How much should you pay your babysitter?


Originally published at:


So large swaths of the United States apparently leave children unattended, probably in their cars.


It’s cheaper in the short term, at least.


What the hell? When did babysitting rates start matching the insane inflation rates of college tuition?


I’m actually surprised at how tightly clustered the rates are. I could easily have imagined the price in SF being twice or more the national average. Everything else there seems to cost that much more. A ~15% premium over the national average seems downright cheap for SF.


This is more of Mark preferring Colorado over California.


That’s about what I get paid to sit at my desk and peruse Boing Boing.


Less people in SF proper likely have kids is my guess.


Also it’s likely what adult sitters charge. I’d wager that the average American’s mental image of a baby-sitter is a teenaged girl willing to work for less than the going minimum wage (along with other stereotypes).


I don’t get this attitude. You are trusting someone to take care of your child while you are away. Shouldn’t you pay them like you value their work rather than like a fast food chain that views employees as disposable and inconvenient necessities?

I think this data was collected from services like That would skew it towards adults who are babysitting/nannying as a means of support rather than teenagers doing it for friends of their parents. It also likely includes a lot of nannies / daytime care. Date night babysitters are one thing: in many cases you are just putting the kids to bed and then watching TV, doing homework, or whatever. Daytime care usually means you are “on” all of the time.

When I was a kid, I don’t think my parents insisted that babysitters be CPR trained, either. That is pretty common now.


Pay? They should be happy to have a place where they can hook up with the significant other!


I suppose it depends how much your baby is worth to you.


Also throw in the parents who expect more than just someone making sure the kids don’t kill each other or themselves. There’s more demand for sitters who can chauffeur in their own vehicles, tutor or entertain in a better fashion than turning on the television.


Holy shit - per hour? Is this for adult services or a teenager?


Depends on

…and how much of an uncontrollable monster your child is.



Oooh. Good idea: a babysitting service where you have to pay to get the kid back! Parents can either negotiate at a disadvantage, and if they don’t pay, you can always offload the child to a Chinese sweatshop… Free market at work!


I suspect, and I may be wrong, that NashRambler was making a wry observation that 'sitter rates might be rising at least in part because of rising college tuition prices. When I was in college I knew many students (mostly women) who made money by babysitting. One I dated was majoring in child psychology and later went into the field of early child development. We lost touch, but she’s probably running her own school(s) by now. Anyway, she took her college job very seriously and parents trusted and appreciated her. If anything, she charged less than she could have.


Nothing until I see the DNA test.


A paid babysitter. When the grandparents are not around.



It’s interesting. In many countries the grandparents move in with newlyweds to care for the expected children, with the understanding that they would in turn be taken care of in their extreme old age. Not a system I’d go for, but I’d guess this is the traditional norm for around half the people on the planet.