Web Exclusive: Parents are paying big bucks for babysitters

Web Exclusive

(CNN) - Parents, if you're planning a date night this weekend, you know you can't forget the cost of a babysitter.  Now, does it seem like parents are having to set aside more and more these days to pay the sitter?  Well, there's a new study that breaks down the most and least expensive areas in the country for babysitters.
Getting a baby-sitter is expensive these days and a new survey by urbansitter.com indicates that the cost really can vary based on where you live. Urbansitter polled more than seven thousand families across the country and the data reveals some interesting costs and habits about american parents.

On average, the national hourly rate for one hour of baby-sitting, for one child, is $14.97 and then ticks up slightly for each additional child that is watched.  The most expensive city for parents is New York City, where the sitters rake in $15.34 an hour on average.
The least expensive city for parents -- Denver, Colorado. Sitters there only earned $10.84 an hour on average.  And these costs can really add up.  
The study found that 26% of parents hire a sitter once a week or more and nearly half of parents are spending $1,000 a year or more just on babysitting.  And of course, there's also the debate about whether to tip your babysitter or not.  70% of parents said they do, but that means, still more than 1 in 4 parents... don't.


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