What is the Going Rate for Babysitting?

Sources say $10 to $15 per hour is typical, but age and experience make a difference when it comes to babysitting rates

Looking to hire a babysitter but don’t know anything about babysitting rates? If you’re wondering how much to pay a babysitter, we’re here to help – but the answer isn’t quite as simple as you might be hoping.

“Years of experience, age and responsibility are three big factors that go into it,” says Hilary Golden, co-owner of Golden Touch Baby Concierge in Birmingham, a nanny agency serving metro Detroit.


That said, the average hourly rate for an occasional babysitter in southeast Michigan ranges from about $10 to $15 per hour, according to Golden.

If you want someone with extensive child care experience or a degree in early childhood education, expect to pay on the higher end of that range. A younger babysitter, like a high school or college student, might be OK with the lower end.

A minimum of $10 per hour is a good rule to follow for babysitting rates, Golden says, unless you’re hiring someone younger than 16 years old or a teen who’s just giving you an extra hand with the kids to get some experience babysitting.

“I feel in my heart, I know how hard it is to take care of kids and the better you treat your [babysitter], the more they’re going to do, the longer they’re going to want to stay,” Golden says, pointing out that she wouldn’t pay less than $10 per hour for a babysitter for her children regardless of the sitter’s age.

Local parents seem to agree with Golden’s assessment. We asked our fans on Metro Parent’s Facebook page to respond with the going rate for a babysitter in their area. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Erika: $10-$12/hour (Royal Oak)
  • Cassandra: $10/hour (Ann Arbor)
  • Hilary: $10/hour (Clarkston)
  • Caryn: $10-$14/hour (Woodward corridor area)
  • Erin: $8-$10/hour (Brownstown)
  • Sarah: $10-$12/hour (Bloomfield Hills)

According to Care.com, the average babysitting rate as of 2014 was $13.50 per hour. The website also has a pay rate calculator for most zip codes in the Tri-County area. $13 per hour comes up as the going rate without factoring for number of children, years of experience or hours per week.

Other factors to consider

Be sure to consider training and certifications when deciding how much to offer a babysitter. You’ll probably want to find someone who is CPR and First Aid certified, and for younger sitters, consider seeking out someone who has taken a babysitter certification class.

The American Red Cross offers online and in-person babysitter training courses for students ages 11 and older. These classes focus on topics like safety, responding to emergencies, feeding, diapering, bedtime, communicating with parents and making decisions under pressure.

“It’s really important if you’re going to be watching a little one. Choking is a huge hazard,” Golden says, encouraging parents to hire a babysitter who has taken safety training. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Family size makes a difference when deciding what to pay – the more children under the babysitter’s care, the more you should expect to offer per hour, Golden says. You should also factor in responsibilities. If your babysitter will drive the children to activities or do housework after the kids are in bed, plan to pay accordingly.

The cost of a date night may suddenly seem a lot more expensive, but you’ll soon find the value of a babysitter you trust is worth its weight in gold.

To start your search for a babysitter, consider using a nanny agency in our child care directory or check out popular sites like Care.com and SitterCity.com.

This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for 2016.


  • I know I’ll probably get blasted for this, but when I was babysitting, the state minimum wage was $3.35/hr. I was paid (and glad of it) $0.75 or $1.00 an hour. That’s less than a third of minimum wage. Of course, I was a teenager and had only a “babysitting certificate”. I was a very good babysitter and I didn’t ignore the children or mess up the people’s homes. Why is it that babysitters now are expecting more than minimum wage? And don’t ask me if my child is worth it, because that’s a nonsensical question, it’s not like I’m planning to hire a felon.

    • Stacey W.

      Thanks so much for your comment. I’d say it’s not a terrible idea to offer a babysitter a bit more money for taking care of a child.

      • Exactly the response I expected. And this is not a “bit” more money, it’s 50% more than minimum wage. Babysitting (as opposed to being a nanny) is not a full time job. I think it is part and parcel of the whole helicopter parent idea that “nothing it too good or too safe for my child” and that how much things cost is how much they’re worth. Ridiculous.

  • I work 80 hours per week 6 days a week for a very wealthy affluent Bloomfield family. I am the driver, nanny, chef, housekeeper, house manager and everything in between. I work for a family who I find makes my job so much harder because the two adults and the two children make no effort at containing their mess. I use my vehicle and I am not reimbursed for gas or mileage. I am paid $175 per day for a 14 hour day which is the equivalent of $12.50 ph. They will pay for lunch and I eat the dinner I prepare every night. I know I am waaaay under paid. How do I bring this up to the family? I have 18 years of experience and two degrees. There is no question of whether or not the family can afford more. Money and purchase prices for everything are thrown in my face daily. Someone please give me some advice or a job lead. Thanks.


    • Hi Sasha,
      I would consider contacting a nanny agency like Perfect Nanny Match to help you out with this. I have some advice as far as how to ask for a raise, but I would probably want to learn more about your situation first. Good luck! Maybe I can help!

  • I am getting ready to go back to work after a few years off to be sahm. I am only making $12 an hour. Therefor if in have to pay a babysitter $10 an hour to watch my kids…I won’t be bringing anything home. I think age of children plays a factor. If they are potty trained and don’t have to feed them and they can play independently then pay should be lower.


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