How much is enough for a first-time babysitter to earn?

Twelve years old seems to be the magic age. Not only did my daughter and her friends go trick-or-treating on their own this past Halloween, but my newly-minted, almost-teenager has begun to get calls from our friends and neighbors in need of a babysitter.

Needless to say, my daughter is thrilled at the prospect of babysitting, earning a little bit of money and crossing that mythical line that separates the babysittees from the babysitters. She has already booked her first gig as big kid in charge, and it’s a great job for a babysitting neophyte.

Before she takes on the responsibility of big-time babysitting, I want her to complete one of those babysitting courses that the local parks and rec offers. This job offer came in before she could enroll in the class.  However, the “client” in question is a kindergarten-aged child of friends of ours in the neighborhood. We will be attending a neighborhood event a few houses down with the child’s parents, so all four of us could be on the scene should an emergency arise.

This seemed like a good opportunity to get her feet wet before she completes her babysitting course. She’s definitely not ready for the big leagues of babysitting – watching multiple children, being in charge of infants or sitting up late into the night. But even baby(sitters) have to walk before they can run.

As we approach the big day, I will be talking with my daughter about her responsibility as a babysitter, and discuss with her how she might address different situations that could come up. I am also looking for babysitting websites and literature to have her read as well, and am ready to answer any questions she may have.

One of the big questions my daughter has is how much will she charge for her babysitting services? I’ll admit I’m a bit stumped at how to advise her on this one. For years, we have paid juniors and seniors in high school around $10 per hour to watch our three children. That definitely puts a crimp in our wallet, but we feel it is worth the cost to have someone we know and trust to handle any situation in the house while we’re out. Over the years, these girls have changed our kids’ diapers, played games with them, fed them, bathed them and put them to bed.

Because it always seemed that we had an infant when we found new babysitters, I don’t recall ever hiring an “inexperienced” or first-time babysitter. And I wouldn’t know what they would expect to earn for their time babysitting. I don’t think they would (or should) charge the $10 that older, more experienced sitters do.

What advice did you give your own children as they entered the babysitting ranks? What is the going rate these days for first-time babysitters? How do you determine what you pay the babysitter? How long does it take for you to become comfortable with a new babysitter before you begin adding responsibilities or increasing the amount of time they watch your kids? Do your children prefer the younger sitters to older teens?  If you have boys, would your children prefer a boy babysitter to a girl – or do they care?

 

82 comments Add your comment

madmommy

November 9th, 2009
2:20 pm

I have a wonderful babysitter who is in High School and driving (thank goodness). When I started sitting at that age it was mostly the kid next store who was around 5 years old who was afraid of my mother, so if he miss behaved I would say I am calling my mother over to finish and explain why she was there and I wasn’t. I think I would get $5 an hour and that’s what I pay my sitter, plus a bit more if it was only for a few hours and not an all night thing. Now, she does charge per kid, so if we get the kids together and go out as a group, it’s $5 a kid and she generally brings a friend with her for company. I’m not sure how much help the friend is, but my child is always well taken care of and sleeps the whole night through.

I’m not sure what the “training classes” are for babysitting since I am old school and have always just taken care of younger siblings and had first aid and CPR training. Sorry I can’t help more than that, but I hope she does well with it.

Becky

November 9th, 2009
2:35 pm

Would love to help you out, but I am only 6 1/2 years older than my oldest nephew, so I grew up babysitting..When he was about 7 months old, my sister left him with me to climb Stone Mountain..I was home by myself..Needless to say, when my Mother came home, she wasn’t real happy with my sister..That did start my babysitting days though.. With five older sisters, that kept me busy for a while..I always just got a set amount, not an hourly rate..

Diane

November 9th, 2009
2:40 pm

I pay about $6 to $7 an hour for my 4 year old. Of course, I have only used some of the teachers from her daycare and I asked them what they charged. There aren’t many teens in my neighborhood. I used to make $2 an hour when I babysat – about 23 years ago…amazing how much the hourly rate has gone up.

Becky

November 9th, 2009
2:54 pm

@Diane..I used to make $35.00 per week to babysit 2 boys 50 hours per week while my sister worked..Yeah times have changed..Someone told me that college kids get $10-12 per hour to babysit..

