Living next door to my in-laws is a tremendous blessing. That is to say, most of the time I have free babysitting only two doors down from where I live. However, when the time comes and I need to hire a sitter in my area, I frequently fail to plan how I would pay them. Is there a price per child? What does it matter if the babysitter is 18 or 18?
There is no universally correct response to this issue, just as there is to so many others in life. You need to think about the average cost in your area, the number of children you have, and any specialized care they might need.
Obviously, you need to pay a babysitter well if you want to get the finest care possible. However, you don’t want to overspend or you could find yourself unable to afford support at home. The trick is to strike a good balance.
How to Pay Your Babysitter
Several factors should be taken into account in order to arrive at a reasonable price. Please note that these suggestions are not intended for full-time babysitters. Because you are providing lodging and meals for your nanny or au pair, your hourly pay might be lower than for an outside agency.
If you’re like me and just require a sitter on rare occasions, you may save money by following these rules.
- Age and Number of Children
It’s a lot more challenging for a babysitter to take care of a child who is three and an infant than it is for someone to watch a child who is five. For this reason, you should receive different amounts of money based on the ages and numbers of your children.
For families with two young children, the cost per hour rises dramatically; in this case, from $6 for one preschooler to $12 for two. Babysitting is more than just watching TV and reading books, therefore you should compensate more if you have a newborn at home. On the other hand, if you simply need someone to watch the kids overnight, you may negotiate a reduced charge.
- Caregiver Experience
Do you really need to hire a nanny with at least five years of experience? Costs will soon be rising. When a caregiver has been working in their field for a while, they have gained valuable experience and often earned specialized credentials. It will cost more to hire a college student with five years of experience as a babysitter than it would to hire a high school student down the block.
It’s up to you to decide who you’d want to employ; if it’s a one-time occurrence or your kids can handle themselves, a teen from the neighborhood could be the best option. However, experience is often required while looking for a babysitter.
- Geographical Location
The amount of money you should offer your caregiver depends on a variety of factors, one of which is your location. Caregivers have greater compensation expectations if they are working in a higher cost of living location.
Talk to others you know who live in the neighborhood to get a sense of what you should pay. You can tell if the compensation you’re offering is below, above, or around average for the region if you find out how much other families are paying their carers.
To get an idea of what other families are paying, or what local caregivers are asking per hour, look at internet advertisements. Care.com also features an hourly rate calculator for hiring a babysitter.
- Special Conditions
You may expect to pay extra for a babysitter who has first aid and CPR certification. Add a few dollars per hour for every request that is out of the ordinary. If you want your babysitter to also help out around the house by, say, cleaning up and doing the dishes, you’ll need to pay them extra each hour.
If you need a sitter to take your kids to activities like piano lessons or carpool, you may have to pay more. Never forget to include in the “extras” you need and make sure you’re getting a fair deal.
- Regular Service
If it means that my children will be the sitter’s top priority, then I’m willing to pay a little extra. When a family discovers a wonderful nanny or babysitter, other families begin to circle like sharks.
Make sure you compensate your sitter fairly so that she doesn’t start routinely babysitting for another household. There is no legal or ethical requirement for a sitter to care for your children, so doing everything you can to make their employment more pleasant and fulfilling will go a long way toward cementing your relationship as employer and employee.
After doing a ton of investigation. I was finally able to locate a babysitter in my immediate area that was an excellent match for us. Both my caregiver and I are pleased with the amount I pay. It was well worth it to strike a middle ground between what I was willing to spend and what was reasonable given all the circumstances.