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S/O--rates for teen babysitters

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This is a spin off on the post about a 14 year old babysitter and what he should be paid.


I can't imagine $15-20/hour for babysitting. As a foster parent, I was getting $13.10 a DAY for a child and that was supposed to include 24 hours of care, their transportation, much of their clothing, school and other actvities, etc.


When I babysat back in the mid 1980s I was getting $1/hour (very very rarely $2/hour) and I would have up to 6 kids, one family even had a child with Down Syndrome (about 3 years old so BUSY) and was expected to feed, bathe, clean up, etc.


Considering that things are now about 3 times as much cost wise---gas, some food, etc. (but things like clothing can be cheaper) I would think that $5-7/hour would be plenty. Many adults in our area are working for $8/hour and have to pay taxes on that, etc.


How in the world to people afford to hire a sitter when some sitters are making more per hour than my dh was making working as an automotive instructor in a prision (which meant a higher pay scale).


Maybe I need to do some babysitting.

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I babysat from approximately 1992-2000 and usually made $1-$3 per hour per kid and welcomed it. Minimum wage was just over $5/hr in my state. My sister and I babysat for one family that paid us $10/hr for 2 kids, which completely blew us away! We always cleaned up while babysitting if possible, and her kids were good at playing together, so we were able to do more cleaning at her house. She was so thrilled that she upped the pay to $12 an hour! This was totally unheard of in that time and place. Sure, we loved the money, but it didn't make us resent any of the other families for which we worked.


I have a 13-year-old babysitter now, and I pay her $4 an hour without feeling guilty that I'm not paying minimum wage. In my opinion, periodic babysitting by a teen is not the same as a regular job and shouldn't have to conform to the standards of a "regular" job.


1. The average teen babysitter is not supporting a family on this income.

2. There is not the same level of "work" or "skill" involved in playing with kids for a few hours that there is in most jobs, even fast food at minimum wage.

3. They can say "no" to the job if they don't like the pay.

4. I know at least 3 teens who would jump at the chance to babysit and probably would do it for less! I know that the money was almost a side benefit for me, sometimes--I just loved playing with the kids.

5. Many teens either can't get a "regular" job because of the market or don't want one because of sports, summer activities, being tied to a job each day, etc. so babysitting (even if it pays less) gives them some income with a flexible schedule.

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I babysat a ton from 2001- late 2006; in the last two and a half years I was easily watching kids 4-6 nights a week. Sometimes I did multiple families in the same afternoon-evening. During the summer of 2005 and 2006 I was also a day "nanny" for 4 girls while their single mother worked. In general my rate was $5 hour per kid. I had exceptions. The single mother paid me $5 an hour to watch all four girls (ages 8,7,5 and 5 when I started) and I was fine with that because I knew it was what she could afford and I liked the girls. On the other hand I also watched the three kids of a couple where he was the senior partner in the city's only neurological center - they gave me $30 hour. (Oh, I loved it when they had dinner parties in a city two hours away, lol!). In the end I think it all depends on a) how good the sitter is b) how much you can afford and c)how well behaved your kids are and whether the sitter is watching them while they're awake or (predominately) asleep. I didn't start out making/charging so much, but I was apparently very, very good at what I did and so parents started out-bidding each other for my services and it leveled out at the $5 per hour per kid. Realistically I'd think $5-10 an hour for up to 4 kids would be fine unless they were all very young. After that I'd probably tack on $1-2/hour per additional kid.




When I watched kids, especially if they were asleep for at least part of the time, I'd clean, make any necessary meals, feed pets, do some yard work occasionally etc.

Edited by theAmbitiousHousewife
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A few different numbers for you.......


I made fifty cents an hour for 3 kids when I was 13, lol!


I paid $10. an hour for 2 kids the few times I had a teen sitter.


Our piano teacher has 4 babysitters for her one child (we call ourselves her nanny team), and pays anywhere from $10 to $16 (one teen, one college girl, a mom who has an in-home day care, and me).


As a nanny, I make between $15 and $20 an hour.


I believe paying a teen at least $10 an hour helps them take the job and the responsibility seriously, and is worth every penny.

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