Are You Paying Your Sitter Enough?

Are You Paying Your Sitter Enough?

Are You Paying Your Sitter Enough?

Many parents today remember a time when babysitters were paid $5 an hour, and may be surprised when they find sitters today asking for upwards of $12. With such a quick rise in costs for babysitters, up 26% since 2010, it can be hard to know whether or not you are paying your sitter enough. According to a survey, the national average per hour for a babysitter in 2016 was $13.97.

However, the amount you pay your sitter varies across cities and should depend on a number of factors. Firstly, sitters make more money in cities where the cost of living is higher. If your sitter is living just off of her income from babysitting, he or she needs to make enough to keep up with higher costs of living. Here are a few more factors that should determine how much you are paying your kids’ sitter.

Number of Children

One important factor of your sitter’s wages is how many children he or she is responsible for. You should pay more for a sitter taking care of three children than you would for taking care of just one.

Age of Children

It’s typical for parents to pay more for a sitter taking care of younger children and infants. Younger children need more attention and careful watching, and infants and toddlers require feeding, changing, bathing, etc. You should consider paying a dollar or a few more dollars per hour for infants, toddlers, and children who need more attention.


Also consider your sitter’s experience when determining their wages. Is this a 13 year old neighbor who is just getting started in the babysitting game, or a 23 year old who has babysat for years with stellar references? A sitter who is experienced in babysitting or childcare should earn more than someone just starting out. Be sure to check their references, and you may ask how much they were paid in previous positions to get an idea of what they may be expecting.


If your babysitter has training in relevant fields, you should consider paying them more than the average sitter. Maybe he or she has their CPR certification, or completed one of the Red Cross’ babysitting courses. They may even be a college graduate with a degree in child education or a field related to child care.

Responsibilities and Parental Expectations

Different parents have different expectations for their babysitters, and their wages should reflect that. A sitter who is cooking dinner, doing laundry, and performing household tasks outside of watching the children should earn more.

If you fear that you are underpaying your babysitter, reevaluate using these tips. also has a list of the average in different cities across the country as well as a rate calculator, which can give you a good idea of what your sitter should be earning.

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