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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-10-2002 04:38 AM
Viola In CA, I paid about $5 to $8 an hour. Here we supposedly pay $5 an hour, but my husband always overpays. Honestly, I'd be willing to babysit for that kind of money, but it seems like if you are an adult, you are expected to do it for free. Somehow I didn't think the parents in my neighborhood would have appreciated me competing with their teens for babysitting jobs.

I have a friend in CA who gets about $5 an hour for two children and she watches them during the day while their mother works.
06-09-2002 04:13 AM
Originally posted by wimbini
OFF TOPIC BABYSITTING STORY: This is OT, but this thread made me remember one of my sister's babysitting experiences. She was a young teen and babysitting for one of her favorite clients. The parents made a big pan of warm brownies and told her to help herself. Well, she got carried away and ate the entire pan of brownies. She panicked, and called my mother, who brought over a box of brownie mix and made another batch so the parents would never know.
This story made me laugh hard! I wonder if they knew?! I remember babysitting in my teen years, and I am telling you there was something about being at someone else's house with all this food that my mom didn't necessarily have around (and having someone tell me to help myself) that would just make me want to pig out! I would get so self-concious too, so I would try to eat only very small amounts so as not to have them feel I pigged out on their food. But then I would eat small amounts of *everything.* lol
06-09-2002 01:21 AM
DeChRi I had a fifteen year old watch dd one time and she was great. One thing I wanted to add. In my area they have a babysitting certificate program thing. Kids, starting at age 11 or somewhere thereabouts can go to classes for a few weeks that gets them CPR and first aid certified, they cover a bunch of early childhood education, like what things are age appropriate and how to stimulate certain ages, etc. At the end of the course they get a certificate and a little kit of stuff like a book of fun activities for each age, a list of local emergency numbers etc. A local group set up this program and it is free of charge. The girl that watched my dd had taken this course with her friends. She said people paid them lots more now that they are "certified". Just kind of some interesting info.
06-09-2002 01:13 AM
wimbini I agree that there is a huge benefit to parent and infant with young baby entertainers for infant/toddlers or babysitters for school age children.

I'm eagerly looking forward to a fourteen year old girl (my best friend's daughter) playing with my dd for two hours on Monday for $6 an hour. If it works out, I hope to hire her more often so that I can do some long overdue babyproofing.

I like Momof4's generous babysitter staffing. If I had more parents like her when I was babysitting, there wouldn't have been problems.

OFF TOPIC BABYSITTING STORY: This is OT, but this thread made me remember one of my sister's babysitting experiences. She was a young teen and babysitting for one of her favorite clients. The parents made a big pan of warm brownies and told her to help herself. Well, she got carried away and ate the entire pan of brownies. She panicked, and called my mother, who brought over a box of brownie mix and made another batch so the parents would never know.
06-08-2002 08:00 PM
tree About hiring a young person to babysit an infant, I am too inexperienced to claim this as wisdom, but I am getting the idea from watching my 20 month old with older girls that it is quite a beautiful thing for both the baby and the young sitter. My daughter is going to be an only child, and really needs to experience that sibling-like affection and attention. And the young sitter offers a simplicity and eagerness which is different from what I have to offer as an older mom.

I might add that I have mostly been home or in the vicinity while the sitter is "on duty," but realize that young sitters have a chance to experience a role we don't often offer our kids. It is not just that they learn something of gentleness and patience and responsibility and even parental wiles--more elusive than that. Perhaps I speak for the youngest in a family, the ones who aren't asked to provide this sort of love and care. I was the baby of the family. If I'd babysat more often and become more competent, I wonder if I'd have been less fearful of becoming a parent.

Just some thoughts, mainly in response to an earlier poster's warning that children don't know enough to care for our toddlers. I'm taking all these comments in with interest! (Had the 13 year old babysit again today...)
06-08-2002 05:53 PM
bigcats About the cleaning up issue -

I can understand a babysitter not cleaning up messes made during the day if the kids are still awake... it can be too hard to clean while the kids are demanding your attention, as you all know. Also, my guess is that some babysitters (good ones, anyway) feel they have to pay more attention to the kids they sit for than they would their own children. I've done lots of babysitting/nannying in my life, and while I don't think there's anything wrong with a parent washing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning the house while the kids are awake, I would never spend much time doing those things if I were hired as a sitter. Same with having the kids play alone - if I were a parent I don't think I'd have any problem letting a 5 year old play alone in another room of my house, but there's no way I'd do that as a sitter. I feel like it's my responsibility, as someone being paid to take care of a child, to be watching and paying attention 100% of the time.

