San Francisco's long-had a reputation as a tough place to raise a kid — a five-second googling got me this anecdotal SF Gate report from 2004, a Bay Citizen piece on the issue from 2011, and a mixed bag of Facebook responses to NBC Bay Area in 2012 — with one of the chief complaints being the crushing expense of caring for a city kid. A recent survey from a caregiver information site does nothing to dispel that reputation, as it claims that there's no pricier place to hire a babysitter than San Francisco.
Care.com, a website that "provides information and tools to help care seekers and care providers connect and make informed decisions," reports that a survey of over 1,000 members as well as data from their own internal numbers put SF babysittters on top of the pay rankings, with a hourly average rate of $16.65.
San Jose is #2, at $15.63 an hour, they report. The national average is $13.50 an hour, the highest ever after a 28% increase over the last five years.
I don't have any kids for whom I must pay for care, but I have to say that I'm surprised that San Francisco's rate is that low! When I moved here in 1997, I worked for a loose babysitting consortium that eventually became Wondersitter. At the time, my hourly rate — admittedly, for clients based in many of San Francisco's tonier neighborhoods, (though as someone who'd just come here from the land of ginormious tract mansions, I thought most of their homes were pretty small and therefore the residents must be barely scraping by, ha ha shows what I knew) — was $15. Fast forward 18 years to 2015, and that same company's rate appears to include a $15 booking fee, plus rates between $20-$35 an hour. Those fees seem more in line with what caregivers I eavesdrop on in the park say they are making, and I'm not talking about Gavin Rossdale/Ben Affleck type nannies here.
But, like I said, I don't have a lot of current experience in the babysitting rates area. So I turn to you, dear commenters — I'm willing to believe that SF's child carers cost more than those anywhere else, but does a rate of $16.65 sound inaccurately high, too low, or just right? Enlighten us all, please!