HomeBabysittingWhat do I answer when people ask how much I charge for babysitting?
Posted in Babysitting on 24th November 2010

What do I answer when people ask how much I charge for babysitting?
I’m 16 years old, drive myself to babysitting jobs, and have been babysitting for about 4 years. I have received anywhere from $ 10 for two kids to $ 4 for two kids. I don’t have a set wage. It always makes me uncomfortable when people ask me how much I charge to babysit. I don’t want to say too much and seem greedy or high maintenance, but I would like to make a profit. How can I politely answer someone who asks me “How much do you charge for babysitting?”?

Best answer(s):

Answer by Mr. Pants
Ask them what they think is fair and then add 10%.

Answer by helloyellobanana
I’d go $ 5/hr per kid.
Thats a good cheap price to have someone watch your kids. Plus if you’re driving you need to be making enough to cover gas as well as anything else you’d like to do.

Answer by Heidi
Dear, you’re running a business. It’s your right to set a fair wage for yourself!

Decide on an hourly rate that you’re comfortable with. Make sure to consider different rates for one child, two children, etc. And when somebody asks you what you charge, simply tell them how much you charge, and that’s it. If they don’t want to pay it, there are other families who will. If you find that you’re getting a lot of business and positive references, you might start asking for a higher wage for future clients. Good luck!

Answer by Gabrielle
My mom has a rule, don’t spend an hour’s worth of wages to get to that job.

Make sure you do not low ball yourself, you are providing the service other people can decide if they want to pay or not.

At least charge minimum wage for the first child, then decide how much you want to be paid per additional child.

Answer by BBG
Charge whatever you want!

I learned a LONG time ago that if you aren’t losing a small percentage of jobs because of your rates, you aren’t charging enough!

The more you charge the more likely you are to get GOOD clients who appreciate the quality child care you provide.

Just based on what you’re saying, it sounds like you are not hurting for jobs and that you have a good reputation.

How about $ 7 per hour for one child and $ 10 per hour for two children. I might be tempted to charge a bit more if all the hours are “kiddie awake” hours where you cannot fit in homework, read a book or watch a DVD such as past kiddie bedtime on a Saturday night.

Answer by Old Mister Happy
It’s time to “grow a backbone” as you are now a business person. If I were you, I’d check and see what the going wage is for babysitting. And then they ask, come up with a basic price per hour for one child/ and minimum hours. Like, ” I charge $ 4 an hour for one child, with a minimum of 3 hours”. After that then you can negotiate what fits their specific needs, and whether you will do it for less if you feel the need or not.

Being self-assured of what you want to charge is an indication of your maturity, and would impress them that you would be able to do the job and be in control of the security of their kids. Acting shy and mixed up would give them the wrong opinion of you.

The price I quoted is an example….I have no idea what you should charge. It used to be $ .50 an hour, back when we had dinosaurs still roaming the earth.

Answer by Drazil
I would ask what the person who needs a babysitter , What would they like to have done while you are sitting for them? And say that you do not charge, but earn your wages for taking care of their “young ones, or pets”, or whatever the case may be. You can go by the normal wages of other babysitters, which it sounds like you have been – depending on where you are, the economic levels, etc. If you are an active, and caring sitter who likes to interact with the children and chore of entertaining, creating fun, and sharing books if possible, that is what you should base your earnings on, and how much work it may take to arrange this type of activity for their children. The length of time is another factor, but I hope this answer helps to give you an idea of how to look at it. Anyone who is taking good care of something so precious should be paid with heartfelt appreciation for what they do, not just being there. Zil (of course you may need to negotiate depending on your own budget and needs)

Answer by Lucy B
I am currently a part time nanny… have babysat for years. I am about 10 years older than you, but still, this will apply to you. Right now, with my experience, I am being paid almost 20 an hour for infant care. You are 16, and have been doing this for 4 years, so you have some experience under your belt. Definitely charge minimum 10 an hour for one kid. If there are several kids, or they are extremely young, charge more. It is hard to get good childcare, and if the parents have been told by someone that you are a great babysitter, then they shouldn’t mind paying you what you deserve. Also, increase your wages as you get older. Once you hit 18, you should be charging 15 an hour. That’s business and that is how it works.

Answer by Eddie
First, establish in your own mind what you should charge. Determine the “going rate” by asking others what they charge. One of the other answers says $ 7 for one kid and $ 10 for two. That sounds like it might be a good rate, but ask around and see what you think sounds agreeable.

Then when people ask how much you charge, just tell them, and don’t be shy. Answer it the same way you would if they asked you the date you were born – without emotion or embarrassment. You can also say something like, “I usually charge $ 7/hr for one kid and $ 3 per hour for each additional kid.”

The word “usually” is a verbal doorway that you’ve left sitting there for them if they choose to walk through it. They might say, “That’s a bit steep for me right now since I just started working again after being unemployed for two months.” And then you could offer a discount for the first month to help them out. This is of course an example of how a conversation might start – the point being that your answer is an opening to get a conversation started.

Some people may add up what they owe you at the end of the night and add on some extra if they think your prices are too low. Others might ask if you know anyone who would work for $ 4/hr and $ 2 for each extra kid. You could then reply, “I’d be willing to do that for you.”

I wouldn’t do it automatically with anyone who asked of course. You have to consider the kids, the house, the hours, the drive, etc. Maybe say you’d be willing to do that on a trial basis – that way if you end up not liking it, or feel it’s not worth your time for that amount of money, you can let them know later since you didn’t commit to it long-term.

Overall, once you’ve got your rates firmly set in your mind because you know they are fair and profitable, then you have to let it sink in that it’s okay to make money and everyone works for a profit. There’s nothing wrong with charging a decent rate for a good service. A lot of people consider that if a price is moderate or high, then the product or service must be good. Sometimes when I’m buying something I’ve never bought before and comparing between two products, I’ll choose the higher priced product with the assumption that it’s probably better.

I hope this helps!

Answer by wyomugs
It is best to set a rate that you will charge. Please see the link below for how to determine what rate you should set for yourself. Remember, there is no “set” fee, things vary, and YOU YOURSELF are a VALUABLE “commodity” if your service is good and the parents are happy. They WILL pay a “better” rate for the good service that makes them happy and comfortable with you.

Have a polite day.

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