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Care.com Review 2021 | How Does Care.com Work?

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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 over 300 closed complaints in the last several years. Plus, they were being touted as a scam by many disgruntled families and caregivers.

These days, the word scam is thrown around so often that we forget what a true scam really is. Care.com is a legitimate business, but that doesn’t mean that they are completely fair to their freelancers and families.

So is Care.com a legitimate resource for families and side hustlers, or is it just another company that is trying to siphon your money?

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 estimate over 35.2 million members in over 20 different 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.

Care.com Memberships

As with most businesses, pricing tends to determine whether or not people believe that it is a scam.

  • Family Basic Membership: For families, you can choose the basic membership, which is free.
  • Family Premium Membership: The premium membership costs $39 for one month, $78 ($26/month) for three months, and $156 ($13/month) for twelve months.
  • Background Checks: You also pay to run background checks on potential candidates. There are several types of background checks from which you can choose. Depending on how in-depth you would like the background check to be, you can end up paying as much as $300.
  • Caregiver Premium Membership: For caregivers, it costs $20 per month for a premium membership. There are also additional services that you can pay for, including providing a background check and paying to appear at the top of peoples’ list.

Care.com leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to their 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.

Care.com 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, and 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, 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 hustle gig picking up traffic.