Date night’s sorted but you still need to find an affordable babysitter for the kids. Wondering how much childcare will cost you? Read on for our guide to babysitting costs in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
Related content: The Complete Parent’s Guide To Babysitting
How much do babysitters charge?
Here’s a breakdown of the average cost of a babysitter in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, as well as each of the major cities.
|United States||National Average||$17.50/hour|
|New York City||$20.50/hour|
|New Zealand||National Average||$19.64/hour|
Do some babysitters charge differently?
You may find that some babysitters have additional fees or charge for their time differently.
For example, some babysitters charge a flat fee for their services and won’t count the exact hours that they’re with your children. This can be a great way to get a clear rate for a full day of care.
Some babysitters, especially professional services, may also charge a small admin fee with each booking.
Lastly, if you use a babysitting website or app, such as these ones, you may find that there’s a subscription fee required to use their services. This isn’t technically something the babysitter themselves charge, but it is an additional cost to factor in.
What about nannies and full-time babysitters?
If you want or need a lot of childcare (rather than a single evening’s worth for date night), it may be worthwhile investing in a nanny or a full-time carer, who can provide care on a regular and/or frequent basis.
There are a number of differences between a nanny/full-time babysitter and a typical babysitter, especially in the services offered. On top of usual childcare, nannies also often assist with the household chores, such as cooking and cleaning, as part of the overall service.
They also charge for their time differently. You should expect to pay a nanny or full-time babysitter weekly, fortnightly or monthly, rather than hourly.
How much does a babysitter cost?
The average costs listed above will give you a general idea of how much your date night babysitter will cost, depending on where you live. However, there are other factors that may increase how much you should expect to pay.
Babysitter costs by experience and education
The more skills and experience a babysitter has, the more they will likely charge per hour. This may include:
- Years of experience in babysitting.
- Formal training such as a certificate in early childhood education.
- Safety training such as first aid and CPR.
- Training and/or experience in caring for children with special needs.
Demands of care
The more you expect from your babysitter in terms of their main duties – looking after your kids – the higher your bill will be at the end of the night.
- How many children they need to care for, with more children requiring babysitting in turn requiring a higher fee.
- Note that two children don’t incur double the cost, but it’s usually 10% or 20% higher.
- The age of the children, as older kids (double digits to early teens) are fairly independent and only require a watchful eye, while younger children need closer attention.
The baseline for a babysitter is caring for your children and keeping them safe. If you need help in addition to that, you may find your babysitter will charge a higher rate.
This may include:
- Any cooking and cleaning required.
- Tutoring or homework help.
- Pickup and dropoff such as picking children up from school.
- Pet sitting duties such as walking the dog.
Timing and location
Where you and when you need babysitting makes a big difference to the cost of the service.
- The time of day, as evening babysitting when the kids will be asleep for at least some of the time involves fewer duties and is usually cheaper.
- How much notice is given; if you need a babysitter within a couple of hours, you may be charged a rush fee.
- Babysitting on public holidays will generally incur a higher fee.
- If you live far away or require significant travel, babysitters may require a travel fee to account for their additional costs.
It‘s difficult to put an exact figure on how much each of these considerations will add to your overall babysitting cost. Every babysitter will have different expectations and fees – some are happy to do pickup and dropoff as part of the overall cost, while others will have a separate fee added on should this be expected.Â
The key is to set expectations with your babysitter clearly and up front so that everybody knows what they are and aren‘t doing and how much they‘ll be paid at the end of the babysitting period.
Our advice? Clearly lay out the duties you expect of your babysitter at the start, even the ones that seem obvious to you.