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Grand Rapids Boasts Cheapest Rates in U.S. For Babysitting [Video]

This is great news if you’re a parent, but not so great news if you’re a baby sitter.

The average rate for a baby sitter in Grand Rapids sits at $11.31 an hour. That is the cheapest rate in the U.S., according to Care.com.

“Over the past few years, the average baby sitter rate has steadily increased, and, in 2014, the national average was $13.44 per hour,” said Katie Bugbee, senior managing editor and global parenting expert at Care.com.

Care.com’s 2015 Babysitter Survey “found that more so than ever before, it’s a babysitter’s market where sitters can not only determine their hourly rate, but they can also expect an annual raise and even a tip. Families may find the extra cost worth it as the number one thing they look for in a sitter is that their kids love them,” she said.

Five Most Expensive Cities to Hire a Baby Sitter:

1. San Francisco, $16.65 per hour
2. San Jose, $15.63
3. Boston, $15.37
4. New York, $15.09
5. Washington, D.C., $14.99

Five Least Expensive Cities to Hire a Baby Sitter, According to Care.com:

1. Grand Rapids, $11.31
2. Columbia, S.C., $11.72
3. Rochester, N.Y., $11.79
4. Salt Lake City, $11.82
5. Akron, Ohio, $11.84

  • National Average Rate for Baby Sitters: $13.44 per hour (up 28 percent from 2009, which was $10.50).
  • Tipping: About one in four (26 percent) tip on top of the hourly rate.
  • Annual Raises: 87 percent would give their sitter a raise.
  • How Families Decide What to Pay: The majority of parents (68 percent) rely on sitters to set the rate and pay what they charge; 40 percent ask their friends; and 20 percent use a pay rate calculator.
  • What Families Think About How Much They Pay: Twenty-five percent say they pay too much.
  • Who Families Are Willing to Pay More: About half (51 percent) would pay older sitters more because of their experience; 38 percent would be willing to pay older sitters $5 more per hour. Plus, one in 10 would pay an extra $5 per hour for last-minute sitters.
  • Top Two Reasons Families Don’t Hire a Baby Sitter: It costs too much (57 percent) and it’s too stressful to find someone they like (51 percent).
  • How Families Save on Baby Sitters: A majority (61 percent) would share a sitter with a friend and 18 percent would hire a sitter with less experience. In addition, nearly half (46 percent) have cut a date short to avoid paying an extra hour, and one in five (20 percent) pay a lower rate when their kids are sleeping.

Care.com 2015 Babysitter Survey Insights

Who’s Hiring the Babysitter? Half of moms (48 percent) handle hiring a babysitter completely, while less than 1 percent of fathers completely take on this responsibility. In fact, only 13 percent of parents are equally involved in hiring the babysitter. With 21 percent of families having worked with four or more sitters in a year, that’s a lot of hiring responsibility for moms!

Who Are Families Hiring? If you’re between the ages of 20 to 25, certified in CPR, first aid or safety training and a non-smoker, then you are the preferred sitter for many families. According to Care.com, Jessica, Ashley, and Amanda are the most popular names of sitters, too. And here’s to debunking an old wives’ tale: Ninety-two percent of moms have no problem hiring a babysitter who’s prettier than them.

How Well Do Parents Know Their Sitter? Wouldn’t you think that checking references and conducting a background check on someone who’s taking care of a loved one is a no-brainer? Surprisingly, a whopping 62 percent of parents have hired a babysitter without checking references and 64 percent have done so without running a background check. Yet, 41 percent completely trust their sitter.

What are the Big Baby Sitter No-Nos? About one in 10 (11 percent) parents have caught their sitter having a friend over or looking through their drawers or closets. Families have also caught their sitter texting (26 percent), playing on social media (22 percent), watching TV (16 percent) or eating their food (9 percent) without their permission.

Celebrity Sitter Showdown: Emma Stone or Kim Kardashian? Kim Kardashian may be a new mom, but parents say the celebrity they’d most want as a sitter is Emma Stone, followed by Jennifer Lawrence and President Barack Obama. In fact, reality star Kim Kardashian is the celebrity families would least want as a babysitter.

What Are Families Willing to Do for a Good Sitter? Once you’ve found a good sitter, hold on tight, because one in five parents (20 percent) say they’re willing to steal a sitter! In fact, 16 percent hoard their sitter’s contact information and won’t even share it with a friend.

It All Come Down to Love. At the end of the day, about one in three parents (31 percent) say they consider their sitter a member of their family and half (49 percent) say what’s most important when hiring a sitter is that their kids love them.

In honor of all the baby sitters out there, here’s the trailer from my favorite baby sitter movie, 1991’s Don’t Tell Mom The Baby Sitter’s Dead.

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