Seattle Prattle

opinion 1
I may be doing an overnight for two children (5 years and 16 months). It would be from Friday around 11am through Monday evening. I am just a part time babysitter for the kids, working between 8-20 hours a week. The family pays me 12/hour.

I am not sure what to charge for the overnight. They are very well off (beach front property on a lake). I have a feeling the mom will inform me what she will be paying me and I want to be prepared to accept or refute and then offer something else.

My free time is very valuable to me and the kids aren't the easiest to manage. The 5 year old is sassy as all get out and the 16 month old has severe separation anxiety.

Do I charge them for all awake hours? Like 7am-8pm? So essentially 150 a day for waking hours plus a flat rate for the overnight? What is fair? They live near Seattle. Thanks!


Nashville Nanny said...

I would charge your normal hourly rate for all hours the children are awake, and an additional $100-150 for spending the night.

NaytheNannt said...

I would definitely charge your normal hourly rate while the children are awake, and then maybe cut it down some (maybe $8 or $9 an hour) for sleeping hours? I've done something like that in the past. As long as the kids sleep well through the night because if you're woken up multiple times, you should be compensated for that. Flat rate, I would probably say $250 and don't go for under $225 if you can. :)

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I would charge the regular $12/Hr rate for daytime when the kids are asleep. As for nighttime rates, it all depends on how the children sleep. If they sleep soundly and do not wake up, I would charge $80. However, if you are awoken during the night, then I would ask the same rate for when they are awake.

Manhattan Nanny said...

I do the same as Nashville Nanny. I charge my regular rate for waking hours, and $100-$i50 for the overnight fee, depending on whether or not the children sleep through the night.

Village said...

Regular pay for regular hours, and NO LESS than $100 per night.

A good start would be regular pay plus $250 for the weekend, but again, NOT LESS THAN $100 PER NIGHT.

After all, YOU don't have to go.

Lauren said...

Sometimes I charge a flat rate for *my* sleeping hours, ie., starting at 11 pm - until the kids wake me. (I charge $100)

Sometimes, I charge 1/2 my normal rate for the kids's sleeping hours (say 9 pm - 7 am )

Other times, I charge my full rate overnight -if there are infants, or other kids who don't sleep through the night.

N is for Nanny said...

For kids who are reliable sleepers, I charge half-rate for eight hours of the overnight ("my" sleep hours) and full-rate for all other hours. For infants or kids with sleep issues, I charge full-rate for all hours. One family had pets that I was not normally responsible for, but was during overnights, so they actually paid me a higher rate to compensate for the additional responsibility. I've had reliable sleepers wake up during the night, but the only time I've bumped up to full rate was when the waking was due to the stomach flu - and that bump up was the parents' suggestion. (It was entirely appropriate.) The low overnight rate that some people use doesn't work for me as I've worked for some parents who stay out late on date nights (e.g., 1-2am is normal) so it seemed silly to us that I would make a fraction of what they paid me on the average date night for staying overnight.

I typically do things from my "normal" extras list (e.g., laundry, meal prep, organizing) during some of the evening hours after the kids go to bed. You might want to clarify their expectations (if any) for the evening hours - and make sure you are compensated appropriately.

Not A Gold Digger said...

I would charge my regular hourly rate every day (M-F) from morning until the kids are asleep and nothing for the hours we are all asleep. I am not sure why I should charge for a night's skeep, unless I get awoken for more than a few minutes and can't get back to sleep. I am not out to take advantage of my employers and gouge them for every penny I can try to get.

Bethany said...

I don't think expecting to be paid the hours you are working ( being in the home and the one responsible for the children awake or asleep counts as work to me) makes the op or any other nanny a goldigger.

It's Not Personal, It's Business said...

If I'm spending the night in my boss' home.. responsible for her children.... I'm still "working" in my opinion. And if I'm working, I expect to be compensated.

Manhattan Nanny said...

Not a Gold digger,

The overnight fee is to compensate for being away from the comfort of your own home, and your family, friends, pets, etc., in other words, suspending your personal life. In OP's case, she will go to work Fri. morning, and not go home until Monday evening.

N is for Nanny said...

If I'm staying with kids at a house overnight, I've likely turned down the opportunity to babysit for another family - in addition to delaying my own household responsibilities and personal life. I don't think it's gold digging to expect to be compensated for a service provided. In my opinion, none of us replied were gouging our employers; we were asking to be compensated in ways we perceive to be fair to both parties.

OP can elect to ask for or agree to less, but I think that a lot of nannies come on here who are taken advantage of by their employers (low pay and/or high [and often rising] duties) and it's okay to embrace a culture of compensation expectation. If you (or OP or anyone who reads this as a reference later on) are in a position where you feel appropriately compensated without being paid for time kids are sleeping, obviously establish that with your employers. However, please don't degrade others for expecting compensation for a luxury - which is what overnight childcare generally is - as luxuries are rarely free.

(And before I am flamed, my overnights have been related to employer business and/or pleasure. If I were in a situation where there was a family emergency coupled with financial hardship, I would obviously and graciously comp my time.)

Nanny S said...

I am in Seattle and I charge my hourly rate for all waking hours. If these are different than what MB predicts, I let her know. I have never overnighted before, but if I did it would be for at least $100. I am also in Seattle and the family you've described sounds really familiar... if the mother is a doctor and the father is the at home parent with side jobs then we should chat. Last, I don't accept professional relationships where the parents "inform" me what they'll be paying. We discuss it and find a rate where both of us are happy. If this doesn't happen, then I don't do it.

As for Seattle rates, depending on your experience, that is on the lower end. I have 5 years of part time work and at least 5-6 wonderful references and I begin at $15, and I don't feel guilty about it. Infants start at $18. I have always been able to find work. It's amazing how families respond when they realize that I am professional and have standards and know what I'm worth. I hear of people charging less, and it's my opinion that if the family is wealthy and you have experience then you're being underpaid and judging by you calling yourself a "babysitter" I suspect you're okay with it. (The family I wonder if is both yours and one I previously worked for would always call me their "babysitter") I can honestly say that the only thing I have ever disliked about childcare is the parents and the business aspect of it.

OP said...

This didn't actually get posted in time for me to take advice, but it helps to know for the future.

She actually made a spreadsheet for me and showed me the calculations... I needed the money so I agreed. I actually split the shift with another babysitter because I was unable to work Saturday.

So I worked Friday 11:30am-7:30pm, Sunday 6pm-Monday 3:30pm.

And she paid me $254.

She had some strange math worked out, like I was paid 12/hour for waking hours... then from 8pm-12AM I was paid 6 dollars, and 12am-6am paid 18 dollars.

Basically 8pm-6am was 30 bucks. I guess it didn't matter, I only stayed over one evening. The other girl got about $380. So I was there for around 19 "awake" hours.