Babysitters hourly rate
August 19, 2006 2:03 AM   Subscribe

What is the current rate for 16 year old babysitters?

Based in the UK, although happy to hear from people in other locations, we are trying to determine what the market rate is at present. (eg. £3 per hour would be our guess but is this correct?)

Clearly we can ask around locally, ask/negotiate with the babysitter etc but I am really after finding out if there is any consistent market rate around the world.

Have tried various websites but they don't seem to give a definative answer.
posted by pettins to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The going rate in the suburbs of Chicago is $5-10/hr, depending on the age and experience of the sitter and how well they know the family.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 2:28 AM on August 19, 2006

My sister (14) gets paid per evening that she works babysitting - £15 at the moment. However some evenings this is a mere 2 hours, and othere evenings its a rather horrible 6 hours till 1am... maybe you could go down that route of paying per evening? This system could benefit you both at times.
posted by philsi at 2:54 AM on August 19, 2006

If I were you (or she) I'd look to the National Minimum Wage guidelines which state:

"£3.00 per hour which applies to all workers under the age of 18 who are no longer of compulsory school age"

And then maybe add some.
posted by saturnine at 4:15 AM on August 19, 2006

I have three children. We pay $15/hr in the NY 'burbs. Good work if you can get it. My theory is that the babysitter is watching my most important asset and I would rather overpay than underpay. I want the baby sitter on my side. We hire a local college student. Guarantee her Saturday nights.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 4:56 AM on August 19, 2006

We pay $7 and hour and add some extra at the end of the night here in the DC suburbs. We have two kids.
posted by COD at 5:06 AM on August 19, 2006

Yeah, pay decently, for goodness sake. Don't pay the minimum you can get away with -- it's never good for you in the long run.
posted by reklaw at 5:19 AM on August 19, 2006

The going rate around here (eastern Indiana...not Indianapolis) seems to hover around $5/hr.

The local wives-tale holds that the babysitter really can't stipulate her payment. That would make her/him a business, technically, and, thus, subject to income least that's the explanation always offered-up by sitters for why they don't quote a price.

The process is always...
Parent: What do we owe you, Amy?
Sitter: Whatever you feel is okay.
Parent: How's $30?
Sitter: Yeah. That's fine.
(Insert father asking "Can I drive you home, Amy?" followed by cheesy 70's funk.)
posted by Thorzdad at 6:31 AM on August 19, 2006

And for God's Sakes, please have good quality snacks in the house! (I hated when I babysat and there weren't any muchies!)
posted by 6:1 at 7:39 AM on August 19, 2006

Here in the hinterlands of the California Bay Area the going rate is around $10. My assumption is that you should take minimum wage and add 50% for combat pay.
posted by lekvar at 9:33 AM on August 19, 2006

A kid should never walk away from a gig at your house with less than $20 in his/her pocket.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:36 AM on August 19, 2006

UK, Pay £20 for a normal evening with £30-£35 if it goes beyond 12. Obviously snacks provided and a lift or taxi home.
posted by Wilder at 10:07 AM on August 19, 2006

In Vancouver, BC, Canada we recently paid $16CDN/hr for a professional nanny service (it was $80 for a 5-hour night out).
posted by gwenzel at 10:20 AM on August 19, 2006

posted by 6:1 at 11:05 AM on August 19, 2006

In my experience, rates vary greatly depending on cost of living in the area, difficulty of the job, age of the babysitter, how much gall the babysitter has and/or how generous the parents are.

I had friends babysitting at age 8 (within an apartment building in a very very close-knit community) for 50 cents an hour while my mother paid a neighbor-lady $5 an hour to watch me on the nights that she worked.
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:39 AM on August 19, 2006

i used to babysit and got $5 which i thought was kinda crappy, considering babysitting (at least for me) was almost always friday or saturday night just for a few hours, but just enough to not be able to hang out with friends - which i never really thought was worth $15 or $20.

i think $6 for 1 or 2 kids, $7 for 3, $8 for 4 sounds perfect.

maybe i'm just spoiled now that i'm older and have a real job.
posted by willmillar at 1:39 PM on August 19, 2006

Way back in the late 80's, early 90's, I made at least $10/hour, plus $2/kid for anything over 2 kids. It's pretty sad to see that those rates haven't changed much in over 10 years. . .
posted by dirtmonster at 1:52 PM on August 19, 2006

Way back in the mid-80s I made $3/hr, no extras for extra kids. And people would occasionally promise to pay me and never did.

IOW, you should pay for their time what you think you would want to charge for your time to do this for someone else's kids; only taking slightly into account your added child-caring expertise.
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:11 PM on August 19, 2006

For a night with four kids, my mum always paid our babysitters $10/hr up to $50 (unless the night was particularly long, in which case it was a little more). In my experience, it's more or less a two way relationship between what the parents want to pay and what the babysitter wants to accept. I remember one family friend who hated mum paying her that much to sit around and watch movies all night, but mum was more or less insistent.

I've done a lot of babysitting for my family, and while I don't like them to pay me to look after my cousins, my aunty will often give me about $80 or so dollars to take my three cousins to the movies and then refuse to take the change. Other times, she'll find out if there is a band playing that I'd want to go see and get my ticket so that I can't refuse.
/end derail.

6:1's suggestion of food is good too. There's nothing worse than having than you (or the kids) having the munchies and not being able to find anything good to eat.
posted by cholly at 3:32 PM on August 19, 2006

Back in my high school years, i'd ask 9 per hour USD (Central Florida) and got it for the rare occasion I was pressed into service babysitting. On the flip, I know my sister pays about 10 an hour when she has one of the family friends babysit. Pay extra, you get what you pay for.
posted by richter_x at 3:34 PM on August 19, 2006

Pettins: Thank you for spending the money to hire a babysitter.

Here in the USA, I've been in so many situations where adults had taken their children along in adult situations, such as eating at an uptight, fancy restaurant. The kids would act up. The parents wouldn't control their kids. I'd get pissed off. I didn't feel comfortable confronting the parents about their kids' shitty behavior.

So, again, thank you very much. This single guy is very grateful.
posted by jason's_planet at 5:24 PM on August 19, 2006

Response by poster: Great responses - Thank you all so much. This has been extremely enlightening and very helpful. In many ways the variety of views helps as we knew there was no single answer so it is useful to see the range.

Thanks again.
posted by pettins at 12:29 PM on August 20, 2006

North shore 'burbs of Chicago:
$10/hr (college student who is trustworthy and plays with kid).
$8/hr (clueless high schooler; couldn't be bothered to play with kid).
$0/hr (Grandma who loves him as much as us)...Priceless!
posted by devilshgrin at 10:08 AM on August 21, 2006

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