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The Best Babysitter Agencies

Where is the Best Place to Find a Babysitter for Your Children?

Finding a trustworthy babysitter can be a daunting task, especially if you're a parent with a busy schedule, or you're in a new town where you don't know who to ask for a recommendation. Fortunately, the digital age has made it easier than ever to connect with reliable caregivers through babysitting agency websites.

Online babysitter platforms offer a range of features and benefits that can simplify your search for the perfect babysitter. These websites provide a convenient way to find childcare services at your fingertips. You can browse profiles and contact potential babysitters from the comfort of your home. This eliminates the need for time-consuming interviews, begging for referrals in community Facebook groups, or searching through classified ads, making the process far more efficient.

Friday, March 1st

2024 Babysitter Agency Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Sittercity Review 5 Star Rating

Sittercity

5 Star Rating
  • Can hire both babysitters and nannies
  • Covers 95% of US neighborhoods
  • Babysitters are identity-authenticated and screened on offender databases
  • Full background checks available for a fee
  • Can browse babysitter profiles with a free account
  • Premium plan required to message and book sitters
  • Premium prices range from $15 to $39/month, depending on subscription length
  • Activity-based babysitters available
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Sittercity, established in 2001, is a versatile caregiver service offering support for children, seniors, people with special needs, and even furry friends. Sittercity's unwavering commitment to trust and safety sets them apart, offering an array of features such as detailed caregiver profiles, candidate ratings, interview scheduling, secure messaging, background check options, scam prevention measures, and sex offender database screenings. This makes Sittercity an excellent choice for finding reliable and secure babysitters.

Good for finding both babysitters and nannies

Sittercity specializes in helping families connect with babysitters and nannies. According to their distinction, a babysitter is a local caregiver who provides temporary childcare to accommodate a family's schedule, suitable for last-minute appointments, date nights, or occasional special occasions. Conversely, a nanny is typically employed on a long-term basis and may live with the family, working full-time, part-time, or overnight, depending on the family's specific needs.

Create an account to browse

Unlike some babysitting agencies that let you browse just by entering a zip code, Sittercity requires prospective clients to create an account. That may feel like an unnecessary hoop to jump through, but it's part of the company's commitment to trust and safety - for families and babysitters alike.

A job listing is required

Once you've done that, you can tell Sittercity if you need a regular babysitter (for before/after school, driving to activities, etc.), occasional babysitter, one-time sitter (for an event or backup), or a nanny (usually 2-5 full weekdays). You'll also indicate when you're thinking of setting up your first appointment and if that start date is flexible, the ages of the children in the family, and any special requirements or responsibilities. All of this goes into creating a job listing for your babysitting needs (which we're not huge fans of - not everyone wants to post a job right off the bat).

Best Babysitter Agencies

Can browse without a paid plan

The next page shows you Sittercity's pricing for Premium membership: $39 for a month-to-month subscription, $29/month for a three-month plan, and $15/month for a full year. You'll need that to message babysitters, request interviews, or book unique activities already planned and advertised by caregivers (which is a new feature since our previous review). Sittercity doesn't make it obvious, but you can scroll way down the page to where it says "Not ready to find care yet?" and click the "Upgrade Later" button to (finally) get to browsing babysitter profiles in your area.

Some screening is done for you

All babysitters on Sittercity have had their identity authenticated using their legal ID and a live selfie. They're also screened through Family Watchdog to make sure they're not on a sex offender database. Beyond that, clients can pay for additional background checks; if a sitter has already undergone that process recently, you'll see a badge on their profile under the "Trust and Safety" section. From there, it's up to you to screen your babysitters: only hire someone if you feel comfortable with them, and maybe take the extra step to check references, verify certifications, and so forth, because Sittercity doesn't do that part for you.

Lots of info to consider

When you're browsing profiles, it's easy to see how much experience each babysitter has, how many people have left reviews, and even their last login to the site. That's a great way to make sure you're connecting with people who are actually available (since many top-notch babysitters we spotted had reviews, but they weren't super-current: not every client takes the time to leave a rating, after all).

Best Babysitter Agencies

Over 40,000 five-star ratings

One of our biggest reasons for putting Sittercity at the top of our list is its reputation. There's no one babysitting agency that gets flawless grades from everyone - there's always someone who had a bad experience with a particular caregiver (or family), or had something glitchy with membership cancellation, no matter where you look - but this platform is "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB, with just five complaints filed there in the last year. Better than that, when you look at feedback from iOS users of the Sittercity app, it averages an impressive 4.7 stars out of 5 across nearly 50,000 ratings.

