Babysitting Rates

So you've found the perfect babysitter but you have no idea how much to pay a babysitter per hour and what charges for babysitting are reasonable. What is the going rate for babysitting these days anyway? Well, not surprisingly there is no one set babysitting hourly rate for all cases.

In short, the average babysitting rate is typically around $8 - $12 per hour but babysitting wages can vary widely anywhere from as little as $4 per hour all the way up to $18 per hour or more! Why such a wide range? The reason is what rate to pay a babysitter depends on many factors, the most critical of which are location, experience, number of children, and any other additional requirements from parents. Let's touch on each of these:


Have you ever heard the expression "Location, Location, Location?" Okay so it's not exactly real-estate we're talking about but where you live does have a factor in determining babysitting pay. Typically if you live in a large city like New York or Los Angeles where the cost of living is higher, babysitting rates are also higher (often $1 - $3 more per hour) when compared to smaller cities and towns. Remember, babysitting is a job like any else so a babysitter salary will be affected by the location you are in.


How much experience a babysitter has is one of the most important factors in determining a reasonable babysitting charge. A high school student with little or no experience would normally earn much less than an experienced adult. All other factors aside, teenagers are often more than happy to babysit for $5 per hour whereas an adult with a number of years experience as a nanny or sitter would expect at least $10 per hour. It really all depends on your childcare needs and what type of babysitter you are comfortable with.

Number of Children

This is a given; the more children that require care, the more work it's going to be for the babysitter and the more money you should pay them. How much extra should you pay for looking after more than one child? Again, it can vary but usually around $1 per additional child is the norm.

Age of Children

Newborns, infants, toddlers, and generally any child under the age of 3 requires a caregiver that has suitable training and experience with children of that age group. Taking care of a baby is significantly different than taking care of an older child. Babies and young toddlers have special needs such as diaper changes, feeding, dressing, putting to sleep, and most importantly keeping them away from potential dangers within the common household. Due to these additional needs, a babysitter's hourly wage should be adjusted by at least another $2.

Time of Day

Regular babysitting hours are typically considered between 8:00am and 10:00pm. If you require a babysitter to babysit outside of these usual hours, additional compensation should be considered. If paying hourly, an extra $2 per hour worked past 10:00pm or before 8:00am is reasonable.

Special Requirements

The last factor to consider when determining a babysitter rate is whether there are additional requirements above and beyond the average babysitting job. Some of these requirements could include housework, cooking, running errands, and caring for children with disabilities or special needs. Since these requirements can vary so widely, you'll need to make your best judgement as to how much extra these requirements mean in terms of babysitting fees for the babysitter. If in doubt though, adding on a couple of bucks per hour would be a safe bet.

Still not sure what to pay your babysitter? Check out our Babysitting Rate Calculator that will give you a rate based on all these factors!

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Comments (93)

