How much to pay your babysitter

by BabyYumYum
How much to pay your babysitter
Reading Time: 9 minutes
As a parent, there may come a time when you require the assistance of a babysitter for your child. However, it is essential to consider the financial aspect of this arrangement and determine how much you will need to compensate the caregiver for their time and services.

Whether it is an evening out with your partner, a work-related event, or a crucial appointment where taking your children along is not feasible, entrusting your child to a capable babysitter can significantly alleviate the stress and challenges of these situations.

It’s understandable that you desire to have complete assurance regarding the capability of the person entrusted with the care of your child. Additionally, it is imperative for you to provide fair compensation in terms of babysitting rates to ensure the delivery of exceptional service. We co

Factors that determine babysitter rates

There are many factors that play a part in determining your babysitter’s pay. While most babysitters will have a fairly standard rate card, all families are unique, have individual needs and will, therefore, have different fees.

The best thing to do is determine your expectations and needs first, then find a sitter who fits the bill and discuss payment. Your peace of mind is important when leaving your child with another person, so doing your homework is important.


The more experienced and qualified your babysitter is, the higher the charge is likely to be. This makes sense as it works the same way in many professions. Your babysitter may only do this part-time, but it’s still a source of income for them.

If your babysitter has many years of experience, works with children during the day and has qualifications like a first aid course, etc., they are likely to cost you more than the teen next door or someone just starting.


Most babysitters will have a higher fee after midnight. So, if date night goes on past midnight, you may have to pay a steeper hourly rate. Some will also charge a set fee for the first two or three hours and then a little bit less for anything after that. If it’s a weekday, you may get a lower fee than you would for a weekend or public holiday.

There are a few babysitters who also charge less for day sitting than they do for night sitting. All of this can be discussed with your babysitter beforehand.


If you are hiring a sitter for a personal occasion, such as your wedding anniversary, chances are rates will be standard. On the other hand, for universal occasions, such as New Year’s Eve and other holidays, expect to pay a bit more.

Babysitters during these times are high in demand and are giving up their nights to earn money and help you enjoy a night out, so most would agree that they are worth a bit more than usual.

Notice period

If you hire your babysitter at the last minute, they may need to rearrange their plans to accommodate you. This may result in fees being a bit higher than the usual appointment. It’s best to try and plan things ahead of time.

If you have a regular sitter, though, she’ll most likely understand the occasional emergency or spontaneous dinner out – again that’s something to discuss with her.

Number of children

The number of children being taken care of, as well as their ages, could be a big deciding factor for your babysitter’s fees. The more children you have in the house, the harder it will be to make sure they are all safe and secure (and in bed on time).

It’s not a good idea to plan a slumber party on the same night you need a sitter.

Some agencies will require you to hire more than one babysitter if there are more than three or so kids. If you have a private sitter and your kids are not all toddler-age, they’ll be able to tell you if they can handle more than three or four kids at a time.

Agency vs private

When you hire an agency, you are paying for the admin that they do, the background checks, hiring of staff, etc. With a private babysitter, however, you are essentially cutting out the middleman, meaning the rates are going to be a bit lower. You can find average rate cards on agency websites.

If you have the time to do the checks and admin yourself, it is most likely cheaper to hire a private babysitter, especially if you have a babysitter that comes with references from friends and family. If you are short of time or simply want to leave it to the professionals to ensure you have a trusted person looking after your little ones, an agency is worth the price.

Benefits of the job

There are certain benefits you can include in your babysitter payment to help make your sitter feel valued. If you are coming home late, make sure she has a safe way to get home, that won’t cost her most of her earnings. Leaving cash for the sitter to order a meal is also a great way to make things a bit easier and more pleasant for him/her.

Babysitting rates per day

Babysitters who are employed for extended periods, spanning an entire day, particularly on weekends or holidays when educational institutions are not in session, typically command varying rates compared to those hired for shorter durations, such as a couple of hours.

The average monthly salary for babysitters in South Africa is R 13 150, which is based on the salaries of four individuals.

On an annual basis, the average salary for babysitters is R 157,800, which translates to R 80.92 per hour.

How much to pay your babysitter - Baby Yum YumThose starting in entry-level positions can expect to earn R 152 400 per year, while those with more experience can earn up to R 158 340 per year.

When and how to pay your babysitter

Babysitters are usually working ad hoc hours to fill gaps in their income. Whether they are students or teachers needing some extra cash, it’s usually much more beneficial to them to be paid cash on the night rather than waiting for you to transfer the money into their bank accounts, which can take time and involve bank charges.

This also avoids the chances of you forgetting to pay them and an awkward conversation about overdue payments.

Babysitting rates for two kids

When discussing your sitter’s typical babysitting rate, be sure to find out if this is for a certain number of children. Babysitting rates may differ if there are multiple children involved. Some sitters have a standard hourly rate but levy additional charges per extra child.

