Wednesday

Babysitting Protocol

Received Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN I need some knowledgeable advice. I've been asked to babysit at a wedding reception and I'm unsure of the protocol in these situations. It will be held in the Chicago area. They are offering $10/hour which seems kind of low to me, but again, I have never done this before. I would be working 5-6 hours. What types of things do I need to be aware of? Should we write up a "contract" stating my duties and the amount I'll be receiving? How much is an appropriate fee for this type of work? Thanks for your help!

18 comments:

Yaya said...

I would think it would be pretty easy work since if the kids are upset or something they can just run to their parents.

nannyneedsanap said...

being able to run to their parents actually makes the job harder for me. Parents don't want to be disturbed because little freddy stubbed his toe, but little freddy dosen't went to be consolled by the nanny when his mommy's in the next room.

TC said...

I've been in a situation like that.

I would ask to babysit off the premises. I babysat at the hotel where most of the people stayed, not at the actual church or reception hall. I was also paid PER KID not a set amount. 10 bucks an hour does seem low, but that also depends on what part of the country you live in.

I don't think you need a contract but I would make sure everything is clear before hand.

chgonanny said...

Being from Chicago, I would say that's pretty low. I charge more than that for one kid.

But honestly, I've never done something like that, so I can't really say.

ATL Nanny said...

That is REALLY low. When I've been offered this kind of work before, it was more like $25-50/hr or a flat rate of $200-$300. I make almost double that for ONE family, so no way would I even consider doing this for $10/hr.

I just can't imagine giving up my entire Saturday night to watch a whole room full of kids I don't who are know hopped up on sugar (wedding cake) and excited to be in a strange place with a ton of other kids for only $50. And yes, having parents in the next room makes it MUCH harder, not easier.

The rate you are willing to accept should depend on a couple of factors: your normal babysitting rate, number of kids, kids ages, and how well you know the bride and groom (ie if you want to do this as a gift to them or if it's just another job).

Personally, I wouldn't even consider it for less than $100.

LovingNanny said...

How many kids are you supposed to watch? I have done jobs like that a million times and would NEVER do it for $10/hour.
I always watched after like 6-8 children and charged at least $18 per hour. But I offered a great program with painting, baking and playing games. I was also the one who was feeding the kids.
Especially at weddings and other ceremonies I got a tip from the other parents.
It always depends on your qualification and negotiation skills :).

nycnanny said...

How many children are you going to be watching?? I did this once and was paid $25/hour for 5 children and I felt even that was too low b/c the age of the kids varied so much. I guess it all depends on how many kids you are watching, how old, etc.

mom said...

I think it's low too, but it may be one of those situations where you either take it or leave it.

I have been to many "no children" weddings. The provided babysitters have never had the children on premises with access to run to the parents. The idea of having a sitter is typically to prevent the presence of children throughout any part of the wedding and reception. (Which means...yoohooo...at least it's doubtful they will be hopped up on wedding cake.)

About 25 years ago my sister and I were called in to babysit in a church nursery as stand ins...for $10.00 an hour.
Again, this is going to depend on your area, as well as the wealth of the people hiring you. While some people have lavish weddings with no expenses spared, many, many people still have lovely little weddings in their local churches, with receptions in the church basement. If the people think they are being generous already, you're out of luck. If they're just misinformed, maybe you can negotiate.

Mom in Chicago burbs said...

I live in the Chicago area and paid a high school girl to HELP me with ONE child that much per hour. I agree...if this is somehow a gift to the bride or groom, take that into consideration. Otherwise I think it's too little.

how low can you go said...

Not exactly the same...but my friend and I babysat a few times for a playgroup when the parents had dinner parties. The parents were there, and stopped in to check on their children, but we were feeding the kids, playing with them, etc. There were 6-7 kids, between the ages of 10 months and 18 months (to be honest I don't remember exactly the numbers and ages). We each made $15 per hour, and were offered dinner after our shift was finished. We also were both preschool teachers, so we could definitely charge that amount, but that was a couple years ago, and we were NOT in a major city.
In short, $10 seems very low for Chicago

cali mom said...

Like others, I'd say it depends on how many kids. For 2 kids, $10/hr might be okay, but I'm guessing it's going to be more than that. And you don't want to end up in a situation where there are 15 kids being piled into the group because every parent gets excited that they only have to chip in 50 cents an hour to have babysitting available for their kids for a 6 hour slot. So, ask how many kids and base your quote on that.

mom said...

In fact, you need to know how many kids you are watching in case you need an assistant. I don't know if there is a law about how many kids one adult is allowed to supervise, but if you are way in over your head and somebody gets hurt, it's all on you.

Sarah said...

$25/hour to babysit, even a varied group of kids? Sign me up. That's not much less than I make as an R.N., responsible for 20 kids with psychiatric problems, intense medications, documentation, etc.

N is for Nanny said...

I am also in the Chicago area and agree that is very low. I make almost twice that, with one child, in my full-time nanny position. I have a family I do occasional, low-key babysitting pays me $15/hr for one kid.

Like PP, I would ask about the approximate number and ages of the kids. If it's going to be more than four or five, I would suggest they have a second person - and if you have a friend that might be interested, say if they don't have anyone in mind, you are happy to ask around. I worked a Bat Mitzvah situation and the second adult was key when the kid whose mom thought gorging on sweets was a fantastic idea started to yak, and we needed to find that mom. (We did ask for cell phones, but no answer.)

From what I know of the area, depending on your background, their expectations of you (run a dvd player v. run crafts while feeding seven infants), number/ages of kids, and number of adults with the kids, I would probably ask for $20-$25/hr. If it is you and a friend, watching a total of less than six kids, $15/hr/each is about the lowest I would consider reasonable...and really, only just, unless you are high school students with limited babysitting experience.

When you approach the bride/groom with your concerns about compensation and ages/number of kids, you should also ask them what there will be available to entertain the kids - dvds, toys, coloring books, etc. - and if you should bring/plan anything special. As long as you are reimbursed, a twenty minute trip to Target would be time well spent. I think it is fine to do this over email and that a contract is unnecessary. Also, you are asking them for these details as you want them to have a lovely wedding and for the childcare to run smoothly.

allieontheroad said...

I would ask each family to pay according to how many kids they are having you watch. I've done this for holiday parties, etc and it usually ends up being like $8 per kid or something. NO WAY $10 per hour (unless only one kid, but still don't seem worth it at all since you are in chicago!)

I'd definitely check how many kids they expect you to watch! you don't want to be alone with 10 kids of all different ages- make sure you won't need a partner!!

mom said...

If there are going to be 8-10 kids, it is probably way too much to expect the bride and groom to pay $8.00 an hour per child. They are likely providing the babysitting for their wedding guests and absorbing the entire cost themselves. I can see how in a group setting where each family is paying for their own kids it is reasonable to expect them all to pay a gaoing rate fee per child...but a bride and groom aren't going to want to pay you $80.00 per hour...or even $50.00 probably. I would go for $25.00.

toolazytosignin said...

i probably would not do this for less than 15.00 an hour.

OP said...

I turned down the job. They weren't willing to up the price and I'm not friends with the couple. Thank you for all your input. Other friends in this area who have done these jobs confirmed that it was also too low. $15-$20 would be much more appropriate.