Babysitting Rates in 2022: How Much To Pay Per Hour

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Babysitting rates can vary by location. Are you paying enough?

woman playing lego bricks with children

How much do you pay a young adult or teenager to babysit in 2022?

Oh, baby! Ask ten people how much they pay their babysitter, and you might get ten different answers. As many babysitters are paid under the table, it can be tricky to gauge exactly what a fair rate should be. We started a conversation with Hip2Save readers to better understand how parents are determining babysitting rates. Boy, did we learn a lot!


What are the average babysitting rates in 2022?

woman holding cash in front of face

We almost fell out of our chairs when we found out Urban Sitter, a company that helps you hire a babysitter, calculated the 2022 national average at $20.57/hour for one child. We had to find out how much our readers really pay when doing the hiring all on their own.

Some people said they paid as little as $8/hour while others paid upwards of $25/hour. The average babysitting rate reported was somewhere between $10-$20 an hour with $15/hour being the sweet spot.

So, what made one parent pay $12 versus another parent pay $22? We did a deep dive to understand what factors one should consider when negotiating babysitting rates.


Here’s what should you consider when setting or agreeing to babysitting rates:


1. Location

little girl holding a map of the united states

Everything costs more in the city. Location is one of the biggest considerations one must make when requesting a babysitter. If you are near a larger city like San Francisco or Chicago, expect to pay considerably more than those living in small towns and rural areas.


2. Number of children

babysitting rates children playing a board game

Babysitters often charge by the hour, by the number of kids, or a combination of both. They may charge a flat fee like $12 an hour, or they may charge $12 an hour per kid plus $5 for any additional children.

Keep in mind that it is considerably harder to babysit several children than it is to watch just one child. It takes more focus, more control, more cooking, and more entertainment. Babysitters expect to be compensated accordingly. If you are asking your babysitter to watch more than two children at a time, expect to fork over a little more cash.


3. Your child’s age and level of independence

Dr. Brown's Breastfeeding Baby Bottles

Babysitters may charge more for younger children that need constant adult supervision or assistance with things like diapers, taking medicine, and feeding themselves. Be aware if your child has any special needs that might justify boosting a sitter’s rate.


4. Time of the day

close up of sleeping child in bed babysitting rates

Don’t forget the principles of supply and demand. Many adults and older teenagers have plans during peak weekend hours. To book a sitter, you may need to offer to pay more for Saturday night than Tuesday evening.

Hip Tip: If your child will primarily be sleeping during sitting hours, you might be able to negotiate a lower rate as there is less for the sitter to do.


5. Experience of the babysitter 

babysitting rates teenager at a job interview with papers on table

Are you hiring a young teen or a young adult? Like with any other job, babysitters expect to be compensated based on their experience. If they have several years of babysitting under their belt, factor that into their pay.


6. Special tasks required of the babysitter 

woman mopping floor and doing chores higher babysitting rates

You get what you pay for! Babysitters are hired to watch the children. If you ask your babysitter to cook, clean, drive, administer medicine, or run errands then you may want to add a few bucks to their standard fee.


7. Gas money 

BP Gas Station at dusk

Gas doesn’t grow on trees – especially not in 2022. If your babysitter is expected to drive their own car to transport your children to events or classes, make sure your babysitting fee accounts for gas expenses.


8. Inflation

babysitting rates collin's hands holding loose coins and change

If you aren’t willing to adjust your rate to account for recent inflation, you might be left without a sitter. Babysitters may have bills and other expenses they need to cover. If your rate doesn’t benefit the sitter, they may take another job that pays more.


What babysitting rate calculator should I use?

money saving moving tips — cash and calculator

Still scratching your head on how much to pay? We don’t blame you. There are a lot of factors to consider. An easy way to come up with a reasonable rate is to use an online calculator. Care.com has a decent babysitting rate calculator that can help you determine a fair wage for your location. It does not take into account any special tasks you may require of the babysitter, so adjust the rate accordingly.

Reliable babysitters can be hard to find, so if you do have a good sitter, pay them well. Doing so might just mean they prioritize you over other job offers!

Hip Tip: Babysitters can be expensive. Keep an eye out for Parent Night Out at your local YMCA, church, or community center. These places sometimes offer parents a night out for FREE or at a very low cost!


Help the babysitter keep your kids busy. All these games cost under $5!


Kara is a writer and photographer from the Midwest. Her creative work has appeared in various publications over the past decade. With a background in finance, she loves to be money-savvy. If she knows of a great deal, you can count on her to tell you!


Join The Discussion

Comments 26

  1. Stephanie

    A babysitter and a nanny aren’t the same job. It’s a nuanced conversation.

    • jon-0

      Why would somebody confuse the two

  2. grandmat57

    😳😳😳😳😳

  3. Peaches

    Wow at the change since I was a kid fifty years ago. Babysitting was one of the best ways a young (13-15 yrs) teenager made money and we thought 75¢ an hour was huge.

