How Much Should You Pay Your Sitter or Nanny?

Choosing a sitter

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Find out about pay rates for babysitters and nannies

When determining how much to pay your babysitter or nanny, it’s important to set a competitive rate to attract the most qualified applicants. However, there are a number of factors you should consider when determining the cost of child care. Use the information below to compare rates for babysitters and nannies to determine the most cost effective child care type for your family.

Compensation for Nannies

Nanny wages can differ based on a number of factors including: years of experience, education level, and employment status (full-time live in/live out). According to the 2015 INA Nanny Salary & Benefits Survey, the average hourly rate is $18.66 USD per hour.

  • The average weekly salary for full-time live-out nannies is $705 per week.
  • The average weekly salary for full-time live-in nannies is $652 per week.

*Average weekly salary based on 2012 INA Survey

Additional considerations, such as whether a nanny is provided employment benefits like paid time off, health insurance, gas money, and a cell phone, will influence base wages. Because nannies typically work on a full-time or set schedule basis, parents should expect to pay a weekly or monthly salary based on a calculated hourly wage.

Determining Babysitter Rates

Unlike nannies, babysitters often work part-time or on an “as-needed” basis for several families at a time, and are paid hourly at the end of a shift. According to a survey of SitterCity babysitters, the average hourly rate for a babysitter under 21 years old is $12.19 USD per hour and $12.46 USD per hour for sitters over 21.

Similar to all types of employment, hourly rates will be heavily influenced by the cost of living in different geographic locations, as well as minimum wage laws.

Use the chart below to determine the most appropriate hourly wage for your part of the country:

Top Cities

Sitter Age:
Rates based on 2 children Under 21 Over 21
Atlanta, GA $12.25/hr $12.67/hr
Austin, TX $12.08/hr $12.17/hr
Baltimore, MD $11.92/hr $12.08/hr
Boston, MA $14.42/hr $14.92/hr
Charlotte, NC $11.42/hr $11.58/hr
Chicago, IL $12.67/hr $12.92/hr
Cleveland, OH $10.67/hr $10.83/hr
Columbus, OH $10.25/hr $10.33/hr
Dallas, TX $12.00/hr $12.17/hr
Denver, CO $11.75/hr $11.92/hr
Detroit, MI $10.42/hr $10.67/hr
Hartford, CT $12.17/hr $12.42/hr
Houston, TX $11.75/hr $12.00/hr
Los Angeles, CA $13.83/hr $14.25/hr
Miami, FL $12.17/hr $12.42/hr
Minneapolis, MN $11.25/hr $11.50/hr
New York City, NY $14.42/hr $14.92/hr
Philadelphia, PA $12.17/hr $12.50/hr
Phoenix, AZ $10.92/hr $11.08/hr
Portland, OR $11.58/hr $11.83/hr
San Diego, CA $11.67/hr $12.00/hr
San Francisco, CA $15.75/hr $16.00/hr
Seattle, WA $13.17/hr $13.67/hr
Tampa, FL $10.92/hr $11.25/hr
Washington, D.C. $13.25/hr $13.58/hr
U.S. National Average $12.19/hr $12.46/hr

Additional Factors to Determine Cost

For nannies and babysitters who set their own rates, cost can increase based on a few factors:

  • Number of children: As any parent knows, more children means more work, especially when age ranges vary. For each additional child, pay your sitter or nanny an extra $1 or $2 — if the base rate is $10 per hour for one child, the cost for two children would be $11.
  • Certifications: There’s a difference in experience – both in life and in child care – between your neighbor’s 16-year-old daughter and a nanny of 10 years who is CPR and first aid certified.
  • Additional responsibilities: If a parent expects a babysitter to pick up the kids from school, help with homework, or perform household tasks like cooking dinner or cleaning, plan to pay more for these additional services.
  • Special occasions: If you plan to hire a sitter for New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day, you’ll need to pay more than your usual rate. Sitters are in high demand at these times.
  • Travel and expenses: It’s a given that caregivers in cities with a higher cost of living like Manhattan or San Francisco are more expensive than those in smaller Midwestern cities. But you’ll also need to think about how long it takes for the sitter or nanny to travel to work. If you live in a rural area where the sitter has to drive 45 minutes each way, you might have to pay more to make it worth their time for a 2-hour babysitting job.

Whether you’re a parent looking for child care or a babysitter searching for work, Sittercity can help — start your search or set up a sitter profile for free.