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Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor

What Parents Are Paying Their Babysitter, According to Survey

Wondering what the going rate is for a sitter these days? Here’s what other families are willing to dole out across the US.
PUBLISHED ON 02/15/2019

Finding a babysitter you trust to take care of your kid is hard. Then comes the added stress of figuring out what the heck is a reasonable wage to pay your sitter. Rest assured, here’s the skinny on what other families are doling out these days, according to a survey from UrbanSitter.

Based on booking data from 28,000 families across the US, the national average rate for a babysitter is $16.75 per hour for one child; $19.26 for two kids; and $20.76 for three kids. San Francisco has the most expensive rates for a babysitter, with $18.75 per hour for one kid and $21.30 for two kids. Las Vegas, on the other hand, has the lowest babysitter rates—the going rate for one kid is $11.63 an hour and for two kids it's $14.71.

Photo: UrbanSitter

Date night is one of the most popular instances when parents turn to childcare, and half of those surveyed say their anniversary is when they’re most likely to call in backup. Additionally, parents say they’re also likely to use a sitter for birthday dates (23 percent) and New Year’s Eve (6 percent).

But coordinating plans for date night isn’t about finding any ol’ babysitter. When asked what’s more important, booking a reservation at their favorite restaurant or booking their favorite sitter, 40 percent say the latter.

New to the game and not sure what caregiver services to trust? Check out our picks for the best babysitter apps and websites on the market. Once you have time to peruse them all and think you found your go-to sitter, be prepared to interview them before leaving them with your little one. Here’s a checklist on the important questions to ask potential babysitters—no holding back!

PHOTO: Anfisa Kameneva courtesy Getty Images