Find a Babysitter Rate

For many parents, deciding what to pay the babysitter is a painful process. Most parents want to pay a fair rate but they also want the rate to be affordable.

Babysitter rates will vary based on several things. Where you live, the sitter’s childcare experience and her training will significantly influence her rates. For example, a high school teenager from Wisconsin who doesn’t drive and babysits on the weekends will charge significantly less than a qualified nanny in Boston who babysits on the weekends for extra income.

To determine the average babysitting rate in your area, search local babysitting job advertisements and review local babysitter profiles on babysitting websites like Parents can also call local babysitting agencies and inquire about the hourly fees of sitter’s in their area.

If parents use a babysitting service to find a sitter, they should be prepared to pay a finder’s fee in addition to the sitter’s hourly rates. For parents who are willing to do the sitter screening themselves, utilizing an online babysitting site can be cost effective, and many sites offer free memberships that allow you to review potential sitters before joining to receive their contact information.

The frequency of which you use a sitter and the sitter’s roles and responsibilities can also affect the babysitting rate you pay. Occasional, casual sitters are typically exempt from minimum wage laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act, while full-time babysitters are not. Parents who have hired a full-time babysitter or expect to pay a single babysitter more than $1800 in a calendar year (the 2012 wage threshold) are typically subject to labor laws and employment taxes. Full-time babysitters must be paid at least minimum wage for each hour worked. Live-out full-time sitters, and live-in sitters in some states, are also entitled to overtime pay. Parents who are hiring a regular babysitter should seek a complimentary consultation from to determine if their situation would require them to have tax obligations.

Unlike with daycare sitters, babysitters don’t charge by the slot. While families with several children may pay slightly more than those with one or two children, the hourly rate typically only fluctuates a dollar or two per additional child.

Sitters who take on additional duties and responsibilities, like housekeeping tasks or pet care, may also be compensated at a higher rate than those who don’t. Parents should carefully consider the duties and responsibilities they wish their sitter to have and compensate her accordingly.

10 Reasons Paying Your Sitter a Good Rate Matters

Babysitting is expensive business, especially for families with many children. However, the desire to save money should be balanced out against securing high quality childcare for your children. Here are the top 10 reasons why you want to make sure you pay your babysitter a good rate.

  1. You get what you pay for.  It’s an old motto that’s still around for a reason. Hire a sitter with a bargain basement price and you will get bargain basement services. Ask yourself if that’s really what you want for your child when you’re not there.
  2. You want to retain services.  When you find a great sitter, you want that person to stay around and continue watching your child. Paying a solid rate ensures that your sitter won’t get frustrated and seek employment elsewhere.
  3. A good attitude typically follows good pay. You are leaving your child with this person. You want them to have a great attitude with your little one, not to be seething inside because they feel like they’re being taken advantage of.
  4. Reliability is essential.  When you’re paying well, the sitter is more likely to be reliable. Decide to be an extreme penny-pincher with the babysitter and you may find yourself waiting on the sitter or facing other inconveniences.
  5. Tax incentives may follow.  In exchange for paying your sitter more and paying her legally, you may be eligible to receive tax incentives.
  6. You pay more for experience.  As with most things, you do pay more for a sitter with experience. However, that experience can help you relax when you are out as you will know that your little ones are in good hands.
  7. Higher paid sitters will jump at the opportunity to work.  Sometimes things come up at the last minute and you need a sitter. When you have good rates, the sitter will be more likely to say yes if you call her for a last minute job.
  8. Increased interaction.  A sitter who is well paid will be more likely to interact with your child and spend quality time with him or her. Pay someone very low rates and they may feel justified turning on the TV to act as a video babysitter.
  9. There may be more learning opportunities. You want a sitter who will help your child learn and grow. You may not get that without paying premium rates.
  10. Higher pay can help to establish loyalty.  Awesome sitters will be in high demand. When you have great rates, your sitter will be more likely to work for you than someone else. If she is not available, she will be willing to help you find someone else to watch the kids.

There are plenty of areas where you can save money and lower expenses. When it comes to your babysitter, you should plan on paying competitive rates to get better quality and skills. Leave the penny pinching in other areas, not with the person who is taking care of your beloved children.