Every working parent should bookmark Care.com, and seriously consider becoming a member. This site is an incredibly helpful, easy-to-use, and trustworthy resource for finding childcare providers, tutors, pet sitters/dog walkers, and senior care providers.
Launched in the spring of this year, Care.com now covers 50 major metro areas across the country. Without joining or paying, you can quickly search for help in your area (based on zip code) and see limited profiles of care providers.
To get the full scoop, you have to pay. And by â€œfull scoop,â€ Iâ€™m talking about:
Background information (and even actual background checks)
Age, experience, and qualifications
Availability and rates
Photos and videos (in some cases)
Additional services and skills
From the big picture to the smallest details, thereâ€™s no doubt Care.com is the brainchild of a working mom (37-year-old Sheila Marcelo, mom of twoâ€“read all about her in this Boston Globe article) Really, you can learn just about everything youâ€™d want to know about caregivers before deciding to meet or interview them. Sorry, Craigâ€™s List, but you just donâ€™t compare.
The site puts you in control, sort of like real estate sites do for home buyers (who needs an agent to search for your new home?) I found it ridiculously easy to search and sort based on my criteria, and a snap to quickly go through search results to narrow my choices.
If you find what looks like the perfect math genius to teach your son geometry or the next Mary Poppins to watch your kids on Saturday nights, you can contact providers via the site or directly by phone. From there, itâ€™s up to you to decide whoâ€™s right for your fam or Fido. (Before you say â€œyouâ€™re hired,â€ you might want to read Care.comâ€™s safety tips.)
One thing I noticed while searching was a lack of user reviews (sure to pick up as more folks discover and use the site) and provider videos (probably because most sitters and dog walkers arenâ€™t super video-savvy). Iâ€™d love to see more of these as the site picks up steam, which I think it inevitably will.
If you decide to join Care.com (which youâ€™ll have to if you want full profiles and access to care providers), subscriptions range from $20 for one month of access to $80 for one year. I would definitely recommend a premium membership to any working mom who needs a new sitter, tutor, or pet-watcher. Right now you can save 20% off your first subscription period with new promotional code 30SAVESM. This promotion wonâ€™t last long though!
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