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Babysitters, Housekeepers, and Nannies Can Make More Money This Holiday Season By Following This Simple Guide

Photo credit: Unsplash/Duffy Brook

It’s that time of year. Between hectic school schedules, holiday parties at home and at work, after-school activities, and family obligations, families need more help than ever…and they’re hiring now. More than half of the families responding to Care.com’s 2018 Holiday Hiring Survey—54 percent—say they wish they had more help this holiday season. Of those, 68 percent would love a housekeeper, 67 percent wish for a babysitter, and 32 percent say they could use an errand runner. And the top three most helpful tasks a babysitter can do during the holiday season? Watch the children while parents finish holiday shopping (77 percent); watch the children while parents attend holiday parties (59 percent), and keep the kids entertained while parents wrap gifts (25 percent).

To help anyone looking to land seasonal work in child care, housekeeping, and senior care—during the holidays, New Year’s Eve, and beyond—we polled families to find out when they’re hiring, what they’re looking for . . . and how much more they’re willing to pay.

When are families looking for a holiday babysitter?

According to Care.com data, “holiday” job postings peaked the first Wednesday in December 2017. That suggests the peak for families posting holiday jobs this year will fall on December 5—if you’re a caregiver or housekeeper who’s looking for a holiday child care job, you might want to mark that date on your calendar. To get more insight into how families manage hiring additional help for the holidays, we surveyed 1200 parents with children. What we found is that parents are planners:

  • 27 percent book at least two weeks in advance
  • 30 percent book one week in advance

Now, it is possible to find a job the same week you’d like to work, but it could be a bit tougher— since only 29 percent of families surveyed book their holiday sitter the same week they need one.

On the whole, Care.com holiday jobs pay better. The national averages for child care, senior care, housekeeping, and pet care jobs are all higher during December.

Holiday hourly pay rates for:

While it pays to plan ahead, it can also pay to be flexible: more than half—53 percent—of families surveyed said they would pay more for a last-minute sitter during the holidays. And of those who would pay more, nearly two-thirds—63 percent—would pay at least $3 more per hour. And more than 1 in 3—36 percent —would pay at least $5 more per hour.

How Babysitters Can Make More Money for the Holidays

As we show above, families are willing to pay more for holiday jobs, and even more for last-minute holiday jobs or New Year’s Eve babysitters. It turns out more than 2 in 3, or 69 percent, would pay still higher rates for those sitters willing to take on additional tasks: 61 percent would pay $3 more per hour, 40 percent would pay at least $4 more per hour, and more than 1 in 3 would pay $5 more per hour.

What kinds of extra help are families looking for? In our survey, the top three tasks families find the most helpful during the holidays are:

  • Cleaning the home before/after holiday entertaining (77%)
  • Grocery shopping (36%)
  • Decorating the house (29%)

How Much Will Families Pay for a New Years’ Eve Sitter?

New Year’s Eve is the single biggest night of the year for babysitting jobs, according to 2017 Care.com data.

And it’s the biggest babysitting payday too. The average hourly rate for a New Year’s Eve babysitter is $16.40—over $1 per hour more than the national average rate for babysitters. And you can make even more than that, depending on where you live.

Top 5 Cities Where You Can Make The Most As a New Year’s Eve Sitter:

When should you be looking for a New Year’s Eve babysitting job? In this year’s Care.com survey, more than half—56 percent—of parents hiring a New Year’s Eve sitter said they’ll be booking at least two weeks in advance so mark your calendar.

And families are already thinking ahead into 2019. More than half of families — 52 percent — in our survey will be hiring a part-time babysitter in 2019. (Another 26 percent will be hiring a housekeeper, and 17 percent will be hiring a full-time nanny.) Of those, more than half—60 percent—say they’ll be looking to hire that person by the end of the year. Over a third—35 percent—expect to hire their 2019 babysitter this month (November, 2018).


Care.com data, including hourly rates and booking averages, are based on 2017 member behavior on the site. The Care.com Holiday Hiring Survey captured responses from more than 1200 people in the United States, recruited from Care.com during the months of October and November, 2018.

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