Going Rate for babysitting?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by CnySolar, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. CnySolar

    CnySolar Member

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    In order to keep the homestead functioning properly, we occasionally need to get out once or twice a year without the kids.

    What is the going rate nowadays? We have 3 kids, but usually take the newborn with us so we would be leaving 2 at home.

    Thanks,

    Brian
    Parish, NY
     
  2. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I don't know how others pay but I always wanted to attract the desirable kids rather than just anything with a pulse. My thought was that the good kids were probably capable of getting a job that would pay at least minimum wage so that's what I paid. Because I always paid so very well, I always had a sitter available when I needed one and I always had excellent sitters. Rather than just feed the kids and watch TV, the sitter felt that they should earn their wealth and would take the kids out exploring or crafting.
     

  3. imaquillen

    imaquillen Active Member

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    I'd figure the very minimum would be $2 per child per hour--you get what you pay for.
     
  4. Look for a homeschooled child in your area around the age of 14 or 15 and preferrably a girl. Do pay them well...$5 to $6 an hour and be clear about your expectations...and talk extensively with sitters parents so you are all on the same wavelength. Another option is an older lady at your or a local church. A lot of older folks could use the extra pocket money these days....I pay some of my older neighbors the same pay rate to watch my 8&9yo. And I make my kids help while they are at the old folks home...shovelling, vacuuming etc. It teaches them respect and kindness for their elders.
     
  5. RAC

    RAC Guest

    How much you want to pay for a sitter if you go that route depends on what kind of sitter you want. An older person? A teenager? Lots of teens who babysit take babysitting mini-seminars where they learn some basic first aid and how to deal with simple problems (they get a certificate after passing a test).

    You may also see if there is a neighborhood babysitting co-op in your area, since the newborn will grow up really fast ;-)--usually there are very small monthly dues (like $5) collected for postage & paper to send out a newsletter listing who has time to babysit (no money changes hands for the babysitting itself, you log in time on a sheet), and occasional get-togethers to welcome new members. These are usually very organized co-ops--they'll ask for a background check, and they have rotating elected officeholders who will make a surprise visit or two to your house. The advantage of these is that you have more than one babysitter to choose from, especially in an emergency.


    Depending upon how old your children are you can also either leave them in the Library (with strict orders not to bother anyone and to sit within close proximity to the check-out or child librarian desk), or enroll them in evening classes like martial arts and dance--ask the instructor if they mind your just dropping them off, some do, thinking that parents add an extra amount of discipline, others prefer not, because it keeps the area too crowded. Obviously also get referrals first.
     
  6. syringaweb

    syringaweb Well-Known Member

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    For our 8 and 6 year old, I pay about $4/hr. to teenagers, and they are very happy with it. A little extra if I come home and all the dishes are clean. The smart ones figure this out. These are very responsible, yet "pre real job" teenagers, mind you, 13-15 years old. I have no problem leaving my kids with them, as they (my kids) are basically self sufficient at this point, but just need the responsible judgmental eye over them.
     
  7. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Around our area finding someone is hard, At least someone I trust with my DS.
    We end up paying $5-6/hr and round up the payment at the end.
     
  8. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I'm not sure why unregistered would discount boys for sitters. Some of the very best sitters I've had have been boys. Sure the kitchen might not have been as clean as it could have been but the kids went to be bed tired from plenty of outside activities, snaring gophers, catch and release of grass frogs, baseball, basketball, building forts so they could dine in them,watching bats and watching owls in the early evening, etc. I found girls a bit more inclined to clean the house though but I always felt that I paid someone to look after the kids, not redo the kitchen. My youngest is 15 and he's working part time on a farm and in a welding shop but is always happy to watch the little gal across the road and she just loves it when he does, they do all sorts of fun outside stuff that her busy parents don't have time for. It was pretty chillly the last time he sat and they still found a way to have a picnic, it just happened to be in the barn.
     
  9. RAC

    RAC Guest

    I don't know, if I were paying to have the children watched, that should not include cleaning the house, unless you're paying extra for that. Two separate jobs, and to me, keeping the children safe is the primary one. What if they leave a bottle of cleaning fluid where a child can drink it?

    On the other hand, boys can be good babysitters too. I think there is some paranoia involved as a result of some of the high-profile cases in the news. For example, some in our area are absolutely nuts over internet access to porn in the library. Well, most computers there are shielded, so unless you're breathing down someone's neck, you're not going to see it, and your children shouldn't be going up to strangers anyway....

    My parents used to leave us at evening classes at the Y--ours was small and mostly had classes (some on-site, some off-site at the schools) since they did not have the pool, big gym, etc., or at the library.

