When I started looking for a babysitter for my daughter a couple years ago I was shocked to find out that some people paid $5 per hour. That was the going rate when I babysat 18 years ago (wow that makes me feel old)! So I started asking around, but the answers were varied and I didn’t know what to think. Every time I was able to secure a babysitter I would ask what their expectations were and the answer was usually, “oh whatever you pay me is good.” I mean, that’s nice and all, but I would never go to a job and tell them that whatever they pay me is ok! I’m pretty sure my young self would have said the same thing, but as a parent hiring a babysitter, I would like some guidance.
So look no further moms, I have REAL survey results for you completed by REAL Babysitters on what their expectations are! I made it anonymous to get honest answers! I’ve also included a few tips below for babysitters.
The survey was completed by 21 babysitters in western Canada (BC, Alberta and SK) in November/December 2017. So yes, current, up to date results!
Survey Results from REAL Babysitters
To summarize the data on the charts, 57% who completed the survey were aged 17 years or older, 33% were 15-16 years and only 10% were 13-14 years. The majority (71%) have completed the babysitters course and 43% have been babysitting for 3-5 years, 48% for more than 5 years and the remaining were under 2 years. I would say that the survey represents experienced babysitters.
As I expected the results were varied! Three questions regarding hourly rate expectations were asked. They were based on babysitting 1 child, 2 children and 3 or more. When it was more than 1 child, the results were more consistent.
For 1 child, it was a tie between $5-6 and $7-8 per hour. If you group the under $5 with the $5-6 then the going rate would be $5-6 per hour. Crazy to think that this hasn’t changed in 18 + years. Based on the mixed results, I would say a respectable hourly rate for babysitting 1 child would be $6-7 per hour.
For 2 children, the results say $9-10 per hour and for 3 or more children, the results say $10 or more per hour.
Do you agree with the results?
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To be honest, I don’t know what to think. For the younger teens, I started paying $5 per hour for my 1 child, but I did always pay a minimum of 3 hours ($15), even if it was a short visit. When I heard about a another mom in the area paying $8 per hour, I started paying that. Part of my problem was I could never find a babysitter in the area, so I wanted to make sure they were paid enough and would come back! But after thinking about it some more, I was questioning if $8 per hour really made sense. The drop in rate at the local Early Learning Centre, for 1 child, where the teachers are adults and have their Early Childhood Education was 8 something per hour (I don’t remember the exact rate, I think maybe $8.50/hour). So when I think about that, and I compare that to paying a teenager who has only taken the babysitters course and I would likely not trust enough to give my child a bath, does it make sense to pay $8 tax free per hour?
And what about minimum wage? For those people who make minimum wage, how can you afford a babysitter? The minimum wage for BC is $10.45 , AB is $15.60 and SK is $10.96, per hour. BUT, when you think about your child and how precious they are and how safe and well cared for you want them to be, does it make sense to be paying someone less than minimum wage to care for your child? You would pay them minimum wage to shovel your driveway wouldn’t you? Or mow your lawn? Or you might even pay them more for that! No wonder it is hard to find a babysitter! But then again, you can’t afford to pay them minimum wage if you don’t make much more than that. The struggle is real!
Whether or not it makes sense for your family situation, based on the survey results, my recommendations for hourly rates for babysitters is $6-7 for 1 child, $9-10 for 2 children and $10 or more for 3 children.
Tips for Babysitters
When I think back to my babysitting days (I had MANY of them), I think about what I wish I would have known. I remember being polite and accepting whatever the parents paid and did what they asked, but as parent hiring a babysitter now, this is what I want you to know, or want you to tell me!
- Have an expected hourly rate and let me know! It’s okay to say that you expect a minimum of $10 per hour, but if I am not willing to pay that, be prepared to not get the job. I want my babysitters to be happy, so let me know what rate will make you happy. Please don’t say you will take whatever, because if I turned around and paid you $3 per hour, I don’t think you would be happy. I sure wouldn’t. You could always give a range if you are not sure, for example, you could say, $5-7 is what I usually get paid. Whatever you expect, have an answer prepared.
- If you are not comfortable to be left alone late at night, please let me know.
- If you cook (or not), please let me know. If you have experience (or not) with changing diapers, bathing, bedtime, etc., just let me know.
- A little confidence is a good thing. I want someone who can make decisions while caring for my child.
- I want nothing more than a reliable babysitter who keeps my child safe and wants to come back! So please, work with me and let me know what works and what doesn’t. Don’t feel like you can’t say anything.
After all that, I rarely even get a babysitter. Clearly my husband and I need to go out more, but it has always been a struggle trying to find someone! Very soon we will be in a brand new town and the challenge of finding a good reliable babysitter will start from scratch, but at least I have a better idea of the hourly rate expectations!
If you find this useful, please share with your mom friends and babysitters or comment below and let me know!
What do you pay your babysitter (include where you live)?
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