For decades the question of how much do you pay a teenage babysitter has been open for debate. However, these days parents’ expectations of who will watch their little ones are much higher than a decade ago.
Equally, babysitters have much higher expectations with regard to pay due to the increasing cost of living and higher minimum wages.
The amount you will pay your babysitter will depend on a variety of factors many of which will be different for different people.
In this article
- What Is The Typical Hourly Rate For Babysitting?
- The Final Thought
What Is The Typical Hourly Rate For Babysitting?
There isn’t one typical or standard babysitting rate for teenagers. How much you pay your teenage babysitter will be determined by a number of different things such as:
- Number of children
- Age of children
- Age of babysitter
- Temperament of Children
- Time of Day
- Seasonal Holidays
The location in which you live is going to play a large part in how much you pay a babysitter. In big cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago parents can expect to pay between $15-$25 an hour.
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While in smaller towns and rural areas you may find that you are only paying around $12 an hour. The cost of living will play a big factor in the average cost of a babysitter.
Although many people think of babysitting as a way for teenagers to make some extra cash, it can also be a career choice for some adults, which is why the cost of living needs to be considered for those who are not doing it for a few extra dollars.
Number of Children
If you have more than one child, babysitting is going to cost you a little more. The general rule that most go by is that you will pay an extra $1 an hour for each additional child.
If you have 4 children, you can expect to pay an additional $3 an hour, if you have 3 children you can expect to pay an additional $2 an hour.
If you are opting for a professional babysitter then you can expect to pay much more than this as they have their own set rates for caring for additional children.
The expectation of a babysitter is that they are there to care for your children. But if you are expecting them to carry out other household chores such as mopping, vacuuming or laundry then you can expect to pay more.
In the same respect if you are expecting them to take your children to and from extracurricular activities then you are going to pay more if nothing more than to cover the cost of gas and mileage on their vehicle.
If your potential babysitter has taken babysitting classes, first aid, CPR, or other child care classes you can expect to pay them more.
These classes usually cost money for them to take and of course, now they are even more qualified to care for your children in your absence. This is something that would be discussed during your initial interview but you can expect to pay more.
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If your babysitter is seasoned, they will come with not only experience but also references. So you can expect to pay more for a babysitter like this.
But it will also mean that they will be able to handle a variety of situations and provide you with the added confidence that they have been doing this for a while and well equipped to take care of your most prized possession while you are not around.
Age of Babysitter
The age of your babysitter is another thing that you need to consider.
If you just need someone to watch your little ones for a few hours while you run some errands or do a little shopping then you could consider using a younger babysitter.
These younger babysitters do not have bills to pay so you can expect to pay between $5 – $7 an hour.
While if you are considering a babysitter aged 15-17 they may be saving for their first car or college and so will expect to be paid a little more than a younger babysitter.
This age bracket would generally consider payment of between $7 – $10 per hour and at this age, they can usually find a job that pays that much.
If the babysitter you are considering is 18 plus, you can expect to pay more.
They are able to work longer hours than a 12-17-year-old and also may have more experience as well as offer greater flexibility. Most adult babysitters would expect to be paid between $10 – $25 an hour.
Temperament of Children
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If you have a child that can be difficult especially for a babysitter then again you can expect to pay a little more.
This would be the same if you had a child with additional needs as it would be more likely that the ideal babysitter would come with additional qualifications allowing them to handle these additional needs well while you are not there.
Of course, this would need to be discussed with your potential babysitter before any care takes place.
Time of Day
The vast majority of babysitting is usually done during the evenings when children are preparing for bed.
But if you are asking your babysitter to watch your kids during the daytime, you need to consider that they will be far more involved with your children than during those evening sessions. You should expect to pay more for daytime babysitting.
If you require a babysitter during a special holiday such as New Year’s Eve, Valentines Day, or St Patrick’s Day, you can expect to pay more or at least offer some sort of bonus or incentive.
Remember that these are times when they could have made their own plans to celebrate with family and friends so paying them a little extra would be good etiquette, after all, they chose to you out instead.
Is $15 an hour too much for babysitting?
If they are watching more than one child then you can expect to pay more. A general rule of thumb is to add an extra dollar for each additional child.
So if you normally pay $13 per hour for one child and you now have three children you can expect to pay $15 per hour.
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What is the difference between a babysitter and a nanny?
Babysitters and nannies care for children, in the children’s own home, unlike daycare. Nannies are hired to care for children on a regular and consistent schedule while babysitters are hired on an as and when needed, short-term basis.
If you would like to see a more detailed comparison then check out our Nanny vs Daycare vs Au Pairs article.
What do parents look for in a babysitter?
Parents want a babysitter that has a good imagination, who can create games, activities, and stories. They don’t want a babysitter who is going to plop their children in front of the TV.
The Final Thought
There are a few different factors that you need to consider when deciding how much to pay your teenage babysitter.
Keep in mind that many babysitters already have their own set rates and may not be open to very much negotiation. You really need to be clear from the start of your expectations and this will ensure that you are paying them accordingly.