Activity-based babysitting is a huge advantage here

We also give Sittercity props for its new activity-based care options. Maybe you've got older kids who think they're too old for a babysitter. Why not sign them up for a Dungeons & Dragons Adventure (one of the options we spotted in our location)? Not only do you get the childcare you need, but your not-so-little one will have a blast at the same time, with his or her very own game master. What's available in your area will vary, from arts and crafts time to full-on Disney outings, but it's a perk we haven't seen with any other babysitting agency.

Still the #1 choice among babysitting agencies

Sittercity gets our strongest recommendation among babysitting platforms today. You'll have no trouble finding a caregiver near you, and you're likely to have a great experience. Plus, with activity-based babysitting options on the menu, your kids may be begging you to go out more often while they have fun too. Be sure to check out Sittercity the next time you need babysitting.

Bambino Review 4.5 Star Rating

Bambino

4.5 Star Rating
  • App-based babysitter platform
  • Uses social networking to connect with trusted babysitters in your community
  • All sitters and families go through a multi-part vetting process including ID verification
  • No membership fees
  • $4.95 sitting fee for each appointment
  • Parent Premium membership (less than $9/month) is optional and comes with perks like no sitting fees
  • Over 20,000 five-star reviews
  • In business since 2016

Bambino, founded in 2016, emerged from a family's realization that it's increasingly challenging for neighbors to connect and identify local babysitters. They aimed to bridge this gap and make it easier for families to find, book, and pay sitters through the Bambino app, which utilizes the power of connections you already have to find babysitters your friends and acquaintances already know and trust.

Strictly app-based babysitting platform

Just to be clear, you can only use Bambino as a babysitting agency if you download the app. It's free, of course, but there's no desktop or browser option to use the service. Once you've got the app, here's what the process looks like:

  1. Account Setup: Begin by logging into the Bambino App using your cell phone number. A 6-digit verification code will be sent to you via text to confirm your account.
  2. Connect with Facebook: Enhance your experience by connecting your Facebook account to your Bambino profile. This allows you to see babysitters who have been used and recommended by your friends and neighbors.
  3. Browse and Select Sitters: Explore several babysitter profiles that catch your eye. Each profile includes essential details like the sitter's photo, bio, recommendations, experience level, hourly rate, age, and qualifications. Bambino will then text your selected sitters to check their availability.
  4. Booking: Once the sitters confirm their availability, you can conveniently book them directly through the app.
  5. Payment and Review: When your babysitting session concludes, the app handles the payment process, and you can also leave a review to assist other parents in your community.

No membership required

Wondering what this costs? Amazingly, there are no membership fees required to use the Bambino app. You will be charged a $4.95 sitting fee for every appointment, but that's it. Use the service as much or as little as you like, with no worries about pesky recurring subscriptions that you might forget to cancel.

Best Babysitter Agencies

Premium membership

That being said, Bambino offers a Parent Premium membership; for less than $9/month, you get same-day bookings, unlimited chat prior to booking, extended access (booking your favorite sitters up to 12 weeks in advance), recurring requests for scheduling 3 appointments at once, and either no sitting fees or a 10% discount (that varies based on where you live). If you plan on using Bambino more than once a month, that Premium membership will more than pay for itself.

Families and babysitters are vetted

We appreciate how seriously Bambino takes the safety of its families and babysitters. Everyone on the platform has to have phone number and carrier validation, ID validation (via government-issued ID or SSN), and Family Watchdog sex offender background checks. Every sitter has to receive a recommendation from a community member to have their profile activated, and for those who are 18+ and want the Elite Sitter designation, they undergo state and federal background checks plus a strict qualification process.

Glowing praise from thousands of happy sitters and families

With a near-perfect 4.9-star rating from over 21,000 users on the Apple app store (as well as a 4.5/1000+ reviews on Google Play) and a plethora of positive online reviews from satisfied families, Bambino has earned its reputation as a reliable choice for finding babysitters. While they may not have a Better Business Bureau profile, the overwhelming recommendations speak volumes.

Best app-based option for hiring a trusted babysitter

If the idea of using an app to find a babysitter initially raises some eyebrows, fear not. Once you become familiar with the app's user-friendly platform and discover how easy it is to access all the information you need to find a trustworthy babysitter, you'll likely wind up wondering how you ever lived without Bambino. We wholeheartedly recommend downloading the Bambino app to explore babysitters in your vicinity - it's a game-changer for parents seeking reliable childcare.

Urban Sitter Review 4 Star Rating

Urban Sitter

4 Star Rating
  • All babysitters are background checked and reviewed by the Trust and Safety team
  • View detailed information, including client reviews and number of repeat families
  • Over 1 million caregivers in their database
  • Available in 60+ cities
  • Good for last-minute childcare
  • In business since 2011
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB

If you've been exploring options for finding reliable babysitters, you might have come across UrbanSitter, a platform that has been discussed by reputable sources like Forbes, CBS Working Mother, Business Insider, Parents, CNN, Mashable, and The Wall Street Journal.

