Childcare providers are essential and deserve to be treated with respect and compensated appropriately. If you have a steady childcare provider, they deserve paid time off for sickness, vacation, and emergencies—like any other worker. You trust these people with your children, and they need to be properly paid for keeping your kid out of all sorts of shenanigans—not to mention feeding them, changing them, playing with them, and making sure they are safe. So when one mom on Reddit wrote in about short-changing the babysitter, people were not having it. Did she learn her lesson?
The OP writes that she has one three-year-old child who is “sweet, calm, low-maintenance, and a great kid.” She and her husband asked one of his daycare providers, B, to watch him for five hours during a workday. They agreed on $50 for those five hours—which to me, as a parent who pays a childcare provider, seems extremely low. But I understand that both parties were okay with the agreement, so who am I to judge.
“Well, there ended up being a situation at work that prevented me from getting home at 6, so I wasn’t able to relieve her until around 6:45. My husband works from 11 AM to 8 PM, so him relieving her was out of the question. When I got there, she seem to be in a hurry to get out of the house. I understand that I was late, but as a person who works with kids and their parents, she is well aware that things come up. I handed her a $50 bill and she thanked me, but asked for $7 more. I told her that she got the 50 she agreed on, but she said that since I was 45 mins late and I was paying her $10 an hour, she had earned $7 more for an extra 45 mins,” the OP writes.
“I told her that’s not what we agreed on. We agreed on $50, and it shouldn’t matter that I was late because we didn’t discuss it in terms of hours. She argued that I agreed I would be home at six and didn’t adhere to that either, but it’s an entirely different story. I ended up only giving her $50 and showing her out of the house. I’ll admit that she did a great job with my son. But in my opinion she had no right to ask for more. My husband and mother both think that I was being an asshole. I don’t agree.”
I’m appalled—and so were Redditors. Treat your childcare providers well, folks!
“You were late. People deserve to be paid for their time. If you were asked to work overtime at a job, wouldn’t you expect to be paid? It doesn’t matter what a little angel your son is. Pay people for their time,” said alalal982.
“Like on top of all this–OP is playing dumb and acting like this behavior is the actual norm and the babysitter is in the wrong when IT’S NOT AND SHE KNOWS IT. I also happen to work in childcare–AND I AM AWARE THAT I GET PAID FOR OVERTIME WHEN PARENTS ARE LATE PICKING UP THEIR CHILDREN. I normally work the closing shift AND THEY ALL PAY late fees. They sign a contract with my place of work and I get paid overtime for waiting. OP undoubtedly signed a contract just like that when signing up for childcare. Like clearly her experience with putting her child in childcare and having other babysitters over, her implied belief that this is a steal for $50 and that because her kid is easy she gets to pay less suggests she’s been around the block multiple times and UNDERSTAND OVERTIME PAY,” said EX_Tenn.
“She did you a favor. And she didn’t take much payment for it, $50 for that amount of time is less than minimum wage. Also think of it this way: Your kid should be one of the most important things in your life, right? So why is his wellbeing while you’re gone worth so little to you,” observed ADawg28.
“YTA wow and how. 1. Do you want to die on a hill made up of seven $1 bills? 2. You said you’d be home at 6, you were home at 6:45pm— she deserves overtime. 3. Also, what about a tip? This is a bit of a repeat from #1, but for emphasis, please read the above back to yourself as many times as necessary for it to sink in that someone who regularly takes care of your child was already giving you a break on her time and talents—and you decided to fight her over SEVEN dollars. Wtf?? (Yes, watching children is a talent, especially for one who does it professionally. Daycare providers are heroes without the capes)” said Snausagefestivus.
“YTA and you sound SO entitled. If you’re going to hire someone to watch your precious child, you should be paying them more. I made $10 an hour babysitting when I was 15 years old! An adult, who is a professional by the way, should be paid way more. You’re lucky she agreed to $50. In addition, you did not show up on time. You can’t try to justify it as ‘she is a person who works with parents and kids and knows that things come up.’ She is an adult human being with other commitments, responsibilities, and a life of her own. You should have paid her for the additional time she worked. You should also gather some more respect for babysitters and daycare workers in general,” explained 10anon95.
After reading the ire she received, the OP added some additional information as well as said she would be adjusting her behavior in the future. Also, her husband sent the childcare provider $50 on Venmo behind the OP’s back because he felt so badly. So at least one person in this family agrees that childcare providers should be compensated for their work.
“Okay, everyone. I realize now that I really am the asshole. I never thought about it in terms of a bargain or from her standpoint, but it’s clear to me know that I was blatantly in the wrong. I sent her a text with my hubs last night apologizing and begging her to come back. We offered her: An additional agreed-upon late fee if either of us is late again [and] we’re stocking our fridge and pantry with whatever snacks she enjoys. My son loves her, and she was great. I feel awful that I treated her that way. I’ve apologized profusely and she thanked me and agreed to babysit for us again. Thanks for all your judgments.”
So while the OP still seems kind of pissy, at least her childcare provider will be treated better in the future.
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