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Babysitting Rates


How much should a good babysitter charge? When starting a babysitting business, it’s important to set a fair standard value for your services, and be upfront about your rates. To effectively set and maintain a fair hourly rate for childcare services, factor in the local economy and competition, and practice consistency and professionalism. The going rate for babysitting can range substantially. Here are some considerations for setting your own babysitting rates when you start babysitting.

1. Set hourly babysitting rates.

It is a good policy to charge a flat, babysitting hourly rate, inclusive of caring for one child. An additional, lesser hourly amount may be charged for each additional child.

2. Consider the local economy.

Whether in an urban area, featuring high-end real estate, or a rural area, clients value quality childcare.

If your client base is affluent, they expect to pay for quality. Charging too little can actually hurt your chances of establishing yourself as a serious childcare worker. Let prospective clients know you are of value by charging accordingly.

If your client base is largely rural, for instance, encompassing a small town and surrounding areas, the standard pay rate for childcare will naturally be less. However, it is still important to place a respectable value on your time. But what is the best hourly rate to charge, exactly?

3. Learn the standard pay rates in your area.

The best way to establish the standard pay rates in your area is to find out what other babysitters are charging. Do a little market research by talking to fellow child care workers and parents in your area. Word of mouth research is the best way to establish a rate that is reasonable and fair to you and your clients. In addition, ask about local babysitting rates when you take a babysitting course; the instructors will often be very familiar with local rates. You can also review babysitting services to see what rates they charge parents. Also look at online babysitter job postings and check out local bulletin boards to see what rates other babysitters charge.

4. Be consistent.

In the world of childcare, parents talk and word gets around. In fact, good word of mouth is the best way to expand your customer base. However, it's also a good way for parents to communicate your babysitting rates to each other, and they often do discuss babysitting rates with each other. For the most part, the temptation to offer a discounted rate should be resisted. Offering certain clients a discount, albeit out of kindness, could damage your good word of mouth, by leaving clients who pay your standard rate feeling shortchanged. To maintain value and respect, be consistent, and treat all clients equally.

5. Be assertive.

Beware of clients who attempt to devalue your work, simply because of your age. A client who wants to avoid paying a fair price may rationalize that kids should work for next to nothing, or even for free in order to learn a work ethic. The true lesson to be learned from such clients is not to allow others to devalue your work. Don’t be intimidated by an adult who is trying to take advantage of you. Assert yourself politely, and directly. If a client owes money that is past due, ask for payment.

6. Be professional.

Unfortunately, some adults feel they have a right to treat kids like unpaid hired hands, and shirk the rules common courtesy, like calling if they will arrive home late. When dealing with a difficult client, it is crucial to maintain professionalism. Always be polite, and never show negative emotion. If politely asserting rules and boundaries proves ineffective, an awkward confrontation will probably only worsen the situation. Do not persist in trying to further reason with a difficult client. Instead, take heed of the red flag of bad behavior, and respectfully remove yourself from the situation entirely, by choosing to turn down future service requests.

7. Choose clients wisely.

Responsible parents, who value a childcare worker they can trust and count on, are willing to pay a fair price, and treat a babysitter with respect and appreciation. A good childcare worker should settle for nothing less. After all, caring for children is a very important job requiring hard work and tremendous responsibility. Good parents and clients can attest to that.

Next Steps in Babysitting. Once you set your babysitting rates, check out the next steps in preparing for a babysitting job, including babysitting tips, games, safety, and how to find babysitting jobs.

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