Over 1 million caregivers

Established in 2011, UrbanSitter set out to simplify the process of finding a babysitter by streamlining the steps involved in browsing potential candidates, aligning schedules, and handling payments. With a network of over a million caregivers, including babysitters and nannies, available in more than 60 cities, UrbanSitter aims to make your childcare search easier.

No-hassle browsing

Here's how UrbanSitter operates, and it's somewhat similar to many of its competitors. You can create a profile at no cost; we were pleased to see just how quickly that process goes, because they don't ask you a ton of questions before letting you browse babysitters in your area. The results list can easily be filtered by any criteria you find important, like rates for more than one child, rate per hour, teaching skills, and so on.

Filter your results

And, once you've got your results list, that too can be sorted to show you best matches first, by hourly rate or distance, or even most reviews from families. In our mid-range metro area, we found over 100 babysitters near us, many of whom had at least a handful of reviews from other families. It's easy to see at a glance what the babysitter's hourly rate is, how far they are, the date they passed their background check, and if they have a low cancellation rate.

Best Babysitter Agencies

Helpful to see the number of repeat families

Clicking on a profile gives you an even greater wealth of details, like their introduction, their calendar for bookings, hourly rates, and much more. Our favorite part is seeing how many repeat families they have: what better indicator of success is there? In our area, we found a babysitter with almost two dozen repeat families included in her 27 five-star reviews.

Post a job listing if you want

Or, as a family seeking childcare, you can post a job description for free, outlining your specific childcare needs and availability. Once your job is posted or you've selected a babysitter, you can conveniently schedule jobs and interviews on-demand. Be aware that as a family, you too will have to undergo an identity verification before you can book a babysitter.

Subscription required to continue

After you've been contacted by or selected a babysitter, which can sometimes happen within as little as two minutes (making this an excellent option for those last-minute "oh no" moments), you'll need to subscribe to continue your conversations and make bookings. For month-to-month access to UrbanSitter, the cost is $34.95. If you anticipate needing to use the service longer-term, you can choose a quarterly plan at $64.95 or an annual plan for $124.95. Memberships renew automatically and can be canceled at any time, but you should be aware that some families have reported issues with the cancellation process, citing recurring charges even after attempting to end their membership.

Pay online or in person, your choice

The UrbanSitter platform provides you with reminders and contact information for the babysitters you've chosen to book. Finally, when the job is completed, you'll receive a notification detailing the hours, rate, and total amount due, allowing you to make a secure payment directly with your credit card if you decide not to pay your sitter directly/in person.

Best Babysitter Agencies

Babysitters take home 100%

In addition to the fees associated with using the website, you'll need to consider the cost of hiring individual babysitters. Rates typically range from $15 to $20 per hour for one child, and babysitters and nannies receive 100% of their earnings when they work for you.

Major improvements in recent years

UrbanSitter's reputation has improved by leaps and bounds since our previous reputation, demonstrated by its meteoric rise from an "F" to an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. On the app stores, UrbanSitter comes in with a 4.8 average across more than 13,000 ratings (from both caregivers and clients); users reporting in via the Google Play store are slightly less enthusiastic but still positive overall, with a 3.4-star average spanning 1,800+ votes. Any complaints tend to center around automatic billing (which you can easily avoid by setting a reminder in your own calendar to go in and cancel when you want) or sitters who canceled last-minute (which you can also try to prevent by choosing UrbanSitter caregivers with the "low cancellation rate" badge).

Definitely worth checking out

If you need childcare in one of the 60+ areas that UrbanSitter serves, give them a try. Whether you need a regular babysitter for nights out or you're going to Disney and would like a break for an adults-only experience in the parks, UrbanSitter has become a babysitting agency we can recommend.

Jovie Review 3.5 Star Rating

Jovie

3.5 Star Rating
  • Babysitting agency with franchise locations in 30+ states
  • Wide range of childcare, from on-demand babysitting to full-time nannies
  • All babysitters undergo a local/state/federal background check
  • Caregivers receive ongoing training
  • Can take up to a week to be matched with a sitter
  • Requires a meeting with your local Jovie franchise to get started
  • Set-up fee plus hourly rate paid directly to Jovie
  • In business since 2001

Jovie, rebranded from College Nannies and Sitters in 2022 and a subsidiary of Bright Horizons, is truly a babysitting agency. They hire caregivers as their own employees (which means they may actually get benefits) and then match them with families like yours. Whether you need on-demand help, part-time care, or even a full-time nanny, Jovie will find the right fit for you.

