 right now. Here's a site with info.

 

http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm


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Old 02-25-2013, 06:45 PM
 
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Honest question: why does what minimum wage is apply for babysitters/mother's helpers? Babysitting is not included under federal minimum wage laws.

http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/youthlabor/wages.htm

 

Nannies apparently are. There are other details that might be interesting on that site.


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Old 02-25-2013, 06:47 PM
 
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Oh, and to what I'd pay for that service:  For 2 hours a week, I'd probably pay 10.00. I would ask her if she'd prefer to be paid each day she came, or in a lump at the end of the month.


Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:06 AM
 
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I'd probably pay $3 or $4 an hour. Plus snacks. I don't see a need to pay more than that and the kids I know would be happy.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Pajama View Post

Honest question: why does what minimum wage is apply for babysitters/mother's helpers? Babysitting is not included under federal minimum wage laws.

http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/youthlabor/wages.htm

 

Nannies apparently are. There are other details that might be interesting on that site.

 

My actions and my conscience aren't limited by the government. As I wrote above, I try to avoid discrimination. I'd try to figure out a fair payment for the babysitter/mother's helper. Minimum wage is a useful benchmark for hourly compensation for service work. I know there are all sorts of problems with minimum wage calculations but I have to start somewhere.  Just because the government hasn't made a law that values babysitting/mother's help, that doesn't mean I should not pay what I think is fair for that work. I think that work is at least as valuable as other service work that pays minimum wage, and that's how I get to applying it in this situation. I'd pay that amount for someone to work on my car or repair my computer, and my children and home are more important to me than those things. 

 

I think caregiving and housework are generally undervalued because they are "women's work". Babysitting is further undervalued based on the youthful age of the worker. Cats Cradle stated it nicely - it's a matter of respect. 

 

I also wrote above that I think there are different ways to reach a reasonable payment. YMMV. 

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Old 02-26-2013, 09:26 AM
 
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I would pay $15 for two or three hours of mother's helper work.  I think that's perfectly fair for an 11 year old who will just be playing with the kids for a few hours, especially if you include snacks.  At age 11 you would probably expect less responsibility than you would from a 20 year old mother's helper, at least I would.  If you're friends with her mother then you could always ask her to be sure she thinks that's a fair amount for her daughter to get paid.  


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Old 02-26-2013, 12:37 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Red Pajama View Post

Honest question: why does what minimum wage is apply for babysitters/mother's helpers?

 

Well CatsCradle has already explained her POV on that, and I was just adding to her comment to help add to that train of thought.

 

I remember getting paid $5/hour as a "mother's helper" or "babysitter" when I was about 11 myself, and that was 25 years ago. It's funny how monetary amounts in certain circumstances change so drastically over time and in others it doesn't really change much at all.


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Old 02-26-2013, 03:12 PM
 
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Quote:
I remember getting paid $5/hour as a "mother's helper" or "babysitter" when I was about 11 myself, and that was 25 years ago. It's funny how monetary amounts in certain circumstances change so drastically over time and in others it doesn't really change much at all.

Kool-aid still sells for .25 cents in my area

 

 

 

really you should speak to the parent of the helper- there are those who do not want their 11 year olds earning certain amounts (given what some do pay their own children to watch sibs), some are fine with above min wage, others are not and there are reasons they don't want that much disposable income for an young person


 

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Old 02-26-2013, 03:34 PM
 
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I pay my mothers helper $8 an hour to play with my three boys. She is watching my kids (sometimes Im outside and they're in ) and I want her to feel like she is making good money so she does a good job and wants to keep doing it! I would pay her a lot more if she were babysitting alone. Its a very important job!

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Old 02-26-2013, 03:35 PM
 
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$3-$7 per hour seems reasonable to me for an inexperienced/untrained helper with a very low level of responsibility for the kids


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Old 02-27-2013, 06:42 AM
 
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What exactly do you plan to have her do while there? I'd likely start with $5/hr, if she's just going to be playing with the kiddo. If you expect her to feed the kiddo and clean-up after, or do minor household chores as well, I'd likely add some on. And, to make it easier on myself, I'd want the total/week to be an easy amount - $10, $15, $20. 

 

And I think paying her each time would be better than monthly. I know my daughter prefers that. 

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Old 03-01-2013, 07:51 AM
 
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$5/hr seems pretty reasonable for someone who is just helping out with you right there doing your thing too, if she's going to have more of a babysitting responsibility (like you are going to go take a nap while she's there or be doing something outside or in another room), I'd probably pay more for that, $8-$10/hr in that case. And I would adjust a bit if the cost of living is particularly high where you are as the going rate for babysitting is probably higher then, cost of living is on the low side here (Ohio).

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Old 03-01-2013, 09:02 PM
 
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Cost of living is high here. And minimum wage is highish ($10.25/hr).

But I would probably pay an 11 yr old that was coming over to play with my kids while I was there $5 per hour.

 

$10 isn't bad pocket change for a pre-teen. I would also pay for her to do a babysitting course.

You can also find out from her Mom if she is saving up for something in particular. If so, you can give her a bonus to help her reach her goal after she has been a mothers helper for you for awhile. Or, if she starts to do a great job, or take on more responsibility and tasks, you can always raise her rate.


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Old 03-03-2013, 08:24 AM
 
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Another thing is number and age of kids.

I only hire older more experienced people when my kids are young, so I pay much more. When I expect less and more willing to let a person practice their childcare skills on my child I pay less

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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