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How much to charge for child care

Pay rates for child care providers can vary significantly by the job. Here's a breakdown of how much child care workers of all types are getting paid.

How much to charge for child care

Are you considering starting a career in child care but you’re not sure what you should charge? Or maybe you’ve been a child care provider for awhile and feel like you should be making more? Asking for or accepting a lower rate may land you the new job, but (of course) you also want to make a fair wage that you can live on. So when determining your rate, it’s important to know what your child care services are worth.

Pay rates for child care providers can vary significantly due to a number of factors: job type and expectations, your experience, number of children, your location and more. But there are definitely some rate ranges that are standard for each type of child care job. We did some research (so you don’t have to), and here’s what other caregivers are getting paid.

Child care pay rate by job type

Babysitter pay rates

Setting babysitting rates can be a challenge since you don’t always get to communicate with other sitters to compare notes. The good news is there’s some good, hard data on this.

According to the 2024 Cost of Care Survey, which used payment data from over 3,000 parents across the country, parents paid after-school babysitters — working about three hours a day, or a total of 15 hours per week — an average of $19.47 per hour (or $292 per week).

This rate can fluctuate depending on your skill level, education and experience, as well as the number of children who need care. The most notable factor, though, is the city and state you live in. For example, in Seattle, Washington, the going rate for sitter averages $22.17 per hour, but in San Antonio, Texas, it averages $15.73 per hour, according to the babysitting rates calculator.

Aside from the location, what’s going to make you a little more dough? Education and training. Having an early childhood education degree or credits or training courses and certifications, including infant care certification, water safety certification and special needs care, can help boost your career — and hopefully your pay rate, too!

It’s important to note that you should be paid fairly. At the very least, you should make above the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour, as of December 2023) and above your state, city or county’s minimum wage, which may be even higher.

To find the going babysitter rate near you, enter your ZIP code into our babysitting rates calculator.

Nanny pay rates

Nannies provide personalized care, usually full time and in the family’s home. Because of this, the in-home child care rates per hour are among the highest out of paid child care workers.

Nannies caring for one infant and working 40 hours per week made an average of $19.15 per hour (or $766 per week), according to the 2024 Cost of Care Survey. This means that full-time nannies can potentially make an average of about $39,832 per year, depending on the paid time off situation.

In general, a nanny caring for more than one child can expect to earn a little more than a nanny who’s in charge of just one kid. Experience and job expectations can play a factor in rates, too, as well as location. Currently, in Los Angeles, a full-time nanny earns an average of $24.72 per hour, and in Orlando, Florida, they average $17.88 per hour, according to current nanny pay rates for top cities via

To find the going rate near you, enter your ZIP code, experience level, number of children and hours per week into our rates calculator.

Pay rates for child care workers and administrators

How much to daycare workers make? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2022, child care workers earned an average annual income of $29,570 — which boiled down to an average rate of $14.22 an hour. For child care administrators at preschools and day care centers, however, the average was at lot higher at an annual income of $57,610 or $27.70 per hour.

Nursery or preschool teacher pay rates

Nursery or preschool teachers’ salaries can depend significantly on their location, type of degree and the school’s set rates.

That said, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that preschool teachers (with the exception of special education teachers) earned an average annual income of about $38,640 in 2022 — at an average rate of $18.58 per hour. Nursery and preschool teachers can often boost their annual salaries by moving over to a private preschool, which usually has the means to offer better pay, or getting trained and certified to work with children with special needs. Special education teachers at the preschool level made $69,620 in 2022, or about $33.47 per hour for full-time, year-round positions.

Average child care pay rates by job type*

Child care job typeHourlyWeeklyAnnually
Part-time babysitters (based on 15 hours per week)$19.47$292 $15,184
Full-time child care workers $14.22$569$29,570
Full-time nannies $19.15$766$39,832
Full-time nursery or preschool teachers $18.58$743$38,640
Full-time child care administrators$27.70$1,108$57,610
Full-time special education preschool teachers$33.47$1,339$69,620
* Babysitter and nanny rates and salaries based on the 2024 Cost of Care Survey; all others from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Factors that will influence your pay rate

Reminder: The above rates are just averages, generalizations and general guidelines. You’re not going to make exactly what another child care provider does — and for a variety of different reasons. Just going from the suburbs to the city could mean a sitter makes up to double or even triple the pay. And of course, nannies and day care teachers with 10 years of experience are going to earn more than a newbie does.

Keep all the factors of your employment, your experience and your job expectations in mind when setting your rates. Here are some of the most important ones to consider.

Geographical location

As mentioned above, different cities have different costs of living (e.g., cost of food, housing, etc.). This means child care professionals may have to charge different pay rates so that they can cover their basic expenses — and, ideally, still make a profit afterward. For example, a babysitter living and working in a rural area will probably charge less than a babysitter who lives and works in a huge city.

If you’d like to find out what other child care providers are charging in your neck of the woods, check out our handy rates calculator.

Job requirements

Another factor that should influence your rates is the type of care a family expects you to provide. This includes the number of children they want you to care for, the number of hours they expect you to work and the time of day that they want you to be “on duty.”

If a family expects you to perform additional services outside of the traditional realm of “child care duties” — such as housekeeping, pet care, tutoring or providing overnight care — that can also justify a higher rate.

So if you want to make more money, consider offering additional services that you’d be willing to perform. This strategy will enhance your “value-add” for prospective families and could even increase your likelihood of landing a job.

Level of skill and experience

Many families prefer to hire child care providers who have previous child care experience. Some look for certification in child development or a degree in early childhood education. Other families want a caregiver who speaks a second language or who has specialized experience — whether it’s caring for multiple children, children with ADHD or newborns.

Moral of the story: When setting your rates, take into account your previous work experience, your skills and any certifications and training you’ve received, as well as your education level. And don’t forget to list all of them in your online job profile and resume, so families can see what makes you worth your rates.


Full-time household employees (e.g., nannies) should ask hiring families if they’d consider providing them with benefits like health insurance, paid time off and more. These benefits are often built into their salary and may be broken down into monthly or weekly rates.

Final tips for setting your child care rates

By this point, you’ve familiarized yourself with the national averages for different types of child care jobs, you’ve scoped out your competition’s rates and you’ve figured out how much your skills and experience are worth. But you have a little more work to do in order to set your rate.

Ask yourself these final questions to make sure you’ve accounted for everything:

  • How far do you have to commute for the job?
  • How many children are you being asked to care for?
  • Are you caring for kids overnight?
  • Are you being offered benefits such as health and dental insurance, 401(k) and paid time off?
  • Have you accounted for your added value services (e.g., more education or certifications, increased experience, etc.)?
  • Do you know how much tax you’ll have to pay and whether or not it will be withheld from your paycheck?
  • Does this job fit your budget needs and will you bring home enough money every month to cover all your expenses?

Starting with what you need to make — and then breaking down what your services are worth — will help you find your “sweet spot.” That rate should be enough to cover your monthly expenses, pay your taxes and still have some fun with friends and family.