As a caregiver, you’re responsible for setting your own hourly rate, but knowing what to charge for babysitting or nannying can be confusing and even nerve-wracking. What if you’re asking for too much—or worse, too little?
It’s important to understand the going rate for sitters in your area as well as other factors that may impact how you price your services. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to how much you should charge as a sitter or a nanny.
What are the going rates for babysitting or nannying in my area?
According to the latest Sittercity data, the average hourly rate for sitters in the US is $15 an hour for two children. But hourly rates can vary significantly depending on where you live and work, the cost of living in your area and your state’s minimum wage laws.
Use this handy chart to find out how your state stacks up when it comes to nanny and sitter pay.
|Rates based on 2 children||Nannies||Babysitters|
|Los Angeles, CA||$19.89/hr||$16.92/hr|
|New York City, NY||$23,35/hr||$21.09/hr|
|San Diego, CA||$16.00/hr||$14.72/hr|
|San Francisco, CA||$24.17/hr||$20.14/hr|
|U.S. National Average||$16.58/hr||$14.55/hr|
Last updated: March 2019
Another consideration? Nannies tend to be paid slightly more per hour than sitters.
What’s the difference between a sitter and a nanny?
Sitters often provide child care for multiple families, usually for occasional needs like date nights or late work meetings. If you’re a sitter, you are probably a part-time caregiver while also attending school or working a full-time job. Sitters can be as young as 11 or 12, but to be listed on Sittercity, you’ll need to be 18 or older. On the other hand, a nanny is typically a full-time child care worker, either living with a family or working with the same family on a daily basis during set hours, such as Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm.
Use these caregiver definitions to help you determine what type of job you are taking.
Other factors to consider
Your area’s average rate isn’t the only factor you should consider when deciding what to charge as a sitter or nanny. Ask yourself these questions before you set your rate.
- How many kids will you be watching and what are their ages? Typically, the more kids you’re watching, the higher the rate will be. For instance, most sitters will add $1-$2 for each additional child. So if the going rate for two kids in your neighborhood is $15 an hour, you could consider charging $16-$17 for three. For one child, you might only charge $14 an hour. The age or age range of the children in your care may also factor into your price. Toddlers and infants require more hands-on care, while older children can independently perform tasks like feeding themselves, getting dressed and using the bathroom. For some sitters, more hands-on care with younger children may mean they set the rate higher.
- What education, certifications and skills do you bring to the table? Sitters and nannies with early childhood education degrees, relevant certifications or special skills can often command a higher hourly rate, particularly if they are able to provide a service that other sitters cannot, like tutoring or foreign language instruction.
- Are you taking on responsibilities beyond child care? Sitters and nannies who take on additional responsibilities—such as taking care of pets in addition to kids, prepping meals, cleaning the house or doing laundry—can set a higher rate than sitters and nannies who do not.
- Is it a special occasion? Think like Uber—when there’s a surge in usage, the rate goes up. Many sitters and nannies will choose to charge slightly more for holidays like New Years Eve or Valentine’s Day when demand for child care is high.
- Will you incur any additional travel or other expenses? Are parents expecting you to drive kids to and from activities? Will you be taking them on outings, like to the zoo or museums where you might incur some extra costs for snacks or tickets? Ensure you are reimbursed for these expenses, including gas. The standard mileage rate in 2019 is 58 cents a mile.
Be upfront about your rate
Don’t shy away from asking for what your sitter services are worth. Being upfront about your rate, as well as what responsibilities will cost extra, will help you avoid miscommunication and potential awkward situations, like being paid unfairly. Luckily, Sittercity makes it easy for sitters and nannies to post their rates in their profiles so parents know before you even begin the interview process. That transparency makes initial conversations about payment go much more smoothly, so everyone is on the same page.