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Care Review

Sunday, March 3rd

2024 Nanny Agency Reviews

Care Review 1.5 Star Rating


1.5 Star Rating
  • Clientele exceeding 4 million
  • Stringent background checks for all caregivers
  • Database of nannies, tutors, and more
  • Free caregiver profile browsing and job posting
  • Premium plan required for caregiver messaging and booking, with costs ranging from $12.95 to $38.95 per month, depending on the chosen subscription period
  • Operational since 2006

Founded in 2006, Care has emerged as a prominent player in the for-hire caregiving industry, catering to various forms of assistance, such as nannies, special needs caregivers, senior care providers, pet sitters, tutors, and housekeeping help. Notably, over 4 million families across the United States have availed themselves of Care's services to meet their caregiving needs.

Lots of hoops to jump through at the outset

Beginning your nanny search on Care involves providing your zip code and specifying the type of assistance you seek, such as child care or pet-sitting. You'll be prompted to indicate the timing of your need, ranging from "right now" to "just browsing." Care then asks whether you require a recurring nanny, a one-time babysitter, or perhaps a daycare center. Once you've entered your child(ren)'s age, your email address, and name, you may expect to get the green light to start browsing profiles. However, even if you've chosen "Just Browsing," Care will request a start date for a one-time or weekly recurring nanny appointment, your intended pay rate range, and a brief family profile.

You can browse for free - but that's a little hidden

From there, you'll see a push to jump right into Care's Premium package, but you can also scroll down and click "stay limited" to browse nanny profiles near you. You'll be taken to Care's curated selection of caregivers, or otherwise choose "exit to the full directory" to see everyone in your area. Be sure you click the dropdown under "showing results for" and select "nannies/recurring sitters" , because Care defaults to listings for one-time babysitting.

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Many nannies have no feedback from clients

Within the search results, filters are available to narrow down results based on factors like the number of children under care, professional skills (such as CPR training), and spoken language. However, you can't arrange results by criteria such as distance or hourly rate. In a mid-sized metropolitan area we explored, around 100 nannies were within a 20-mile radius. Regrettably, only about 25% of them had received ratings and reviews from clients, and the feedback was often limited, with the highest being 20 total ratings for a nanny.

Look at response rate info

Each nanny's profile reveals detailed information, including the date of their successful completion of Care's mandatory background check. Should you wish to view the results of the background check or opt for a more extensive investigation, like a motor vehicle or criminal records check, those options are accessible on the profile. One commendable feature at Care is that each nanny's profile displays their response rate and average response time, allowing you to approach caregivers more likely to respond promptly.

Membership isn't cheap

When you're ready to reach out to a nanny candidate, you'll need to invest in a premium membership to unlock the full suite of Care's features. Care charges $38.95 per month, but during our last visit to the site, clients could also opt for a quarterly membership at $24.95 per month or an annual subscription at $12.95 per month.

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Reputation is less than great

Is subscribing to Care a worthwhile investment? Unfortunately, our answer leans toward the negative. Care's rating from the Better Business Bureau has dipped from an "A+" to a "B," with nearly 1000 complaints filed within the last three years. Trustpilot also displays almost 2500 absolute-worst one-star ratings. What's disheartening is that these complaints have persisted for years, revolving around issues like double charging (requiring both caregivers and clients to pay for background checks), challenging subscription cancellations, and the presence of inactive nanny profiles that waste prospective families' precious time. It's rare to find individuals, whether nannies or parents, who would enthusiastically recommend the Care platform.

Doesn't meet our expectations

Considering the extensive name recognition Care enjoys, it's disappointing that the platform doesn't always live up to expectations. While its visibility might suggest a top-tier caregiving referral service that delivers results for both nannies and clients, the reality doesn't quite line up with that. Care might be a viable choice in places with limited alternatives for finding nannies, but be prepared for potential drawbacks and challenges should you choose to use it as your nanny agency.

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

It can feel a little overwhelming when choosing a nanny to watch your children. You have to figure out how to even find a nanny, let alone several candidates to choose from. And then you have all of the searching, screening, and interviewing to zero in on the right person to be your parenting partner. That's where online nanny agencies can take a lot of the weight off your shoulders.

Many online nanny agencies conduct background checks and verify credentials, providing an added layer of security. Families can then search for nannies based on specific criteria, or agencies may provide recommendations based on your requirements. Platforms can also facilitate communication between families and nannies, allowing you to ask questions, schedule interviews, and negotiate terms.

