What Should We Pay our Babysitter?? A Breakdown of Babysitter Rates for West Michigan – 2018

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Sitter Survey Results for Greater Grand Rapids

We recently needed a sitter for our monthly date night with friends. We found a sitter from our old neighborhood and made arrangements.

What we didn’t do, however, was discuss pay. We asked our friends what they paid theirs, took some other factors into account and paid the sitter when we got home. She was satisfied, so we figured we had calculated correctly.

average babysitter rates

But knowing the going rate in our area would have been incredibly helpful. Did we underpay? Did we overpay? What if we underpaid and she doesn’t want to come back? 

Knowing we are not alone, Grand Rapids Kids surveyed local parents to answer the age-old question: “what do you pay a babysitter??

THE RESULTS: How Much do we pay our Grand Rapids Babysitters?

Trend 1: Rates Vary by Area

We surveyed people from all over Kent county, as we wanted the average babysitter rate in each zip code. We found that parents within the city of Grand Rapids pay 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. Keep in mind though, these stats are the averages of over 300 people surveyed. The total range of pay for Kent County ran from about $5/hr at the lowest, and $20/hr at the highest.

Trend 2: More Children Does not Always Equal More Pay

On average, parents report paying, $10.50 an hour for one child. Adding another child to the mix bumped pay up by 0.20 cents an hour. The interesting thing is that adding a third child didn’t seem to affect the pay rate at all. But add a fourth? Now you’re on the hook for $12.30 an hour if you follow the rates reported in our survey.

Since more kids equals a larger mess I think we can assume it is why it is a bit costlier when you add a fourth kid. Especially since a lot of parents in our survey stated that they pay more if the sitter does some light house work (even if only cleaning up after the children).

Grand Rapids babysitter rates

Trend 3: The Older the Sitter, the Higher the Pay

Our sitter was 15, she had taken a babysitting course and had some experience. Our kids are all over the age of three, but she still required transportation. All those specifics played a role in our rate of pay. Parents in our survey indicated that they paid an average of $9.60 an hour for a sitter like ours in a similar scenario.

We fell in line with what was typical. But if we were to hire an older sitter, maybe a college student, we would have to open our pocket books a little wider since most parent’s report paying about $11.30/hr to that age group. If we wanted a professional, someone who was a little bit older, we would be paying $12.21/hr.

Some parents claimed to be quite possessive of their favorite sitters and admitted paying slightly higher to be the priority family of their sitter. A whopping 58% of those surveyed said they would only share their sitter’s information with a good friend. Some people said they wouldn’t even entertain the idea of sharing their favorite sitter! We can see why paying a little more is advantageous if you’re hoping to ensure you’re never without your favorite sitter.

Trend 4: Overnight Sitters are Paid Less per Hour

Most parents indicated they do not use an overnight sitter. However, those that did pay from $50-150 per night. Some paid an hourly wage that differed between sleeping and wake hours. It is safe to say; however, it is expected that you will pay someone less during sleeping hours which will lower the overall average hourly wage.

Are you still wondering if you’re paying around the same as others?

Just to simplify information we put together a list of what percent of parents pay what. If you’re interested in where you fall in the bracket; review the following information:  

  • 7% pay $5-7/hr
  •  12% pay $8-9/hr
  •  36% pay $10/hr
  •  11% pay $11/hr
  •  17% pay $12/hr
  •  8% pay $13-14/hr
  •  7% pay $15/hr
  •  1% pay $17-20/hr

babysitter pay for Grand Rapids

Where do Grand Rapids Kids parents find a sitter?

Many Grand Rapids parents indicated that they often rely on friend’s referrals to find someone to babysit for them. Others look for a sitter in the following ways:

  • Care.com
  • Referrals from other parents
  • Local babysitter facebook groups
  • Church
  • College boards
  • Day Care providers

For more information on locating a sitter click HERE.

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