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Babysitting rates across the country: See how your city ranks

The annual survey by UrbanSitters found the average hourly rate was $16.75 for one child.
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/ Source: TODAY

Babysitting has become quite a lucrative business!

The average hourly rate for a babysitter is $16.75 for one child and $19.26 for two kids, according to the 2019 annual study compiled by UrbanSitter.

For comparison, that’s more than twice the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. And that means the sitter’s total take-home for one evening could come close to the total cost for a night out on the town for the parents.

“Rates have gone up year over year, sort of in line with inflation,” admitted Lynn Perkins, UrbanSitter’s CEO.

The study surveyed 28,800 families across the country last month on various data, including their pay for sitters 16 and older.

The most expensive sitters lived in the San Francisco area, where the average hourly rate was $18.75 for one child and $21.30 for two children. On the other end, Las Vegas sitters made the least, charging an average of $11.63 per hour for one child and $14.71 per hour for two kids.

The rates in other urban cities varied (the survey did not include rates in more rural areas).

  • Atlanta $13.17 (1 child); $15.75 (2 children)
  • Boston $16.90 (1 child); $18.84 (2 children)
  • Chicago $14.57 (1 child); $16.66 (2 children)
  • Los Angeles $16.06 (1 child); $18.01 (2 children)
  • Miami $12.67 (1 child); $16.38 (2 children)
  • Minneapolis $13.94 (1 child); $14.68 (2 children)
  • New York $17.30 (1 child); $20.85 (2 children)

Although rates have gone up over the years, so has the creativity of parents who have found ways to minimize babysitting costs, Perkins told TODAY.

Some parents have arranged to double-up with friends so they could leave both sets of kids at one house and the split the cost of the sitter at the end of the night.

"I don't actually know if the parents end up going to the same restaurant as each other, or if they're just sharing a sitter. But for kids who are a little bit older, this ends up being kind of fun for them because they're with a friend, and the babysitter," Perkins said.

Other tips she offered parents to help lower babysitter costs:

  • If you're going out on a date, consider doing so on a weeknight. Many sitters are willing to accept a lower hourly rate if it's not on a Friday or Saturday evening.
  • The less work the sitters have to do, the less you have to pay them. Some sitters will agree to a lower rate if the kids are fed, bathed and in their PJs by the time they arrive.
  • When hiring adults who have young children of their own, consider allowing them to bring their child with them to the job. “This is a great way to get a lower rate,” Perkins said.