That being said, I always cleaned up messes made by the kids and I during naps or after the kids were asleep. And I often did dishes or cleaned messes that were already there before I arrived after the kids were asleep, to give me something to do and just to be nice But it'd never occur to me to think that any of the parents I sat for would have been angry that I didn't clean off the high chair tray when the baby was awake and requiring attention. And once in awhile I didn't do it even when the baby *was* sleeping... because, in true AP style, the baby was sleeping in my arms
06-08-2002 01:45 PM
DeChRi Wow am I ever getting screwed!! I live in the Kansas City area, am 23 and since I have become a stay at home mom, I have had 2 bbsittin jobs. I watched a 1yr old and his 2 yr old bro, as well as my then 2 yr old dd, at thier house, and was paid $35.00 for a 9 hour day. The next one I watched a 2 yr old, a four year old, and my dd at thier house, and was paid $25.00 for 6 hours. No wonder they loved me so much, I must have saved them a fortune!!!
06-07-2002 01:54 PM
madison I babysit on occassion here in LA (I have a bach in ECE, and 6 years as a preschool teacher & Director, and a year as a nanny) and I give myself away for $10 for one kid per hour, $11 for 2 kids, $12 for 3 etc. I also expect a good dinner (even if I have to cook it, which is fine) and the parent's prompt return at the time they specified, or else I charge time and a half for the overtime. I'm not a night person, so for my evening babysitting gigs I charge more!
06-07-2002 01:54 AM
lilyka even though I never cleaned up at home I always cleaned up at other peoples house. It was just part of the job to me. After all I was greatful for my $1/hour

I think part of it is that kids get such high allowances these days that to make working intresting to them they have to really rake in the dough. I got $10 a week which had to cover luch, private lessons , school supplies and clothes, and church events. I didn't eat much.
06-06-2002 05:21 PM
Stayathomemommy I am lucky in 18 months i have never had to pay anyone, we have great friends and family who do it for free. But i've been asked to start babysitting a friends 8 month old during the days. it would be pretty steady and the majority of the day. we agreed to $85 a week which is $17 a day and $3 +per hour if i only keep her for 5 hours. I think that is resonable i know i was babysitting for $10 a day for a friend who wasnt making much. I think its funny that we pay a daily provider so much less then when we hire a babysitter for a few hours to go on a date. Does that make sence? should i be getting paid more?

06-06-2002 03:50 PM
hydrangea This is so interesting.

I just moved from NYC, where the going rate seemed to be between $10 and $15, depending on a variety of things. Babysitters were few and far between, good ones were even rarer, and ones who would work just occasionally were almost impossible to find. On the rare times I needed one and actually found one, I would have gladly shelled out the $15 if they'd asked for that much, I was that grateful. I just moved upstate and don't know what the going rate is here yet, but my guess from what little I've heard is the going rate would be somewhere between $7 and $10.

About cleaning up -- I think the idea that a babysitter should clean up assumes that everyone cleans up right away. I'm a normal person but often don't have my dishes washed and kitchen cleaned up until the next day. We don't put all our toys away every evening because I know they'll just take them out again the next day. We keep them out of certain areas, but the rest we clean up when there's a need (if it gets out of hand, if we have company, etc.). I've been to enough homes like mine to know I am not alone. So 1) I wouldn't expect a babysitter to immediately wash the dishes she had used with my children any more than I would expect myself to do it and 2) I would assume many babysitters come from homes like mine where washing dishes immediately isn't expected so it's not just that they are being lazy or disrespectful, it's just that they grew up with that being okay.

I think from reading all this that it's really important to communicate what you want since babysitters are often just going on what they know and how they were raised. I see nothing wrong with letting a babysitter know what is expected before they are actually working for you so they can say no if they wish. If you do communicate what you want clearly and politely and they have agreed to work for you and it still consistently doesn't get done (everyone does make mistakes or have unforeseen circumstances), then I agree it would be upsetting.

