Care.com offers a platform for caregivers and care seekers to search for the right match. It’s like TaskRabbit or Upwork, but for babysitting, senior care, tutoring, or pet care. It seems like a great solution for families to find reliable caregiving and for caregivers to find extra work. Is Care.com legit?
What Is Care.com?
Care.com was founded in 2006, way before any other side hustle websites existed. These days they state that they help millions of families across 17+ countries. If you’re looking for care you can post an ad or contact some of the caregivers in your area.
Care.com connects people with nannies, tutors, senior care specialists, house-sitters, pet-sitters, and even people to help you run errands. Care.com is a totally legitimate business and not a scam, but that doesn’t mean that they are fantastic. If you book at the reviews from BBB (Better Business Bureau) their ratings are 1.04/5 based on almost 500 reviews.
Why is that?
Care.com offers two options for family memberships and two options for caregivers. For families looking to hire, you can opt for basic membership, which is free. With free membership you can post a job ad, search for people in your area and use the resources.
If you would like to respond to candidates or employers that reach out to you, you will need to pay for their premium membership, which basically makes everyone get a paid membership. Family Premium Membership costs between $12.99 – $38.99 a month.
If you’re a caregiver you technically can have a free membership, but that way you can only respond to premium family accounts. The Caregiver premium membership costs $20/month for one month, $15/month for three months, and $10/month for six months and you get a priority in search and can respond to anyone’s messages.
Care.com auto-renews your memberships without notifying you, so you need to make sure to cancel it if you’re done using it.
Is Care.Com Safe?
When it comes to security on Care.com, the main concern is making sure you are letting someone trustworthy into your life – that goes for both families and caregivers. Most caregivers are verified through background checks, but they also provide both families and caregivers with guides on how to stay safe, but families are naturally not.
Personal Experience with Care.com
I’ve used Care.com on several occasions as we were desperate for a babysitter in between daycares. We signed up, got a membership, and quickly encountered lots of caregivers with many reviews, so naturally, we were hopeful.
The first babysitter never replied to any messages. She might have had an unpaid account or stopped using the website.
The second babysitter kept replying, did a phone interview with us and we even agreed to a pretty high hourly rate, as she claimed she had a ton of experience. But, she never showed up for the first day of work.
The third, fourth, and fifth people we contacted sounded fantastic and interested, and both canceled 5 minutes before showing up for their first day and gave a very lame excuse. And when finally the sixth person showed up we thought “finally!”, but it quickly turned out that despite many reviews and experience working with children (supposedly) she had no idea how to even put a diaper on the baby.
We tried again in a different area and the experience was pretty similar. The overall feeling I had was that person just wasn’t serious about the job…
Honestly, I had more luck finding a babysitter in local Facebook groups than Care.com and as you can imagine, that’s totally free.
Alternatives To Care.com
There are various alternatives to Care.com that based on my experience work better. Facebook groups is great when it comes to finding babysitters or smaller in-home daycares. We moved a lot and every area has groups – just search for “babysitters”, “nannies” in Your Area.
Alternatively, SitterCity is another website offering childcare providers, but it’s not as reliable as local facebook groups.
For pet sitting the best and most reliable website is Rover. It’s very straightforward to become a sitter and easy to hire someone to take care of your pets. We’ve used them in many places and not once had an issue.