DB

November 9th, 2009
3:23 pm

If a 12 year old is doing the same job as a 14 year old, then pay ‘em the same. A mother’s helper, who is entertaining the child while the mom is still there, gets about $4 an hour. My daughter received $5 a child, plus $2 for each additional child, up until the time she was 16 and was able to drive herself to and from babysitting gigs. At that point, the rates went up to $8 for the first child, and $2 for each. She’s had people offer as much as $20 an hour on holidays. :-) On school nights, if they were able to get her, it was double-time after midnight. :-) One New Years, several of the families she babysat for got together and she and a friend babysat 8 kids — and made $60 an hour doing it (divided by 2)

I strongly recommended the “Safe Sitter” classes that Children’s Healthcare gives — they teach a lot of situational awareness and basic first aid, as well as some basic child development and what to expect from what age child. Superb class! My daughter had her babysitting bag with a couple of favorite kiddy videos, and little craft projects she’d pick up at the Target $1 counter, stickers, a few favorite storybooks, plus her notebook of telephone numbers, etc. When she was 14, she carefully went through the neighborhood directory and pinpointed all the families with kids under 10, and then left each one a flyer. She put out about 65 flyers — it took her a couple of days on her bike, but one day, she had two phone calls waiting for her by the time she got back home!

FCM

November 9th, 2009
3:26 pm

Well dang, I pay between $8 – 10 hour for my sitters. Maybe that is because I have 2? My are older now, 7 & 9, so I would like to find a mature person that can ‘keep it legal’ and break up any sibling rivalry stuff. I am having trouble finding one though. Any ideas how to locate?

motherjanegoose

November 9th, 2009
3:27 pm

@ Becky, I used to make $1 per hour to babysit four kids …..37 years ago. My then baby sister was 6 months old and the mother of these kids felt comfortable with a 13 year old, who had experience with babies. The older kids were a handful Not sure if I would leave 4 kids with a 13 year old….hahaha!

Yes, they do have babysitting classes…at least in the community ed classes in Gwinnett. My daughter took them and also took CPR and First Aid. Now that my son is a Pharmacy Intern, he has also had those classes ( not babysitting) . My husband and I laugh that we are covered by our kids….unless they are eager for the insurance.

I personally would not want the child outside of the ( hopefully fenced) back yarn with a younger sitter. Our neighbors are apt to pile in an entire house full of their friends kids ( while they all go out) and once the trampoline was packed with kids while the 6th grade babysitter was in charge. They were all jumping and climbing up and over the mesh walls …made me very nervous. I heard all the yelling and went outside to see what was up. I had to come back inside.

I think my 17 year old daughter charges $7 for one child and $3 for each additional. Most pay her more. She watches our 8 year old neighbor 2 days per week after school for 2 1/2 hours and gets $20 per day.

One thing I do know….GOOD babysitters are a hot commodity. If someone else is paying more and the scenario is more attractive…they will be gone. I am way to old to worry about this now but when I had babysitters I always tried to pay them handsomely…you get what you pay for and these are your children….you want them safe.

motherjanegoose

November 9th, 2009
3:30 pm

@ DB…great post. I know that your daughter is one year older than mine and the prices are in line~
She also had oodles of things to do with the kids…games, crafts stories etc!

MomOf2Girls

November 9th, 2009
3:32 pm

@DB – Do you have contact or other information on the CHOA class? I can’t find it on their website. I’ve been trying to find a class for my daughter, but the Red Cross class is only held on Saturdays.

My 12 year old charges $6 / hr for single, $8 for multiple. So far the most she has watched was 3, pretty much from bedtime on, so that may change if there are more kids, more responsibilities, etc.

new stepmom

November 9th, 2009
3:37 pm

I wish we could find a teenager to babysit. We currently pay about $12/hour for one child who only needs a chaperone. She is 10 and can do everything on her own, she is just not mature enough to stay by herself.

I have been put on 3 weeks of limited movement (basically bed rest, but I can move around the house if I do not over do it). Anyone have any ideas on things to do to keep me entertained? I have movies and books and plan to work on my wedding scrapbook next week. I may also try to teach myself to knit. I am on day 5 and already bored to tears.

motherjanegoose

November 9th, 2009
3:41 pm

oops…I forgot all about the BOY babysitter we had in Texas while our son was under 2. He was a friend of mine’s son who had several siblings. Our son adored him…that was ages ago!

