• Young babysitters are making as much as $35/hour, according to a Thursday story from the WSJ.
  • Rates have gone up amid a general and childcare-specific labor shortage.
  • Parents are also offering more benefits, such as free dinner, the story added.

While parents struggle to find everything from infant formula to childcare, there's one group that is making increased cash from the child-watching crunch: young babysitters, according to a Thursday article from the Wall Street Journal. 

"One family was like, 'We'll order anything you want for dinner,'" Bree Steiger from Longmeadow, Massachusetts, told the outlet, saying that side benefits, like Doordash orders, have increased for babysitting jobs — as well as pay, from $9-$10 an hour two years ago to $15 -$16 an hour. 

The pandemic was a hard blow to childcare. A 2021 study found that in April 2020, two-thirds of childcare centers closed — and a third were still closed a year later. The article added that non-White families were more likely to have to deal with child care center closures. 

Insider has previously reported that childcare centers have had to turn away families because of a lack of staff. When parents can't find a place for their kids, it makes it harder for them to get back to work, worsening the whole labor situation

Babysitters have felt the demand, too. In 2021, the average rate to hire a babysitter went up 11% which outpaced inflation, according to data from UrbanSitter. The average hourly rate to watch one child was reported as $20.57. 

One parent said babysitters are scarcer, and they appear to have a lot of price-setting power or are being paid a lot by grateful (or tipsy) families, per the WSJ story. 

Evelyn Loperfido of Crested Butte, Colorado, said she has made over $1,000 babysitting over the last year and has garnered as much as $35 an hour, compared to $10 to $12 an hour pre-pandemic. 

"But they will sometimes come back after going out all night still kind of having fun or a little tipsy, and they will just give me whatever they have in their wallet," she told the outlet. 

Read the full WSJ piece here.

Read the original article on Business Insider