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A Mom Wonders How Much She Should Pay A Babysitter Working One Day A Week

"I'm thinking it's somewhere around 20? Is that too low?"

A now-viral TikTok begs the question that several parents ponder when looking for childcare: how muc...
Maura Powers / TikTok

A now-viral TikTok begs the question that several parents ponder when looking for childcare: how much do you pay a babysitter?

When I babysat twenty-something years ago, I was paid about $8 an hour plus a pizza dinner. Now, it seems that the rate for a babysitter has increased dramatically, so much so that moms are wondering how much to pay their babysitters without coming off as cheap.

“What's everyone paying their babysitters, nannies, child care, whatever? We are doing daycare two days a week. My mom's taking Teddy two days a week, but we need to find a nanny babysitter type person for one day a week. Okay? One day, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” Maura Powers begins in her video.

She goes on to note that she and her husband both work from home, so the babysitter could be someone younger since she isn’t worried about her child being alone with them.

“I remember when I babysat and this was 100 years ago. I made like $10 an hour, but I feel like obviously that's not the going rate now. I'm thinking it's somewhere around $20? Is that too low? Just one kid?” she wonders out loud.

“He's gonna be two in August. He's not potty trained yet. He still naps for like an hour or two hours in that window. I'll do all the meals. I'll still be home at lunch and make him lunch. And like... I don't know.”

Powers concluded, “I have no idea what to even think is a reasonable number because you could tell me it was 15 that was reasonable. You could tell me $40 an hour was reasonable. But we'll be like, that's just what things cost now. So, I'm in New Hampshire by the way. I don't know if that makes a difference.”

In Powers’ comment section, TikTok users had varying opinions for what she should pay a one-day-a-week babysitter. Others took issue with Powers and her husband both working from home and still wanting a babysitter, noting that most caregivers prefer to be on their own.

“As a nanny I would NEVER take a position where both parents work from home. That sounds like a nightmare,” one user wrote.

“Watching the kids when their parents are home is the worst as a babysitter,” another said.

“Parents working from home is not a benefit for a nanny and absolutely doesn’t mean cheaper rate,” another wrote.

Powers replied, “Wasn’t implying it would be a cheaper rate. Was implying it’s not someone I’d need to be like super experienced.”

“It can be hard to find someone who’s a sitter comfortable with parents who both work from home. I learned that through a nanny and childcare group,” another noted.

Other TikTok users also gave the OP some help with what the going rates would be for a babysitter.

“20-25 is good, depending on the experience of the babysitter, someone younger like without a license I would say 15-20,” one user wrote.

“I would agree with $15-$17, especially if you’re able to find a homeschool high schooler,” another wrote.

“$25+ /hr — you being home shouldn’t change the price if you’re working,” another said.

A nanny chimed in and said, “I’m a nanny.. $26-$30 is more the rate here In Massachusetts”

Other users in Powers’ comment section warned her that finding a babysitter for one day a week may be tough to come by.

“1 day a week will be hard to get someone to commit to. They would need to have an additional form of income. My fear is they won’t stay long,” one user wrote.

Surely, this OP doesn’t want to have to switch up the type of childcare her kid is in day-by-day, but sometimes, that’s just the way it goes. In an economy that’s never sure and childcare costs are more than mortgages, parents have to do what they can to make life work, and that includes flexible childcare schedules.