Care.com Review 2022

Care.com logo

Care.com

8.0

Millennial Money rating

Bottom Line

Care.com has plenty of talent on the site for people looking for quality sitters. If you are in the process of looking for a regular sitter, I would recommend paying for a short-term membership, fervently interviewing candidates, and canceling once you find someone you like. There is no reason to continue to pay their fees once you find a good sitter.

Pros

  • Resources galore
  • User-friendly website
  • Access to a database of professionals
  • Free membership to get started

Cons

  • Little transparency regarding pricing
  • Premium membership needed for additional services

Care.com has been around for a while, and I’m sure many people have already heard of it. When Care.com was founded in 2006, people were just beginning to embrace the nature of side hustles. This was one of the first sites that worked to connect freelancers with clients. In this case, Care.com specifically connects caregivers with families.

When I began researching for this article, I was surprised by how many negative reviews existed for Care.com. Despite being rated an A+ business by the Better Business Bureau, Care.com has had over 700 closed complaints in the last several years. Plus, they were being touted as a scam by many disgruntled families and caregivers.

What is Care.com?

Care.com is an online marketplace that connects caregivers with families in need of their services.

Founded in North Waltham, Massachusetts, Care.com claims to be a one-stop shop for families and sitters and one of the largest resources of their kind. They state that they help millions of families across 17+ countries.

Caregivers can post their services, availability, and rates online and contact families they believe they can assist. Families can post any caregiving needs, whether it is on an ongoing basis or just a single date night. They can contact caregivers in their area that they believe would be a good fit.

While people typically associate Care.com with babysitters, they actually support a much larger category of caregivers. In addition to babysitters, Care.com connects people with nannies, tutors, senior care specialists, house-sitters, pet-sitters, and even people to help you run errands.

If you need help with your kids, pets, or housework, Care.com can connect you with someone who is up for the task.

Is Care.com Legit?

Care.com is a legitimate business, but that doesn’t mean that they are completely fair to all of its freelancers and families. These days, the word scam is thrown around so often that we forget what a true scam really is. To really understand if Care.com is for you, test it out with their free membership.

Care.com Memberships

Care.com offers two options for family memberships and two options for caregivers:

Family Basic Membership: FREE

For families, you can choose the basic membership, which is free. With the Basic Membership the site allows you to:

  • Set up a free account
  • Post a job
  • Search and view profiles of caregivers in your area
  • See profiles of caregivers that apply for your job listing
  • Send automated “No, thank you.” messages to caregivers who you do not wish to hire
  • Use of site tools and resources

Family Premium Membership: $12.99 – $38.99/month

The premium membership costs $38.99 for one month, $78 ($25.99/month) for three months, and $156 ($12.99/month) for twelve months.

With the Premium Membership, the site allows you to:

  • All features of the Basic Membership plus…
  • Ability to contact caregivers directly to schedule an interview
  • Request access to results of background checks
  • View and reply to applications and messages from caregivers
  • Ability to sign up for the Unlimited Background Checks add-on
  • Access to LifeMart Discount program
  • Access to a discount on HomePay tax services

Caregiver Basic Membership: FREE

For caregivers, you can choose the basic membership, which is free. With the Basic Membership the site allows you to:

  • Create your account and set up your profile
  • Customize your public profile
  • Search for and apply to caregiver jobs
  • Ability to respond to premium members searching for a caregivers
  • Get paid securely without any extra transaction fees
  • Use of site tools and resources

Caregiver Premium Membership: $10 – $20/month

The Caregiver premium membership costs $20/month for one month, $15/month for three months, and $10/month for six months.

With the Caregiver Premium Membership, the site allows you to:

  • Be featured in search results with a premium badge
  • Get priority job alerts
  • Send and receive messages with families and members
  • Waived annual screening fee
  • Access to LifeMart Discount Program

Free Membership vs. Premium Membership

Care.com leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to its free membership. For example, you can create a basic membership at no cost, which includes job posting, searching, and receiving applications from local caregivers. If you would like to respond to candidates or employers that reach out to you, you will need to pay for their premium membership.

All memberships run on a specified term basis, and you will continue to be charged until the end of your membership term, even if you cancel the services. Additionally, Care.com auto-renews your memberships without notifying you. This means that you are likely going to pay more than you would like for the services.

