Congratulations on finding a responsible and caring teen that you can trust to watch your children when you're away. If you want to keep her as your primary sitter, you'll have to pay her well enough that she won't be tempted away by other families willing to pay a bit more. Knowing the going rates and average pay can help you decide just how much is appropriate.
The average amount to pay a teen babysitter varies by state and city, but according to a 2009 study from FoxBusiness.com, the average hourly rate for a babysitter is about $13. If you live close to a large city, such as New York or Los Angeles, you'll probably pay a bit more than if you live in a small rural town. Experience and age also play a role in the amount a teen babysitter earns. A younger, inexperienced babysitter might earn $8 an hour while a seasoned veteran can earn $15 or more per hour.
Number of Children
Most teen babysitters have a set rate to babysit one child but may charge extra if you have more than one child. Again, that rate varies from place to place, but expect to pay $1 to $2 more per hour for each additional child the babysitter is caring for. If one of your children is a newborn, expect to pay an extra $1 to $2 dollars an hour for the baby as well.
You don't have to pay a teen babysitter extra for going above and beyond, but many parents do, so that they can keep their favorite sitter from being lured away by another family. If your teen babysitter takes it upon herself to prepare meals and do light housekeeping, you may want to pay her a little extra. That can range from a $10 "tip" to an extra dollar or two per hour. If the sitter helps an older child with homework, you might want to pay a little extra for that, too. Teen babysitters who must care for a high-maintenance pet might also earn a few extra dollars. If you secure a teen sitter on major holidays, such as New Year's Eve or Valentine's Day, consider paying time and a half, suggests FoxBusiness.com.
Before hiring a teen babysitter, talk with her and decide on a rate together. Discuss how many children she'll be responsible for and what chores, if any, you want her to complete while she's there. Jordan Lane, author of "The Babysitting Bible," recommends paying more than minimum wage and be willing to raise your sitter's rate if you really adore her and if she consistently goes above and beyond to provide excellent care for your children. When you pay a fair price for the sitter based on her skills, she's more likely to keep up the good work and remain a trusted employee who can be counted on in the future.