I also think it makes sense to focus on one's priorities, which for me is that my children are safe and happy and cared for. If I had any doubts about these, the babysitter would be out the door.
06-06-2002 03:01 PM
lilyka Well if it were dark I wouldn't mind the lights being left on but it is during the day the lights are on and we have freaking 2-5 windows in each room and usually they aren't even in the house during the day.

Oh, a good sitter is so hard to find. . . .
06-06-2002 10:48 AM
telekinetic pyro Totally agreed. I sometimes get creeped out in my own house in the dark. There is no way I would be able to in someone else's house with most of the lights off.

As for the cleaning, I don't expect anyone to clean messes that were there before they arrived. I would expect any and all messes made while they were there to at least be picked up
06-06-2002 08:07 AM
Sierra I just had a thought about lights being left on all over the house. At night, when it is dark, there may actually be a reasonable explanation for this.

I get creeped out really easily if I am alone at someone else's house and it is dark. I'm not used to the sounds and sights in other people's home. If I was at someone else's house at night, I would probably go around and turn on the lights in most rooms just so I wouldn't get creeped out. From what I can remember, I was even more easily spooked as a teen.
06-05-2002 07:12 PM
TraceyMc Jenoline
I wouldn't be mad about that question. I was a nanny, so I was at their house constantly and I cleaned it. I do think a regular babysitter should at least put the toys away and any dishes they might use. The one I have doesn't do any of this and I asked her how much she gets usually gets paid and she said $4 an hour. When I come in, she will be sitting in front of the tv (my dd in bed) with toys all around her on the floor. I should say something about it, but she lives only 2 houses away and I don't know how I would say it and not offend her. Luckily we don't have to call very often, a few times a year. Also I always cleaned up because I thought it would be nice for them to come home to a clean house after being out all night or working all day.
06-05-2002 05:26 PM
jenoline I did a lot of babysitting as a teenager, but have not used a babysitter (other than family) yet for our DD (1yr old).

However, my SIL pays at least $10/hr when she finds a good sitter (I think the going rate is much less). Her philosophy is that she is paying someone to take care of her children - the most important job in her world - why would she pay less than minimum wage/what people get paid to flip burgers. She really values the service being provided and pays accordingly. If I can afford to I hope to be able to do the same when I find a good sitter for my child. However, I also plan on hiring college age babysitters, as I also remember how clueless I was when I was babysitting as a young teen.

One more thing I often think about in discussions about babysitters...why do people expect the babysitter to clean the house? I would expect them to clean/tidy any mess they made or that occurred while they were in charge, but not to do other housecleaning. I'd be hiring them to watch my children - not as a housekeeper. (Please don't get mad - I'm asking respectfully).

06-05-2002 12:23 PM
TraceyMc I live in Maryland, we trade with other families for babysitting most of the time. I do pay a neighbor girl that is about 14, $4 an hour. She doesn't clean anything up, not even toys, every light in the house is usually on. My dd is 5 and usually already had her bath and is in her pajamas. Her parents only live 2 houses away, so at least she would have them to help if there was a problem. I was a nanny for years and still babysit during the summers for older kids. I always clean everything, do dishes, vacuum,etc. I usually get $10/hr and up. I would love to find someone better, but I don't really know anyone else in our area.:
06-05-2002 12:15 PM
telekinetic pyro $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.
06-05-2002 02:15 AM
wimbini 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.
06-05-2002 01:42 AM
lilyka 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
06-04-2002 08:36 PM
momofthreecuties 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!!!

06-04-2002 08:00 PM
TripkeHughes 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.
06-04-2002 07:15 PM
tree 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.
06-03-2002 11:37 PM
lilyka 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.
06-02-2002 04:56 PM
tree 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.

06-02-2002 01:41 AM
Sierra 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.
06-01-2002 07:30 PM
tree 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.
06-01-2002 06:51 PM
Sierra 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.
06-01-2002 03:40 PM
BusyMommy Geez, at $20/hour for a 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?
06-01-2002 03:19 PM
Momof4 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.
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