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Janie says...
I watch children for a church group every Sunday afternoon. I have my degree in education and have worked at a daycare center for over 3 years. The number of children is always at least 4 children, ranging in age from 2 1/2 to 6 1/2. They came to me and said it would be a payed position, but every week they change what that want to pay me. I don't know what to ask from them, but at work I make $9.00 an hour, so I believe that $20.00 between the different families is not asking too much.
28th October 2012 1:53pm
Linda says...
I am living in Chesterfield, VA, a suburb of Richmond. My friend has a Before School nanny that charges her $10.00/hr for 2 elementary school children in the mornings. I would like to hire her to sit overnight, for at least 24 maybe 36 hours at my home with my 2 elementary age chidlren. What should I pay? What rate should she ask me for? Please help advise...Thank you.
25th October 2012 10:25am
Sara says...
My going rate is $30-$40 per night. For 2 kids.
28th October 2012 5:11pm
Kashmeir Griffith says...
I'm a CNA with 3 children. I cannot afford to pay a sitter with the pay rate I earn. I am thinking of trying to babysit in my rental property. I want to find out a fair pay rate. Any answers appreciated very much. Eastern PA
24th October 2012 8:07pm
Ashley says...
Ok I have a question. I'm keeping 2 kiddos, ages 2 and 6, and I have them from 6 am to 3 pm every sat and sun and I have 2 kids of my own. She's paying me $25 per day. My husband and I are also students in college and he works full time as well and I keep 2 other kids during the week till around 8 pm. Since sat and sun are our only "free" days should I charge her more since we no longer have any free time and the hours are so early? Thanks!
21st October 2012 5:04am
Lauren says...
Definitely. Although, since you made the choice to sit for her on those days, I wouldn't approach it from the 'only 2 free days of the week' angle. At 9 hours per day, and 2 kids at that, you should be getting wayyyyy more. Tack onto that the fact that you're getting them really early in the morning, and (if applicable) their ages if they're really young. Basically, all of the above considered, $90 would be about average, so even $50 would still be a bargain if it's a friend or someone you're doing a favor for.
30th October 2012 3:57pm
meghan compton says...
I'm 16 years old, certified and CPR certified -- I babysit two girls under the age of 5 everyday after school in my home. I leave school early so I can pick them up from school on time, and then take them to my home where I provide them with snacks, toys (since I do not have any younger siblings I have to buy them toys to play with as well as extra clothing and we had to buy carseats for our vehicles), as well as dinner. I get paid 15$ a week if I'm lucky. they are at my house until 7 pm or later and I think that 15$ is what I should be getting paid daily, not weekly. these kids are so poorly behaved, they have broken several things in my house as well as damaged the walls and floors in my house which I have to pay for myself. I spend more money on them in a day than I make in two weeks. how should I come about asking the parents for more money? I understand times are hard but I'm giving up so much of my own personal and educational life just to do this job.
20th October 2012 4:53pm
Tina says...
I think being paid $15 a week is a rip off! Shocked You're providing a lot and spending your own money to do it. Ask the parents if you could be paid daily for a flat fee or hourly. Unsure Babysitting kids under 5, especially three, should be paid $1-$2 dollars more per hour. Check with your state's minimum wage laws. They should at least pay you minimum wage per hour or more since you are providing MORE than you should for $15 per week. If they don't agree, find another family. I hope the family will reconsider and pay more because they have cheated you.
19th November 2012 11:34am
Jones says...
I am looking for a babysitter and from little I can find I decided to pay 10/hr. now my friends with children say I am paying way to much. One calculator said $9.50/hr, yours said $13.00.. For a full day my friends say $35-40. I am having trouble seeing how we can afford the $10/hr. Daycares charge around $40/day and at home I supply everything....How can working parents afford this?
17th October 2012 9:32am
Linda says...
I was not sure what to charge for my services. I was not allowed to sit outside of my work environment at a preschool for the 5yrs I was there. I now no longer work there and have been asked to sit. Plus I have children (11, 13, 15, 20) of my own. I have experience plus First aid and CPR. I feel much better charging $10/hr.
15th October 2012 7:51pm
Brinna says...
