The $100 dinner date died the moment your kid arrived. $100 for dinner? Try $100 for the caregiving that is required for you to simply step out of your house for a few hours. Babysitters are expensive, but some sitters are more expensive than others — and that mostly depends on where you live.
In Alaska, North Dakota, Montana, Mississippi, and Wyoming, you could be paying as much as $16 per hour for an evening to yourself, according to average salary data collected by Indeed.com. Maybe it’s because these low-populous states have a supply issue? Or maybe parents here are just willing to pay more to get out of Dodge (actually, Kansas is one of the cheaper states) If you live in Texas, Georgia, or Ohio, however, you’re in luck. These states all enjoy sitters that, on average, clock in under $13/hour. A cheap date night? Have at it!
Sometimes it’s worth shelling out a few extra dollars for a babysitter. SitterCity recommends paying your babysitter an extra dollar or two on top of the base rate for each additional child (we all know that more children mean more work). It also makes sense to pay more for an experienced nanny who is certified in CPR and First Aid, than your buddy’s 16-year-old. But you should be able to get out of the house without spending more than $20 per hour, unless you have many, rambunctious children. Even in the most pricey states, average babysitter salaries seldom surpass $16/hour.
One odd quirk of the Indeed.com data is that the most expensive babysitters don’t seem to live in states known for particularly high costs of living or particularly generous minimum wages. That’s atypical. Generally, you can expect the costs of childcare to increase in areas that have more working parents, higher minimum wages, higher transportation costs, and higher costs of living.