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Babysitting Rates: What's the Right Price?

Jul 20, 2008
A lot of people would want to know about current babysitting rates. How much is enough? You may think that this can be answered in a straightforward manner. Unfortunately, determining the rate of your sitter is not as easy as asking the question. Here are some important facts that may help you find the right rate for your sitter.

Fact #1: There are no set rates.

Uniform Rate - There is no law that sets a uniform rate for sitters. Various households pay their sitters different rates. There are some online resources that can help you find possible sitter rates. Some sites offer data of current average rates per region or area. Often though, sitter rates do not just depend on what most households are paying at the moment. The rates also do not depend on your personal whim. If you want to be fair to your sitter, you would consider a couple of important factors.

Fact #2: You have to consider the kind of work.

Babysitting is not easy. Some sitting jobs are also harder than normal. Before you settle on a sitter rate, note the kind of work that you may require from your sitter. Babysitting your kids for example may be especially difficult if you have more than one kid or if you have very young kids who are difficult to manage.

Time Involved - In some cases, the difficulty level of handling kids may not be the main concern. Sometimes it is the time of work and the amount to be done. Sitters who have to stay long hours or stay over the night may have to be paid a little extra. Some sitters may also have to do other things besides sitting and watching kids. Some sitters have to cook meals for kids, tutor them, fetch them from school and clean them up before they go to bed. If you plan to let your sitter do a lot of things, then prepare to pay higher babysitting rates.

Fact #3: Sitter experience counts too.

When it comes to babysitting, the sitter's experience matter a lot. You would have to pay a steeper amount if you have someone who has many long years of babysitting experience. Someone who has a lot of experience would know better how to handle kids than an inexperienced sitter.

Sitter's Qualification - Aside from her years of experience, you may also have to pay extra for her qualifications. A sitter may have taken special courses in child care and first aid. These naturally increase a sitters market value. You shouldnt mine paying extra though. A sitter who knows what to do in emergency situations can help ease your worries.

Fact #4: Rates also depend on your negotiating skills.

The bottom line is that you have to settle the rate with your sitter. You can give her a rate that you would be willing to pay her. You can outline the reasons why you think you should pay her a certain rate. A good sitter on the other hand would also know when she has to ask for more. If your sitter asks for a higher rate, negotiate with her until you reach an agreement.
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