Are there very many boys out there who babysit nowadays?

My son worked preschool summer camp when he was 14-16. The little kids loved him. He came home and passed out on the couch each day….we laughed at him as he had a real education on working with children during those summers….funny memories!

Becky

November 9th, 2009
4:01 pm

@new stepmom, would learning (trying) a new language be something that would interrest you? Calligraphy(sp)..Whatever you decide, I’ll keep you in my prayers..

JATL

November 9th, 2009
4:07 pm

If you find someone intown for $10 an hour, it’s considered cheap! Most of our sitters, including teachers from preschool charge at least $13 per hour to $15 an hour for two kids. One kid being $13 and two being $15. I had a sitter for 10 hours a week when I had one baby who charged $10 per hour and was really good, but that rate for a decent sitter, including middle and high school kids is hard to find! Since you don’t live intown, your 12 year old should probably charge $6-$8 since she’s just getting started.

Tiffany

November 9th, 2009
4:33 pm

The going rate for all of the babysitters I know is at least 10.00 an hour. My daughter usually gets around 12.00 an hour and she will also charge extra for multiple children. If you are paying 10.00 an hour or less and you have multiple kids you are getting a STEAL. Tell your daughter that she is now a business woman, and should be treated as such. Don’t let people take advantage of her or shortchange her. The training program for babysitters is a great idea…also the cpr and first aid courses. If you are uncomfortable having her charge that much at first, then let her start off getting somewhat less than that for a while. Then let her raise her rates once she has completed her training program and gained some experience, say in a few months. Babysitting is fun but it can be a LOT of work, and it should be treated like the real job that it is. Tell your daughter Good luck!

Christina

November 9th, 2009
4:34 pm

Wow! As others have said, times have changed. I am seven years older than my youngest sister, so I started “babysitting” (for short periods – an hour for Mom to grocery shop, etc) by the time I was eight or nine. At 11 I started watching a couple of the neighbors’ kids. I’d get about $2/hr. This would have been the early 90s. By the time I was 16 or 17, a neighbor paid me $5/hr to watch her two kids and I thought that was a lot (yet less than minimum wage at the time). That was late 90s.

Haven’t had to pay a babysitter yet . . . more offers from family than we need! And with these rates, hopefully those family offers will keep up!

Tiffany

November 9th, 2009
4:40 pm

The preschool teachers around here get about 15.00 an hour for babysitting on the side. They most likely charge extra for several children.

DB

November 9th, 2009
4:41 pm

@Momof2Girls, try this: http://www.safesitter.org/aboutus.html

It’s the Safe Sitter national site. If you click on the link above, then on the webpage, check the menu on the left and click on “Where to Take Safe Sitter” (near the bottom). A menu will pop up and you just plug in your zip code to get the classes nearest you.

My daughter took hers through Girl Scouts (worth joining as a Juliette just to be able to take the class!) but there are others offered all over town. I love their motto: “Better sitters today, better parents tomorrow.”

Tonya

November 9th, 2009
5:12 pm

We pay $8 an hour for two kids for the two sitters we use. One is a high school senior, and the other is a gwinnett tech student. We treat them well though, and our kids are fairly easy to watch. I’m sorry, but this is a recession and competition is fierce here, especially since kids can’t really find work.

mom2alex&max

November 9th, 2009
5:14 pm

I never used/use teens under 16. Mainly because I prefer that they can drive in case of emergency. I know that there are many very mature girls between the ages of 12 and 15, but I am not comfortable with that. And I prefer that they drive, cuz it’s a drag having to drop them off after u get home.

I mainly have used their preschool teachers and such, and I pay 15 an hour for two boys that are basically in bed by 8pm.

JATL

November 9th, 2009
7:14 pm

I have to say I’m in the same camp as mom2alex&max. Unless you lived down the street and could walk here/walk home AND my kids were older -like 8 and 10 -I wouldn’t use someone under 16. I babysat younger than that, but I think I would be nervous leaving my kids with a 12-15 year old (particularly 12, 13 or 14).

