I was never a very good babysitter.
At least, I never had the bustling trade that so many of my friends in high school seemed to have. (One girlfriend had such a network of families that she was hard-pressed to find a night when she wasn't watching somebody's kids.)
I didn't mind so much; at the most, I made $30 for the evening. But kids these days? They're doing a lot better than that.
For the past 11 years, child-care service UrbanSitter has tracked average babysitting rates across the nation. Within the past year, there was an 11 percent increase in babysitting rates, outpacing the inflation rate of 7 percent. San Antonio parents get the best deal, at an average rate of $12.70 for one child (and $23.25 for two children). New York ($23.45 for one child and $24.77 for two) and San Francisco ($23.32 for one child and $26.42 for two) families, not so much.
Any guesses on where our own bustling city ranked? Not surprisingly, Seattle isn't far behind SF at $21.23 per hour for one child, $23.57 per hour for two.
The UrbanSitter analysis for 2022 also reveals rates for other aspects of caregiving, reporting national averages for pet sitting ($16.07 per hour), dog walking ($18.31 per stroll), house sitting ($25–$50 per day) and housekeeping ($27.83 per hour).
Price that all out for the pandemic and what do you learn? We spend a lot of money on household management.
Which has me rethinking my own career goals ... Anybody hiring a babysitter?
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in May 2018, and updated in March 2022.