How Much Should You Pay Your Babysitter?

Babysitter giving a piggyback

Babysitting rates in the U.S. are mostly between $15 - $35 per hour, depending on several factors. This varies widely based on where you live.

Determining the right amount to pay your babysitter can feel stressful! Often there are a range of variables to take into account that influence the decision. Read on for our research on the babysitting rates and what you can expect to pay.

What factors influence babysitting pay rates?

Factors affecting hourly rates

The range of factors that influence sitter’s hourly rates include

  • Location - babysitter rates vary city by city
  • Number of children - more children increases the hourly rate
  • Role and responsibilities - more responsibility will increase the rate
  • Age of the children - younger children (e.g., babies) will require more experienced and trained carers who will have higher hourly rates.
  • Time of the day - daytime hours may cost more due to the work involved
  • Specialist skills - if you require a specialist (e.g., newborn) it may cost more
  • More experience or qualifications will increase the rates
  • Extra chores - additional chores (preparing meals, grocery shopping) may attract a higher rate
  • Driving - will add to the hourly rate, to cover gas and car costs
  • Market forces - supply and demand will influence rates.

Why does location influence hourly rates?

We wish the cost of a sitter was the same across the states! But unfortunately babysitting rates do vary from city to city, and state to state. Hourly rates are influenced by market forces (supply and demand), the cost of living and income levels in each city. Larger cities like San Francisco, New York and Seattle have higher babysitting rates. Smaller cities and rural areas are less expensive.

What are the babysitting rates near me?

To get an accurate summary of babysitting rates near you feel free to enter your zip code in our search bar on The Best Babysitters. You’ll see a range of current babysitters advertising and the hourly rates they seek.

What are the rates for babysitting several children?

Babysitter’s hourly rates will depend on the number of children being cared for. Babysitting one child will cost less than caring for two, three or more children. Or caring for twins or triplets! You can expect to pay $1-2 more per child on top of the rate for a single child.

Do babysitting rates differ based on children’s ages?

Another fact that influences sitter’s hourly rates is the age of the child being cared for. This is because children at different ages and stages have different needs - as parents know! For example caring for newborn babies and toddlers usually requires a very experienced carer, who has a higher hourly rate.

How much do you pay for a babysitter with specialist skills?

At times parents need support from a babysitter or nanny with specialist skills. Examples include help with sleep training a newborn, or toilet training a toddler. Specialists will often be career nannies or educators and have higher rates due to their professional qualifications and extensive experience. Rates are usually over $30/hour. 

What’s the cost for a babysitter to use her own car when babysitting?

Some roles require the babysitter or nanny to use her own car to drive the children to or from school or activities. Many families offer their own car for this, if the car has the appropriate car or booster seats fitted and it will be serviced, insured and ready. Other families may ask the sitter to use her car. In this case the family should reimburse the babysitter per mile (e.g., 65.5c/mile - the IRS rate) to cover gas, insurance and usage.

Are hourly rates different for weekends and public holidays?

Babysitting and nanny pay rates may be higher for weekends and public or Federal holidays, compared to regular week days. This can be agreed with the sitter, depending on the job.

What are the hourly rates for split shifts?

Broken shifts or split shifts are two shifts within one day that are broken up by unpaid hours. For example a before school shift 7-9am and then an after school shift 3-6pm on the same day. This type of role may attract a higher hourly rate because the shifts are so short and it often means the babysitter is left with hours between shifts that are unpaid. It could be worth considering a ‘job share’ arrangement for this kind of role where one person covers the mornings and a different person works in the afternoons.

What do I pay for a babysitter overnight?

Many parents dream of an overnight getaway! Time to rest and recharge properly. Babysitters can be a great way to make this happen. There’s no set rule for the cost of overnight babysitting. The rate depends on the sitter’s experience and the duties of the role (the hours, the ages and number of children, whether the children sleep through). Some carers state an hourly rate for the entire time e.g., 18 hours x $20. Some carers apply their hourly rate until 7pm, then an overnight flat fee (e.g., $100-150), then begin charging the hourly rate at 6am or 7am.

Average Babysitting Rates in Cities Around the U.S.

Based on research, the most recent hourly rates for babysitters are below. These are averages, so rates may vary above and below these figures.

Summary of Babysitting Rates Around the U.S.

City Babysitter Rates for 1 Child
Atlanta, GA $18.43 / hr
Austin, TX $18.62 / hr
Boston, MA $19.96 / hr
Chicago, IL $17.62 / hr
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX $15.84 / hr
Denver, CO $18.12 / hr
Las Vegas, NV $14.75 / hr
Los Angeles, CA $20.23 / hr
Minneapolis, MN $18.51 / hr
Nashville, TN $15.31 / hr
New York City, NY $23.45 / hr
Philadelphia, PA $15.40 / hr
Phoenix, AZ $19.81 / hr
Portland, OR $18.79 / hr
San Francisco, CA $23.32 / hr
Seattle, WA $21.23 / hr
Washington, DC $19.79 / hr

Babysitting Rates: using an agency versus an introduction site

Finding a babysitter can be hard when you don’t have family nearby. Reaching out to friends for sitter recommendations can be awkward - will they mind sharing their babysitter? Are you all going to the same event and need the sitter on the same night? It’s fraught! Fortunately there are a range of options to find babysitters.

When parents are looking for a babysitter they usually choose

  • an agency (a pre-screened babysitter booked and sent through an agency) or
  • an introduction site like The Best Babysitters (where they choose and screen their own sitters).

There are different costs to engage a babysitter through a nanny agency, compared to introduction sites like The Best Babysitters.

Agency nannies typically cost $25-35/hour. In addition to the hourly rate the agency usually charges parents an administration fee upfront, often $150-300. For last minute bookings agencies have a booking fee of $25-35 per day, on top of the hourly rates.

For ongoing nanny placements an agency usually charges a placement fee that is between $1000-$6000. Once the nanny has been placed the parents become the employer. Often the agency will recommend a payroll partner to help parents process pay and manage taxes.

Babysitters and nannies advertising on The Best Babysitters mostly charge $15-30 per hour. There are no other booking, administrative or placement fees. The parents pay our site an affordable joining fee to get a job posting and access to the list of sitters. It’s a one-time fee. There are no ongoing subscription fees. Your dollar goes further because there are no extra overheads being added by an agency. This makes babysitting much more affordable for families.

Below are the rates that sitters are currently advertising on The Best Babysitters.

Babysitter Costs Comparison Chart: Nanny Agency v The Best Babysitters

Nanny Agency The Best Babysitters
Hourly rates $25 - 35/hour $15 - 30/hour
Daily booking fee $25 - 35/day $0
Cancellation charge $50 per cancellation $0
Placement fee for permanent roles $1,000 - $6,000+ $0
Admin or joining fee $150-300 $25 for 1 mth

We hope that this information helps explain the babysitter rates in cities around the U.S. and you find the best babysitters for your family!

Find the best babysitters and nannies near you!