Average Cost of a Babysitter

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / PhotoEuphoria

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / PhotoEuphoria

For new parents, here is some helpful information on how much to pay a babysitter and the regional pay differences.

In our suburban Chicagoland area, we have found that if you want someone reliable, you have to pay for it. $8 – $13 an hour is not unheard of and pretty typical. If you want Nanny services part-time, expect to pay on the higher side, $15 – $20 an hour. A full-time Nanny may not expect as much per hour, but in the Chicagoland area I’d still expect to pay a full-time Nanny at least $12 an hour for someone with minimal experience. Nannies with years of experience may charge upwards of $25 an hour and expect benefits as well.

A weekend, infrequent teenage babysitter will probably cost you at least $5 an hour, in most places around $8. Let’s face it — getting time away from the ones we love is expensive.

We surveyed about 100 parents coast to coast who responded that they pay anywhere from $5 to $12 an hour. The norm — based on this small sample — seems to be $8 an hour for a teenager or high school student with moderate experience. How much experience can you really have when you’re 15 or 16 years old. Still, our sample said that they could find babysitting from teenagers who have completed the babysitting course (CPR and emergency situation protocols) for as little as five bucks. That’s pretty good.

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Our surveyed parents stated that Facebook, either in school districts parenting groups or local parenting groups were the best places to find cheap but safe babysitters.

From the Kansas City Star: “High school or college-age sitters who can drive and take kids to events typically are paid more, and older adults who baby-sit receive a slightly higher premium.

Susan Ramza, who has two children, ages 6 and 9, broke down her salary scale this way: “I pay a youngish neighborhood kid $5 to $6 a hour, a high schooler who doesn’t drive $8 an hour, a high school or college driver $10 an hour, and if we have an adult who has a real job by day, we pay $12 an hour or more.”

“We have two children and have a nanny from 9 to 3 during the week,” said Jayme Nolin. “When we have her baby-sit after her normal hours we pay $7 per hour while the children are awake and $5 per hour when sleeping.”

The norm for babysitting more than one child is to add a $2 an hour for each child for up to four kids. So, if your babysitter is charging $8 an hour but you have two kids, expect to her $10 an hour. If you’re hiring a teenager, don’t expect them to babysit more than 4 kids at a time. It’s probably best to hire two babysitters if you have a large family or you’re combining care with another family.

Here’s a sample of average hourly rates from seven different cities:

  • New York: Modest to little experience sitter starts at $15 – $16 an hour
    • More experienced sitter who drives, $16 – $22 an hour
  • Orlando, FL: Modest to little experience sitter starts at $8 – $11 an hour
    • More experienced sitter who drives, $12 – $18 an hour
  • Chicago, IL (suburbs): Modest to little experience sitter starts at $5 – $9 an hour
    • More experienced sitter who drives, $10 – $20 an hour
  • Denver, CO: Modest to little experience sitter starts at $7 – $10 an hour
    • Modest to little experience sitter starts at $11 – $15 an hour
  • Los Angeles, CA: Modest to little experience sitter starts at $12 – $15 an hour
    • More experienced sitter who drives, $16 – $22 an hour
  • Seattle, WA: Modest to little experience sitter starts at $9 – $14 an hour
    • More experienced sitter who drives, $15 – $20 an hour

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