@newstepmom -go through all of your recipe books and put color tabs on the pages you like. That kept me going for hours when I was on bedrest. Of course I was also pregnant and VERY hungry, so looking back at some of them now makes me go, “WHAT? Was I high?” No -just bored and hormonal with odd cravings!

mom2alex&max

November 9th, 2009
8:40 pm

Tonya, I have learned that sitters remember stuff like that. When the economy picks up you might regret that.

Tonya

November 9th, 2009
8:56 pm

mom2alex&max:

They agreed to the pay rate. They gave me the going rate for MY area. Many jobs aren’t paying $10+ an hour right now, and they don’t have to do anything except supervise the kids until bedtime. No cooking, no cleaning, not even a bath or a diaper change.I live in Gwinnett, way OTP. My husband is a teacher and I SAHM, so maybe our sitters are just a bit more realistic about our financial situation. We are also far more regular customers than many who pay better (2-3 times a month) so it balances out.

Jessica

November 9th, 2009
9:40 pm

After reading all the comments, I think I might be underpaying my kids’ babysitter.

Keith

November 9th, 2009
10:17 pm

Thanks everyone! Your comments were very helpful. We’re going to try to go through all of the suggestions in the next few days and come up with a fair starting rate. I’ll let you know what she ends up charging!

motherjanegoose

November 10th, 2009
2:03 am

@Tonya….we also live WAY outside the perimeter….near the MOG and you are lucky if you can get a good sitter for that rate.My daughter had a family in Buford that paid $10 per hour for 2 kids and added $5 to the total …that was over 3 years ago. They were the sweetest little girls and adored her.

I think it may be hard to find teen babysitters because lots of teens do NOT work. By the time they are responsible, the ones who do work, have found a regular job and are busy with it. That’s what I see with my daughter’s friends here anyway. She has watched our neighbor for years and schedules her work around it.

You can tell...

November 10th, 2009
7:04 am

…that most of us live in affluent areas. What is wrong with paying minimum wage (I think it is over $7 per hour now) no matter how many kids the sitter is watching? Professional daycare workers are lucky to make minimally more than this – as well as professional sitters for the elderly. Why do kids age 12 – 17 THINK they are entitled to more?

This is just another commentary on why kids, in college and after, EXPECT to walk into $60K – $90K jobs upon graduation without having to learn that life is not always all about them.

motherjanegoose

November 10th, 2009
7:14 am

You can tell…you are correct. We in the metro area would pay more for any contract labor than someone in rural Nebraska. What do folks here pay for a housekeeper or yard person? I have neither, so I do not know.

We also pay more ( here) for a hotel room and dinner out for 4 in a nicer restaurant. I believe this has something to do with economics…which is not my forte. I remember paying $2.22 for 2 eggs, 2 bacon and 2 toast in northern Minnesota at a hotel 2 years ago. I would probably eat there every day if it were here….I am NOT cooking for $2.22 and I even left a $2 tip!!!!

IMHO you get what you pay for and if kids have plenty of folks paying them $8-$12 per hour, then they must have some skills.

I tell this to my clients all the time…if you are looking for someone to fly all the way out to you ( to be paid) for $250 for the day ( plus expenses) , that will not be me….it is a 3 day project….2 days of travel. Some tell me they can get someone for this rate and that is great…if they are happy with the quality of the service.

If you have a sitter that is responsible and you can get by with $7 per hour, super for you! You are lucky! Remember that others may be willing to pay more though and you could lose a great sitter.

DB

November 10th, 2009
7:23 am

@You can tell… It’s called “free market”. The workers in a day care are guaranteed 35-40 hours per week, and in some of the better ones, they get paid vacations and benefits. Heck, in our church’s daycare, the workers are paid $12 an hour for Sunday mornings. Walk into any daycare, though, and you’ll find that most of the workers there make a minimum of $8-10 an hour, if not more. Good childcare workers are hard to find, and as a result, command a commensurate price.

12-17 year old kids don’t THINK they are entitled to more — they KNOW they are entitled to more. You can try to offer $7 an hour for four kids — you are going to have a very difficult time finding takers, though, and once it gets out on the babysitter grapevine, you’ll find it more and more difficult to find someone “available” when you need ‘em. That’s just the way the market works. There will always be somene out there willing to pay for good service.

motherjanegoose

November 10th, 2009
7:37 am

@ DB, I knew you would be able to explain this better than me. FINANCE is something you know!

