What do you pay your babysitters? I’m talking the teenaged version, the kind you have in for a few hours on a Saturday night so you and the missus can see a movie, or have dinner at a friend’s house.
It’s very important to me that we be the best babysitter employers ever, because I want all the teenaged girls in a ten-block radius to want desperately to babysit for us. I want to be fending them off with a stick. I want us to be legendary in the babysitting world – those amazing parents who provide easy work (all the kids in bed and asleep by the time you arrive!), leave the best snacks (chips, popcorn, pop, AND candy!), and who have full satellite access to MTV.
We’re always home on time, we never go farther than a few blocks away, and we pay very well.
OR SO WE THOUGHT.
I did some research when we first ventured into the world of teen babysitters a couple of years ago, and it seemed that $7 per hour was the going rate. So we pay basically that, upping it to $8 per hour if we go past midnight. Plus, I always round up, so if we are out for 4 hours we pay $30 instead of just $28.
Then this week, we got an email from a 16-year-old girl on our street, sent to our street’s distribution list. She advertised her services as a sitter – she’s taken courses and is all legit and everything – for $10 an hour.
Now I’m freaking out. How will we attract the best in child care if we are underpaying our sitters? Do you think this is standard for babysitting these days? Have we been cheaping out all this time? I AM MORTIFIED.
On the other hand, did she mean $10 for more like daycare-type babysitting? During the waking hours, games and entertainments and cooking dinner and diaper changes type babysitting? Our kids are almost always all in bed and asleep by the time the babysitter arrives, and she doesn’t need to do anything except sit on the couch watching The Real World and eating candy. Maybe have the odd listen for the smoke alarm. It seems like a very, very easy job for $10 an hour.
What do you think we should be paying?