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Sittercity Vs. Care.com: Side-by-Side Comparison

Finding a good, reliable sitter or nanny is a surprisingly tough task. We actually tried to use Craigslist for this - and wasted hours interviewing several people on the phone and in person before we found someone even remotely worth considering. However, we were fortunate to hear about two good websites from our neighbor that can help you save time doing this task: Care.com and Sittercity. We ended up trying both sites, as they seemed very similar, so I wanted to post up our findings here to help others compare and find what's best for you.

How they work

Both Care.com and Sittercity are subscription sites, you pay a monthly fee to be able to search their listings for nannies and babysitters (they also offer different types of care providers such as elderly care and pet care). You get to see very detailed information about their providers, including photos, background checks, education level, prior experience, and other customer's reviews and comments. You can then contact any provider you're interested in to set up an interview.

Hands down, both sites make the search process far easier than anything else we've tried, including word-of-mouth recommendations, newspapers, Craigslist, and other local job listing sites. We find that we need sitters frequently, and having a large pool of providers that we can trust is such a nice thing. 

35% Off Memberships at Care.com w/coupon code THANKS

Pricing

Sittercity costs $9.99 / month (using their 1-year membership) which is slightly lower than what Care.com costs at $11.67 / month (also using their annual package). For some reason the sites are incredibly more expensive if you subscribe month-by-month - Sittercity tacks on an additional $39 just to start your subscription if you pay monthly, then charges the $9.99 per month thereafter. Care.com charges a whopping $35 / month if you go monthly. If you think you'll need the service on an ongoing basis (we tend to need sitters frequently, so we did the annual) it probably makes sense to do an annual subscription, but if you're just checking it out, going month-to-month is a good place to start.

Get 15% off on a Sittercity subscription w/coupon code welcome15

Location and number of providers

One important question to ask is whether there will be a lot of providers in your area. Based on what I've seen and heard, both Sittercity and Care.com have good coverage in any sizable city in the US from the Los Angeles area (where we live) to Austin to Boston to Miami and Minneapolis. The sites start to show differences when it comes to smaller cities and towns, so you should do a quick test search on each to see how many results come up (you can do a simple search for free on either site).

How many providers in your area? Run a test search on Sittercity and Care.com to see how many providers there are in your area.

Response rates and quality of providers

Both sites have a good number of care providers. After posting our job listing on each site we got plenty of response within 2 days. On Care.com we received 48 replies and 34 responses on Sittercity. Going through the response is very quick, as you can scan each applicant based on a very detailed profile, and contact a few for interviews. On both sites we were able to bring in 3-4 people for interviews within 3 days of posting our listing, and we were surprised with the overall level of quality of the providers we met. Simply a higher level of professionalism and, how else can I describe it, cleanliness? than we found using other ways of searching. 

Care.com's "Care on Call" feature

One big differentiator between the two sites was Care.com's "Care on Call" feature, which comes in handy if your sitter or nanny calls in sick or can't make it to a scheduled job. Care will send an email out to all available providers in the area to find you a few qualified candidates to fill in for your normal provider. We've used this feature 3 times already in two months and love it!

Sittercity: Search by Language Spoken and Special Needs experience

One advantage of Sittercity is that the site offers more detailed search options. You can search for sitters / nannies who are fluent in German, Chinese, Spanish, French, or dozens of other languages (there were hundreds of providers speaking most languages in our area). Sittercity also allows you to search for providers who have specific experience with various special needs such as ADHD, Asberger's Syndrome, and children with asthma.

Search by specific days / hours available on Care.com

Care.com has one nice search feature which allows you to search for sitters or nannies who are available at certain time blocks on specific dates. Its a very quick way to find someone when you know exactly when you need them, without having to go through back-and-forth messages about scheduling.

