Caroline Fernandez: Activity Mummy


How Much Do You Pay Your Babysitter?

Per Hour Wages For A Sitter

How much, hourly wage, do you pay a babysitter? Minimum wage? Round it off to the nearest 5? Pay to the cent? It can be a confusing concept.

My 11-year-old daughter took a babysitting course this year where she was told by the course facilitator that she could charge between $6 to $12 an hour. Honestly, I don't think I would pay $12/hour for an 11-year-old to babysit.  And babysitting wages really depends on the situation...

 How many kids will the babysitter be responsible for? Julie Cole has 6 kids, Sharon DeVellis has 2, I have 3. I would think a sitter would charge more for 6 kids vs 3 kids vs 2 kids.

 Special needs means a special babysitter. Some children who have medical, developmental or other special needs may require a caregiver with specific training thus you would pay that babysitter more because of their qualifications.  However, sometimes its the parent who has special needs. Like I do, because my son is a baby I won't leave him with a 14-year-old babysitter just because I have a special need (in my heart) that he be with an adult. So my special need is an adult babysitter.

 What's the activity plan?  Are you expecting the babysitter to engage your kids in full-blown play the whole time?  Will the sitter have to cook, bathe and put the kids to bed?  Does the sitter only have to push play on the dvd and watch for fires?  The activities, within the babysitting timeframe, might impact how much he/she charges.

Wondering still about how much to pay? Research the student minimum wage in your area. Ask other parents how much they pay. 

And be up front with your sitter—"How much do you charge?" (They may have more experience in setting babysitter wages than you.)