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Paying babysitters extra for looking after additional children

(14 Posts)
PigeonPair Sun 09-Aug-09 20:59:39

I wasn't sure where to post this but I would be interesting in hearing some opinions on this.

What do you think is the "etiquette" on paying babysitters extra for looking after additional children (eg. if you have friends/family staying who also have children)??

The last couple of times we have done this, My husband and I have paid the "normal" amount we would pay her to look after our two, but then we have suggested to our friends that they perhaps offer a little extra for looking after their children too. I can't deny that I have had a few weird looks when I have mentioned this.

I used to do a lot of babysitting when I was younger and I got quite annoyed when I would turn up to find an extra two or three children there so I always forewarn a babysitter that there will be more than my two to look after.

So, do you think this is over the top or a nice gesture? Do you think it is acceptable for the couples to split the normal rate of pay? Do you think it depends on whether the additional children are asleep when the sitter arrives and whether they wake up?(luckily our two (1 and 4) are always asleep and never wake up once they are off).

danthe4th Sun 09-Aug-09 21:09:37

I would be happy to look after up to 3 children for my normal fee of £8-£10 per hour but if they were all going to be in bed asleep by the time I got there then I wouldn't be that bothered having an extra 1 or 2 but I would expect a £30 minimum booking and personally if I was the extra parent I would pay half or give the sitter an extra £10 on top.

Lifeinagoldfishbowl Sun 09-Aug-09 21:11:30

I have always received extra pay - as a nanny I went on holiday with my nanny family and we were joined by other families and I recieved an extra £20 or so from the other families. When I have babysat and had to have an extra one for the evening or even just a couple of hours until their parent arrived then again i was paid by both parents.

nannynick Sun 09-Aug-09 21:12:28

I would expect a little extra for children who were not regular family members. I also would be expect to be told about it before I arrived (have had situations where I've turned up to babysit to find another child there visiting who doesn't understand or speak English - I knew no Russian, 5yr old child knew no English... we coped as best we could!).

My childcare rate is the same regardless of it the children are awake or not... as some of the children I care for are not great sleepers. Some babysitters may expect the children to all be in bed.

I've been looking at pricing structure for babysitting recently and some babysitters charge a rate dependent on the number of children... so for example one child £6, then an extra £1 for each additional child.

PigeonPair Sun 09-Aug-09 21:36:42

Thanks for opinions so far - any more? Would also be interested to hear what other parents do in this situation....

drinkyourmilk Sun 09-Aug-09 21:43:24

I'd want to know in advance that there were extra children. Personally i don't ask for extra money off my own back, but obviously it's a nice gesture when offered - and it's always extra offered by the 'visiting' parent. I think your friends are a bit cheeky expecting you to meet their childcare costs!

PigeonPair Sun 09-Aug-09 21:46:53

drinkyourmilk - this was always my view when I was babysitting - I never expected it, but was always really chuffed if it was offered!! To be fair, all visiting parents offer to split the normal rate, but I get the impression they think it is a bit odd to pay extra......

piscesmoon Sun 09-Aug-09 21:57:29

I would want to know in advance.
I think it would depend a lot on whether the DCs were asleep or awake.If they were all asleep then it isn't any extra for the babysitter. If they are all still up and have to be put to bed I think more money should be offered.

Oligo Sun 09-Aug-09 22:08:56

If it was just one or two extra children and all asleep i wouldn't expect/ask more but would want to know before i agreed to babysit as a courtesy.

If awake or likely to wake I would expect extra though.

Also been in similar situation to nannynick with surprise Russians too! Only older (9); really hard to set boundaries when you can't even pronounce their names or get an idea of their parents parenting attitudes.

I charge my rate and half for more than one families children and will have upto a max of 6 children.

I recently went to babysit at a hotel and unfortuantely the other nanny had a family emergency and couldnt come (let them know few hrs before) so when I arrived I had all 5/6 children for the evening and they paid me £125 for 7pm-1am. My normal rate is £12 an hr on a fri/sat/sun and double time after midnight.

I have babysat in the past for a family who had one baby who was always asleep or I put to bed an hr after getting there and occasionally a friend they had stayed and they had a baby same age who they always made sure was asleep and I never charged any extra as wasnt any extra work.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 10-Aug-09 15:53:25

i would want to know about the extra children before hand - though like nick have arrived to find danish cousins there who didnt speak english

and yes i do expect to be paid extra - i normally charge £10ph regardless of how many children from same family awake or asleep - but if have friends or relatives to care for as well - then i expect and get time and a half

again i make this clear on the phone, if i am given the common curtsey of being told

Oligo Mon 10-Aug-09 21:59:03

eastmid- £125! nice. yes, thats what i would expect wink

Oligo - it was a manic night I can assure with 5/6 children who didnt have english as a first language 3/4 different mothers popping back giving me different instructions (which I took with a pinch of salt, esp as one of them didnt speak english and another translated for her!) and children who used bizarre words for their cup/bottle. Was fine once all asleep by 10.30pm. - At one point the 2yr old was crying and didnt want anything at all so popped in puschair and then he set the two 3yrs olds off so ended up putting eurovision on just for some noise other than crying and it made them all quiet - what bad taste those children had - i did tell their dads when they came back at the end of the night to pay me whp thought it was funny thats what got the children to be quiet and go to sleep!!!

The dads were all doctors and very impressed I managed all the children and recommended me to all their local friends (they were from out of area).

Oligo Tue 11-Aug-09 20:13:53

emnn- well earned then

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