Additional Features

Every online marketplace is different in how they help you with your needs. Here are some of the unique features that Care.com offers.

Rate Calculators

If you are new to the caregiver scene, it can be hard to decide on an appropriate rate for your services. It can also be difficult to determine what to pay someone for services such as house sitting or dog walking.

Luckily, Care.com has several rate calculators that can help you find an appropriate rate based on services, experience, hours per week, and zip code. This ensures that you are not paying or charging an inappropriate amount for the work.

Helpful Blog

Care.com is unique because they have a dedicated team of parenting writers that cover all topics care-related. The blog is broken down into four different verticals:

  • Child Care
  • Senior Care
  • Home Care
  • Pet Care

Within each vertical, you are presented with an organized list of content, including guides, articles, and topics. Each vertical is also organized based on topics relevant to families seeking care and caregivers.

Whether discovering fun new babysitting games or learning how to become pet care certified, Care.com’s blog covers it all.

How Does Care.com Work?

Because Care.com caters to both caregivers and care seekers, there are two sides to the getting started experience.

I will explain below how Care.com works based on what you look to gain.

As a Caregiver

To sign up as a caregiver, you will select the “Find jobs” button on the homepage. They will then ask you what kinds of services you are providing. At this stage, you can only select one option. You can choose to add more services once you create your larger profile.

To get started, Care.com will request your name, address, and email address. You can select “Join now” once you provide this information.

There are no specific requirements to join Care.com. However, you should ensure that you are qualified for the position that you are advertising.

Care.com will ask you to list your experience and references for the position. You will also be prompted to provide any background checks, proofs of certification, and any related documents. Their customer care team will approve your paperwork to ensure that you are not uploading fake documents.

Finally, you can set your rates, and availability, and browse jobs in your area. For the most engagement with your profile, you should include a recent picture of yourself and any references from past employers to help get your side gig picking up traffic.

Best Side Hustles for 2022

If you're looking for how to get started earning cash on top your 9-5, you're in luck! We just published our completed guide "The Best Side Hustles for 2022". It features our top 23 side hustles that can earn anything from a little extra spending money to thousands of dollars per month! Just enter your e-mail below and we'll send you the full guide!

A valid email address is required
Unsubscribe at any time.

As a Care Seeker

To get started on finding a caregiver, you will select the button that reads “Find care.”

They will then ask if you need care for your kids, parents, pets, or home. Based on your selection, they will provide a list of potential services. For example, if you select kids, you can further specify if you need tutoring, a date night sitter, special needs care, or an after-school sitter.

They will also ask you if you are looking to hire ASAP, within the week, within the month, or just browsing.

Next, you will be asked about what you are looking for in an ideal caretaker. To continue with the babysitting example, the site would ask you about how many years of experience you would like your caregiver to have and about the age range of your children.

You can also specify if you would like someone who is CPR trained, college-educated, a non-smoker, and more.

After you make your selections, you will be asked to provide your zip code, name, and email. Once you create an account, you can begin browsing caregivers in your area. You may find that people begin to reach out to you, but you cannot reach back out with the basic membership.

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. Care.com has a very helpful safety resource page to help you learn how to choose the best candidate for your needs.

Care.com understands that it can be nerve-wracking to begin a working relationship with someone you meet on the internet. They provide both families and caregivers with guides on how to stay safe during the interviewing process. This includes what to look for in profiles, how to go about an initial meeting, and how to interpret a background check.

Additionally, their safety page includes frequently asked questions for both care seekers and caregivers. Each FAQ has a lengthy and informative response, which can help keep you from having to contact their customer care team.

Lastly, you can manage your cookie preferences from this page. This helps you manage what activity the site is tracking.

Customer Support

Care.com is pretty basic in its customer service offering. You can reach their team through an online chat portal, ticketed email service, or by phone at (877) 277-3115. You can reach their customer service team 24, 7.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Access to a database of professionals
  • User-friendly website
  • Resources galore

Cons:

  • Pay to play
  • Little transparency regarding pricing
  • Potential scammers within the marketplace

Alternatives to Care.com

Even though Care.com is the largest caregiver marketplace, it is certainly not monopolizing the space. Here are some other places you can advertise your services or look for a caregiver.

SitterCity.com

SitterCity.com understands that you need to filter through the bad babysitters to get to the good babysitters. They help you do this with their four-step screening process.

