Babysitting rates depend on a number of factors. Often the parent with whom you communicate regarding the job will suggest a per-hour payment based on what he/she has paid other sitters. Or the parent may ask what you charge. In lieu of a complicated equation, there are three main points to take into consideration. One, where you live. Two, your experience level, and three, the number and ages of children you’ll be babysitting.
Babysitting rates become more complicated if you're a homework helper, if you're babysitting overnight, if you're hotel babysitting, if your duties consist of a large amount of pet sitting, if you're constantly running errands, or if you're expected to clean the house.
Generally speaking, the larger the city, the higher the rates. This makes sense, given the increased cost of living in larger cities. Also, in big cities good babysitters can be more difficult to find (especially for families new to the city), and parents will happily pay more for a high-quality person. The same person babysitting in a small city may make $5 - $6 more an hour in a big city.
Consider your age and experience level when calculating babysitting rates. If you are just starting out and have only had a driver’s license for several months, don’t expect to make as much as a person who has several years’ worth of experience, an excellent driving record and a college degree. In either case, good references will help your credibility. A 16-year-old with very little experience will likely make $3 - $5 less an hour than someone in their 20’s with strong recommendations.
Lastly, consider the number and ages of children. One baby who goes to sleep at 7:00 p.m. is quite a different situation than four children ages 3 - 10 who all hate bedtime. At the same time, the rate you charge shouldn’t vary tremendously from the baby to the four children—you are still spending your time caring for someone else’s children. The baby who sleeps the entire time may cost the parents $1 or $2 less an hour than the multi-children scenario. Don’t get too caught up in charging more for each child there. Charge enough that the situation is fair whether one child has a friend over or whether two children spend the night out and you’re left with fewer children than you’d anticipated.
1. You’re 16, you live in a small (fewer than 100,000 ppl) city and there are two small children. You could charge $8 - $10 an hour.
2. You’re 25, you live in a medium - large city, and there is only one baby that sleeps the whole time. $12 - $15 an hour.
3. You’re 40, you live in a big city, there are five children, and this is what you do for a living. $18 - $25 an hour.
Calculate appropriate babysitting fees with this nifty calculator.