Jul 29, 2014
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Los Altos Parents, Do You Overpay For Babysitting?

Calculate the going rate for childcare in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Los Altos Parents, Do You Overpay For Babysitting?

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Babysitting can be a big money-maker, especially in Silicon Valley.

San Francisco Bay Area babysitters are the best-paid in the United States, a recent Huffington Post article reported.

A babysitter in Los Altos watching one child could be paid between $14 and $15.75 an hour, according to online calculators. Actual rate quotes from individuals offering their services on babysitting site are $10 to $25 an hour, which starts on par with the new minimum wage of $10 per hour in San Jose. One 18-year old Los Altos sitter with two years experience, quoted a $5 rate.

And, given the relative affluence of our communities, the lower end of the range is lower than regional averages: $14 per hour for one child and $19.25 for three children, according to a new report from UrbanSitter.com. The data shows Bay Area parents who use the website pay more for childcare than parents in any of the 13 other U.S. metro areas the site serves.

“One reason for this disparity is New York has better public transportation,” UrbanSitter’s founder Lynn Perkins told 7x7. "The babysitters say that matters."

UrbanSitter, which started in San Francisco, matches parents and care providers using social networks. Over 9,200 parents and 3,100 sitters are using the service, according to 7x7.

UrbanSitter, along with national networks Care.com and SitterCity.com, provide profiles, reviews and suggested rates to parents selecting babysitters. In Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, there is a wide range of still-in-high-school sitters, to grandmothers who have decades of experience.

The online rate calculator on Care.com put the going rate for a sitter with any experience watching one child in Los Altos at $14 an hour. SitterCity.com's rate calcuator figured a babysitter between the ages of 18-21 with one year or less  experience should be paid $14.75 an hour in Los Altos. That increases to $15.75 if the sitter is older and has more than five years experience.

—Los Altos Patch Editor L.A. Chung contributed to this report

Parents, how much do you pay for babysitting in Los Altos or Los Altos Hills? How do you find your sitters? Tell us in the comment section below.

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