Babysitting advice — The Bump
November 2011 Moms

Babysitting advice

Ok, so I watch a one year old multiples times a week (average around 5 days a week) and for any where from 9-12 hours a day. I didn't know I would be watching her for such long hours when I agreed to watch her and for the rate we agreed on. See, we agreed on $200 a month. Now over 2 months into this, I realize I'm being extremely under paid. Now here's where I need advice. How do I tactfully go about asking for more money and what do you think the average going rate is for in home child care. I've never had my daughter in daycare and have only left her with family, so I don't even know what I would expect to pay. TIA!
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Re: Babysitting advice

  • Wow, you are being grossly underpaid!  I send both girls to daycare (I use an unlicensed in home provider) 3 days a week for 9 hours/day and I pay $30/day per kid ($720/month). 

    I think you need to sit her down and explain that you are watching her more days and more hours than initially discussed and you deserve to be paid for that time.  My guess is that she knows she is underpaying you and that she thinks she's getting a great deal, some days she isn't even paying you $1/hour!  Good luck!
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  • I initially agreed to watch her daughter for a low rate because I know how crazy expensive childcare can be and I felt like I was helping her out. Now I feel like I'm being screwed over. I mean, yesterday I had her for 11hrs! I don't know if any daycare or in home care that has "hours" like that! I just don't even know how to start the conversation with her.
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  • You are severely under paid. I pay 300 a week for daycare and nanny care in my area is 400-500 a week. Be honest. Tell the parents you didn't know you would be watching her for so many hours a day. Set a limit you are comfortable with and be firm. It's nice to be helpful but not cool that you are being taken advantage of
  • Oh wow! To echo everyone else, you are being very underpaid! To get the best idea for going rates/hours, call around to people who offer babysitting to find out what they are charging. It's different in different places. In the city, I would have to pay about $150 per week or $195 for an infant. Some places do have kids for 12 hours depending on the parent's commute. If you happen to know the commute time and hours worked don't add up to 12 hours, then you can assume that the parents are choosing to get errands done while the child is in your care.

    To start the conversation you can say "I've worked out the numbers, and I won't be able to keep watching your child at the current rate. It isn't putting food on my table. I would love to keep caring for your child, but I would need to charge $25 per day for 12 hours of work." You should think about having a contract with the parents, especially if a new rate is agreed upon. This protects your getting the monies due to you, as well as the parents knowing you won't just up and stop services without proper notification (unless you become ill). Also, in the contract, you can put a waiver of liability should the child be hurt or need medical attention while in your care. 

    Just trying to look out for you! My mom has done child care for 24 years. There are certainly some people who try to walk all over care givers. Don't let anyone take advantage of you! 

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  • Thanks for the great advice! I think writing up a little contract would be agree at idea!
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