How much does a Valentine's Day babysitter cost?

Believe it or not, it's already February — and that means that Valentine's Day is right around the corner!

If you're a parent, you welcome this holiday with open arms. Why? Because it makes for an excellent opportunity for you and your S.O.  to shower each other with little gifts, stuff your faces with fancy chocolates, and — most importantly — get out of the house and enjoy each other's company ... sans the tableside tantrums.

In other words, it's a ready-made date night!

But before you go full-steam ahead to plan a wonderfully romantic, child-free evening, there's one little detail you need to lock down first: Your babysitter. You may already have a regular sitter you turn to for such situations, or you may need to start your search ASAP. Regardless, one of the important factors you'll need to consider is how much you'd be willing to pay for a few hours of shriek-free bonding with your partner. 

That's where we come in. We asked our analysts to go through our 2019 jobs data and pull out the average hourly Valentine's Day rates for babysitters in 37 U.S. cities. Here's what they found.

How much were parents willing to pay a Valentine's Day sitter?

We took a look at all Care.com jobs posted on Valentine's Day and the weekend before Valentine's Day in 2019, with a specific focus on how much parents were offering to pay their prospective date night sitters.

On average, it appears that parents were willing to pay around $17.11/hour to get a few hours of one-on-one time with their partner. (That's a pretty significant chunk of change, given that the federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour!) However, there was a pretty broad range of rates that parents were offering to pay, and that depended largely on where they lived.

The 5 most expensive cities for Valentine's Day sitters

Here were the top five cities where parents were willing to pay top-dollar to have a Valentine's Day babysitter to watch their little ones:

City, State Average Hourly
Valentine's Day Rate
Seattle, WA $19.53
Buffalo, NY $19.25
San Francisco, CA $19.08
San Jose, CA $18.77
New York, NY $18.72

The 5 least expensive cities for Valentine's Day sitters

Here were the five least expensive cities for parents to hire a Valentine's Day babysitter watch their little ones:

City, State Average Hourly
Valentine's Day Rate
Jacksonville, FL $14.36
Raleigh, NC $14.59
Las Vegas, NV $15.70
Cleveland, OH $15.77
Columbus, OH $15.82

The cost of Valentine's Day babysitters across the country

Want to see how all 37 cities stacked up? Take a look at the table below:

City, State Average Hourly
Valentine's Day Rate
Seattle, WA $19.53
Buffalo, NY $19.25
San Francisco, CA $19.08
San Jose, CA $18.77
New York, NY $18.72
Boston, MA $18.26
Riverside, CA $18.25
Portland, OR $17.97
Washington D.C. $17.95
Denver, CO $17.94
Miami, FL $17.81
Pittsburgh, PA $17.60
Sacramento, CA $17.58
Houston, TX $17.55
Los Angeles, CA $17.54
San Diego, CA $17.45
Philadelphia, PA $17.26
Orlando, FL $17.15
Phoenix, AR $16.99
Chicago, IL $16.98
Minneapolis, MN $16.97
Baltimore, MD $16.67
Detroit, MI $16.57
Dallas, TX $16.47
Atlanta, GA $16.46
Charlotte, NC $16.43
San Antonio, TX $16.42
Virginia Beach, VA $16.41
Cincinnati, OH $16.33
St. Louis, MO $16.32
Austin, TX $16.27
Tampa, FL $15.99
Columbus, OH $15.82
Cleveland, OH $15.77
Las Vegas, NV $15.70
Raleigh, NC $14.59
Jacksonville, FL $14.36

Methodology

This study gathered data from 37 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) on the number of babysitting jobs posted on Valentine's Day and the weekend before Valentine's Day in 2019. The average hourly rate is the average rate offered by families in their job postings in each city.

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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