How Much Do You Pay A Teenager To Babysit? All The Rules For Fair Pay

What is harder than raising your kids? Raising your kids with the right people. While some parents may think that only parents and teachers are the right people for the growth of the kids, this isn’t true. Why?

Because there is often someone else you have to keep the kids with: the babysitter, as hard as it is to find a teenage babysitter who can suit your kid well, the bigger question remains: how much do you pay a teenager to babysit? and, What is the going rate for teenage babysitters?

According to the statistics we find, the hourly-average rate of pay in the US has been $15-$25 per hour for qualified and experienced babysitters who are actually students. For teens under 14, you can expect it to be between $10-$15 for an hour, while the teens above 15 may charge you between $15-$20 for an hour.

Since babysitting can be an essential part of your baby’s growing years, it is important that you find a responsible teen from the locality to do the job well. And for this, a reasonable price or fair pay to the teen is of mighty help!

So let’s take a look at what the fair price is and what factors come into play when you are deciding on it.

how much do you pay a teenager to babysit

What Is A Reasonable Price For Babysitting Per Hour?

From what was found on Indeed.com, on average, the price for babysitting was reasonably at $15.24 per hour in the USA. On the other hand, another popular website, Payscale, posts it at only $10.20 per hour, while Urbansitters.com posts it at $18.36 for a single child.

Since this varies location-wise, you could check out the table below at what could be the reasonable numbers if you had to hire babysitters in your state.

States1 Child/Hourly Rate in Dollars2 Children/Hourly Rate in Dollars
Atlanta16.8617.47
Boston18.6921.13
Chicago16.0617.02
Dallas13.7216.50
Denver15.8418.89
Houston17.0719.10
Las Vegas12.5317.18
Los Angeles18.2624.80
New York City18.9422.13
Philadelphia15.1917.09
Portland15.9817.30
San Diego16.0219.60
San Francisco21.1723.56
Seattle18.8220.67
Washington18.0019.38

What’s The Fair Price For Babysitting?

The fair pay for babysitting is not something that is fixed all across the States.

A number of factors determine the fairness of the pay and help determine it. These factors are mentioned below:

Babysitter’s Age

The rates of babysitting highly depend on the age of the babysitter. If you’re getting older teens above 15, you have to pay more, as they have a wider array of part-time jobs to suit themselves from, where they may get a regular wage.

This is what you should aim to match in the pay to make it fair for them. But since younger teens have fewer financial responsibilities, you may pay them less, considering other factors.

Babysitter’s Experience

Like everyone who has more experience, a babysitter who has more experience than a teen who doesn’t need to be paid higher, the reason behind this is that experienced babysitters have worked with more than one child and hence know the difference between treating an introverted child vs. an extrovert, high-energy one.

Also, if your babysitter has been there for long, you can give them a pay boost to make them more loyal to taking care of the children well.

Qualifications & Certifications

If the babysitter has his share of qualities and certifications, then it is completely wise to include the benefit of it in the pay offered to him/her. For example, having a First Aid and CPR Certification or Working With Children Check is one of the very first qualifications that you will want from a babysitter. While not all of the babysitters have this training, parents like you feel much safer when their children are in such hands.

Also, if your potential babysitter has completed an Early Childhood Development/Education Program, or continues it as a part of his learning, this should be included in the fair pay as it should impact the babysitter’s resume.

Again, if the older teens happen to be a student of psychology, they can essentially understand some of the cognitive development stages of your children and help them likewise, so you will have to pay a higher babysitting rate for teenagers like this compared to the rest.

Special needs

For special needs children, you should first hire someone experienced, and hence expect to pay more. Such children need delicate overseeing, so hiring your local teen may not always work.

If you find an older teen from other cities enrolled in Social Working Programs for disabled children or other kinds, you shouldn’t hesitate to hire them and pay them likewise.

Location, Travel and Expenses

As you saw, larger cities like San Francisco have a higher rate than cities like Denver. Other than the location you are in, you have to think of how long it might take your babysitter from traveling to your location.

