Paying a Babysitter – How Much Is Reasonable?

When it comes to paying a babysitter, figuring out how much is reasonable can be a challenge for parents in need of a break. To help you decide on the appropriate amount, consider the following list of questions that will guide you in determining the right compensation for your babysitter.

Hiring a babysitter can be a godsend, whether for a night out on the town with your significant other or because you just need some help around the house. However, since most babysitters earn their income off the books and the requirements of each family are unique, it can take time to establish a fair price.

Costs associated with providing care for children, in general, have skyrocketed. According to the results of the 2022 National Childcare Rate Survey conducted by UrbanSitter, the cost of child care increased by 11% between 2021 and 2022 alone. The national average for one child was $20.57 per hour, and the average for two children was $23.25 per hour.

The 2021 Cost of Care Survey found that the average cost of child care for one child in 2021 was $694 per week for a nanny (up from $565 per week in 2019), $226 per week for a child care or daycare center (up from $182 per week), and $221 per week for a family care center (up from $177 per week). In comparison, the cost of child care in 2019 was $565 per week.

Babysitters charged an average of $17.73 for one kid, $20.30 for two children, and $21.49 for three children in the year 2020. The typical prices also differ substantially from one location to the next. As an illustration, the hourly rate paid by parents in San Francisco is nearly twice as high as the rate paid by parents in Las Vegas.

In addition to the geographical location of your home, other aspects will play a role in determining the appropriate wage for your babysitter. When settling on a babysitter’s compensation, you should consider the following factors.

The Background of Your Babysitter

According to, the more experience a sitter has, the more they are able to charge, and the more they should charge. According to the website, “Paying more for experience can get you a sitter who can better meet your child care needs—and you get peace of mind too.”

The Total Number Of Kids

There is a significant jump in the level of responsibility involved when going from watching just one child to watching two or more children, as any parent will tell you. According to’s recommendations, the amount of money you pay a sitter should take this into account. According to the website, a higher rate is appropriate because “your babysitter needs to control a larger group, deal with kids interacting with each other, and be more aware of group dynamics than if [they’re] watching one child.” This necessitates that the babysitter is paid more.

Regularly Assigned Times

The manner in which you pay an occasional overnight sitter might be different from how you pay a daytime or evening babysitter. Babysitters are paid an hourly rate for each hour they work; however, if you are hiring a sitter for overnight care, you may want to consider negotiating a flat rate or pairing an hourly daytime rate with a slightly reduced overnight rate for children who sleep through the night. In general, babysitters are paid an hourly rate for each hour that they work. recommends that babysitters think about lowering their hourly rates for an overnight job, bearing in mind that the babysitter will be getting paid for a greater number of hours overall compared to a typical “date night” job.

In either case, the pay should be reasonable when calculated hourly because babysitters are still responsible for your children even when they are sleeping and do not suddenly become free of their obligations when the lights are turned off.

The Commitment of Time

What kind of responsibilities will you be giving the babysitter? Do you need a child care on an as-needed basis, or is this the kind of thing that you do every Saturday night? The work schedule’s consistency may impact the hourly rate that you are ultimately able to negotiate. Be prepared to pay more for sporadic care as well as care on major holidays if you need medical assistance. You should also consider when the work will be performed, whether during the week or on the weekends, as these are all requests that can affect the price you pay.

Position in the Chain of Command

If you trust a babysitter with more of your household duties, you should budget more for their compensation. For example, according to, the following circumstances can affect the cost you incur: caring for an infant, children with special needs, or children who require specialized care. Expect to pay a higher rate for babysitters who are expected to cook, contribute to housework, or even drive children to various activities. This will result in a higher overall cost.

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