How Much to Pay a Teen Sitter

Parent Q&A

Babysitter Pay? Oakland Jul 19, 2019 (9 responses below)
Babysitting rates Dec 29, 2016 (2 responses below)
  • Babysitter Pay? Oakland

    (9 replies)

    We are moving to the area and trying to get an idea of how much babysitters charge hourly? We are looking for just occasional nights, weekends or weeknights. We have 1 child (she's 4). We paid our babysitter in San Diego $15 hourly. Is that approximately the going rate or is it more? 

    thanks for any advice or input! 

    Moderator Note:  see BPN's Nanny pay survey from last year:

    RE: Babysitter Pay? Oakland ()

    $20-25 seems to be the norm for experienced sitters and many older student sitters also charge that range. High school and college kids often charge $15-18. $10- $12 for younger high school kids. 

    RE: Babysitter Pay? Oakland ()

    I have a 4 year old, and I've paid our last two regular sitters $20 per hour. In my experience, $15 an hour buys you a younger, less experienced sitter (who may also be flakier as far as responding, etc.)

    RE: Babysitter Pay? Oakland ()

    I'd say around $15-20 although recently my daughter (age 12) was paid $25/hour by our neighbor.

  • Dear Neighbors,

    I was hoping you could share you knowledge/experiences with Mother's Helpers. We are considering having someone help us with baby laundry, some light house cleaning and cooking for 2-3hrs three times a week. When looking around, it seems that this falls into the category of "Mother's Helpers".  Has anyone hired someone on this role? How did it work out? Did they come around while everyone was in the house? Or only when the house was empty?  How much do you pay? What is a reasonable pay for this area? (I have found very contradictory messages online as to whether they should be paid more or less than a babysitter)  Has anyone tried having a teenager on this role? Any advice on that?would teen parents support this? Do teens get paid the same as older adults?  And how did you find this person?  Any advice/sharing stories and knowledge/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.  Natalia

    hi - my 13yo daughter is a mother's helper. the family who hired her has a 9mo old and 2 1/2 yo, and met our daughter while she was volunteering at her old daycare. she helps them out 2x / week, each time for 2-3 hrs, with the tasks you mention above. there is usually a parent home, but i think on occasion the mom has left her with one child for a short time. i think the rate should be less than what you'd pay a high school or older babysitter. i'm happy to share more, feel free to contact me.

    We hired someone exactly for this role when baby #2 was born, about 20 hours a week for 3 months. We found her on She was 23. We paid $16 per hour, gave her an extra car we had for her to use (not just st our house) and used miles to get her tickets to Dominican Republic. We did these things bc $16 felt low. She did every chore I asked, was dependable, played with my 4 year old when I needed, and was college educated. 

    I now have a 17 year old and a 13 year old occasionally come play with the 4 year old while I’m with baby, for $10-11 an hour. They only play, though, not clean and with only one kid at a time. 

  • Babysitting rates

    (2 replies)

    I'm wondering what current babysitting rates are for, say, a few hours in the evening for 2 kids. We have a 3yo and a 6 month old, so this is more involved than a teen watching older kids. We've had a college age neighbor sit just the one older kid for $15/hr before. (I couldn't find any recent posts in the archives on this)

    RE: Babysitting rates ()

    We are in El Cerrito, and pay a college student $15/hour for two kids, ages 6 & 8. (so, pretty self sufficient)

    RE: Babysitting rates ()

    We pay $15 per hour for two kids (ages 3 and 6). This is the rate charged by all of our 3 babysitters, all college students in Berkeley. (One started with us in high school and charged $12 then, but we moved her up when she got into college to be fair. She also was great and we wanted to keep her!) 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

How much to pay a high school student?

