Going Rate for Babysitting?

Posted by Mrs Money on November 1st, 2009

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So today I spent the day babysitting two boys, ages six and seven. Their mom is also an office manager at the bank I work at. It was a fun day, and we spent a lot of time outdoors, playing inside, and playing Wii. I really enjoyed the time I spent with them. The only downfall? It is the day after Halloween and when their parents said NOT TOO MUCH CANDY, one of the kids didn’t listen.

Needless to say, I had a few thoughts running through my head. One- only have one child so they can’t fight, and two- never ever Ever EVER allow my kids to eat any form of white sugar.

I’ve done some babysitting for friends before and not gotten paid. I watched my manager’s kids on a Friday when she was coming home from vacation for about 5 hours. Today I was there from 9:45AM to 7:00PM. I am exhausted. When it came time for me to leave, the mom handed me some cash, I said “are you sure?”, she said that was what she’d have to pay another babysitter, so yes. I put the money in my pocket, thanked her, and then left. When I got home, I looked to see how much money it was.

$80. I was expecting maybe $40 at the most. Now, I don’t have kids, so I have no idea how much babysitting runs, but that just seems a little extreme to me.  I think I’m going to email her and tell her that’s too much money and that I am fine with less.  I don’t want to rip her off.

Do you know what the going rate for babysitting is? What do you think I should do?

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14 Responses to “Going Rate for Babysitting?”


  1. Kacie says:

    I think $80 was fair. That’s about $10 per hour for two kids, which is reasonable.

    And like you said, you were exhausted! Caring for kiddos is hard WORK, and it’s actually worth more than $10/hour, but most people can’t afford to pay much more. Heh

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    I feel so much better after reading your comment. I’m glad I didn’t email her! It was hard work, but I did enjoy it too. :)

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  2. First of all, I’m confused about how many hours you watched the boys yesterday. You said you were “there from 9:45 to 7pm” so I’m thinking roughly 9 hours? So just under $9/hour? I honestly don’t know what the going rate is, but I am sure it is much more than $9/hour. At any rate, do NOT email her and tell her it was too much! She appreciates you, and it shows that she is a considerate and honest person to pay you a reasonable amount ($80 vs. the “none” you mentioned). These things are precedent setting, so if you go down to under $4.50/hour on your rates (you said you expected no more than $40) that’s what she’ll expect to pay you in the future. You are worth at LEAST the amount she paid you (not half as much)! I babysat for people when I was a teen for free, and would babysit for five kids for $2/hour AND clean their kitchen while they were gone. Once a couple (where I babysat while visiting my dad in Oregon) paid me IIRC, $20/hour!! I was aghast and wouldn’t let them pay me that much. So don’t be like Mrs. Accountability! Get it in your head right now, YOU ARE WORTH MORE MONEY!! :-)

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    That’s right! It was around 9 hours. I didn’t send her the email. I am glad that I posted this. My mom was worried I was accepting too much money, but then again, she’s never really paid a babysitter and my sister (the youngest) is 20! I kept the money and I’ll save it!

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  3. Deirdre says:

    Are you kidding? For 2 kids the going rate is *at least* $15 per hour – I think you were underpaid.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    It’s funny- you aren’t the only one that’s said that! I am happy with the $80 but at least now I know what the going rate is! :)

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  4. Nicole says:

    About 3 years ago, I babysat 2 children aged 3 and 6 from 7am til 5 pm, monday through friday for nearly an entire summer. I served breakfast, lunch, and a snack, and set the table for dinner every day. I made about 11.50 (canadian) an hour.
    During this time, I also baby sat for 3 other families, an hour or 2 at a time which sometimes overlapped the first family.
    I have no idea what the rate is now, but what you got paid does seem a little low.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Wow! I am so glad you told me that. I now know how much to charge for next time!

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  5. Jess says:

    I agree that the going rate for 2 kids at the “affordable” side for parents is $15/hour. I’ve done babysitting for 2 kids in the past and considered that to be reasonable pay.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    I told my mom that I can never afford a babysitter. ;) I think that when I have kids I’ll have to work out a trade with someone!

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  6. You were definitely underpaid…

    9 hours and 15 minutes of work, and you got $80, which means less than $10/hour.

    My brother pays the girl who watches his one son, $15/hour plus expenses like movie tickets, popcorn if they go out, etc.

    And for 2 kids? It’s at least $20/hour in his area.

    But still… you had fun right? :)

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Wow! I would love to babysit those kids!

    Yeah, I did have fun. And I’m happy with the $80 so I can’t complain. :)

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  7. cavewoman says:

    I paid for college thru babysitting, and 10 years ago the going rate was $10.00 an hour. So, maybe $15 an hour may be a good rate for the future.

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  8. Debbie says:

    I have been keeping a friend’s baby for a couple weeks now. The first week I kept her three days and she gave me $100. The next week I kept her for four days and one of those days was for 12 hours (usually I keep her for 10 hrs). She paid me $60 the second week. What’s with that?? I told her no more 12 hour days and that made her angry. That’s hard work! I’m no spring chicken anymore! I feel like she is taking advantage of me. It hurts to think she doesn’t think I’m worth more and that her sweet child is in my loving care. I love that baby, but I can’t let her take advantage of me. I’ve been unemployed for some time and need more than a few buck a week for such hard work. Some people would say I should be glad to be making that, but that little bit of money doesn’t go far. She and her husband have good jobs. You would think they would think that their child is in loving protective hands and constant one on one attention. Daycares in our area are charging $185-$200 a week and the children get less one on one attention. I feel used! I am going to tell her today that I can’t keep her anymore. Thanks for letting me vent.

    [Reply]



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