Not available nationwide

Before you get too far down the track with Jovie, you should know that they don't offer their services in all 50 states. The company operates through a franchise model, which means that local franchisees independently manage their operations in different regions. This allows them to cater to the specific needs of their communities. At the time of this evaluation, there were about 30 states (plus Washington DC) where this babysitting agency could connect you with childcare; notable exclusions were Utah, Maine, North Carolina, and Louisiana, among others. We recommend that you scroll down to the bottom of the main page to enter your zip code, even before you start filling out the form about your childcare needs.

Answer some initial questions to get started...

Once you've determined that Jovie is offered where you live, you'll get started by answering a few questions: the kind of help you need (after school, summer, occasional babysitter), how soon you need childcare (from ASAP to "within months" ), and your basic contact info. Pretty basic, right?

Best Babysitter Agencies

...and now you wait

But, from there, you'll have to wait: there's no browsing of potential babysitters or even getting a preview of what you might pay, because the next step is having a Jovie team member reach out to you. As you might have already guessed, your experience from that point forward will completely depend on the Jovie franchise in your area, both with respect to what you'll pay and to the sitters on the roster.

Jovie does most of the heavy lifting

However, regardless of where you live, you can expect a few things to take place. First, you'll have a meeting (either in person or over the phone) with a rep from the Jovie franchise in your area. Once that's done, you'll be able to download the MySitters app and start scheduling. Any sitter you see on Jovie's app will have passed a thorough background check that looks for criminal records at the county, state, and federal levels. And, Jovie trains their babysitters at the beginning and throughout their employment with the franchise, including topics like child safety and age-appropriate fun. Finally, all payment is done through Jovie - mostly because Jovie hires babysitters as their own employees, so they take care of payroll, taxes, insurance, and any other benefits they choose to offer their caregivers.

More expensive than most

We know what you're thinking: "Sounds expensive... " You are probably correct. Again, what you pay will depend on what your local area charges, but we did a little digging to give you at least a ballpark. We found that in one Colorado area, the hourly rate charged to families varies from $28 to $40, with a 4-hour minimum charge per babysitting appointment. And, in every Jovie franchise, there's a one-time setup fee for new families, but we didn't find anyone revealing what that amount could look like. You'll find out the specifics in your area with your consultation, but at least now you have a bit of a heads-up.

Best Babysitter Agencies

Reputation depends solely on your local Jovie office

All of this can make Jovie's reputation tricky to summarize, with so much depending on how the local franchise operates. We've found families who rave about their Jovie babysitters and how easy it is to work with them and with the company, but also those who say that their sitters were often double-booked (which would be the franchise's fault) or that their concerns weren't appropriately addressed. The same goes for how babysitters and nannies feel about working for Jovie: some say that the experience has been fantastic and their supervisors genuinely care about them, and others complain about how they barely make minimum wage even though Jovie is charging families a lot more than that.

Do your homework first

Overall, we like the idea of Jovie: fully-vetted and trained babysitters, bookable through an app, and plenty of oversight if support is needed. That's a big step up compared with websites that just let people sign up as caregivers (and families) and do nothing to help ensure that things go smoothly. But, because it's not currently available in all 50 states and your experience is so dependent on the quality of your local franchise, we can't quite put Jovie at the top of our list of babysitting agencies. We recommend that you see if there's a franchise in your area by entering your zip code on the main website, and then do your own sleuthing to see how that location is doing reputation-wise.

Nanny Lane Review 2.5 Star Rating

Nanny Lane

2.5 Star Rating
  • Over 10,000 babysitters in the US
  • Free for basic account
  • $55/month for PLUS membership
  • Subscriber benefits include 5 background checks, payroll service, and more
  • Parent company CareGuide is "A-" rated by the BBB

Nanny Lane is one of two babysitting agencies on our list that are part of the CareGuide group, a platform that connects people with services across the spectrum - not just babysitters and nannies but also handymen, petsitters, and much more. This babysitting referral platform advertises that they have more than 10,000 available sitters in the US alone.

An account is required to browse babysitter profiles

Unfortunately, there's no ability to browse the profiles of sitters near you without first creating an account on Nanny Lane. You'll start by indicating that you're a parent (and not a nanny, which is how they refer to all caregivers on the site) and then if you're willing to share your nanny. We figure that's what most people looking for a babysitter will need to choose, since they're not looking for full-time help. From there, you'll have to sign up for an account. That means you'll have to verify your phone number with a code; we appreciate that it's for safety purposes, but we don't like the possibility of opening ourselves up to spam texts either. Once you've taken that step, you'll have to set up the rest of your profile: the age of your child(ren), roughly how many hours per week (there's no setting for one-off date nights here, though you could work that out later), and your hourly rate.

Big push for $55/month package

Next, you'll be heavily encouraged to sign up for Nanny Lane's PLUS package. It gives you personal hiring assistance, five enhanced background checks, a contract builder, payroll service, the ability to track and interview top candidates, have your client profile featured, and eliminate ads. Doesn't that sound awfully complicated just to find a babysitter? It's clear that Nanny Lane is, as the name conveys, primarily a service for getting regular childcare and not just an occasional babysitter (despite using the word "babysitter" on the website). You'll pay $55/month for this membership, and it auto-renews until you cancel.

