Babysitter pay rates: What's the going rate for a babysitter?

Dec. 1, 2020

According to’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, which used payment data from over 3,800 parents across the country, they paid after-school sitters an average of $243 per week. After-school sitters made an average of $16.20 per hour, working about three hours a day, or a total of 15 hours per week. 

However, the rates vary from city to city. For example, in the Boston-Cambridge area, the going rate for an experienced sitter to watch one child averages $17.00 per hour, but in Akron, Ohio, it averages $12.50 per hour, according to the babysitting rates calculator.

How much should you charge for babysitting?

Before you nail down your own babysitter rate, you'll first need to figure out what other babysitters typically charge families to watch their kids.

One way to do this is by using a babysitting rates calculator to find out what the going rates are in your particular area. Another way to do this is by reviewing other babysitters' online profiles to see how much they're charging for babysitting services. You'll also be able to see what additional skills, certifications, training or work experience these sitters have that are being reflected in their babysitting fees and it'll give you ideas for ways to boost your own babysitter resume, too.

What to factor in when setting your babysitting rate?

In general, a babysitter's  hourly wage depends largely on three things:

  • Your level of sitter experience.
  • The number of kids the sitter will be watching.
  • The location where you live or where you will be babysitting.

1. Experience

The more babysitting jobs or hours you've had means the more pay you can earn. But be reasonable about what you count as true experience. Caring for your little brother or sister doesn't necessarily count as "years of experience." If you have had actual babysitting jobs for non-family members, you can add that to the yearly total. 

2. Number of children

If you are watching more than one child, you can expect to be paid more. A good rule of thumb: Add an extra dollar for each additional child. So if you are usually paid $13 per hour for one child and a family has three kids, you could expect to make $15 per hour for that job.

3. Location

If you are babysitting in an area with a higher cost of living, the rates tend to be higher. Do your homework and use a babysitting rate calculator to see what the pay rate is in three towns near your hometown. If there's a huge jump in a babysitter's wages from one town to a neighboring one, sitters would be smart to look for babysitting jobs in the town that pays more.

Other factors can also determine the going rate for a babysitter: 

  • Overnight babysitting: If you are babysitting the whole night, your hourly rate may be lower than normal, but you're getting paid for more hours than you would for a typical "date night" job. Although a babysitter's duties don't stop while the children are in bed, you don't have to plan activities, cook dinner or supervise playdates and homework.
  • Infants, special needs and specialized care: Infants and children with special needs may require more care and additional certifications, thus increasing your pay if you qualify as a babysitter of infants or special needs children.
  • Additional babysitting duties: Some families will pay more for a babysitter who cooks, does the laundry and shuttles the kids to and from their various activities. Read the job description to make sure you understand the family's needs and expectations.

Don't forget about taxes

Remember that your babysitting rate is how much you'll be paid before taxes are taken into account. If you earn $2,300 or more working for a family during the year, they'll have to withhold some taxes from you and pay taxes of their own. Take a few minutes to read about how payroll and taxes work so you're prepared in case they apply to you.

Have more babysitting questions? Head over to the Professional Guide for Babysitters

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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How much should you pay for a babysitter?

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