These are the national averages for babysitting rates
Whether you’ve got Grandma on retainer or not, every parent needs the helpful, no-strings-attached caregiving a babysitter can provide. Sometimes “free” babysitting via relatives isn’t always “free,” you know? Paying someone to do it can oftentimes be the better end of the deal for a much-needed night out on your terms.
Which is why we love it when UrbanSitter releases their annual National Childcare Rate Study — so we can see the going rates for babysitters in our area and budget plan accordingly.
Perhaps not surprisingly, San Francisco is the most expensive for quality childcare, coming in hot at $17.34 per hour — but that’s probably because it’s the most expensive for anything and everything in existence. New York City, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. weren’t too far behind San Francisco. Phoenix is the least expensive at $11.83 per hour, which is closer to what moms in my own area pay per hour/child.
More than 20,000 families across the country were surveyed and the national average for hourly babysitting rates comes out to $16.43 per hour for one child. None of these rates include tip, which, if I’m being honest — I didn’t even realize was a standard thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a steady 20% tipper at restaurants and salons, but this is news to me.
Apparently I’m not alone, because 55% of parents surveyed tip, while 83% will offer extra perks like TV and free food (okay, whew, I absolutely do this at least).
The survey also found that more parents are hiring sitters for things like “me time,” wellness time, and day dates.
As someone who both lives and works inside the four walls of her house, paying a babysitter to play with my toddler for a couple of hours so I can engage in frivolous activities outside the confines of my home doesn’t sound too shabby.
And it’s easy to see why babysitters for day dates is surging in popularity — we’re parents, so an evening out usually means coming back home by nine so we don’t fall asleep in the movie theater’s reclining seats. (And just to prove I’m not completely lame — don’t forget how much a fun an afternoon cocktail or two can be in the summertime.)
Of course, babysitting rates can really add up — especially if you’ve got more than one child. But making sure we get alone time and time alone with our significant others makes us better parents in the long run. See? A totally justified expense.