Babysitters are in short supply and prices are rising

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  • Young babysitters earn up to $35/hour, according to a Thursday WSJ article.
  • Rates have increased in the context of general and child care specific labor shortages.
  • Parents also offer more perks, like a free dinner, the story adds.

As parents struggle to find everything from baby formula to childcare, there’s one group making money from the children’s crisis: young babysitters, according to a Thursday article from the Wall Street Journal.

“A family was like, ‘We’re going to order whatever you want for dinner,'” Bree Steiger of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, told the outlet, saying side benefits, like Doordash orders, increased for babysitting jobs – as well as pay, from $9 to $10 an hour two years ago to $15 to $16 an hour.

The pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to child care. A study 2021 found that in April 2020, two-thirds of child care centers closed – and one-third were still closed a year later. The article added that non-white families were more likely to face daycare closures.

Insider previously reported that child care centers have had to turn away families due to a lack of staff. When parents cannot find a place for their children, it is more difficult for them to return to work, which aggravates the whole work situation.

Babysitters have also felt the demand. In 2021, the average rate of hiring a babysitter increased by 11%, outpacing inflation, according to data from UrbanSitter. The average hourly rate to watch a child was $20.57.

One parent said babysitters are rarer and seem to have a lot of pricing power or are paid a lot by grateful (or tipsy) families, depending on the WSJ History.

Evelyn Loperfido of Crested Butte, Colorado, said she made over $1,000 babysitting in the past year and made up to $35 an hour, up from 10 to 12 dollars an hour before the pandemic.

“But sometimes they come back after being out all night having fun or a little tipsy, and they give me everything they have in their wallet,” she told the outlet.

Read the full WSJ article here.

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