How To Determine What to Pay Your Babysitter?
How much should you pay your sitter? What is the average babysitting rate for your area? In what situations should you pay more? Our Customer Support Manager, Freya, discloses the average rates we see sitters asking for on Sitter.com and what factors influence rates to help you determine what you should be paying a sitter.
It’s been a while since you’ve had a date night, or just any time for yourself in general. You’re in need of a little break to step back from your everyday parenting duties. You love your children dearly and your job as a parent is most rewarding but sometimes you just need to re-energize. It’s okay to have a little “me” time now and then to recoup.
For some of you, you just need an extra hand so you can have some time to get things done, whether it’s work around the house or errands to run. For others, you may have been called into work last minute and have no one to watch your child.
Whatever the case may be, you have decided to hire a babysitter— but now, what to pay them?
What Factors Influence Babysitting Rates?
There are many things to think about when you are figuring out what to pay your sitter. Sometimes babysitters will have their own set rates which can make things easier and straightforward, but this is not always the case.
Generally, the rate is always negotiable so you should be educated about the factors that influence what a sitter should charge for their services:
One of the most obvious of factors considering this is who you are hiring the babysitter for!
Expect to pay a little more if you have
- more than two children
- a newborn
- a child with special needs
And possibly a little less if you have
- a single child
- an older child who is fairly independent and doesn’t require much supervision.
Depending on the time of day the babysitter is required, the rate may vary; whether it is for early mornings, daytime, evening, late nights, or overnights. Early mornings and late night hours might cost you a bit more than regular daytime or evening hours.
There is also a lot of debate on what is the best way to settle on the rate for overnight care. Some families will pay the sitter a lesser rate once the child(ren) has/have gone to bed, and others will agree to pay a flat rate. It is best to discuss this with your sitter and negotiate what you both feel is fair.
Does your sitter have far to travel to get to your place or are they just around the corner? If they have to travel, you may want to compensate for their travel costs and time.
Babysitters differ from nannies and so traditionally, they’re not expected to do much more than light meal preparation and tidy up after meals and activities in addition to their regular child care responsibilities.
Considering that petcare rates can be quite high sometimes, if your nanny is also taking care of your dog or cat, you may want to pay them a little extra.
However, if you are expecting more from your sitter, you should expect to pay them more and to take these extra tasks into consideration. Some additional duties may include: laundry, taking children to/from activities or appointments, pet care, homework help / tutoring, special needs care, etc.
Do you require your nanny to have any special training/background (i.e. medical, ECE, etc.) or “X” amount of years experience? The more qualifications required, the higher the rate may be.
Whether you are in the United States or Canada, rates can vary depending on the state or province you are in and it can even vary from city to city!
You may want to check out online what the going rate is in your area, or simply ask around from family and friends who have recently hired a babysitter to see how much they paid.
Based on data from the providers on Sitter.com we typically see the following average rates
Canada: between $12-$18 per hour (Canadian Dollars)
United States: between $9-$15 per hour (US Dollars)
note: we suggest paying your sitter at least the minimum wage of your state or province
Not sure what your local minimum wage is?
- In Canada, please visit: Current Minimum Hourly Wage Rates per Province as of March 1, 2016
- In the United States, please visit: Minimum Wage Laws per State as of July 1, 2016
So, whatever your reason for needing a sitter, you should be able to determine a fair rate that both you and your babysitter can agree on and be happy if you take into account all of the factors listed above.
Keep in mind, while you want to keep the price within your comfort zone, you never want to be too cheap when it comes to the cost of your childcare!
Typically, “what you pay is what you get” and you most definitely do not want to jeopardize your child(ren)’s safety just to save a buck or two.
Paying your sitter a little more will ensure dependable and quality care from them and will increase your chances of them helping you out again down the road.
If you're in a nanny share arrangement, this guide will give you great tips for handling payroll and taxes
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