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Babysitter rate for being "on call?"

Just wondering if any of you have this situation - we have a terrific babysitter we pay $8 per hour to watch our son occasionally. We sometimes have a need for a babysitter to be "on call" for us, because my husband is sometimes on call for work. We aren't sure how to pay our sitter, and she isn't giving us a rate (she is super sweet and doesn't like to ask for money, lol.) It is important to us that we are fair with her.

If you have this situation, how do you pay your sitter? Do you pay her more for the hours she actually works, or do you pay a flat rate just to be on call, plus hourly if/when she is needed?

Answer Question

Asked by getrealmama at 8:03 PM on Sep. 9, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 19 (7,818 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • I guess it would depend on what you mean by "on call". Do you require her to not make any plans from x time to x time in case you need her or do you call her at the last minute to see if she can come babysit? If it is the first then yes, I would pay her at least a flat fee even if you don't have to call her in. If you have to call her at the last minute then I would probably pay $9 or $10 an hour instead of her regular $8.


    Answer by JeremysMom at 8:08 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • i'm assuming your hubby is on call meaning he's at home and goes to work if needed right? lol, i'm asking bc when my hubby is on call that means he has to stay at work for 24 hrs. i would just increase the hourly rate to say $10 to compensate for the inconvienience of 'maybe' being needed and not being able to make plans for that time.

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 8:08 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • 10.00/ hour seems fair

    Answer by QandA at 8:18 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • I realize I didn't explain that clearly. OK, on weekdays in the evenings, I am away at work and my hubby is home with the baby. He works for the water company, and he shares the responsibility of handling afterhours emergencies with a few other people on a rotating basis. So basically, every 6th week, he is "on duty" for a week, meaning, he works his regular schedule and comes home on time, but if there is an afterhours emergency, he is the one who has to go handle it. And that is when we would need a sitter. Luckily, our sitter lives very close by, and she is willing to be on call. I am just not sure how to pay her. Like tonight - I am at work. Hubby is at home with the baby, but is on duty for work. And our sitter is at her house, waiting for a call if we need her. We may or may not need her - there is no way to know.

    Comment by getrealmama (original poster) at 8:51 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • I would definately pay her a little more- you're right on doing that. Also, I may guarantee her a minimum pay amount.. Meaning, just for the willingness of her to keep her night wide open for you, may be guarantee her at least $20 if she does have to go to your house even if it's for less than an hour just to make it worth her while (that is what we do for our sitter). Just a thought! Sounds like you have a great sitter though!

    Answer by Lisa.Price at 9:14 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • We do have a great sitter and we want to do the right thing and keep her happy. She makes it hard when she says "Just pay me what you think is fair, whatever!" I am thinking about paying her $10 flat fee for every night she is on call. Then an hourly rate on top of that, probably the regular $8.

    Comment by getrealmama (original poster) at 10:23 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • Sounds like a great idea to me!

    Answer by Lisa.Price at 8:00 AM on Sep. 10, 2010

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