Care.com vs. Sittercity vs. Urban Sitter: Babysitter Sites Compared
The modern parenting scene means that you have options for living life that were not as possible before. You can now find a babysitter using the power of the Internet instead of having to hunt around throughout creation to find what you want instead. Here are a few options you can use when it comes to finding the perfect person for the job you need them for, including any qualifications or specific traits you need them to have.
Care.com makes it simple to go straight to what you want from the main page since you can choose between needing a caregiver or a care job. There are a number of features on the site that allow you to save time and make your life with a caregiver easier.
- HomePay Automatic Taxes-You can have the app automatically calculate taxes for you if you want a long-term nanny. This can actually be a bit complicated to try to do completely by yourself, believe it or not. But if you subscribe to Care.com, they can calculate it for you. This will be an issue if you plan on employing someone and paying them more than $1900 per year in the U.S.
- Android or iOS-You can access your Care.com account right from your Android or iOS device using the free apps available. They get good reviews too, with the iOS one getting at least 3 out of 5 and the Android version getting four our of 5.
- Date Night-This feature on Care.com allows you to quickly connect with potential babysitters in order to facilitate your night out.
SitterCity is going to be a good bet if you want to try out a service before committing to it since you get that first month for free. Reviewers comment on how the badges showing skills for sitters are also highly convenient. You can also sort through sitters quickly based on their badges which help you see what skills they have that you might want, such as the ability to perform CPR, do first aid on children, and others.
- Badges-When you visit the site, according to reviewers, you can see badges next to sitters’ names that indicate certain skill sets that they have. For example, there may be one that indicates the sitter has skill with first aid, or that they know CPR, and so on.
- Month Trial-You can try out the service for the first month totally for free to see if you like it. After that, you pay the monthly rate.
- Wider Babysitter Ranges-You can find a wider range of people on this site than on other sites, which could be a benefit to some. For example, reviews indicate that girls as young as 12 are on the site. It really just depends on your opinion on the matter. It does allow more people to work and some children may be more comfortable with highly mature younger sitters, depending on the area. It is worth noting that legality about this could change depending on where you are. At the least, it appears that there are fewer restrictions on signing up on this site than there are on many others in general.
Urban Sitter tends to focus more on crowdsourcing and word of mouth reviews and information than the other sites. So, this site will be good for you if you prefer this type of information dispensing to just reading about sitters directly. They actually focus a lot on information since they have the video profiles too.
- Word of Mouth Local Info-You can get crowdsourced information about sitters such as which are recommended by parents from a particular soccer team, a school, or some other location-based group.
- Video Profiles-You can watch video files uploaded by the babysitters that are easy to access right through the app or the site. That way, you can get a better idea of what that person is really like instead of just relying on words on a screen.
- Parental Reviews-Each profile also has reviews from each parent that actually used that babysitter about how their experience went. This can help with vetting too. Although it is important to not just rely on the site for vetting, many of the reviews emphasize this. You should call the references as well. No site of this nature can guarantee safety.
- Mobile Access-You can use the service through both Android and iOs, and you can find sitters and pay for them all fairly fast right through the site. The apps emphasize quick booking, even on short notice, including for the night where you sign up. You can pay through credit card on the site as well, for example.
Head to Head
There are a lot of automatic features for Care.com including their automatic billing and their automatic taxes for a nanny. Care.com also allows people to automatically continue their payments monthly with automatic billing as well. It is worth noting that the features of Care.com aren’t bullet proof. They put effort into vetting those that sign up on the site in either direction, but issues still happen. There was a report that college students occasionally getting scammed on the site. The point is, you definitely still have to pay attention to the signs of someone being shady.
Sittercity features apparently include options for canceling your account that can be difficult to find. People ask about this frequently online. You have to go to Account, then settings, then Edit under “Basics.” Only then can you hit the deactivate button. A big feature on SitterCity is that you can try them out for a month for free. This means that you could get a connection on the site without paying anything, and then maybe that’s all you would need. In other words, it can be a good short-term solution. This is in contrast to Care.com which is built more for long-term solutions with their automation features.
