Babysitter-filter: How much do I pay for watching/driving a toddler?
August 6, 2015 4:25 PM   Subscribe

I have 2 different scenarios I need help with: 1. My sister is getting married and my husband and I have booked a hotel room near the venue. My toddler will likely not be able to stay up past 8, so I will bring her back to the hotel and put her to bed and then return to the wedding. We are hiring someone (college student/friend) to basically just sit in the hotel room with my sleeping toddler once I put her to bed (8-11ish). How much do we pay her to do this? 2. Starting in the fall, my husband and I will both need to leave the house in the morning by 7:15. Daycare does not open until 8. We'll need someone to come to our house in the morning around 7:00, hang out with toddler and then take her to daycare for 8:00 (daycare is about 10 minutes away). This would only be for 3 days a week. The person is potentially one of the ladies who works at the daycare (so she would be staying there, if that matters). How much do we pay this person? By the hour? Week? Accommodate mileage? Thanks!
posted by chela to Work & Money (10 answers total)
Your location might be useful, as this seems like something that would vary from place to place.
posted by backwards guitar at 4:46 PM on August 6, 2015

Good point. Near New Haven CT.
posted by chela at 4:49 PM on August 6, 2015

$40-50 for the wedding sitter but ask her her rates first. $20/hr isn't unusual for date night sitters with credentials. Also might be worthwhile to see if anyone else needs such a service and split it.
The before care thing is more complex. As I understand it you're paying to have your toddler there an hour early, three days a week. What is the hourly rate for your kid when she is there normally? I'd start with that. Also ASK the person what she wants. Surely she's done this before.
posted by k8t at 5:05 PM on August 6, 2015

I think the OP's point is that while the "babysitting" would be happening in the OP's house, the person doing it would be driving the toddler to her own place of work, the daycare, and would not then be as inconvenienced as someone who would drop off the toddler and go do something else. So it's not that the center would be opening early or anything like that. The daycare worker would come to OP's house, and then drive herself and the toddler to the daycare.

My off-the-top of my head estimate for that would be $10 per day that you ask her to do that, but I think your area costs more than mine. If the times would be changing at all, then yes, by the hour would be reasonable, in my opinion.

Where is the wedding? I think $40-50 sounds about right for three hours for that.
posted by freezer cake at 5:46 PM on August 6, 2015

I'd err on the generous side for the morning sitter. You need her to be absolutely prompt and reliable, and she'll be dealing with the worst parts of a toddler's schedule: transitions. She'll have to manage both the parent goodbye aftermath and the getting-in-the-car-with-all-the-things, and all the associated drama and delays that might ensue and make her late to her other job. Not to mention the extra responsibility of being a safe driver. It would be worth the extra money to me to be able to hold someone to very high expectations around all of this.
posted by judith at 6:27 PM on August 6, 2015 [5 favorites]

I would pay very well for reliable before school care. $100/week sounds good. It is really inconvenient for someone to go out of their way for just an hour, make it worth their while.

Babysitters for the wedding are the usual rates, $15-$20/hr. For a college student/friend you could do $15/hr.
posted by crazycanuck at 6:30 PM on August 6, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'd say about $40 for the wedding sitter, around $60/week for the daytime sitter. ($100 sounds excessive to me for 3 hours of work per week.)
posted by chickenmagazine at 8:06 PM on August 6, 2015

I'm going to split the difference and say $25 an hour for the morning care-giver, so $75 a week. It's tough to have these conversations, but you might ask her if she has rate for this service, as she may already have a clear market rate. Some people I've worked with are more upfront about their rates for levels of care/number of children, etc., while others are just as bad as I am at this type of conversation. But still - ask!

I agree with the idea of $40 to $50 for the wedding night sitter.
posted by dawg-proud at 9:38 PM on August 6, 2015

While it seems like you should pay less since it's only an hour, actually you pay a little more.... It has to be worth it to get up early and schlep across town 3x a week.... You have to take into consideration travel time from her home and inconvenience. I wanted to take one hour twice a week tutoring sessions, I paid a fair going rate for the hour and then topped that up with a half hour pay plus the cost of the gas or travel ticket (you just pay for that anyway- even if they bought a monthly ticket)
posted by pairofshades at 11:24 PM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Along the lines of what judith wrote above, it was always our belief / policy that since this person is watching your most precious asset, one that cannot be replaced, to always err on the side of too much pay. You want them incented to always act in your child's interest first.
posted by AugustWest at 9:41 AM on August 7, 2015

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