Lots of babysitters in most areas

You can also click on "I'll find a nanny myself" to skip the subscription. That takes you to your dashboard, where you can (finally) indicate that no, you don't need live-in care. You can also click yes or no to meal prep, light housekeeping, if your child has special needs, if your caregiver should have a driver's license, and so on. Those can be skipped at will. You can also jump right to the filters to sort the results in your area by qualifications, price range, location, fluent languages, and several more. Without the filters, in our metro area we were matched with over 3500 profiles within 32 miles of our address. That dropped to 600 when we set the filter for part-time, since we were only looking for a babysitter.

Best Babysitter Agencies

Background checks available for a fee

Nanny Lane doesn't give you the ability to see your matches in any particular order. It would be helpful to sort them by distance (near to far), experience, or hourly rate, but families are left to sift through that on their own. The good part is that you can run a background check on any provider once you've made an offer: that's a big plus over the other CareGuide service in our review. However, Nanny Lane stops short of spelling out what it'll cost when you only have a free account.

Lacking in support

You also won't get much support from Nanny Lane, outside of their PLUS services. The only options for contacting the company are an online Help Center, where you can submit a support ticket, or an email address just for payroll inquiries. That's a problem, because when we look beyond the glowing testimonials on the babysitter website itself and consider outside feedback, there are quite a few complaints stemming from not being able to get help, having significant issues with the paid services (like payroll and taxes), and generally being unhappy with what they got here.

Not a good fit for once-in-a-while babysitting

At the end of the day, it's not enough for Nanny Lane's parent company to have an "A-" rating from the Better Business Bureau. This site definitely doesn't make it easy to find a here-and-there caregiver with its focus on nannies (even though they claim they offer connections with babysitters). And, even for those who do want longer-term childcare, the service doesn't have a great track record for customer support. Nanny Lane is better than its sister site, but not good enough to earn our recommendation - especially for anyone who just wants a reliable babysitter.

Sitter Review 2 Star Rating

Sitter

2 Star Rating
  • Free for a Basic account (limited to three messages)
  • Premium membership costs $68/month
  • Discounted rates with 3- and 12-month subscriptions
  • Parent company CareGuide is "A-" rated by the BBB
  • In business since 2013

Sitter is one of two services on our list who are under the umbrella of CareGuide, a group of companies that offer connections to a wide range of services beyond just babysitters. Through the various CareGuide platforms, you can discover professionals in various fields, including chefs, roofers, tutors, senior care providers, and much more. The Sitter platform itself was one of the original services offered.

Some contact info required to start

Despite being an OG in the online babysitting referral industry, Sitter isn't our favorite option. We don't love that to even browse available sitters in our area, we had to give Sitter our contact information (email and phone). The only upside is that once you've done that, you can click "I'll do this later" to skip all of the checkboxes about what type of care you're seeking, children's age ranges, and so on (and, if you're like us, you're going to wonder if you should check "nanny" or "daycare" when searching for a babysitter... because neither one is exactly right).

You'll have to create a job listing before you can browse

Even so, the next page jumps you right into creating a job listing and signing up for a membership. Sitter's Premium plan charges $68 for one month, $135 for three months, and $270 for 12 months - but remember, all of that is before they even show you who might be available in your area. Pay attention, because your Sitter subscription will automatically renew until you cancel within your account. You can also opt for the Basic limited plan, which lets you send and receive up to three messages per conversation: just enough to make the initial contact, but probably not enough to determine if you want to hire that particular babysitter.

Best Babysitter Agencies

No filters to make browsing easier

Fortunately, that Basic account is how you can (finally) start viewing babysitter profiles in your area. Sitter will handpick a few for you, or you can skip that step and browse freely on your own. That quickly gets overwhelming due to Sitter's lack of filters (or even the ability to reorder the list from closest to farthest away).

Good info on each babysitter

We were pleasantly surprised to find a decent amount of information once we clicked on a sitter's profile. It was no problem to find out how recently they had logged on to the site (though if we're being honest, we're not sure that so many babysitters are signing on as regularly as the site displays), what they charged as an hourly rate, and their introduction.

You're on your own, especially with background checks

Noticeably absent? Background checks (not offered) and reviews (which are offered, but none of the sitters we clicked on in a major metro area had any). You should understand that Sitter is a little bit Wild West. They put it this way: "As we are a self-serve service and not an agency, we do not pre-screen users who register" . If you want a background check or any other reassurance that your babysitter is trustworthy, you'll have to work that out on your own. Ditto that for payments: you'll work out with your babysitter how much you're paying and how, whether that's Venmo or cold hard cash.

