What’s the going rate for babysitters and nannies?

When deciding how much to pay your babysitter or nanny, it’s important to set a competitive rate to attract the best caregivers. But there are lots of factors to think about when determining the cost of child care. Use the information below to compare nanny and babysitting rates in your area, and align on a reasonable price per hour for your sitter.

How much does a nanny cost?

Nanny wages can differ based on years of experience, education level, employment status (full-time live in/live out) and more. According to recent Sittercity data, the national average hourly rate for nannies in 2019 is $17 per hour.* 

  • 54% of families report that they sometimes or always tip their nannies.
  • 50% of nannies are compensated for their travel expenses.

You might also consider providing employment benefits like paid time off, health insurance, gas money, and mobile phone coverage. 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.

What about babysitting rates?

Unlike nannies, babysitters often work part-time or on an occasional basis for several families at a time, and are paid hourly at the end of a shift. Cost of living and minimum wage laws can influence hourly rates. Recent Sittercity data shows that the national average hourly rate for babysitters in 2019 is $15 per 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 $17.00/hr $16.50/hr
Austin, TX $19.43/hr $18.60/hr
Baltimore, MD $16.29/hr $15.00/hr
Boston, MA $18.60/hr $18.17/hr
Charlotte, NC $16.88/hr $15.40/hr
Chicago, IL $19.21/hr $18.85/hr
Cleveland, OH $13.33/hr $10.00/hr
Columbus, OH $15.00/hr $14.50/hr
Dallas, TX $16.83/hr $15.88/hr
Denver, CO $19.56/hr $18.00/hr
Detroit, MI $11.38/hr $8.50/hr
Hartford, CT $17.67/hr $16.67/hr
Houston, TX $16.00/hr $15.04/hr
Los Angeles, CA $19.89/hr $16.92/hr
Miami, FL $18.13/hr $16.59/hr
Minneapolis, MN $15.25/hr $14.29/hr
New York City, NY $23,35/hr $21.09/hr
Philadelphia, PA $20.14/hr $16.00/hr
Phoenix, AZ $14.33/hr $12.28/hr
Portland, OR $17.00/hr $16.22/hr
San Diego, CA $16.00/hr $14.72/hr
San Francisco, CA $24.17/hr $20.14/hr
Seattle, WA $20.71/hr $18.41/hr
Tampa, FL $13.33/hr $13.29/hr
Washington, D.C. $18.50/hr $16.20/hr
U.S. National Average $16.58/hr $14.55/hr

What else should I know about setting rates?

For nannies and babysitters who set their own rates, cost can increase for a few reasons:

  • 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. (i.e. 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. Plan to compensate your nanny accordingly.
  • Additional responsibilities: If you expect your sitter 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: Of course, sitters in large cities 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.

*Sittercity job post data, March 2019

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Author

As a former nanny and oldest child, Alex recognizes the many challenges that both families and sitters face on a daily basis. As a Sittercity team member, she's thrilled to use her skills and experience to make child care finally work.