Your Questions About Baby Care

William asks…

What are going babysitting rates in Metro-DC area?

We, thankfully, never really pay for babysitting, but are using a friends daughter tomorrow, and I would like to pay her the going rate. What do people pay these days in the Metro-DC area? Specifically Fairfax county. 1 child, 3 year old

The Expert answers:

I asked this same question on a different talk thread for the DC metro area, and fairfax county. I also looked at babysitting staffing websites. What it really comes down to is a few factors.

#1 – how old is the babysitter
#2 – how experienced is the baby sitter
#3 – what is going to be expected of the babysitter

Based on these criteria, the average going rate is between $12 – 20 per hour.

For one child, 3 years old, if no cooking/preparing meals is involved, and the babysitter is a teenager, I would say $12 per hour.

I am 27, have been babysitting for 15 years, and have substitute taught at a preschool for 8 years. I generally charge $15/hr for one or two children, and $20/hr for three children – unless the children are older and then for three children I’d charge $15 per hour.

Helen asks…

What are good babysitting rates?

I’m just starting in babysitting and I would like to know what some good rates are. I’m thirteen and I’m CPR certified and I have a day job as a counselor in training at a local camp.

The Expert answers:

This is a very common question! I don’t really have a good answer for you but my suggestion is to use the search for questions bar at the top of the screen and go through all of the questions that ask the same thing.
I think you will be surprised at the variety of answers.

I’ve seen response prices from $5-$10 a night up to $10 an hour for babysitters under working age.

Sharon asks…

What are some reasonable babysitting rates?

My daughter has been babysitting a lot for the neighbors and church friends lately, and we decided she needed to set a main price per hour. She is 11, and usually babysits 1-3 kids every time.

The Expert answers:

$5 per kid per hour if they are different families…if it is the same family with mulitple kids then about $10-12 per hour

Charles asks…

How do these babysitting rates sound to you?

My friend and I are 15, American Red Cross certified, and are going to get our driver’s liscense in just a few months. We will be babysitting together unless the other is out of town or busy. We are going to watch 2 months-10 years of age and are charging $5 an hour for 1 child + $2 for each child after that. Does that sound reasonable to you?

The Expert answers:

So you watch my kid for $5 hr? That sounds like a good deal, unless you mean that there ill be other kids too? And I REALLY don’t want a 15-16 year old to drive my kid anywhere

Joseph asks…

What are normal Michigan babysitting rates???…?

I am getting laid off and am going to start babysitting. I want to charge lower than normal rates, but don’t know what that is now days.

The Expert answers:

I have been a licensed child care provider in my home in Michigan for 22 years (Washtenaw County). First, it is the law in Michigan that anyone who regularly cares for unrelated children in their home must be licensed. That, of course, doesn’t stop there being numerous unlicensed providers, but if you intend to follow the law look into becomming licensed. Second, even here in Washtenaw County, which tends to enjoy one of the higher economic climates in Michigan, there isn’t much current call for new child care providers. Both daycare homes and centers are struggling to keep their enrollments at a minimum level so they can keep their doors open. I am personally aware of 2 daycare centers as well as several home providers who have gotten out of the business due to the lack of numbers on their rolls. A lot of families are in the same boat as you, with one or both parents laid off so they have no need for child care. It is a personal pet peeve of mine, but I believe that a “babysitter” is a teenager who occasionally cares for children in that family’s home while the parents go out. Adults who regularly care for other people’s children are child care providers. In regards to daycare rates, there is no “normal”. Each daycare home and center sets their own fees. Some charge by the hour while others charge by the day or week. It just depends on your program. I prefer caring for flexible, part-time families so I charge by the hour. I currently charge $3/hour regardless of the age of the child. I’ve seen other hourly providers charge from $2-8. Other care providers charge by the day. I’ve seen this range from $20-60/day depending on the ages of the child and the type of program offered. Infants are always more since the adult/child ratio is small. Weekly rates can range from $75-300, again depending on the facility and the age of the child. People who are nannies can make as much as $100/day or more depending on the location, the income of the family, the number and ages of the children, and expected responsibilities. Many people think taking care of kids is an easy way to make some money. In reality that is not the case. Child care is a profession and as with all professions, you have to be aware of the difficulties as well as the rewards. I have had many people contact me about getting in to the child care business. I always tell them that if they aren’t doing it because of their love of kids they should consider another line of work. The time and energy it takes to properly care for other people’s children is not offset by the income so you have to find your reward in doing it from the kids themselves (parents can be difficult, at best, to deal with). Try doing some research at You may also find some helpful information through the Child Care Network. Their website is… ADDED: There is no home child care provider who will charge $12/hour, many parents don’t even make that much themselves.

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