Determining How Much to Pay the Babysitter

Parents need a night out, which usually means finding a quality babysitter so you can enjoy the time away.

Time apart of your children often rejuvenates and improves an adult’s ability to manage a busy family schedule. So take care of yourself by finding a babysitter and getting a night out every once in awhile.

It’s not an easy task to determine how much to pay the babysitter. According to a 2014  survey of 1,000 families, 49% of parents believe the most important thing is that their kids love the babysitter.  But in that same breath, the cost of a babysitter often deters many families (57% to be exact) from hiring one.

How Much To Pay The Babysitter

There are varying rates, which are affected by age, time of day, duration, and number of kids.

The average national cost of a babysitter is, drumroll please — $13.44 per hour. One in four families gives a tip in addition to the average wage! We recommend discussing the rate with the babysitter beforehand, so there aren’t any surprises when your date night is over.

Most Expensive Cities to Hire a Babysitter

Geographical location tends to play a big role in the average paid per hour. The following are the five most expensive cities to hire a babysitter:


The least expensive location is Grand Rapids, Michigan ($11.31). But moving to Michigan isn’t the only thing you can do to avoid the high rates—you can save a few dollars by doing a few of the following:

  • Sharing a sitter with a friend
  • Cutting your date short
  • Paying less during the hours your children are sleeping

If you’re having a difficult time deciding how much to pay your babysitter, you can use an online pay rate calculator or ask nearby friends what the going rate is.

It may also be useful to consider the following:

  • How many children will the babysitter be watching?
  • Do any of the children have special needs that require additional training
  • Are there additional responsibilities such as washing the dishes or helping with the laundry that are required of them?
  • Does the babysitter have her own transportation?
  • How much experience does the babysitter have?
  • How much of the time will your children be sleeping?

    Once you have answered these six questions, take the average babysitting pay rate of $13.44 and adjust according to your answers of the questions. If you are getting some precious time away - make preparing for your babysitter simple. DOWNLOAD our Babysitters guide with routine and emergency contact templates.

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