How Much to Pay a Babysitter


Okay cool, I got a babysitter for Friday night! But how much should I pay her?

I remember the first time I was hiring a babysitter for my sweet little baby girl. I was so nervous! I was nervous about leaving my baby at home and I was nervous because I had no idea how much I should pay her!

You have all your date night ideas all planned out but what about the babysitter? AND how much are you going to pay the babysitter? 5 guidelines for paying your next babysitter on date night.

You don’t want to pay too much on the first job. That would set the bar too high! You don’t want to pay too little or she might never come back!

So naturally I started asking all of my friends what they paid their babysitters. I was a little surprised to hear how much everyone’s answers varied. Some paid on the high end around $10+ per hour and some were paying about half of that.

The hard answer to the question is that it really just depends on the babysitter and the circumstances of the job.

I found that the families paying more money per hour, were expecting a lot more for their money. Here are a few tips to help you decide how much to pay your next babysitter.

5 Factors to Determine How Much to Pay a Babysitter

1. Does she play with the kids? Does she just sit there on her phone the entire time and let the kids play. They are safe but maybe the babysitter just doesn’t interact as much as she could. If I come home and the kids are just raving about how much fun their babysitter was, I am more inclined to pay a little more.
2. Does she clean up? This is something that I don’t require my babysitters to do but if they do happen to clean up the house or do the dishes I am sure to pay a bit more to thank them for going the extra mile.
3. Did she feed the kids dinner or put them to bed? Feeding the kids dinner and putting them to bed are probably my least favorite things to do at night. Giving them baths and preparing a meal just takes a lot out of me for some reason. So if the babysitter takes on these responsibilities while I am gone, again, another reason I will bump up the pay.
4. How many kids is she watching? Maybe a no brainer, but the more kids my babysitter is watching the more per hour I will pay. When it was just my little miss I paid about $1-$2 per hour less then after we added in our little buddy.
5. Were the kids sleeping most of the time? If our babysitter is coming over late or during naptime there is a lot less for her to do. Most of the time she gets to sit back and watch Netfilx on our TV. That’s totally fine! I don’t expect her to do anything else while the kids are sleeping. But she shouldn’t expect to get paid top dollar to do so. The more time that the kids are asleep the less I am going to pay per hour.

Sorry I don’t have an exact dollar amount to give you! But take into consideration these 5 factors and adjust your pay accordingly. I typically start my pay around $6 per hour (for two kids) and pay more or less depending on all that she does.

Hopefully this can give you a good gauge to decide how much to pay your next babysitter. Don’t forget that she is keeping your children safe so this is no time to be a bargain hunter.

What do you think?
How much do you typically pay your babysitter? Do you think that the going rate changes depending on where you live? Let me know in the comments below. Let’s chat!

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  • Steve @ myfamilyonabudget
    August 24, 2015 at 4:09 am

    Babysitting and daycare definitely eat up a chunk of anyone’s budget. But, at this stage (before any school starts) we look at it as an investment into our kids to make sure that we are getting proper interaction and the kids aren’t just sitting in front of the tv all day.

    Thanks for your insight, they are very accurate!

    • Brittany Cooper
      September 18, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      I totally agree. You have to look at it as an investment. Thanks for stopping by Steve!

  • Nannyof4years
    August 25, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    As a nanny for 4 years, topics like this really got to me. I was paid minimum and expected to do the most. I literally did everything for the child and anything he touched, and the parents still expected more while keeping my pay low. In the USA, nannys and babysitters are undervalued. If you expect us to be with your children, keep them safe, teach them, etc, you should value that. For those who are doing it on the side I understand a smaller wage, but for those of us who are suppose to live off this income, and spend more time with your child than you may, that needs to be reflected in our pay. I was with a family for over a year, and kept being asked to do more, without a raise. All while I was also on food stamps. Needless to say, I’m no longer with that family, but it’s really hard to find families that pay accurately for what we do.

    • Ramona
      October 28, 2016 at 8:21 am

      I totally understand this post! I also have been a Nanny for several years for some wonderful families! Others, not so good…I was a mature adult when I had several years of experience as a Nanny…moved to W.V. and got a Nanny job for $200.00 a week for 2 boys…one a newborn…I had never been paid that low in all my Nanny positions!
      After leaving that position bc of unsafe conditions, I babysat a little 3 year old…they paid $2.00 an hour! Snd then wanted to come pick him up later each day, with no compensation! When I quoted them how much extra it would be when they were late, they dumped me! We are caring for your little treasures! We are not groceries you are trying to save $ on! It is our occupation…if you hire a teenager…you can pay a little less…

      • Brittany Cooper
        October 29, 2016 at 7:37 pm

        Exactly!! I like to think I pay our teenage babysitters pretty well actually. I agree 100% there really isn’t anything else we pay for that is more important than taking care of our kids!!

  • Lisa @ Whisk & Cleaver
    August 27, 2015 at 8:01 am

    I only have one and she’s very well behaved, so I start at $8 for teens and tip up to $10. However, I had one neighbor girl tell me she wouldn’t sit for less than $10 an hour – wondering how that attitude will work in the real world when we don’t get to dictate our terms on most first jobs! In case you’re wondering, no, I never hired her.

  • Maggie Unzueta
    August 27, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Such great advice. I always wonder what to pay a babysitter. The good ones are hard to find. Those, to me, are priceless.

  • Becca
    December 29, 2015 at 4:36 am

    To weigh in from the other side – I have a (good) full time job, a college degree, and I still babysit on the side for extra travel money and because I enjoy the kids! I live in an expensive area of Florida filled with young families with kids. The going rate where I live is 12-15 bucks an hour. Because I’m older and can drive and take care of babies as young as 2 weeks – I usually make on the higher end. I do have a few clients who pay as much as 20 an hour (even though I’ve never asked for that) and they say ‘we want you to what to come here so bad you’d try to wiggle out of other plans’. And that method works! Higher pay is a great way to make sure your babysitter is motivated! I don’t mean to imply people should all pay 20 an hour… But if 12 bucks an hour means you’re they’re top choice – it’s probably worth paying 12 when the going rate for your area is 10. Because we all know – when you need a sitter, you need one! Really thoughtful, insightful post! I remember as a kid my dad saying ‘always leave the house cleaner than when you came’ and I’ve lived by that!

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    May 8, 2020 at 2:17 pm

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