For many parents, the dreaded task of tracking down a good babysitter is almost daunting enough to stop them going out.
Someone with experience who's fun enough to want to to play with the kids but stern enough to get them to bed on time, doesn't charge too much and can cook a dinner catering to various allergies and dietary restrictions? Not easy.
But if you do manage to find that magical human, exactly how much should you be paying them?
Determining a babysitting cost that's fair on everyone can be tough to navigate.
Luckily the experts at Babysits NZ have conducted a nationwide survey to see exactly where each city stacks up in terms of average cost, as well as a handy infographic to help you figure out how much you should be charging.
Babysitting costs around New Zealand
According to the survey, the average babysitting rate in New Zealand is $17.56 an hour. Smaller cities like Palmerston North come in a little lower at $16.90 an hour, and Invercargill comes in the lowest at $16.87.
The most expensive? Unsurprisingly, notoriously pricey Queenstown takes out the top spot, with an average of $18.49 an hour.
What about around the major cities?
Childcare costs in Auckland are slightly above the average childcare costs across Aotearoa. Specifically, the average babysitting rate in Auckland is $17.95 per hour, around 40 cents per hour higher than the national average.
Babysitters in Wellington are paid slightly less than those in Auckland - the average babysitting rate in the capital is $17.69.
In the Garden City, the average babysitting hourly rate is $17.23, which is 23 cents below the national average.
How much should I pay my babysitter?
Even though the median rate is about $17.56, there are a lot of factors that can lead to you paying your babysitter more or less. It can get confusing, so Babysits has put together a handy infographic advising how to establish a rate for your babysitting.
Firstly, determine the minimum wage based on the age. In New Zealand, the minimum wage is $15.12 for starting-out workers or training workers and $18.90 for adult workers.
Then for each extra factor like knowledge, experience or extra responsibility, Babysits recommends you add an extra 50 cents or so to the hourly rate.
These can include household chores like vacuuming, cooking or tidying, helping with homework or performing pickup and drop off to after school practices or lessons.
Having pets the babysitter is responsible for can also accrue an extra charge.
If it's all a bit much, remember that other parents around the world have it tougher than ours.
While New Zealand is more expensive than the global average of NZ$13.70, in Australia a babysitter charges an average of NZ$21.18 per hour, while in Denmark this is slightly higher at NZ$23.17 per hour.
The highest hourly rates are given to the Swiss babysitters, who earn an average of NZ$28.30 an hour.