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March 16, 2009



I think the parents should put themself in the nanny position, if the question was reversed how much would their salaries be?

Denise Blanchard

When I did the calculator it says 9.50 an hour for 1 child who is 9 years old. I just think this is still too high! What do you think?




The calculator was a little high in my opinion. If it's a weekend night out and I expect my son to get dinner (which is already prepared my me), a bath, story and bed then I pay 7 dollars an hour the whole night even though he goes to bed at 7 and we may stay out until midnight. So the babysitter is still getting paid even while my son sleeps, but we are paying for her time. The calculator said 10 dollars an hour and that is just too much.


I pay my sitter $10 an hour to sit with my 5 year old for 2 hours on Thursdays. I put myself in her shoes and tried to figure out what was a fair price and how much I would expect. I wanted to make it worth her while to come over and if I needed her to take my son to baseball practice or if I needed her to run an errand for me I wanted to make sure she was compensated.

The calculator says I should be paying $8 an hour, but I think that's too low. I know I wouldn't waste my time for 2 hours once a week for $16.

It just depends on the situation you're in!

The Brichetto's

I agree with the other mom's posting here. Your article was useful, until...I used the calculator. My rate returned at $10.50/hr. This is $5-6 higher than babysitters have been quoting me. Most of the rates that I queries for multiple zip codes were nearly $2 more than minimum wage for a "cash" job. What?! As a nanny, if I were charging cash, I would not expect more than minimum wage.

First time mom

The calculator is mis-leading and does over-estimate the hourly rate. In today's economy where most of us have experienced salary cuts at work and or had to make other adjustments, it expects caregivers to be paid at top of the salary range. I also believe it does a dis-service to the care-providers because they are always living under the illusion that they are supposed to get paid at $X per hour and hence continue to interview endlessly instead of sticking to one family with a decent hourly rate.

Marie K

It's good to know that you can save money by not paying per child. That helps a lot!


You definitely need to pay more than minimum wage. That's way too low for someone you're trusting your kids with and I wouldn't want my own children to be in an unsafe situation.

Mom of 3

I think that the calculator is too high. My kids are 11, 9, and 6. I usually make dinner ahead of time, rent a video from RedBox and have popcorn and other snacks laid out. We pick up and return our sitters. When my sitter arrives, I have all the info on my kitchen whiteboard including the time we'll return. The kids are in bed no later than 10 (the youngest by 9).My sitters' moms all tell me not to pay more than $6 an hour (they remember how it used to be!). HOWEVER, if I am late, I pay double for the late time (if I am 30 minutes late, I pay for her time as usual, then I pay her an extra $3).


I think the calculator is about right. I am paying someone to tend to the care and wellbeing of my most prized posession (my child), not come by and water the plants. I completely agree with the person who put themselves in the sitter's shoes and said something like, 'How much would it take to make sitting for this family worth while." I pay $12.5/hour for my sitter, a college student majoring in education, to watch my child for 3 days a week while I work upstairs in my office. He is 2.5 yrs and has verbal apraxia so he needs someone who is patient and can understand his very basic sign language and his word approximations. The rate I pay allows me to attract and keep quality care givers. I, personally, am not going to penny pinch when it comes to the quality of the people who I am entrusting my child's welfare to.


I think the calculator really needs to take more info into consideration. I have 3 kids, 12, 10 and 8. Calculator tells me I should be paying about $11/hr...For an adult "nanny" I might buy that, but not for a teen. I just cant see the justification in paying a teenager (who probably isnt even driving yet and cant take my child to the hospital if necessary) making more per hour than what they would earn actually WORKING at a nearby fast-food restaurant. If they're spending the evening watching TV, then they should be paid approriately.


I found your site on Google and read a few of your other entires. Nice Stuff. I'm looking forward to reading more from you.


Interesting points! I was actually thinking about this topic last night and this morning (particularly how to incorporate it into my own blog). Thanks for the tips, bro!