Let's not forget that the parents have to be able to actually live, too. If you are working in your home that is an added bonus for you. I clicked around on the rate calculator on here and the suggested rates are outrageous! If minimum wage is $7.25, it doesn't really make sense to charge most people $13.00/hr, now, does it? I provide meals and homeschool to the kids I babysit and charge $4/hr for one child during daytime hours, $5/hr for two, and an extra dollar an hour for over nights. If I know the parents are in a rough spot I will adjust accordingly.
5th October 2012 9:25am
Tamara says...
Thanks for you comment. I like to get some differing opinions on here...keeps things interesting Smile I personaly disagree that taking care of someone's child should be considered a "minimum wage" job, let alone below minimum wage.  I do understand everyone's situation is different though so if you're happy to charge $4 per hour to someone whose struggling financially, more power to you. Just realize that based on current market value you are technically being underpaid. 
11th October 2012 10:26pm
ariel says...
I am a 23 yr old mother of 2 kids with another on the way the ages of my 2 are 4yrs and 1yr...i have lots of experiance with lots of children of all ages and have babysat for a number of ppl and only got 10$ a day..not an hour...a day...and always felt i was underpaid...i normally was a sitter to a newborn and. 1 yr old toddler along with his 13 yr old big brother...i got 10$ a day for the newborn from 5:30 am till 3:30 pm..the 10$ a day for the toddler ans his brother..from 9am till 6pm..sometimes i had them till almost 11 pm and never got any extra pay...that was about a yr ago..i now live right in dover delaware 7 mins from dover downs casino" and would like to start baby sitting but have no clue how much to ask is i prefer dealing with children under 5 yr of me they are just it ok to say i only want to babysit young children..and would like to do night shift since husband works night shift and needs his sleep during the day..any help on this would be Read More
4th October 2012 9:10pm
Loren says...
I thought that this article was very helpful because I am starting to professionally babysit and I didn't know what to charge, thanks for your helpful tips!
1st October 2012 8:27pm
KarKar says...
Hi, Im 12 years Old and i have a problem. I babysit my neighbors 3 kids...they are 2,4 and 10.....I Do not get paid because my mother is a good friend of hers...but i want to start getting paid because they are a lot of work....How do I Tell her i want to get paid? I help around her house, help her daughter potty train and If it is near any food time I feed them.. Im starting to Think she is taking advantage of me...Any Thoughts?
30th September 2012 4:42pm
salina says...
i would tell her that you want to start saving money, and you would appreciate help with a couple of dollars. anything is better than nothing.
20th October 2012 12:08pm
Trina says...
Great website! Very informative. Thank you! I was just wondering.. How much should I charge a friend who wants me to babysit her 2 year old daughter for 4 days a week.. From 10 am to 6 pm. She is the only child I am babysitting. I have a daughter who is three years old that stays home with me. She used to pay me only $5 per hour because she's a friend and I am embarrassed to ask for more. However, everyone's telling me, I should ask for more. Can you suggest a rate for me? I have been babysitting her for a year now.
10th September 2012 10:35am
brenda cates says...
I'm 66 yrs young. Just babysat for a 4, 2 1/2, & 17 mos. f/4:00 to 10:30PM. Drove approx. 30 mins. to their house. Kids were great, I picked up & put dishes in d/w. Was paid $70? Thought I should have made more?
Please comment, thanks!
9th September 2012 8:53am
Tamara says...
That's just shy of $11 per hour, which might be a bit low but still quite reasonable. Not sure whether you live in a large city or town but my calculator gives a $12 to $13 range depending.
11th September 2012 11:38pm
Von says...
I'm so glad that I found this site for my 12 yr old daughter. My neighbor, who has two children ages 4 and 6, has asked my daughter to babysit a few days after school. We were trying to find info. on the current babysitting rates for area. We live outside of Baltimore, MD. The mom will be home, it's just she wants to get some house work done while my oldest watches her children. My oldest has also taken a babysitting course through the local hospital too.
26th August 2012 9:57am
Blythe says...
Hi im 14 and about to enter my second year of babysitting. i always babysit for this one family at least 3-4 times a week (M-F) for 6-8 hrs and every friday and saturday night. im earning roughly 75$-80$ a week off them, on top of sitting for other families. my mom is getting edgy saying i have to tell the family i am being paid too much and to let up. how can i do this without sounding ungrateful PLEASE HELP!!! Scared
