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Old 02-26-2008, 11:46 PM   #1
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How much to charge for babysitting?
Okay, so we all know that KH'ers give the best input/advice. So here goes; please give me as much input at possible!

Here's the deal - I am 27 yrs old and do not have a paying job. I do lots of volunteer work and mystery shopping. I also do not have any children.

A couple that me and DH know have a daughter that is 13 months old. Both of the parents are pilots and the mom will be going back to work soon. I volunteered to help out with the baby sometime if they were both going to be out of town, etc. They agreed, but immediately insisted they would pay me. I politely declined, saying they were friends, I love children, and just wanted to help out as much as possible. They disagreed and said we would work something out later. We are having dinner with them tomorrow night to discuss everything and work out details, as I think I will be starting this within the next few weeks. I am really excited to do this, but not because of any payment involved. But - I KNOW they will insist. So my question is, how much is reasonable? I don't want to throw out a number too high, nor too low. I havn't babysat in years, except for in my own family, and have NO idea what the rates are anymore. I'm going to see what their ideas are, but if there first number is too high, I at least want to know so I can negotiate it down.

So. . . please help! Thanks!

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Old 02-26-2008, 11:54 PM   #2
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I think it depends a lot on where you live, but to give you an idea...

I babysit my good friends' two kids, two days/week. It is a regular arrangement, not a "once in a while" kind of thing or when they happen to need help, so we have a definite payment schedule set out.

Before they had their second child and I was watching just the one, they payed me $40 (canadian) for a full day and $25 if it was a half a day. This was based pretty closely on what the going rate was for a day in a regular daycare.

When the second baby came along and she went back to work, again two days/week, we threw a few different ideas around. The one option was to pretty much double what they were paying me before, so $80/day. I felt that was a LOT of money, especially with them being good friends and I was partly doing it in the first place to help them out (finding good daycare is tough apparently) and not just for the income. So the arrangement we came up with that we've both been happy with is that they pay me $500/month, every month. Even if some months have more days, some have less, some have half days thrown in, some months have holidays, etc. It is predictable for them, and for me, and it has been very un-stressful doing it this way - dealing and talking $$ with friends can be kind of awkward!!

I do think that you watching you friends baby shouldn't just be a favor, especially if it is done regularly and it definitely sounds like your friends are not wanting to take advantage of your generosity which is a great thing.

If you have time, you might want to check with a few local daycares just to find out what the going rate is, or suggest to your friends that they do that to determine what is reasonable as far as what they would be expecting of you.

Hope that helps!
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Old 02-27-2008, 12:12 AM   #3
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I know i'm 16, but i do babysit. haha, I get paid normally around $5 an hour. usually more though, because i think they're paying me more now. And that's for the two kids, 6 and 4. though, yesterday, i babysat for like 5 hrs and got paid $20 for just the 4 yo.

that prolly didn't help at all. :P
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Old 02-27-2008, 02:38 AM   #4
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i babysit for several families, the main two that i sit for i get nine and ten an hour. Nine an hour for one 10 year old, and the ten and hour for a five year old and a three year old. (im 20 btw, if that makes any difference???)
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Old 02-27-2008, 09:01 AM   #5
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I think since you have already declined payment a couple times maybe the 6-7$ range an hour would be good.

Heck, when I used to babysit in high school (over 35 years ago,) I was thrilled with my clients that paid me $1 an hour. Most girls made about 50 cents an hour. Times sure have changed!
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Old 02-27-2008, 09:42 AM   #6
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I don't babysit on a regular basis, but when I do I normally get paid about $5-$7 an hour, though that is for looking after 4 kids .
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:13 AM   #7
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I would check out what the going rates are for daycare and nannies in your area and then suggest a rate that's 20% lower (or whatever percentage you feel comfortable with).

Also make sure to have an agreement as to whether you are babysitting, providing daycare (with structured learning opportunities), or being a part-time nanny. Those are three different jobs with very different rates!

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Old 02-27-2008, 10:24 AM   #8
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Overall, I think to compare prices with daycare services in your area is a good idea.

You also need to ask yourself some hard questions. Did you intend to declare this money in your income taxes? If an accident happens, are you responsible? Do you need to get extra insurance? Do you need to notify your home insurance (if you babysit in your house)? Will your friends claim this money as a tax deduction for daycare? In which case, will you need to become a registered daycare provider? What are the regulations?

These questions can sound a bit exaggerated... but I think they are important. Yes they are friends, but it doesn't mean you need to take all the risks without compensation. Children and money are subjects that can easily get in the way of the strongest friendships! Good luck!
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:47 AM   #9
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I watch a friend's 4yo and 21mo every day from 7:30-5:30. She pays me $30 a day or $150 a week. She also pays me a little overtime if something happens and she's an hour late or more. If she used daycare, she'd probably pay $200-$250 a week and overtime charges are astronomical. $150 gives me a enough money to cover the cost of meals and snacks as well as some money to go do fun things, or just crafts. I agree that you should check out the daycare costs and figure what keeping her will cost you and go from there.

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Old 02-27-2008, 12:21 PM   #10
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I pay $130 for 4 days 8:30-3 for my 3 year old to go to a Montessori Preschool and daycare. I feel this is very reasonable.

When she was an infant I paid $185 for 4 days. Daycares/Preschools often charge less for the older children particularly if they are potty-trained.

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