babyFinding a responsible person to care for your baby while you are out is a daunting task for any parent, and once we do find someone we trust -- it's imperative that we treat them well so we don't ever lose them.

And that's why the new UrbanSitter infographic showing the average hourly rates for babysitters across the U.S. is not only alarming, it's also appalling, and pretty darn sad too.

Based on the stats shown, most of the babysitters in this country are getting gypped, plain and simple.

The hourly rates range from $9.75 in St. Louis on the low end, to $14.00 in San Francisco on the high end.

Um, excuse me? You mean to tell me in one of the most expensive cities in the U.S., they're only paying sitters $14.00 an hour? And if that's not bad enough, in New York, another pricey location, the average is only $13.50. For crying out loud, you can't even get a decent lunch in NYC for under $13.50 -- and that's all babysitters are being paid to care for the most precious people in parents' lives?

Something seriously just doesn't add up, here.

When my son was a baby, which was six years ago, I vaguely remember paying our first babysitter $12.00 an hour -- because that was the rate she asked for. But I bumped her rate up to $15.00 an hour fairly quickly because I wanted to make sure to remain at the top of her list.

To this day, I can't even begin to imagine giving a babysitter anything less than that to care for my son. And on top of the hourly rate I'm paying, I always make sure to include a nice tip, usually an extra hour's pay -- and no, I don't think that's the least bit excessive.

It's so important for moms and dads to be able to get out of the house and enjoy a night out on the town -- even if that means shelling out an extra $60.00 - $100.00 or more for a babysitter in addition to whatever you're spending at dinner, the movies, etc. I mean, we're trusting these people with our kids' safety, well being, and happiness -- isn't that something we should expect to pay more for?

And another thing, I can't help but wonder if some parents will see this infographic and decide they're paying their sitters way too much and lower their rates. This really sets such a horrible standard for sitters everywhere, and makes them appear so much less valuable than they actually are.

Come to think of it, I think I'll start paying the babysitter I use now a bit more from here on out. She's certainly more than deserving of a nice raise.

How much do you pay your babysitter per hour?

 

Image via Mary Fischer