Finding a job can be nearly impossible and so can finding childcare. So why not combine the two and take care of someone’s children as a job? For the longest time, babysitting has been considered a stepping stone job for teenagers to learn responsibility. I had my first babysitting job when I was just 10 years old! But who’s more trustworthy than a pre-teen girl? An adult.
Consequentially, people have taken to TikTok to advocate for it to be normal to babysit as an adult. People have often judged adults for babysitting and have said that it’s not a “real job.” But some people have made bank as full-time babysitters, so TikToker @allizsin aka Allison took to the platform to share how much she makes, sparking a debate on what’s an acceptable amount of money for adults to make as babysitters.
Babysitting as an adult should be normalized regardless of what people make.
A job is a job is a job, so regardless of what adults make as babysitters, there’s no reason to discourage perfectly responsible people from contributing to the already scarce childcare industry. Allison shared her story in response to a TikTok video by @natalieeab who said, “Can we normalize babysitting as adults? When I tell people I babysit, they’re like …”
“No, but really,” Allison responds. “Can we normalize babysitting as adults? Because I’m 38 years old and I still babysit on a regular basis because I am making bank. Okay? I got an email a couple months ago from one of my regulars and she said, ‘My husband and I wanna go away for 24 hours. Do you think you could watch my 10-year-old and my 13-year-old for 24 hours?’ And I said, ‘Yes, that works for me.’”
Naturally, we’re expecting Allison to make the big bucks here based on her storytelling. She continues her story by telling us exactly how much she’d make for that time. “And she said, ‘Great. Does $500 sound fair?’ Yeah. Yeah, that works for me,” Ashley shares, pleased with herself.
We totally support Allison’s career as a babysitter—there’s plenty of opportunity to make money, and if she’s good with kids and enjoys it, then there’s no reason to shame her. However, one of the reasons there’s a stigma about adult babysitters is because it’s not seen as a career with promotion possibilities, benefits such as health insurance and a 401(k), or other expectations that often come with “adult” jobs.
But as Allison shares what she makes from her babysitting gig, expecting to impress viewers, some people believe that Allison should be making more money, while others are thinking about getting into the babysitting game themselves.
Allison made $500 from 24 hours of work as a babysitter, which some think is underpaid.
Back when I babysat almost 20 years ago, the going rate per hour for watching three kids was about $20 per hour. Adjusting for inflation, babysitters should be making at least $25-30 per hour, and adult babysitters should demand an even higher rate of pay since they’re more responsible and can take on more household duties.
Even though watching a 10 and 13-year-old shouldn’t be too challenging, as kids tend to be pretty independent by then, Allison still had to make them her first priority for those 24 hours. She had to feed them, make sure they do homework or chores, get them to sleep on time, drive them wherever they need to go, clean up after them, and more.
At $500 for 24 hours, Allison was paid just $20 per hour, the same I made in the early aughts as a young teenager. With all respect to Allison, most adults can make more than $500 in 24 hours. As a bartender, I could make $500 in one 8-hour shift. For 24 hours of work, I’d ask for double what that parent offered Allison and many commenters agree.
Even still, others believe heard Allison’s story and commented that they need to get back into babysitting. Some shared their own versions, in which they make a few thousand dollars per month with babysitting as an easy side hustle. It’s not a bad shout, especially if you enjoy hanging out with kids. Some have said it’s like being paid to be a stay-at-home-mom, but without the pressure of being the actual mom.
But the arguable pay probably feeds into why adult babysitters aren’t respected as important childcare workers—they’re still underpaid and undervalued by the people who need them most. In addition, you don’t need any degree or qualifications to be a babysitter, so people look down on the position. But we all need babysitters, especially in a world where childcare can be challenging to find. So respect your babysitters… and pay them fairly!