We generally pay $4-5 an hour. When my DD (12) helps
me with my son (like a mommy's helper, I am there but
just can't watch him or play with him) then I give her
$2 an hour. Usually when I am doing something
writing-related. It isn't worth it to work and pay a
babysitter, IMHO. Even if I make $11 an hour in tips
it's like making $6 after you pay the babysitter.
That's why my DH and I work split shifts (I only work
1-2 days a week).
I don't go out from noon until 10 p.m. because I can't
afford to pay $50 for the day. I will more likely go
out with my DH for a few hours once in a while.
Actually, we haven't hired a sitter since summer. We
just usually get one of our sets of parents to babysit
when we really need one. They are usually willing. I
have a friend from work that has teenagers who babysit
though, so I may be calling on them if I need someone
in the future. They are 15 and 16. I hesitate to leave
my kids with a 12-13 year old, even my young son, even
though I started babysitting at 11 and I did fine.
Usually my mom was just a phone call away, though.
So Liss, I think you maybe could have paid her more,
but she really didn't do much for it, so it would
solve your problem just to find someone else next
time. If you wanted to count the movies as part of her
pay, then I'd arrange that ahead of time. Like telling
her, "Do you want to rent a movie today? We can do
that as part of your pay." But I'd limit her to
one--that can be such a big distraction. I think it
sends the wrong message to be having her there to
watch your kids and then giving her all these movies
After recent aggravations at finding a sitter (that can handle reheating a
meal & Staying awake for more than 2 hours) <G> at a decent price, I've
called several good friends and this is our Cheap Childcare idea of the
Find 2 or 3 other Mom's with kids the same ages as yours (or relatively
close in age). Organize a child care swap, meaning one evening they cover
your kids, one evening you cover their kids while they go. Charge each other
I've called some moms from the boys cub scout troup and they are more than
willing to participate. Thank heavens for no more overpaid teenage girls,
(not that many don't deserve the money they earn), it just so happens the
one I had.... Didn't.
Because we often have meals made up in advance, we are sending the boys
with a casserole big enough for the "hosting" family, may or may not help in
More Ideas would be welcome!
It really all depends on the going rate & expectations in the area where
you live. Here in NY the high school girls currently take a minimum of
$5-$6/hour, with the higher rates going to the older & more experienced
girls. Personally, I'm not thrilled with the idea of leaving my kids
with a 12-13yr old, even if she charges less. For that price, you are
not expected to provide any "entertainment" that I'm aware of, but if
they will be babysitting through the dinner hour (ie. precluding them
from eating at home), then you are expected to provide supper. It
doesn't say anywhere that you *need* to provide additional refreshments,
but obviously you will stand a better chance of having the girl come back
again if you provide better "perks". All this is assuming you can *find*
a teenage girl to babysit, their availabilty being comparable to hens'
teeth..... When we were young, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth,
babysitting money equaled spending money, so we babysat.... for 50cents
to $1/hour..... Nowadays, when all teenagers have discretionary income of
their own (allowances? grandparents? beats me!), they don't *need* the
money, hence their scarcity as a breed.
Another issue to consider is the recent "home alone" laws. I don't know
the legalese, but I do know that if an accident occurs when you are not
home and the police, fire dept., or paramedics are called to your house
and find the children in the care of anyone under a certain age (varies
by area, where I live I think the age is 15 or 16), then it is considered
as if you left them "home alone" and you can (and probably will) be
charged with negligence, child endangerment, etc. and your kids will be
removed from the home by social services. Just not worth the risk IMHO,
though 20+ yrs ago I did leave my kids regularly with a very responsible
12yr old neighbor & didn't think 2ce about it (of course my landlady was
right upstairs in case of emergency, and the girl's parents were right
across the street).
Many people hire women to babysit in their home, the going rate for them
is $8-$10/hour, but for that money you can expect them to at least pick
up after the kids (note --- you can expect, but it might not happen!)
A popular option is to leave the child/children with someone who babysits
in their *own* home (not a good option for evenings, but good for
daytime/weekends). The going rate for that is $4 per hour *per child*
--- so if you have 2 children to leave, you're better off getting someone
to come into your home.
