How Much Do Unlicensed Babysitters Get Paid?

Babysitters are nothing short of lifesavers for all the busy parents out there. But settling on a rate that aligns with their responsibilities can be tricky, to say the least. Especially when it comes to unlicensed babysitters. So, how to fairly compensate them without coming off as cheap? Let’s find out!


Unlicensed babysitters lack the official training and qualifications that licensed babysitters have. Because of all the training and certificates, licensed babysitters tend to charge more. And as for the unlicensed babysitters, the rate typically ranges between $8 and $20 per hour.

Whether you’re a parent seeking a babysitter or a babysitter looking to set reasonable rates, being well-versed in the current rate is important. But how to decide on a rate that works for both parties? Keep reading to find out!

Difference Between Licensed and Unlicensed Babysitters

Licensed Babysitters:

As a parent, you want to do everything in your power to make sure your child is safe. Especially when you’re not around. And this is where licensed babysitters come in. To ensure that your baby is in safe hands, the government has set some guidelines for child care providers. 

In most states, childcare or daycare centers that look after a certain number of babies require a license. They have to comply with all the rules set by the government to legally offer their services.

Getting a license requires receiving training or certificates that prove in-depth expertise in childcare. Licensed professionals, such as certified nannies or daycare providers, frequently have additional credentials, such as first aid training, background checks, and at times even a college degree in early childhood development.

With years of experience under their belt, they know how to take care of babies in a safe environment. Thus, they often charge higher rates due to their qualifications, experience, and the added responsibilities they take on.

Unlicensed Babysitters:

Unlicensed babysitters, on the other hand, watch the kids when the parents are out but do not have any official license to do so. Unlike licensed care providers, they are not allowed to care for a large number of babies simultaneously. They tend to work on an hourly basis and often work during the night. 

The majority of the unlicensed babysitters happen to be students or individuals  who work part-time to earn some extra bucks. However, people who want to pursue a career in babysitting, often start out as an unlicensed babysitter. 

Even though some unlicensed babysitters have experience and reference, they still make less than their licensed counterparts. But despite lacking official credentials, unlicensed babysitters can be just as trustworthy.

How Much Do Unlicensed Babysitters Make In An Hour?

While it’s no secret that the rate of babysitters has gone up, unlicensed babysitters generally make less compared to licensed care providers. The average per hour rate for babysitting is $20.57 as of now. However, the amount is significantly less for unlicensed babysitters. 

There are a lot of factors that contribute to the pay rate of babysitters. But in most states, the ballpark pay rate for unlicensed babysitters falls somewhere between $8 and $20 dollars. 

In some cases, people who are just starting out as babysitters charge as little as $5 per hour. On the contrary, people who have worked as unlicensed babysitters for quite some time charge as much as $20 per hour. 

That being said, the range varies greatly from state to state. For instance, the basic minimum wage per hour in Georgia is only $5.15, so it would be legally okay to pay an unlicensed babysitter only $5. Whereas, in Washington, the pay rate would be $15.74 per hour, according to the minimum wage law of the United States. 

Factors influencing rates of unlicensed babysitters

There are a lot of factors that influence the pay rate of unlicensed babysitters. Some of them include: 

1. Experience

Most parents don’t feel safe leaving their kids with a stranger. Especially with someone who has no experience in handling babies. Thus, being experienced helps put babysitters ahead of the curve, especially if someone happens to be unlicensed. 

The more experience you have as a babysitter, the more money you’re likely to make. Likewise, if someone is inexperienced at babysitting, they have to start from scratch and work their way up. 

2. Education

Education is a testament to the knowledge a babysitter has. While formal education is not a strict requirement, many parents believe that an educated babysitter is more capable of dealing with babies. Thus, this results in a higher pay rate. 

A degree in Childhood Development, or Development Psychology can set you apart from other unlicensed babysitters. A degree will especially come in handy if you plan to pursue a career in it.

3. Number of hours

Unlicensed babysitters usually work on an hourly basis. So, the more hours they put in, the more they get paid. However, the hourly rate may change depending on a few factors. 

Some babysitters may charge extra for overnight stays as it requires them to give up their sleep and stay awake. Similarly, some babysitters tend to charge high during the day due to their busy schedule. 

4. Location/Cost Of Living

The location or cost of living is a major factor that affects the pay rate of an unlicensed babysitter. In expensive areas or big cities, babysitters may ask for higher pay rates to cover their living costs. 

Similarly, in small cities or neighborhoods, babysitters might charge less as their overall expenses are lower too. For instance, hiring an unlicensed babysitter in New York would cost way more than hiring one in Oklahoma. 