I think the babysitting calculator is great! I am from Saratoga Springs, NY and it got the going rate right. In my 6 years of being a nanny and babysitter I have had many parents ask How I figure out my rates. This breaks it down and it is exactly how I determine what to charge. What a great site!


I think the calculator is great and VERY reasonable... as a nanny with a college education and over 12 years of experience, I am completely insulted when given an offer of less than $10/hr... You pay people more to clean your toilets! I would hope that you'd be willing to pay someone you entrust your children with... your most valuable possession (hopefully)... more than you'd pay someone to clean your house or mow your lawn! What really gets me is when I get a low-ball offer from someone who just uses the time to shop and have fancy lunches with girlfriends... Let's get real!


The calculator says I should be making $12.00 an hour. I look after 7 month old twins for 11 1/2 hours a day 3 days a week and I have a 6 year old for 3 hours out of that day. I get a salary of $125 a week and will get an extra $50 when the 6 year old gets out for the summer. Originally I had agreed to work 9 hours with the very occasional 11 1/2 but it has only been the 11 1/2. When I calculated out my salary to hourly rate it came up to $3.50 an hour. I am CPR certified and also make sure the house is at least a little cleaner then they left it (dishes, vacuuming). I also have 6 years of experience with children. Am I getting totally ripped off? They are nice people and the days coincide with another job I have so I don't want to quit. What should I do?



It sounds like you’re in a tough situation. If you feel like you are doing more work than you’re paid for – especially since you’re on a fixed salary and not getting paid by the hour – you may want to bring up your concerns with the parents. Explain to them that you feel like you’re being underpaid, especially since you’ve been working more hours than anticipated. But also stress that you love the job, and you enjoy working with their children. These are tough economic times for everyone, but hopefully they’ll understand your situation.

But whenever you have concerns about your job, don't be afraid to openly communicate! It's the only way to find solutions.




I pay my babysitter $10 an hour plus tip for my 3 year old and 8 month old. The pay calculator only says $8 an hour, but I always give $10 plus a 15% tip. It's a little steep to go out with my husband to dinner, and a movie will cost me $45 to $50, but I have a great babysitter and I know my kids are safe. I know the economy is tough, but i would rather pay my sitter well and go out fewer times. This way I always have peace of mind when I leave my home. You can't put a price on your kids' safety and paying a good babysitter well will ensure she'll stick around.


I am a babysitter and I think that from 7.50 to 9 dollars is a reasonable rate. If the child is older they are easier but if a baby sitter has to change diapers then you should be at least pay them 8 dollars an hour. A friend of my family was staying with us and she wanted to go out with my parents. She has two children, her oldest is 9 and has severe ADD, her youngest is 9 months and cries about everything, I love children and am good with them because unlike other babysitters I play with the kids. Since she is a friend of the family and I watched her kids for over 16 hours (not all at the same time) I am charging her $6 an hour. Am I charging too much or too little?


I'm a babysitter and I think depending on what your making the babysitter do, you need to pay accordingly. I babysit for a family of 3 boys and the parents treat me like a nanny. I take the 3 boys to hockey, football, or soccer practice on a Saturday morning, prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner, do the dishes, and I'm usually babysitting for 12 hours. This REALLY sucks up my weekend as I work full time at a daycare and am going to school for my BA in Early Childhood Education. I think for this situation, 12.00 per hour is wayy to low. AND, to whomever said a nanny should not be paid more than minimum wage, are you serious? If you pay her minimum wage, then I would expect her to do the minimum amount of work. Even if that means not playing with you children. If you are trusting someone with your children, wouldn't you want to pay them a nice salary so they take extra good care of YOUR children?


