Determining Hourly Babysitting Rate for Teens

Updated May 26, 2022
Woman paying teenage nanny for taking care of her son

If you are a teenager who wants to work as a babysitter, you'll need to determine your hourly babysitting rate. This job is an important responsibility, so take some time before you start babysitting to set up the perfect rate that will make both you and the parents happy. Or, if you are a parent wondering how much to pay your teen babysitter, you can also use this guide to learn how rates are determined and what you should expect.

What Is the Hourly Rate for Babysitting?

There's not one typical babysitting rate for teenagers. Your babysitting fees will be determined by many variables:

  • Location
  • Number of children
  • The amount of time you'll be sitting
  • Your experience, to name a few

However, to give you an idea of the going rates, reports that the "typical" pay rate currently ranges from $15.00 to $18.00 per hour.

Find the Average Babysitting Rate for Teenagers in Your Area

What's the going rate for babysitting? As one of the most popular part-time jobs for teens, it won't be hard to find out the typical babysitting rate for teenagers in your area. Ask your best buddies what they charge. Ask parents in your neighborhood who have children what they pay their sitter. Are other babysitters charging by the hour or a flat fee for an evening of babysitting? Do other sitters charge more to watch two children at a time? By asking around, you can start to figure out a good standard babysitting rate.

The Easy Teenage Babysitting Rate Quiz

Say that all of your friends charge from $15 to $18 an hour for babysitting fees. You check with neighborhood parents who agree that this is the typical rate. Try this quiz below to help determine if your rate should be on the higher or lower end of that range.

Quiz Instructions

Answer the following questions. There are no right or wrong answers - this is simply a handy way to decide what your personal hourly rate should be. Each time you answer with a "yes," give yourself one point.

  1. I have as much experience babysitting children as most of the babysitters in my area.
  2. I have taken a babysitting course, either online or in a classroom setting.
  3. I have a current babysitting certification from a class I took that I can show parents.
  4. I have a relationship with many of the area parents (this means that parents in the neighborhood already know you by name and would likely hire you).
  5. I have taken infant and/or child CPR and first aid.
  6. I have spent time caring for children ages four months to four years of age.
  7. I have experience with older children.
  8. I have spent time caring for more than one child at a time.
  9. I have personal references who will say that I am a great sitter.
  10. I have personal transportation to and from my babysitting jobs. If the parents of the children you babysit need to provide transportation for you, it can lower your hourly rate.
  11. I have taken or transported children to activities.
  12. I am able to take care of kids after school.
Babysitter chopping peppers for pizza

Make a Final Decision on Your Babysitting Hourly Rate

Use the quiz to make a final decision on how much you should charge. Here's how to interpret your score:

Mostly Yes

If you answered all or almost all the questions with a "yes," then you should charge the higher going rate in your area. In this example, it would be $18-$20. If you answered about half the questions with a "yes," then choose a middle-of-the-road hourly babysitting rate, such as $15 an hour.

Mostly No

If you answered most of the questions with a "no," it is probably smart to start at the lower end of the typical rate for your area, or somewhere around $12-$15 dollars an hour. This doesn't mean that you won't be a great babysitter, it only means you have a little less experience than other babysitters and that parents are usually willing to pay higher rates for more experience. Don't worry! As your experience grows, so will your rates. If you want to get a head start on babysitting experience, you can always take some babysitting courses.

When Should I Charge More?

As a babysitter, you can and should give yourself a raise occasionally. This might mean a one-time raise or a permanent hourly rate increase.

Special Occasions and Holidays

Parents are willing to pay more on special occasions and holidays for a sitter that they like. Increasing your rates on a special evening like New Year's Eve is certainly fair. You aren't with your friends having fun, you're working. One to three dollars more for special events and holidays is fair to both you and the parents you sit for.

Babysitter playing with kid by the Christmas tree

Short Notice Sitter

Another great time to ask for a dollar or two more an hour is if a parent wants you to drop everything to babysit for them. You may adore the kids you babysit for, but you do have the right to charge more if you need to change your personal plans (such as cancel a night at the movies with your friends) to help out a family in need.

Permanent Increase

Reasons to increase your babysitting hourly rate permanently:

  • You answered many of the above quiz questions with a "no" before but now answer "yes" to most or all of them.
  • You've been babysitting regularly for one year.
  • Many families in your neighborhood call you first when they need a good sitter.

If you haven't raised your rates in a year, then a $1 or $2 increase for your regular babysitting hourly rate is perfectly reasonable. Other jobs for teens offer raises - so should babysitting.

The Cost of Your Time

If the parents you sit for don't want to pay you a fair raise, you can continue to sit for them at your old hourly rate, or choose to stop. This can be a hard part of babysitting. You may love working for a family, but if they get upset over a typical raise, you need to rethink how much your time is worth. It's a personal decision on your part, but if you work hard and are a valuable asset to the families you sit for, a raise is a reasonable request.

Knowing Your Worth

Babysitting is a great way for teens to make money, and it's an especially good job for a 16 year old looking for employment experience, but babysitting fees aren't set in stone and there isn't a magic number for your area. Talk to your friends and the parents in your area to find out what they are charging, then consider your skills and experience as a babysitter. This can help you to determine your worth and make sure you are charging the perfect amount.

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Determining Hourly Babysitting Rate for Teens