I have to say, the best way to get babysitters is really to grow your own
LOL. My 3 youngest kids (ages 2-9) have almost *never* been left with
anyone other then their older siblings (ages 15-23). If one of the older
kids isn't available, then we just don't go anywhere, rarely we have left
them with my MIL, & on a few occasions I have left them with my married
daughter. (And in an emergency we've left one or more with a neighbor
--- but only in a *real* emergency).
Margaret (who admits that, just as with any other budgeting strategy, the
"grow your own" method is more time consuming than "ready made" and
therefore not for everyone LOL!)
Why not print out some coupons. Each one could be good for a babysitting time.
That way you could keep track of whose done what for who easier and nobody sits
more than anybody else or uses sitters more. Did that make sense?
Date: Thu Feb 6, 2003 7:13 pm
Subject: Re: Budget101.com : Cheaper Babysitter Ideas
When I was a teenager I took a course through the red cross for
babysitting. They taught you how to diaper a baby, mouth to mouth
for infants to adults and all kinds of other things that were very
helpful. I got hired on by a group of parents who had a babysitting
co-op as they called it. It went like this. There were 5 families
each with 1-3 children between the ages of 2 and 9. Every week,
theirs was on a friday, all the kids would be brought to the host
families house, different every week. Every parent execpt for the
host parents went out from about 5:30pm untill about 2am. Some would
come in as early as 9:30pm. Just their choice. But there was a no
later than 2am rule execpt for New Years which was a whole other
We made dinner for the children, played games, did show and tell,
read stories, put on shows, had "movie night" with popcorn sometimes
and got the children all ready for bed and to sleep by 8:30 avery
time. When the parents came to pick up there children they were
ready to go with their bag of day clothes, toothbrush and whaterever
else they had brought that evening. The host family paid the sitter,
me, $4.00 an hour to help with the children. This included diaper
changing, bahting when necessary and sometimes cooking and definitly
cleaning up. This was when I was 14-16 years old and it worked out
well for everyone involved. The parents got to go out on a "date
night" knowing that their children were being looked after by adults
as well as a certified babysitter and that it only cost them what
they paid out on their date and on their host night.
The children always had a great time because they all knew each other
and looked forward to their "play group" every friday night. Now
that this subject has come back to mind I am going to organise
something like this in our neighborhood. My husband and I never get
to go out because of the ever incressing cost of sitters. This is
the perfect solution!
Thanks for helping me to remember this Liss!
Maya in San Diego
a little more on babysitters
Laying out ground rules ahead of time helps. She may
not have eaten on your couch if you told her not to. I
usually leave a written list of the important stuff,
so there can be no forgetting. I know how I am and if
people tell me something I might forget. Then I could
check the list.
Also, sometimes babysitters have to be gently told to
clean up after themselves and the kids. The one job I
had, I babysat all day sometimes while the parents
worked and they had to tell me about cleaning up. It
wasn't that I was trying to trash the house, but I was
just a slob and didn't even realize that things were
getting a mess until someone pointed it out. My
cleanliness gene had not kicked in yet, and I didn't
even have a concept of what it would be like as the
parent to have to come home from work and clean up the
huge mess the kids and I had made. But once they said
something, I made more of an effort.
I would try something like "It would be really helpful
to us if you could just pick up the toys and put the
dirty dishes in the sink after the kids go to bed."
Well I know Im a little slow on the up take here but here's what I do
When I have a new babysitter, I tell them what I am willing to pay
them during the day ($3 an hour), and what I will pay for night
sitting, ($2 an hour), because they are asleep. I also tell them they
are not responsible for cleaning the house, just picking up toys. I
do tell them that if they do want to clean a little I will pay a
little extra for that. About the falling asleep, if I am home before
midnight I expect them to be awake when I come home, if after
midnight I dont mind them dozing on my couch.
I know that my own babysitting was quite a while ago but I got 1-
2dollars and hour and cleaned! So I think that 25 bucks plus movies
Movies: well if she asked for movies than she should not expect to be
paid as much, If I have movies at home than thats another thing. I
dont mind her watching movies as long as its AFTER MY KIDS ARE IN BED
ONLY! any movies watched before bedtime should be movies that my kids
can watch. Ok well I guess I have ranted enough for one day.
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