Should Grandparents Be Paid for Babysitting?

Should parents pay grandparents for their babysitting services? See what other readers had to say.

By The Editors

When we asked members whether they thought parents should pay them for their babysitting services, we received some passionate responses. There's a huge difference, many of you pointed out, between doing occasional date-night sitting and providing what amounts to no-cost daily daycare. And while many of you agreed that caring for a child on a regular basis warranted a paycheck, others said that they could never accept money from their kids. Check out what your fellow grandparents had to say:

"I have no problem babysitting my grandchildren when their parents have appointments, or would like to go out to dinner. However, when it comes to providing daycare, I feel they should pay something. We got (and still get) a lot of static from my daughter about her paying us for daycare. Considering that she was paying us maybe half the going rate, I think she was really lucky. I think we would do it again, but we would have to have an agreement in writing so we both knew exactly what we were expecting." — alanapr

"I don't want to be paid, but ... help with the extra housework caused by the children would be nice. When I mention it, I always hear about how much they already have to do." — ConnieFibro

"I watch my very active 3-year-old grandchild three full days a week, but despite the workout, I love doing it. I don't get paid, but my daughter-in-law takes me out to dinner often and son and daughter-in-law gave me a generous Christmas gift. They show their thanks in many ways." — ksgram

"Yes, I charge for watching my grandson and I feel this is only fair. It feel that it teaches responsibility. I like the extra money, so I can spend on him and the other three grandkids without feeling like I spent household money." — dave4carole

"I watch my twin granddaughters four to five days a week. I don't and won't take money from my daughter. It is my pleasure and I wouldn't miss this opportunity to be close to my granddaughters for any amount of money." — twingrandbabies

"I am thrilled when asked to babysit, as it gives me time alone with the grandchildren. The pleasure I get out of watching them is worth more than the money." — LVMom

"It seems strange to be paid for a normal family responsibility. It's a privilege to be closely bonded with my granddaughter. I assisted in rearing her for five years for 12 hours a day. It would have been much less of a strain had her parents offset my expenses, but my relationship with her has been a salve to my life and given me great pride." — Grandma2Kayla

"When I babysat for my grandson, it was so both mom and dad could earn money. I told them I would get paid, but half of my check would go into savings for the baby. My daughter was so excited that he was getting savings every time she paid me." — drec

"Our son and his wife wanted me to quit my job and care for their son and insisted on paying my husband and me. As retired people, we needed the income. This truly has been a joy to see him every day." — Grannyof14

"If the grandparents watch the child all week every week, the parents should pay something. In my case, though, I beg for opportunities to have my grandchildren. If I ever asked to be paid, I'd never see the kids!" — LindaRS

Where do you stand on paying grandparents? Share your opinion in the Comments area below.


I just got remarried and my new husband had me retire from my job. When I did, my daughter said oh good you can watch Luke. My response was, I will watch him but, you can pay me $100/week. She agreed because when she and my other 2 children were growing up, they went to daycare while I worked and knows it would cost her more there and Luke is getting better care here with his Memere. on 2015-02-11 07:25:33

I am a first time grandma to a 3 month old little girl. I googled this topic because I wanted to know if I was indeed selfish for the way I feel. I volunteered to watch my grand daughter 2 days a week, for which I do not get paid. While it gives me time to bod with her, I am exhausted by the end of the day! I guess this is why we go through menopause! I am reading some of the comments and I want to laugh because we have raised our own children to think they are entitled to things. When I raised my own kids, I did not get help from my parents at all. I paid for daycare until my then husband made enough money for me to stay home with them. I raised them, cooked and cleaned all by myself and lived to tell about it. Now I want time for ME. Selfish? maybe but I like that my kids have flown the coop and yes it is nice to be wanted and needed but I am finding it hard to say no. All the while, I am not reimbursed for anything because they are to be saving to move but because they dont pay daycare, they eat out constantly and do things I cannot afford. And, they talk about having more children because they arent having to learn the responsibility aspect of paying high daycare costs! For the woman that says that we are parents our whole lives, yes.. that is true but when do our kids learn that?? So yes, grandparents should be paid something if it is on a regular basis. on 2014-12-15 03:06:48

When babysitting for anyone else's children I think it helps if all parties are courteous and considerate. Even more so if they're your own relations, because otherwise you risk destroying family relationships through resentment. I found someone's video blog on this kind of thing, have a look. on 2014-07-26 16:37:38

I have been my daughter's free full time daycare for several years now. I do not work anymore but I am feeling like I am being taken advantage of. My daughter feels I don't have anything better to do so why shouldn't I watch her kids for free... It's a family thing.

However... My daughter works nights Monday through Friday so I have the girls from about 3:30 PM on Monday almost 24/7. My daughter gets off in the middle of the night (1 AM) so the girls spend the night with me and I get them up feed them breakfast and take them to school. They get out of school at 2:30 - my daughter leaves for work at 3:30 so I usually pick them up (on occasion she'll pick them up and drop them with me on her way to work). I make sure they do their homework, I feed them dinner and get them to take a bath at night before bed (bedtime is 9 PM). This is my routine Monday through Friday. Now my daughter's schedule has been changed (to Tuesday through Saturday) and she wants me to keep the same schedule so she can go out with the girls on Monday evenings... "her only day to do something for herself." Her husband gets off work at 7:30 but will not watch her kids (he's the girl's stepfather). He won't watch the girls because he has activities he does with his friends after work and gets home late.

I finally put my foot down and told her that I raised all my kids and never had the luxury of free daycare for my four kids as my parents died before I was a parent. I told her that the hours I watch her kids is more like raising her kids rather than merely being their babysitter.

I told her that I am retired but live on a limited income and paying for her kids food and watching them full time deserves a bit of financial compensation. I told her I will continue to watch her kids for the same hours for $100 per week. She about came unglued!

I'd be interested in your thoughts.

Deadrea on 2014-06-24 18:47:55

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