April 2011

How much are babysitters paid these days? My husband and I are considering hiring a highschooler to watch our son from time to time. Not sure how much to pay them. Does anyone have ideas? Thanks! Jenny

We have two kids in elementary school. We have used two high school babysitters at different times. They are both freshmen. One charges $6/hour, the other charges $10/hour. Neither one drives. Usually they get to our house on their own and we take them home afterward. I think your babysitter will tell you how much he/she wants to charge. I'm happy paying both rates I listed. The $10/hour person lives much closer to us so it's not such a long drive home after a night out. If I were to name the price myself I'd probably pay $8, not $10 though. Just glad I have any babysitters

My babysitter is 15 and I pay him $9 an hour. Occasionally his older brother, 17, babysits, and I pay him the same rate. When he first started out babysitting a year ago, I paid him $8 an hour, at his own suggestion, and after a year of great babysitting service I gave him a raise. I also have a 13-y-o babysitter who comes occasionally during the daytime when I'm usually home, and I pay him $5 an hour. I think it depends on age and experience, time of day, and whether you are there. Love my teen sitters

we paid our 16yo sitter $8/hr for 2&4 yr olds. we upped it $1/hr each year. now she's off to college and her 16yo sister will get $8/hr. got me great sitters!

Seems tied to age. We have had our babysitters since they were 10, now they are 15. There are 2 and sometimes they come together and sometimes separately. When they were 10, I was always around...and they got $5/hour ($2.50 each if they were both there). Now they get $8/hour if it is one of them and just our 2 kids. $10/hour if they are both there and it is just our 2 kids ($5/each). $16/hour if they are both there and we have someone else's kid/kids too (so $8/each). When we use older sitters...they seem to range from $12-17/hour. Hope this helps some. Mother of 2 little boys (4 and 6)

We have a great sitter. She's 16 and charges us $12 an hour for two kids, $9 for one. She's walking distance from our house so she usually will walk here but we drop her off when we come back (if we use her at night). Once you find a good one, give them work whenever you can because other parents will snatch them from you! anonamom

I no longer live in the Bay Area but my 9th grade son babysits for our neighbor's 2 boys (5 and 2) and he got $7.50 an hour the last time. It varies because it IS a neighbor and so he doesn't watch the clock as much and sometimes give back money. But I think on average he gets $5/hr. G

I read the responses, and thought I'd chime in. I haven't used a teen sitter yet, but have a neighbor who's interested in sitting. I asked around, and one friend said she's heard this suggestion: pay $1/grade. It seems pretty fair, since the younger the teen the more likely it is that you'll be sticking around (more of a mother's helper). I also like the idea of the teen getting a raise every year -- a nice incentive. I babysat from the time I was 11 through college, and to me this sounds like a fair system. Just FYI, we pay our adult sitters between 12-15/hour, depending on what they charge. It's usually 15. -Hope this helps!

The $1 per grade sounds like a good rule of thumb. I have used the same teen babysitter for 4 years, every other Saturday, for my now 12-year-old son. He is such a great sitter, that I do not like to share his name even with my closest friends! I don't want him to get too busy! He helps with homework, bakes muffins and cookies, and gets my kid to bed better than I do. When he first started with me he was just out of 8th grade, and I paid him $8/hour. He is now a high school junior and I pay him $11/hour. I found him by posting to BPN's Parents of Teens newsletter.

What should I pay a teen to watch my 3-year-old?

Dec 2010

Hi, I am looking to hire a teenager to help watch my 3 year old in the evening for 6-7 hours a week. She is my nanny's 14 years old daughter; and although she has watched her young cousins, I don't think she has any ''outside'' babysitting experience. I don't know what the going rate for this age is. She will give him dinner (already prepared), a bath, and putting him to bed. I could use some input as to how much I should pay. Thanks!

I have a 14yr old neighbor who approached us with her flyer. Her advertised rates were $5/hr for one, $7 for two & $9 for 3. My friend pays her teen babysitter $6.50. anon

I just wanted to suggest that you definitely NOT ask a teenage babysitter to bathe your 3-year-old. I think most babysitter certification classes tell the kids they shouldn't be bathing kids, either. That's way too much responsibility and danger potential for both kids. Especially for someone inexperienced, as it sounds like your babysitter may be. Teri C.


How much should teen charge who is just starting out?

