I interviewed two babysitters this week. The first babysitter was petting Ranger and found a FLEA on him. I was mortified. The second babysitter witnessed my children throwing toys all over the floor and running around screaming (as in, for fun.) Ashlyn was put into time out more than once. She was only in our apartment for about 25 minutes or so. I should probably have been mortified about that one, too. That's real life, though, and she would have to deal with those things while babysitting.
So, how much do you pay your babysitters? I realize that I live in a rather expensive area, but, seriously, this is expensive. These are not high school students, but we're just talking a few hours of babysitting here. When I realize that one of them is asking more per hour than I made my first year of teaching, for which I needed a degree and teaching certificate, it seems awfully high. (For reference: minimum wage here is $9.79)
Edited to add: The babysitter is a 19 years old college student, does not have CPR or first aid certification, much less anything else, and no experience with children under 3. And she wants me to pay her $20 an hour. I wasn't crazy about her anyway, (she kept asking Christopher to hug her. She just met him.) The other babysitter, the one who will be here in an hour, has a college degree, experience with all ages, and only wants $10-$15. I find that much more reasonable.