She may know finance...

November 10th, 2009
8:00 am

…but she does not know child care and elderly care/nursing home wages. And, when my kids were coming along, the parents of the kids in the nursery/toddlers room at church VOLUNTEERED each and every Sunday to take care of our kids – and I went to huge churches in the Atlanta area. Paying for childcare workers at church is just another of the “affluent” mentality to which our kids now think they are entitled.

Thanks for making my point, DB...

November 10th, 2009
8:11 am

…babysitting is not about finance, but it is about free market as you correctly point out – thanks to those who overpay for non-skilled labor. And the babysitting free market is what gives kids the “babysitting entitlement mentality” to which they think they can prescribe when just out of college, since “gee, I even made $12 an hour babysitting when I was 14 years old, and now they only want to pay me $20 an hour to work EVERYDAY” teaching school! Oh, poor pitiful me!

motherjanegoose

November 10th, 2009
8:13 am

@ she may know
when your kids were coming along they most likely did not have strict security and health procedures for the nursery workers either, Required classes too!

Now, they have to get screened. Additionally, more women are working and really do not want to volunteer on their day off. FREE nursery workers are hard to find and some of the more up to date churches realize that they may need to pay folks if they are requesting their services. Ours does not.

Kind of like saying…..when I was in college, I did not have a cell phone….I drove an old beat up car back and forth through the mountains to come home once in a while. Would I want this for my kids…NO WAY. If they are driving a car, they need a cell phone….not to talk tho their friends ( which they may do) but to communicate with me if something happens.

Outta here….

DB

November 10th, 2009
8:16 am

I remember when I was a teenager, the going rate was about $.50 an hour, and the really generous ones paid you $1.00. I was asked to babysit for some neighbors one evening — four kids in one family, and the father traveled a great deal and was a renowned cheapskate (i.e., gave his wife $25 a week for groceries for her and the kids in 1974 — he traveled during the week and ate steak and seafood off of expense accounts while his family ate peanut butter sandwiches and chicken noodle soup.)

One rare evening, the guy decided to take his wife out for dinner and a movie, and asked me, age 14, to watch the kids. I came over at 5:30, fixed supper, fed the kids, played with them, bathed the kids (4 under the age of 7, including a 9 mo. old baby), read and put the kids to bed, rocked the fussy baby for an hour, cleaned the kitchen, picked up the den, vacuumed, etc. They got home at 11:30. He paid me $.25 an hour — $1.50, counted out carefully in quarters — and when the wife timidly suggested just giving me $2.00, he was offended: “She didn’t earn it!” The wife was SOOO embarrassed, and came over the next day to try to slip me an extra couple of dollars. I refused, because the whole neighborhood knew she was on such an impossible budget. As my mom commented, “Some things you just do for love.”

motherjanegoose

November 10th, 2009
8:20 am

O.K. one last thing…when you are babysitting …you are an independent contractor. You can charge WHATEVER you want. If you have no business THEN you may need to reduce your wage.

Kind of like what I do. Many tell me I am way too expensive but I have enough steady clients who do appreciate my skills and will pay me accordingly. If that changes, then I will work for less.

When you get out of college and you want to make a certain salary, if you are able to prove you are worth it…then you will! If not, then you won’t. DB …isn’t that what we are talking about…maybe I am missing something?

Does anyone out there actually think the movie stars and sports folks are worth MILLIONS?
Well someone does.

If you are eager enough to be an entrepeneur ( sp????) then you can set your wage and wait and see. If you are content to work for someone else…then you may not be able to set your wage. So be it.

Becky

November 10th, 2009
8:27 am

@DB..The church you attend pays for the daycare workers? Wow, times have changed, as someone else said, any church that I have ever been to, it was a volunter basis..Sounds to commercialized (sp) for my tastes..

Some baby sitters actually get $15.00 per hour? I think, I need to start babysitting at night..Like MJG, I made just about $1.00 per hour babysitting when I was younger..Was pretty good money for me at 13..The only thing was that when I got paid, I would take them to the store and spend about $5-10 on my nephews..Of course this was 34-35 years ago, so I still had enough money for me…

Motherjanegoose, your analogies...

