Ian Patrick, FISM News
Child care, like everything else, has seen a sharp uptick in cost due to inflation. However, a new report shows that babysitting costs have actually outpaced the rate of inflation in 2022.
The 12th annual report from UrbanSitter on national babysitting rates shows that the cost of babysitting rose 9.7%, a “significantly” high increase according to the outlet. In contrast, inflation throughout 2022 increased 7.1%.
“If you’re looking for a sitter, you’ve likely seen higher rates with the national average being $22.68/hr for 1 child and $25.37/hr for 2 children,” UrbanSitter writes.
The report also breaks down costs by city, showing Springfield, Missouri as the least expensive area for babysitting at $11.35/hr for 1 child. The most expensive city is San Francisco, where an individual would end up paying an average rate of $25.24/hr for 1 child.
In addition to babysitting, UrbanSitter also shows the national average pay rates for pet care at $21.45/hr, housekeeping at $27.76/hr, and senior companion services at $22.03/hr.
While the cost of babysitting is “significantly” high for 2022, previous UrbanSitter data shows that this isn’t the highest recorded number. In fact, 2021 saw babysitting rates increase 11% compared to the year prior.
However, since at least 2019, UrbanSitter’s average babysitting rate has consistently been more than the yearly inflation rate.
As for why these costs may be increasing, Axios reports that the shortage of babysitters combined with higher pay for those that remain in the job have created “seismic ripples in the labor market, keeping some parents at home or in precarious care arrangements.”
In fact, the driving costs in child care are causing more families to spend more on these services. According to a Care.com survey of families in 2021, “51% of parents say they spend more than 20% of their household income on child care, and 72% of parents report spending 10% or more.”
In addition, “43% of parents” in 2021 said it was “much harder to find child care” throughout the year.
Some states — including New Jersey, New York, and Maine — have even begun offering childcare subsidies to help. A report from KinderCare even shows that working parents find childcare benefits from their employers to be the “2nd highest reason parents stay at their job, behind health insurance.”