This question circulated my neighborhood mommy email distribution this week and I decided to pull it into the Smarty discussion (a special shout out goes to my Smarty neighbor, Angie, for initiating this!). I found it extremely helpful to get an idea of what everyone else around me is paying their babysitters. With no family within a 6-hour radius of Charlotte, I’ve had my share of sitters and feel like I’ve got a pretty good gauge on rates. In fact, I’m pretty sure if I did the math, I would be horrified with how much I have really spent on babysitters over the last nine years!
So our SouthPark neighborhood consensus came to this:
-Mother’s Helper: $3-$5/hour
-Middle School: $5-$7/hour
-High School: $8-$9/hour
-Overnight Sitter: $150-$175/night (don’t ever let them fool you into paying hourly over a 24-hour period!)
This pay scale varies by location, number of children and level of expertise. For example, if you score your elementary school teacher for the summer, you may want to consider paying her more per hour since she can actually write you a customized curriculum, drive your kids to activities, and tutor your older one while your little one naps. Or if you have a small village living at your house, kinda like me (!), then you should expect to pay on the high end of this range.
So what do you expect your sitter to do? Do you leave a laundry list of items for her to do? Does your middle school/high school sitter clean up after the children go to bed, or does it look like a hurricane whipped through your house? I personally feel it is important to train your sitter on day one. Be open with her and tell her your expectations. Eventually, she will anticipate what needs to be done and you won’t even have to ask.
Please post your comments (feel free to do this anonymously) and make sure you include the area of Charlotte that you live, how many kids you have, and how much you are paying. Then we can all set a fair price for our summer help. Thanks, Smarties!