Here's How Much Parents Are Paying For A Sitter These Days

by Megan Zander
Originally Published: 
Image via Urban Sitter

These are the going rates for babysitters these days

Sometimes you and your partner need a night out without the kids — to reconnect, to see that R-rated movie everyone’s talking about, or to eat at a place that doesn’t serve nuggets. But unless you’re lucky enough to have Grandma on speed dial for nights like these, going out requires booking — and paying — a babysitter. Not sure if shelling out for a babysitter will leave you with no money for drinks once you’re finally out on the town? Urbansitter just dropped the details of its 2017 National Childcare Rate Study, so you can check out the average price of childcare in your area and plan accordingly.

Image via Urbansitter

The site surveyed over 20,000 families across the countries to find out where babysitters are raking it in and where parent get a better deal on sitters. San Francisco took the award for most expensive babysitters for the third year running, with an average rate of $17.34 per hour for one child. New York came in a close second at $16.89, followed by Seattle at $16.42. And nope, that’s not including tip. Kristy and her friends really started an empire.

Image via Urbansitter

They found the most affordable city to get a babysitter is Denver, where a sitter for one child will set you back $12.22 an hour on average. Overall the study found the average cost of a sitter for one child in the US is $15.20 per hour. If you’ve got two kids, you’re looking at $17.34. Three kids? That will cost you around $19.50. If you’ve got four or more, let’s hope the oldest is old enough to babysit and doesn’t mind getting paid in Poptarts and Amazon gift cards, otherwise paying the sitter could cost more than going out for a three course meal.

Image via Urbansitter

Despite the stereotype of teens being superglued to their phones, parents said their babysitter’s use of social media while on the clock wasn’t their biggest concern when searching for someone to watch the kids. Thirty-five percent of parents reported their biggest pet peeve was babysitters who don’t take the time to clean up while working. 30% said they would love it if the sitter would stop cancelling unexpectedly (Ugh, I’ve been there). Being late rounded out the list of top three parent annoyances at 17%. (At least text so we know you’re on your way!)

Image via Urbansitter

If it seems like all of your friends are posting #datenight selfies lately, it’s not your imagination trying to make you feel left out — that’s actually happening. 61% of parents reported using a sitter at least once a month and almost one third said the sitter comes at least once a week.

Of course it’s not just date nights where babysitters come to the rescue. They save our asses when we we have to work late, be in early, or when there’s a random day off from school that’s not a holiday. That’s probably part of the reason why nearly half of parents asked said they spend over $1000 a year on babysitters.

There’s no question that babysitters are expensive, no matter where you live. But time to unwind sans kids is priceless, so we’ll keep forking over our cash until the kids are old enough to stay home alone.

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