When I was a kid, I wanted to babysit because Ann. M. Martin and her Babysitter’s Club books made it look oh-so-fun, easy, and basically the most awesome way to make money when you’re 13. Spoiler alert: it is actually none of those things.
Okay, it might be the best way to make money when you’re 13, but that’s because it’s just about the only way.
Nowadays, no one wants to hire a 13-year-old to wrangle their kids for the afternoon. They want CPR certified college graduates with degrees in child development to chase their toddlers around and dig mud out of their mouths for a few hours. Which basically means you’re going to have to pay them quite a bit more than the $5/hr people tossed my way mumblemumble years ago.
How much more? Well, the friendly folks at Urbansitter just dropped their annual National Childcare Rate Study, which polls 20,000 families across the country. San Fransisco clocks in at the most expensive for the 3rd year running ($17.34/hr for 1 child) with New York ($16.89/hr) and Seattle ($16.42/hr) coming in second and third place.
The most reasonable rates are in Denver, where you can get out of the house for just over $12/hr if you only have one kid. The national average goes up to almost $20/hr if you have 3 kids, though, so maybe spread them out so the oldest can watch the rest?
We all know that date night is totally worth whatever it costs, even if you can only get out once a month and stay within your budget. So find someone you trust and go get some dinner that’s not interrupted by whining and followed by a kitchen full of dirty dishes!