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How Much Should I Pay My Babysitter?

You’ve your night out booked, children prepared, babysitter booked and ready to go, but then comes the age old question
... how much do I pay at the end of the night? It’s like asking how long a piece of string is!

You don’t want to overpay, as then you realise how much you’ve just forked out at the end of a night and you soon come to the realisation that you may never leave the house again. Or if you underpay you may never get the babysitter to come back!

So it’s a great idea to have this one sussed well in advance and agreed with the babysitter before they arrive. This way, you know how much to bring home with you and also ensures there are no surprises financially.

A huge thing to consider is how old your babysitter is and what relevant, previous experience do they have. Many families use a local, young babysitter who lives nearby or a niece or nephew. Ask them how much they get paid if they have babysat before? If the amount is nowhere in your budget, ask them if they would consider lowering their rate to suit you. However, you need to have realistic expectations.

If they are looking for €12 per hour and you were hoping to pay €6, you may have to look elsewhere. A babysitter can be offered anything from €5 per hour to €15 per hour. I would recommend paying a minimum of €8 for under 18’s, €8-€10 for over 18’s and anyone with professional experience and qualifications should be paid a minimum of €10 per hour.

If you are engaging the services of a teenager who has never babysat before, you can always chat to their parents & get their advice on what they think is appropriate for their son or daughter. Many babysitters will have an hourly rate up until midnight and a more expensive rate thereafter, so make sure to check. For example, your babysitter costs €10 per hour up to midnight but €12 per hour there after midnight. Another way of setting the standard is by offering a nightly rate. If it’s a case where you are unsure of what time you will be back, offer a set amount especially if you think you will be very late. If you are going to be late, perhaps offer the babysitter the opportunity to sleep over so they don’t have to wait up.

Some advice and handy tips for using a babysitter:
  • Book well in advance and confirm with your babysitter at least three days beforehand.
  • Agree the set rate/hourly rate in advance.
  • Check references even if you think your babysitter is lovely!
  • Make sure to give clear guidelines/advice on children's bedtimes, what they are and aren’t allowed eat/drink before bed, what the normal bedtime routine is such as story time and appropriate bedtimes.
  • Let the babysitter know what she can and can’t help her/himself to in the house.
  • Make sure they know if they are allowed have friends over or not while you are out.
  • On the first night, ask the babysitter to come a little earlier than required to introduce them to the kids.
  • Always leave at least two contact numbers for the babysitter in case of emergency and let them know of any neighbours/friends/relatives that live nearby just in case they need urgent help.
  • Check your babysitter has phone credit to reply to texts you send or give them access to your wifi so they can use WhatsApp/Viber etc.
  • If you are unable to drop your babysitter home either offer them a taxi, accompany them on the walk home or ensure they have a lift.
As always, if you need any advice on babysitters, minders, nannies please feel free to give us a call on 0872142087 or email infor@nationalchildcare.ie


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About the Author

I am Natalie Collier, a childcare recruitment specialist. I am passionate about what I do and determined to find the best possible solution for each family I work with. I have over ten years’ experience working with children and families in several different childcare settings and have learned through this first-hand experience that no two families are alike when it comes to childcare needs.

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