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How Much Should You Pay Your Babysitter?

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Being that your babysitter will be taking care of your young loved ones, you want to be careful and put a lot of thought into making a decision of which babysitter is best for you.  Realize, however, that due to the importance of your children’s security, this is not a time that you are really trying to cut costs.  

The rates that you will be charged are going to differ on the type of babysitter you decide to go with.  The two types of babysitters are generally going to fall into one of two categories: a personal acquaintance/friend and a professional agency. 
 
Hiring a babysitter from an agency will be more expensive than hiring an acquaintance or friend.  With an agency, you will have to pay them a fee on top of the babysitter’s hourly rate.  However, that fee should guarantee you that your loved ones will be in good hands. Being that the agency is correctly run, you should be provided with the babysitter’s credentials, and the agency should know the babysitter very well. This will help give you peace of mind while you are out, away from your loved ones.  Another advantage of hiring a babysitter from an agency is that they can generally adhere to all of your needs, in terms of having a babysitter ready in very short notice or in being able to have someone take care of you kids over longer periods of time.  

Now in determining the rate per hour that you pay your babysitter will likely depend on how many children she will be watching each time.  The more children being watched would naturally mean a higher hourly rate.  A very common hourly rate for a baby sitter for one child is twelve dollars.  Most babysitters will charge anywhere from three to five dollars more per additional child.  If you use the same babysitter all the time and things have been working out smoothly, you might be able to negotiate a slightly lower rate being that you are a source of regular income for that person.  It can’t hurt to negotiate once a relationship has been built, but don’t try and take advantage of that person, or you might lose your regular babysitter.

If you have a child or children that require special needs or that tend to be extremely unruly, then there will likely be a surcharge to the average hourly rate, as it is going to take the babysitter more effort to complete her duties.   The same also goes for a babysitter who you require to do more than just watch the children, such as preparing dinner for them or picking them up from school.  On the other hand, if you only require that your babysitter read to your child and then put him/her to bed at a specific hour, then your rates are sure to be lower. 
 
In terms of paying your babysitter, that is something that can be worked out between the two of you to find the most suitable terms of payment.  Often, however, the babysitter will allow you to pay a slightly lower rate if you pay in cash.  So you may want to exploit this option.  

At the end of the day, you just want to make sure that you and your babysitter are happy with the arrangements.  Your babysitter is taking care of your precious ones, and that is not something you are looking to get a big discount on.  More importantly, you just want to make sure that your children are safe while you are away.

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