November 10th, 2009
8:33 am

…are WAY off point, but I will let that go. This is really a silly argument since it involves nothing of importance in the grand scheme of life – and I am not that much older than you!

Tonya

November 10th, 2009
8:35 am

I refuse to pay $15 an hour for two kids when I don’t expect anything but supervision. Unless it’s a holiday (NYE, Christmas). I worked for a nanny agency, and have better knowledge than most as to the going rate of childcare services. MOST preschool teachers are lucky to break into the $10-12 hour range, even with a CDA. Most nannies average $350-500 a week, and benefits are NOT the norm (maybe paid time off, but not fringe such as health, dental, etc.)

I offered up what I pay as a point of reference. Not as a point of debate. I also detailed what I expect for my wages, which isn’t much. Include the fact that my sitters can watch tv, talk on the phone, and fall asleep when the kids do…we have always kept a sitter because it’s easy money. When I have my next child, the rate will obviously go up because an infant will be involved.

Tonya

November 10th, 2009
8:40 am

Becky:

I would pay YOU the $15 an hour, because you are an adult with a wealth of knowledge about kids. When I managed a nanny service, I did on many occasions. A teenager…nope, not chance. Conversations like this is when I continue to realize I’ve been blessed beyond imagination in the care providers for my children. They understood that I was beyond grateful for their services and although I don’t pay top dollar, I treat them like platinum.

Becky

November 10th, 2009
9:12 am

@Tanya..Thank you…I understand what you are talking about..T’ll never forget something that my nephews wife told me when the twins were about 9-10 months old…You have to keep in mind that this girl is about as doofy as you can get..I was talking to her about something and she looked at me and said “you don’t have to worry, I’ve got this baby stuff perfected” After I was through laughing at her, I told her that I’m (at that time) 43 years old and I still am learning things about babies and kids..

FCM

November 10th, 2009
9:50 am

Actually I seldom go out. Sitters above $10/hour break my bank. My parents hate being asked if they will watch the kids, on the other hand, they want to know why I don’t date.

DB

November 10th, 2009
9:51 am

@Becky: It’s a large church, yes, and without giving out details, most people would consider that it is in an affluent part of town. They have a lot of babies under the age of 2 or 3. There are lots of volunteers for the 3 and up kids, but for the little bitty ones, not too many volunteer to miss church *and* change dirty diapers. They made a decision years ago to give the parents of the tiny ones a break on Sunday mornings and provide childcare at no cost (the trick, of course, is that the parent has to be on the premises — no dropping the kid off for free childcare and then spending a leisurely morning at IHOP!). Not everyone uses it — some people bring their babies to services — but LOTS do. The workers are working on Sunday, they have to be trained and pass background checks. I believe we hire them from an agency here in town. I used to have a sitter from the same agency 3 days a week, and 20 years ago, I paid $9 an hour — the rates HAVE gone up, according to neighbors with small children who use the same service. I did pay taxes and withholding for my babysitter (we had her for five years), which was an additional cost.

@Tonya – yes, you are fortunate if you have reasonable child care options. But I know in our neighborhood, where there are lots of young children and not nearly enough teenagers interested in babysitting, parents aren’t nearly as lucky. And the teenagers *know* which parents are easy to work for, and which ones treat them like slave labor! My daughter decided to forego babysitting for a while to work as a hostess at a restaurant. $8.25 an hour, plus tipshare. After taxes, etc., took its bite out of her paycheck, she decided that babysitting wasn’t so bad, after all :-)

Motherjanegoose, thanks...

November 10th, 2009
9:54 am

…for your input, but, as you have told us numerous times, you are an expert in your field, and finance and economics is not your field. So please go back to your clients and continue teaching them about kiddie math, but leave these discussions to the big girls who understand economics.

DB

November 10th, 2009
9:59 am

One last comment: Before our first child was born, I was unsure whether to keep working after the baby was born, and so began to interview nannies (we lived in another part of the country). I’ll never forget the one that we chose (and ended up not using, except as an occasional babysitter, when I decided not to go back). She was wonderful — early 20’s, childhood education major, fabulous references, etc. After a few months, we were chatting, and she made the comment — “Parents think that they are interviewing me, but in reality, I’m the one doing the interviewing!” She had her choice of situations — the really good ones can pick and choose.

Thanks, DB...