Best Babysitter Agencies

Zero support

All of that should mean it's not a surprise when we tell you not to expect any client support from Sitter. Yes, as a CareGuide company, they share an "A-" rating from the Better Business Bureau, but that doesn't mean much if you need help - there's no phone number to reach out, only a Help Center with FAQs and a Toronto (Canada) mailing address.

You don't get what you pay for

Although we're glad to see babysitter profiles that look legit when we browse Sitter, that's just the bare minimum we need to see from a babysitting referral service. Without any kind of vetting for caregivers or families, no client support, and limited reviews on individual babysitters, Sitter is pretty bold in asking for a $68/month membership fee. You'll get more of what you're actually looking for - vetted, reliable babysitters through an agency that looks out for everyone's well-being - with the higher-ranking rival sites on our list.

Babysits Review 2 Star Rating

Babysits

2 Star Rating
  • Over 12,000 babysitters in the US
  • Over 5 million users
  • Free to create a client profile and view babysitter profiles
  • $19.99/month for Premium (needed to contact babysitters and access other features)
  • Over 12,000 babysitters in the US

Babysits is a platform that has connected parents with childcare providers since 2008. They serve over 5 million users worldwide, offering the option to find babysitters for your family or seek employment as a babysitter. With caregivers available in 28,000 cities across 38+ countries, they provide a wide-reaching service - with over 12,000 babysitters in the US alone.

Browse just with a zip code

By entering your zip code, you can access a list of available Babysits caregivers near you. The platform allows you to set a search radius ranging from 3 to 30 miles to maximize your options. Additionally, you can filter results based on various criteria such as age, experience, type (nanny or babysitter), gender, household work requirements (pet care, cooking, chores, homework help), skills, availability, language, pay, and more.

Where are all the babysitters?

While you can usually find a few babysitters that meet your criteria in different U.S. cities, the selection here definitely comes up short compared to other babysitting agencies and services on our list. For example, when we entered a suburb of a fairly major metro area, most platforms gave us at least 100 babysitters to consider. On Babysits, when we put in that same zip code, zero results came up. We had to list the city itself, and even then we only got 7 matches. Given that none of those matches had any user reviews, it gives the impression that despite Babysits' claims, not that many people are actively using this service to get childcare or to work as a babysitter.

Best Babysitter Agencies

Monthly fee + booking fee = poor value

That absolutely makes us question the value of Babysits' $19.99/month Premium package. You'll need it to reach out to any given babysitter, to book appointments and make payments, and by the way, there's an extra 5% charge applied to every booking you make. It gets you a refund if the booking is canceled by the babysitter or by you, but it seems shifty that users have to pay a fee to get their money back in that situation.

Not very positive feedback

As you might guess, feedback for Babysits isn't overwhelmingly enthusiastic. There are over 2000 reviews on the Google Play platform, for example, and Babysits barely scrapes by with a 2.7-star average. Babysitters complain about delayed payments (more than a week after the appointment), prospective clients said they couldn't even successfully create a profile, and even after paying for the Premium service they still couldn't get the site to work.

Nothing makes this worth recommending

This all contributes to Babysits' holding pattern as a lower-ranked babysitting agency. They're low on babysitters even in mid-size cities, caregivers and clients don't have smooth experiences with the app, and the monthly fee doesn't give you much value for what you spend. You'll get the childcare you need much more easily with the higher-ranking babysitter services on our list.

Care Review 1.5 Star Rating

Care

1.5 Star Rating
  • Over 4 million clients
  • All caregivers are background checked
  • Can hire babysitters, tutors, and more
  • Free to search for caregivers and post jobs
  • Premium plan required to message and book caregivers ($12.95 to $38.95/month, depending on monthly/quarterly/annual plan choice)
  • In business since 2006

Care, established in 2006, is one of the biggest names in for-hire caregiving of all kinds. The platform serves as a one-stop shop to assist individuals and families in finding various types of help, including childcare, special needs care, senior care, pet care, tutoring, and housekeeping help. Over 4 million families in the US have used Care to look for the help they need.

Prepare to answer lots of questions

Getting started simply requires you to enter your zip code and select the type of care you're searching for (child care). You'll be asked when you need that help, ranging from "right now" to "just browsing" . Care also wants to know if you need a nanny/recurring sitter, a one-time babysitter, or even a daycare center. After you enter the age of the child(ren), your email address and name, you'll think that you'll be able to browse profiles next - but no. Even if you said "Just Browsing" , Care then prompts you to enter a date for a one-time or weekly recurring babysitting appointment, the hourly rate range you'd be willing to pay, and a brief family profile.

