Thursday

Did I pay her enough?

Recieved Thursday, January 25, 2007
I hired one of my regular babysitters (she's 21) to care for my 2 children while I was out of town for doctor appointments. She came the night before and slept over in our spare room. We left at about 4:00 am. At 4:30 am my daughter woke up and was sad we were gone. Our babysitter got up with her and stayed up to watch a movie with her since she couldn't get her to go back to sleep. She took my daughter to school and stayed home with my son the rest of the day. She took my son on a long bike ride (one of his favorite things to do), practiced "schoolwork" with him, and took both the kids to the library after school to get books and read. She then took them to McDonalds for dinner and came home and helped my daughter with her homework. She bathed them and had them in bed by 8 pm, their bedtime. We got home around 10 pm that night. I paid her $140. My question is, was this enough? Unfortunately, I anticipate having more appointments like this and would love to have her care for my children while I am gone. I don't want her to say no because she may have been underpaid. Please advise. Thank you!
OP resides in a small desert town in Southern California-JD

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a $200 job to me....

Anonymous said...

You sound nice. Maybe you should check with her? If she has to come again, even if your children stay asleep- that doesn't matter. She needs to be paid for her time there. That sounds like a long day. I would say $150 would have been the minimum for someone you want to come back. This depends on the area you are in. Since she is 21, I think that $150 is good.

Anonymous said...

That is a long day without a break. At jobs at a company, there is usually overtime pay time and half after 8 hours, laws for lunchbreaks and whatnot. Those things are often forgotten about in the childcare field.

That you are asking the question at all seems to indicate you know you didn't pay her enough, or her response to your money may have signaled it.

In my area, that job would be $250.

Anonymous said...

I have taken jobs like this before, and $140 sounds pretty reasonable. Definitely let her know that you may have more of these days available for her to work, and if the pay is enough for her to commit to the arrangement.

Anonymous said...

I'm the original poster. I am going to pay her an additional $60 this afternoon. I've never had overnight help before so I'm in unfamiliar territory. I would rather error on the side of caution. She's a lovely girl and definitely worth more than I paid her. Had I been comfortable with the amount I paid her, I probably would have never posted here. Thank you for your input!

Anonymous said...

I don;t know where you live, but if you decide to pay the $200 (which now puts you in the generous category) I would also offer her the option to come the night before and sleep there (at a reasonable time). Unless she is close by. I cannot imagine getting up in the 12 degree weather to be somewhere at 4. This also might give more peace to the children, especially if it is a semi regular arrangement.

My former nanny does this kind of stuff for me all the time. She has her own key. The kids know when she will be there. (2 elementary aged children of my own and going through in viro with new husband to have our own child). The children know to go to the guestroom if they have a problem. My husband and I leave early in the morning without waking anyone.
If you do pay her the $200, make sure she knows how much you appreciated the things she did with your child in the afternoon, even after a long morning/day. I have seen things go the other way where you pay someone too much based on a one time performance.

Anonymous said...

well done to the original poster to pay more when advised to do so. Im sure the girl knew that you appreciated her and that she will be happy to help you out again.

Anonymous said...

$200.00 sounds very reasonable! The only thing that I have to say is that please remember to pay her back for the McDonalds. I have bought many lunches/dinners for the kids that I watch and have just had the money included with the regular pay, so I was never actually paid back. Make sure that the girl knows that the money for McDonalds is seperate from the money you're giving her for the time she watched your kids.

Anonymous said...

As a nanny myself, I think the $200 you paid was very fair. I also think it is fair to pay less at times when the kids are sleeping in this case, as hourly wages can add up. However, your children are your most prized possession, and to skimp on pay shows lack of respect for your nanny. I think you paid very well, though. :) If you lived in my area, I'd nanny for you too!

Anonymous said...

she didn't pay her yet.
and no, you don't get to pay less when the nanny is sleeping unless it is an actual overnight. It is ridiculous for the poster to think that someone who shows up at 4 could conceivably makes less at that ungodly hour because the child was asleep. (I don't think that is what OP said). But to clarify to OR, you get paid. And when you work weird hours like Sunday night or early Saturday morning, most often you get more $ per hour. Not less. My weekend nanny makes in 2 days what my weekday nanny makes in 3.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for your comments. I paid her the additional $60 and she was a bit shocked. She asked if I was interested in having a day off each week and she would care for the kids! I told her how much I appreciated all she did for my children while I was gone and that she would be my first call in the future. Regarding reimbursing her for taking the children to McD's, I had left her $50 for incidental expenses/gas or to use as she saw fit. She used some of this money to take the children out to eat and to get my daughter a new library card since she had lost hers. I am very grateful for all your posts. They were very useful in helping me do right by my babysitter.

Anonymous said...

You sound like an Super Person to work for!

Anonymous said...

You sound like a person I'd want to work for, being nice is more important than a higher pay in the nanny service. I’d rather make less money than work for someone who has pride issues or inconsiderate.

I've been a nanny for over 10 years and $140 is low for 16 hours of work and spending the night. Since she is younger it may be somewhat ok. The going rate for overnight is $50.00 and hourly on the average is $15.00 if your not taking out taxes. (15-20 an hour).

Anonymous said...

Wow! Such a difference around the country in overnight pay! Here in Western NY, we tend to get 1/2 our normal hourly rate when we are asleep. I also charge $2 more per hour of my regular rate for any Saturday or Sunday hours.

Annie said...

I think overnight pay is something that varies, not only regionally, but from family to family. I'm an NYC nanny and when I'm doing overnights I only charge 1/2 my hourly wage (and have even charged less when the parents propossed different arrangements).

It seems like a few of the commenters above misread the post and thought the nanny was coming in to work at four am, when in fact she'd been their from the evening. Most of the confusion re: pay for night time hours probably stemmed from that mistake.

Anonymous said...

Over night runs $100-$150 a night starting at bed-time, an hourly rate during the daytime hours starting at 7A.M most kids wake time. This is fair. Your child may have to go to the ER, be up half of the night or up at 5A.M. At $10 an hour plus the $100-$150, it should run you $230-$280

Anonymous said...

You sound like an excellent parent who I would love to have more of around here!
My long time family, of which I only watch the baby once a week, has recently gotten very cheap. I know the father so I already give them a break at $10 per hour instead of my normal $13-15. The mother has recently decided that if the baby is asleep, I should get paid much less. This went on for several weeks and then about a month ago I had to deal with a terrible nightmare and ended up sitting and rocking him for over 30 mins. I told her this before I was paid and she STILL only paid me about $6 per hour.
Guess what? As much as I love the little boy, they have now lost their babysitter.

Mrs. M said...

When I did (do) overnights I usually get $100 paid to me and the parents leave money for dinner/take out/emergencies. I was a nanny for 5 years and although I have a corporate job now, I still watch kids overnights and weekends. Usually the prices is on a case basis and depends on what the family offers. I've had as much as $150 but the $100 is fine with me too. I do all of the extras (libraries, parks, picnics, crafts,) b/c I want to! Talk to your sitter and reach a fair agreement between the two of you.