    Or instead of going out during the evening, try going out in the daytime, while the children are in school. There was a time when we either didn't go anywhere, or just took all the kids. I don't like the idea of paying someone to watch my children, mainly because you couldn't pay me enough to watch someone else's.....;-). Luckily we had relatives and close friends, and yes, we do reciprocate.
     
  10. Amy Jo

    Amy Jo Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you regarding messes that are made before she/he gets there. I think most people mean the messes made after you leave.

    I used to have a sitter when I worked full time. I hired this wonderful little grandmother - or so she pretended to be - she lasted one week. I came home and the kids had jelly all over the kitchen counter, sugar spilled all over the floor and she told my 3 year old daughter that she didn't need another hot dog at lunch because she was getting chubby.

    I'd have fired her for the chubby thing. I didn't know about that until I'd already fired her for letting the kids get into anything and everything they felt like and I spent the entire night cleaning it up instead of getting to spend time with my kids.

    When my girls babysat for other people.. I told them - If those kids eat - YOU prepare it and serve it. NO messes on the kitchen table, or toys all over the floor... it's easier for a sitter to play "let's put all the toys in the box as fast as we can" then it is for mom to get them to clean it up in the morning. If you are properly watching kids, the house shouldn't get trashed... And if you babysit for 6 hours and the kids are sleeping for 3 or 4 of those hours... it's always nice to do something extra for the mom around the house. After all... you're getting paid to watch cable and eat snacks once the kids are in bed...

    I came home one time - left the neighbor girl watch my kids... she colored on our panelling WITH the kids... I coulda killed her!
     
  11. Bob_W_in_NM

    Bob_W_in_NM Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you could afford me. My rate for babysitting starts at about 200.00 dollars per hour.

    Bob
     
  12. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

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    uhoh, from my sis-in-law who is a librarian in a small town. "Don't drop your kids off here!" She says that too many people think that the library is a place to drop off their kids and leave. They don't have the staff to adequately watch the kids and worry over it. They do have sick-o's who visit that library and since it it a public place they can't ban them unless or until they do something really wrong. I would be careful.

    Babysitting rates. I was getting $2 an hour per child, 20 years ago. It was always nice that they paid a bonus if they came home later than they said that they would. It was a good setup as they lived right across the street from us. The mom always had a list of what to feed the kids for dinner, phone numbers they could be reached at, emergency numbers, any allergies the kids had, usual routines (brushing teeth, etc.). A lot of it was things that I as a teenager might have been aware of but, having it on paper helped me to see that it was accomplished. It was good pocket money for 2 years and the kids were angels. :haha:
     
  13. RAC

    RAC Guest

    Dreams 30, when my parents dropped us off, it was with strict instructions not to be a nuisance in any way, and we weren't. They did not expect the librarians to babysit us. I don't know any librarian who ever minds having a well-behaved child left alone in the library. It's all the badly behaved children that spoil it (and that includes badly behaved teenagers too). Although I was an avid bookworm and was more interested in reading at the library than anything else....

    As to the weird people, if children are taught not to talk to strangers (except asking for help from a librarian, who should have an ID tag of some sort no matter how small the library), they should be fine. Some kids, they will walk up to anyone and talk. Those you probably shouldn't leave anywhere alone. Other kids, someone just looks at them, and they immediately run away. If they run into trouble at the library, there are plenty of adults around to go to for help.

    On the other hand, there have been cases of children hurt by babysitters, and they have nowhere to go and no one to turn to because they're home and supposedly their parents have vetted the sitter in some form or fashion, so the children automatically "trust" them. Although a "nanny-cam" could be one way to check on the sitter while they're sitting.

    And I agree, the more organized the parent is, the better. Once the children see that parents intend for the regular routines to be followed, it helps with them seeing that they are to behave themselves.

    I would feel uncomfortable leaving any very young child (as in still in diapers, unable to talk, and eager to get into every little thing) with a sitter other than family, but that's me, and probably because we didn't do the daycare thing like so many parents do today.
     
  14. SueD

    SueD Well-Known Member

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    wr is right... Living so close to Chicago (60+ miles) we couldn't touch a babysitter for less than $5 - and sometimes they want more than that!!!

    When DD was younger (say about 5 years ago) I was paying $5 just for a sitter. If I had to be gone during dinner hour, I'd make a meal for them both as well, which she only had to pop in the microwave.

    Round here its pretty much snacks and $5 per hour per child. (Get references....)