If the teen has to drive for 40-45 minutes to reach your place each day and you live in the rural side, it is wiser to cover the whole or a portion of the travel expenses if he is coming to watch the child for just 2 hours.

Also, you can consider if the payment is going to cover the sitter’s lunch/food at your house if he is staying long hours. The expenses of babysitting supplies if need be should also be covered in the pay.

How Do You Tell Someone How Much To Charge For Babysitting?

To tell a person how much they should charge for babysitting, you should take into consideration some factors besides the Fair Pay factors listed above. These factors have been mentioned below:

Responsibilities/Activities of the Babysitter

Some babysitters can be really engaged with the baby and even go so far as to spend their own money to get babysitting supplies for caring for the children. Others might like watching the telly while the child is keeping himself busy and cannot do things by themselves unless you dictate it out to them.

how much should a teenager charge to babysit

If you are cool with your babysitter watching a movie with the child and putting him to bed, that’s fine. But if you want a more engaged babysitter who can make your kids do mentally enriching and physically demanding activities to have them tired out and then put to sleep, that is okay too. But the latter will cost you more.

If you are not sure what you want the sitter to do, and to give him some understanding of what his service will cover, you will check out the activities below that most teen babysitters cover:

  • Feeding the kids
  • Bathing the kids
  • Reading to the kids
  • Playing engaging games with the kids
  • Putting the kids to bed early

For older and experienced babysitters, you can also ask of the following responsibilities and include this in the charge:

  • Picking up the kids from school and dropping them off.
  • Driving the kids out if they have been watching them for many days while you are out on a vacation and enjoying a fun time outside.
  • Doing the school homework with the kids and letting them finish the work while overseeing them.
  • Making lunch or dinner for the kids as required and discussed with the parents.
  • Tidying up after house playtime with the kids and then putting them to sleep.
  • Getting groceries for the house if they are lessening for themselves and the kids.
  • Taking out the trash and keeping clean the other areas of the house that the kids have engaged in.

You should make the babysitter play to their comforts as well as your requirements and let them know what you expect of them. Also, make sure that the charge covers all the work that you need to be done from them.

Number of Kids

Dealing with one kid is very different than dealing with 12 rioting ones. More kids to watch means that your babysitter will charge more. But how much more?

Upon discussion, you two can fix a base pay and with that add some extra dollars per additional child that you need to have looked at per hour. You can pay 2-5 dollars per hour for each extra child, but professionals can charge more.

To be on the safe side and not to cross the budget, you can pay 1.3 times the state rate when for the extra child. So if you pay your potential babysitter 10 dollars/hour for a child, you may pay them 13 dollars/hour for 2 children.

Needs of the Kids

Some children require the babysitter to be playful and attentive towards them while others can be quiet, introverted. and love reading in a nook for only the babysitter needing to oversee them from time to time. Depending on the type and need of the children, the babysitting charge will vary.

Time of Day

Depending on the time or hour of the day you need the kids watched, the charge of the babysitter will vary. Do you need the kids watched from 7 in the morning till you come back from the office?

The charge will be significantly higher compared to if you only need to attend an important event in the evening and the babysitter has to watch the kids at night, which naturally means much less activity.

Special Occasions:

If you are hiring a babysitter over New Year’s Eve or during Valentine’s Day or other special occasions, the babysitter will naturally charge more than what you usually pay them, as there are a lot of demands for babysitters during holiday seasons when parents are busy with a lot of things.

How Much Experience Does Your Babysitter Have?

The amount of experience that your babysitter has will determine his charge. This is going to be obviously more than what babysitting rates for teens from high school will be.

Add to this the qualities and certifications, and you can expect to pay higher rates than the average shown in the table before.

Also, depending on the type of kids your sitter has worked with before, special needs, toddlers, or even newborn ones, the pay will differ with respect to the responsibilities he or she performed at the time.

How To Choose A Teenage Babysitter?

