Finance | May 20, 2022 3:05 pm

Parents, Be Prepared to Pay More for a Babysitter

The newest industry to feel the tightness of the labor market? Babysitting.

woman passing other woman money with baby in arms
Whatever she's getting paid, it's probably not enough.
Jamie Grill via Getty

If you’re looking to do a child-free date night this summer, you better start planning in advance. 

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the newest group of workers that are feeling the effects of a tight labor market are your friendly neighborhood babysitters. Rates for babysitting are getting up to $30 dollars an hour, with babysitters getting the “VIP treatment” in order to avoid getting poached by other parents. 

Like everything else in our world today, rising childcare prices can be partially blamed on the pandemic. Care.com, a childcare marketplace, found that in April 2020, the average rate for babysitters on their site was $14.72. Now it’s $18.05. 

One mom said that before the pandemic, finding a babysitter was simple. Now, she’s struggling to find someone for her two children from Facebook groups or websites. “Either I wasn’t moving fast enough, or they were getting snapped up,” she said.

Babysitters, on the other hand, are rejoicing at the opportunity to get paid well. One babysitter’s rate went from $12 an hour a few years ago to $30 today. Parents aren’t asking for, or expecting, more than the bare minimum when it comes to the care provided, either. Gone are the days of doing the dishes and some laundry after you’ve put your charge to sleep. Now parents are wooing babysitters with DoorDash meals on them. 

One high school senior who was charging $10 dollars an hour pre-pandemic said that she now charges “$15 or $16 an hour…One family was like, ‘We’ll order anything you want for dinner,’ it was awesome.”

Even services like Kidsit.com are urging parents to be competitive with their rates, writing in one post from 2020 that “It’s best to play it safe and offer your sitter a competitive rate up front…minimize the chances of them getting poached from you.”

So pull out your wallets, and start looking at dates now. Or get on the phone to Grandma.