My first part-time job was babysitting for several different families in my hometown.  When I first started, I thought I was making some serious money!

I was getting paid $0.75 an hour!  It didn't matter if I had one child to watch or three to try to wrangle.

Then, babysitting rates increased. Without even asking, those same families started paying me $1.00 an hour.  I was thrilled.

But times have obviously changed. Parents will agree that the right babysitter for their children can be difficult to find, and when found, should be treated as well as a family member.  Because after all, when mom and dad need a 'Date Night,' knowing that someone they trust is with their children can make up for the fact that the most expensive detail of the night could be paying for that beloved sitter.

According to a new survey conducted by Care.com, babysitting rates continue to be on the rise for parents. Care.com's annual Babysitting Survey, has found that the 2014 national average pay rate for a babysitter was $13.44 an hour.

Whether that rate applies to your child's full-time caregiver or an after-school or date-night sitter, the cost of hiring someone to watch your precious bundles of joy is going to cost you.

For some parents, the $13.44 is simply a base-rate - 26% of moms and dads will even tip their sitters. Another 87% will give their sitters an annual raise and one in 10 parents will pay an extra $5 per hour for a babysitter booked at the last minute.

If you think these prices are a bit steep, consider what parents in San Francisco, California pay for their babysitters. Known as the #1 Priciest City to Hire a Babysitter, moms and dads pay, on the average, about $16.65 per hour.  San Jose, California sitters can pocket about $15.63 an hour, and moms and dads in Boston, Massachusetts will pay $15.37 per hour for a sitter.

But along with the higher rates, parents are now expecting a sitter to do more than raid the refrigerator and watch TV as soon as the parents drive out of the driveway.  Babysitting used to be known as an easy gig for high-school aged students. But now parents expect their sitters to be CPR or First Aid certified, a non-smoker and IDEALLY between the ages of 20 and 25.

However, even though parents hope for the ideal conditions, Care.com also found that 62% of parents will hire someone to watch the kids without checking references, and another 64% will hire someone without doing a background check.

If the rate of $13.44 per hour seems a bit steep, cost-cutting tips for parents might include putting the kids to bed before the sitter actually arrives or sharing a sitter with a friend.

Even though the numbers might seem a bit much, Care.com's survey reminds parents that it shouldn't be about how much money is coming out of your pocketbook for your babysitter, but should be how valuable he or she really is.

Remember, it is a babysitters market! Check out Care.com's survey and find out the Top 4 holidays sitters are most requested for, the 5 most popular sitters and what really motivates parents to hire their favorite sitter.

Source:  Yahoo! Parenting