How Much Should You Pay Your Babysitter or Nanny?

Choosing a sitter


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 2017 INA Nanny Salary & Benefits Survey, the average hourly rate is $19.14 USD per hour.

  • 57.7% of nannies are paid time and a half when they work overtime.
  • 50% of nannies are compensated for their travel expenses.

Additional considerations, such as whether a nanny is provided employment benefits like paid time off, health insurance, gas money, and cellphones, 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. Hourly rates are influenced by cost of living and minimum wage laws. According to a 2017 survey of Sittercity babysitters:

  • The average hourly rate for a babysitter under 21 years old is $12.19/hour.
  • The average hourly rate for a babysitter over 21 years old is $12.46/hour.

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

Top Cities

Sitter Type:
Rates based on 2 children Nannies Babysitters
Atlanta, GA $11.22/hr $12.95/hr
Austin, TX $16.25/hr $13.70/hr
Baltimore, MD $13.83/hr $14.33/hr
Boston, MA $18.75/hr $18.16/hr
Charlotte, NC $14.60/hr $12.80/hr
Chicago, IL $14.96/hr $12.80/hr
Cleveland, OH $12.00/hr $12.50/hr
Columbus, OH $11.50/hr $10.60/hr
Dallas, TX $13.75/hr $14.10/hr
Denver, CO $11.66/hr $14.25/hr
Detroit, MI $11.25/hr $10.75/hr
Hartford, CT $11.75/hr $13.50/hr
Houston, TX $15.00/hr $12.14/hr
Los Angeles, CA $16.17/hr $15.48/hr
Miami, FL $13.00/hr $15.00/hr
Minneapolis, MN $13.50/hr $13.20/hr
New York City, NY $17.77/hr $18.19/hr
Philadelphia, PA $13.57/hr $13.60/hr
Phoenix, AZ $10.00/hr $12.00/hr
Portland, OR $15.50/hr $14.55/hr
San Diego, CA $15.92/hr $11.66/hr
San Francisco, CA $18.50/hr $17.12/hr
Seattle, WA $16.45/hr $16.81/hr
Tampa, FL $11.42/hr $13.30/hr
Washington, D.C. $17.30/hr $15.35/hr
U.S. National Average $14.22/hr $13.95/hr

Additional Factors when Determining Rates

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 $13 per hour for one child, the cost for two children would be $14.
  • 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.

Interested in a sitter?  Post a job and choose from our highly qualified candidates!