    • Iris

      Yes, totally agree. I got paid anywhere from 50 cents to 75 cents no matter how many kids, age, etc. Just per hour. Would save and purchase things I really wanted like a B/W TV back in the day. LOL.

    • Kyuu

      respectfully, you could buy 2 gallons of gas for 75¢ in 1972 (quick search shows me the national average was 36¢/gal). considering the cost of gas now, I don’t think it’s unreasonable that babysitters, who do often have to drive to their clients’ houses, be paid in proportion to rising cost of living.

      • Peaches

        You misunderstand. I’m not complaining or criticizing the amount charged today by sitters. I’m just amazed at the difference. And yes, I actually remember gasoline at 25¢/gallon too.

    • Tracey

      I remember getting $1.00 an hour back in the day!

    • Guest 24

      Ha. I’m 76, so 63 years ago I got a quarter for 3 kids. I was glad, then I could go buy a 45 record for a dollar…. ha My own money….

    • Shari

      50 cents no matter how old or how many kids and yet I bought my own clothes during my teen years at Casual Corner. My Bestie & I would catch a bus to downtown Cincinnati and after a shopping spree we would hit a nice place for lunch ….and I mean a good steak and baked potato with our babysitting money.

      • Shari

        This is how we learned thriftiness at a young age. I started Babysitting at age 10 for an infant next door. People knew I was responsible as I could take care of my baby brother at that time. Plus prior to even babysitting I delivered newspapers in at age 7 with my brother. My mom took me to a bank to set up my own savings account. Just that set up great responsibility for money the rest of my life and yes different from today’s world.

  4. Shari

    50 cents no matter how old or how many kids and yet I bought my own clothes during my teen years at Casual Corner. My Bestie & I would catch a bus to downtown Cincinnati and after a shopping spree we would hit a nice place for lunch ….and I mean a good steak and baked potato with our babysitting money.

    • christen

      I made $2 an hour babysitting as a teen and I thought I was rich 🙂

  5. Vera

    Soooo… This didn’t help me at all lol. I suppose I’d be able to do best by just searching my local Facebook to see what sitters are charging.

  6. christen

    My kids are teens and up, so grateful to have family to help when they were little. No way we could afford it otherwise. How do parents get by with paying so much these days? 🙁

  7. Robyn

    I pay $10 an hour for my sitters to watch my 8 year old. For two children I would say $15. Infants or special needs I would say $20.

  8. Jen

    I pay my teens $20/hr to babysit their high needs brother. They’d watch him for less but $20 means they’re all chomping at the bit to babysit him so I’ve always got a sitter. Moral of the story is bribes work.

    • Julie

      You have to pay your own kids like a bribe to babysit your other kid?

  9. Tricia

    I just don’t understand how babysitters, baristas, Target cashiers are making so much more than most first responders. Sad.

    • mary

      This was just featured on CBS – makes me wonder, why do 1st responders, particularily in FL, receive dirt poor wages? Or fire fighters in California?

      • Tricia

        Yup. We are in FL. My husband has been an EMT 11 years and is making $13 an hr. He’s considering becoming a babysitter lol. It’s not only sad, it’s scary…if they all leave due to such poor pay, so many people will suffer.

  10. Sarah

    I pay $150 a day (cash) – she watches our kids ages 8, 6 and 3. Good care costs money and while I wish I didn’t have to fork over close to $15K a year, she is great with our kids, cares for them when they are sick, and really engages & plays with them.

  11. Susan

    I live in Atlanta – I am 52 and charge $25 an hour (up to 3 kids) and come to you. Its $5 more an hour per extra child. After 10 hours (Hours 11-24) the rate drops to $20. We swim, play board games, crafts, cook, dress up, etc. We go to putt-putt or the spray park or geo catching. We don’t sit inside all day.

  12. Sandy

    That seems like too much. That’s almost as much as teachers make. Why should kids with no experience make that much? Do they kids at least have cpr/first aid & blood born pathogen training?

    • Susan

      Remember I don’t get benefits, no one is paying into SS for me, no paid holidays and the work is sporadic. Last time I checked teachers had benefits, retirement, SS, paid holidays, sick days, a union (in most cases) and a check EVERY week.

    • Marissa

      You can pay a babysitter whatever you want just negotiate in advance. They may have standards rates they expect. Also if you don’t pay enough then they would rather do their own thing, you are paying for their time. 20 years ago when I babysat as a teen I was paid $10-15 an hour. On holidays and times it was closer to $20, or some would offer a flat rate of $100/150. It was always negotiated up front. I was never expected to do any additional chores, but would typically pick up the house to the best of my ability and help where I could. I hated just watching tv.

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