SAN DIEGO — We're all feeling the pain as inflation cuts into family finances. It feels like the cost of just about everything is going up daily. Now, that includes babysitters.
"So, the rates nationwide have gone up drastically for childcare in your home, so whether it's a babysitter or nanny, rates are up over 11% on average nationwide," said Lynn Perkins, the co-founder and CEO of urbansitter.com, an online platform connecting families and caregivers, which released a breakdown of babysitting rates from around the country.
On average, babysitters are making $20.57 an hour for one kid and $23.25 for two.
The most expensive city to hire a sitter is New York, where it's $23.45 for one.
In San Diego, it's $17.53 for one, which is 10% over last year.
Perkins says the biggest contributing factor is an ongoing labor shortage.
"Many childcare providers decided to opt out of this industry when COVID hit and have not returned and we're also seeing many teachers and nurses have left those professions and come into the childcare space, which is great it means you can find high quality care providers, but they're charging a higher rate," said Perkins.
Laura Davis, owner of collegenanniesandsitters.com is seeing the same trend.
In some cases, she says rates have gone up by more than 20%, not only because of the shortage, but also, parents are now more appreciative of the work sitters do.
"We saw when COVID started and kids were gonna be home for two weeks, four weeks, six weeks, parents embraced it….we love this, we're all in this together! And then fatigue set in,” said Davis.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, some sitters reported making upwards of $30 an hour.
Still, there are some ways around babysitter inflation. Consider sharing a sitter with another family who can split the higher cost. You can also look for college students in education programs who may charge less to get the childcare experience.
Keep in mind, due to labor laws, you should be paying a sitter minimum wage.
And while many sitters are paid under the table, in California, if they're making more than $2,400 from one family per year, taxes need to be paid.
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