Sept 2009


Hi, My teen daughter is set to begin babysitting. We haven't found anywhere the information on what the ''average'' or ''normal'' hourly charge is these days for babysitters. Does it vary by the number of children? And, what about the charge for staying overnight? Thanks for any information / advice / etc. Teen wants to sit

My 13 year old son is being paid $6/hr to walk kids from elementary school to Hebrew School and tutor them there. I have paid high school sitters $8/hr for evening sitting. I pay my experienced college age sitter $10/hr and when she has sat overnight, such as on New Year's Eve., we negotiated an overall rate such as $70 to give them dinner (pizza), put them to bed, etc. That was for two children of elementary school age. She was the one who didn't want to feel she was overcharging when most of the hours would be sleeping ones. kl

My 15 yr old daughter gets paid $7.50/hr for one child or $10/hr for two, and she doesn't even have CPR certification. I would think an adult sitter would be most appropriate for an overnight. We used to trade weekend overnight sits with one other family (extra fun-- we would take our own kids and trade houses).

It seems like there's only a small window of a couple of years when teens babysit, before they get too busy with school.

There are a couple of babysitting co-ops in the Albany/Berkeley area. We found this to be an excellent and flexible option: in exchange for your commitment, you get to know a small group of parents; one adult may sit your kid while you schedule yourself to sit for another family a different time. Sometimes two adults from the co-op would tag-team watch our kids when we had an all-day event. There are books on starting your own co-op; you may find like- minded parents in your kids' schools. been there


13-year old daughter wants to start babysitting

Feb 2009


My 13-year old daughter wants to start babysitting (she has one sitting experience, for our neighbors' 4 and 7 year olds). What are teen sitters charging these days? She won't be caring for infants yet, or making meals. It's been years since I hired a sitter...

Unless they are a mother's helper, a babysitter should be paid at least minimum wage. $10 is a good place to start for a more experienced babysitter. My going rate is $12 plus gas as I am very experienced and can perform CPR. N

Nov 2008

Re: Going rate for recent college grad
I can't help you on the tutoring rates, but as for babysitting, I pay college students $16 per hour, plus $10 per day for gas (taking care of my son involves picking him up after school and doing some errands). So for working 4:30-6:30 the sitter earns $42. If it is an nighttime job, no driving, just $16 per hour. I would pay a recent grad the same. Hope that helps! Fran


What's the going rate?

Feb 2007


We're new to the area. What are the going rates for a good, attentive baby-sitter who is in high school, doesn't drive (we pick up from about 20 minutes away), and cleans up after cooking with the kids (worth a lot right there). Thanks. ellen

My daughter is almost 14 and she babysits for our neighbors and friends' kids who are between 3 and 7 years old. She charges $6.00-$8.00 per hour, for one or 2 kids. My sense is that this is a little low, but I wanted her start lower and work up to a higher rate as she got older. christa

Jan 2007

How much is the going rate for a 16 yr old baby sitter these days? My baby is 7 months old and to start I'm having the teen hang out with him while I am home getting some work done. If it goes well, the arrangement could include other responsibilities and leaving him alone with her. New Mom

I pay my neighbor's daughter (she just turned 17) $7.50/hour. She comes here once a week for two hours. She can do a lot, such as clearing garbage cans, folding laundry, washing dishes, vacuuming, and still has lots of energy to run around with my 7 years and 4 years old boys. She is my life saver. I am mostly home, but often I am taking a nap or in a different room when she is here. I love my mother's helper!

I always ask the babysitter up front if he or she has a set rate. If they don't, I usually give $5 an hour. (I have two kids, an 8 year old and a 3 year old.) But I think it depends what you are asking the babysitter to do. If you're talking about watching the child for a few hours, $4 to $5 an hour may be enough. If watching the child involves feedings and baths, $5 to $6 an hour is probably more appropriate. If you're adding housework, cooking, etc., then you should bump it up according to the amount of work. I tend to pay more if I'm out after 10 p.m. and on special nights, such as New Year's Eve. Also, does your 16-year-old babysitter drive? When I don't have to pick up and drop off, I usually add $1 an hour to cover their gas expenses. A mom of three

Hi. I have a 2 year old and fraternal twins that are 2 1/2 months. Consequently, I have been using a variety of nanny services and teenage babysitters. I have been paying between $9 and $10 per hr. It seems to work out well. Of course, I should mention that the baby sitter is not expected to sit w/ all 3 at a time being paid this amount. She watches the twins at one given job time and then maybe my 2 year old daughter at another time. Hope this helps. Kelley