Your child is your most precious possession, I would be willing to pay a lot to know my child is safe and well cared for. You get what you pay for, and if you are cheap than you may wind up putting your children in danger....think about it


i am a nanny taking care of a wonderful pair of twin boys, ever since they were 6wks old now they are 13mths old, i am located in hoboken nj...paying someone to take care of your kids shouldn't be a debate, because you are entrusting that person with the life of your child which money can't buy. in hoboken you hear of nannies getting paid the lowest 650 weekly & 800 weekly as the highest, my bosses are doctors and i am now receiving 550 per week for a 50 hour week, i do everything pertaining to the kids including taking the kids to class, keeping the apartment in shape and cleaning up after the kids dinner even if it takes me 5 to 10mins over my work day...it is now a year and i do believe i should get an increase, which she mentioned upon hiring me, should i bring up the discussion of an increase or should i wait to see if she will bring it up, and what is a fair amount to ask for?

thank you guys for your suggestions


I've been working in the childcare field, professionally, for about a year now. I go to the homes of the families and take care of their children in THEIR homes. Care including: diaper changes, clothing changes as needed, feeding (including preparing meals and clean up afterwards), cleaning up messes, bathing the children (depending on when scheduled), putting the children to bed, playing with the children, etc. On TOP of all that I provide the love, safety, and care the child/ren need. All of this is worth less than minimum wage to a parent? I've seen ads where people want to pay $2 an hour. Are you kidding? I've been flexible with some families and adapted to their financial need, but when there is lack of respect for the care provider and all that we do, it crushes me. It's ALOT of work taking care of children, and yes I enjoy working with children, but when parents don't/can't offer atleast minimum wage, and on top of that a lack of respect can be quite a bear at times. I've left positions where I wasn't being respected but instead was treated as though they were doing ME a favor, that hurts. I don't have children of my own, but I KNOW that when I do, I will be more than willing to pay ATLEAST minimum wage to a private caretaker and will have no problem showing the respect that the provider deserves.

I'm not here to bash anyone, but I agree with others and have often wondered myself, what a parent would expect to be paid if the tables were turned. I know there are many out there who are only in it for the money, I am NOT one of them, and even though it's NOT right, many do get what they paid for. You can't expect a provider to continue to go "above and beyond" when you show no respect for that person (whether it be not respecting their time by being late-especially when you are running late and don't call, or just the way you speak to us, breaking promises that were given in an interview or when hired, etc). I've worked in the "office" field, retail, etc, and when you are doing your best, yet shown no praise, respect, etc, it takes a toll on your attitude towards work, no matter what the pay, and how much you enjoy your job. Add all that to someone taking care of YOUR children...think about it.

I know many have turned to working in their home or in others homes because of lack of jobs in the actual employment market, but that doesn't make us any less of a "worker" than the rest.

There are one too many horror stories of "bad nannies" or "sitters", so if you have a good one, give her/him the PAY & PRAISE she/he deserves!


I think this is confusing. This was not a nanny calculator. A nanny is a professional child care worker. A babysitter is someone who comes over at night while you go see a movie and is usually a teen aged 12-17. Paying a 14 year old to watch 3 kids ..$10 an hour, is insulting to her mother who works all day for $8.50 an hour caring for 6 elderly people at a care home. While her 14 year old texts her boyfriend while the kids are asleep and has a blast playing with them. Not the same thing. This calculator says I should pay my 14 year old babysitter $13.50 an hour to watch my 4 kids ages 3,6, 9 and 12. This is absurd! That would be $80 for her in one night! For us to go out from 7pm to midnight? Are you kidding?? So when my sitter goes to get a real part time job at 16 and finds out that flipping burgers only pays $7.50 an hour, where do you think she will get the too good for that job attitude? Are we not teaching our children the value of money anymore? I refuse to pay a sitter more than $8 an hour for all my kids ever. It not because I am cheap, its because it is an easy fun job, whereas the rest of the jobs they will have will not be as fun as easy as babysitting and will pay much less. This is insulting to the many parents who need to go out and work for minimum wage with college degrees and pay their teen babysitter $3 an hour more than they are going out to work for. You dont need education, or training to be a good babysitter, but you do need appropriate judgment and the value of money is one you should learn. My friend pays her sitters $5 an hour to watch her 5 kids ages 6 months, 3, 4, 6, 8 yrs old. and she has sitters lined up to watch her kids..because they work often and enjoy the kids. This is southern california too...not nebraska. If you find teens who love kids $5 is plenty. Dont spoil our youth anymore than they are. Jeez. Maybe I should go be a babysitter.


