How much to Pay the Babysitter

I remember the days of walking with my own two feet to my babysitting jobs, trying to maintain control over 4 or 5 energetic kids, and walking back home with $5/hour for all my labors. But of course, times have changed and so have babysitter rates. offers some guidelines for paying your sitter and keeping her happy so she’ll keep coming back!

Figuring Hourly Rates:

1. The first rule is to consider your location: The national average is $9-$12, but in the big cities like New York City you can expect to pay up to $15/hour… and in rural Wisconsin it may be as low as $5/hour.

2. High schooler vs. College Students: A high school student makes less than a college student (usually around $9-$10/hour). This is becuase a college student is usually more mature, more likely to drive, and more likely familiar with CPR. They may have more babysitting experience too.  So if you hire an older sitter, be prepared to pay a couple dollars more.

3. Factor in the number of kids: Babysitting is a challening job (I know, I used to babysit a lot before I had my own) and it gets tougher the more kids you throw in there. If you have more than 2 kids, you should add $1-$2/hour per kid.

4. Holidays and other hot dates: If you want a sitter for New Year’s Eve or Valentines Day, you’ll need to raise your rates if you want to snag a sitter. Or you can add a nice bonus to her regular pay.

5. Being considerate goes a long way toward earning your sitter’s loyalty. If she is driving, you may want to cover her gas money. Make sure she has a parking spot, too, and walk her to ther car if you live in a big city. 

 6. Overnight and Vacation jobs require slightly different rules. You should probably work out a daily fee instead of an hourly one.  $100 – $170 is typical for a vacation.

7. Talk about it: The best option is to talk to those in the know to feel out what is expected in your area. You can also ask your sitter what she charges per hour, and if you can settle on a price that makes both of you happy, you’re all set!

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