5.  Level of responsibility

Level of responsibility is another crucial factor that influences the pay rate of unlicensed babysitters. All babysitters are expected to undertake some tasks while watching a kid. This includes, playing with them, supervising them at all times, putting them to sleep and so on. 

But if the babysitter is expected to prepare meals for them, change their diapers, help them with homeworks or organize the home before leaving, they may demand a higher pay rate. Thus, it’s always a good idea to know what the job entails beforehand to avoid any misunderstandings down the road. 

6. Age of the Baby

Taking care of a toddler is very different from taking care of an infant. Younger babies typically require more care and attention. Be it frequent feeding, diaper changes, or constant supervision, they’ll always keep you on your toes. 

As taking care of younger babies requires more effort, babysitters tend to charge a higher rate for looking after them. As children get older, they become more independent. As a result, taking care of them becomes somewhat easier. Because of this, babysitters frequently charge less to watch older kids.

7. Number of Babies

More babies mean more responsibilities. Not to mention how stressful it feels to look out for multiple babies at once.Thus, it’s only reasonable for a babysitter to ask for more money when looking after multiple babies. 

If a babysitter charges $10 per hour to watch a baby, they may ask for $15 to watch two babies.  After all, they have every right to be compensated for the extra effort they put in!

8. Age of the Babysitter

So many people live under the impression that only adults work as babysitters. The legal babysitting age differs from state to state. And this plays a crucial role in determining the pay rate. 

In Illinois, the legal age for babysitting is only 14 years old. Let’s say you hire an 18 year old babysitter instead. While both  of them are unlicensed, you might need to pay the 18 year old more money compared to what you would pay a 14 year old.

This is because the 18 year old is an adult, and thus more mature to care for a baby. On the other hand, the 14 year old is still a child herself, and there’s a good chance she doesn’t have any relevant experience.

9. Holiday/Special Occasion

It’s no secret that the price of everything goes up during the holiday season. The same goes for babysitting. Moreover, the demand for babysitters during the holiday season is higher than ever. This contributes to a higher pay rate as well. 

Regardless of the occasion, babysitters have to give up their own plans to work on holidays. Unlike regular people, they don’t get to spend their time with their loved ones. Thus, it makes sense for them to charge extra money during Christmas or New Year’s Eve.

How Much Should You Charge As an Unlicensed Babysitter?

Most, if not all, unlicensed babysitters have a hard time settling on a rate for their service. This is especially difficult for new babysitters who have no previous experience dealing with clients. Therefore, it’s essential to take a few factors into account before deciding on a rate. 

1. Your relationship with the parents

If the clients happen to be your neighbor or close friends you may want to charge less than your usual rate. This could be particularly helpful if you have little to no experience babysitting. 

You can request them to recommend your service to other parents in their circle. Once you gather enough experience and build a reputation as a reliable babysitter, you can decide on a rate according to the industry standard. 

2. Find out the minimum wage rate of the state

Just because you don’t have a license, doesn’t necessarily mean you should be underpaid for your service. As scary as it may sound, some people are always looking for opportunities to exploit their employees. 

Being aware of rights can help you prevent getting exploited by your clients. Keeping tabs on the minimum wage rate of your state can help in this regard. Do not settle for anything less than the amount you’re legally bound to be paid. 

3.  Find out how much babysitters in your area make

Knowing how much money the unlicensed babysitters in your area make can help you gain valuable insight. You can ask around in your community, talk to other babysitters, or check online platforms to find out how much they charge. 

Sometimes, knowing the rate of licensed babysitters helps too. A good rule of thumb is to lower your fees by around 20 to 30% compared to what licensed babysitters charge. This will help you decide on a fair pay rate that aligns with your expertise. 

4. Use a calculator

If nothing seems to work, you can consider using an online calculator as your last resort. There are tons of babysitting rate calculators online to help you figure out how much you should charge as an unlicensed babysitter. 

Given that they take your location, experience, and work hours into account, they are pretty accurate as well. Just insert your info, and voila! The calculator will come up with the most standard rate in a matter of seconds. 

Final Words 

Taking care of babies is an incredibly rewarding experience. But it can be equally stressful too. It takes an immense amount of patience, hard work, and compassion to be a babysitter. Not to mention, not everyone is good with babies. It’s a gift that comes naturally to babysitters. 

While unlicensed babysitters may not be as experienced or skilled as licensed babysitters, they have to work just as hard as everyone else. Even though the rate may vary depending on a few factors, it’s important to ensure that they are compensated fairly for their service. 



About Smily Mom

Smilymom is an initiative by a group of four friends who simply wanted to help you make good decisions. We bring you the greatest and latest information about parenting, baby wellness, housekeeping, and home decoration along with expert advice and trusted product reviews. We don’t settle for misleading, half-baked information and we take pride in it.

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