30 November, 2012

Date Night Dilemma

OPINION
How much would you charge monthly for a regularly scheduled date night? A family is interested in hiring me to take care of their infant twins one Saturday night a month it may not be the same Saturday night every month. It's basically so they can guarantee themselves a monthly date. They want to know what my monthly fee would be. How much would you charge? Do you think I should try and pin them down to a particular Saturday ? Like every 3rd Saturday? - Anonymous

13 comments:

Nay The Nanny said...

I do babysit nights for my nanny family occasionally (it is not a monthly thing though.) They asked me what my hourly babysitting rate is with other families, and they agreed to pay that. My hourly rate for babysitting as opposed to nannying is higher; starts at $20 per hour. The exact amount depends on your area, but I wouldn't do a "monthly" amount, I would just ask for cash at the end of the night since this is extra and not related to your nanny position.

Belle Vierge said...

Are they expecting you to hold all Saturdays free for them? Then charge some sort of "on call" fee. If they can agree to every third Saturday, then an hourly rate that is competitive for your area is fair, like Nay the Nanny suggested.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

I agree w/the above poster, if they want you to "save" a certain Saturday per month for them and they end up not going on that night, they should still pay you regardless.

Otherwise, I would just ask an hourly rate for weekend babysitting.

Bethany said...

Agree with the others I would charge an on-call fee if the want you to be free for them just in case.

If they can agree to a certain Saturday every month I would either charge a flat rate for the day or x amount per hour whatever a fair rate in your area is.

Carol said...

Why force 'em to commit to a certain Saturday?

What if plans come up on the 3rd saturday of the month? You should keep it open for your sake.

If you're free and they need you, go for it. But if you have plans, ask them if they can reschedule for next saturday.

Nanny S said...

I try to keep situations like this flexible, I'll end up getting more work.

My conversation would usually go, "Please give me as much advanced notice as possible for the Saturday night. If I have something going on one Saturday, I'll also let you guys know so you can either choose another weekend or get another sitter" (courtesy and flexibility all around)

Also charge an hourly rate, that would be the most straight forward way, with such a very, very part time situation like this.

oceanblue said...

Are you doing this as like a regular part time gig?

If you are I would charge a flat rate. Like a minimum for every time you come.

If not, I would just go by when you are available and charge hourly,so you can take other jobs or do your own thing

nycmom said...

This is just a regular babysitting job unless they want unusual terms. I suspect they will not want unusual terms when they learn how much it costs. Seems they are new to employing sitters in general. I have never heard of anyone paying a "monthly fee" for this. If all they want is one Saturday date night a month, then it shouldn't be hard for you and them to find one mutually agreeable Saturday each month. They will also quickly learn they will likely want and need more than just one babysitter on their
list to have more flexibility.

You charge the going rate in your area for occasional babysitting for infant twins. They ask you which Saturday they want you to work; you tell them if you are free; then they pay you for the hours worked at the end of the night. If they want something unusual like you to guarantee your availability for every Sat night or every 2nd Saturday of the month or whatever then you get paid for those hours whether you work or not, since you are reserving them for this family. This will get very expensive for them very quickly and I imagine it won't take long for them to realize how silly it is. Finding occasional sitters is not hard though it is a pita for a few weeks of interviewing, reference checking and trials. It doesn't make sense to pay someone not to work for a job that is neither difficult to do nor difficult to find great applicants (as opposed to hiring a full-time nanny with a lot more responsibility which can be quite challenging). Otherwise, neither party is guaranteeing the other party work or availability and money doesn't change hands unless you actually work.

OP said...

This actually would require a bit more work.

I don't know if you've ever cared for infant twins but it is ton of work no matter if you do it 50 hours a week or 5.

It's even more challenging with this job because the babies were born prematurely and have specific health issues.

That's part of the reason the parents are looking for a regular person to care for them so they can become familiar with the twins.

I finally work up the courage to ask a question that I didn't think stupid and get treated with such rudeness. Guess I won't be asking questions in the future.

nycmom said...

OP, I don't think a single person was rude to you. You seem new to this type of babysitting and the parents new to hiring babysitters. Pretty much everyone has said the same thing -- charge the market rate in your area for infant twins. No one has minimized the work involved in caring for infant twins. In fact, almost all of us have also said that if the parents are asking you to reserve nights that you are not working, you should also be paid for those hours as if you are working.

You have only now added the new information that these babies are premature with specific health needs. In that case, make sure you are comfortable handling these health needs and that the babies don't require more nursing duties than a babysitter. If they do, and you have those skills, the advice remains the same: charge the going rate in your area for caring for infant twins who have specific health needs that only a subset of people provide. This is likely a level of nursing care, if they require suctioning or trach care or feeding tube care, etc. In which case I would strongly recommend the parents hire a nurse (and that may well be you) with that ability.

Regardless, they will still likely need more than one provider to ensure available care on a regular basis. *All* parents want a regular person to care for their kids in an ideal world, but all also realize that expecting one person to be 100% available is almost impossible. I have a goddaughter with very significant nursing needs who has a healthy sibling. The family has several sitters, family support, and two nursing agencies with several nurses that they hire on a schedule. Backup care has become even more important in their situation. Most parents learn that if you want guaranteed childcare, you need to have a backup plan in place because you cannot count on one person being constantly available, never having their own emergencies, and never getting sick themselves (which, incidentally, is even more of an issue with premature infants susceptible to more illness -- you must have a much lower threshold for saying your caregiver/family/friends cannot be around your more vulnerable infant). Encouraging the parents to have more than one babysitter as an option is not an insult to you; it actually relieves some of the pressure from you to feel compelled to work regardless of your personal situation. It is meant to allow the sitter or Nanny to take sick/personal/vacation days without guilt or hassle from the family. And for the family to have a greater likelihood of having childcare coverage as needed without pressuring a caregiver to work when they cannot.

1234 said...

It is very possible this family has a back up sitter or two or three.

It's also possible OP came here looking for the best deal for herself.

I say good for her!

OP, if you are still reading don't let anyone convince you that this was a stupid question or that you should not command top dollar.
There are plenty of parents willing pay for prime reliable care. Don't sell your self short or let someone convince you that you should.

old-timer said...

OP, I think you've been given some great advice. Who was rude to you? I'm completely amazed that here we have what I consider an informative thread with some nice posters and you thought they were rude? I've been around this board several years, I truly know what not being nice is and you received every bit of the best from these readers. Color me confused. Best of luck to you, OP.

Huh? Rude? said...

I didn't see anyone who was rude either...this has been one of the more friendly and thought out threads I have seen. Maybe there were other comments that have since been deleted?