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Care.com reviews: Is this a trustworthy site in 2022?

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Care.com connects clients and providers of childcare, senior care, pet care, housekeeping, and other professional services. 

Whether you’re a family looking to hire someone or you are looking for jobs as a housekeeper, nanny, or pet sitter, Care.com is a legit and trustworthy site — if you know how to safely use it. 

We like Care.com for these reasons: 

  • Easy to create a profile, post jobs, pay providers
  • Requires caregivers to pass a background check every year
  • Provider/employer match made every 9 minutes (as of Oct. 2022)
  • Reviews/references provided to help you screen providers

You can join Care.com for free or get 20% off a premium membership with coupon code JOINCARE20 now >>

Here’s everything you need to know about using Care.com in 2022:  

What is Care.com?

Care.com is a membership site that connects people who need:

People seeking a service — as well as corporate care providers like daycare centers or nursing homes — can post jobs on the site. 

Providers can apply to jobs and communicate with potential employers. Employers are also able to pay care providers directly through Care.com.

Is Care.com a trustworthy site?

Yes! Care.com is a legit site that has helped millions of people find safe and reliable care providers online. A representative for Care.com says that a provider/employer match is made every 9 minutes on the site (as of October 2022).

Care.com has 3.44/5 stars based on 8,169 reviews on review site Sitejabber.

Anyone who registers on Care.com as a caregiver must be over the age of 18 and undergo a detailed background check called a CareCheck. This includes:

  • Social Security number trace
  • Multi-jurisdictional criminal database search
  • Federal and county criminal records search

Caregivers are not approved to create a profile unless their CareCheck comes back clean. Each user’s CareCheck is repeated annually. As a user, only your first name and last initial, as well as the area (city/zip code) where you live, will be displayed. 

Care.com does not employ caregivers and is not responsible for their conduct. Site users are responsible for doing their own additional research to ensure that a job or caregiver is legitimate. 

However, Care.com does provide resources and tips to help families hire safely and to help caregivers vet potential employers. 

Care.com has a B rating from the Better Business Bureau and 1.1 stars on Trustpilot, though most negative reviews are related to the site’s billing and fees rather than the quality of caregivers. The majority of complaints are from employers seeking to find a caregiver. 

Care.com was in the news in 2020. A lawsuit alleged that Care.com falsely represented its CareCheck by claiming the check included a search of the National Sex Offender Registry, when it actually does not. 

The suit also alleged that Care.com unlawfully enrolled its customers in auto-renewal subscriptions without getting customers' consent. Care.com paid $1 million to settle the lawsuit. 

The site is no longer allowed to claim National Sex Offender Registry checks and must notify customers that they can cancel their subscriptions before it automatically renews.

Like any marketplace website, Care.com could potentially connect you with dangerous people. However, the site does have measures in place that are intended to protect users, such as: 

  • CareCheck background check
  • Suite of supplemental background checks
  • Community guidelines

Employ common sense as you search for a provider or job and do extra research, check references, and interview them in person before you hire someone to take care of your home or loved one.

Care.com services

Care.com offers the following services:

  • Childcare
    • Daycare
    • Part-time childcare
    • Preschools
    • After-school transportation
    • Child hospice care
    • In-home hospice care
    • 24-hour childcare
    • Before school or after-school programs
  • Tutoring
    • Homeschool
    • English
    • Math
    • Online
    • Special needs
    • Test prep
    • Science
  • Senior care
    • Post-surgery care
    • Food delivery
    • Special needs adult care
    • Assisted living
    • Home care
    • Respite care
    • Memory care
    • Hospice care
    • Companion care
    • Palliative care
    • Nursing assistants
    • Dementia care
    • Adult daycare
    • Home aids
    • Senior apartments
    • Senior helper
    • Independent living
    • Transportation
  • Pet care
    • Dog walkers
    • Pet sitters
    • Dog boarding
    • Pet care
  • Housekeeping
    • Housekeeping
    • House cleaning
    • Maid jobs
    • Errand runners
    • Move out cleaning services

How Care.com works

This is how Care.com works for families/businesses looking to hire and for providers looking to get hired: 

For families

New users who are looking for a caregiver are prompted to select what type of care they need and how soon they need it. You’ll provide more information about your children or pets (such as how many you have and their ages) and what you’re looking for in a caregiver. Enter your ZIP code, add your name and email address, and you’re in. 

You can join Care.com for free. A free account allows you to:

  • Search for caregivers near you (you can’t send messages without a premium membership)
  • Post a job and see who applies

The optional Premium Family Membership costs $38.99 per month if not on sale. A Premium account will let you:

  • Message any caregiver
  • Book a sitter when you need one
  • Get background check options
  • Pay your sitter online
  • Chat with support

Once you’ve signed up, you can scroll through profiles of caregivers near you. These profiles will provide information such as the caregiver’s:

  • Availability
  • Bio
  • Services
  • Qualifications
  • Recommendations from previous Care.com employers 

You can also create a job posting so caregivers can apply. 

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For caregivers: Care.com background check 

If you’re interested in becoming a caregiver, you’ll follow a similar series of steps to create your account. Select the type of service you’d like to provide. Then add your ZIP code and how far you’re willing to travel. Build out your profile with information like your availability and pay rate. The final step is answering required safety questions.

