How much to pay the sitter

Finding a good babysitter can be difficult, so paying them enough to keep them around is important. The question is: How much is enough?

You can learn a lot about what a babysitter expects to get paid by visiting bulletin boards visited by babysitters. There are also online calculators that you can use. Before asking someone to babysit, you can plug information into the calculator and it will give you a rough estimate of what you should be paying them.

What you pay a babysitter will vary based on your location, how many children you have and how old they are, how old your babysitter is, and how much experience they have. Certain circumstances can change what you will pay. Twins under a year, or babies under four months old usually cost an extra dollar per hour because they require just a bit more attention. Special or high needs children (autistic, for example) may also bring an extra premium.

Roughly speaking, watching a child in a big city like New York or LA will cost you between $11 and $13 per hour. Each extra child would cost an additional dollar an hour. In a rural area, or a city in the Midwest, a babysitter will cost you between $6 and $8 an hour. These are fees that babysitters in their late teens to early twenties can expect to make. If you have a young babysitter, they may not expect to get paid as much.

Of course, if you have a babysitter that goes the extra mile, a little extra money will be appreciated. Some babysitters show up with crafts, books, or movies they think the kids will enjoy. Babysitters that can drive themselves to your home are a bonus, and paying for their gas money might be a nice thing to do. Some babysitters will be wiling to do housework, which should be worth an extra one or two dollars per hour.

Of course, speak with your babysitter about his or her fees before they actually come to babysit. If they are experienced, they may already have in mind what they expect to be paid. If they are inexperienced, they may appreciate your input.

Remember, if you find a great babysitter, pay them well. The difference of $10 over the course of an evening will be well worth it if you can have someone reliable take care of your children when you are out.