24th August 2012 9:47am
Rose says...
Don't worry! As long as the family you babysit for is fine with it (which it sounds like they are) you should be too. If your mom really thinks its to much then when they pay you just say that you don't need that much money and insist that they take some back. But if I were you I would take the money and be grateful for it. If it's too much for the family they won't pay you as much.
27th August 2012 2:47pm
cindy says...
I think your MOM should be proud that these people appreciate the effort this job requires to do it good. She should also be proud that you are a hard worker and building a character of strong work ethics which so few young people have today. Your MOM should back out of your pay unless you are not treated fairly or if you receive far more than anyone else would by these people, then she should perhaps question why. I would pay a good sitter more than an adequate sitter to make certain she remained my sitter. Maybe your MOM'S concern is more about how responsible you are being with your earnings
16th October 2012 2:52pm
heather says...
I am wondering the right price to ask of a family for caring for their 4 week old baby & occasionally also a 19 month old baby..? I live right outside one of the most populated military towns. I am almost 21 years old with 3 years experience. Also what is the most acceptable way to ask the family when & if the pay rate may increase ?
13th August 2012 10:36pm
Katie says...
WOW!! I can't belive how helpfull this is! :Smile I have the perfect rates and the fair amount of money in my pocket. thank-you!!! LaughSmile:
1st August 2012 4:25pm
Jill says...
This is a riot ! I was babysitting starting in the mid-late 70s, and I got 50 CENTS per hour before 6 p.m., and 75 CENTS per hour after 6 p.m. !! Grin As I got older, I often had a houseful of kids when parents from church all dropped them off at one house to go to the same event. I averaged about 1.50/hour for a houseful of kids. When I took care of babies (one starting at 9 days old, as he was adopted, and his adoptive mom had to go back to work), and got $45/WEEK- 5 days/week, 9-10 hours/day. But I also had the carseats in those situations, so I could get my shopping and errands done !!
28th July 2012 1:40pm
Brianna says...
Thanks! I'm a 13 year old babysitter. I found this article very helpful in finding the perfect rates. :)
24th July 2012 9:39pm
chelsey c says...
I'm babysitting two 9 year olds who are twins. I babysit them from 6am-630pm for 4 days a week. They're giving me $125. Should I ask for more?
23rd July 2012 9:14pm
Vikky says...
I really think you should get paid more. If you want to get paid around 8$ an hour for 12 hours a day thats already around 96$, if you work 4 days a week thats around 400$. that is more like it. Maybe more because they are twins, two children
31st July 2012 5:17pm
leslie says...
Well going by the rate calculator u should be getting $13.00/hr. So 12 and a half hrs is $162.00 just for one 6am to 6:30 shift. If you sit 4 times a week all 12 and a half hours you should be getting $648.00. This $13.00 rate was based on adult sitting. Now if your getting $125.00/day that would be $10.00/hr. Which I think if fair if your not over 18 years old. But you should be making at least $10.00/hr for each shift. You should be making $500.00. That's my opinion.
4th October 2012 11:11pm
veronica says...
Hi I need some help with a situation. I watch a 2 year old for a friend m-f 5:30-5:30, sat 5:30-3 she isn't potty trained so he asked to help with that. Both parents are sep. So I only watch her 2 wks out of the month. I'm pregnant and so its really hard to keep up with her. He is paying me 120 a week I feel as though I should be able to charge 20 more dollars..........HELP PLEASE!.........
20th July 2012 11:47am
Tamara says...
Hi Veronica, so you are working 69.5 hours per week and only getting $120? That's less than $2 per hour! You are severely underpaid but now that you're in this situation it may not be easy to change it. I personally would quit, especially since your pregnant and already find it difficult. $20 more per week is nothing. You should be getting at the very minimum $5 per hour (actually more like $7 but we'll go with $5 for now) which comes out to just shy of $350. So I'd say ask to paid per hour at $5 / hour. That is still very cheap for childcare.
20th July 2012 11:08pm
paula says...
Have offer to babysit a 7 year old girl at her home or mine from 4:30am - 7:30am. (M-F) Would be getting her up & off to school. The father isn't sure what to pay and will not be claiming it on taxes. I have not done this in years and have no idea what to charge. Any Suggestions?
