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cost of babysitters, i am really out of touch

(124 Posts)
redblue Fri 28-Aug-09 12:39:41

i know i am totally out of touch here. Tonight hubby & I are going out tonight for the first time since daughter was born 10 months ago. Found a trusted person to babysit who tells me going rate is £6 per hour. We don't live in london and knowing nothing about this I was quite pleased when she first told me this hourly rate thinking it sounded cheap. But as I am about to go to the cash point now to get money to pay her I realised that our anticipated hours out of the house (about 4) are likely to cost us the same if not slightly less than the two main meals at the pub we are going to and so there is quite a good chance that we pay more to the babysitter than we spend whilst out. I know I know that that is not the point and it is quality time and the chance to go out etc and maybe it is our own fault for not blowing the budget and going the whole hog in the 4 hours we are away but that is not really our style. I guess it will be a learning curve to me conclusion of which is don't go out make your own fun at home! (No family members living nearby before anyone says it!!)Right, let the abuse start if you think i am totally out of touch and that is just the way things work!!

juneybean Fri 28-Aug-09 12:41:28

I'm in Tyne & Wear and charge £5 - £6 for a minimum of 2 hours

However depends what you're looking for obviously a younger teen would be cheaper but an experienced person who can cope in an emergency will cost a bit more.

dingdong05 Fri 28-Aug-09 12:45:10

UNBU to complain about the cost of things, but UABU to expect people to work for you for pennies.
hth! grin

bigstripeytiger Fri 28-Aug-09 12:47:17

£6 an hour is pretty typical. It does make going out very expensive.

LadyMuck Fri 28-Aug-09 12:49:35

I pay a teen £4.50 an hour, agency £5.50-£6.50 an hour depending on night of the week, 3 hour minimum booking.

The rate is possibly on the high side outside of London. Your trusted friend might have said £6, but what did the babysitter ask for?

Certainly you need to factor in the cost of a babysitter into a night out. I'd rarely bother with a sitter to go out to the cinema say, but for parties or even evening classes, then it gets factored in. In terms of going out together as a couple, I think it depends on a) how good you are at getting quality time at home, and b) how often you each go out, as to whether this is a priority or not. If you are already each going out once or twice a week then getting a sitter just to eat out might not be worth it on a frequent basis imo. On the other hand if you are stuck in with the kids most if the time, and rarely see other adults, then it could be a lifesaver.

redblue Fri 28-Aug-09 12:52:07

Would never suggest babysitter should work for pennies and of course it is work for which totally entitled to expect the going rate (although knowing my daughter will absolutely be asleep from 7pm till midnight as she has done since very small means i know it will be very easy work so to speak! NOT that this means that babysitter is not still entitled to going rate).
Just saying that unless your budget for expenditure when out is above a certain threshold then knowing the absolute minimum a simple one course pub meal out will cost you £50 + (£25 for babysitter £25 for the two of you) means you know not to do it very often (or at all)!! (till your budget expands big time via a lottery win or similar!)

elmofan Fri 28-Aug-09 12:55:55

hi redblue , same here , we are going out tonight for the first time in two years , we are just going to the cinema & my niece is minding dd (3) , dd is my niece's godchild ,
my dilemma is how much do i pay dn , she is 19 & her boyfriend is babysitting with her , ds (10) is allowed to stay up until i get home at 10pm ( to chaperon)grin
hope you have a fab night .

redblue Fri 28-Aug-09 13:30:57

have a great time elmofan, glad you have a neice to babysit. it makes you realise how much support family can give you if they are local and / or so minded. You are lucky! Have a fantastic night out too, I know I have been looking forward to our night out tonight for months and months!

LadyMuck Fri 28-Aug-09 13:34:48

You could join/set up a babysitting circle amongst other parents you know. This seem to work fairly successfully at one local school that I know.

FimbleHobbs Fri 28-Aug-09 13:36:17

Thats the same as we pay on the very rare occasions we get a babysitter. Usually to go to a parents evening or for work reasons as its expensive to justify 'just' for socialising.

We try and babysit for friends and then they babysit for us sometimes, its hard as my DH is often working nights so not easy to fit into our schedules, but if you can manage it, it saves a fortune.

You have my sympathies. Have a great night though!

milknosugarplease Fri 28-Aug-09 13:38:18

hiya,i live in north london and i babysit for 4 different families and charge £6 (one family pays £7 but this was her choive) per hour....for london this is dirt cheap...going rate seems to be £8+ then goes up after midnight (i dont bother doing that)

been babysittinf=g since i was 15 (im now 21) and used to get £4 per hour!

have a great night out! x

sweethoney Fri 28-Aug-09 13:57:32

Totally understand how you feel. Going out without having family around to babysit makes it an expensive night out, even if you're just having a local pub meal. But the going rate is what it is. My suggestions around this would be setting up a babysitting club where with local friends you take it in turns to babysit (even if you only babysit for each other once a month!).
As regards using a paid babysitter, to save money just restrict using them to special nights out such as birthdays, anniversaries, parties etc.
We tend to have friends round to ours a lot now for dinner. They bring the baby, put him/her to bed at ours (we put up a travel cot for them) and then have some nice food and enjoy ourselves. There is also no hassle about having to get back for the babysitter (because its late or will cost too much). Next time we go to there house for dinner and vice versa.
Paying for a babysitter is an expensive luxury (especially when baby is asleep!)

elmofan Fri 28-Aug-09 13:59:22

yes we are very lucky as my family would babysit for us at the drop of a hat if asked , smile but we just couldn't afford to go out very often , & being stuck in EVERY night is driving me mad at this stage , so we reckon giving dn £20 for babysitting tonight is worth it just to get a brake , dd will hopefully be asleep b4 we go & ill be home in two hours . i have bought in lots of goodies for niece & her boyfriend etc .
i know its a pain having to pay for babysitters but i really hope you have a fantastic night tonight smile

Firawla Fri 28-Aug-09 14:00:49

well thats not much more than minimum wage so i think yabu to expect it any cheaper really

Laquitar Fri 28-Aug-09 14:11:03

We pay £8-£10 in London. I guess £6 for other places is normal.

