A great babysitter can make life so much easier, but how do you find one? And how do you know how much to pay them? Follow these steps and you’ll be sure to find a babysitter that suits your family’s needs.
Step 1: Look to your trusted circle of friends.
Start with your friends and neighbors. Do they have babysitters they are willing to share? Do they have children or nieces/nephews that currently babysit? Are there teens in the neighborhood that babysit for other neighbors? Your friends and neighbors can typically recommend a babysitter that would be a good match with your family’s child care needs. In addition, ask your co-workers or members of your church community for suggestions. They may know of teens that babysit in their neighborhood or volunteer in their church nursery.
Step 2: Interview potential sitters.
Whenever you are hiring a new babysitter, it is always best to take time and personally interview them. In addition, introduce a potential sitter to your children and observe how the sitter interacts with them. Is the sitter comfortable and at ease? Do they get down on the child’s level to talk or play? For more information, including questions to ask potential babysitters, check out the Safe Sitter guide to interviewing new babysitters.
Step 3: Pay babysitters a fair rate.
Experienced babysitters will usually tell you their rate before accepting the job. If your babysitter is new or uncomfortable discussing fees, you will need to take the lead on the conversation. You may want to reach out to your neighbors or the person who referred you to see what they typically pay.
If you are trying to determine a fair fee, ask the babysitter about previous babysitting experience, and take age into consideration as well. If the babysitter is 16-years old and can get paid minimum wage to take orders at the local burger joint, you should pay them at least that much to watch your children. A good rule of thumb is to start with minimum wage for one child and add $2-$5/hour for each additional child. Consider compensating for any transportation costs by giving them a few extra dollars for gas money or public transportation. Remember that a sitter who is both treated well and paid well will be there for your family when needed. For more information on paying a babysitter, check out these three steps.