It depends on experience. I started out at $6 an hour, but that was when I was maybe 13. When I was 16, it was about $8 and then that year increased to the $10-15 range as I got more experience. Since the job doesn't involve driving any kids and since you are home, probably $10 is very good. It also depends on your neighborhood. I mostly babysit in Lafayette and Orinda, and when I sit for families in Walnut Creek I usually get paid a bit less. High school sitter

March 2004

What is the current 2004 rate for paying a teen babysitter? The recomendation list indicated that for 2003 it was between $5-6. Is it still the same for one child? Does age of the child matter? seeking teen sitter

My 14-year-old gets about $6.00 per hour to watch one (quite easy) 3-year-old. If the parents are out fairly late, they give a bit more. We are in Albany - don't know if it varies by area. babysitter's mom

I'm currently paying a college senior $10/hour to sit with our two year old daughter. If I found a high schooler, it would probably more like $8/hr. I've checked with friends who pay $10/hr for a high schooler to sit with two pre-teen boys. Hope that helps. Lori

August 2003

I'm interested in hearing what others pay neighborhood babysitters for one child. There's a 13 year old in the area charging $8.00/hour and that just seems like a lot to me. Is this the normal rate these days and I just need to accept it? Stephanie

A 13-year-old babysitter who asks $8 per hour?! For one kid? I'd expect her to do windows as well for such a sum. I guess my almost-14-year-old must be a soft touch, because she charges $4 an hour for minding the 8-year-old son of a lower-income single mom. (It's her first official babysitting experience.) Anyway, I obviously think $8 an hour kind of outrageous; $5 is more in line.

Eight dollars an hour for a 13 year old (is she babysitting just one child?) sounds steep to me! Our babysitter is 16 and watches our two children and we pay her $7/hr, which I think is fair (she plays with them for an hour or two and then they are asleep for the rest of the night). My friend's daughter, who is 15, charges $8/hr for two children. Good luck

My 15 year old has Bananas babysitting and CPR certificates. He has three years' experience with individual kids and groups. Around Albany/North Berkeley, he charges $6.75 (minimum wage) for the first kid and, I think, half that for each additional kid. In the institutional setting, I think he gets $12/hour for however many show up. Dana

$8/hour is high for a 13-year-old. The teens I know of charge $5 - $6/hour even for several children. Minimum wage for adults is between $6 - $7/hour -- too low for a living wage for a parent supporting a family, but the guidelines parents I know tend to follow state that teens should be paid less than minimum wage. Maybe because they are still living at home and have all their expenses met.

I live in the Contra Costa County area and $8. per hr. is the going rate out here. I do have 3 children though. And we don't pay per child. Michelle

I've heard that babysitting rates vary with the neighborhood. We live in El Cerrito and my 13 year old charges $5/hour. As she gets more experienced, she may raise it to $6/hr. Ask other families in your area. They may be able to recommend someone with more reasonable rates. I think $8/hr is high for a 13 year old, especially if there are only one or two children to watch. Wendy

What service is the teen providing? Is it the same as if it were an adult babysitting your child? If so, you should pay the same rate (isn't it age discrimination otherwise?). If the teen is more of a mom's helper, then adjust accordingly. My 14 year old neighbor sits for us in the afternoons when I'm here or out on short errands and we pay her $7/hr (she leaves a mess with the kids, but keeps them safe and they all have a great time); my 17 year old neighbor watches my two kids at night (dinner, bath and bedtime) and we pay $10-12. Jen

Like anything else, teen babysitter rates are set by the laws of supply & demand. $8/hr for a 13 yo sitter sounds to me like it's on the high side, but if she's getting work from other clients at that rate, then she's probably better than the average sitter and the rate is fair. If she's not getting as many jobs as she wants, though, then I suspect she should be charging less. I pay 18 year old sitters $10 or $11 per hour; that's my basis of comparison. Fran

We pay our 13 year old sitter $10/hour. That is for two pre- school age kids. She baths them, gives them dinner (that we 'get started' for her), gets them in bed, reads to them, settles them down for sleep and then cleans up. She still has time for some TV or homework after all that. We have a regular 'gig' with her so that we can go out to dinner and have at least one intelligent, uniterrupted conversation per week. We are usually out for 2-3 hours so it is not hugely expensive. For long nights, like going to a concert or something, we try to enlist the help of Grandma :-)

We have family with small kids all over the country and at a recent family get togther we compared baby sitting rates. It ranged from $5/hour for four kids in the mid-west (what a deal!) to our $10/hour for two kids here in CA.

