2021 Babysitting Rates: How Much to Pay Your Babysitter

Professional babysitter with a school-boy

Professional child counselor during successful therapy session with little boy sitting on pouf in office room

When it comes to securing childcare for your kids, finding the perfect nanny or babysitter is only half the battle. Once you’ve got the perfect person lined up, you need to decide how much you’ll offer to pay them. Rates depend on a number of factors, and no two babysitting rates are the same.

What to Consider When Setting a Rate

Determining the perfect rate is a bit like solving a mathematical equation. You need to consider all the relevant factors before calculating a reasonable hourly wage. While every situation is different, there are certain circumstances that will always affect the expected rate. Here are the main factors to consider.

The Number of Children

All parents and child care providers know that dealing with a single child is a lot easier than watching over a larger group. You should take this into account when setting an hourly rate. If you’ve only got a single child, the sitter will probably spend a lot of time hanging around while the kid plays or sleeps. If you’ve got a family of six, on the other hand, the sitter will have to be a teacher, supervisor, and referee. This type of intensive labor deserves higher pay.

The Time Commitment Required

If a sitter from across the street is just watching the kids for an hour or two, then lower payment might be acceptable. After all, this is more a case of a neighbor picking up some extra scratch than a true professional doing their job. If you’re looking for childcare on a daily or weekly basis, however, then the provider is essentially a nanny. The babysitting has become more of a genuine job, and the remuneration offered should reflect that.

The Amount of Responsibility

Some jobs require a lot more responsibility than others. If your only child is an independent twelve-year-old who spends their evenings reading in bed, you’re not asking much of the sitter. If you’ve got several toddlers and an infant, then the provider’s job is a lot more difficult. The person watching your children deserves higher pay for these additional responsibilities. You should also plan to pay more if you’re asking the sitter to do extra work like helping with homework or preparing meals.

The Provider’s Experience

Someone who has been a professional care provider for many years is going to expect higher pay than someone who is just getting started. This matches standard procedures in the larger business world. When someone has shown commitment to their craft and accrued years of experience, they deserve to be paid for the value they bring to the table. Someone who has been in the business for years will simply be better at caring for children. They’ll know exactly how to handle difficult situations, and they’ll make your kids feel better during your absence. You’ll also have more peace of mind while you’re away from home. That’s why many parents decide it’s worth it to pay for an experienced sitter.

Normal Rates in Your Region

The going rate for a care provider is different in every part of the country. Some cities, like San Francisco, see sitters paid almost $25/hr, while others, like Las Vegas and Miami, see providers receive considerably less. Rural areas are also likely to have different rates depending on the supply and demand in the area. Every region has its own economic circumstances, and the rates for sitters fluctuate accordingly. Do a little research or ask around so you know what’s appropriate in your part of the country.

Related: How Much Should I Charge for Babysitting an Infant?

Typical Rates in Major Cities

Here’s what you can expect to pay for a sitter in some of the country’s largest cities. All rates represent the hourly wage for a sitter watching two children.

Choose the Best Rate For Your Circumstances

There’s no way to magically calculate an optimal rate, so you’ll have to make a bit of a judgement call at the end of the day. Taking all the above factors into account, come up with a rate that seems sound and fair. From there, it’s just a matter of getting a quality babysitter to agree.

By offering a fair rate, you’ll ensure you’re doing right by the babysitter. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it will also help build a lasting relationship with a sitter you can trust.


Top Daycare Centers was started with a simple mission - To help parents like us find the safest, most reliable and trusted daycare and child care centers and services near your area.

Skip to toolbar