Finding a good and reliable sitter or nanny for your loved one(s) can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Searching, shortlisting, interviewing, and doing a background check can be an overwhelming process for families. Luckily, just like you can sign up on OkCupid to get matched with your soulmate, Sittercity and Care.com help parents and caregivers connect.
In this article, we will be comparing the two market leaders in the caregivers community – Sittercity vs. Care.com – to help you find the best care and support for your family.
What is covered in this article
- Sittercity overview: the best for special needs
- Care.com overview: the best for finding care anywhere in the world
- Sittercity vs. Care.com comparison table: how these sites stack up
- Are Sittercity and Care.com safe to use?
- Sittercity vs. Care.com: most & variety of services offered
- Is Care.com or Sittercity’s review system better?
- Who has better fees for sitters: Sittercity or Care.com?
- Which service provides the most leads for sitters?
Let’s jump right in and compare these two platforms on various parameters, irrespective of the type of care you are looking for.
Sittercity overview: the best for special needs
(Image credit: Sittercity)
Sittercity is one of the oldest childcare platforms, boasting a large database of caregivers in the USA. You can find sitters, nannies, caregivers for your pets, caregivers for the elderly, and help for persons with special needs. They do all the legwork for you so that you don’t have to worry about doing background checks and interviews.
As a user of the service, all you have to do is create a profile with your requirements and pick a caregiver who suits your needs. As a service provider, you just have to create your free profile and look for available jobs that you might be interested in.
Whether you are looking for day-time help, live-in care, overnight help, or a last-minute sitter, Sittercity allows you to filter through all the potential caregivers and match you with the best person for the job. Families can also find caregivers who have experience with special needs such as ADD, ADHD, autism, Down syndrome, epilepsy, deaf/blind, diabetes, and more.
Who is Sittercity best for?
Since Sittercity connects parents with caregivers, anyone who is looking for some help at home with their children, pets, or elderly persons can hope to find the support that they need. Just like you’d sign up on LinkedIn to find a job, Sittercity works like that for caregivers who are looking for full-time opportunities or part-time work. Families join Sittercity with the single focus to find a caregiver ASAP, so it helps if the caregivers are quick in responding to families who are looking for help.
A large pool of caregivers across the USA.
Families can post jobs for free.
25% discount for military personnel.
Users can find caregivers who have experience with special needs children or adults.
Sitters on Sittercity have to go through an extensive background check.
Families can use screening tools offered by Sittercity like secure messaging, interview booking, scam prevention, Family Watchdog screening, and Sitter ID authentication.
Sittercity is only available in the USA.
Families have to pay an additional charge to request a background check and other screenings.
The free version of Sittercity for caregivers only allows them to create a free profile. To be able to contact someone regarding a job posting or reply to a family who contacted them, they need to upgrade to the paid plan.
For families seeking out caregivers, they can only post a job for free and send one message to potential candidates. To respond to their message, families have to upgrade to the paid plan.
Caregivers have complained about receiving requests from spam profiles.
Caregivers have found to be kicked out of Sittercity for something as small as a speeding ticket. Sittercity doesn’t investigate further on such matters and sends an email to all parents to inform them that ‘this sitter’ has been removed because their background check came up unsatisfactory.
Care.com overview: the best for finding care anywhere in the world
(Image credit: Care.com)
Care.com is one of the stalwarts in the caregivers community. With an online presence in over 20 countries, you can be assured to get quality help and support worldwide. Unlike the agency model in the caregivers market, Care.com acts as an online marketplace connecting families who post their requirements and caregivers who can respond to job posts. Families can also reach out to candidates by clicking on their profile and sending them a message.
Care.com is free for job seekers, but families seeking care pay to connect to potential caregivers. While it is free to send the first message out, to be able to respond to a message from a caregiver, families need to purchase a membership. Unlike Sittercity, where caregivers have to undergo a detailed background check before their profiles can show up, Care.com only performs background checks when families are interested in hiring someone, for which they are charged an additional fee.
Who is Care.com best for?
