How Much Do You Pay a Grandparent to Babysit or Nanny For Your Child?
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Paying grandparents to watch their grandchildren is a strangely controversial topic.
Some parents believe they should be ecstatic to watch their grandchildren without payment.
Many grandparents want to be with their grandchildren and vice versa. However, grandparents also need some money to get by.
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How Much to Pay a Grandparent to Watch Their Grandkids?
Have an open and honest conversation with your child’s grandparents. Ask them if they would prefer to be paid or if they prefer to remain unpaid. The next step is the hardest: Follow through on what they ask. If grandma needs $12 per hour, pay her. If she’d rather babysit for free, that’s okay too.
One of the biggest mistakes parents can make is assuming that a grandparent will watch their grandchildren for free.
It definitely happens. The last data collected by the United States Census Bureau shows about 23 percent of grandparents provide full-time childcare for their grandchildren.
Some reports show that number has risen by as much as 15 percent in the last 10 years.
Unfortunately, the public is somewhat split on whether these grandparents should be paid at all. In fact, Buzzfeed recently shared a story about a grandmother who asked for money, which has split their online community almost in half.
All Caregivers Deserve Compensation
Taking care of a child is a serious and important job. It requires constant vigilance all day. The younger the children are, the more care is needed.
From diaper changes to feeding to keeping them entertained, it’s not an easy job for anyone. Asking a grandparent to spend their days in this capacity without any form of compensation is disrespectful at best.
Here are some ways to handle paying grandma and grandpa for their child care services.
A Fair Hourly Wage
The typical wage for a nanny might vary depending on your location. The average across the United States is just under $13 per hour.
The grandparent is functioning as a nanny, which means it’s reasonable to offer that fair wage.
You might be able to negotiate with the grandparent for a slightly less payment if that amount puts you in a financial bind.
Lump Sum Payments
Instead of paying by the hour, you might offer the grandparent a lump sum on a weekly basis.
If grandma or grandpa is watching your child on a full-time basis, offer about $500. That is less than you would pay a nanny but more than a typical daycare.
If grandparents only provide babysitting services for a few hours a day or a few hours a week, a lump sum of $100 to $150 might be acceptable.
The Barter System
Money could be tight for everyone. That doesn’t mean you should take advantage of the kindness of grandparents.
Instead, make some trades. Offer home maintenance, cleaning, landscaping, or car repair in exchange for childcare.
Run errands for the grandparent, do their grocery shopping, or give them rides when they need them. Working together as a family is a good way to pay back some of what the grandparents provide when they babysit.
What if Grandparents Don’t Want Payment?
A grandparent might say they don’t want to be paid. You might do a dance of joy, but it can still make you feel awkward.
Grandparents may extend their lives by babysitting grandchildren. They may simply find joy in watching them grow. Still, you might feel like you’re taking advantage of their time and kindness.
Don’t pay a grandparent if they insist they want to watch the children for free, but do find other ways to show you care. Treat them to dinner, give them gift cards, hire a housekeeping service or lawn care company.
All of these things cost far less than a typical nanny wage, but they also are helpful, time-saving, and kind.
Grandparents aren’t typical employees, but when they become nannies, you do owe them some kind of payment. A standard nanny wage is reasonable, but you might be able to work out something different.
How do you feel about this issue? How much should grandparents be paid for babysitting? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Have You Read These?
- How Do I Afford Daycare For a Second Child?
- When Can You Leave a Baby with their Grandparents?
- Daycare vs Grandparents
Love the article, I have a friend who is basically being taken advantage of as a grandfather unable to work because of an injury. Behind in bills literally have to beg for gas money to come over to babysit his grandchild. And they made him feel guilty when he asks for anything for babysitting/Nanny/housekeeper. His son and daughter in law very well off. They even mention hiring a Nanny at some point. Second child on the way also building 3 story home I almost certain it will include a nanny’s quarters and they would throw the grandfather to the curb. I don’t have a problem with grandparent’s not wanting pay. I have 5 adults grandchildren myself. I choose the watch then as often as possible I could have use the extra money but I didn’t need it. Most of the time I had then over is because I want then with me all the time.
Want son and daughters to have quiet time with there spouse. Young couples need time together. But kids please don’t take advantage of great parents/grandparents. We are a gift to have . If you don’t have to paid surprised then with a dinner out a card, a hotel or spa. You’ll never no what’s it’s like until u become a Grandparents yourself. And if your not grandparent save your opinion.
Very well said. Thank You for sharing.
Watching my great grandson, 20 months old. I’m driving to their house, doing laundry, cleaning kitchen. It’s temporary, but I’ve said if I drive 30 minutes to their house, for 9 hours a day, they can pay me. Main thing is, I DON’T want to do this 2 or 3 days a week for 9 hrs each day. It’s too much
I can’t get them to do thing’s for me, I wish I could.
I’m sorry to hear that you’re struggling with the current arrangement. As difficult as it is, you’ll need to set hard boundaries with your child. If for nothing else, for your old sanity and health. Plus, doing it sooner rather than later could probably preserve the relationship instead of waiting until you’re completely fed up with the situation. I wish you all the best.
I feel that Grandparents should be paid a reasonable amount, for 2 reasons: 1) It becomes real easy for the parents to take advantage of their parents and 2) paying for daycare is their responsibility. I was babysitting.my grandchildren, suppose to be just part time (32 hrs a week) I was told. Started out $100 a week. Next thing I knew I was sitting over 50 hrs a week and only getting $60. I was told that because I live iny RV on the property, I should’ve grateful. I was expected to be available without notice or times I would go in to sit and find out I wasn’t needed. Very disrespectful, I think and I don’t feel appreciated at all.