Trying to find someone to look after your kids, pets, home, or elderly family member can be a nerve wracking task. However, there are some sites designed to help you find and screen people in your area that can provide care for you. The two top sites on the internet are SitterCity and Care.com. While both offer the same basic service- finding care takers near you- the two have some important differences. The following information can help you find the right service for you.
Both sites are designed to help you find babysitters, nannies, senior care providers, house keepers, and tutors. SitterCity also advertises dog walking services, while care.com includes special needs care providers. Both sites offer you the ability to pull up a list of care providers near you, and then review information about the care provider.
SitterCity gives you a search box where you type in your zip code and select from a dropdown box listing the types of providers. When you enter the information, a list of providers comes up, giving you a picture and brief description of the individual- a little like an online personal.
When you click on a provider, additional information is displayed, giving you an idea of the skills and abilities of that provider. The site does offer background checks on individuals, references, reviews, as well as an educational and personal history. Once you find a provider you are interested in, you can contact them through the site.
Care.com also gives a search box where you add your location and select the type of provider you are looking for. After you add your information, a list of providers is displayed, giving you a picture, description, and a few details such as age, experience, and hourly price range. When you click on a care provider’s profile, it takes you to a page that gives you detailed information about availability, education, and experience. The site also offers background checks on providers and allows you to contact them through the site.
In addition to allowing you to search for providers, each site gives you the ability to list a job and accept applications from individuals through the site. SitterCity and Care.com both require you to join the website for full access to all of the features of the site as well as to be able to contact providers you find on the site. SitterCity offers an annual membership for those looking for providers at $9.99 per month (billed as a one time $119.88 charge), or a $9.99 monthly membership with a one-time $39.99 sign up fee. Joining SitterCity is free for care providers. Care.com gives you the option to join free with a limited membership that allows only basic access to search, post jobs, and create profiles. Care.com offers a full membership for $140 annually, $70 for a three month membership, or $35 per month.
Both sites are easy to navigate, although Care.com gives you a more thorough profile. The sites each have a screening process for care providers. SitterCity uses a four part screening process, which includes a background check, references, and reviews that you can use to evaluate each provider (available for viewing when you join). Care.com also offers background checks and references, as well as a Safety Tips section which gives you information on how to ensure you are getting the right person for your job.