UNDATED (USA TODAY) -- Babysitting has become a lucrative gig.
Taking care of one child will now garner an average of $15.71 an hour, an increase from an average of $14.91 in 2015, according to new data from child-care website UrbanSitter. That's a more than 5% raise. Babysitting two kids will get you even more cash — at least $18 an hour on average.
The website surveyed nearly 800 families from across the country to determine the going rates for child care. Understandably, babysitters cost parents the most in expensive areas like San Francisco and New York. The average hourly rate in both those cities is more than $16. Denver has the cheapest hourly rate, at $11.75.
While the increase in the hourly rate can largely be attributed to higher costs of living in major cities, the higher cost of living has also driven more full-time professionals — particularly young adults — to start picking up babysitting as a side gig, says Lynn Perkins, CEO of UrbanSitter.
"More professionals with specialized skills and college degrees have been drawn into the babysitting space, and they are able to command higher rates," she says.
Nearly 20% of sitters are even getting tips on top of their standard pay. At a time when fast-food and retail workers are fighting for a $15-an-hour hourly wage, it's looking like babysitting may be a better bet, at least in some cities. Although to be fair, it's not exactly a full-time job. Nearly a third of parents hire a sitter at least once a week, while 21% hire one twice a month, the data show.
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