Fifty years ago or so the average babysitter was a high school girl from don the block who parents paid a couple of dollars to to watch the kids on Saturday night so that they could spend and evening at the movies or go to dinner.
A lot has changed in half a century. Now with so many households being two income families a babysitter is required on a lot more frequent basis than that. And that is not the only thing that has changed – babysitting rates per hour are very different now too.
How Much Do Babysitters Charge?
To say that babysitting rates vary wildly is more than a bit of an understatement. There are still those high school girls trying to make a little extra cash but they certainly don’t charge $5 a night anymore.
In fact if they charge $5 an hour you are getting off rather lightly.
Then there certified adult babysitters, the ones who watch children in your home (or theirs) while you are at work. The average baby sitters rates for this kind of child care is about $10, although many people will prefer to negotiate set weekly babysitters rates instead,
Childcare providers will also often charge different babysitters rates depending upon the number of child they have to take charge of and the kinds of things you want them to do. If you will need your regular babysitter to help you out with the housework as well as watch the kids you really should, in all fairness, be paying them a little bit more to do so.
The time of day or night they are expected to watch your child may affect a babysitter’s rates as well. If they are to stay overnight to mind children while parents are away they may charge more than they would for an afternoon’s worth of babysitting.
Choosing a Babysitter
Whether they are watching your children for an hour a week or for eight hours a day everyday more important than the baby sitter’s rates is their ability to do so safely and responsibly. Unless they are a member of your immediate circle of family and friends and you have known them for a long time you should never hire a babysitter without checking their references.
When checking a babysitter’s references it is important that you get to speak to people whose children they have taken care of, not just people who are the babysitters family and friends who can “vouch” for the fact that they are “great with kids”. Very few good babysitters will mind you doing this, they will understand your desire to make sure that your children will be well taken care of.
Babysitter or Childcare?
The alternative to paying babysitters rates for most working parents is to put their child in daycare instead. Both options have their pros and cons but if you have a job where your schedule changes on a regular basis finding a good babysitter who is willing to be a little flexible with their hours may be a better choice than dealing with a daycare that does not open until 9am and closes at 6pm sharp.