photo: Better Babysitters

Finding a great babysitter can be a challenge — and once you get one, you do everything you can to hang on to her. That’s probably why parents are willing to pay more for childcare than they have before. A new study reveals the average amount parents are now paying babysitters.

The 2017 Care.com Babysitter Survey collected data, not only on how much parents pay their babysitters, but also the reasons why they’re willing to pay more, and how they make decisions about who to hire. The survey found that the national average hourly rate is $13.97, up 26 percent from the average of $11.11 in 2010. The most expensive rate was $16.68 in San Jose, CA, while the least expensive was $12.67 in Akron, OH.

Parents surveyed said they were willing to pay more when the babysitter worked early morning or late hours, if the sitter had safety training, an early education degree, or state-level childcare certification. Fifty percent of parents were willing to pay $3 more per hour for a last minute sitter. Overall 41 percent of parents said they spend at least $1000 annually on babysitting. Seventy-seven percent of parents said they didn’t think they paid too much and would give their favorite sitter a raise.

Besides cost, the survey gave some other interesting insights into babysitting. Seventy-four percent of parents hire a baby sitter at least once a month, with the most popular month being August. The top five things parents ask babysitters to do are feed the children, put them to bed, read to them, play games and sports, and offer parent-approved media choices (e.g., TV shows, movies, apps).

Do these stats match your own babysitter experience? Share your thoughts in the comments.