Thursday, November 6, 2014

Babysitting Rates | How Much Should You Charge?


Babysitting is such a great job to have, but sometimes figuring out how much to charge an hour can be difficult. I've lived in different areas, and babysat for many families of different sizes. After being at this for about 10 years, I've come up with a pretty easy way to figure out how much to charge an hour. If you want to learn my tips, just keep on reading!

1. Where do you live? Your rate should reflect the cost of living in your area. For example, high cost of living (NYC, California, etc) rates are around $12-$14 per hour. Medium cost of (New England, Florida, etc) rates should be around $10 per hour. Low cost of living (North Carolina, Missouri, etc.) rates should be around $8 an hour.

2. How many children? Generally I add $2-$3 if I'll be watching 2 children, and another $2-$3 dollars if I'm watching 3 or 4 children (my rate is the same for 3 children as it is for 4). If there is more than 4 children, I will add anywhere from $1-$5.
3. How old are the kiddos? Watching a 12 year old after school is usually much easier than watching a 2 year old during the day. You will want your rate to reflect this. 


4. Will there be driving involved? Are you driving a while to get to them? Will you be handling pick-ups and drop-offs and bringing the kids wherever their hearts desire? Add an extra $1-$2 an hour, or ask for a flat $5 per day.

5. Will there be housework? I will always clean up messes that the child makes, whether it's food, toys, clothes, whatever. Some families will ask that you pick up around the house, clean up their own messes, do the dishes, vacuum, etc. It's all fine and dandy, but WE ARE NOT MAIDS! If the family requires extra work around the house, on top of watching their child, then your rate needs to reflect it. Add anywhere from an extra $1 to an extra $3 per hour.

6. How experienced are you? If you're just starting out in the babysitting/nanny business, I would subtract $1 from your base rate. On the flip side, if you've been at this for a while, you can bump up your rate just a smidge for the added knowledge and experience you have.

Okay, now that I've explained how I figure out my rate, let me give you some examples to help make things more clear.

You are asked to babysit 1 child, who is around 1 years old. You live near by, might go to the park occasionally, but won't be traveling too far. You are not asked to provide extra help around the house.

Base Rate: $8, $10, or $12-$14 (depending on location)
Final Rate: Same as Base Rate

You are asked to babysit 2 children, ages 7 and 9. You live near by, will be handling pick-ups, drop-offs, and drives to sports/after-school activities. You are asked to help with the children's laundry, and unload the dishwasher.

Base Rate: $8, $10, or $15
Second Child: +$2 
Driving: +$1.50
Housework: +$1.50
Final Rate: $13, $15, or $17-$19 per hour

You are asked to watch 3 children. Ages 2, 4, and 6. You have a 20 minute drive each way, and will be taking the younger 2 children out sometimes while the older child is in school. You are asked to load and unload the dishwasher and vacuum if it seems necessary.

Base Rate: $8, $10, or $12-$14
Second Child: +$2
Third Child: +$1 (will only be with you for part of the day)
Driving: $1
Housework: $1
Final Rate: $13, $15, or $17-$19 per hour

You are asked to watch one child, age 4, and take them places during the day.

Base Rate: $8, $10, or $12-$14
Driving: +$2
Final Rate: $10, $12, or $14-$16 per hour

You are asked to watch 4 children, ages 1, 4, 5, and 9. You will occasionally handle pick-ups and drop-offs to friends houses and after school activities. You are also asked to help with laundry, dishes, vacuuming, and general cleaning up of the house.

Base Rate: $8, $10, or $12-$14 
Second Child: +$2
Third and Fourth Children: +$2
Driving: +$1
Housework: +$3
Final Rate: $16, $18, or $20-$22 per hour


If some of these rates shocked you, try to remember what you are providing. Day Care is expensive, less personal, and more germy than having a babysitter/nanny. The child/children will have more attention, can remain in the comfort of their home and on their routine, can go places, and do fun individualized activities.  You are NOT a maid. Nor are you a chauffeur. They are paying you to keep their child entertained and safe. Don't forget it! If they are going to have you doing all the housework, you should definitely be getting paid for it, and if that hikes up your rate, then they can decide what's really worth it.



1 comment:

  1. I live in North Jersey (suburbs of NYC) and the standard rate around here is actually $15 per hour. Sometimes families will say all you need to do is watch their kids and clean up after them, but then they start adding things on as time goes by. It's definitely important to stand your ground and not let yourself be taken advantage of. You're a nanny/babysitter, not a maid or personal assistant, after all!

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