On average, American parents pay babysitters $13.97 an hour
Babysitters are making more than ever.
More than four in 10 parents now spend at least $1,000 on babysitting in a year, according to data out today from babysitter booking site Care.com. “Parents are increasingly paying more for a babysitter, and in 2016, the national average hourly rate was $13.97,” says Joyce Hodel, data scientist at Care.com, which released its annual survey of babysitter pay this morning. “We’re seeing that this is a babysitter’s market.”
If you live in certain cities — usually those along the coasts where cost of living is high — you may need fork over a lot more than that. Babysitters in San Jose are the highest paid in the nation, making $16.68 per hour.
Five most expensive big cities to hire a babysitter (per hour):
1. San Jose, CA: $16.68
2. San Francisco, CA: $16.52
3. Bridgeport, CT: $15.74
4. Boston, MA: $15.51
5. New York, NY: $15.23
In other cities — typically in places where the cost of living is pretty low — the going rate for babysitters is much lower.
Five least expensive big cities to hire a babysitter (per hour):
1. Youngstown, OH: $11.81
2. Toledo, OH: $12.24
3. McAllen, TX: $12.36
4. Lakewood, FL: $12.52
5. Akron, OH: $12.67
You can look up the average pay for a sitter in your city here.
Of course, what you pay your sitter depends on a number of factors. Parents say they pay more for sitters who come before or after school, spending roughly $2 an hour extra. Last minute bookings usually run an additional $3 an hour. Many parents also say they would pay more if their babysitter had safety training, an early education degree or a child care certification.
Adding to the costs is the issue of tipping the sitter. About 34% of parents say they tip on top of the hourly rate — that’s up from 26% in 2015. Usually parents just round up to tip: So if you owe your babysitter $18, you might just fork over a $20 bill and call it a night.
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