As all parents know, good babysitters are HARD to come by! My #1 struggle as a working mom has been finding dependable, affordable childcare while I’m working, not to mention when my husband and I actually want to get out on the town! I feel like we have to schedule WAY in advance to even have a chance of getting a sitter for a night out. Once I find a really good sitter, I want to make sure they want to come back, so I like to pay them fairly, of course.
But what’s the going rate for a sitter? When I ask, I commonly get, “Whatever you want to pay is fine,” but as one mom noted on Facebook recently, this can be frustrating for parents, and it’s not the BEST thing for the sitters, either. Andrea Owen’s Facebook post about what to pay the sitter is going viral, and the reason is pretty great. She says:
Had a conversation with the hubs yesterday about finding a babysitter over the summer. I met a teenage girl yesterday whom I thought might work, I got her number and will call her this week.
Jay and I started talking about how much babysitters charge, and I told him I like to ask them first what their hourly rate is. My experience in this is usually the girls say, “Whatever you want to pay me is fine.”
NO. THIS IS NOT OKAY.
This starts at home. Parents, teach your children, ESPECIALLY your daughters, to name her price and stand confidently in it. “I would love to babysit your children and I charge X per hour.” It’s just one sentence. Practice it with her. It may sound crazy, but as girls, we are not encouraged to ask for what we’re worth. Babysitting is commonly a first job for girls, we need to help set them up for success in future jobs and to not be afraid to ask for what she deserves.
To that, I say a resounding “AMEN!” I 100% agree with Owen. It would make things so much easier for parents if sitters would state their rates up front, and absolutely charge what they feel is fair! When my daughter starts babysitting, I will definitely encourage her to ask for a fair rate starting out and to charge more as she gets older and more experienced.
What do you think about Owen’s post (you can click through to see it in full, below)? Should babysitters name their price, or should the parents state what they are willing to pay? What are your policies when you look for a sitter?