How much should I pay my adult babysitter for a 3 month old for 15 hours a week? I'm broke myself and even paying her $8 an hour (minimum wage for Illinois) is still just a little less than half my paycheck. I'm still in college and am only able to work part-time. She said I could pay her whatever but i don't want to underpay her either...


I started babysitting not too long ago, and I took the babysitting courses at Red Cross. I have a family that I sit for frequently and they have two children. One is 3 and the other is 5. I am happy with what I'm currently being paid for babysitting them, and I'm being paid $8 an hour. I feel that it is a fair payment, and that I am not being overpaid or underpaid.


I would like if that calculator had an option for the babysitter bringing their child. If my work place allowed the same convenience I give to my babysitter then I would save a lot of money by not needed a sitter just like my sitter. My sitter is great and I think we have a good agreement, but there is this thing called the real world and in it people don't bring there child to work to enjoy them through out the day.

I get tired of the precious cargo reasoning, since if you, the sitter, truly thought that you would do it for free. But my child is your job, whether that is crass or not, it is the truth. Like we always said in the Navy, "Choose your rate, choose your fate." If you don't like what you do or think you are being slighted, quit.


I am an adult babysitter with a college education and several years of experience of life guarding and swim instruction. I ask for $10/per for 2 children under the age of 7, which is about what the calculator said from my area (South Central Wisconsin) I feel like this is a minimum for me for that amount of children. I love the girls I sit for and they have a blast with me, but less than $10/hour doesn't make it worth my evening when I could pick up a waitressing shift instead. However, I think less experienced teenaged sitters who are likely to still be living with their parents, not having to pay for so very many things, should expect to be payed less, but always at or above the current minimum wage.


I babysit a family with a 2 year old that isn't potty trained, a 4 year old, and and six year old. I drive 20 mins each direction to get to them and babysit three times a week... They pay me 5 an hour and I think this is unfair, what do you guys think?


Kristy-Then quit! You knew what you were getting into when you said you would take on the job! SOme people cant afford top dollar for daycare, and it really is ridiculous what people will charge. I cant afford for 75% of my paycheck to go to a sitter when it takes both my husband and my checks to make the bills each month. I have found its cheaper to have my 2 children to go to a daycare center than someone in home. It all comes down to what someone is willing to work for, just like the rest of us who leave home to work!


It quoted $8 an hour for my 3 year old, $636 a month for part time. That's more than I pay for full time daycare! I pay $30 a day, I bring my child to the sitter and pick him up. I provide his food for the week, I think I'm more than fair.


I put in my info and it told my 10.50 an hour for my children for 30 hours a week. That is more then I get paid. How is a woman going to work when there is not a soul that will keep kids a price that the one that work is not rich. If I work all plus some is going to a babysitter by what this is saying but if I don't work we will not make it. What is a woman that is not rich to do.

Jessica McCormick

As a babysitter, I think the calculator is just about right. Maybe a little bit high, but mostly it's right on. Consider how much you would pay to have your child stay at a daycare facility, it's quite a bit more expensive.
If your sitter is certified in first aid and CPR, they worked and paid money to receive that training. Experience is important as well. In any job market an employer pays more to their employees who are more experienced.
I am a college student who is certified in first aid and CPR and I have been babysitting for 8+ years. I would expect $8/hr minimum for the hours that the child is awake, and a dollar less for when they are asleep. If your child was difficult, or I was required to do more things such as cleaning or cooking, then I would charge more.
This is just from the perspective of a babysitter. If I were I mother I think I would be willing to pay a little more for someone that I know is qualified and can keep my child safe.


Babysitters at a daycare or afterschool is tax dedcutible. Babysitting by teenagers is not. The calculator does not take that into account.


