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