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Do you think you should pay babysitters if you cancel?

Posted by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 2:03 PM
  • 179 Replies

Why You Should Pay Your Babysitter -- Even When You Cancel

by Julie Ryan Evans

check bookYou're all ready for date night. Your nails are painted, your outfit picked out, reservations made, and you can't wait to get out with your spouse and relax without filling one single sippy cup for a few hours. Then you hear the dreaded words, "Mommy, I'm going to be sick" ... and just like that, you're stuck at home cleaning up puke with those freshly manicured hands.

Sigh. It happens; it's part of parenthood that we all just have to accept from time to time. But what about your babysitter? Do you pay her (or him) anyway? The question was recently raised in a New York Times column, and I was surprised by how many people who said they don't or won't.

I think it's a given that you should, especially if you want to keep your babysitter. If you've scheduled her ahead of time, she's likely turned down other jobs or activities to keep this time set aside for you. She's probably counting on that money. To just say, sorry, thanks anyway is no way to treat someone -- at least someone you want to come back.

Some comments on the Times article pointed out that all sorts of freelancers work with such risks. If a client doesn't need the work, they don't get paid. And I get that, but a relationship with your babysitter is -- or should be -- more personal.

Now, if you know weeks or maybe even days in advance that you're going to need to cancel, that's different. It at least gives them a chance to fill that spot, and then I probably wouldn't pay them under most circumstances (I also would try not to do it often). But for last-minute, day-of cancellations, I don't think there's any question you should pay the sitter what she would have made had you kept your original plans.

It sucks, believe me I know, to shell out cash for a service you're not even using, and babysitters aren't cheap. But it's the right thing to do, and if ever you're going to err on the side of generosity, shouldn't it be with the people with whom you're entrusting your children's care?

Do you think you should pay babysitters if you cancel?

by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 2:03 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Anonymous 1 on Mar. 14, 2013 at 2:19 PM
4 moms liked this

All my baby sitters are family and don't get paid so I don't have to worry about it. 

by Anonymous 2 on Mar. 14, 2013 at 2:22 PM
9 moms liked this
Yes, if you cancel the day of. They made arrangements to come. At least offer.
by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 2:22 PM
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 2:28 PM
10 moms liked this

NO!! I do daycare and have been on the flip side too, having to pay for 3 kids in daycare! I do not believe it is fair or right to charge for time the daycare provider is not watching the child. I think it is a good sig that your babysitter is only in it for the money and you should find someone who isn't so soncerned about payment but is more concerned about your family and what is best for your situation. I encourage my parents to save money. If they can have a grandparent or friend cover a few hours a week I am fine with it. It saves them money which is more money they will have to devote to their children. I am not rich by any means but I know God privides and I can't justify "getting rich" by taking unearned money out of a families pocket!! 

by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 2:40 PM
1 mom liked this

I guess I think it depends on how far ahead of time I cancel. If I was scheduling something for a month in advance and cancel soon after I schedule it, then no. If I changed plans without a lot of notice, yes.

by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 2:41 PM

It can go either way. I was a babysitter for many families, most didn't pay if they canceled but I had one wealthy mom that had cancelled on me which would have been a 10 hour day and good money so she paid me for it. Doesn't happen very often, but if they had the money to give then why not!

by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 6:24 PM
1 mom liked this

If last second, then maybe, but anything in advance I say no.  Most businesses don't get paid if there is at least 24 hour notice of cancellation.

by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 7:45 PM
7 moms liked this

I would think a nice tip for them would be nice, but I don't think you need to fully pay them for the time they would have been babysitting for you.  As in tip, I mean if you would have paid them $40 maybe give them $10-15 for their time.

by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 9:02 PM

If I cancel the day before or the day of, I'd probably pay them anyway. But if I gave them plenty of notice, no I wouldn't

by Bronze Member on Mar. 14, 2013 at 10:01 PM
2 moms liked this

Depends on the amt. of notice given!!  If more than 24hrs no, if last minute most definitely.  Especially if it is a teenager relying on the money.

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