SitterCity.com recommends conducting an internal feedback system, an in-person interview, a reference check, and a background check with all potential candidates. They charge $15 for a background check, which is a better price than what Care.com offers. If a sitter has a background check available, you won’t have to pay the extra fee.

UrbanSitter.com

Remember back in the old days when you would ask your friends for a babysitter recommendation? After all, word of mouth is the best marketing. You can still get a reputable babysitter without stealing your friend’s night-out nanny through UrbanSitter.

UrbanSitter.com is a site that uses your social circle to connect you with caregivers that are recommended by people you know. You can sign up through either Facebook or LinkedIn, and the site generates a list of leads based on your network.

Best of all, the site doesn’t charge you to sign up, send messages, or book with a particular caregiver. This makes it a top choice for cost-effectiveness.

GreatAuPair.com

Au Pair is a term that you don’t often hear thrown around in the states. It’s basically a fancy way of saying live-in nanny, and you will often hear the term in Europe.

GreatAuPair.com is an American company that helps families find au pairs. They have been around since 2001, and they have successfully placed au pairs with families both nationally and internationally. Their team screens all potential au pairs so that you don’t have to worry about running background checks.

Overall, this is a great option for people that are needing all-encompassing care for their loved ones.

Is Care.com For You?

Care.com charges a hefty price tag for people who are looking for work and caregivers. Despite being the most popular platform, it is probably the least customer friendly in terms of pricing. Caregivers can get by with the basic version, but the paid version allows you to communicate with potential clients through the site.

Care.com does have plenty of talent on the site for people looking for quality sitters. If you are in the process of looking for a regular sitter, I would recommend paying for a short-term membership, fervently interviewing candidates, and canceling once you find someone you like. There is no reason to continue to pay their fees once you find a good sitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Read Comments

