The Babysitting Guide: Babysitting Cost

Find out about pay rates for babysitters

Babysitting fees can quickly run up the cost of an evening out, but the expense is well worth the rejuvenation. If you haven't thought about babysitting fees since you were a babysitting teen, here are some factors that impact rates.

According to a recent USA Today article, babysitters make an average of $10 per hour. But this number varies depending on:

  • Where you live -- Cost of living is an issue no matter the job title. Babysitters in big cities will get paid more than babysitters in small towns. If you live near Boston, visit our Boston Babysitters page to see what the average pay is for sitters in the area. Similarly, if you live in California, visit the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego Babysitters pages to see what the rates are so you can compare.
  • Amount of experience -- The more experience, the higher the wage. A teenager with no experience is on the low end, while a mature sitter with extensive experience and certifications is at the top of the spectrum.
  • Number and age(s) of children -- If you have more than one child, expect to pay $2 to $5 more an hour for each additional child. This range reflects variability in the care giving required for each child (see below).
  • Activities -- Does your sitter need to take your child (or children) to appointments (e.g., doctor, music lesson, soccer practice)? Does the sitter have any special tutoring skills that they will use to help your child (say, piano lessons)? If so, bump up the wage.
  • Time of day -- Will your child (or children) be awake or asleep during the sitter's hours? Does the sitter have to feed the kids dinner? If the sitter is basically just house watching (and you feed, bathe, and put the child to bed before the sitter arrives), then pay less.
  • Special needs -- If your child has special needs that require skilled interaction or involvement, increase the wage. has its own list of Special Needs Babysitters and Special Needs Nannies that may have the specific certifications and experiences your family needs.
  • Special training (e.g. CPR or First Aid) -- Pay accordingly for the peace of mind associated with securing a sitter who is CPR-certified.
  • Housekeeping -- The first priority should be child care, but if your kids are at an age where they play independently, or your sitter is there largely while the kids are asleep, pay extra if the sitter is willing to do light housekeeping.
  • Transportation -- Help your sitter with transportation (gas money, cab or local transport, ride home).

If you're still uncertain as to the fairness of your final estimate, ask your friends what they are paying their sitters and also ask your sitter directly about their compensation expectations. You can also use the Babysitter Pay Calculator to see what the average rate is in your town. If you want to use this rate, we suggest adding the Babysitting Pay Calculator Widget to your blog or in any messages you send to a potential sitter so the pay rate in your area is known.

Good babysitters can be tough to come by; if you find one, hang onto her/him by compensating accordingly.

More Babysitting Resources

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Christine Koh is a music and brain scientist turned parent and writer about parenting issues for She is also the editor of

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Comments (77)
Photo of Courtney E.
Courtney E.
I'm having a hard time figuring out how much I "should be" paying for child care based on the listings on this site. If I work at a grocery store or some job where in California they're only offering to pay $13-15/hr, how will I be able to afford this $15-20 people are charging to watch my 7 month old?! It seems I should just apply to take care of another infant along with mine if every dime I make will go directly to child care. How do people expect single parents to live?
Posted: October 13, 2015 at 2:08 PM
Photo of Brooke B.
Brooke B.
I have always done hourly rates (usually $10+ an hour) I got asked a couple times about weekly pay. How would that work for full time? Someone has two kids that just need care in the am, get dropped off and then again after school and the baby would be with me all day. How much would a reasonable weekly rate be? 10 hours a day. Hourly rate would bring that to about $500.
Posted: September 02, 2015 at 12:51 AM
I am sitting and the child is doing homework her parents wont be back till 11 how much should I charge I have had her since 10 a.m
Posted: August 31, 2015 at 1:48 PM
Karen Phillips
What is going rate to sit for a one month old baby.40 hours a week 8 hours a day.also my great nephew but they both work and make descent money
Posted: August 24, 2015 at 8:57 AM
Photo of Lauren M.
Lauren M.
I am planning to pay my sitter $10 an hour for two kids, unless she does art work, works on the alphabet and numbers with them, takes them for a walk, etc. Then I am planning to pay $12 an hour. We do not live in a big city. My potential sitters live within 5 miles of my house so they don't have to drive far. Does this seem fair?
Posted: August 11, 2015 at 3:23 PM
Katie R.
I'm starting with a five year old girl and this is my first time. What I have learned about this girl is she is on the spectrum. I think a reasonable price would be around 5-10 dollars. Does this sound right?
Posted: June 29, 2015 at 5:37 PM
How much should I charge my friend for watching his 12 year old severely ADHD child for 10 hours a day 5 days a week? The parents bring him to me and provide food for the son, my son and myself, but I have to take him with me everywhere 24/hr watch?
Posted: June 27, 2015 at 9:47 PM
I too need help with figuring out an appropriate fee for babysitting. I currently have a 13year old, a10year old, a 9year old, a 5,4,3,2,1 & sometimes a 7mth old. I have the 5,4,2,1 Monday-Friday & then the whole bunch comes Monday&Tuesday & occasionally one other day. I get 275$ per month for the 13,10,9,3 & I get 400$ For the 5,4&2 year old. The one year old is mine. I watch all the kids from 7am-about 5-5:30pm. I provide 3meals, 4snacks, arts & crafts and other activities. Two of the children are in diapers & occasionally I have to use my own diapers/ desitin. I feel like I am not getting paid enough but at the same time I want to still help my friend and uncle out with a good price? Any advice on how to fairly calculate wages? Side not, I'm currently potty training the 3 & 2 year old which is very time consuming and not very easy. If anyone had pointers on that as well I'm all ears ;)
Posted: June 25, 2015 at 11:30 PM
Is 10$ a week ok
Posted: May 17, 2015 at 6:05 PM
Tessa J
I am going to start baby sitting a little girl that is about 5 years old. How much should I charge per hour? I don't want to ask for too much but I need to be able to pay bills.
Posted: May 05, 2015 at 6:43 PM
I just want to tell the moms out there wondering how much to pay the sitter, please think of the sitter! I am watching a two year old for 5 an hour and it's just not enough. I know you don't want to work all day and feel like you have nothing to show for it but neither does your babysitter! Babysitting for 5 an hour is so depressing I take good care of my friends kid but If I was getting 7 or 8 an hour I would be more motivated to really bond with the kid I watch and give him a great day every day. If I wasn't close friends with his mom I definitely wouldn't be watching him for 5 an hour I feel like I'm doing her a favor. Watching a child all day is very hard work! Give your babysitter the motivation she needs to care for your child well! If you can't afford to pay at least 7 than don't go to work until your kid is in kindergarten.

