It’s a question every parent will ask at some point: “What’s the going rate for a good babysitter these days?” But despite the universal nature of the question, the answer can vary widely depending on where you live, the number of kids, their ages and developmental needs, and what tasks you expect the sitter to manage. Add to that the fact that we’ve possibly been hiring fewer in-person babysitters during the past year—but maybe more tutors or virtual babysitters—and the numbers seem more nebulous than ever.
Luckily, every year for the past decade, UrbanSitter, which matches parents with local caregivers, has attempted to compile this information for us. This year, they surveyed 10,000 families across the country to calculate the average hourly babysitting rates broken down by major city, as well as the hourly rates of tutors, virtual sitters, and “pod-sitters”—because, pandemic.
Here are the key findings, as provided by an UrbanSitter spokesperson via email:
- The national average rate for in-person babysitting is $18.36/hour for one child (a 3.5% increase over 2020) and $21.23/hour for two children (a 4.5% increase over 2020)
- The average virtual sitter is $16.51/hour
- The average pod sitter rate is $15.90/hour per child
- The average tutoring rate is $20.72/hour
- For the 7th year in a row, San Francisco has the highest rates at $21.17/hour for one child and $23.56/hour for two children
- Las Vegas has the lowest sitters at $12.53/hour for one child and $17.18/hour for two children
Again, these are just averages and may vary depending on your area or specific needs. It can also be helpful to poll other parents in your local parenting groups or ask nearby friends and family what they pay, or what their rate is if they babysit themselves.
If you’re looking for a new sitter, now may be a good time to find one. According to the babysitters surveyed by UrbanSitter, 55 percent say they either can’t find babysitting work right now or are working less than they’d like. The other 45 percent said they are either working their regular hours or intentionally stopped babysitting.