Determining a Fair Babysitting Rate

Babysitting is often a person’s first real job. That is, it’s the first time that they are working for a wage. And since it’s not a job with a company, no rate is set in stone. This means that you need to determine the babysitting rate and how much—or little—you’re willing to work for. But how do you determine a fair babysitting rate? Take these tips to heart when you’re trying to establish your market value.

Location is (Almost) Everything
As with most things, where you live will help determine how much you can fairly charge for a babysitting job. For instance, if you live in New York City, where the cost of living is higher than, say, St. Joseph, Missouri, you can easily charge around $10 (or more!). But if you live in a smaller, more rural town, you’ll likely need to adjust your asking price to something more reasonable.

Numbers Matter
What babysitting rate you set is often dependent upon how many children you’re caring for. If you have only one child, you’ll not charge as much as if you have five children on your watch. Use your best judgment, though. If you have five children versus just one, you can’t charge five times what you normally would. Be fair to both yourself and the family.

Do You Have Any Experience?
In life, the more experience you have, the more value you bring. And it’s no different for babysitting. If this is your first gig, you’ll need to offer a fairly low rate to simply get your foot in the door, so to speak. But if you’ve been sitting since before the dawn of time, you’ve earned your stripes and are more marketable. You have the knowledge and the know-how, and parents are willing to pay more for this experience.

Ultimately, you are the one who will determine what your time is worth. The key is to be fair to both sides so that each party feels they’re getting a fair value.

How much do you charge your babysitting families? Share your suggestions for setting a fair price in the comments section.


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