The Sideshow

Babysitters average nearly twice the national minimum wage

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Babysitting has become good business in some parts of the country. (George Niktin/AP)

Babysitting is good work if you can get it. The average hourly rate for child care services is $12.75, nearly twice the U.S. minimum wage of $7.25.

And babysitters in the Northeast do even better, earning an average of $15.50 per hour.

"Nannies and college graduates with early childhood education experience are the ones who command the higher fees," Lynn Perkins, CEO of UrbanSitter, a site that helps parents locate babysitting services, told New Jersey 101.5. "But, that could cost you $70 for date night on child care alone. That's not even including your dinner or movie."

However, before you quit your day job and launch your own babysitters club, those lucrative hourly rates aren't necessarily supported by a 40-hour workweek.

Perkins says that the Northeast and San Francisco Bay Area have the highest hourly rates, which she attributes both to local income averages and necessity.

"I believe it's also a cultural thing," she said. "In the Northeast and in the Bay Area, you have many people who aren't originally from these areas, so fewer people have family they can turn to for child care support and they're more dependent on outside babysitters."

And when it comes to finding the right sitter, it seems parents are willing to spend a little more in order to schedule quality care for their children.

But for parents who are looking to save money, Perkins says that this summer her site has seen a trend of families bundling their children with one babysitter and splitting the cost.

"Let's say it's 30 percent more for the cost of an extra child. If you did it alone, it would cost much more, but when you split the cost, it works out well for all the families involved," Perkins said.

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