  • Comment Author image blank
    Oceanside
    This is actually more of a plea for Care.com to either DO BETTER or for some entrepreneur to design a new and better website. I'm willing to pay more for a better product. Caregivers and clients would both welcome it! Care.com fills a niche that allows those of us who require in-home caregivers to forego the middlemen agencies and their often exorbitant admin fees. The idea is that qualified and competent cgs demand higher hourly wages, and it's easier for us to pay them if we aren't shoveling money into admin fees. It's a good concept. Works better (at least in theory) than advertising on Craigslist (basically only criminals apply) or Indeed (be prepared to cough up $20+ PER DAY to advertise). I just wish there was a BETTER site for matching cgs and clients. I've been hiring cgs to help some relatives for four years now. In that span of time, I've learned a lot—mostly how difficult it is to find GOOD care for the elderly. No desire to go back to hiring from agencies, and some of our cgs have been with us for 3+ years now. In the last year and a half that I've used Care, I've only hired one individual from the site. That person is a good cg. But Care.com's website has some MAJOR technical flaws that are impossible to overlook. Just today, I discovered quite by accident (thanks to someone who responded to a job post) that Care had truncated my job listing. The listing has been on there for a couple days, and I had messaged a couple dozen cgs w/ the hacked off post. Now I understand why I had so few responses. Care took a detailed job posting and cut off EVERYTHING except the header and first sentence. ???!!! This is the kind of crap that they continually do. And it makes it HARDER to find good cgs, esp when the job poster does NOT know this is happening. And the cgs looking for jobs are not aware of that, either. I used my relatives' credit card to pay for the monthly fees, but told them I would find the cgs for them (they cannot do this for themselves, as many elderly ppl cannot). In the beginning, I had to call Care (not an easy task) to find out why I couldn't use MY name as the public display name and pay with someone else's credit card. The rep assured me I could. But that isn't true. Whatever payment method you use, THAT is the name that will be displayed publicly. So, I have to explain in every post that I am so-and-so's relative. It's a stupid way to set up a caregiver website. Also, Care limits the number of messages you can send in 24 hrs. Care, we're paying for the service—knock it off with the restrictions! Although I only EVER search for senior cgs, Care constantly switches the search category to nannies. ???!!! I have to remember to change it every time I do a search. Care will automatically randomly log you out when you are in the middle of searching, for no reason whatsoever, and then you have to log in again and start all over again and try to remember where you left off. The mileage radius search function does NOT work. I can put in 20 miles from my home, yet only get cgs within the small town where I live. I KNOW that there is another, larger town, with more cgs, only 10 miles away. Sometimes Care will let me search them—sometimes it won't. I can get the exact same cgs and # of listings with a 10 mile search radius as with a 20 mile radius. ???!!! So, Care, DO BETTER. Some of us are praying for a better competitor website. Entrepreneurs, Care.com has set the bar pretty low. Someone out there with the time and technical expertise CAN (and hopefully will!) produce a better product SOON.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Adele
    People are VERY cheap on this platform. Like, insultingly cheap. They would be charged $100+ per hour if they went through Town and Country staffing, so they prey on people who really need to work. Especially the snotty, well-off ladies in places like Burlingame, Hillsborough, Palo Alto, etc. Being an educated professional means *nothing* to these people. They all look down on you like you're a glorified nanny that they can attempt to offer just above minimum wage or less than what a cocktail waitress makes $20/$25. I've even seen $15 offered - $15 is MINIMUM WAGE in one of the most expensive places on earth!! Plus the company doesn't notify you when they're going to charge you a "reinstatement" fee or whatever. ***Avoid at all costs*** I don't get a good feeling about doing business with these people.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Anand
    Care.com is a money-grabbing scam I signed up for a membership on this site and was not able to find any providers in my area, so just let it go but they renewed it automatically and when I noticed the next day and asked to cancel the membership they were very harsh and did not do anything, they insisted that its Member managed service and members or responsible for everything .. money finance, back ground check of workers every thing they just charge money to maintain a website, there were many cases where bad people ended up in houses to provide services. Be careful they blame members for every thing.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Danielle
    Care.com’s revenue strategy relies simply on people forgetting to check for active subscriptions. They do not remind consumers that an annual charge will be automatically drafted, and charge consumers even if their services are not being used. They do not refund subscriptions even if the user has not logged into their account in a year. When their customer service team is contacted regarding refunds for unused services, they state “The automatically renewing nature of your subscription was clearly disclosed to you, both before and after your purchase.” This statement is referring to an email sent on the date of original signup, a year before the next charge will happen. It is unethical to charge consumers through automatic renewals without any prompting or providing interval reminders to manage their subscription near the date of charge and I cannot recommend this site as a Saas professional.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Langdon Hagen-Long
    Avoid this company. I signed up for a one time fee of $19.00. I wnted my house cleaned once, bcause I was just out of the hosptal. Care has been chargng me $39 a month for heir "premium serrvice". I only needed to use them once and only did use them once. I didnt notice the charge at first, because I was back in the hospital. But the third time I noticed. They refused to give me any credit at all. I explained that I never signed up for premium, but that didnt matter - they dont give refunds for any reason. I only needed a housekeeper once, to catch up. Why would I want premium service evry month? The robotic customer service person ws happy to "downgrade" me, as if that were bad thing, but wouldn't refund a penny. I wasnt impressed wih their compuer service, either. Their ste was silly. After a 10 minute wait on the phone for customer service, all I got was a woman who could only say we dont give refunds, but I'll be gappy to downgrade you for next month.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Heather
    For a paid membership, you get very little in return. In other words, what you pay for on Care is what you can find for free elsewhere. Caregivers are not held to ANY standards. Many are flaky and have outdated schedules or availablity information. The membership cost should require more of the potential caregivers Don't waste your money
  • Comment Author image blank
    Sarah Trieb
    Care.com has been throwing many ideas in advertising. Go threw their web.. one article saying that Republicans aren't carrying and Democrats are .. encouraging little boys to dress up like princesses.. I have closed my account out along with many..
  • Comment Author image blank
    Jan Stone
    My Aunt recommended Care.com. My mother-in law is 91 years old & terribly wants to find an in home salon to wash, cut & style her hair in the safety of her home. I asked her please don’t go to her Salon for a perm or cut. I have all her groceries delivered to her home.. Please contact me with details of your home salon Services.
  • Comment Author image blank
    Ryan
    I've had experience in finding a baby sitter for our 1 and 3 year old with Care.com. The service itself (from our perspective) was great, it just took a while to find exactly the right person we needed. It's the same with any freelancer marketplace type of service in my opinion. If you've ever hired freelancers through UpWork for example, it's quite similar. You have to put in the time to interview and find the right individual.