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Nanny Agency FAQ

A nanny is an individual hired to take care of one of more children in a household. They are employed by the guardians of the children to take care of them, usually long-term. A nanny might live in the same home as the kids or come to the house to take care of them frequently. Unlike a babysitter, a nanny is usually not used for a short-term job.
A nanny's primary duty is to care for and watch over the children of the family they work for. In addition, they might make meals for the children, do laundry, clean the home, drive kids to and from school and other activities, and anything else agreed upon between the nanny and their employer.
There are many factors that play into the cost of a nanny. Some factors include how many hours a day they work, how many children they care for, what responsibilities they perform while they are working, qualifications, and more. It is not uncommon for nannies to be paid an hourly rate bi-weekly or once a month. For a live-in nanny who works every day, it is also possible to agree to pay on a salary basis. Different nannies come with different rates that they usually choose themselves.
To choose the best nanny, start by thinking about the qualities you want in a trustworthy nanny. Do you want them to be first aid certified? Do they need a driver's license? Do your kids feel most comfortable with a male or female? Narrowing down some basic requirements you set will help as you browse through the list of candidates. From there you can read their bios, message with them, and then interview them to see who you feel most comfortable with.
Nannies can watch over kids who are infants all the way up to teenagers. You'll want to make sure that the nanny you hire has a history of working with children the same ages that you have. Some nannies are specifically qualified to work with infants and they know how to safely feed them, put them down for naps, and provide first aid if necessary.
By definition, au pairs are young people who come from overseas to care for young children. They come on a cultural exchange visa to enter a country legally. Nannies are anyone within your home country who are qualified to take care of children either part-time or full-time. They are paid according to the country's standards, whereas an au pair receives pocket money from the host family.
Unfortunately, not all nanny agencies require their candidates to have background checks. However, most of them allow the option for employers to run them. It's important to review the background check of a nanny before hiring them or run one of your own. This will ensure an added level of safety for your children.
Many companies allow you to have a nanny come to your home and work on a trial basis. This short period allows your kids to get to know the nanny and express to you how comfortable they are with them and see if they get along well. It also lets the nanny know if they think they will work well with the kids and be able to accomplish all of their responsibilities safely.
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Continued from above...

When planning for a nanny, consider what you'll need for childcare from day to day and week to week, your expectations regarding housekeeping, and any special skills you may need in a nanny, such as CPR certification or multilingual capabilities. Next, determine your budget for a nanny's salary and additional expenses, such as benefits, taxes, and agency fees. This will help you narrow down your options.

As you've been thinking about hiring a nanny, you may have also come across the term "au pair" . Do you know the difference? In brief, nannies are professional caregivers who typically have formal training or significant childcare experience. They work in exchange for a salary and are considered employees. Nannies often work full-time and may have more extensive responsibilities, including housekeeping and transportation.

On the other hand, au pairs are young adults from other countries who come to live with a host family for a cultural exchange. They work for a set number of hours per week in exchange for room and board, a small stipend, and the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture. Au pairs are not professional caregivers and may have limited childcare experience. Only you can determine which option is right for you and your family, but there are pros and cons to each arrangement.

So - choosing a nanny is a significant decision that requires careful consideration, as the well-being and development of your child are at stake. To make an informed choice, it's essential to understand the process of hiring a nanny, how online nanny agencies work, and even the distinctions between nannies and au pairs.

How can you decide which nanny agencies are worth your time? Keep in mind these criteria to help you focus your search:

  • Availability. Check if the agency has a pool of available nannies in your area. And, if so, how long should you expect it to take to be matched with one (or several).?
  • Qualification process. You'll want to know if your agency screens nannies for qualifications, certifications, and experience. The best services background check everyone (nannies and families), but some expect you to do that legwork yourself.
  • Fees and costs. Understand the agency's fee structure, including placement fees, ongoing subscription costs, and any additional expenses. Verify that the agency complies with employment laws and tax regulations. If you're being charged a placement fee (instead of a subscription/membership), the agency should help you navigate tax and payroll obligations.
  • Support. What can you expect during and after the hiring process? Are there reps on call 24/7 if there's a problem? Can you get help quickly if your nanny unexpectedly stops coming or moves out?
  • Reputation. What do other families say about their experience with the nanny agency? Are there also reviews about specific candidates that you can consider before you make a final decision on who to hire?

The experts at Top Consumer Reviews understand how important it is to know that your children are in capable, loving hands while you're away. We've carefully evaluated and ranked today's most popular nanny agencies, so that you can quickly find a reliable caregiver who will hopefully come to feel like a member of the family. Whether your perfect fit is more like Mary Poppins or Mrs. Doubtfire, the right nanny is out there for you!

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