Whether you are going back to work after your parental leave, need a dog sitter while away on a vacation, or want a math tutor for your child, you can find all the support that you need on Care.com. You can also find housekeeping services if you are a working professional or just don’t have the time to clean. Since Care.com is present in most countries in North America, Europe, and Australasia, those working abroad can use the platform to find reliable care for their family.
Presence in more than 20 countries worldwide.
The website can be accessed in multiple languages.
Families can find caregivers that have experience with special needs persons.
Families can browse through all the caregivers and send them a message for free. To respond to the message, they have to buy one of the membership plans.
Families have to pay additional fees to request background checks.
Since caregivers who are looking for opportunities on Care.com do not have to undergo any background checks, families may waste time sifting through undesirable candidates.
Sittercity vs. Care.com comparison table: how these sites stack up
The table shown below compares Sittercity and Care.com on various parameters that we hope can take you a step closer to deciding between the two.
|Estimated Average Costs||$12-30/hour||$12-30/hour|
|Review System||Families can review caregivers and share their experiences for others to hire care.||Families can review caregivers and share their experiences for others to hire care.|
|# of Services|
|Privacy||Families can securely message and book interviews with potential caregivers through the platform.||Families can securely message and book interviews with potential caregivers through the platform.|
|Safety||Caregivers have to adhere to a strict background check to be accepted on Sittercity. Sittercity also has additional tools to authenticate Sitter IDs, prevent scams, and run sitters through Family Watchdog (a free sex offender registry).||Caregivers will be asked for a background check if the families request it.|
|Customer Service||Very responsive||Very responsive|
|Background Checks for Caregivers|
|Membership for Caregivers|
Are Sittercity and Care.com safe to use?
Since Sittercity and Care.com are online marketplaces where you can find caregivers whom you let into your home, safety and background checks are of utmost importance.
Sittercity only accepts sitters and caregivers after they conduct a thorough background check, which includes running their profile through criminal and sex offenders databases to see if their names come up. Care.com has a more expensive background check program compared to Sittercity, highlighted in the table above. In order to keep your caregiver profile active on Sittercity, renewing the background checks annually is mandatory.
If you are hiring a caregiver on Sittercity and want to access their background check information, it is available at an additional cost. Care.com, on the other hand, only conducts background checks on caregivers if you request them, at an additional cost. For a caregiver to get a background check on Care.com, it costs between $59 and $300. Most families may also request reference letters or past employment details to verify the caregiver’s credentials on their own.
Sittercity vs Care.com: most & variety of services offered
While Sittercity focuses on finding sitters for your child, pets, and elders at home, Care.com encompasses all care services that you may need to run your household smoothly. On Care.com you can find sitters, nannies, care for your pets and persons with special needs, and also housekeeping services.
Is Care.com or Sittercity’s review system better?
Care.com and Sittercity both allow families to review caregivers and sitters, so that other families can read about them to decide if they want to hire their services for their needs. While the kind of caregivers that you may find will probably be a mixed bag of good and bad, some caregivers on Care.com have complained about their profile being removed because of a bad review that they received.
Who has better fees for sitters: Sittercity or Care.com?
Sittercity and Care.com allow caregivers to charge what they think is right for their time, based on their level of experience and skills. On both platforms, you will be able to see babysitters who are looking for seasonal and part-time work (like high school or college students), who may charge $12-14/hour to earn some pocket money in their spare time or during the holidays.
You will also find professional or certified nannies and caregivers who can take care of babies or children with special needs or the elderly. While choosing and interviewing the right caregiver for your family, you can negotiate with them on their hourly rate, but the final terms will depend on each individual.
Which service provides the most leads for sitters?
Both Care.com and Sittercity are among the largest players in the caregiving industry, bringing together a large community of parents seeking caregivers and caregivers looking for opportunities. Since Care.com has an international presence, it is more popular than Sittercity, which leads to an easier process of finding leads.
Whichever platform you choose, there is a bit of due diligence that is required from your end to personally vet the candidate by doing a reference check by talking to their previous employers. We hope our comparison of Sittercity vs Care.com was able to give you the insight and clarity that you were looking for when deciding between the two to find the best care for your family. If you are still not convinced about these two platforms, check out some more care alternatives to choose from that we have reviewed.