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Care Review

Sunday, April 14th

2024 Babysitter Agency Reviews

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.

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.

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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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!

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