Babysitter Blues


driving sitter

Our friend Mindy absolutely loves her babysitter, Sue.  However, recently Sue came to Mindy and told her that in addition to her regular hourly rate, she would like Mindy to start covering the cost of gas for her to get from her apartment to Mindy’s house.  Sue explained that with the high cost of gas she was now paying at least $20 per week getting to and from her job …

Mindy was shocked.  She figured that, like with most jobs, the cost of gas was something that the employee paid to get to and from work!

She feels that paying Sue an hourly rate of $16 per hour was more than fair for their area, and is now torn about what to do about the gas request.  She and her kids love Sue – but Mindy isn’t sure if Sue’s request is over the top – or within reason.  What you would do?

Tell us what you think!

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3 Responses to “Babysitter Blues”

  1. Casey says:

    I would advise Mindy to offer to split it. While it is primarily Sue’s responsibility, I feel that if Mindy doesn’t offer something, Sue may just quit.

  2. Susan says:

    Yes, gas is usually covered by the employee but maybe the babysitter figured it couldn’t hurt to ask. I got a lot less per hour for babysitting when I was in high school, but in the interest of keeping the babysitter happy, she might consider giving her a small pay increase, especially if the rate has remained unchanged awhile. That way Mindy doesn’t have feel like she’s paying for something she shouldn’t have to, but Sue gets a little more money to help defray the cost of gas. From what I hear, good babysitters are hard to find and you don’t want to shortchange the person responsible for your children’s well-being.

  3. Molly says:

    I think what also needs to be considered is how many hours Sue works per week. If she only works 10 hours a week, therefore making only $160. I can understand why she’d want Mindy to help pay for it. However, if she’s working a 40 hour week and earning $640. per week, then I’d be less inclined to pay for it.
    I think that the babysitter is also forgetting that she gets more than $20. worth of free food, as I’m sure Mindy lets her help herself to the fridge, and eats with the kids. If she takes them out for pizza or ice cream, I’m sure she gets that too.
    These kinds of domestic employer/employee relationships are very elastic, and my recommendation would be to have a talk with the babysitter, remind her of the freebies she gets that others wouldn’t get at their jobs, and come up with a solution that makes them both comfortable.

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