Child Care Rates: How Much Should I Charge?
Determining reasonable rates for providing child care.
Tiffany Smith, Senior Associate Editor
Articles> Child Care Rates: How Much Should I Charge?
child care rates

Even if you're the best child care provider out there, you won't attract clients if your rates are too high. (Or too low, for that matter: Parents might assume you're under-priced because you're under-qualified.)
 


Check Out the Competition
Look at ads posted in the supermarket and in your local newspaper. Check the jobs-wanted listings on websites like craigslist. See what other child care providers are charging. Take note of how their skills compare to your own. See if you can find a niche that needs your services: Do you speak a second language, for example? Do you have specialized training?

Call other child care providers and ask what their rates are. (You don't have to tell them why you're asking. Most will assume you're a parent.) If you have friends or family members with children, ask what they pay their nannies and sitters. Find out the current going rate for a babysitter.

Based on other people's rates, you can get a good idea of what you'll be able to charge. Try to calculate the cost of running your business for a year, and how many hours you'll have to dedicate to covering those costs.

Money 101
No matter how money-savvy you are, basic financial-managing software is a must, even if you only use it for forms and templates. Some popular and cost-effective options are Microsoft Money, Quicken, Quickbooks or Peachtree.

Use the Babysitter Pay Rate Calculator
Care.com provides a Babysitter Pay Rate Calculator to assist you. This calculates what the pay rate is in your area and will help you know what to charge families. There are different versions of our calculator available as free widgets -- add the Babysitter Pay Rate Results Widget to your blog, Facebook page and advertisements so families know your rate!

The bottom line: You need to understand the local market, where you fit into it and keep an eye on your bottom line. Whether you want to work part-time or full-time, you can make a living caring for children.

 

Tiffany Smith is the senior associate editor here at Care.com. She has written for All You, Time for Kids and the Boston Globe. And as a former babysitter, she knows a lot about fun games to play with kids. Getting them to eat their veggies -- that’s a different story! Follow her on Twitter at @tiffanyiswrite

