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Babysitting Costs Jumped by 11% in 2021, Faster Than Inflation

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  • Babysitting costs jumped 11% in 2021, far outpacing inflation 7%, Axios reported.
  • The increase comes amid an ongoing labor crunch and childcare shortage. 
  • Childcare site UrbanSitter reported the data from 10,000 plus families in the US.

Amid an ongoing labor crunch and rising inflation, another key service has become more expensive: babysitting. 

Parents looking to escape one child for a while will need to cough up $20.57 per hour on average, according to UrbanSitter and reported by Axios.

UrbanSitter helps people find child care or other services like tutors. According to an UrbanSitter blog post from April 2021, sitters and nannies actually reported an 84% drop in the need for their services after COVID-19 hit – but later, the need for childcare came back dramatically. 

The average hourly rate for a babysitter jumped 11% in 2021, according to a new UrbanSitter survey of more than 10,000 US families. This is larger than the year’s Consumer Price Index jump of 7%. From 2019 to 2020, babysitting costs rose  3.9%, UrbanSitter said.

“The bumps that we saw this last year, it was just really disproportionate to anything we’ve seen previously,” Lynn Perkins, founder and CEO of UrbanSitter, told Axios.

UrbanSitter’s survey noted the average is $23.25 per hour for two kids and $24.35 an hour for three kids. New York City’s babysitters were the most expensive, at an average of $23.45 an hour. The next was the San Francisco Bay Area at $23.32. The cheapest babysitters, on average, were in San Antonio, with an hourly rate of $14 for one kid. 

Another factor driving up the cost, according to Perkins, is new entrants into the childcare space. 

“We have seen more former teachers, nurses, early childhood education specialists, and others leave their jobs to pursue other opportunities,” including babysitting, tutoring and elder care, Perkins told Axios. 

Two silver linings for Perkins were the renewed focus on childcare as a major issue and that, “I think caregivers are finally getting the rate that they deserve,” Perkins told the outlet. 


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