Thursday, June 24, 2010

Times Are A Changin'

You know, I didn't babysit much when I was younger.  There was a family down the street that hired me a couple of times to watch two toddlers and I did babysit my younger cousins from time to time.  I remember getting $10-$20 dollars total for a single afternoon or evening.  Mike and I had a 17-year-old girl over last night to meet the girls.  We normally have my cousin babysit if we want to do something sans kids, but she has plans on Saturday night and we were invited to a party.  This new girl came highly recommended.  She came over and immediately started playing with J.  Jaden loved her!  She seemed perfect... until I asked her how much she charges.  $8-$10 per hour!!  Are you kidding me?  A relaxing night out together will cost Mike and I an extra $40?!   I figured, she's a teenager, not related to me... I can just tell her what I'll pay her!  Right?  I looked online...

  • Reasonable pay for a teenager is $5 per hour
  • Then, they say to add $1/hour for each additional child.  Total: $6 per hour
  • THEN, they say that infants and toddlers under the age of 3 require additional needs such as diaper changing, feeding, and putting to bed (what is included in that initial $5??) and therefore add $2/hour. Total: $8 per hour
  • Regular babysitting hours are said to be between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.  Anything before or after that window is an additional $2/hour.  Total: $10 per hour
Really?  Minimum wage in Indiana is $7.25 an hour.  How on earth is it acceptable to pay a teenager more than minimum wage to watch my kids while I go to a friend's party?  Do you think I could meet in the middle and give her $6 an hour?  I mean seriously, would she turn down $30?

10 comments:

Tia said...

I know. It totally totally sucks. We were very fortunate and found a woman in her 40's (works with a friend of mine and lives two streets over). Ellie absoutely loves her and she refuses to take more than $25 wether we are gone 3 hours or 7 hours or 10 hours. We love her! Sometimes she even refuses the money (like if we are going our for Chris' birthday or something.) Her reasoning is that she wouldn't be doing anything else anyway and she loves hanging out with my kid. Did we score or what??

Kristen said...

I don't think she'd turn down $30/hr but she might not come back! I pay $5/hr whether they have one of my kids or both. Plus, half the time when the sitter shows up she only has to play with the kids for an hour and then she puts them to bed.... I'm not paying $10/hr for her to watch my t.v. and eat my food! lol

DREW'S MOM said...

I think she'd probably take the $30. Good luck =)

LeeAnn said...

times sure have changed! i grew up babysitting because i LOVED it! i NEVER asked for a certain amount. different families would pay differently. i rememeber watching 2 girls all night & would get $20. the family that paid the most would pay me $5/hr for there 2 kids. i thought that was GREAT! they were a higher class family in the dupont area. we don't have anyone to watch lucas here, but wouldn't want to pay $10...he's so easy!lol! good luck!

amanda bee said...

down here sitters charge at minimum $10/hour, with $12 being the norm, and that's just for one child! i don't know what we're going to do when we need to start looking for a sitter... i think a teenager should be happy for $30 though, especially at night, the kiddos go to sleep at like 8 and then she's just left to sit and watch tv or whatever.

Valerie said...

Someone who earns minimum wage is typically trusted to wash your dishes. A babysitter is trusted with the care of your children. And a good babysitter is hard to find. I have no problem paying mine more than minimum wage.

Plus, the problem with telling her what you'll pay her is that you didn't go into it that way. You asked what she charges. If you wanted to tell her what you pay, you should have done so in the beginning.

lk said...

I agree with Valerie. Unless it's going to bankrupt you, pay the big bucks to have someone who comes highly recommended and who you can trust to care for the most precious people in your lives.

Angela said...

I am going to have to agree with those who have encouraged you to pay what she asked for. First, you did ask what she charges and it would be incredibly awkward for her I think to be placed in a wage negotiation. Paying for childcare does TOTALLY suck and it's the greatest headache I have in considering having kids of my own. It's true that most of babysitting involves sitting in front of the tv while the kids snooze but you can't bank on that to be the case every time. I think, if anything did go wrong, you'd want her to do everything she could to make the best choices and that in itself is priceless. It's like health insurance in a way. Month after month, I pay big bucks and nothing goes wrong, but if something happens, I can trust I'll be covered and in good care. You want J & T to be safe and you also want to be able to rely on someone good to watch them if needed. Times def. have changed in the world and I can't say I feel as though things have gotten safer or more reliable now than we were kids.

Danielle (Life with the Hewitt Family) said...

Wow! We have been lucky and always had a family member watch Carter for us. I didn't get paid anything like that when I used to babysit.

StrusaD said...

I baby sat a lot as a teen and when ask what I charged I was taught to say, "what ever you think is fair." I didn't always think they paid me fair, but I just took it because I had no way of knowing if it was all they could afford. (Small town with lots of low income families) It mostly bothered me if they said they would pay me one rate, and then paid me less and expected me to be happy about it. (case in point, I was told $3.50/hr for two kids, then was paid less than $1/hour on several occasions)

As a result we try to be generous, but it gets expensive with 4 kids! We pay $2.50/hr/kid, minimum $5/hr if the kids are in bed the whole time or they only have 1-2 kids to watch.