Conclusion

Overall, both sites do a good job and we didn't have any major complaints about either. Care.com is probably the slightly higher-end solution, a little bit more expensive, but with some nice additional features like the "Care on Call" service. Care.com might be the better solution for those who regularly need sitters and nannies, people who travel a lot, and those with unpredictable schedules - it has everything you'll need to always have a sitter on hand when you need. Sittercity is a little bit cheaper and simpler - the web site is very clean and easy to navigate - so if you have more basic needs it might be the better solution. Also, if you have a child with special needs such as ADHD or asthma, of if you need someone who speaks a language other than English, Sittercity has some easy ways to find multiple providers with those specific experiences. We had good experiences with both though - you can't go wrong with either one of these top-quality sites.

Signing up

Read a more detailed review on Sittercity and Care. Forum discussion on Sittercity.

References: http://care.com and http://www.sittercity.com. SafetyWeb review.

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Comments (22)
Debbie Hipp

Thank you for the detailed review. May I ask where you live? In St. Louis there is another site FindTheBestNanny.com. Did you try them?

Michael De Winter

Hi Penny,

Thanks very much for checking out Care.com and posting your observations. I just wanted to let you know that Care.com has a separate Special Needs section which has lots of care providers with special needs experience. You can even search profiles by key words such as ADHD or autism. You can also search profiles by language spoken. I'd be interested to hear any additional feedback or suggestions that you have for our service as we're always working to improve it and make it as convenient and easy to use as possible. Thanks again for writing the article.

Best regards,

Michael

Check out Nannies4hire.com. Nannies4hire.com is one of the largest, most successful online nanny and family database serving the United States and Canada. As part of this database, you can conveniently search full-time, part-time, temporary, summer, babysitting, live-in and live-out nannies by zip code 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Nannies4hire.com database is designed to easily assist families in finding a quality nanny for their specific needs and requirements. Registered families may search by detailed characteristics to help pinpoint the perfect nanny for their family. In addition, helpful tools are available, including sample interview questions, a sample reference form and a sample contract. Nannies4hire.com also gives you advice, tips and information that will help you and your nanny connect on a social and personal level.

Well written information

Excellent

David

If someone is in need of caregviers for an elderly parent, the only site out there that is specifically senior focused is www.TheCaringSpace.com.

So I suggest using this site if one has care needs besides just a pet or child sitter. It's an excellent resource for managing care providers once they are hired as well.

Families can hire Senior Caregivers, proactively monitor and receive regular updates on loved ones care process with the rest of the family members involved on a secure, private and dedicated family communications platform with integrated video conferencing, photo, calendar, logs, notes, records, document sharing tools.

ms.kitti

I had a horrible experience with care.com - in theory they should be good but the people that sign up do so for free and it can be ANYONE. they barely do a background check and the one they do is a joke. They cancelled me within a few days with no notice and no reasoning. I doubt they would have given me my money back if I didn't insist on it. read the reviews on BBB and amazon - there are more negatives than positives. I'm going to try 4nannies and sitter city.

I would NOT EVER recommend care.com

Those that I did have a chance to interview were either young students (or just graduated), older 'moms' that lost their jobs recently and they all had VERY little experience.

One person even wrote to me that she had a 14 week old baby and if I didn't hire her she would like to set up a play date? I find that very very strange that someone that just had a baby would become a nanny for me -- I think she expected to bring her baby there as well?

They all wanted WAY more than what their experiences would be comparable too.

christy

this was so helpful, thank you!!!

Melissa

Why pay to look for childcare? Use www.daycarematch.com - it's free to search and contact providers.

Helon

another site, coming soon via facebook is Carenovate.com...sounds like a really nice, safe and affordable site for pet care, child care, senior care and other types of care.

Kimberly N

I started with a "free" trial but could not contact the sitters who answered my ad. So I was forced to pay the $35 a month fee which was higher than care.com. I joined both at the same time and got three times as many hits on the care.com site. Sittercity's site is also much less intuitive to navigate. Like another post, many of the sitters schedules did not match despite answering my very specific ad. The REAL kicker was when I had a sitter that I wanted to hire and I paid over $70 for the background and motor vehicles check. Once processed, the site put a little banner over the sitter's picture and said "background check completed." I contacted them for the results. Because of privacy laws, I can NOT GET THE RESULTS THAT I PAID FOR. How ridiculous is that? This is truly a scam to take you for your money. Join care.com and use a separate site for background checks. Waste of my time and money.

