how much to pay the babysitter

The second most popular search that brings people to this site, after — I’m ashamed to say – “ball shaving tutorial,” is some variation of “how much should babysitters get paid.” (I pray to God the two aren’t connected in any way.) You see, I made the mistake a year or so ago of posting something on that subject of babysitter pay, and apparently it’s one of the only things that comes up when the question is put to Google… Anyway, lately we’ve been inundated by girls wanting to know how much they should charge, and some of us have been having a bit of fun at their expense in the comments section. The best comment so far came from Ol’ East Cross today. Here’s his contribution to the unfolding dialogue:

The NABSW industry standard follows the basic formula:

“To determine the standard hourly rate for babysitting, divide the number of children being cared for by the average age of children and multiply the result by the age of the babysitter.”

In your case, that’s 2 \ 3 = .67 x 12 = $8.04 per hour.

After you’ve logged 100 hours of babysitting, the NABSW recommends increasing your rates by .067 percent and by .08 percent for each 100 hours after that. I’ve got a friend who’s 42 and has been babysitting since she was 11. She watches 3 kids whose average age is 2.5 and now gets paid $73 an hour. She works one night a week, two at the most, and is pretty much a total stoner the rest of the time. Just be careful not to get sucked in by the easy money.

I love the thought that 12 year old Kelly is out there somewhere in Wisconsin right now explaining to a couple the logic behind her complicated fee structure… Of course, there are probably much funnier conversations taking place with young women over fees right now, here in Ypsi, just a few feet from where I sit typing this.

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  1. Posted June 29, 2007 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    A friend at work was saying the other day that she and her husband went out with another couple and left both couples’ kids with a babysitter and I think for less than four hours, the babysitter earned $60. I told her I’d babysit for $20 for the entire night. I’m amazed at how much babysitters make these days, since I was on the $1/hr plan, no matter how many kids. I even folded laundry.

  2. Ol' E Cross
    Posted June 29, 2007 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Kathleen, We’ve been looking for a good sitter! Although I am somewhat concerned by your NC-17 blog rating, your hourly rates more than make up for any obscenities our little girl will learn. How about this Saturday night?

  3. Robert
    Posted June 29, 2007 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    I’d base my babysiting fees on how annoying the kids were.

  4. GOP spokesmodel
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m babysitting a large [4′ x 8′] McCain-Palin campaign sign in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I will only be watching it for a couple hours and I am not being asked to physically defend it. How much should I charge?

  5. hank paulson
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Zip, zero, zilch. Yikes! Run for your life!

  6. mark
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Call Blackwater, see what they’d charge, and the add five dollars an hour because of the terrifying nature of the work. SE Michigan Democrats are worse than Iraqi insurgents.

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