What Should I Pay a Babysitter?

Urban Sitter's 2015 survey results on babysitter rates across the country

paying a babysitter

Are you unsure how much to pay your babysitter? In order to attract the most qualified babysitters, it is important to offer a competitive rate, without overpaying.

4 Factors to Consider When Deciding How Much to Pay a Babysitter:

1. How many children?

More kids means more work, especially when the children’s ages are different. For each additional child, pay your babysitter an extra $1 or $2.

2. How experienced is the babysitter?

Experience is a factor when it comes to babysitter payments. A teenager is very different than a seasoned babysitter who is CPR and first aid certified. You may also want to take their education level and foreign language skills into consideration, as well.

3. Is the babysitter doing additional work?

If you need the babysitter to drive your kids around, perform household chores or help with homework, plan to pay them more for these extra services.

4. Do you need a babysitter for a special occasion?

Be prepared to pay up for special occasions, such as New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day or when taking a babysitter on your vacation. Babysitters are in high demand for special holidays.

UrbanSitter released its 2015 National Childcare Survey results for average rates for babysitters and other child care providers. Urban Sitter collected data from 10,000 families across the United States to calculate rates for major cities across the country.

Babysitter Rates Per Hour:

One child: 

  • Boston:     $15.08    
  • Chicago    $13.17    
  • Denver    $11.04    
  • District of Columbia   $14.32
  • New York    $15.51    
  • Los Angeles    $14.44    
  • San Francisco    $15.93    
  • San Diego    $11.86    
  • Seattle    $14.32

Two children:

  • Boston:     $16.62    
  • Chicago    $14.54 
  • Denver    $13.07  
  • District of Columbia   $16.27
  • New York    $17.29   
  • Los Angeles    $16.57  
  • San Francisco    $18.38    
  • San Diego    $13.21 
  • Seattle    $15.95

Key findings from Urban Sitter's 2015 survey:

  • San Francisco has surpassed NY as the city with the most expensive rates, where the average babysitting rate for one child is $15.93 per hour.
  • Denver has the least expensive rates, where the average pay starts at $11.04 an hour for one child
  • When asked what matters most when hiring a babysitter, the majority (24%) of parents said “a reference from a friend.” Interestingly, a background check came in as LEAST important (6%).
  • 33% of parents do date night once a week.
  • 42% of parents tip their sitters.
  • When it comes to male caregivers, 59% of parents would consider hiring a male, 28% would not consider it and 13% have hired a male.

Updated by Jill Ceder

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