May 23rd, 2006

Haring Family

Babysitting - then and now

When I was a high school babysitter (1970-73) the going rate where I lived (West Hartford, Connecticut) was fifty cents an hour, and a dollar after midnight. When kids turned 16 and could get "real jobs" working retail part-time, they often stopped sitting, because minimum wage was $1.65.

Now my teenage son prefers babysitting to a job flipping burgers or whatever, because he get $8-$10 an hour sitting and minimum wage is $5.15. Plus some of that time is typically spent literally sitting - once the child is sleeping he watches tv, reads, talks to his friends.

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Anyway, I realize not everyone on my flist is a parent (or a former babysitter) but if you are one or the other or both, please weigh in:

1. If you were a babysitter, how much money did you make an hour? Where and when was this? Was it more or less than minimum wage?

2. If you are a parent, how much do you pay sitters? Does it matter how old they are? Do you pay more for more kids? Do you pay any extras - transit fare home or money to send out for dinner?

3. Where do you live? Do you feel what you pay (or are paid) is representative of what's generally charged/paid in your area?