I have an 11 month old and I'm considering hiring a part-time nanny/babysitter to watch him about 4 hours per week while I do some part time work.
She charges $12 per hour, but the market/going rate for experienced adult nannies in the SF Bay Area is more like $18-$20. Is it appropriate to tell this lady that I think she is undercharging, and offer to pay her more? And if so, how much more? It's only a few hours a week so I want it to be worth her time. I'm on a budget but I really value childcare work and I don't want to underpay her.
I am no expert, but I definitely do know that it varies based on where you are in the Bay Area. It's definitely $18-20 if you are in SF. I'm in Berkeley. My regular sitter charges $10/hr (experienced nanny, has raised her own daughter) and my backup charges $14 (she has also been a nanny for many yrs). It is possible that your area indeed has a lower going rate than you think. That said, if you don't feel that is enough to keep her loyal to you, etc. I'm sure she wouldn't turn down making more! Or since it is a small amount of hours/week, you could always round up - like give her $40 instead of $36 for 3 hours work, etc. Or see if she is a good fit at $12 and then offer to give her a raise. It's not a bad problem you have. :-)
Mama to my veggie girl (1/09) and my sweet rainbow baby (9/12).
I've always paid my sisters more than they've asked because it is worth it to me that they feel appreciated and I like to think that it makes them more reliable. FWIW, I live in Hayward and pay my sitter 15/hour.
Julia, mama to Bumpa 2008, and The Mole 2011
I live in Los Angeles and full time nannies make the upper range you quoted plus a whole host of vacation days, benefits, and taxes. But in my experience hourly workers make less overall without all the benefits. So, yes, she is undercharging but perhaps by less than you immediately think.