How Much Do Babysitters Cost in 2017?

Sitter cost

Having a babysitter can be super helpful for families. Whether the parents are out of the house because of business, travel or a date night, babysitters are the convenient answer to the question “who will look after the kids?”

Many parents, however, don’t know how much to pay for a babysitter. While some may have baysay a decade a go, very few understand 2017 babysitting rates. Back then, some babysitters could expect to be paid $5 or $6 per hour! This babysitting price would definitely not fly today. The average pay for a babysitter has definitely changed over time. If you’re looking for a babysitter but don’t know how much to pay, look no further! This is a comprehensive guide on how much you should pay your babysitter - or, how much to charge as a babysitter, if you're on the other side.

Jump Ahead

  1. Average Babysitting Rates in 2017
  2. How Experience Impacts Babysitter Pay
  3. Cost of Child Care Tasks and Services
  4. Caregiver Training and Work Eligibility
  5. Babysitting Work Experience
  6. Benefits of Daycare vs. Babysitters
  7. Should You Hire a Nanny or a Babysitter?
  8. Conclusion

Average Babysitting Rates in 2017

The cost of babysitting varies by location. However, in 2017 most babysitters are charging between $10 - $20 per hour with highly-certified or experienced individuals charging as much as $33.84 per hour.

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Babysitting Pay Rates in the United States

The babysitter wage per hour varies widely - even within specific neighbourhoods rates can differ substantially. The minimum wage is also different in each state and province, so make sure you’re at least paying the fair wage to your sitter. Ask your neighbours and friends “how much do you pay your babysitter?” to get a fair estimate of the going rate for babysitting.

Average Hourly Cost of Babysitters by City

City Average Babysitter Pay (per hour)
New York, NY $23.44
Los Angeles, California $19.99
Chicago, Illinois $14.94
Houston, Texas $15.43
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania $13.28
Phoenix, Arizona $23.66
Jacksonville, Florida $11.44
Indianapolis, Indiana $10.20
Columbus, Ohio $13.74
Charlotte, North Carolina $11.97

Babysitting prices per hour can differ greatly in the states - cities like New York City and Phoenix have an average hourly rate over $20, but in Indianapolis sitters earn just over $10 per hour on average.

Key Factors to Consider

Age Group

Not every sitter is comfortable or skilled enough to take care of children in each age group properly. Here’s a breakdown of different age groups and the percentage of sitters willing and able to look after them. Babysitting rates for infants seem to be on the lower end while it seems like babysitting rates for older children tend to be higher.

Age Group Percent of babysitters willing to take care of this group Average hourly wage
Newborns 73% $16.41
Toddler 90% $12.44
Primary School 72% $12.46
Early School 88% $11.95
Preteens/Teenager 46% $11.72
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Availability

Every babysitter has different availability - so make sure you establish a schedule beforehand! Generally babysitters with fewer hours (available nights or weekends only) charge lower prices - these sitters are generally students looking for extra money.

Availability Percent of babysitters who have this availability Average hourly pay
Full Time 37% $12.41
Live in 11% $12.47
Long term 61% $12.25
Occasional 50% $12.05
Part time 77% $12.16
Short term 44% $12.12
Summer only 34% $11.69

Cost of Child Care Tasks and Services

Here are some household tasks you may ask your sitter to complete. Keep in mind that the you ask your sitter to do, outside of taking care of your child, the higher the average hourly rate will be.

Household Task Percent of babysitters who provide household task Average hourly wage
Errands 37% $12.50
Groceries 8% $13.22
Laundry 53% $11.92
Light housekeeping 60% $11.88
Meal Preparation 71% $11.61

You definitely want to be fair in your compensation - an overwhelmed or dissatisfied sitter leads to lower quality of care for your child! Taking care of your kids should be the sitters number one priority - if other tasks are getting in the way they should become optional.

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Services

Here’s a list of common services that you may ask your house sitter if they provide. Similar to household tasks, more complicated tasks like pick up and droping off children (which requires a vehicle/license) and swimming supervision (which requires life saving training) generally result in higher wages. Travelling is also not a convenient task for many sitters - hence why it’s more expensive.

  1. Crafts
    61% of babysitters offer this service and charge an average of $11.57 per hour
  2. Pet Care
    52% of babysitters offer this service and charge an average of $11.66 per hour
  3. Pick up/Drop off
    38% of babysitters offer this service and charge an average of $13.30 per hour ( 56% of babysitters have their own transportation)
  4. Swimming Supervision
    39% of babysitters offer this service and charge an average of $11.81 per hour
  5. Travel
    22% of babysitters offer this service and charge an average of $14.77 per hour

Hourly Cost of a Babysitter in 2017, By Years of Work Experience

Years of work 0 - 5 6 - 10 11 - 15
Hourly Rate Charged $10.23 $11.08 $11.63

Having 15 years of experience can increase a sitter’s salary by 4%! More experienced sitters often earn more for their higher quality of care or ability to look after multiple children at once.

Caregiver Training

Since training can often be very costly, more well-qualified sitters charge more. CPR and First Aid especially can be very useful in emergency situations!

  1. CPR
    53% of babysitters have CPR training and charge an average of $11.65 per hour
  2. First Aid
    54% of babysitters have first aid training and charge an average of $11.61 per hour
  3. Early Childhood Educator
    18% of babysitters have an ECE background and charge an average of $12.11 per hour

Work Eligibility

  1. Criminal record
    2% of sitters have a recent criminal background check and charge an average of $13.14 per hour. If your sitter does not have a criminal check you can always request that they get one before they start.
  2. Sponsorship required
    1% of sitters require sponsorship and charge an average of $13.47 per hour
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How to Pay a Babysitter

While many families opt to pay their babysitter via cash, our experts at Sitter.com generally recommend using cheque or other method. The reality is that, when it comes to employment, you're best off ensuring there's a paper trail to avoid any issues around taxation. One important item to consider here is that if your babysitter ends up working close to 35 hours a week, you may be required to put them on payroll. A number of online services exist to help with this process, including HeartPayroll!

Babysitter vs. Daycare

If you’re looking for daily care while you’re gone at work, looking into daycares might make more sense for your family. Your child is in the care of a skilled provider and benefits from social interaction with kids their age. Many daycares or Montessori Schools, however, have very long wait lists so getting into one might be difficult.

One happy medium here is to partner with another family who has a say at home parent, and offer to pay them in exchange for child care. Many individuals would be happy to have the additional income - and odds are the children will be happy to have the company.

Babysitter vs. Nanny

Some sitters are only available on a casual or on-call basis. And many are full-time workers elsewhere or students. In the summer, sitters who are students might be willing to work full-time (40 hours per week) but they can’t keep up with these hours come September. Unless your family is only looking for childcare for the summer it may be better long-term to hire a nanny instead. Most nannies work consistent schedules or even commit to one family for many years.

While nannies can be expensive, one way to reduce the cost is through a Nanny Share agreement. These allow you a reduced rate - while also introducing greater opportunities for peer socialization than would be available through a standard nanny arrangement.

Conclusion

The question of “How much should you pay your babysitter?” can be answered in the end with however much your family is comfortable with spending. Hiring a babysitter is not for everyone and there are alternative child care routes! Good luck on your search!