Here are six tips for determining how much you should pay your sitter:
How often will your sitter work for you?
Is this a full-time nanny position or a part-time job watching the kids after school every day? Or is it a once-a-month gig while you enjoy a night on the town?
Nannies typically work for $15 to $17 an hour plus employer taxes, while an occasional sitter may charge $12 to $14. Of course, some families can afford pricier care. As a baseline, Prince William and Kate Middleton pay $55,000 a year for their live-in nanny, so you can scale from there based on your situation.
Do you live in the city, the suburbs, or a rural area? In general, babysitters in the suburbs command higher fees than others, and those near major cities can push their rates up by a dollar an hour or more. Sitters in San Francisco, for example, charge an average of $17.34 an hour while the national average stands at $15.20. You can use a site like www.care.com to learn the standard hourly wage for your area.
You also want to think about how much it costs your sitter to get from his or her home to yours when deciding on compensation. If your nanny has to buy a bus ticket or subway pass, consider reimbursing the cost. Sitters who have to drive to another town or far into the country may also expect to be compensated for their extra gas expenses and travel time.