Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Babysitters! The Debate of Price!

I found this article on ksl.com about babysitters. It reads as follows:

Should you give your babysitter a raise?
March 23rd, 2010 @ 5:20am
By Paul Nelson

What do you think is fair to pay your child's babysitter? If you ask 100 people, you may get 100 different answers.

One woman told me she thinks $5 an hour is fair. Another said she didn't know how to intelligently answer that question.

One child development scholar thinks babysitters should get a lot more than they do.

"When we were growing up, we often got paid a dollar an hour to babysit, and we were very underpaid," said University of Utah Family and Consumer Studies Department Chair Cheryl Wright.

She says people have been raised to think caring for children should be cheap. "The fact that women have done it for a long time in non-paid positions [has made it so] that people undervalue how critical it is."

Wright admits she has a bias for child care professionals, but she thinks babysitters do a very important job. She suggests $8 an hour.

"Minimum wage could be a good standard to look at," she says.

This may be a tough sell. Some people I spoke with say $8 sounds pretty steep. One man said there are many regular part-time jobs that don't pay that much.

However, Wright says being too cheap can convince good babysitters that it's not worth their time to watch your children.

She recommends that parents avoid hiring younger teens as babysitters, but she realizes many families may have no choice but to ask a 13 or 14 year old to watch their children.

"If you do hire somebody who is young, I would advocate that they have babysitting training and that you know they are responsible," she said.

She says many parents may think of a babysitter as someone who will just let their kids watch television while they're away. Wright says you should make it clear to the person watching your child that you expect them to entertain your kid and have the child engaged in constructive activities.

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

Paying $8.00 an hour for my one child seemed a bit high! Wow!
What are your thoughts about babysitters?
What is the going price around your neck of the woods?
Do you think babysitters should be paid more?
Let's discuss!


Ann Marie said...

I have a lot to say about this.
First of all.. I feel bad because it's HARD to find sitters that have been trained. When I was a YW leader.. I suggested we do a combined YW/YM activity on child care. We changed baby doll diapers.. cooked something.. read to kids.. everything. Most kids had NEVER changed a diaper. It was an eye opener to me.. and to be honest... there are only 2 girls in my ward right now that I would leave with my kids.

The going rate around here is $2 an hour per child.. so when we go out.. we usually pay $20-25 dollars. I usually give even more because the girls cook and PLAY with my kids. They love it.. and I am happy because I know that they are being watched. -- Not left on the couch to watch a show while the babysitter is on her phone or the internet.. you know?

My 2 good babysitters are now getting too old.. and I worry. I guess I'll have to talk to the YW leaders.. and see if they can help.. because many girls are growing up and have no skills in many of these areas. So sad...

Lately.. we have been using friends or family to sit for free.. and then when we are DESPERATE for a night out.. we call the sitter. I can't wait.. just a few more years and I can leave Tenney. YAY!!!!

Cherie said...

First, I think that teenagers should definately be asked to babysit! They need the job and the experience, you need a non $8 an hour babysitter. It's part of the rite of passage in life - ha ha.
Long ago I used to pay babysitters about $20 a night when my hubs and I went out.

As far as profession, I ran a daycare in my home for many years. It is tough, tiring, hard work. I think that daycare providers should be paid well!

Lisa said...

Wow, good comments by Ann and Cherie. I haven't paid for a baby sitter in so long. Probably since my oldest started sitting so I am totally out of the loop.

Bob said...

I charge by the hugs. You know that anytime I can I will watch Shaeler. Bob and I get so excited when we get to share time with her or Morgan and Robert. Shaeler is so lucky that she has her other grandparents. I can't imagine what people do when they have no family to help.

Heather said...

I babysat most of my Jr. high life and didn't get a sent. I loved being with the kids. My mother put a stop to it. I think they should be paid well for what they do. And I think teenagers need the experience. I haven't asked any teens to watch Ayla because it terrifies me because most teens don't know much these days about babysitting. I think being trained would be a good thing. I think teens need to be prepared for the future.

There are some teens I have thought about because they have younger siblings and I have seen how they help their parents out with the littler ones.

{Mo} said...

I'm with Ann, and pay about $2 an hour per kid, so usually $5-6 an hour. I also agree with Cherie, kids need to babysit, it's a rite of passage. I remember babysitting when I was young and making $1-2 an hour and I was THRILLED! Right now there are only 2 girls in town that I will leave my kids with and thankfully they are a bit younger, so I plan on using them for the next few years!

Carrie said...

I never tried to figure out how much I made an hour. I was like, Sweet, I just made $10 bucks. The only drawback I have found from babysitting during my Jr. High days was that I attended the wedding of one of the girls I use to watch a couple of years ago. It was freaky...
We have only hired a sitter once. Well, the same sitter for the home football games for two seasons. She was the second oldest of 8 kids and 14 or 15. On the last game of the second season, we came home to her asleep on the couch with Dylan (then 6) and Alexis (then 2) helping themselves to all of the fruitsnacks, granola bars, you name it. I was livid. After that, I just switched with other couples or opted not to go out. Even though I have family nearby once again since we moved back, I still rarely have them watch my kids. Hopefully, Dylan will be able to watch his siblings in a year or two for %5/hour since he turns 12 in October. I have had my older kids take the Red Cross babysitting courses so they could watch the younger ones with me still in the house. It is good for them.

JENNIFRO said...

I have SOOO many opinions on this that I won't get started BUT thankfully Nicholas babysits now! I can't even tell you what a happy day that was!

Me said...

I saw that same article and had mixed emotions. The reason kids get paid so little is because they are not old enough to get a job (usually) and they get paid cash-so no taxes are deducted.

I use a couple of sitters that have gone through babysitting training at a hospital. Yes, it makes me feel better, but the ones we use the most haven't done it-and they are the ones my kids love the most. Like most, we pay about $5 per hour for our kids which I think is a lot. Elie's daycare is only $3 per hour so I could just take my kids there.

I agree that sitters are undervalued, but most girls do it without complaining because they can't earn money any other way.

Haley said...

In Virginia it was $10 an hour plus $2 for every additional child. Needless to say, we traded with our friends. :)

I love seeing what's going on in your life! Are you still going to run to SLC relay?


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