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How Much Should I Charge for Babysitting?

This is one of the questions we get asked most by babysitters on the CarePair social media channels. And there’s no easy answer, because it’s dependent on what each parent is willing or wanting to pay. So while every sitter wants to make $25 an hour, for most it is unrealistic.

Alberta Minimum Wage

As you should all know, the minimum wage in Alberta is two-tiered: above 18 years old it’s $15 an hour and below 18 it’s now $13 an hour. This should be reflected in the wage that you display on your profile. Not to say if you’re 16 years old you must only make $13 an hour, but if you’re younger and haven’t uploaded any special certifications such as CPR, First Aid or police background check, parents will view you as an entry level babysitter, and expect to pay wages commensurate with your level of experience. Therefore, for someone 15/16/17 years old, with no certification uploads, I would recommend the wage you advertise on CarePair to be under $15/ hour. This leaves you room to grow your wages and earnings as you gain certifications and experience.

Upload Your Certifications to Earn More!

Conversely, for 15-18 year olds with certifications they have uploaded, you can reasonably charge more money per hour. However, in this too, I would advise caution. Look at other sitters on CarePair with your level of certification and see what they’re charging. If someone is in their 40s with up to date certification, but has 25 years experience babysitting, you shouldn’t expect the same wage as that person.

But I’m >17 Years Old!

Many parents would prefer to have an older babysitter, for no reason other than the sense of experience they might get. If you’re older than 17 years old, you’re more than entitled to charge at least $15/ hour, even as a few charge less than that on CarePair. However, you shouldn’t expect that just because you’re 22 and have your own transportation, that you can charge $20; you will need certifications and experience before parents are willing to pay that much (for regular, one-child jobs). Having said that, if you’re 19, with multiple certifications, areas of expertise and references, parents will be willing to pay more for your services.

Real Life Example

To illustrate the point, here’s an example of a job that was posted yesterday on CarePair requiring specialized care for a child with autism. 

This particular parent requires a sitter with demonstrated experience dealing with special needs kids, which implies an older sitter with specific training. This parent is willing to pay $22/ hour for this level of care, which is a very high wage for babysitting. Are you a babysitter that can reasonably claim to have the experience and qualifications to apply for this job? If not, and your advertised wage is close to this $22/ hour mark, this should be a suggestion that your wage expectations are too high.

What Are Parents Willing to Pay?

Parents take many factors into deciding what to pay a sitter. From our observations of the posted jobs on CarePair so far, most parents are wanting to pay between $11-$17 an hour for normal babysitting jobs. If you make the choice that you’re willing to work for $11-$15 an hour, advertising that as your wage expectation will help drive more parents to contact you about jobs. Since working for below minimum wage is not something most people are (rightfully) willing to do, advertising your realistic wage based on your experience and qualifications (rather than your desired wage) will help attract more parents to your profile, get more jobs, and ultimately make more money on CarePair!

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