How much to pay a teenage babysitter

A teen’s babysitting rates may be slightly lower due to a lack of experience, and, in most cases, they are your family, friends or neighbours. However, you still want them to act professionally and take the best care of your child. For this reason, you should avoid underpaying your teenage babysitter.

As we mentioned, the average babysitter rates start at R 80.92 per hour. If your teen sitter agrees to a lower fee to help you out on a budget etc., you could make it up by ensuring they have a lift home, a meal to eat and any other benefits you can give – perhaps the Wi-Fi password if they can be trusted to make sure that the children are in bed and sleeping before relaxing.

Mother’s helper rates (nannies)

A mother’s helper, unlike a babysitter, is someone who helps with the baby while one or both parents are around. They will help with taking care of the baby, cleaning, cooking and other household duties while the parent who is home is otherwise busy. They may also attend outings and events to help with the child while out.

Mother’s helpers can be useful when dealing with more than one child, especially when they are close in age. They are also hired when the parent at home also works from home, and so is around but unable to tend to the child’s needs throughout the day. Mother’s helpers are known as nannies in South Africa.

Nanny vs babysitter pay

A nanny is more likely to work on a full-time basis or, at the very least consistent shifts. They may come in daily, three times a week or a certain number of days per month, but they are not likely to be hired once-off or only on occasion, much like a babysitter would be.

For this reason, paying your nanny would be a weekly or monthly amount, rather than an hourly or nightly amount. In South Africa, full-time domestic workers are entitled to a minimum wage of R25.42 per hour if they work more than 24 hours in a month. If a domestic worker works 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, they should receive at least R4,067.20 per month.

Part-time job salaries generally vary between R3000 and R7500 per month, allowing individuals to work for up to 6 hours per day. These part-time positions are typically scheduled during the afternoon hours. On the other hand, full-time care jobs require individuals to work for 6 hours or more per day or night, and they offer a higher monthly salary ranging from R7500 to R12000.

This is, of course, minimum pay according to the law. It is worth considering that nannies are often the breadwinners for their entire families do exceptional work looking after children and deserve a living wage to keep them and their families financially stable.

A living wage is defined as an amount that can cover basic expenses so that a person can live a “frugal but dignified life” (Hopkins, 2016). This is calculated on an individual basis, taking into account their particular situation in life and the expenses that are necessary for survival. It is, therefore, dependent on the number of family members a person is supporting, how far they live from their employer and therefore transport costs, and a few other factors.

How do you figure out what is a living wage for your nanny, since each nanny’s situation is different? Start by talking to her. Find out exactly what her expenses are and from there you can see what a reasonable wage would be. The non-profit organisation Code4SA has done all the hard work and research for us by creating an online living wage calculator to figure out what your household worker’s salary should be! Just punch the info you have gathered from your nanny into their calculator, and it will give a suggested amount:

(NB, you need to click on “calculate expenses” and then “show assumptions”; don’t just use the sliding scale that comes up at first.) It will allow you to specify your nanny’s details so that it is specific to her situation: household size, food cost, transportation cost, housing cost, healthcare cost, education cost, communication cost, recreation cost and other costs.

Don’t forget that any extra hours that the nanny works, over weekends or holidays, should be paid as overtime. Your nanny must know that she is a valued employee and that her extra work is seen and accounted for.

Au pairing rates

Au pairs in South Africa have a different definition than those overseas. Internationally, au pairs are known as young foreign internationals who travel to a new country, live with a family and learn the culture while offering childcare services. In South Africa, an au pair is someone hired primarily to look after children.

Unlike a nanny, an au pair will not expect to do any housework or cooking. They will most likely have their transport and will make sure that the children can attend after-school sports and extra-mural activities while the parents are unable to.

Au pairing rates - Baby Yum YumHomework would also be something an au pair takes care of, and general caretaking until the parents arrive home from work or other duties. Au pairs could also attend events and functions to handle the childcare, like nannies. Some families take their au pairs on vacation with them, which is both an experience for the au pair and a helping hand for the parents.

The average monthly salary for an au pair in South Africa is R 12,500 based on 1975 salaries. Currently, the average annual salary is R 150,000 or R 76.92 per hour, with entry-level positions starting at R 132,000 per year and experienced workers earning up to R 396,000 per year. Of course, the salary would depend on how many children there are, as well as how often driving needs to be done and whether petrol is included or comes as a separate payment.

Anything over the usual hours, such as outings or vacations, should be discussed with the au pair. If the au pair doesn’t need to use their car and has use of a family car, an average salary of R5 000 to R7 000 can be expected. Most au pairs are required to have at least a driver’s licence. From there, families can decide if there are any other qualifications needed, such as first aid, etc.

If children are in higher grades and need homework support, your au pair may also need a certain level of education behind them to be able to help with certain subjects.

Payment for anything over the usual hours, such as outings or vacations should be discussed with the au pair. If the vacation is fully paid for, the au pair may agree to work her hours during the time in exchange for her accommodation and food. Alternatively, a lower rate may be agreed upon.

Related Articles