Parents, SafeCircle

How much to pay a babysitter?

The question of how much to pay a babysitter often comes up and is a serious consideration for parents looking for a new babysitter. How do parents know how much to pay for a babysitter? What the going rate now a days? There are lots of things to consider when thinking about how much to pay a babysitter and we will look at some of those in this blog.

Age

All parents have a different view when it comes to a minimum age of a babysitter for their children, with some opting for a local teenager whilst other prefer a mature professional. Whatever your personal preference on age, this will factor into the price for the babysitter. A parent who uses a teenage babysitter is likely to pay significantly less per hour than somebody who chooses a more mature babysitter such as someone over 21yrs.

We have seen price ranges from £5 per hour for an unqualified teenager to £15+ per hour for a qualified professional. Something to help guide you on price for a babysitter per age is the national minimum wage. The minimum wage for the various age brackets changes frequently so please be sure to check this out before agreeing on price for a babysitter. You can find the latest details on the government website here, simply search ‘minimum wage’.

Experience and qualifications

Babysitting is a childcare responsibility and many childcare professionals charge a different rate depending on their experience levels, training and expertise. This means that you will pay differently for a newly qualified childcarer compared to someone with 10 yrs experience including working with newborn or special educational needs. For these professionals you will be looking at paying significantly more per hour than a newly qualified.

There are also options of using an unqualified babysitter which again changes the hourly rates expected, with them usually accepting a lower rate of pay due to lacking experience.

The hourly rate you pay for a babysitter will usually reflect the level of experience and qualifications they hold and therefore the level of professional care you can expect from the babysitter. In this category, often with babysitters you get what you pay for, so consider carefully who you choose to use as a babysitter with a lower hourly rate will usually be low for a reason.

Location of booking

As with many jobs the hourly pay varies depending on the location of the babysitter or booking. There are a number of factors which contribute to this including the demand in the area vs the number of available babysitters, or the location of the booking such as home vs hotel, or Nottingham vs London.

Smaller suburbs and towns will have an average price per hour for the different levels of experience in a babysitter which will be different from babysitters in little villages or major cities. The location can sometimes have an impact on the number of available babysitters which can drive the price per hour up or a major city where the cost of general living is higher again driving up price.

A family booking a babysitter in Nottingham for example will generally pay a lower rate per hour than a family looking to book a babysitter of the same level and experience in London.

Responsibilities

Babysitting is generally considered to be an evening childcare role, where the person babysitting is responsible for the safety and welfare of the child whilst parents and carers are out for the evening.

Due to the time of day the responsibilities of a babysitter will usually involve preparing the children for bed, including; getting them changed, teeth brushed and a bedtime story. Once asleep they will be responsible for checking on their welfare whilst they sleep until parents return, however some parents require more from their babysitter due to earlier start times or being unavailable to complete these tasks with the children for a number of other reasons. If a parent requires a babysitter to assist with tasks such as preparing an evening meals, and homework assistance, in addition to the usual bedtime routines, this will likely result in an increased hourly pay for the additional work and responsibility.

Time of year

Depending on the time of year you’re looking to book a babysitter the price of how much to pay will vary greatly. For example if you’re looking to book during the working week this may be cheaper than booking at the weekend when babysitters are generally busier and therefore increase their rates. The same goes for if you’re looking to book a babysitter on special dates during the year such as a bank holiday, around Christmas and New Year. These special dates throughout the year are generally charged by babysitters at a higher rate and to ensure you’re able to get a babysitter you will need to offer a higher hourly rate.

Remember

Each babysitter will usually have an idea of how much they are willing to work for per hour so using the above information and consideration of the factors here you will be able to gauge how much you’re likely to need to pay for a babysitter. SafeCircle advocates that parents use a childcare qualification adult for babysitting, however which ever you choose to use please ensure you have done your checks and remember the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’.

Note:

SafeCircle sitters do not set their own hourly rate, and all babysitters can be booked at the same hourly rate regardless of their additional skills in newborn or special educational needs care.

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