Finding – and Paying – Babysitters
How much should you pay your sitter?
Take the “going rate sitter survey” to help us find out!
It can be hard to leave your kids in the hands of someone else. But inevitably we all need child care at some point, whether it be for date night, a work event, or to go out with friends. Sometimes Grandma can pitch in, but often, we will need to find a sitter.
So where do you turn when looking for a babysitter? Turns out, finding a good babysitter with the right availability can be difficult.
Check out these resources for landing your next babysitter. And good luck – when you find that perfect sitter, you know you’ve struck gold!
9 Places to Find a Grand Rapids Babysitter
1 – Word of Mouth
Getting referrals from friends and family is a great way to find a reliable sitter. You can usually trust a sitter if someone you know has already used them for their children. This is where most people start when looking for a babysitter.
2 – Care.com
The care.com website provides connections for nannies, babysitters, daycare workers, tutors, special needs care, and au pairs. You can search the database to connect with local people within your pay range. As a parent seeking a sitter, you pay a fee to use the site.
Looking for a daycare?
Check out our childcare guide for lots of local options, from centers to in-home care.
3 – Sittercity.com
Sittercity.com is a website that provides a database of babysitters and nannies near your zip code. Parents can post a job description to which sitters can apply. Sittercity is a fee-based membership site.
4 – College Job Boards
Many schools use Handshake, a place for college students to search for jobs and employers to post their job listings. When you sign up, you can easily post your job listing to many schools at once, for free.
Local schools that use this tool include Calvin College, Grand Valley, Davenport, Hope and Cornerstone.
Aquinas College has a private household job posting form that can be used to find babysitters. Staff will review your request and post it on their Students page in their weekly update.
5 – NextDoor
NextDoor is a neighborhood by neighborhood website that allows you to connect with nearby households. Many people have luck posting their sitter needs on this site and ultimately connecting with sitters in your neighborhood.
6 – Facebook Groups
The Kent County Babysitter Facebook Group is a hub for babysitters, licensed home daycares, daycare centers, nannies, and people who provide care in the children’s homes. Posts are tagged with location to help users sort through the posts.
Many parents also find good sitters through their neighborhood Facebook pages. People are always asking who the local sitters are, and neighbors also share if their own kid is a babysitter looking for work.
7 – Church Youth Groups
If you’re a member of a church, this probably goes without saying, but the church youth group is a great way to connect with highschool babysitters. You might consider having a younger teen as parent helper – someone to watch the kids while you remain at home and offer guidance as needed.
8 – Babysitting Co-op
If you can find some people to swap sitting with, this is a low-to-no cost option for babysitting.
I was in a co-op where we earned one popsicle stick per child per hour when watching kids. Then we paid the sitter watching our children one stick per hour per kid when we wanted to go out.
If we were running low on Popsicle sticks we knew it was time to volunteer to watch someone’s kids.
Be sure to vet anyone that will be caring for your child.
How do you (or will you) find your sitters?
Babysitter Rates for 2022
In 2022, it’s much more common for babysitters to bring up the subject of pay before agreeing to sit for your kids. Some won’t, however, leaving it up to the parents to decide how much they want to pay.
This leads to an interesting situation where parents aren’t sure if what they’re paying is fair, or if their sitter will be tempted to leave for a higher-paying job at the neighbor’s house next time.
Consequently, knowing the knowing the going rate for sitters in your area is incredibly helpful.
Babysitting Rates Trends
Here’s what we know about babysitting rate trends in West Michigan, based on our survey results from 2018.
While we don’t expect these trends to have changed much in the last 5 years, we do expect the hourly rates to have increased. The question is, by how much? (stick around and take the babysitter rate survey at the end of this article to help us get new numbers, please and thank you!)
Babysitting Rates Vary by Area
In 2018, parents within the city of Grand Rapids paid an average of $9.20 an hour. Parents in East Grand Rapids averaged the highest: about $12.06/hr. The rest of Greater Grand Rapids fell somewhere in between at an average of $10.70/hr.
More Kids Doesn’t Always Mean More Pay
In 2018, parents reported paying, $10.50 an hour for one child. Adding another child to the mix bumped pay up by 0.20 cents an hour. And adding a third child didn’t seem to affect the pay rate at all. A lot of parents in our survey stated that they pay more if the sitter does some light house work, though.
The Older the Sitter, the Higher the Pay
In 2018, paid a 15-year-old sitter an average of $9.60 an hour.
College-aged sitters got $11.30/hr, and professional sitters were paid $12.21/hr.
2022 Babysitter Rates Survey
Survey results will be released after a sample of people representative of West Michigan have participated. Thank you!
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