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.


Well, it would be an honor to watch the grandkids without payment and have them dropped off at my home so during the day, I can keep my own house up and put together projects to do with them. However, we are all in different circumstances. I was finally let go of my job at 55 and I will have to work until I am 70, no kidding. My daughter has two children, 4 (boy full of energy wit CP) and an 11 month girl. I love them both dearly, they are a blessing. She asked me if I can watch them 5 days a week..including taking the boy to therapy and doing PT with him everyday and she offered to pay me, enough to get by on, if I find a room to rent. I started crying. Why? For two reasons, it has always been my dream to do this for my kids (without pay) because I know how hard it is to get on ones feet these days and 2) my own personal identity: I do not feel like I am ready to "be retired" yet and still have a lot of desire to continue to walk the path that I started to walk in growth development.

I have found it difficult for me to "let go" of who I am and embrace watching the kids (I do get tired after 9 hours, no adult and no breaks!) I am torn. I am also worried that in a few years, one child will be in school so my daughter will want to pay me "less" for less time. (like in child care? I am not sure how that goes) when that happens, and I stopped career development, where will I be and who will take care of me? I am trying to figure out how to balance the best of both worlds. I wish people could reply here, I would love input and suggestions from others who "have been there" on 2017-01-11 20:51:09

I babysat my grandson every Friday when he was in half day kindergarten. It was a half day of work for me and my boss allowed me to change my hours by 15 minutes so I could accommodate the bus schedule. I did it to help them financially so I knew I wasn't getting paid. I was OK with that, but now that I'm retired I get calls to get him off the bus on half days or full days and sit until they get home because their usual sitter can't do it. Again, that would be fine BUT, this is the ONLY time they call or visit! I don't see the kids unless they need a sitter, or at holidays (when the meal is always at my house prepared by me) or on the kids' birthdays. Come my birthday I get a "happy birthday" on Facebook from son and DIL. Only ONCE have the grandkids acknowledged it, and that was because I was babysitting that day so they brought me a card and some flowers. I'm tired of being used so unless I really feel like dealing with them, I say no.

GrammySue13 on 2016-03-03 15:42:01

I have my 8 month old everyday but I enjoy him so much I don t get paid but I enjoy it very much on 2016-02-19 18:44:31

My daughter, her husband and I agreed that I would live with them in exchange for helping with my two grandchildren and some housework. I would not be paid, would not have a set schedule (just help as needed) and buy my own groceries. I gave them $15,000 to help with expenses when we all moved to another state out the outset of our arrangement. They have renovated a small guesthouse on their property for me. My daughter did most of the work although I contributed another few thousand towards the renovations. I have lived here a year, helping out and have tracked my "work time" for 4 months out of that time, which amounts to between 20 and 30 hours each week between childcare and housework. I also buy my own groceries and occasionally some for everyone.My daughter does not work outside the home. She has begun to suggest that I should share in paying for utilities and because I do not pay rent, that I should check with her before making any plans to be out of town. I feel that is unfair and I think that she and I need to clarify expectations as I am on a fixed income and cannot afford to pay rent and utilities. I would love to get some opinions on our arrangement re: if we are being fair with each other. on 2015-10-25 14:39:53

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