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Babysitter Woes

We just interviewed a new babysitter. I'm not into the idea of letting a high schooler watch my children especially considering the really young age of our children. But, this young girl is a daughter of one of Nick's colleagues and I thought I'd give it a go at his request.

After a thorough interview, it came time to bargain for pay. She told us she charged another couple (with special needs children) $15 an hour. (Holy cow. I'm thinking in my head, how many trained professionals in this economy would be happy to make that much?!) Then, she says, she will only charge us $12. Am I crazy, or is that crazy high? I'm mean, when I had just finished an in demand college degree, I made just a little over that doing skilled work in an entry level position for an architecture firm. Are you kidding me?!?!

I'm not into the whole letting a highschooler watch my children anyway (unless they have proven themselves), but at that rate couldn't I get an adult? Clearly, this kid doesn't know the value of a dollar. When I babysat, I was lucky to be paid minimum wage. Given, minimum wage hasn't adjusted much in proportion to the cost of living in recent years, but even considering that I'm thinking $8-10 for a high schooler makes sense.

I'm missing our Albuquerque babysitter. She knew the value of a dollar, was responsible and is now going to an ivy league school. She had jobs outside of babysitting so she knew the value of a dollar and charged a reasonable $8 an hour. We loved her so we usually gave her something like $10-11 after tip.

Maybe I'm crazy? My kids aren't that hard to babysit, especially the hours after 8. You get to lay around and watch TV while they sleep. It's not difficult work. Still, it's a lot of responsibility and I'm not handing my kids over to a highschooler to be ripped off at the same time?!! I felt uneasy in the first place... now I REALLY feel uneasy.


sking0028 said…
Sis for a high schooler $6-8.00hr is good! I wouldn't pay more than that. Only people who get $12.00/hr are the top experienced people and do it full-time. Although times have changed and daycare is very expensive so I would look around a bit more.
Aliceson said…
We used a high school girl a few times and she never had a set price. I think she was just happy to be getting paid at all. (She has 6 brothers and sisters that she helps care for w/o pay.) I would usually pay her $20-50 each time depending on how long I needed her for my my 2 kids, roughly $8/hr. Heck, I get paid $12/hr at the farm. Unless your girl is going to throw in some yard work, that's too much.

Also, I gave you an award at my blog. Don't feel obligated to pass it on, but I just wanted you to know how much I like your blog and that I appreciate your friendship in blogland!
Megan said…
I'm a babysitter/nanny! I did it a couple times in high school for the people I worked during the day for (At an exterminating company). They had a special needs daughter and since they new me from work they trusted me. I think I'd get about $25-30 a night with them. And that was when I was in high school.

When I started babysitting in college (A great source of tax free money to buy food! Haha), the first lady had two kids. I actually only watched them when the lady worked (She worked from home) She paid me about $8-10/hr.

They referred me to a couple friends. The first had 2 kids, one was 9 weeks the other was about 2. This started as a couple hours during the day about twice a week. They paid me about $10-12.

Another couple I was referred to had 3 kids (Now has 4!) They'd pay about $15/hr. These last two couples would actually go out together and I'd bring a friend over to tag team 5 kids in one house. They'd usually stay out till closing time and so since it was late (and I'm sure spirits contributed as they do it tipping a bartender) my friend and I would get about $100/ea. But thats only if it was an extremely late night.

Then I met another family who pays me about $15/hr for 2 kids. But they live a little ways away from me. She also does late nights once in awhile but not often.

FINALLY.. After graduating college one of the families offered me the chance to take care of there kids in their home instead of sending them to a commercial daycare in the area, kindercare. I do just over 30hrs a week. Their proposition was that they'd pay me what they paid kindercare. I get about $250/week right now.

I never set a price with any family. I said it was up to them to decide how much they wanted to pay me. Being in college I'd take any extra money I could. I've heard a lot of babysitters charge $8-10/hr for the first kid. After that its an additional $5/hr/kid.

This is long, but I figure I'd offer up what I know to you and your friends on here.
jenn said…
Well- the agency that I found is 10 for one kid and 11 for two and so on...they are mostly teachers though and there is an agency behind their name. Very reliable etc... I also have two girls/women that watch them on occassion: one is in high school (6-8 an hr) and the other is 23 and she is at 8 an hour for both. I would say this is reasonable. There is a parents paper put out here and they just did a huge write up on babysitting: the going rate for high school- unless the person has cpr training and special classes (which are offered for the serious person wanting to go into child development or something like that) is btw 6-10. For your two- I would say 8-10 is good. At least that is what we have found her in richmond.

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