(NEW YORK) -- Back in the day, when TV was in its infancy and a gallon of gas cost much less than what a postage stamp does today, babysitters were lucky to have earned about 50 cents an hour.
Today, the going rate nationally for child care services is $12.75 an hour, according to UrbanSitter, a babysitter location website, which makes anyone earning the minimum wage of $7.25 wonder what they’re struggling for.
UrbanSitter CEO Lynn Perkins says nannies and college grads with early childhood education experience can earn $15.50 per hour on average if they’re located in the Northeast, while those in northern California don’t do badly for themselves either.
Perkins believes there’s a reason for that in addition to higher incomes because 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.”
Meanwhile, those parents who can’t afford to pay steep hourly fees tend to get together with other families and essentially “bundle” their kids to be watched by one sitter so that even paying 30 percent more per child still comes out cheaper in the long run.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio