Care.com has become synonymous with babysitting in the digital age. Whether you’re a parent who needs a trustworthy care provider or a sitter hoping to make a part-time or even full-time living watching little ones, it’s a great tool that has changed the childcare game.
The site offers a lot of great features, so naturally, there are a lot of questions that pop up for parents and sitters alike when it comes to all it has to offer. Our detailed review offers you all of the information you need to know about working as or finding a local babysitter on Care.com.
Can you use Care.com for free?
Both babysitters and parents can use Care.com’s free membership, but it only provides limited access to the site’s features. Most users recommend that moms and dads looking for childcare providers as well as sitters looking for customers sign up for Care.com’s premium membership.
How much does Care.com cost?
Along with its free version, Care.com has a premium membership option for babysitters and parents. Although you can become a babysitter or hire help to watch your children using the free features of the site, most reviewers say it’s worth it to get the upgraded membership, which costs between $13 and $39 per month, depending on the number of months you sign up for:
- 1-year membership: $13 per month
- 3-month membership: $26 per month
- 1-month membership: $39
Parents who have an upgraded membership will be able to see more information about the babysitters they’re considering hiring, including additional profile details, user reviews, professional references, and background check information; for an additional fee, parents may also request a comprehensive screening of candidates they’re interested in working with. They’ll also be able to fully communicate with sitters, since the free version only allows them to see partial messages from caregivers.
Childcare providers who sign up for a premium membership also benefit from simplified communication with clients. Another perk is having their information promoted by the site, so their profile will appear in the first results of a matching search. Babysitters with premium memberships can also sign up for credits that help them stand out in job postings they’re interested in. Sitters who use credits to apply for a position will be only one of five applicants the family in search of services sees. Credits are optional, and the more a sitter purchases, the better deal they receive on them:
- 10 credits: $9
- 25 credits: $19
- 50 credits: $29
Does Care.com have any hidden fees?
Care.com doesn’t have any hidden fees for sitters or families looking for childcare. However, it’s important to note that if you sign up for a premium membership, your subscription will renew automatically as soon as it expires. Care.com is transparent in their pricing, and this policy is laid out in the terms of service all users agree to, but some reviewers reported they didn’t read these contracts closely enough and were surprised by their auto-renewal.
Is Care.com safe and secure?
Care.com is a safe, secure, and trustworthy site and overall business. It’s been providing services to families since 2006, and currently has over 35 million members — about 14.6 million caregivers and 20.6 million care seekers — and counting in over 20 countries.
The site runs basic background checks on all of its babysitters, and many choose to undergo complete background checks to make themselves stand out even more to care seekers. Parents who are interested in working with a sitter who doesn’t have a comprehensive background check can request one for an additional fee. As another protective measure, the site only uses secure payment and messaging systems, and users’ personal information isn’t shared without authorization.
Of course, all users should take steps to be cautious when working with others in Care.com’s network. For example, parents may want to only consider babysitter applicants who have completed in-depth background checks, and both parties are advised to have a meet-and-greet in a public space before sitting services and payments are rendered.
What kind of background check does Care.com do?
One of the top questions parents have when seeking out care for their kids is, “Is it safe to book a babysitter online?” Care.com has taken steps to help ensure the answer is a resounding yes, including updating its basic background check policy in July 2019. It now includes searches that focus on:
- A babysitter’s Social Security Number (SSN)
- The National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW)
- Multi-jurisdictional criminal database records
- Federal and county criminal records
Any caregivers that signed up after the launch of this update are subject to this new policy, called CareCheck. Those who signed up before its rollout will have all of these background checks completed as quickly as possible, but Care.com is still working on ensuring all of these long-term users have passed its new background check requirements.
In addition to the basic background check, babysitters can purchase comprehensive screenings that will be made available to prospective clients. Parents searching for childcare can also request to perform a complete background check on a babysitter or nanny they’re considering hiring who didn’t already provide one. Care.com provides options for:
- Motor vehicle records checks, which the site explains normally includes “status of the operator’s driving privileges, restrictions, expiration date, license type and class, endorsements, suspensions, revocations, violations, accidents, and DUIs.”
- Investigative criminal checks, which provide information on former names and aliases, bankruptcies, restraining orders, and warrants for arrest.
How do I get hired on Care.com?
If you want to find a babysitter job online with Care.com, reviewers recommend these tips:
- Use a profile photo. Parents like to be able to put a name with a face when choosing a caregiver for their child, especially one with a warm, friendly smile.
- Keep your profile updated. Taking the time to keep your profile updated and ensure it has all of the key details parents want to know about potential sitters shows you’re serious about earning babysitting jobs. Don’t forget to include details about your experience and any extra work you’re willing to help out with; many people are looking for a babysitter for an infant, a babysitter for a special needs child, or even a babysitter or nanny who cooks, cleans, or does other housework.
- Get a complete background check. Especially if you’re looking for a long-term babysitter, nanny care, or daycare gig, making this information readily available to potential employers will help put you at the top of their candidates list.
- Make yourself available. The more open your hours, the likelier you are to start receiving job offers. However, be sure you can commit to working any hours you list being available. Canceling on a babysitting client at the last minute is a quick way to earn a bad review, which can affect future work.
- Market yourself. Sharing your Care.com babysitting profile on your social media pages (including Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn) will help spread the word about your services and make it easy for your friends and family to share it with their own networks.
- Ask for reviews. Your babysitting clients will be happy to write about the great experience they had working with you, and the more reviews you have, the more likely you are to turn up in a search for local caregivers like you.
How do I find a babysitter on Care.com?
- Head over to Care.com, and choose the option that says you’re looking for care.
- Select “my kids” when you’re taken to the “Who is going to need care?” page.
- Specify the kind of care you’re looking for, such as a specialized caregiver or someone who can drop by a few times a month so you and your partner can enjoy a date night.
- Indicate when you need a caregiver.
- Create an account by adding information like your name and phone number, and if you’d like, enter in details about your family and routine.
- Select what kind of babysitter you’re looking for.
- Add any other specifics you want to be applied to your search, such as experience with pets and preferred form of payment.
- Click on the profiles of anyone who seems like a good match for you and your children.
- Do some research into the background and experience of your potential candidates, and set up interviews accordingly.
- Once your interview is complete, set up a meet-and-greet with your kids, and if the chemistry is right, you can formally hire your new babysitter with confidence.
For detailed, step-by-step instructions, check out our guide on how to find a babysitter on Care.com.
Does Care.com have an app?
Care.com’s app is free to download in the App Store for iOs devices and in the Google Play store for Android devices. Users can access their free or premium accounts, and they can connect with other users, post or search job listings, and book services all within the app. There are also in-app purchase options for membership upgrades, caregiver credits, and background checks.
Is Care.com a good company to work for?
Most babysitters leave rave reviews about working for Care.com, thanks to its safety features, reasonable price structure, and ease of connecting with clients. Remember, though, that while Care.com is a great company to work for, every sitter’s experience has a lot to do with how much effort they put into finding jobs and keeping their customers happy. If you take the time to keep your profile up to date, promote your services, and give your kiddie clientele a great experience, you can find a lot of success as a babysitter with Care.com!
Should I sign up for Care.com?
Whether you’re a babysitter looking for work or a parent in need of a caregiver for your children, signing up with Care.com can make your life easier and more fun! No matter which side of the website you use, make sure you are honest and keep safety in mind when connecting with other members.