Since for work, you can’t be with your child all the time and you need to hire babysitters, it is important that you hire a good one. But what makes a good babysitter and how do you choose one?

Someone who is okay to take on his roles and responsibilities without you constantly needing to redirect them to the right stuff.

Here are some notable factors you can consider to choose the right babysitter:

Check for References

The references or the background of your babysitter will be an important factor to decide whether or not you are going to hire them.

You will find websites on caregiving that give you details on the babysitter with all the background checks you need (upon payment to them) or you can find your own service to screen it yourself.

There are caregiving websites where if you pay a sum, you get the background details on the babysitters. If you do not trust such caregiving websites and want to have your own screening done, then you can also find your own service to do a background check on the teens.

When checking the references, be sure to match the age of the previous kids that the potential sitter has dealt with compared to your kids. Also, check for what duties he or she used to perform with the kids if she needed additional equipment supplied to her for the babysitting purpose, do you need to cover food and travel expenses for him or her, etc. The more details you get on them, the better you hire.

Ask Questions

There are common questions that every parent hiring babysitters asks such as the age or experience or location of the teen that they are going to hire. You have to take the questions a step further according to your needs.

Determine the needs and activities or the responsibilities that you need to be fulfilled by the sitter. Does it include all kids-related duties or do you need some housework done too, like throwing out the garbage or doing online grocery shopping or refills for you?

babysitting rate for teenagers

If you want them to cook meals for the kids as opposed to feeding the kids what you have already cooked for them, the story is different. So ask them what they are okay with beforehand instead of giving them the responsibilities over the phone when you are away.

Find Their Philosophy

Check if your parenting philosophy matches with how the babysitter is going to be with your kids.

What his thoughts are on tantrums from the toddlers, how they disciple kids, how they handle an angry or upset kid, how they comfort kids or soothe them if they cry, what the most difficult moment in his babysitting experience has been and how the dealt with it and etc. Questions will help you know if your thought processes align as to the upbringing and oversight of the kid.

Do a Dry Run

Once you have totally decided on what you want from the babysitter and that they are okay with it, you need to see if the kids approve of the person. Of course, kids can be naughty and may not let the babysitter do the job.

However, it is always wise to pick a free day and sit with both the kid and the sitter and leave them to themselves while you keep an eye out for both of them and their interactions.

Trust Yourself

Your sitter may have all the details on him and you still may get the hunch that your baby won’t be okay with this person. If that is the case, no need to fight your parental instincts for the sake of finding someone immediate to care for the baby.

Also, if you have screened multiple sitters, do give a trial run to the 2nd or 3rd choices and ask if they will be available from time to time, as your first candidate may have emergencies to attend to.

Should Babysitters Be Charging By The Hour Or A Flat-Fee?

If you have an irregular schedule for having the kids watched, like sometimes for 2 hours and sometimes for 6, then it is wiser if you pay the sitter by the hour instead of going for a flat fee.

However, in other cases, you may consider paying a flat fee. Suppose you are taking a full week for vacationing with your spouse or friends or are out for a business trip. In that case, counting the hours will not be the right thing to do.

Instead, you can provide a comprehensive fee that will cover the hours worked, hours rested, and hours of doing other duties by the sitter. You should negotiate this before you leave instead of deciding on a number upon your arrival. This will also let the babysitter know how much to expect from you and he or she can do her duties properly then.

How Much Should A 15-year-old Charge For Babysitting?

Any babysitter between the age of 15 to 17 can expect to pay between 10 to 20 dollars per hour of work, depending on the number of kids that they need to watch, the location of your house, and their other job prospects at a regular wage.

A 17-year-old will obviously charge more compared to a 15 year old, as he may have to pay for gas to visit your child every day.

How Much To Pay A 13-year-old Babysitter?

If you are hiring 13-year-old teens for babysitting your kids, they may or may not have previous experience in handling kids.

So depending on that and other factors, he may charge you less than 10 dollars or the same per hour.