Browse for free

You can choose to set up a basic Care account at no cost. That lets you browse babysitters in your area, post a job, and see who replies. You may want to opt for that to start, so that you can take a peek at the available options near you: why pay for a membership if you don't see any solid matches in the area? Care starts you out with a curated list of babysitters nearby, but you can scroll down and select "exit to full directory" to see everyone in their database near you.

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Many babysitters have no client feedback

Within that results list, you can use filters to add the number of children being cared for, professional skills like CPR training, and spoken language. However, you can't sort the results list by distance, hourly rate, or any other criteria. In the mid-size metro area we entered, there were about 100 babysitters within a 20-mile radius, but only 25% or so had ratings and reviews from clients (and even then, it was usually just a couple of scores; the most we saw were 20 total ratings).

All babysitters are background checked

When you view any babysitter's profile, you can see his or her detailed information, including the date that they passed Care's mandatory background check. If you want to see the results of that check or to pay for a more extensive investigation (like a motor vehicle or a criminal records check), those options are shown on the profile too. We like that every babysitter profile shows you their response rate and average response time, so you don't waste yours on someone who isn't likely to answer your inquiry.

Monthly fee required to make contact

Speaking of inquiries, don't forget that you'll have to pay for full access. Care charges $38.95/month. At the time of our most recent visit, though, clients could also get a quarterly membership at $24.95/month or an annual subscription for $12.95/month.

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Too many complaints

And now, the real question: is it worth it to subscribe to Care? More so than in our previous evaluation, our answer is "no" . Not only has the Better Business Bureau downgraded the company from an "A+" to a "B" since then (with nearly 1,000 complaints filed there in the last three years), but there are almost 2,500 one-star ratings on Trustpilot as well. It's disappointing that the same complaints have been repeated over and over for years: Care charges people coming and going (like making both caregivers and clients pay for background checks), subscriptions are notoriously hard to cancel once and for all, and many babysitter profiles shown as active won't respond because Care doesn't remove them even when they're no longer paying. It's rare to find anyone, babysitter or parent, who absolutely loves the Care experience.

Doesn't live up to its name

All of that seems even more of a let-down when you think about how much name recognition Care has. We wish that there was more on the other side of that - that such visibility would translate into a babysitting referral service that made both clients and caregivers feel happy and safe. Not so much when it comes to Care. Use it if there's literally nothing else that serves your area, but be very aware of the potential downsides if you do.

Babysitter's Registry Review 1 Star Rating

Babysitter's Registry

1 Star Rating
  • Refers clients to babysitters from other platforms
  • Can offer care beyond babysitting (pet-sitting, tutoring, and more)
  • Free to sign up as a client

Babysitter's Registry is an online platform that aims to connect families with caregivers offering various services, including babysitting, nanny services, senior care, pet care, house cleaning, and tutoring. However, when you dig deeper into their website, it becomes clear that there are some significant drawbacks and limitations that may make your search for a reliable babysitter more challenging than anticipated here.

Who are they, exactly?

First and foremost, the Babysitter's Registry website lacks essential information about the background and history of the company. While they claim to have caregivers "available in your area" (before you've even entered a zip code or other location-specific info), the absence of a detailed company profile raises questions about their credibility and transparency. In today's digital age, that should make anyone apprehensive about engaging their services.

Getting redirected to other platforms is very likely

Another glaring issue with Babysitter's Registry is its affiliation with other online babysitting agencies. On their platform, you may come across profiles that redirect you to external websites like Sittercity or Care. This setup can be confusing and adds an unnecessary layer to your search process. Instead of directly connecting you with caregivers, Babysitter's Registry appears to act as a middleman, complicating the task of finding a babysitter.

Profiles aren't good matches

To gauge the availability of babysitters in your area, Babysitter's Registry offers a zip code search feature. It provides a list of caregiver profiles with brief descriptions and photos, all seemingly located nearby. However, upon closer examination, you may find that many of these caregivers are located at considerable distances, often more than 10 miles away. Furthermore, the snippets from their bios may leave you unimpressed, as they offer limited insight into the caregivers' qualifications and personalities.

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Account required for more info

When you click on a caregiver's profile, you can view additional details such as their desired price range, reviews from other families, age, and years of experience. However, to access more comprehensive information or engage with the caregiver, you are required to join the platform they are registered on, which could be Care, Sittercity, or Babysitter's Registry itself.

Site doesn't work properly

Registering on Babysitter's Registry involves providing basic information such as your name, email, zip code, and username. However, this is where we encountered a huge obstacle - we kept being asked to create a caregiver profile (not just a client profile), and every time we tried to view babysitter profiles specifically listed with Babysitter's Registry, we got stuck in a loop.

