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No cost is too great to keep your children safe when you need baby-sitting care, but parents (despite what their older kids might believe) are not made of money. According to a new study by Care.com, the average baby sitter gets about $13.50 per hour, a sum well over the minimum wage in all states.
But that's not all the Care.com study, which surveyed over 1,000 members and gathered data from internal sources, revealed.
Numbers are going up
In 2009, the average baby sitter was paid $10.50 per hour; in 2014 it was $13.44. But if you have more than one kid, expect to pay up to $5 per hour more for each additional child.
Highs and lows
Covering sitter costs was highest in coastal states, the most expensive of which was San Francisco ($16.55 per hour); Boston topped New York City ($15.37 compared to $15.09); the rest of the top 5 included San Jose, California ($15.63) and Washington, D.C. ($14.99). Least expensive? Grand Rapids, Michigan ($11.31) — which again is higher than the minimum wage. (Care learned that three in four people think sitters should get higher than minimum wage.)
Money doesn't matter
Nearly half of those surveyed (49 percent) said the key factor in causing them to hire a particular sitter was "how much their kids adore her" (or him, presumably), and only 3 percent said it was about how much she or he charged.
Care also asked just how far families would go to hire a sitter and the answers were fascinating:
- 87 percent said they would give a favorite sitter a raise
- 64 percent said they would pay more for a last-minute hire
- 51 percent said they'd pay more for a sitter with experience, up to another $5 per hour
- 26 percent said they gave their sitters a tip
- and 20 percent said they would poach a sitter from a friend (hopefully not in the middle of a job!)
In the end, you don't need to hire someone like Elisabeth Shue's character from "Adventures in Babysitting" to watch your kids — but you could do a whole lot worse!