I understand how you feel but why starting the thread today? There is nothing you can do now, too late to negotiate and if you cancell you ll have to pay 4 hrs minimum.
If it is only a rant, again no good idea because if people post £5 ph it will only add to your misery grin

Just go and enjoy it

redblue Fri 28-Aug-09 14:25:17

Why start the thread? As per my first post i confess to being totally naieve when I said to hubby back in April that I really wanted to go out for our wedding anniversary at the end of August how much a babysitter would cost. You are right, there is no point to my thread apart from a first time parent who has learnt the cost of going out. As I say above, I am not in any way suggesting that babysitters should charge less nor that I want to negotiate or cancel the night out. I just know that on our budget it's going to be a one off. I appreciate very much the suggestions from other people about how they made saying in with friends etc work for them. Would love to start a babysitting circle, my mum used to be part of a circle where they swapped wine bottle corks for each hour they had babysat for each other so they could ensure everyone had sat for an equal time as other members of the circle. My personal experience since my baby was born is that i have not managed to get to know enough ladies in my sitution (having gone back to work myself for financial necessity reasons!) to start a babysitting circle. I sometimes have rediculous dreams about how much of a utopia being a mum in the 70's was, all that love and kindness and babysitting circles for the earth mothers my mum used to mix with (NB the last bit is a piss take of myself faod)!

milknosugarplease Fri 28-Aug-09 14:29:17

redblue-whereabouts do you live?


lljkk Fri 28-Aug-09 14:33:14

I have often seen people on MN posting about paying a lot less than 6/hour for a teenage babysitter, but typically for an older child. 10 months is a tricky age, you really want someone who knows what they're doing and just not next door's 16yo.

I think it's worth asking around in future to see if you can find someone you could trust who would work out a cheaper deal. It's even possible that the person coming tonite would be willing to charge less in future when it's going to be a for such a big block of time (so maybe #20 for the 4 hours instead of 24 quid, etc.)

I've tried and totally failed to ever get a babysitting circle going, easier said than done. And now I have too many DC for most sitters to cope with. What's worse DC4 doesn't settle with anybody but me or DH, so not the slightest chance of us having a sitter for years to come.

I hope you enjoy the night out

violethill Fri 28-Aug-09 14:40:11

OP - You say you're back at work yourself so you know that any form of childcare doesn't come cheap!!

I think you should just bite the bullet and enjoy your evening.
It's sad that as parents we fork out shed loads for childcare to enable us to work, and then feel guilty about paying a babysitter to have an evening out!! Go on - enjoy!

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 28-Aug-09 14:41:11

yes going out for meal etc and paying a babysitter is expensive - and yes often you do/can pay more for the babysitter then what the cinema/meal costs

i charge £10ph and have a minimum of 4hrs fee and I get lots of work, many times I have to say no to a family and try to get a nanny known by me to babysit for them

def try and set up a local babysitting circle with mums from NCT, M&T etc

Glitterknickaz Fri 28-Aug-09 14:43:12

Yep, I pay £6. But then my babysitter, despite being a teenager, has SN experience and that's worth its weight in gold. She doesn't expect a premium for that either.

As a result, her SN experience, her reliability, I look after her. Her going rate is £6 an hour, but if I have her on a Fri/Sat night I'll make it up to £30 (so that's usually an extra hour on top). Also if I can't get her home safely myself I will pre book and pay for her taxi home.

I also leave plenty of food and drink for her although she doesn't take advantage of that. She's a real find, we are limited to who we can have to babysit because of our kids' SN so she is worth it.

redblue Fri 28-Aug-09 14:48:40

north oxfordshire milk
I really wasn't looking for a magic answer to this, it was just a chance for other posters to laugh at the naieve nature of a first time mum!!! Day to day childcare is expensive but I have worked out something which means the small net amount I make above childcare costs does pay for some key bills on a day to day basis so is worth it in the end (or so my husband says!!)
i have learnt the lesson and will get creative about other ways (other than going out) to enjoy company of hubby / friends. Yes tonight will be really lovely in the light of all of this and I will enjoy!

milknosugarplease Fri 28-Aug-09 14:50:36

a bit of an off topic...but still the same topic!

how much extra would you be willing to pay on new years eve?

milk x

weegiemum Fri 28-Aug-09 14:52:17

In Glasgow, I pay the very very responsible 16yo across the road £5 per hour if the kids are asleep (the times they should be, that is!), £7 per hour for the times they are awake - there have been a couple of occasions when its been like 6-9 or something so its been 2 hours at £7 and an hour at £5.

I suppose the best thing about it (for me) is that her lovely Mum who is a friend of mine as well is just over the road if something goes wrong, and she appreciates us employing her daughter, so everyone benefits!

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 28-Aug-09 14:53:03

what childcare do you have?

could you ask them to see if they will bs?

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