Mum’s List of Chores for Babysitter Sparks Debate: Smart or Stingy?

Science teacher and American mum, Katrina Ivan has sparked quite the debate about babysitting duties after she shared a list of chores for babysitter if she wanted to do them.

Chores and cash, if you want them

While you may recall your own babysitting antics when the parents would casually request that you also do some tidying up while on duty, Katrina explains that she offers a list of chores for her sitter to do if she’d like to earn some extra money while on sitting duties.

Katrina’s babysitter, a senior in high school, was given several chores that she would complete for extra income on top of the hourly rate for babysitting her kids. As Katrina explains, her babysitter was hired to watch her two-year-old daughter from 7:30 to 11:30 pm while she and her husband had a night out. Rather than stay home to clean and organise, she thought she’d offer the chores to her babysitter, a girl she’d known for four years. Smart thinking!

Organising the kitchen island would earn her an extra $10, as would organising the toys or cleaning the windows and mirrors, cleaning and reorganising the silverware drawer, and sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor.

If she reorganised and scrubbed the refrigerator, she would earn $15. $3 if she vacuumed the couch.

“You are more than welcome to hang out and watch TV all night, but if you want to make some extra $, these jobs are up for grabs,” Katrina wrote at the top of the note with instructions to tally everything up for the total amount at the end of the night.

The babysitter, who wants to become a firefighter, welcomed the idea and was excited to get started. Katrina left out the cleaning supplies just in case, so the teen wouldn’t feel awkward searching for them.

Katrina only realised the teen had taken her up on the offer when she saw her cleaning through a ring camera.

The hard-working babysitter walked away with $115 for four hours of work including the actual babysitting.

Chores for babysitter gets two thumbs up

In a follow-up video, the babysitter is shown reading a similar list and gives the camera a big smile.

list of chores for babysitter
Source: TikTok

Comments on the videos were varied with some individuals thinking it was a great idea and others saying they thought Katrina lowballed her babysitter with her prices.

“Honestly, when I babysat I wish the parents gave me the option to clean and make some extra cash.” one wrote.

Many also pointed out that their childhood babysitting antics involved having to do chores as part of the package.

“As a babysitter I’ve had parents require this stuff for the same price of babysitting… you are an angel.”

Good idea, shame about the pay

Another element that sparked debate was just how low the pay was for the babysitter chores and cleaning jobs required. $10 to clean the windows and mirrors appeared to be too low.

I think $10 is too cheap for some of these tasks considering the amount of work/size of the mess.” one said.

“As a babysitter, I would feel pressured to do those things even if she said I didn’t have to. Hire an organiser. Also, when you calculate it all, it’s like $50 bucks for A LOT of extra work.” 

It is important to compensate babysitters fairly for their work in caring for children and any additional babysitter chores and household tasks they may perform. One way to ensure this is by keeping track of the time spent on chores and using a Payment Calculator to determine a separate hourly rate for house cleaning, in addition to the babysitter’s regular pay rate.

In Australia, the average rate for a babysitter is between $25 and $35 an hour. Be prepared to add extra for any cleaning required or offered as an extra boost.

After receiving feedback about her sitter’s pay, Katrina decided to increase the rates for babysitter chores the next time the babysitter came over. Some people questioned why she would pay her sitter extra money at all since they believe light housecleaning should be included in standard babysitting responsibilities.

However, Katrina rightfully pointed out that unless the sitter has agreed to additional tasks and is being compensated for them, their job duties typically only include child care. She believes that if she expects more from her sitter, she should be willing to pay more for it.

I remember babysitting as a teen and wandering around the quiet house at night after I’d put the kids to sleep. Sure, you could watch TV or do your homework but having the option to make a bit more money would have been great too!

So, what do we think? Chores for babysitter? Yes or no? Would you consider paying your sitter extra for cleaning duties?

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Tina Evans is a complete introvert, an avid reader of romance novels, horror novels and psychological thrillers. She’s a writer, movie viewer, and manager of the house menagerie: three kelpies, one cat, a fish, and a snake. She loves baking and cooking and using her kids as guinea pigs. She was a teenage parent and has learned a lot in twenty-three years of parenting. Tina loves Christmas and would love to experience a white Christmas once in her life. Aside from writing romance novels, she is passionate about feminism, equality, sci-fi, action movies and doing her part to help the planet.

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