19th July 2012 4:14pm
Tamara says...
Did you plug it into my calculator? Let's see, early morning, one child, I'm assuming you're not a it comes out to $10/hr minimum.
19th July 2012 6:33pm
Andrea says...
Something else to consider is that the rate should change if it is a one time sitting or a several days a week/ longer arrangement. If she charges $10 / hr that is $150 / wk. The parents could put the child in full day daycare for that price.
29th December 2012 11:16am
Michelle says...
Hi I'm 14 and i am babysitting a 3 year old girl on a Friday from about 2pm to about midnight... I am babysitting for my youth pastor and it's their anniversary... I dont know what to charge them for it... HelpShocked
17th July 2012 4:15pm
Tamara says...
Hi Michelle,
Well according to my rate calc depending on where you live (e.g. large city vs town) you should be charging anywhere around $5-$7 per hour, so at least $50. That's also assuming you have little to no experience. Of course you are quite young to babysit and since they are friends of yours you may choose to lower it somewhat. Tamara
17th July 2012 11:26pm
Holly says...
Hey, im 18, and am going to babysit for my cousin down the road while her husband makes her get a job, but i dont want to be paid hourly because of the reason she probably will have to get a minimal wage job. what should i be paid for 3 kids, 4+ to 9 years.? it would be her hours, than when the girls go to school id be home with her little boy til she returns home.
13th July 2012 5:28am
Tamara says...
I would strongly advise against not charging per hour. A lot of sitters have done this only to later regret it as the hours start to increase, with no extra pay! With 3 kids, you should be getting paid at least $7/hr but that would then make no sense for the parents if the mom is making minimum wage. In the end it's up to you if you wish to lower your rate, but again, make sure to get paid by the hour.
17th July 2012 11:34pm
Karen says...
My 17 yr old daughter has been babysitting a (now) 3 yr old for about 1 1/2 now. She has been coming to our home. The parents are separated & share custody. Our question is how to ask for more money. I've been researching & it seems she is Way under paid. Normal shift has been 11am ~ 6:30pm for $25.00. NOW it's 9:30am ~ 8:00 pm for $25.00. That's 3 extra hours for Zero extra pay. As much as we love this little girl it's also my daughters only job. She's scared to ask or talk about it w/parents for fear the will "not need her anymore". Please Help how to approach this subject. We live "Downriver" MI which is about 20 minutes south of Detroit ~ Thank you!
2nd July 2012 8:13am
Tamara says...
@Karen - Ya I'd say she's underpaid alright by about half! According to my rate calculator, she should be getting at least $5-6 per hour which would put her over $50 per day. It seems your daughter is in a difficult situation but my first question is how she got there in the first place? Let this be a lesson to others that you should ALWAYS negotiate a fair wage BEFORE agreeing to babysit, that way it's clear and there are no surprises. That being said I know this advice doesn't help you now so I'd say both you and your daughter need to speak with the child's parent(s) and say that though you really enjoy taking care of their daughter, you were wondering if they would consider paying a wage closer to the market rate. You can even refer them to this site you like. The vast majority of people (both parents and babysitters alike) who write me have stated that the rates on this site are quite accurate for the current market. Good luck! Smile
2nd July 2012 11:25pm
AlyJane says...
Oh my goodness. Shocked Yes, she is way underpaid! I'm a live out nanny and have been for the same family for going on three years in August. I'm fortunate to have a boss who gives me a raise every year. Although my criteria is different than your daughter's, I still think its only fair for her to get paid at LEAST $50 a day. The first year I started nannying I felt underpaid. I am also shy about talking about this sitaorion to my boss. It's very nerve wracking. I write better than I talk, so I wrote a two page letter to my boss asking if it would be reasonable for a raise. I added ALL the reasons why I deserved a raise and how much I love and care for her children. Your daughter may want to give it a shot. I'm twenty two years old by the way. Best of luck to your daughter! Smile
12th July 2012 8:50am
kathryn says...
Most of the time i ask what they want to pay but you have to remember that usualy when you ask how much they want to pay they will end up paying way too much so make sure you watch the price your customer is offering Smile
30th June 2012 9:11am
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