Christy

I finally tried Care.com and found a sitter/nanny. I had a weird feeling about her from the start but, i couldn't put my finger on it so i figured i was just a nervouse mother and hired her. she was with us about a month. long story short, i got off early from work one day and came home unannounced. from the moment i approached the front door i could hear my baby SCREAMING. i walked in a called "hello?" but all i could hear was wailing. i walked upstairs and must have surprised the babysitter becasue she was in another room and said "oh!" and scrambled into my baby's room. i saw her open the door. the room was pitch black and he was sitting in the middle of the floor crying so hard he was sobbing. she scooped him up and started chatting with me like nothing happened. i asaked her why he was crying and she said "oh we were playing peek a boo." i was shocked. my husband called her later and told her we no longer needed her. but that we would pay her for the rest of the week. she then proceeded to arrive on my doorstep ringing the doorbell like a crazy person early the next morning demanding her money! i was alone with the baby and really scared. i handed her a check and that was that. PLEASE check ppl out. PLEASE listen to your gut. you are the mother and your gut is never wrong! i will always wonder what in the hell she was doing with my son.

Care.com does not allow you to post to their site if you are doing a nanny share in which a regular full-time nanny takes care of two babies at the same time. This disqualifies about half of San Francisco from using the site. We pay at least 40k/year for a nanny so most of us have one nanny take two babies at the same time.  Well, care.com feels it is their place to decline to work with people who do this. They took days to get back to me about their reasons for decling to post my job opening and now I will probably have to wait many more days to see if they will refund my monthly fee.  Don't bother with them. I had no such issue with SitterCity.

Sittercity is better than Care.com. I paid for care.com and tried to post a job for a nanny share.  This is the most common type of child care in San Francisco.  Two families will have one nanny watch two children full-time. No big deal. We pay about 45k plus so its not really possible with one child.  Well, care.com doesn't allow these jobs to post.  They also take days to explain why. When I tried to repost as though there was only one family, they declined that job too.  So now I have to start writing to the CEO to try and get my monthly fee back.  I had no such issue with SitterCity.  Don't work with care.com.

I am researching <a href="http://preferrednannies.com">nannies</a> in the Salt Lake City area. Has anyone had any luck over here? Thanks for the help!

I am researching <a href="http://preferrednannies.com">nannies</a> in the Salt Lake City area. Has anyone had any luck over here? Thanks for the help!

The above articles get information about caring of senior people in the world thats nice.

Thank you.  Found this article useful.  I also have care search help from www.dcagency.net

Another very reputable and reliable website is collegenanniesandtutors.com. These nannies are educated, have personal character references as well and employer references, proof of prior experience, nanny training sessions, require current and updated first aid and infant/adolescent/adult CPR, and extensive back ground and driving record checks. Nannies have very detailed profiles and are available for scheduled care, interviews, meet and greets, long term or short term care, on-call care, or BUCA(back-up care advantage). Nannies are held to very high standards of professionalism and review, as well as stages(cum laude, magna cum laude, etc.) of Nanny training based on experience, client reviews, employer reviews, training credits, etc. Nannys can also be certified as tutors and many Nannies have experience with special needs, speak one or more foreign languages, are easily available for on-call care, specialize in a specific age range, or can cater to vegan, vegetarian, diabetic, etc. families. Once again, I highly recommend this service, in which you pay via the CN&T organization, not directly to the Nanny, and Nannies are subject to dismissal if clients are consistently dissatisfied. "College Nannies and Tutors"

graet post my friend qulpi svpply

I have used both and if you are looking for a college student try - http://barefootstudent.com : )

I have used both and recommend http://barefootstudent.com : )

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