Have you ever wondered about some of the statistics associated with babysitting? Many of them are exactly what you'd expect, while others are rather counter-intuitive.
In this article, I'll outline some interesting babysitting statistics that I've come across in my research that might give you some food for thought!
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There are Hardly Any Male Babysitters
The disparity between how many men versus women are babysitters was greater than any other job I could find. A whopping 97.1% of all babysitters are female.
There could be several different societal reasons for this. Women are generally seen as the more nurturing and loving of the sexes. And babysitting isn't something that would be classified as a traditionally "masculine" job. So there could be a lot of stigma surrounding being a male babysitter. Men who babysit could face jokes and even insults or judgment from family and friends.
Many people also carry on the incorrect belief that male childcare providers are more likely to physically or sexually assault children in their care. On why this simply isn't true, check out my article Is it Safe to Hire a Male Babysitter? which goes in-depth on the topic.
Are you a male and thinking about becoming a babysitter? Read this article first Can Men Babysit? to learn why there aren’t many male babysitters, you can actually use this to your advantage.
Leaving Your Kids With A Babysitter Is Actually Pretty Safe
While male babysitters especially face a stigma, there's a general idea some people have that babysitters, in general, are unsafe. In my opinion, this is probably perpetuated by decades of movies and television shows which portray babysitters in a bad light.
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If you watch any kind of entertainment with babysitters in it, they're usually portrayed as being incompetent and letting the kids they're watching get completely out of control. It's quite a popular comedy trope, and most shows have at least one episode where the kids are essentially jumping on the couch and eating ice cream while the babysitter is pulling their hair out. In other forms of media like horror movies, babysitters may be portrayed as the villain that treats kids poorly or steals from the family.
While a small minority of babysitters are bad apples, in general, these ideas about babysitters couldn't be further from the truth. Most babysitters are responsible, mature people who enjoy caring for kids or just need a part-time job. If you hire a babysitter that has completed a babysitting course as well as First Aid or CPR, it's very unlikely you'll have any kind of problem.
In fact, one study found that only 4.2% of all criminal offenses against children under age 6 were committed by babysitters. That's less than the percentage that either family members or strangers account for.
The Average Hourly Rate For A Babysitter in the US is $17.73
Bad news for parents who are looking for a cheap date night! One of the latest 2020 studies found that parents in the United States pay $17.73 per hour to have a babysitter watch a single child, that's more than double the federal minimum wage.
For two kids, parents can expect to pay $20.30 per hour. And $21.49 for three kids!
The same study found that 79% of parents said that childcare was one of their families biggest expenses.
And 28% of parents said they will spend between $30k and $75k this year on childcare!
Babysitting is already a very fulfilling job if you care about kids. Check out my article Why Become a Babysitter? (11 Reasons Why it's a Fulfilling Job) to learn more. But now you can also add great pay to that list!
Educated Babysitters Earn More
It makes sense that babysitters with more education or training earn more. But now we have a study to actually back that up (Source).
66% of parents interviewed said they would pay more for a babysitter that has safety training.
33% of parents will pay more for a babysitter with state-level child care certification.
And 41% said they'd pay more for a babysitter with an early education degree.
Honestly, I'm surprised those percentages aren't even higher! It's hard to put a price on the peace of mind that parents can get from knowing that their babysitter has lots of training and education.
Top Things That Parents Hate Babysitters Doing The Most
Top of the list for things that parents hate babysitters doing the most, all seem to revolve around the use of electronics.
14% of parents said excessive texting was their biggest pet peeve. For 11% it was social media. And 10% hated when babysitters watch television while they're working.
So I guess the moral of the story is to keep the television off and your phone in your pocket if you want parents to be happy!
More Than Half of Babysitters Are Unpaid
Perhaps bad news for the babysitting job market. 51% of babysitters are unpaid!
I guess it makes sense since the same study also showed that only about 18% of all babysitters aren't relatives or friends. More people than you'd imagine probably opt to leave their kids with grandparents or other relatives, rather than paying for a sitter (Source).
69% of Parents Say Good Babysitters Are Hard to Find
This one should be good news if you fancy yourself as a good babysitter. Most parents report having trouble finding a babysitter they approve of (Source).
If you think you're a great babysitter and you're not constantly booked, maybe you're just not advertising your services widely enough!
Need help with finding more babysitting work? check out my article How To Promote Your Babysitting Business (8 Free Techniques) for some ideas.
Although in Canada the story seems to be a bit different. Two-thirds of parents there say they don't have difficulty finding child care arrangements. (Source)
Childcare Is Most Common When Both Parents Work Outside The Home
71% of households where both partners work will pay for childcare for a preschool child (Source).
As kids get older, that number drops a bit to 49% for school-aged children (kids between ages of 5 and 14.)
Most parents (86%) who use child care arrangements do so on a regular basis. So if you're a babysitter, you should really be aiming to get recurring jobs where you work the same time and place every week, if possible.
Younger Babysitters Might Be More Prepared Than You Think
I think there's a common misconception that younger and less experienced babysitters are probably less safe to leave your kids with.
But a study from Penn State University on the emergency preparedness of 11 to 13-year-old babysitters shows that most of them are actually pretty prepared for dealing with tough situations (Source).
About half of the kids in that age range who are babysitters were trained in CPR and most had First Aid training. About 10% of them had even called 911 at some point!
Based on this study, I feel a bit safer with the idea of leaving my kids with a babysitter of that age. The biggest drawback the study pointed out for 11 to 13-year-old babysitters was a lack of attentiveness. So if you do hire younger babysitters, you probably just want to make sure your own children are old enough that a lack of attention won't cause any serious harm.
How young is too young to start babysitting? Check out my article What Age Can You Start Babysitting? (Laws & Maturity Requirements) for details!
Parents Want More Government Help With Childcare
More than two-thirds of Americans think that either the government or the businesses they work for should be doing more to help fund childcare for parents who work. However Congress in the US still pretty much fails to address this issue. And childcare funding in America tends to lag behind what's available in other developed countries like Canada, the UK, and Australia (Source).
The Word "Babysitter" Became A Thing In The 1930s
The word "babysitter" first showed up in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1937 (Source).
Even though terms like babysitter and babysitting only came into existence in the 1930s, it's actually one of the world's oldest professions. We just previously used other words like nanny, nurse, or childrearing to refer to the services that babysitters provide instead.
Another fun fact. The words house-sitter and pet-sitter are derived from the word babysitter.
Most American Day Care Centers Are Rated "Fair" or "Poor"
A survey by the National Institute of Child Health Development found that most daycare organizations in the United States were rated fair or poor. Only about 10% of these organizations were found to provide high-quality care. While experts recommend daycares should have one caregiver for every 3 infants between 6 months and 18 months, only a third of daycares actually met that standard (Source).
That could be good news for babysitters! If parents are getting fed up with the quality of care that their daycare provides, they might turn to sitters to provide the one-on-one attention they feel their child deserves.
Sometimes it's interesting to look into the studies and surveys that involve babysitting. In some cases, these statistics might just further back up what we thought we already knew. While other times, they might point out something completely counter-intuitive than what society normally believes about some aspect of babysitting.
What statistic from this list did you find the most surprising or interesting?
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