Do you dream of spending a Saturday evening with your spouse, enjoying a glass of wine and talking over dinner out, no children allowed? In order to turn this vision into reality, you’ll need to hire a babysitter you can trust to care for your children while you have a night on the town.
Factors Affecting Costs
In today’s tight economy, when every dollar needs to stretch to cover all of your expenses, how much you spend on a babysitter can make a big dent in your monthly budget. Therefore, you’ll want to know how much to plan for this up front. Expecting what a babysitter costs can fall within a broad range. Factors that can affect the babysitter’s cost include the babysitter’s age/stage of life (such as whether she’s a teenager, senior citizen, or falls somewhere in the middle), how experienced she (or he) is, how much training the babysitter brings to the job, how many children will need watched, as well as their ages, and whether you expect any housework, including cooking, cleaning, and laundry to be done as part of the commitment.
Time Of Day
The time of day and day of the week that you will need the babysitter can also affect the cost. If you plan to hire a babysitter during the day when your children will need constant supervision, some babysitters will charge more than they do when your children are sleeping. On the flip side, some babysitters go the other way and charge a higher price to stay at your home until the wee hours of the night than they do in the waking hours. To avoid any misunderstandings, you should always iron out these details with the babysitter up front so you don’t get any surprises before it’s too late.
Whether you use the babysitter regularly and provide her with steady work can also make a difference in how much to pay. If you keep your sitter quite busy, you may be able to pay a little less. If you only use the sitter occasionally, then expect to pay more. If the sitter will be required to drive your children to activities, you’ll need to add extra money into the pay to replenish the sitter’s gas tank regularly. If your children are quite young and active, you should also compensate the sitter accordingly since you can expect this person to be on her toes nonstop.
The part of the country in which you live can also make a big difference in what you will pay, since babysitters in major cities like New York City, Los Angeles and Boston will charge much more than similar caregivers located in rural areas. To find out the going price in your neighborhood, you can ask your colleagues and neighbors what they pay. They can also be a good source for babysitter referrals.
What To Look For
It’s important to be sure that any babysitter you are considering knows first-aid and is comfortable responding to any emergency. You can also look for someone who has completed a babysitter-training course, as well as infant/child first aid, since this will ensure she has the basic skills needed to care for your child in any type of situation.
Always ask for references and make sure that other families have had good experiences with this babysitter. Keep in mind, that if a babysitter comes highly recommended but doesn’t seem to be a good fit for you or your child, you should trust your instinct and find someone else. You can also visit the website for SafeSitter for more helpful advice and tips on finding a reliable babysitter.