Care.com runs a background check on all caregivers before they’re allowed to join the platform. This CareCheck includes:

  • Social Security number trace
  • Multi-jurisdictional criminal database search
  • Federal and county criminal records search

You will have to pay a fee of $18.99 per year (the CareCheck renews annually) to complete this background check if you don’t have a premium membership. Once you’ve registered, you can browse job postings and apply to any that interest you. Potential employers in your geographical area will also be able to find you via your profile.

Check out these job training posts for different types of caregivers:

Care.com reviews

Care.com is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau but has a B rating. 743 complaints have been closed in the last three years, and out of 419 customer reviews, the average rating is 1.03 out of 5 stars. 

On Trustpilot, Care.com is a verified company but has only 1.1 out of 5 stars based on 2,279 reviews. 

While ratings on both sites aren’t great, most negative reviews are related to billing, disputed extra fees, and auto-renewal complaints rather than poor caregiver experiences. 

It is actually very easy to cancel a premium subscription on Care.com. The site provides these instructions:

  1. Log in to your Care.com account.
  2. From the Me drop-down menu at the top of the page and click My Premium.
  3. Click Manage membership to expand your subscription details.
  4. Click Cancel subscription.
  5. Click Continue to cancel.
  6. Continue through the cancellation survey, and click Confirm cancellation.

If you purchased a Premium Membership on the iOS app, you must cancel on your iOS device using these steps:

  1. Open the App Store app on your phone or tablet and tap your profile icon in the upper right corner.
  2. Tap Subscriptions.
  3. Tap the Care.com subscription.
  4. Tap Cancel Subscription.
  5. Confirm cancellation.

Care.com pros and cons

Care.com pros:

  • Caregivers undergo background check
  • Site is easy and intuitive to search
  • Free membership is available
  • Additional resources on rates, hiring, etc.

Care.com cons:

  • Free membership is very limited
  • Paid membership is automatically renewed
  • Site receives poor online reviews

Care.com alternatives

If Care.com isn’t a good fit for you, there are plenty of other places where you can find a babysitter or find a nanny:

  • Babysits — enter your ZIP code to browse sitters in your area for free
  • BambinoSitters — uses your Facebook account to suggest sitters your friends have used and recommend
  • SeekingSitters — on-demand babysitter referral service matches you with a sitter in your area
  • SitterCity — post a job and search for sitters near you
  • UrbanSitter — post a job and search for sitters near you
  • Craiglist — view area-specific ads for nannies

You can also find a babysitter or caregiver by simply asking your friends and family for recommendations; posting in a local social media group; or asking your child’s pediatrician for a referral.

Families’ FAQs about Care.com

Can you get scammed on Care.com?

Like any online marketplace, yes, it is possible to get scammed on Care.com. If you’re interested in hiring someone on Care.com, do your own research on the candidate. 

Use common sense — don’t give out your personal information right away, and have your first meeting in a public place. The same advice goes for caregivers who are interested in a job. Care.com also has safety measures in place for you to report profiles if needed. 

How does Care.com payroll work?

If you pay a caregiver over $100 per week, you might owe taxes. Care.com offers a HomePay option that handles things like direct deposits, payslips, W-2s, and tax filing.

Is there a free version of Care.com?

Yes. If you’re interested in hiring a caregiver, you can use Care.com to browse profiles for free. However, you won’t be able to reply to applications to schedule interviews unless you go premium — the most you can do with a basic membership is send an automated “no, thank you” message.

A basic membership allows you to:

  • Set up an account
  • Post a job
  • Search and view profiles of local caregivers
  • View profiles of every caregiver who applies to your job
  • Use site tools and resources

All caregivers must pay an annual fee for their background check.

Can I get a refund from Care.com?

No. Care.com does not offer refunds on its Premium Membership, background check, or other paid services.

Caregivers’ FAQs about Care.com

What are Care.com’s requirements for caregivers?

Caregivers must be at least 18; be able to legally work in the U.S.; provide certain required information; and pass a background check. Required information for membership with Care.com includes:

  • Date of birth
  • Full legal name
  • Complete permanent address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

Care.com’s background check includes:

  • Social Security Number trace
  • National Sex Offender Public Website search
  • Multi-jurisdictional criminal database search
  • Federal and county criminal records search

What kinds of jobs are on Care.com?

You can use Care.com to find contract or part-time jobs for:

  • Childcare
  • Tutoring
  • Senior care
  • Pet care
  • Housekeeping

The site also has a section for full-time jobs, although these are less common.

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How does payment work on Care.com?

Care.com uses the Stripe platform to process payments. Caregivers can accept payments directly through their Care.com profile and transfer the funds to their personal bank account. 

Once an employer has submitted payment, the money will be deposited into the caregiver’s account within 1-3 business days. Caregivers can edit their payment preferences to indicate the payment types they are willing to accept. 

How do you get hired on Care.com?

To get hired on Care.com, you’ll need to create a profile, complete the mandatory background check, and apply to job postings that fit your skills and experience.

Should I give my SSN to Care.com?

If you want to register as a caregiver on Care.com, you will need to provide your Social Security number as part of the site’s mandatory background check. Care.com promises to store your information using secure encryption. According to the site, your SSN is only shared with Care.com’s background check vendor.

Join Care.com for free today or get 20% off a premium membership with coupon code JOINCARE20 now >>

Hailey Hudson is a full-time freelance writer and content marketer based out of Atlanta, Georgia, where she lives with her cat. Hailey writes in the healthcare, digital marketing, education, and pet industries for clients like Healthline, Dell, Looper, Barnes & Noble Education, and Chewy. When she's not working, she's writing YA novels; singing musical theatre; or doing advocacy work in the chronic illness and disability fields.

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