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      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

      (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!)

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