The 2023 Babysitter Survey Results are In!

The results are in from Park Slope Parents’ 2023 Babysitter Survey, which surveyed more than 200 Brooklyn parents about all things babysitters: how folks are finding them, who they’re finding, how much they’re paying, and more.

Check out the executive summary below—and if you’re not a member of PSP, join us today to get access to the wisdom of our community, plus a discounted rate on our exclusive Guide to Occasional/Date Night Babysitters!


What are parents paying?

Hourly rates

  • The highest reported pay is $25/hour.
  • 84% pay between 20 and 25 dollars per hour.
  • 8% pay between 26 and 30 dollars per hour.
  • 6% pay less than 20 dollars per hour.
  • Average pay increases as number of children increases, as shown below:

NOTE: Our data skews young. For our respondents, half report their oldest child as being under 2, and 80% report their oldest child as being under 5.

Incidental pay

  • One third (35%) pay if they cancel with less than sufficient notice.
  • Two thirds (68%) pay for a car service for the sitter.
  • One third (33%) pay a minimum number of hours.
  • Lesser factors are holiday pay and wake/sleeping time. 

When it comes to pay rates, the babysitter runs the show.

  • Two thirds of respondents said that their babysitter told them their hourly rate and they agreed to pay that rate.
  • One quarter (24%) told the babysitter what they pay and the babysitter agreed.
  • Only 1 in 5 negotiated the rate.


Number of Children 

Average Hourly Rate (dollars)

Range of Hourly Rates (dollars)



15 - 37.50



17 - 35



20 - 30

When and how often are parents hiring babysitters?

We all need a break and time for ourselves!

  • About 1 in 6 people use a babysitter once a week.
  • 62% of people use a babysitter once (27%) or twice (35%) a month.

A babysitter can set you back a Benjamin—and then there’s the cost of the date.

  • More than half (58%) of people pay $90 or more for a typical date night sitter.
  • About half of date night goers typically spend between $75 and $125 when they are out. For the rest, it depends on the date.

Parents prefer to get out of the house on weekends.

  • Saturday nights are the most popular for date nights, with more than 3 out of 4 (77%) using a sitter on a Saturday night.
  • Half use a sitter on weeknights or Friday nights.
  • Only 1 in 4 use a sitter during weekend days.

There are a range of reasons why parents might choose NOT to hire a sitter and hit the town.

  • The number one reason not to go out more is because parents are just plain tired, with over 4 in ten indicating this as the key factor.
  • Budget is a factor for more than 1 in 3 parents in deciding how often to hire a sitter.
  • Also, the challenge of finding available, trustworthy babysitters rounds out the biggest reasons why people don’t hire one more often.
  • Lesser reasons for not using sitters is that people rely on their family to help out with babysitting, comfort and trust around hiring people they don’t know.

Who are parents hiring and why?

Who runs the world? Girls!

  • The vast majority (94%) of sitters are female.

Of the sitters they’ve used in the past year:

  • Nine in 10 are using sitters over 18 years of age
  • Less than 1 in 10 (7%) use sitters between 14 and 17 years old
  • Even fewer (6.3%) use sitters 18-21 years old (most likely because of availability)
  • About a quarter (26%) use a sitter 31 years or older (including nannies and daycare/preschool teachers)

When asked about comfort in younger sitters, parents say they prefer older babysitters. 

  • 6 in 10 (57%) prefer an adult (18+) to babysit their child
  • 4 in 10 (43%) of parents are comfortable leaving their child with someone under 18
  • For shorter periods of time and close by dates people are comfortable with younger sitters  
  • Using an 11-13 year old sitter can depend on whether or not their parent is close by and can help in an emergency
  • Using a younger sitter is more common if it is a “warm body sit” (the kids or babies are sleeping the entire time the parents are gone) 
  • If the children are older people are more willing to leave them with a younger sitter

Distance matters.

  • Three quarters of respondents use a sitter in or close by their neighborhood.

Special credentials are appreciated but not a necessity.

  • One quarter of parents reported that their sitters have special childcare education or credentials.
  • Those credentials can include: 
    • CPR certification
    • Preschool teaching or daycare experience
    • Experience being a nanny
    • College education in early childhood development

Reading is a plus!

  • It’s common for babysitters to read to the kids they’re taking care of, with 8 in 10 doing so. One in 3 help with bath and bedtime or watch movies/TV with the kids (one in three).

Need a sitter? Ask your network.

  • Two thirds (66%) of parents found their babysitter through a friend.
  • One third found a sitter through a babysitter agency/app (e.g. Sittercity,
  • As for other options, 1 in 6 found a babysitter through a neighbor.
  • Interestingly, only 1 in 8 found an occasional sitter through Park Slope Parents.


Folks consider many factors when choosing a sitter, including…

  • Proximity -Take this into account if you are considering paying for a car service for your babysitter.
  • Special skills - Bilingualism, creative skills (e.g., painting), etc.
  • Fit - How well do they get along with the child?  How well do they fit with the family?
  • Communication - How responsive are they in person and via text?
  • Interaction -Do they play with the kids or just sit there?
  • Referral through an app - Bambino, Sitter Club, Broadway Babysitters, Beyond Care Cooperative, etc.

Takeaways for Parents (many more on the Babysitter Guide)

Pay for the sitter’s dinner if appropriate, the ride home if it’s close, and give them spending money if they take your kids out.  Tipping is not required (it’s part of the hourly rate), but if you love the sitter, tipping might help you hire them in the future. 

Ask your friends and kids’ teachers for recommendations, or post an ISO babysitter on the PSP Classifieds. Most of the folks on PSP are looking for full-time nanny positions, but some are looking for extra work on nights and weekends.  

Use someone close by. Cab fares late at night can set you back. Using someone close by means you save on a car service.  Do make sure to keep the sitter safe and walk them home if you can.
Consider using a younger sitter. This might be someone whose family lives in your building or who knows your neighbors and can ask for help if necessary. You can typically pay them less while giving them much needed experience, self-confidence, and independence. Ask older friends who might have teenage children.

Cut down on date night costs by taking advantage of free activities in the city. Ride the Staten Island Ferry at night, walk on the beach at Coney Island, visit a museum or the Battery Park Gardens, visit Green-wood Cemetery, stroll the High Line, go window shopping, visit open houses to get ideas for decorating or see what’s out there, go to IKEA and watch the sunset over the Statue of Liberty, volunteer together, explore a neighborhood you don’t know, go to the farmer’s markets around the city. Many museums are “pay as you please” for NY residents. 

Consider swaps with friends.

Split duties. Date nights are fun, but if you take turns going out, you recharge your social batteries with friends/family and get some healthy distance between you and your partner.

Consider sleepovers as a way to save money. While younger kids may not be ready, kids aged five and older may be okay with a sleepover. 

Join/create a babysitting co-op. Starting a babysitting co-op with other new parents in the neighborhood is not only free but also a great way to get to know and trust other families while building a strong support network. Park Slope Parents has information on How to Start a Babysitting Co-Op. Note: Folks tell us that this can get more complicated if you have more than one child.