I disagree with the calculator. Why would i pay a babysiter more than what i would make?.... It deosnt make sense. Esoecially when my kids are sleeping when the sitter comes over. Just think...if thats thw case daycare workers shd be gettin paid top dollars....but theyre NOT. They get paid per hour which is usually 8.75-9.75 depending if theyre certified. They dont get paid per kid or per what they have to do for each kid....im just sayin i wld not pay that much. Its just too high for now a days.


i found your post really informative and i have got a good information i am also having 2 kids for the babysit and i hope this will help me to find out a affordable babysitter.


Highly qualified substitute teachers in my area receive $40 per day (9 hours of work). That equals about $4.40 per hour for 25+ kids. I think the calculator is very high. $5 per hour is very fair for a basic dinner for two night out.


I am a 16 year old babysitter. Having six younger siblings I have lots of experience with kids. Since I have so many little siblings I get lots of babysitting jobs. My highest hourly pay is $8. Just recently a new Mom asked for me to babysit for her three kods (9, 7, 4) when she asked me how much I charged I said $7, she was shocked. After typing the information needed into the babysitter's pay calculator and reading the numbers I understand better why she was so shocked. The thought of earning $12 an hour so that this Mom amd Dad can go to a relatives wedding is insane! Hopfully charging less will earn me more jobs.


Since when did cooking and cleaning up after someone, no longer fall into the realm of babysitting? I guess I assumed if I was paying someone to take care of my child those are the things that need done, not extras.


Personally as a very experienced babysitter/nanny of 8 years, it makes me horrified at what some parents want to pay me. Parents honestly should put themselves in our shoes. Just think "Would you want $5 an hour to watch my kids?" Probably not. Minimum wage is $7.50 or something like that. Babysitting is MY JOB, I expect no less than minimum wage and truly I charge $10-15 an hour depending on how far I have to travel, the number of kids and their ages. That is that, I have NEVER EVER had a family tell me that is not okay, if they tell me they think it is high, I tell them this and they completely understand. Please parents please take a step into our shoes next time you pay for a babysitter. This is our job!
Thank you!


As a babysitter with about 8 years of experience, I will share my perspective.

When you want a babysitter to come to your home, you have to expect to pay more than you would for a daycare center because it is a one on one service that is provided. The caregiver is there to give personal attention to your child. The caregiver travel to your home and develop a relationship with the child that is unique. He/she creates different activities that reflects the personality and various interests of your child and tries in his/her best abilities to follow your rules/expectations.

I could go even further by saying that getting a babysitter, to me, is more of luxury compared to bringing your child to a daycare center where the attention of caregivers will be divided in as many as the number of children present in the room. You should be paying for that personal attention.

Then, I quite get the frustration of parents that believe when a child is sleeping the babysitter is just sitting there not doing anything, however disagree with it. As an analogy, when you are working in an office and your schedule varies with the amount of tasks depending on what your boss tells you to do. If one day is very busy in tasks and the next day is lighter in the amount of tasks, would you expect to be paid less on that day because the day is easier?
Why should a babysitter be paid less depending on the tasks she does?

Babysitting is a job like any other job for many babysitters. We get certified, acquire different skills and treat the children as our own. Many, like me, aspire to share their knowledge with those kids because they value their job very much.

For those who resent paying a fair price, there is always an option with daycare centers with lower rates in which their children will benefit in different areas such as various social interactions (other children/caregivers) and enriching activities.
Thanks for reading.


I watch 2 boys ages 5 and 8 for 20.5 hours a week and I only get paid 2.19 per hour for both kids not per kid. Should I be asking for more than that?


So I have someone interested in me watching her 6 week old baby for $50 a week is that too low of a pay? I will be watching baby five days a week 8 hours a day?
Not comfortable with that pay.


I cannot believe to low rates most people pay their sitters. Being a sitter is a very important job. They are taking care of your most precious treasure. My sitters will get down on the floor and play with my two sons ages 2 and 4 for hours. I usually pay 15to 18 an hour depending on their experience. I live in Marco Island FL and the rates here are a little on the high end. According to the calculator , I should be paying 15.50/ hr which is less then what we pay. I think the calculator is just right. Most sitters get certified, have CPR and should get paid a decent salary.

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