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
Suzanne T.
Suzanne T.
It seems that a lot of people here are confused with the difference between a nanny and child care. If you are hiring a nanny to care for only your children, then you are required by law to pay at least minimum wage for your area. You should also expect to pay that or more because a nanny also needs to make a living wage. If you are willing to "share" your nanny and you are fine with them also taking on other children, then you can expect to pay less. I understand that it can be difficult for some people to afford to pay the going rates, that's why there is also the option of putting you child into daycare, which often can cost much less, especially for in-home daycare centers. You can also pay less out of pocket if your nanny lives in, because the room and board can be, in part, considered a portion of their pay package.
I am currently a live-out nanny, but have also done live-in positions in the past. Most nannies in part or sometimes fully, run the household. If I did nothing but sit around and supervise the kids as they did their own thing I wouldn't expect to get paid as much. If I'm doing all the household chores, cooking meals, helping with homework, potty training, etc. then I want to be compensated for the quality of care that I'm giving.
Please remember, you want quality care given to your children, you should be expected to take care of your caregiver with like quality. If not, then you shouldn't expect to receive consistent, reliable, quality care. In essence you get what you pay for.
May 30, 2015 at 11:58 PM
Nannyhere
Nannyhere
I think the parents that are speaking out against paying a sitter the national average price are ridiculous. These are the people who are collaborate with you to raise your children. You'll spend more on your assets than you would on people who are caring for your family members? You want to keep your beautiful homes and fancy cars but screw the people who are loving and nurturing your kids. My advice... Stop having them or stop complaining!!
May 22, 2015 at 9:09 PM
Melissa
Melissa
Okay I need some help & answers please...

I'm not really sure how I should be getting paid.. I have been working with this family for almost 3 years now. I make $10 an hr for all 3 kids under the age of 5. I'm 21 years old, but I've had experience for 7 years. I have never gotten a raise, and sometimes I pay out of my pocket to feed the kids. I work weekends from 8-5pm, sometimes even up to 6pm whenever they ask me to stay longer.. Sometimes they come home at 6:15pm, but they only pay me up to 6pm. I do laundry, even the parents' laundry, I wash dishes, I vacuum I clean around the house. For any party occasion they have, I would have to watch up to 10 other kids, with the same rate, $10 an hr. There was one time where they brought another child for me to watch every Saturday. The parents discussed with the other parent that I would be getting paid a little more, yet never did. The parents have lots of restrictions when it comes to the kids. They only watch tv for one hr a day, sometimes no tv at all. The youngest naps for 1hr 15mins out of the whole day, and for the rest of the day, I have to watch all 3 kids.. It gets really hard, especially if the two older ones are constantly fighting or just don't listen and follow rules. I'm not sure if this is fair. When I was a lot younger, I was getting paid $10 an hr for watching a baby. Now that I am watching 3 kids for $10, I'm not really sure if it's fair. With the baby I used to watch, I never asked them to pay me a certain amount. He just said $10 an hr, and I said okay. I've been trying to do more research, and so far, what I see is that I should be getting $15 an hr for the amount of kids and chores I do for them. I don't expect to get paid $15 an hr, but I think $10 for all 3 kids is a little too low. I mean, they are business people, so I know for a fact that they make a decent amount of money. They also have a babysitter for the weekdays that works 10hrs a day.. I am not asking for a fortune, all I'm asking for is what's fair. I work very hard when It comes to caring for all 3 kids. It's pretty stressful...I mean, me working at my other job, getting paid $10.71 an hr, which is a whole lot easier verses having all 3 kids under my care plus chores. Please explain to me if I'm asking too much ?!


Thank you in advance
May 19, 2015 at 7:46 PM
babysitter
babysitter
Jackie C. You should totally charge AT LEAST minimum wage,if they are claiming taxes(as they should and you should) then you are their employee..and those of you saying it's unrealistic or ridiculous for us to expect so much..well,why should we get paid any less than anyone else,.sounds like you all think we aren't worth what you all are worth and all I have to say is,you get what you pay for...
May 1, 2015 at 10:03 PM
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

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