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(20) Comments
Shelbi
Shelbi
I cannot believe the ignorance some people have. I'm a 20 year old single mother with a 1 year old. I do not receive child support. Ive got a job working 9 hours a day 5 days a week making minimum wage. If I paid someone what most of you are saying I would be giving up my entire paycheck... So what I would literally be working to pay for my child to be watched over all day... And have no money left to take care of us. Be realistic. Not all of us can afford that. And how dare someone say if you can't afford 8.50 an hour then you shouldn't have had a child... Shame on you!!!
April 24, 2015 at 3:39 PM
Kayla P.
Kayla P.
I am a full time nanny for a 6 month old baby. I have my 1 year old son with me too. I work 6am to 4pm Monday through Friday, so 50 hours a week. I get paid $250 every 2 weeks. The family said that is what they paid the CDC on base. They are also claiming taxes, so I have to take out what will be taxed and put aside that from the $250. I'm making around $2 an hour. I feel like I should be making more. I'm making way less than minumim wage, working well over 40 hours and bringing home less than $500 a month after putting taxes aside. Should I be making more? And if so how do I present that to the family I work for?
April 14, 2015 at 5:24 PM
Stephanie B.'s Daycare
Stephanie B.'s Daycare
I can't believe how ridiculous all of these comments are. There is a difference in a nanny or babysitter and an in home childcare provider. If someone is dropping their child off at your house for childcare all day every day, Monday through Friday, they cannot pay $10-$15 per hour. I can only assume the ones that are making these ridiculous comments are very young and cannot understand this. There would be no reason for that person to work. All of their paycheck and more would go to you. The average person cannot afford a full time nanny. So all the "nannys" on here need to find that rich family that can afford your rates on a full time basis. Most people use a "babysitter" for occasional date nights, etc. On these occasions, of course $10-$15 is acceptable.
April 12, 2015 at 8:26 AM
Daisy N.
Daisy N.
Gosh I can't believe how some people are . I'm 19 and I'm a baysitter , I babysit , I work for my parents mornings (family business ) and I work at a restaurant . If someone is going to ask me to babysit , sure damn well I'm going to charge at least $8.50 and hour , why? . Well because I also have a life, I have things to do myself . So any one saying we shouldn't be charging that , well yes maybe your right we should be charging double. You mothers out there just don't get it . Go take your child to a daycare and they'll charge triple of what I charge . If you can't afford to pay a babysitter or anyone that charges at least $8.50 than you shouldn't have had a kid in the first place. Because I wouldn't waist my time taking care of kids for $5 or less. Ridiculous.
March 19, 2015 at 4:16 PM
Kristina
Kristina
After reading some asinine comments, particularly the $13/he one I wonder what's wrong in some people's heads. I'm not going to work to make my living just to turn around and pay your living. That's why you babysit multiple kids, so you can be cost efficient and still pay your bills. If you can't pay bills baby sitting go out and get a different job. It's pointless for me to work if half my paycheck is going to baby sitting. It's not worth over $10 sorry. Not even professional day cares charge that.
February 19, 2015 at 6:09 PM
Guest
Guest
I have 3+ years with children. I've worked as a party hostess, baby sitter at a rec, and have community service work with children summer camps. I'm new to Care.com and was wondering how much I should charge for baby sitting? I can clean the house as well and I have transportation but it isn't mine so I will be a stay at home sitter til the parents come back or tell me to leave. I'm willing to worl mornings, afternoon and charge extra for night shifts!
January 27, 2015 at 6:55 PM
Diana
Diana
Is 7 kids by myself too many @ 8.25 am hour?
January 27, 2015 at 2:15 AM
Lisa G.
Lisa G.
In Arizona, if you have a Nanny come in to care for your children you are officially their employer. You will need to pay the other half of their Social Security, provide Workman's Comp insurance,etc. Since you provide the place if employment and dictate when they work and don't work, subcontractor status does not apply here.
January 14, 2015 at 8:49 AM
Babysitter
Babysitter
I get paid 350$ for two kids ages 7 & 9.
50 hours a week
What's a fair price to charge?
January 5, 2015 at 12:27 PM
Stephanie E.
Stephanie E.
Anyone who is getting paid under 10$ an hour is ridiculous. I am very confident in my work as a mother, a nanny, and a babysitter of 9 years experience in childcare. I refuse to work for less. I know that I have bills that I have to pay, so I charge 13 per hour when I nanny. If I babysit I charge 15 per hour because it will only be for a set amount of hours. I also do overnight care- which I charge 100 per night. If I wanted to I could go out right now and get a serving job and make BANK. But because I love children and this my job I do not allow for people to underestimate me. Find someone else who is willing to take 7/per hr. That's absurd. Reading some of these comments infuriated me because I know how important it is to leave your child with somebody who's going to ultimately make a sacrifice to make sure those children are safe and have what they need. So there's my two cents.
January 1, 2015 at 8:33 AM
Babysitter
Babysitter
Okay so this lady wants me to babysit her kids while she goes back to work and she has two little boys they are twins there 2 and a little girl who isn't even a year old the 2 little boys are not potty trained and she said she would pay me $250 a week and id be babysitting them for 12 hours every day even over night sometimes is that a fair amount of money ?
December 11, 2014 at 2:31 AM
Rebecca R.
Rebecca R.
