by Carlos E. Castañeda

(CBS SF) — The going rate for a babysitter is likely higher than what you may think, especially in the Bay Area, according to a recent survey.

Online care provider database Care.com says babysitters are in hot demand with sitter rates climbing 28 percent in the last five years to an average of $13.44 an hour.

Topping the list of priciest cities to hire a babysitter is San Francisco at an average of $16.65 an hour, followed by San Jose at $15.63 an hour.

Among all major cities in Care.com’s January 2015 survey, Grand Rapids, Michigan was the least expensive for babysitters at $11.31 an hour, which is still higher that that city’s minimum wage.

Other notable results from the survey:

  • Three out of four survey respondents said babysitters should be paid more than minimum wage.
  • 51 percent of parents said they would pay more for a sitter with experience.
  • 49 percent said how much their kids adore the sitter is the motivating factor for hiring a sitter, versus three percent saying how much she or he charges.
  • 26 percent said they tip their sitters in addition to their hourly rate.

Carlos E. Castañeda is Senior Editor, News & Social Media for CBS San Francisco and a San Francisco native. You can follow him on Twitter or send him an email.

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