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Old 03-15-2008, 06:35 PM   #1
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Babysitting for 3 weeks....

OK, so I am going to be keeping my good friends' children while they go on a European cruise. I've mentioned it on here a couple times. The kids will be 3,5, and 6.5 yo in June. I will be watching them for 18 days. I will also be keeping the family dog (a 4 yo German Shep.) and going to their house every other day or so to feed/water/socialize the cat. I am allergic to cats & have 3 birds, so miss Tinkerbell is not welcome in my house.

The 5 yo requires a shot each night. The 3 yo will be sleeping in a pack n play in my bedroom while the 5 yo boy and 6.5 yo girl share the full size guest bed. (There's nothing wrong with that is there?)

(I have also considered maybe just staying at their house for ease...but I am allergic to cats...so I don't know.)

She is going to leave me her mini van b/c the oldest sits in the built in car seat & the other 2 seats wouldn't fit well with Caro's seat in my car. This way I can just use one vehicle to get everybody around. (I MIGHT have Caro (who will be 11.5 months old) by then too.

SO, my question is this: What should I charge?


I don't really need to know whether or not you WOULD leave your babies for 3 weeks, because its a done deal....we love each other & her kids are almost as close to me as Caro, which means I treat them like my own.

We will be doing "practice runs" where the kids/dog/and then kids & dog stay with me for short periods of time (overnight, weekend, long weekend).

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Old 03-15-2008, 07:51 PM   #2
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Re: Babysitting for 3 weeks....

Well, there is alot to consider....
Your time and patience, the cost of food, utilities, gas etc etc.
Also, are you missing work?

You could look up the average salary for a live-in Nanny in your area and charge that plus whatever else you think is fair to cover food and utilities.
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Old 03-15-2008, 07:57 PM   #3
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Re: Babysitting for 3 weeks....

I'll be on summer vaca but I am not getting a summer job b/c of this. I normally would have a job in the summer.

I am thinking something like $50 a day. Plus whatever the actual grocery & gas bills are. (I live 20 miles from their home.)

That would be $900 for just the babysitting. I feel like that's too much.

I know I am going to spend a bit on groceries b/c her kids are picky eaters & go through a gallon of milk a day! (That right there is $75 of milk!) I will also need to stock up on mac n cheese, chicken patties, fish sticks, fruit cups, healthy snacks.
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:56 AM   #4
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Re: Babysitting for 3 weeks....

My sitter charges $28/day/kid, and that's for 8 hours. $50/day for 3 kids, a dog, and going to take care of the cat, and for 24 hours, seems pretty low. Have you asked the mom what SHE thinks is fair? I mean, she's the one who wants you to do this. How much would you normally make for a summer of work, since you're not getting a job to do this? Even at $7/hr for 40 hours a week for 10 weeks, that's $3200 (pre-tax), so by not taking a job, even a low-paying one, you're taking a huge loss there.

I would personally ask $100/day at the least for the kids, plus a grocery stipend - maybe $50/week - and only b/c she's a friend of yours. I might ask more for the dog - I worked in a vet office and it cost over $30/day to board an animal there. And I wouldn't feel bad about that totalling $2000-ish - they're going abroad for 18 days...they planned to do that w/o their kids - they have to realize the cost for someone to take care of their kids is going to be huge, and just part of the cost of the vacation.

IDK if live-in nannyrates would be an appropriate comparison - they live rent-free and get set hours/days off, which you're not getting.
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:47 AM   #5
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Re: Babysitting for 3 weeks....

I agree with Katherine that a $100/day would be minimum. I know it seems like a lot of $$$, but it is a huge task.
My nanny is paid $11/hr, but usually only works 5 hours/day as my DH is home in the mornings. DH is going out of town this week, so I need her to work a 12-hour day all week. For her compensation, I offered $850, which is a $170/day (a llittle over $14/hr). I figured if I am going to interrupt her her whole day, she deserved to make more money/hr.
She is only taking care of one 4 month old baby...you are taking care of 3 active children. Honestly...$100 per day would be a huge bargin!
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:08 PM   #6
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Re: Babysitting for 3 weeks....

I think $100 is more than fair on her end and probably less than you deserve on your end. I was a teacher for 10 years - what is your daily rate? Mine was $200+ and that was also considering I got to eat by myself, not administer meds, and leave the kids for my own house at the end of the day.

If your friend balks at this price, I know it will be awkward, but honestly - what was she thinking? This cruise sounds pretty luxurious and you are saving her a TON of money and heartache by her kids/animals being taken care of by YOU vs. a stranger ~ and ~ by her not having to outsource or hire a live-in caregiver for those 3 weeks.

We left for a mini vaca when ds was 15 months old and left him with my bro and SIL and their son (who was 2 at the time). I paid them $150 for the 5 days we were gone - and my mom was irritated that they accepted the money as they have dumped their kids on her countless times for up to 2 weeks so they could study (college), move, etc. And they never paid her, nor would she have accepted it.

Good luck - keep us updated as this nosy person is curious to see how it all works out.

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Old 03-16-2008, 09:14 PM   #7
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Re: Babysitting for 3 weeks....

OK-so we've been working it out tonight. Basically she is like family & I can't and won't charge her more than $1000 for the "babysitting". I am basically going to leave it up to her, to pay me what she wants for the babysitting & pay me the actual expenses. She is going to get the non-perishable food supplies that her kids like/want. She is going to pay us in advance for at least part of it so that we have $$$ to spend on the groceries & stuff.
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Old 03-16-2008, 09:27 PM   #8
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Re: Babysitting for 3 weeks....

im pretty sure this is along the same lines as not doing business with family i personally think $1000 is way too little for 3 weeks watching 3 kids+2 animals 24/7 i charged $200 a week to watch 2 children(3months, 3 years) for 8 hours a day(40 hours a week) and i was really under charging them i think $50+ a week for groceries, $50ish for gas, and $1000 a week for watching the kids/pets is more than fair maybe give them a little break on the last week if you feel like it-so $300 for food/gas, $2750 for kids/pets- but i think if you dont set an amount and you get underpaid(3 kids will be a TON of work) there will be hurt feelings and your friendship will suffer sit down with your dh and figure out a $$$$ amount and tell her what it is. she can try to negotiate if she feels its too high but i dont think "pay me whatever" is a good idea
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Old 03-16-2008, 09:28 PM   #9
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Re: Babysitting for 3 weeks....

also if you are planning on taking the kids anywhere that costs money that should be factored in but honestly id look into free movies(our movie theaters do it once a month), and library/church events
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Old 03-17-2008, 05:04 AM   #10
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Re: Babysitting for 3 weeks....

Well we settled on $1000 before she leaves. And then if for some reason expenses mount while they're gone we can let her know when she gets back. I don't really plan on doing anything that costs money. They have a pool in their neighborhood. Taking care of the dog (at my house, with my dog) won't be much trouble since I already have a big dog. Maybe some extra vacuuming. We won't be able to GO much of anywhere b/c I may have Carolynn and her sister (the 9 yo) & Caro will be almost 1. I'd be insane to take a 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 yo anywhere by myself! So, anyway, I think $1000 is fair. She is going to get the majority of the groceries before she leaves & will leave us a full tank of gas in her van.

It is a lot like working for family b/c that's how I feel about her. She pretty much said, $1,000 is all they can afford (plus expenses) so any more than that & I'd be out & the kids would head to stubborn, old, granny.

Anyway, I'm happy & content, thanks for the input. I guess I'll live & learn. I normally do.
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