I find myself falling into the same situations that so many are complaining about, and my area of experience deals with special needs, particularly autism, all degrees of it from very mild to very severe. Families have got to understand that we fall under the very same umbrella that other "domestic" workers fall under and we are also protected under federal laws that have been put out by the U.S. Dept. Of Labor. That being said, I see so many ads that post for jobs requiring 30+ hours a week, wanting to pay only 150 or less! With my background, I also see many special needs jobs that often require care for more than one child with special needs, and to me it's rediculous to expect to pay the same as you would if it were only one child being watched. I am also aware that many states now have laws in effect that dictate how much a caregiver for special needs should be paid, and it is far more than what is being advertised on here. I get it, the economy sucks, and it's a struggle for everyone, I am flexible to a point, but considering there are additional hazards associated with special needs, an up in pay is not so unreasonable. As for children who do not have special needs, let me ask the parents this: would YOU work for someone for 5-8 an hour, watch multiple children, clean their entire house, cook their meals, care for their pets, clean up after their entire family, etc, working 5, sometimes 6 or 7, days a week, 8+ hours a day, and be happy with making only 150 or less per week? Put yourself in our shoes for a bit and look at it from our perspective. I don't think what I am asking to be paid is unreasonable at all, especially if there are other non child related duties that are expected of me.
November 21, 2014 at 11:41 PM
Ashley J.
Ashley J.
There are too many factors that go in to how much someone should charge/be paid for you guys to keep fighting over this. I think people misinterprut the use of the care.com online "pay calculator." Private care, in general, is a hard business to be in simply because it is so competitive and because most parents are not completely informed themselves about the various levels of care, licensing, schooling, etc . . . From the start, there is a difference in babysitting, part-time nannying, and nannying. Then you must consider past experience, any credentials, drive time, taxes, offered benefits (nanny wise), number of children, if those children have special needs, extra work such as running errands, transporting children, cooking, cleaning, tutoring, etc . . ., location, time of day, amount of hours, and so much more. I myself charge on a sliding scale and have never charged more than $10/hr for babysitting. With that said, I am currently a college student and I know that I don't have a degree in child education nor am I even pursuing one! I am not certified in anything fancy and though I do have several years of paid and unpaid experience, I understand that I cannot charge as much as someone that has those credentials. For a student like me, my only other option would be to get a mundane job making $8/hr tops, so I feel blessed to get $10/hr. My mom on the other hand is always pushing me to charge more because I am giving private care, but I just don't have the credentials to back up charging more than $10/hr.
November 21, 2014 at 2:39 AM
Randi K.
Randi K.
I understand y'all need to make a living, but as a single mother, how in the fricken world do you expect anyone to pay $500 a week???? Calculating fifteen an hour for just one child for eight hours a day is $120! Most of us don't make that in two days, let alone having to pay for two kids as well. Oh I'm sorry that would be $600 a week. Y'all may be qualified, but being mothers you should understand the struggle. Fricken ridiculous.
October 8, 2014 at 1:42 PM
Romona D.
Romona D.
Hi, I am a mom of 4 children and 2 grandchildren so I have lots of experience. :) I am thinking of watching the children on snow days off from school to the working parents in my neighborhood. I have no clue what to charge. In my area it says $12 an hour for babysitting is the going rate. Anyone have any suggestions if it should be an hourly rate verses daily rate? And should the age of the child be a factor?
Thanks so much!
September 22, 2014 at 11:38 AM
Jackie C.
Jackie C.
Hi all, I was just wondering, I recently was hired to watch a 3 year old (and occasionally a 5 year old) for 5.5 hours a day, 4 days a week for $5 an hour. It bothers me that I'm making less than I would at a fast food joint because they are claiming it on taxes. If I was getting paid "under the table', or helping a friend, I wouldn't mind, but the fact that taxes are involved, I don't feel it's right. I really don't wanna get screwed over during taxes, but I don't want to upset this new family. Do you think I should request minimum wage? What should I do?
September 9, 2014 at 10:21 PM
Leanna B.
Leanna B.
Rosie, You should definitely be making more !!!!
September 8, 2014 at 11:27 AM
Ann D.
Ann D.
Megan, I deal with parents like you more times then I care to mention. First of all you are paying 2.50 per hour to your LICENSED day care provider, trust me you are getting 2.50 worth of care. The license is not saying anything more than her facility has been inspected and is safe and clean. Also there is not licensing for a Nanny in my state. I personally would NEVER pay someone 2.50 an hour for anything, I paid 4 times that amount for someone to feed my dog. It tells me that your child is in with other children so they are not getting individual attention. I would NEVER allow someone to care for my children who believe that they are worth 2.50 per hour, that tells me they have low self worth and also the very last thing you want is for someone who is resentful of that 2.50 per hour caring for your children.
2.50 per hour spells disaster to me. And how can anyone put a price on a child? A child is a gift from God and those of us who are true professionals are a gift to the families that hire us.
August 11, 2014 at 1:51 AM
Bright Beginnings Llc
Bright Beginnings Llc
I'm a licensed provider and I'm struggling.

