Think a precious, kid-free night out with your partner is priceless? Not if you live in Manhattan.
Apparently, scoring a good sitter in New York City these days can empty your pockets big time, as the hourly wages of college-educated caregivers have reached an all-time high.
According to CNN, some high-end babysitting services in the Big Apple are connecting parents with sitters that demand up to $33 per hour, making your night out an extra costly one. That means a typical night out could run you $120 just for childcare — and that's just if you have only one kid!
Kristina Wilson, CEO of Sitters Studio, chatted with CNN about the reasoning behind the high rates, noting that although the number may be steep at the end of the night, parents are getting a lot more bang for their buck. Every Sitters Studio caregiver is required to show up 10 minutes early, bring their own "artistic toys," uphold a strict no-TV policy, and get on homework and chore duty as soon as they arrive.
"On top of picking children up from school and mealtime," says Wilson, "kids will get a unique artistic experience every time. If our sitter works with a child to come up with a ballet or a piece of art made out of recycled materials, at the end of the night they will fill out a report card to let the parent know what they created and how it helped with self-esteem and general creative thinking."
Uh, we don't know about you, but we're generally just psyched if we come home from a night out and the kids are asleep, haven't killed each other and nothing is broken. This is on another level.
Sitter Studios isn't the only over-the-top babysitting service New York has to offer. Parents on Long Island can also get the first-class treatment, with Hamptons Babysitters. A top-rate sitter will run them $25 an hour for one child and $33 for three. There's also a $25 booking free and a three-hour minimum.
Considering the average sitter cost in New York is $15.34, these numbers are startlingly high. But Chloe Laundrie, a 22-year-old Hamptons sitter, is quick to point out that it's well worth it.
"I hear moms say they can't put a price on childcare," she said. "Even though the [rates] are a little bit higher, they understand most of the time."
How much would you be willing to pay for a really good sitter?