We asked our readers what they fork over for a night out, in an informal poll on our Facebook page.
While the rates varied from the low end ($5 an hour) to the high ($20 an hour), most of you told us that you pay your babysitters $10 an hour to take care of your kids, especially those sitters who were college-age or older.
However, when it comes to more than just the odd night out, some of our readers are willing to pay a little bit more.
Hourly rates seem to be the norm for a-la-carte childcare or after-school care, but some of you will set a flat rate for a more regular schedule.
So how much do Champaign-Urbana households pay their babysitters?
The average rate in Champaign-Urbana is $10 to $15 an hour
“I also have one child and try to schedule a sitter for when my kiddo is awake (personal preference). I pay $10/hr if the sitter is 18 years old and knock off a dollar for every year younger ($8 for 16, etc).”
“I feel $10/hr is pretty reasonable. I tell myself that even tho they’re only sitting on my couch, that’s four hours they could be doing something much more interesting and therefore I owe them for their help.”
“We pay $10/hour for one baby — if my husband and I could afford it we would definitely pay more though”.
“We paid $15/hr for two babies/toddlers. Now we pay $19-20/hr for two babies and two toddlers. Our sitter has well over a decade of experience working at a daycare.”
On the high end: $20/hr
On the low end: $5-7/hr
And everywhere in between: Between $8 and $12 an hour
“Honestly, it depends on which sitter we hire. We have one that we adore and we pay her $10 an hour (we have two children). And the others we pay $7 an hour, with a $5 tip.”
But some families pay more or pay per child or with experience
“We have had a total of two sitters. Ever. They are older and do more than your typical high school or college sitter. They are fantastic. We pay $15-20/hr most of the time. We also have three kids.”
“I pay $15/hr for my three kids.”
“We sometimes do $15/hr for our two kids.”
“$10/hr for daytime and $15 nights/weekends for one infant. We target a college students with experience.”
“We pay a set fee of $20 per child from 7pm – Midnight”
“We started at $10/hr and as they stayed with us longer, we increased it every 6 months.”
To clean or not to clean
“I almost always pay $10/ hr, but round up at the end of the night. I have three super easy kiddos (ages 2, 6 and 9) and don’t ask sitters to clean up or anything extra (although I appreciate if they don’t leave the house messier than they found it). When I have a new sitter, I ask them what they charge and occasionally will pay more if they request it, but we have several sitters so if they charge more they usually go to the bottom of my list, simply a financial decision.”
“I started paying my sitters $10/hr when I had one child. I pay $15/hr now for three and I do not give them a to-do list. They’re paid to take care of my children, not my house.”
“I pay $7-10/hr for my two kids, just depends on the sitter. I’ll usually round up when paying. Whatever you choose to pay just be up front about it ‘I’m looking for a babysitter for my one child, I pay $x/hr and expect YZ. I pay $x/hr if you do extra housekeeping like wash dishes, sweep, etc…’ then there’s no unanswered expectations.”
On negotiating pay:
“You can negotiate with a sitter. I give my sitters a choice when they’re around after my kids go to bed. I have a list of housework that needs to get done. To get paid the full rate, you’ll need to do that work. If you would rather do homework, no problem, but your hourly pay will decrease (the exception is when we have sitters come at prime times, like a Saturday night when they’d rather go out or on a holiday night.) We tell our sitters this during the interview and they’re happy with it. We pay our sitters $10-14/hr, based on experience with us and other kids.”
Feedback from a local babysitter:
“I’m a babysitter and the most common seems to be $10/hr in this area. A lot of people will add about $2 per kid onto that. However, from a sitter’s stand point, if you want to have an exceptional sitter who keeps coming back and goes out of their way to make themselves available to watch your kids, then don’t just pay them the average. Babysitting isn’t like other jobs where you have to do it, we can always turn jobs down if it isn’t worth our time. Every sitter is different, so just be sure to discuss it with them ahead of time and decide what works for both of you.”
“If you’re paying well then most sitters will do light cleaning up without even being asked. I will pick up, load the dishwasher, and then I will do my own thing after that. We are babysitters, not housekeepers. If I’m asked to do any cleaning other than what I would do on my own without being asked, then I would expect to be paid extra for that, not just to even out my time.”
“I am a nanny, and have been for numerous years. I make anywhere from $11-15/hr. I will do stuff related to the children as far as dishes/laundry/pick up toys/ect., but not otherwise. I’ll be your housekeeper, but at a different rate and time. I don’t feel that’s why I am there. I feel I am there to give my undivided attention to your children, and I do just that. Even if they’re older. We still hang out or help them with stuff they need. Everything (duties, pay, ect.) can be negotiated. I feel there’s a huge difference in a babysitter and a nanny. A sitter is there randomly for a date night for a few hours so not much relationship with the kids or family is typically established. A nanny helps you raise your children alongside you that means there is a lot more responsibility and family interaction and relationship. So it’s a matter of what the needs of your family are. Just find a person that fits what you need and fits in well with your family. I will go far out of my way for the families I work for bc we have that relationship established. We are all almost family now. Trust is a huge factor as well. Trust is almost priceless.”
“I charge $10/hr for one child, $15 for 2, $20 for 3+ or it isn’t worth my time. Sorry, you can’t have the expectation of having someone more responsible than a 14 year old and the expectation of paying less than $10/hr.”
“I used to work for a nanny agency and it’s usually $10-15/hr depending on the number of kids.”
On the value of a well-paid sitter
“Why low-ball the cost of care for the most important people in your life? You get what you pay for.”
“I used to feel as though I was wasting my $ to pay someone to hang at my house while my child slept… until the time when our baby woke up with a stomach bug soon after we left and threw up about 15 times before we got home. That’s when we realized the full value of a well-paid babysitter.”
Looking for a sitter? Check out our guide to finding the right one.
Need to find childcare in Champaign-Urbana? We have a guide for that too.