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Old 05-07-2014, 11:31 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Conyers, GA, USA
Posts: 1,352
How much to pay a teen babysitter

I have twins, two 9 month old babies, we are getting a babysitter for the first time next week, May 14th for our anniversary; and I was wondering how much we should pay the babysitter.

The baby sitter we are getting is the oldest daughter of my wife's best friend. We trust her totally, her mother is only 7 minutes away if worst comes to worst, and she has experience looking after her 3 younger siblings. She is 14 years old, in 9th grade, and this is her first paid babysitting job.

Since this is a dinner, the babies will be fed, changed, and put to bed when she goes on duty. One of the babies is going through separation anxiety, and will probably cry for 30 to 40 minutes before he falls asleep... Most likely she won't have to actually do anything but keep an ear on the monitor, might have to put a baby in a bouncy chair and watch the good night show on Sprout..... Worse case, might have to change a poopy diaper (that time of night, happens once a month between both babies so far)... My father-in-law lives in a suite downstairs, so there is an adult around if an actual emergency happens (though he isn't involved in direct child care, he can watch one if something happens to another, and can drive to the emergency department if needed).

Since she is my wife's best friend's oldest daughter, is trustworthy, has adult backup (her mother) just 7 minutes away, has experience watching younger siblings, but first paying job; we want to pay her decently. We also expect to use her for many years.... plus, her younger siblings are perfectly separate in age that once one ages out, the next youngest can watch our children... So, if we play our cards right, and nothing unforeseen happens, we have babysitters until our babies can be left alone.

So, how much should we pay?

We will of course ask her mother what she thinks, but I wanted to get the teeming millions opinion also.
Old 05-07-2014, 11:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 6,724
I don't know what the going rate is for a single baby, but you should pay more for twins. Not double the single rate, but more. 1.5 to 1.75. Maybe hire her for 1.5 and then pay her 1.75.

Old 05-08-2014, 12:27 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Alaska!
Posts: 8,191
Going rates:

Add 20% Gratuity, and I think you're being fair.
Old 05-08-2014, 12:47 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Conyers, GA, USA
Posts: 1,352
Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno View Post
Going rates:

Add 20% Gratuity, and I think you're being fair.
Yea, I was looking at those sites too, but I think they assume an older babysitter and with experience.... I don't necessarily have a problem paying her $10 an hour, I worried about three things, spoiling her on what an actual job pays (She's a best friend's daughter, worth every penny, but this is her first job outside the family), that we want to keep her long term, which in any job would involve raises; and that we are planning on keeping her family on longer term... In 5 to 6 years when she is too old, and has a social calender that is full, and we are using her younger sister as the babysitter, she might have problems if inflation hasn't kept up with what he sister made (though, she won't know what inflation is since a kid).

I want to pay fair, but this is her first paying job outside of family, and I want to leave room for growth.
Old 05-08-2014, 01:23 AM
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: DC
Posts: 19,401
$10 an hour is what I made 20 years ago as a teen. It's not overpaying.
Old 05-08-2014, 01:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 6,517
Rates vary depending on where you live. Ask other people in your town.
Old 05-08-2014, 02:19 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,757
$10 an hour seems rather cheap to me.
Old 05-08-2014, 02:44 AM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mountain View Ca.
Posts: 3,382
Originally Posted by drewtwo99 View Post
$10 an hour seems rather cheap to me.
So what would you consider fair?
Old 05-08-2014, 06:48 AM
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 18,787
Originally Posted by Hirka T'Bawa
but I think they assume an older babysitter and with experience.... I don't necessarily have a problem paying her $10 an hour, I worried about three things, spoiling her on what an actual job pays
This part does not compute, spoiling her on what the actual job pays? This sounds you may want to lowball her instead of paying her a competitive rate (perhaps so you can give her raises along the way from the rest of your quote).

As you state she has experience (with helping raise her siblings) and you trust her, that equates to great peace of mind. I would think you would want to pay her fairly from the beginning. If you pay her too little she may find other babies to sit for that pay more (and now she will have experience as a for pay babysitter as well), or perhaps a single baby that is easier then twins at the same pay, or lose interest altogether.

If you want to keep her around long term I would plan on her pay to raise over time beyond the going rate, not raise up to the going rate. You want her to want to be your babysitter, and for that you can expect that you would need to pay beyond the going rate to keep her as your babysitter. Think of a restaurant where you are known by the waitstaff to be a very good tipper, the extra service you get. That does not work if you started as a low tipper and just became a normal tipper.

Last edited by kanicbird; 05-08-2014 at 06:50 AM.
Old 05-09-2014, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 231
My daughter was paid $60 last night for sitting three very well behaved girls (4,6,8) for the neighbors across the street for about 5 hours. Its her first real job and is available at a moments notice since she started sittig for them last fall. My son did reveal to me last night that on his way to work (our neighbor is friendly "chatty") that our neighbor was in awe that our dear daughter not only watched her kids but swept, did the dishes and vacuumed!
Old 05-09-2014, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Dueling Grounds
Posts: 10,852
$10 X # of children up front, + $10 an hour.
Old 05-09-2014, 02:14 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 25,857
Not sure about the amount, but would it help to have the prospective babysitter spend some time with the twins before the big night? Will they calm down more quickly if they're already familiar with her? (Do babies that age know they're being picked up by a stranger versus a relative or close friend?)
Old 05-09-2014, 03:25 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 121
How much will you be spending on yourself, while you're out? Are your children worth less?

Pay the girl what she's worth--her age is irrelevant.

The proximity of her mother is an added benefit for you--it doesn't make her job easier. If it's relevant to you in making the decision to hire her, pay her more.

You pay a babysitter for what they might have to do. "Most likely she won't have to . . ." is irrelevant. Honestly if she did end up changing a diaper, were you planning to add to her pay?

The fact that you "trust her totally" is priceless.
Old 05-09-2014, 03:35 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,754
For twin babies, I'd probably pay a teenager with available adult backup $15/hour. I typically pay teenage neighbor kids $12/hour to watch my elementary school kids. Adult babysitters with cars get $17.

However, I have a 12 year old and I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that a 14 year old might be ready to babysit 9 month olds.
Old 05-09-2014, 04:21 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,757
I'd be thinking somewhere in the vicinity of $15 per hour would be fair to start, increasing over time up to $20 per hour if she was doing a great job (like doing extra things around the house), or keeping it at $15 if she was just doing things on par.
Old 05-10-2014, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 177
Part of it is regional, as well. Locally, most of my friends pay around $10/hour for a sitter, regardless of age. I pay mine $15 because my son has autism and my sitter (an adult) has experience in this area.
Old 05-10-2014, 02:31 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 12,775
I'm well past my teens, but I've looked after my friend's kid (s) a few times recently. $12-15 an hour sounds about right. I was paid in pizza or a case of good beer. While the beer won't work for the teen, perhaps some combination of cash plus a pizza delivery might work out for the best.
Old 05-12-2014, 03:05 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Conyers, GA, USA
Posts: 1,352
Thank you all for your insight. Between conversations with her parents, and from research I've done, I'm going to offer her $8/hr tax free. Minimum wage in our state is $7.25/hr, for ease of calculations round up to $8/hr. That would equal a commercial job (i.e Medicaid and SS taxes taken out) paying $8.67 an hour... This is more then my job payed entry level cashiers, and gives me room for pay raises, and bonuses as she gets older... I think this is a good base to start her at, specially since at this first job all she has to do is sit around and watch TV while listening to a monitor.

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