Looks like date nights are going to get more expensive for parents. According to UrbanSitter, a company that connects babysitters with families looking for child care, babysitting rates are skyrocketing.
UrbanSitter’s analysis finds:
- Average pay for a babysitter jumped 11% in 2021, which means babysitting rates are outpacing inflation, which rose 7% last year.
- The national average rate for a babysitter is $20.57 an hour, but that’s just for one kid. For two tots, it’s $23.25 and it’s $24.35 an hour for three kids.
- New York City has the highest rates at $23.45 an hour for one child, followed by the San Francisco area at $23.32 and Seattle at $21.23.
So what’s with the soaring cost of sitting? Lynn Perkins, chief executive officer of UrbanSitter, says several factors are to blame. She says the overall labor shortage is having an impact, along with all the people leaving their careers to find less stressful work during the pandemic, including nurses, teachers and early childhood education specialists who are now coming into the childcare field. They’re able to charge more for their services because of the specialized skills they have, Perkins explains.
For parents who are struggling to afford child care costs, Perkins suggests:
- Teaming up with another family to share a caregiver, which will bring down the cost per hour.
- Looking for grad students or retirees, who may not be as driven to make top dollar and just want some extra income on the side.