November 10th, 2009
9:59 am

…my son learned the hard way about wages and taxes, too. He did not like cutting the neighbors grass for about an hour for “just $20″; so one day I made him work with his dad cutting and stacking firewood. We paid him minimum wage (at that time a few years ago it was $5.25/hr) – made him work hard for 4 hours, and then took taxes out – he ended up with about $15 for 4 hours of work. After that, that $20 for about one hour of work seemed pretty good!

DB

November 10th, 2009
10:03 am

@FCM: I hear you! My brother lives near my parents, who babysit at the drop of a hat (unfortunately, 400 miles away). He and I had always kept up with the latest movies, etc., and when the kids were small, I began to fall behind on the movies. He once commented that I wasn’t getting out much, and I retorted that it had to be a REALLY good movie for me to pay $100 to go see it, between babysitting, movie, and a quick meal beforehand (I mean, since we had the sitter . . . )

Becky

November 10th, 2009
10:04 am

Sorry Tonya, for the typo..

@DB, our church is small..This is one reason that we picked it to go to..There are only about 50-60 people at any given time there..I don’t think that I would feel comfortable attending a church that is hugh..As for daycare at church, I would rather have the babies and sadly thats what we don’t have many of at our church..

My husband actually started going to this church about 2.5 years aog with our granddaughter..At that time, she was the only child in the church..The boy didn’t want to go because he said that he couldn’t be quiet that long..He does go now and we probably have about 15-20 kids weekly..

Tonya

November 10th, 2009
10:48 am

DB:

Yeah, competition is low in my neck of the woods. And you can tell how grateful I am for the breaks these wonderful ladies provide me. This is an issue I’m sensitive to, b/c I see far too many marriages bite the dust b/c parents can’t afford sitters to enjoy life as a couple. I want people to know that help can be out there, you just need to look. Heck, I didn’t make $15 an hour until I had been out in the working world for several years, so I’m not being cheap or stingy…we just don’t have it!

Becky:

We are church hunting now. There is one near us that is very popular, but VERY large. That kind of scares me. And like you, I always liked watching the babies at church but quite often ended up with the toddlers!

DB

November 10th, 2009
10:54 am

@Becky: We used to go to a small church, but I have a tendency to end up chairman of this, and oganizer for that (before I learned the art of saying “No.” After about five years, I got burned out, and, frankly, discouraged when I was having increasing difficulties getting people to sign up for just one Sunday a quarter to run “kid’s church.” The final straw was when I decided that, since no one had signed up to run it, and I had run it six weeks in a row, it was past time for me to get my own dose of spiritual refreshment. So no kid’s church that day. Yet, I had one parent (who never volunteered), and was *highly* irate with me because she had to “deal with” her child during church. I pointed out, gently (for me), that it was a volunteer program, and since no one had volunteered, perhaps she’d be willing to take it? She was angry and told me that she “came to church to REST, not to watch other people’s screaming brats!” (that’s verbatim, btw) and complained to the priest, who basically told her, “Volunteer or shut up.” At that point, I realized that I had had enough of being on the front lines, and we changed churches to a nice, big church, where I could sit on the back pew for a while and recover from burnout. It took about a year, and then I gradually eased back into a level of activity that I was comfortable with. Also, since it was a bigger church, there were more varied programs for the kids, and more for the adults, too.

Becky

November 10th, 2009
11:04 am

@DB, she really said that? OMG..Since my two are pretty much the “oldtimers” for our church, I volunteer monthly to do the daycare..As I’ve said before, we are new to attending church (yes at our old age) and since it is small, others that have children are either do Sunday school or childrens church..So all in all, it works for us..

nurse&mother

November 10th, 2009
11:38 am

I remember earning around $5/hr for watching 4 children. The price was a little low, but a really nice family. I did feel like I should have gotten more, but I know the family didn’t have a lot and I would feel guilty for asking for more. I still think fondly of that family. I saw the “baby” a couple of years ago. OMG, she was all grown up!!! Talk about making me feel old.

I will have to admit that I do feel like the younger generation (in general) has some entitlement issues and feel (generally speaking) that life owes them. I know that NOT ALL young folks have this mentatlity. If you don’t believe me, go into Hollister sometime. Your clothes won’t even get folded and they act like they are getting paid to look pretty.