How much should I pay the babysitter? Find out average rates

The survey also asked parents whether they care about a babysitter's politics.
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By Callie Patteson

Still not sure how much to pay your babysitter? UrbanSitter just published their 9th annual child care study listing the average hourly babysitting rates across the United States.

After surveying 25,000 families in 25 U.S. cities, UrbanSitter found the average rate for babysitting one child to be $17.73 per hour, while babysitting two children bumps it up to $20.30 an hour. In 2012, when UrbanSitter conducted their first child care study, the average rate for babysitting was $12.75. Eight years later, that has shot up by 39%.

Related story: 10 things your babysitter hates about you

Out of the 25 cities, Las Vegas ranked as the cheapest hourly rate and San Francisco the most expensive.

Caitlin Dwyer, mother to a 2-year-old and 6-month-old in San Francisco, understands the high pricing. "That's just the going rate," she said. "It can go up to $30 for two kids. It's unfortunate, but it's also the city we live in and the harsh reality that that's what you have to pay."

"It's your children, you can't really put a price on good childcare," Dwyer told TODAY Parents. "I do prefer to pay a little bit less hourly but I do think that you want your children to be in good hands."

While some parents might not have a problem with paying a little extra, some have a problem when sitters support opposing political candidates.

"Right now it feels like the country is politically heated," Lynn Perkins, CEO of UrbanSitter, said. "It became interesting to us because we had a few sitters in their profiles mention that they were volunteering on different political campaigns... So we decided to see if a sitter's political view is actually important."

UrbanSitter found that 40% of parents said they would not hire a sitter if they arrived wearing clothing or a hat supporting a candidate the parents oppose. A bigger deal breaker: 63% of parents said they would not hire someone who talked politics with their kids in an attempt to sway their political beliefs. On the other hand, one third of parents did not care about the babysitter's politics at all — a category Dwyer falls into.

"I wouldn't care," she said. "It doesn't affect their ability to be a good babysitter."

Andi Garcia Brown, 23, an UrbanSitter babysitter in Chicago, agreed.

"I feel like we should have the right to privacy about [political affiliation]," Brown said. "I'm not going to take a child to a rally. There's that separation between politics and babysitting — it's a job, but you're also just hanging out with a kid."

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