Urban Sitter gives you the ability to search specifically filtering for local schools, particular parental groups, local sports teams and so on, all crowdsourced so you can see ratings for whatever it is. The video profiles produced by each individual nanny and babysitter are also a big thing on the site, for example. Reviews praise the service’s speed in terms of signing up and finding a babysitter quickly. It seems that both Urban Sitter and Sittercity will work well for speed for this reason, according to reviewers. However, it looks like there are some complaints about Urban Sitter from the Android app about it taking a bit long to release credit funds. Urban Sitter does respond to these complaints quickly, though.
Overall, Care.com has features focused quite a bit on automation compared to the rest. They have a lot of reviews out there of their features, and many of them are highly mixed based on the individual babysitters involved. Scandals in this regard would indicate that caution is definitely still needed. It seems that SitterCity may be harder to cancel than Care.com, based on the feedback. Certifications are also comparable since SitterCity has the BBB certification, Inc. 500 seal, International Navy Association, and Senior Approved seals as well.
Care.com costs $35 a month if you go with a month to month basis. It does do automatic billing, however, so you should definitely watch out for that if you’re worried about being charged for more than you want. You can also sign up for a 3-month program at $70 which comes out to $23 or so per month or a 1-year version at $140 and over $11 per month. You definitely come out ahead versus Sittercity this way if you go with the bigger subscription plans, at least in the long run.
SitterCity charges $35 per month after the first premium membership month, which is free. They don’t offer extra packages beyond that, however. But this definitely means that you get a bit more than you do at Care.com at least when you start out. Over the long haul, however, Care.com rewards you more with longer packages.
Urban Sitter goes for just under $15 per month. Or, you can save a bit and go for just under $100 per year. This makes it the cheapest option of the lot on a monthly basis. The cost goes way down to just over $8 per month if you go yearly, meaning that Urban Sitter is cheaper than even Care.com if this is a big concern of yours.
Overall, if you want to save some money by getting a subscription over the long term, you should definitely go with Care.com over Sittercity, considering Care.com offers three-month and one-year packages that save you as much as $20 per month. This is because Sittercity simply doesn’t offer the longer packages. You have to go month to month. Urban Sitter wins out overall when it comes just to cost, however, since you can get the rate down to under $100 if you pay yearly. All of this is obviously besides whatever the sitter charges themselves. It’s important to note that you’ll have to add that on top of the subscription fee. Sitters are encouraged to come up with their own rates on all of these sites, generally, so there could be a wide range of prices depending on the individual.
Care.com reviews definitely range far and wide based on the particular location. For example, the BBB profile in Boston has people giving it a good review of 4 out of 5 based on over 600 reviews. The one in Mansfield, Texas, however, gets a poor review of just 1 out of 5, though this is based on much fewer total numbers. So, it appears that the exact caregivers available in an area definitely make a significant difference. The BBB grade rating itself for the Boston business was A-, which is still quite good. The main reason for this is the sheer number of complaints filed against the business, which was also over 600, even if many of them were resolved. TrustPilot gives it a 5.1 out of 10 for around 500 reviews total.
SitterCity reviews are mostly concerned with scam protection. The site itself lists a number of rules about using the site to lower the probability of this sort of thing happening. This includes only using SitterCity for communication, avoiding taking or accepting money from people you haven’t met, and so on. The point is that the site isn’t itself infallible in terms of avoiding scams. Review scores include a 4 out of 5 score from SiteJabber with around 10 reviews. They are definitely positive about the badges on Sittercity, however. The consensus is definitely that it’s critical you call all references for sitters and do the due diligence yourself for Sittercity and many similar sites.
UrbanSitter reviews are fairly middle of the road with Yelp ratings coming in around 3.5 for SoMa. They also get good reviews for their Google and iOS apps. Their Google App goes for 4 out of 5 with over 300 reviews. The complaints were mostly about how you need a credit card in order to talk to sitters at all. They were impressed with the app’s features, however, such as being able to connect to sitters quickly and while traveling. It’s definitely a service that works well for those who need a lot of info.
Overall, reviewers overwhelmingly bring up that what indicates a positive outcome the most on these sites is how much you do your own research. The sites just don’t have perfect oversight. Many reviewers talked about that at length, that they do their own research, look up all the references, ask to see identification and certification, and so on. The horror stories come from those who didn’t do that. The success stories come from those who did pay attention and ended up finding some great sitters who were even just down the road from them that they would’ve had no chance of being able to find otherwise.