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Again, rescue a dog. It's far cheaper and won't involve you getting called to post bail.

Honestly, grow a pair and have a set of twin canines and human progeny. Unless you're a crack addict, live in a trailer park or are missing teeth. Then stick to buying a bloodhound.


Arrow chart showing the change in babysitting rates for one child among bookings on UrbanSitter from 2021 to 2022. Data: UrbanSitter; Chart: Alice Feng/Axios

Babysitting rates rose 13% in Chicago in 2022 from the year prior, according to survey results caregiver-finding platform UrbanSitter provided to Axios' Jennifer A. Kingson.


Still, it's cheaper here than in much of the U.S.

The big picture: Nationally, babysitting rates rose 9.7% — a bit less than the 11% hike seen in 2021, yet outpacing inflation for the second year in a row.


That's a staggering 21% increase in just two years, according to UrbanSitter, which looked at booking data from 15,000 U.S. families.

Why it matters: A shortage of babysitters and other child care workers — and higher pay those remaining are able to command — is creating seismic ripples in the labor market, keeping some parents at home or in precarious care arrangements.


It's also attracting teachers, nurses and other trained professionals into the career — which in turn drives up rates, because of their experience.

In the other direction, day care workers are quitting for higher pay elsewhere — including at custodial jobs.

Between the lines: Rates are up across all categories of care, from casual babysitting to full-time nannies to day care (where it can be hard to even get on a waitlist).


Per a 2022 Care.com survey, 51% of U.S. parents were spending over 20% of their income on child care — far more than the 7% that the federal government deems "affordable."

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