When I was a working mom, I paid over $500/week for childcare for my kids and I thought it was insane - that was almost everything I brought home. But I paid it and knew that it was the price to pay to gain seniority and promotions at work. Later, I hired an in home nanny - we have a basement apartment with kitchen and bath and we paid 300/week, health and dental, up to 6 credit hours of college, first aid/CPR, gave a car to drive. Now, when I hire a babysitter, they charge between $10 and 20 an hour.

Now, I'm a licensed child care provider and I have to make a living but I can't. There are a plethora of unlicensed providers in the area - they don't have the overhead costs that come with maintaining a license or providing an educational environment - so they can set prices extremely low. There just aren't enough kids to go around; everyone's numbers are down.

Parents have unrealistic expectations when it comes to home care. We can't be open 6 am to 6 pm (some parents want even more). We work alone and don't have an administrative, custodial, kitchen, and financial team working for us. We do all of that after hours - sometimes all night and all weekend. Literally no down time. And we can't live on 100 a week, especially with those hours. It's extremely stressful.

I have 4 kids right now at 100 a week. It takes 2.5 kids to cover my overhead. I'm going to take home 760 a month - before taxes. I can't pay my mortgage, utilities, or even buy groceries for my family with that. If I had 7 kids, I'd bring home 2000 a month before taxes. Still not much but it would pay the mortgage.

I don't make even close to minimum wage. I don't have health care. I don't get sick days, vacation days, personal days, training days. And if I do take time off, I can't just close. That upsets parents and I can't risk them leaving for a center. I have to hire a substitute at $10/hour. One day can cost me more than I make in a week.

I tried to get kids for 2 years but no one wanted to bring their kids here. I didn't have other kids so their kids wouldn't get socialization. They didn't realize that I had to start somewhere. One family wanted me to take their non-potty trained daughter for 50 a week from 6:30 am to 6 pm. I was so desperate I accepted. Luckily they pulled out at the last minute.

I have the same materials the schools do. I have a curriculum and teach the kids. I help them with homework. I take them on field trips with my own transportation. I feed them. All of this costs money.

It's funny. A friend of mine babysits and charges $20/hour and can make more in one night than I make in a week.

I love these kids and I'm not complaining. But it's completely different being on the other side.

Anyway, how much do people expect to pay for before/after school care. Would you rather pay less if they just sat here and watched TV all day and brought their own food/snacks?
August 10, 2014 at 5:54 PM
Rosie
Rosie
Question.
I have started being an in home (my home) nanny to a 2 year old and a 8 year old. Hours from 7am till about 530pm/6pm. Monday through Friday.
I, myself have a 1 1/2 year old and an almost 6 year old. My children are very well behaved, have never been in daycare. I'm a licensed CNA, in school for RN, have all my CPR license and that sort of thing, oh I've also worked in a daycare for a year.
The two year old is honestly....very naughty. She constantly hits my children, is pushing my one year old down all the time. She doesn't listen at all hardly and her mother knows this is not only happening at my place, she hits a lot at other places. I'm concerned this is going to rub off on my children. Which I definitely do NOT want to happen, this is why I have kept my smallest out of daycare and with me. My oldest is also very well behaved, I never have any complaints even from her teachers!
I'm just confused as to how much I should be getting paid and if that means to include all meals? I was told they would be fed breakfast and packed snacks. I haven't seen any snacks once and they always show up on an empty stomach.
Is $50/day really acceptable with no food, milk, nothing?
July 31, 2014 at 11:01 AM

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