If you’re raising a family in New York City, you already know that childcare can be a huge expense.
But that’s just par for the course in one of the most expensive cities in the United States. And you really can’t put a price on the peace of mind you get from knowing your children are in good hands at all times.
But it’s not just weekday childcare that can cost a pretty penny.
New York City isn’t known as “the city that never sleeps” for anything; there’s always something going on, and evening and weekend events are abundant. That means there’s plenty of times you’ll want to hire a babysitter so you can attend adult-only events or simply get some “me-time.”
Babysitting in the Big Apple is quite a lucrative business, and if you’ve found a sitter you’re happy with, you’ll want to ensure you’re paying her a competitive wage that she’s happy with. Not sure how much that is? According to Indeed.com, the average rate for a babysitter in NYC is around $15/hour for one child and tends to increase for additional children. Here’s a breakdown by the borough of the average hourly babysitting rates in NYC (data from Indeed.com):
Staten Island $17.00
There’s certainly no reason to feel inclined to pay higher rates for weekend evenings, but what about if you need to leave town for the entire weekend?
If there aren’t any grandparents or other family members or close friends to step in, you’ll have to rely on a weekend babysitter to fill your shoes while you’re away. And that’s a hard thing to do! Not only do you have to decide whether you trust your sitter to handle everything in the house as well as the kids, you have to figure out how much to pay her!
While there’s no hard-and-fast rule about how much to pay for a weekend babysitter, the best rate is the one that feels right for both parties. This certainly isn’t a situation where you want your sitter to do the bare minimum because she feels underpaid! However, you shouldn’t be obligated to pay a daytime hourly rate while everyone’s asleep either.
The best thing to do? Add up the exact number of hours you’ll be away and pay your weekend babysitter her standard hourly rate for all of the daytime hours.
Pay a reduced rate, maybe half, for the overnight hours each night, but then consider offering a flat-rate bonus for the amount of work that she’ll be doing. To make it easier for your sitter, fully stock the kitchen with food and beverages (bonus points for stocking some of her favorites!) and leave cash for a pizza night. If your weekend babysitter will be expected to drive, gas up the car. If public transportation will be part of the equation, make sure that’s covered as well. And finally, ensure your sitter has some downtime by arranging a playdate or movie night; anything to give her a small break will be greatly appreciated.
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Christin Perry is a freelance writer and editor living in the DC area. She specializes in the lifestyle genre and her writing has been published by The Knot, The Bump, and LittleThings.com.