Babysitting rates soar past $20 an hour

The babysitting industry also has been impacted by inflation, leaving many parents questioning if a night out is worth it

The babysitting industry also has been impacted by inflation, leaving many parents questioning if a night out is worth it

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Between rent, groceries and gas, seemingly everything is more expensive, and a new survey revealed Floridians are having a hard time keeping up.

A University of South Florida survey polled 600 Floridians and found that nearly half are having a hard time paying necessary bills because of inflation.

For some families that means cutting down on eating out, shopping and date nights.

There’s one industry heavily impacted by inflation, but it won’t shock parents: babysitting.

I remember making about $10 an hour to babysit in high school. The new nation’s average rate is $20.57 an hour for one child and $23.25 an hour for two children, according to an analysis from UrbanSitter. This has many families questioning if a night out from the children is even worth it.

Mother Tina Peckham never stops moving with her two boys, 2-year-old Austin and 5-year-old Archer, so that downtime alone with her husband is cherished.

“We try to do date nights once a month -- that’s the goal. We don’t have family here, so it’s finding time to get away and does it make sense financially?” Peckham said. “For dinner and a movie and not even at a crazy restaurant, just basic, is $150-200, and babysitting costs are a good half of that.”

Advance Homecare Placements owner Sharyn Edmiston says that’s a steal compared to what nanny rates are going for.

“They’re probably looking at $24 an hour at a minimum, and if we’re bringing someone in from somewhere else, it could be much higher than that. We’re seeing rates from $22 to as much as $35 an hour,” Edmiston said.

And that’s the rate for one or two children.

“When you get into three or four, we’ve done some placements recently where it was $80,000-110,000 a year,” Edmiston said.

Edmiston says that when COVID-19 hit, many parents wanted to keep their children home -- which drastically raised the demand for even part-time nannies.

“And it makes it difficult from an agency perspective passing that along to a consumer and explaining that,” Edmiston said.

And while most parents only need a babysitter every once in a while, everyone is feeling the pinch.

Also, for those pet parents out there, the cost of pet sitting has also gone up. The national average for a pet sitter is around $16, and the cost per dog walk is almost $18.


About the Author:

Lauren Verno anchors the 9 a.m. hour of The Morning Show and is the consumer investigative reporter weekday afternoons.