I pay a few 16 yr olds $8/ hour and college students around age 20 yr old $10/hr. $8 for a 13 yr old sounds high to me! another mom

Our babysitter charges $6/hr. to watch our 4 year old son. The sitter is a 15 yr. old just entering Piedmont High School. $8 for a 13 y.o. sounds like a lot. A mom.

We pay a 20 year old, with a ton of babysitting experience: $9 per hour for our 2 children. the 14 year old neighborhood girl, we pay $7-8. It adds up quick, doesn't it! eve

When the babysitter is inexperienced, i.e. I'm the first customer, I paid $3/hr, then raised to $3.50/hr after 4 sits. When I ask for last minute sits or it's extra work for them, then I raise to $4/hr. I live in Moraga, and I think other parents have paid as high as $5/hr. When I share a babysitter with another child, then the rate dropped to $3/child, with 3 kids max per teen. I think it's more important to start low and raise their rates gradually as a reward for being reliable, etc... Anonymous

My daughter who is almost 16 charges $7/hour for toddler up, and takes care of one or two children at that rate. She wants the experience of taking care of an infant so I would encourage her to charge the same. The parents pick her up and bring her home too. One family has one child and housework and the other has two young children. I know she is a very hard worker and a devoted attentive caretaker, so I think they are getting a great deal for the price. When I had three children, all school age, I paid $10/hour for an adult who could drive. That was eight years ago. We ask a lot of these substitute parents! I think more easy, informal, just be there situations are different, but the work she does involves commitment and aggressive taking of responsibility. anon

July 2003

I have a new baby and a potential babysitter (the neighbor's daughter). I was wondering what the going hourly rate is for teenager to babysit. amy

We pay $7 to $10 per hour, but $10 is usually when there are two kids. Holly

Our neighbor's daughter charges $6/hour.

We currently pay our teenage babysitter $8/hour to care for two children (ages 2.5 and 6 years) so we can have a ''date night'' once or twice a month. -Sharon

Dec 2002

What is the fair payment for a teenage babysitter who lives around the corner from me who will be babysitting my 9 year old and 5 year old about 3-4 hours a week while I go to the gym? She will watch them 5:30-6:45 AM one morning and 7:30-9:30 on Saturdays. I will drop her off and pick her up for the early AM hours. Should she receive night differential for the early AM hours? I have no idea what is fair. No house work or anything expected except telling the kids to get dressed for school if they wake up. thank you in advance
Single mom desperate for a workout

We pay our teen babysitter $10/hour for two kids (age 6 and almost 2) or $6/hour for one kid. I think this is about going rate, and she is terrific. She typically works for us evenings (caring for our son and friends' daughter while all four parents are at our once-a-week choir rehearsal), so I don't know about the early a.m. question, but we don't usually provide transportation and she works pretty hard, often feeding one or both kids dinner, giving them a bath, and getting them to bed. Yours has it harder with the hours but easier with the actual care. Holly

Heh, I know that desparation for a workout! I haven't used my teen babysitter yet, but friends have; I asked her her rate and she said $7/hour. I think that's fair. You can ask, or just offer. Have a good workout! Jennie, a single mom

Nov 1999

I have 3 teens who babysit. The 16 yr old receives $8-10 which includes cooking their meals, cleans the kitchen, unpack the dishes from the dishwasher, cleans up after the kids, sometimes the living room/family room. The 15 yr old does the same work as the 16 yr old but receives $7-9 and the 14 yr old receives $5-6 - orders pizza, cleans the dishes and plays with the kids. If there are 4 or more kids, they are paid at the higher end. Age does make a difference as you can see. There is no driving involved now but the kids said once driving begins, the rate is definitely $10-12.

Contact Bananas on Claremont and ask them what people are paying. They also offer workshops for teens on babysitting strategies. They have free mailings letting people know what is happening in this area too. Doreen