To the babysitters reading: if someone tries to offer your 5 or less an hour say your busy and save yourself the stress.
Posted: April 26, 2015 at 7:24 PM
I need some help how much should I charge for a 10 and 13 year old? For 10 hours a day Monday-Friday?
I have 9 years of experience. I'm a CNA and CPR certified.
I'm thinking about $300 a week for both? Is that too much bec their parents think that is too much
Posted: April 26, 2015 at 12:28 AM
I need some help how much should I charge for a 10 and 13 year old? For 10 hours a day Monday-Friday?
I have 9 years of experience. I'm a CNA and CPR certified.
I'm thinking about $300 a week for both? Is that too much bec their parents think that is too much
Posted: April 26, 2015 at 12:26 AM
Photo of Jessica S.
Jessica S.
SO essentially you are claiming I should have to pay more than I make for someone to watch my kid part time during the week? I am starting a Job at meijer next week, I am a single mother trying to get back on my own two feet. My starting wage is going to be 8.50 an hour for part time work. Tell me how $10 hr to watch my daughter is going to work for me when I am also going to have to pay for transportation. I can not afford it.
Posted: February 22, 2015 at 2:23 PM
I have a 5 year old daughter that attends kindergarten M-Thu 8:05-2:05 and Fridays 8:05-12:05. I recently just got a new job and am need of a babysitter to pick her up after school and care for her until an estimate of 7 or 8pm. What is a good hourly/weekly rate I should charge a babysitter?
Posted: February 04, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Photo of Ted H.
Ted H.
So cgal, you are roughly paying $25,000 a year in childcare? After that and taxes, what do you actually make for being an RN? It seems like it isn't worth it to be employed. Did you ever figure out what you are making a hour after childcare? Most bluecollar households cannot afford that much in childcare.
Posted: January 20, 2015 at 11:11 AM
I babysit a three month baby for $50.a week from 12:00pm to 8:or 8:30pm on Mondays,Tuesday,Wednesday and Fridays one Saturday yes one Saturday no I don't think its enough for babysitting a baby and the responsibility I have to have with the baby I have experience I had 5 kids of my own all grown up I 52 years old love babysitting especially small kids give me answers please and thank you.....
Posted: December 29, 2014 at 9:23 AM
Hi I'm going to be starting to babysit a 3 year old, and the lady asked me how much I charge an hour.. I don't know because I've never done it before, but I'll be driving to her house probably once a week (at least 25 mins away) and watching him from 10 - 3.. Something like that. Any ideas?
Posted: December 13, 2014 at 11:59 PM
Alicia Mundy
Hello! I have my own Family & Friends Babysitting Services. I am in the process of changing my prices/fees for 1 child, 2 children, 3 children & up to 6 children. I have over 19 yeas of experience working in the childcare field. How much should I be charging for babysitting? Please help me out!!!
Posted: December 12, 2014 at 9:43 AM
Hi, I have 6 children and a sitter, but I am not sure how much to pay her. She comes to my house at 6:30am m-f and gets my 6 and 7 yr old on the bus at 7:30, the 1 1/2 yr old gets up at 8:30, and my 4 yr old she gets ready and on the bus at 12:20 for afternoon 4k, then drives my 17 yr old son to school (he is in an alternate high school)at 12:30 then comes back to my house and puts the baby down for a nap from 1-3 or 4 depending on the day. She helps clean up the house, like dishes and picking up toys and I am generally home by 3:30. Does anyone know what I should pay this girl? I don't get paid much and I am not sure what is fair, If I give her what I think is fair I would be giving her half my pay. But on the other hand she really is only busy from 7-1, when the baby sleeps she is free to sit around and watch tv or use the computer.
Posted: November 19, 2014 at 6:58 PM
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