Are You Paying Too Much for Your Babysitter?

Are You Paying Too Much for Your Babysitter?

Hiring a babysitter can be a costly task. Sometimes it’s a necessary one, too. We know you enjoy an occasional girls’ night or date night away from the kids.

But how much should you be spending on your babysitter? And are you currently paying too much?

Thanks to recent investigations by MSNBC and UrbanSitter.com, you can better answer these questions.

UrbanSitter.com analyzed the cost of babysitting services in eight cities nationwide, with the following results. The most expensive babysitters? You’ll find ‘em in New York City, for an average of $15.50 per hour per child. The least expensive? Head to St. Louis and Denver, tied at $12 per hour per child.

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That’s not all, though. Location is only one of a few important factors that determine the cost of babysitting services. And many of these factors are personal—they depend on your preferences and your family.

We’ve already made choosing one easy with our guide. The next step? Ask yourself the following four questions to make sure you don’t overpay for your babysitter’s services.

1. How Many Kids Do You Have?

Babysitters available on UrbanSitter often list different prices for their services depending on the number of kids they plan to babysit. It’s simple: More kids equal more money. The national average is $12.75 per kid.

2. Does Your Babysitter Have Previous Experiences or Skills Relevant to the Position?

It is essential to consider your babysitter’s past work experiences. Does she market herself as a full-time babysitter? Is she trained in CPR? Does she have her driver’s license or know how to swim? Many employers pay up for sitters who possess these skills and more.

3. Is Your Sitter a College Student?

According to Lynn Perkins, co-founder of UrbanSitter, the average employer will pay her college-age baby sitter less than an older or full-time sitter—and that’s OK. Many college students use part-time babysitting pay to supplement their on-campus jobs.

4. What Sorts of Services Will You Require of Your Babysitter?

Is your sitter accompanying you and your family on a weekend long trip, or watching your kid at home for a couple of hours while you’re at a business meeting? Pay your sitter according to the specific responsibilities you’ve assigned to her.

And Remember:

Paying your babysitter isn’t a science. Tip when appropriate (see our guide for tipping advice!). And, don’t forget: You have the final say when it comes to your sitter’s salary.

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