Don't bother

Our experiences with Babysitter's Registry continues to leave us with a sense of disappointment and skepticism. This platform appears to offer little value to parents seeking reliable caregivers. The website's unreliability, the lack of transparency regarding the company's background, and the limited selection of babysitters make it an unappealing choice for your childcare needs. Since nothing has changed with this babysitting agency since our last evaluation, we would advise against wasting your time and effort on Babysitter's Registry, as there are more reputable and user-friendly alternatives available.

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Continued from above...

Additionally, babysitting agency websites prioritize safety and reliability. They often vet their babysitters through background checks and interviews, giving you access to trusted caregivers. This extra layer of security can bring peace of mind to parents, knowing that their children are in the hands of experienced and thoroughly screened individuals.

Moreover, these websites provide a wide selection of potential babysitters. You'll have access to a diverse pool of caregivers, allowing you to find someone who matches your family's specific needs and preferences. Whether you require a babysitter for a one-time event or regular childcare, agency websites can accommodate your unique requirements. This flexibility is particularly valuable for parents with varying schedules and childcare needs.

When choosing a babysitting agency, it's not always easy to know which ones will best suit your situation. Here are some key comparison points that can help you narrow it down:

  • Availability. First, you'll need to verify that the website operates in your area and can connect you with babysitters in your locality. Then, check if the platform offers babysitters who are available when you need them, whether it's for date nights, weekends, or weekdays. Finally, some websites may offer additional services, such as tutors or pet-sitters, so choose one that aligns with your family's unique needs.
  • Reputation. Look for websites with a strong reputation for connecting families with reliable babysitters. Check online reviews and ask for recommendations from other parents. And, of course, look at the ratings and feedback on each individual sitter, regardless of the babysitting agency you're using. The best babysitting agencies conduct thorough background checks on babysitters to guarantee the safety of your children.
  • Fees. Compare the fee structures of different platforms. Some charge you a membership or sitting fee, while others take a percentage of the babysitter's earnings.
  • Scheduling and communication. Evaluate the platform's scheduling tools and messaging systems to determine how easy it is to coordinate with babysitters.
  • Customer support. Consider the level of customer support provided. Responsive support can be invaluable when you have questions or encounter issues. If your babysitter doesn't show up (or worse, you have a bad experience), you want to know that the agency will have your back.

To help you find the perfect babysitter for your kids, Top Consumer Reviews has checked out and ranked various babysitting agencies. We hope this info boosts your confidence as you search for someone to look after your little ones when you're not around!

The Best Babysitter Agencies Compare Babysitter Agencies Compare Babysitter Agency Reviews What are the best Babysitter Agencies Best Babysitter Agency Reviews

Babysitter Agency FAQ

A babysitter takes care of your child (or children) while you're away - at work, on a date, at the gym, or for any other reason. Babysitters can be male or female, old or young, but some states have statutes regulating the age that minors can be left in charge (usually anywhere from age 12-16).
A mother's helper is usually there to help with the kids while at least one parent is still present: maybe taking care of lunch and activities while Mom works from home, or doing the laundry while Dad gets the kids to bed. Nannies work on a more fixed schedule, either part-time or full-time, and there are usually employment/tax considerations to keep in mind. Au pairs come from other countries and live with the family, watching the kids and tending to other household responsibilities in exchange for room/board and sometimes a monetary stipend. Compared with those three situations, babysitting is much less formal and more of an as-needed childcare arrangement.
Word of mouth is the most common way to vet a new babysitter. It's great to have someone that's already taken good care of your friends' children with no problems! The downside is that these sitters will be in high demand, and you might not be able to get them on your desired schedule. You can also ask for references or run a background check, if you're considering a babysitter that isn't known to you personally.
When you're new to an area or don't have any available sitter referrals from friends, you could put the word out in local groups on social media. Unfortunately, that could attract less-than-reputable individuals! Instead, consider using a babysitter referral service: these platforms allow prospective sitters to create a profile, complete with client reviews and information about their background and any certifications they have (like infant/child CPR). Some referral services make it possible to get a background check, though the sitter may have to opt in before you can access the results.
You can expect to pay a membership fee in the neighborhood of $20/month to access most babysitter referral services. That gives you unlimited access to the database and to making connections with the sitters you find. Some platforms give you limited free access to get started, or a trial period to see if there are enough potential babysitters in your area to make it worth the membership fees.
That varies widely by geographic location, the number of children you have (and their ages), the expertise level of the sitter, and what you expect your sitter to provide. You can ask other parents in your area what the going rate is: underpay your sitter and they're not likely to come back! In the past, the reported average hourly rate for babysitters in the US ranged from $15-$20, but in less urban areas it tended to be closer to $10/hour.
Yes. You can make whatever arrangements you like with your babysitter. It's not uncommon to ask a sitter to fix a light meal, take care of the dishes after the kids are in bed, or tidy up the playroom while the children are watching a movie. Just remember that their primary focus should be on keeping your little ones safe, not housekeeping.
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