Got underpaid at babysitting job. Advice please?

Hello there, hope you're having a nice day. I've been working with this family for about a month and a half now. Here are the facts to save you from having to read an essay:

-Care.com says I should be payed $16 an hour

-In this house, I care for two six year old girls, an eight year old girl, and a boy almost three

-I'm fifteen years old

-The mom was technically on the premise but was not interacting with the kids in any way. She was napping for most of the time and I was keeping the kids occupied upstairs, quietly, and away from her so she could rest.

-She gives me $12.50 an hour for tutoring/playing with the kids, and I expected the same here.

-I stayed overnight on Friday (1:30pm-3:00pm saturday)

-I did so much with the kids including bringing crafts and dvds from home for them, baking with them, riding bikes and scooters outside, doing so much cleaning even when I was never asked to, read the kids a story for bed, played games with them, made them lunch the next day, etc.

-$12.50 an hour for twelve hours (which is about how many hours I was working for while I was there) is $150. That's without a tip or including a payment for staying overnight, which is common courtesy in babysitting.

I had a lengthy conversation with her today and she keeps making excuses and dramatizing everything EXCEPT the work I did for her. She doesn't even realize how hard I was working for the family. I literally did not sit down for more than two minutes for eleven hours. After they all went to sleep, I even went back and cleaned up their dining room for them. I'm really really upset right now because even though I enjoy spending time with their kids, it's a JOB. I enjoy my JOB. She payed me $70 for the entire stay, which is equal to if I was payed $5.80 an hour (less than minimum wage) or if I worked 5.8 hours. She's my only source of income so I really can't not work for her anymore, but what do I do now? She paid me $70, owes me at least $80 and she has no intention of paying me that.

Also, she even said she pays $10 an hour for babysitting (and not tutoring), which would still be at least $120.

Update:

They are a wealthy family and live in a 1.5 million dollar mansion on four acres, but say that they can't afford to have me come three days a week instead of two for tutoring.

Update 2:

Thanks for your answer, ?. Just to clarify, care.com goes by location, number of children (3-4 depending on the day), and experience (four years). It says I should be be paid $13 for one child, and $16 for three.

Update 3:

Thanks, Christin and Celeste for your suggestions. They're really helpful. I had every intention of discussing the pay beforehand, but there just wasn't a good time to do it since I was either with the children or she was napping or on the phone. I never thought of going to care.com with it, so I might do that now.

Update 4:

Thank you so much for all of your answers, I really really appreciate them and they're all very helpful.

Update 5:

Donald,

1. Care.com has a rate calculator. It's a suggestion towards what my services are worth based on the traits of the situation.

2. No, I was not being paid to sleep. I was there for about 26 hours, and I was working for twelve of them. I am only requesting pay for the hours I was physically working for.

3. I'm very responsible and reliable for my age.

4. Yes, I do know what the payment situation is. She is who does not. Here are the numbers:

-Suggested rate: $16 an hour.

-Tutoring three kids (one of which is ADD and has mild retardation) and playing with them for the time remaining: $12.50

-She said while I was on the phone with her that she pays $10 an hour for babysitting, which was never even brought up before. Even this would be $120 for the twelve hours I was working for.

5. And yes, she does owe me eighty dollars. It was dishonest of her to change the rate we've been going by ($12.50)for the entire time I've worked with her for, during this occasion

6 Answers

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  • Donald
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    You're owed what she paid you or wishes to pay you. Not a penny more.

    Let's analyze your situation:

    -Care.com says I should be payed $16 an hour

    So what? Irrelevant. Is Care.com paying you? If not, then you and your customer negotiate a rate. Period.

    -In this house, I care for two six year old girls, an eight year old girl, and a boy almost three

    OK. You care for 4 kids. Got it.

    -I'm fifteen years old

    OK. I'd actually say that's a bit young for the responsibility. But if the parent is OK with that, so be it.

    -The mom was technically on the premise but was not interacting with the kids in any way. She was napping for most of the time and I was keeping the kids occupied upstairs, quietly, and away from her so she could rest.

    OK. That's what a babysitter does. It doesn't make you any more or less valuable than if the mom had been out shopping or at a party or doing volunteer work.

    -She gives me $12.50 an hour for tutoring/playing with the kids, and I expected the same here.

    You may have "expected" it. However, did you discuss this with her?

    -I stayed overnight on Friday (1:30pm-3:00pm saturday)

    How much of that time were you sleeping? Do you expect to get paid for sleeping?

    -I did so much with the kids including bringing crafts and dvds from home for them, baking with them, riding bikes and scooters outside, doing so much cleaning even when I was never asked to, read the kids a story for bed, played games with them, made them lunch the next day, etc.

    That's called babysitting. If you feel that any of those activities required additional compensation, you should have talked to the mom about that.

    -$12.50 an hour for twelve hours (which is about how many hours I was working for while I was there) is $150. That's without a tip or including a payment for staying overnight, which is common courtesy in babysitting.

    Hey, $150 is a lot of money, even for adults. Maybe especially for a mom with 4 kids. And now we're at $12.50 per hour. Earlier you suggested $16. And later you say that she pays $10 for tutoring. You're not even sure what you're asking for.

    She's my only source of income so I really can't not work for her anymore, but what do I do now? She paid me $70, owes me at least $80 and she has no intention of paying me that.

    In the future, agree on a price up-front. She does NOT owe you "at least $80." If you have to work for her, then you work for her. That's obvious. But you seem to have some burning resentment, feeling that she owes you double what she paid you. Problem is: No amount was agreed to up front. And that's a life lesson for you. If that doesn't satisfy you, then get a job at McDonald's.

  • 7 years ago

    Unfortunately, you're going to have to tell this mom that you cannot work these hours for this pay. Period. It's a lot of work--and she knows just how much it is--because you basically did HER job while she slept. So she's not unaware of this. What she's doing is low-balling you. And if you want to be a full-time nanny who lives on the premises and get some benefits such as insurance coverage or perks, then maybe that's acceptable to you--but this situation is not acceptable, and you are putting in far too many hours and activities for not nearly enough pay. Find another family--if you keep up with this arrangement, then you'll have to accept their low wages. That's all there is to it. Either you accept this arrangment, or you don't. If she signed up with care.com, then you should report this underpayment to them.

  • 7 years ago

    You should have had a conversation before hand about price and what you were expecting, especially an overnight stay. Unfortunately, since this is not a traditional job, there's really not much you can do about it now./:

    ^ I also agree with the person above, report this to care.com because this is a ridiculous amount for staying overnight. Find another family.

  • 7 years ago

    You don't want this answer,BUT to get it settled, you need to tell her you cannot come back again

    until you are paid the balance she owes you. She cannot find anyone who will work and do all the

    play time with the children that you do. If you tell her this and stick to it, she will not want to lose you.

    Don't work one more minute until you are paid. This approach will solve the problem.

    Tip: She will not notice all the work you do....only the things you leave undone.(such as the dining

    room).

    Source(s): Knowledge.
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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Negotiate things like this in advance, but you're not going to get $16/hr at your age. Also consider that this is an occasional job, so you're not paying social security, tax, etc - that adds up quite a bit.

  • April
    Lv 4
    7 years ago

    Beggars can't be choosers. Babysitting is a tricky job - and I've been in your situation before (minus tutoring?). Unfortunately with babysitting, if they don't pay you enough, then you can't do anything about it.

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