About Us

Care.com Releases 2017 Babysitter Survey Results

Care.com 2017 Babysitter Survey Reveals National Average Babysitter Rate is Nearly $14.00, An Increase of 26% Since 2010

WALTHAM, MA (April 17, 2017) – Care.com (NYSE: CRCM, www.care.com), the world’s largest online destination for finding and managing family care, today announced the results from its 2017 Babysitter Survey. From sitter responsibilities to how much families are willing to pay, the Care.com 2017 Babysitter Survey provides an in-depth look at today’s demand for babysitters.

“Parents are increasingly paying more for a babysitter, and in 2016, the national average hourly rate was $13.97,” said Joyce Hodel, data scientist at Care.com. “What surprised us is that, according to the Care.com 2017 Babysitter Survey, parents are also willing to pay even more in certain circumstances. They say they’ll pay extra to help them get through the chaotic hours before and after school; when they’re in need of a last-minute sitter; and for babysitters who have additional skills, education, and training. We’re seeing that this is a babysitter’s market, with parents recognizing that sitters have a huge responsibility and are providing a priceless service.”

Care.com released the topline data, which asked parents about key financial data, as well as intimate details around how and why they’re hiring the sitters they choose. The full survey is available via PDF, by request.


National Average Rate for Babysitters: $13.97 per hour (up 26% from $11.11 in 2010).

Five Most Expensive Big Cities to Hire a Babysitter (per hour):

  1. San Jose, CA: $16.68
  2. San Francisco, CA: $16.52
  3. Bridgeport, CT: $15.74
  4. Boston, MA: $15.51
  5. New York, NY: $15.23

– Five Least Expensive Big Cities to Hire a Babysitter (per hour):

  1. Youngstown, OH: $11.81
  2. Toledo, OH: $12.24
  3. McAllen, TX: $12.36
  4. Lakewood, FL: $12.52
  5. Akron, OH: $12.67

When Are Families Willing to Pay More?

  • Sitters hired for before and after school hours are paid nearly $2 extra.
  • 50% of parents would pay at least $3 more per hour for a last-minute sitter.
  • A majority of parents (66%) would pay more for a sitter with safety training.
  • 41% of parents would pay more for a sitter with an early education degree.
  • 1 in 3 parents would pay more for a sitter who has the same state-level child care certification required for preschool teachers.

– How Parents Tip: Approximately 1 in 3 (34%) tip on top of the hourly rate (compared to 26% in 2015).

– Annual Sitter Spend: 41% of parents spend at least $1,000 on babysitting; 22% spend at least $2,000.

– Annual Raises: 77% would give their favorite sitter a raise.

– Minimum Wage: 83% think sitters should be paid above the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

– What Families Think About How Much They Pay: Even though costs are up, 77% of parents don’t think they pay too much.


Who’s Hiring the Babysitter? It depends on who you ask. 41% of dads say they and their partner are equally involved, while only 15% of moms say it’s equal. Overall, though, moms still handle the bulk of the babysitter booking: A majority of moms (56%) report handling the hiring on their own, compared to 20% of dads who say they’re solely in charge of hiring sitters.

How Can Families Save on Sitters? With hourly costs rising, a majority (62%) of parents say they would share a sitter with a friend, and 38% say they would work out a deal with the sitter to work a certain number of hours per month for a lower hourly rate. Already, 40% say they have cut a date short to avoid paying an extra hour, and 76% pay a lower rate when their kids are sleeping.

How To Find the Perfect Babysitter? The top three ways parents hire a babysitter: 88% rely on recommendations from friends and neighbors, 81% ask extended-family members to babysit, and 73% use an online service like Care.com.

Pain Points: What Would Help Parents Find a Babysitter? The top two reasons families don’t hire a babysitter? Because it’s too stressful to find someone they like and trust (64%), and because it costs too much (59%). Of parents who think hiring a sitter is cost prohibitive, 82% say a sitter’s rate would need to be at least $3 less per hour to become financially feasible. To calculate local babysitter rates and determine affordability, parents can use our interactive babysitter calculator.

When Do Parents Need a Babysitter? One in 10 parents have hired a before school sitter and 13% have hired overnight sitters. According to Care.com, 74% of parents hire a sitter at least once a month, with August being the most popular month for babysitter needs, and the three most popular holidays parents seek babysitting help are around New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween. Date night sitters (65%), daytime sitters (61%), and after school sitters (26%) are the top three types of sitters parents hire.

The Paradox of Single Parents and Babysitters: Although single parents are more likely to say cost prevents them from hiring a sitter, they’re actually more likely to spend at least $1,000 on babysitters than their married counterparts (58% vs. 38%, respectively). Single parents are also more likely than married parents to consider their babysitter to be a member of the family (44% vs. 28%, respectively).

What are a Babysitter’s Responsibilities? The top five things parents ask their sitter to do are feed the children, put them to bed, read to them, play games and sports, and offer parent-approved media choices (e.g., TV shows, movies, apps).

What Makes A Bad Babysitter? When it comes to babysitter don’ts, 76% of parents ask their sitter not to be distracted by their phone, and 65% ask that they don’t post photos of their children on social media. Yet, the top three things parents have caught their sitter doing without their permission is excessively texting (14%), playing on social media (11%), and watching TV (10%).

How Much Do Families Value a Good Babysitter? 77% of parents would give their favorite sitter a pay raise if they asked for one, and almost 1 in 3 (31%) consider their sitter a member of the family. At the end of the day, one of the most important things parents look for when hiring is whether the kids will love the sitter (60%).

For more information on the Care.com 2017 Babysitter Survey, hiring guides, background checks, or to find out how much a babysitter costs in your neighborhood, visit Care.com/babysittercost.

About the Care.com Data

The Care.com 2017 Babysitter Survey captured responses from more than 800 parents in the United States during the month of February 2017. Respondents were recruited from Care.com membership. The Care.com member data, which includes pay rate data for sitters, is from Care.com babysitter jobs posted from all 50 states during 2016.

About Care.com

Since launching in 2007, Care.com (NYSE: CRCM) has been committed to solving the complex care challenges that impact families, caregivers, employers, and care service companies. Today, Care.com is the world’s largest online destination for finding and managing family care, with 12.9 million families and 9.9 million caregivers* across 19 countries, including the U.S., UK, Canada and parts of Western Europe, and approximately 1.2 million employees of corporate clients having access to our services. Spanning child care to senior care, pet care, housekeeping and more, Care.com provides a sweeping array of services for families and caregivers to find, manage and pay for care or find employment. These include: a comprehensive suite of safety tools and resources members may use to help make more informed hiring decisions, such as third-party background check services, monitored messaging, and tips on hiring best practices; easy ways for caregivers to be paid online or via mobile app; and Care.com Benefits, including the household payroll and tax services provided by Care.com HomePay and the Care Benefit Bucks program, a peer-to-peer pooled, portable benefits platform funded by household employer contributions which provides caregivers access to professional benefits. For enterprise clients, Care.com builds customized benefits packages covering child care, back up care and senior care consulting services through its Care For Business business, and serves care businesses with marketing and recruiting support. To connect families further, Care.com acquired community platforms Big Tent and Kinsights in 2013 and 2015, respectively. Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, Care.com has offices in Berlin, Austin, New York City and the San Francisco Bay area.

*As of December 2016.


Jacalyn Lee
Public Relations Director