    Sue
     
  15. imaquillen

    imaquillen Active Member

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    Wow! 20 years ago I was getting 50-75 Cents and hour, sometimes more if there was more than 1 kid. Guess it all depends on where you live and the economy there.
     
  16. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I don't know if it depends or location or economy. In my mind, it had everything to do with attacting and keeping the right quality of sitters. If I was hiring teens, I didn't want the kids that had nothing else to do but babysit, they tend to be just as disinterested in my kids as they are in other aspects of their life. I wanted to attact the teens that actually enjoyed sitting, looked upon it as a real job, just like any other therefore minimum wage was established because that's what they would be paid elsewhere. I was very fortunate in having grown up in the community so had the luxury of knowing what kids were worth my time hiring and what kids would just sit and watch TV or sit on the phone. My daughter is now old enough to sit and the calls we get scare the daylights out of me. We've had folks we've never met in our life, call to see if she'll watch their kids, no mention of any experience or first aid courses, just how cheap she can be hired. Sitting on the other side of the fence, I have her decline most jobs offered. The last call was one of my favorites, could I drive her over and pick her up sometime after 2:00 am and she'd be paid $2/hr. Her wages wouldn't have even made up for my time and inconvenience nor could she have even bought a new CD with her wages. We ask teens to accept adult responsabilities but we also expect them to take childish wages.
     
  17. RAC

    RAC Guest

    I have never hired a teenager to babysit, nor would I ever encourage my children to accept any babysitting position other than helping out immediate family or very good friends.

    Why? Because babysitting is not a job that will give you good experience to put on a resume, unless of course that is what you want to do as a career. Not to mention that you can't put any earnings into an IRA, unless they are paying taxes as well....

    WR makes a point about children with adult responsibilities yet "childish" pay. I compare it to minimum wage jobs. Unskilled labor (or what is considered unskilled labor) always rates lower pay in a market economy.

    Society, like it or not, considers stay-at-home Mothers and Fathers to be unskilled labor. Daycare workers are notoriously underpaid, and I can't tell you how many magazine articles I've seen telling "working" mothers to make friends with SAHMs purely for free babysitting purposes. Not to mention scads of articles bemoaning that even "working" moms think that daycare is 'way too expensive. What does that say about society that even WOMEN (who should certainly know better!!!) consider caring for children to be unskilled labor and something to be delegated?

    Just something to think about.
     
  18. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

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    Speaking as a librarian, I'll tell you one good reason why I MIND - SAFETY

    The library is a public place - meaning, anyone can come and go -
    Depending on how big or busy your library is - this can be unsafe for children. Many libraries have upstairs, basement, side doors, bathrooms, elevators, etc....
    With no one to watch your children, this can mean an unsafe environment.

    Most libraries have policies that will tell you how old your children have to be before they can stay alone in the library. The policies are in place for a reason - Trust me, I've heard the horror stories.....

    That being said, here's another idea:

    A local church offers a babysitting service 2 days a week from 9 am - 1 pm.
    Charges are $3 per hour for the first child & $1.50 per hour every child after that. This works out to $4.50 per hour - pretty reasonable. Maybe something like this is available in your area.
     
  19. RAC

    RAC Guest

    Most libraries, sad to say, aren't big enough to get lost in--I've seen many that are smaller than even the smallest homes in their neighborhoods....*sigh*

    I know where you're coming from, Heather, but I would venture to say that any child is safer in a library than they are at many schools today. And while I wouldn't leave a toddler there, a well-behaved 10-year old wouldn't even be noticed by a librarian, and wouldn't be a burden. Like I said, if the child knows not to talk to or go near strangers they should be fine, but that is something that a parent has to determine for his/herself, maybe by parking 'round the corner and observing the behavior after coming back in without the child knowing about it.

    But I guess I was brought up differently--my parents were really big on not talking to strangers--I don't see that with parents today as much. I also see more children who seem to have never learned how to keep themselves occupied by reading--too into video games, computers and other "stuff", so the library wouldn't be the best choice for them anyway.

    I like the church idea, but most churches don't do evening babysitting at all, which is usually when parents want to go out--that's why I like the class idea, the children are both "attended" yet are learning something useful at the same time. I know a lot of parents who put their children into the martial arts classes as much for the discipline as for the training itself.
     
  20. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you're right - a well-behaved 10yr old probably wouldn't be noticed by a librarian and that's my point.....They might not be noticed by me, but they might be noticed by someone else -
    It's just my 2c but I wouldn't leave my 10 yr old alone in a library - no matter how well-behaved, it's just not safe -
    And who's responsibility is it if something happens to the child?