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WALTHAM, MA (December 1, 2016) – Retailers aren’t the only ones hiring seasonal help during the holidays; families are hiring holiday help at home for some much-needed seasonal relief too. (NYSE: CRCM:, the world’s largest online platform for finding and managing family care, surveyed families across the country to gauge the costs for holiday help and the types of support most in demand during the season, and provided insights into a few holiday hacks for those looking for help.


Holiday Help By the Numbers**

-Holiday Babysitter: $14.40

-Holiday Dog Sitter: $17.45

-Holiday Cat Sitter: $17.34

-Holiday Party & Event Help: $17.48

-Holiday Shopping Help: $16.33

-Holiday House Sitter: $18.88

-Holiday Housekeeper: $14.98

*Holiday season is November 1, 2016 to January 1, 2017.

** 2015 National Average Hourly Rates



When Do Families Hire A Babysitter For Holiday Parties? The weekend two weeks before Christmas is the most common weekend of the year for parents to hire a babysitter in order to attend a party. That means Saturday, December 10, 2016 will be the night where babysitters will be most in-demand this holiday season. Holiday seasonal babysitting jobs are posted an average of 5 days in advance – two days longer than typical babysitting jobs – so parents should start searching for a babysitter by December 4 at the latest.

How Much Are Families Paying for a Babysitter? Here’s where families can save a little money for gifts and entertaining. The cost of a babysitter during the holiday season is actually less than during the rest of the year. The national average hourly rate for a babysitter in December is $14.40 compared to $15.05 for other weekends. Parents living in San Jose, CA, New York, NY, and Portland, OR aren’t quite as lucky: they’re the top three most expensive cities to find a babysitter for a holiday party ($20, $19.64, and $18.69 per hour on average, respectively).

When to Book a New Year’s Eve Babysitter & How Much to Pay? Our data shows that New Year’s Eve is the second most popular babysitting night after Valentine’s Day. Half of New Year’s Eve babysitting jobs are posted within four days before the holiday so by booking early, families can avoid scrambling for last-minute quality care.

In 2015, the average hourly rate of a New Year’s Eve babysitter was $14.34, a 10% increase from 2014. Topping the most expensive metro for New Year’s Eve babysitters is Portland, OR, while 3 out of the top 10 metros were located in California (San Jose, San Francisco, and Los Angeles).

Pet Care

When Do Families Hire a Pet Sitter? During November and December, pet sitting jobs make up a larger share of pet care jobs than at any other time of the year. Holiday pet sitting jobs are posted an average of 17 days in advance (12 days more than for holiday babysitting jobs), so pet parents should start searching for pet sitters at least three weeks before they need one. The top three cities with the highest number of holiday pet sitting jobs per capita are Boulder, CO, Durham, NC, and Ann Arbor, MI, each of which pay $17.50 or more per hour.

How Much Do Families Pay for Holiday Pet Care? According to job postings, 20% of all pet care jobs specifically mention the holidays as a reason for needing help. From taking care of cats to brushing an Australian Shepherd before bedtime, families are willing to pay top dollar for pet care. Holiday pet sitting jobs for dogs and cats command the highest hourly rates at $17.45 and $17.34, respectively. Families looking for care of their fish pay an average of $17.09 per hour, and an average of $16.54 for birds. Although pet sitting jobs are temporary, lasting an average of 4 days, they pay 10% more than dog walking jobs ($18.10 compared to $16.43). During December, pet sitting jobs last an average of 6 days.

Do Dogs Have New Year’s Resolutions? Either pet parents are extending their fitness resolutions to their four-legged family members or they’re avoiding the outdoors in January. January is the top month for pet care jobs that involve walking, play and exercise, with 56% asking for play and exercise, compared to 51% for the rest of the year. The most popular day for dog walking jobs to start is the first Monday of the New Year and jobs are posted an average of 9 days in advance. As a result, predicts many dogs will be kicking off their walks with a new walker on January 2, 2017, and recommends pet parents post jobs before December 24 to ensure they find the best help for their four-legged friend.


Holiday Budgeting

Nearly 1 in 3 people (32%) don’t budget for holiday expenses, and 48% of those who do say they go over budget. 80% of people who go over budget say they spend an extra $100 or more. Although 80% say they would use budget tactics to save money during the holidays, only 49% do so.

Holiday Tipping

81% plan to spend money on holiday tipping, compared to 69% in 2015, and nearly 1 in 3 (31%) say they spend $100 or more on holiday tips. While 60% expect to spend the same amount on holiday tips this year as last, 24% plan to spend less or not tip at all, and 17% plan to tip more this year. Of those who plan to tip more this year, 42% expect to spend $100 or more extra compared to 2015.

Holiday Help

More than half of people (54%) wish they could hire help during the holiday season to make it easier, and 59% would be willing to do so if it meant they’d have less stress and more time. The top 3 types of help that people feel would make the holidays easier for a family are a housekeeper, babysitter, and errand runner/task master. To help save on costs, the top 3 budget tactics people would use to save money when hiring holiday help are cohosting a party to save money on entertaining, sharing a babysitter with another family and splitting the costs, and splitting the costs for a housekeeper with another family to clean up post-event.

About the 2016 Holiday Data data, such as hourly rates and advance booking averages, are based on 2015 member behavior on the site. The 2016 Cost of Holidays Survey captured responses, which were recruited from, from nearly 1,200 people in the United States during the months of September and October 2016.

For more data or to learn helpful holiday tips, visit


Since launching in 2007, (NYSE: CRCM) has been committed to solving the complex care challenges that impact families, caregivers, employers, and care service companies. Today, is the world’s largest online destination for finding and managing family care, with 12.4 million families and 9.6 million caregivers* across 19 countries, including the U.S., UK, Canada and parts of Western Europe, and approximately 1.1 million employees of corporate clients having access to our services. Spanning child care to senior care, pet care, housekeeping and more, 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 Benefits, including the household payroll and tax services provided by HomePay and the 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, builds customized benefits packages covering child care, back up care and senior care consulting services through its Care@Work business, and serves care businesses with marketing and recruiting support. To connect families further, acquired community platforms Big Tent and Kinsights in 2013 and 2015, respectively. Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, has offices in Berlin, Austin, New York City and the San Francisco Bay area.

*As of September 2016.

Jacalyn Lee, 781-795-7328

Public Relations Director

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