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Preparing Your Teen to Babysit

Pay Rate

A rate should be determined before a job is accepted, says Byron, and your kid should bring it up first. The key factors in determining the fee are:

  • Age
  • Experience
  • CPR/first aid certification
  • Responsibilities on the job (mother's helper versus vacation assistance versus sole, full-time caregiving, for example)
  • Number of kids in the family
  • Distance from a major city (the closer you are, the higher the pay)

Rate Average
The national average is $12 per hour for college sitters, $10 for high school sitters, $8 for grade school sitters and $20-$30 to group babysit for a party (it could be $2 to $4 less depending on the sitter's age). Ask other parents and go to Sittercity.com/rates to enter your kid's years of experience and zip code.

Other Employment Options
Babysitting isn't for everyone. Other good options are pet sitting, house sitting or caregiving for elderly people who don't need medical assistance. Teens should follow the same steps as they would for starting a babysitting business and set themselves apart by checking out websites like Caring.com or Care.com and reading relevant training books like the Dog First Aid and Cat First Aid books and DVDs by the American Red Cross.

Originally published in the May 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine.