Not that long ago, finding a nanny involved tapping into your personal network or hiring an agency. And finding a nannying job was even harder. But the internet and websites like Care.com have made it easier than ever to connect those seeking childcare with those who are willing to take care of adorable little ones.
Whether you’re looking for a nanny or looking to be one, keep reading. This article will walk you through everything you need to know about Care.com, including why to use it, how to use it to find a nanny, and how to use it to become a nanny.
Why Use Care.com
Care.com, Inc. is one of the biggest online platforms for finding work. It operates in nine countries and has 22 million members, 6.4 million of which are active on a monthly basis. Every 30 seconds, a new job is posted on Care.com. In the United States, Care.com is one of the top websites for connecting babysitters and nannies with families who need their services.
Whether you’re looking for part-time or full-time work as a care provider or are looking for some help, Care.com is a fantastic platform for you to utilize.
How to Search for a Nanny on Care.com
If you’re looking for childcare help, start with Care.com. It’s easy for you to sign up, create a job posting, screen candidates, and hire your nanny or babysitter.
How to Sign Up for Care.com
Signing up for a Care.com care seeker membership is easy. Load Care.com and click on the red “Join Now” button in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. Now fill out the form pictured below with your first name, last name, ZIP code, email, and a secure password you can remember.
That’s it! You’re signed up.
How to Create a Job Posting
To create a job posting and find your perfect nanny, you must first log into your Care.com account. Now click on “Post Job,” which is located at the upper left-hand corner of your Care.com home page.
Choose “Babysitter or Nanny” from the available options.
Set your specific job requirements, which will include the age(s) of your child(ren), your daily or weekly schedule, whether you have pets, and any additional tasks (like laundry, meal preparation, or housekeeping) you’d like the nanny to help with.
Indicate your pay rate. If you’re not sure what a fair salary is, you can use Care.com’s babysitter pay rate calculator, which also works for nannies.
Click “Save & Continue” to complete this step. The next step entails personalizing your posting with a title and information about your family to help nanny job seekers to see if their personality and skill set is a good fit for your family.
An ad for an after-school sitter who will help your elementary school-aged children with homework will look very different from an ad for a full-time live-in nanny. The clearer you are with your requirements, hopes, and family dynamic, the more likely you are to find the perfect nanny for your family.
How to Screen and Hire Your Nanny
Now that you’ve successfully posted your nanny job posting, it’s time to start screening the applicants.
There are some general questions you may want to ask, like “How long have you been caring for children?” and “Do you have any other life or work experience that you believe helps you as a nanny?” First Aid certifications, academic studies, or even being a camp counselor could all be relevant.
It’s a good idea to ask specifically about any trainings or certifications that matter to you, like First Aid or special needs, if relevant. You may want a nanny who can help your child(ren) practice another language like Spanish or French. Now is a good time to ask about that.
If your nanny candidate is experienced, you can and should ask about their previous employment including daily routines, any issues or emergencies that happened while they were caring for the children, whether they’re looking for a long-term or short-term role. It’s not unusual for candidates to look to pick up extra work during school holidays when they may have some more time and families need a bit more help.
It’s a good idea to ask your potential nanny how flexible their schedule is, whether they have any tasks they don’t want to do, if they have allergies or are afraid of any animals they may encounter while working with you, and if they’re comfortable helping care for more children during playdates and when family is visiting.
While you can ask a lot of very personal questions when screening a potential nanny, legally you aren’t allowed to ask about the following:
- Age (you may know this from the profile)
- Race or ethnic background
- Sexual orientation
- Religious views
- Marital status and/or plans on becoming pregnant
- Arrest record
If the nanny candidate brings any of these up on their own, you don’t have to cover your ears and ask them to stop. You can listen but none of these are a legally acceptable reason not to hire someone.
How to Search for a Nanny Job on Care.com
Care.com is one of the best platforms for those seeking nanny jobs online and the Care.com requirements are reasonable. Signing up and applying is quick and easy, and can lead to a job ASAP or in a few months, depending on your desires and how much time and energy you put into your search.
How to Sign up for Care.com
To sign up for an account on Care.com, load the homepage and click on the “Join Now” button at the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Change your answer from “What would you like to do?” to “Apply to jobs” and the form will change to the one below. Fill it out with your first name, last name, address, ZIP code, email, and a memorable password.
Select “Nanny” from the dropdown menu of services you offer. If you offer multiple services, you can add additional ones later.
You’re now ready to create your Care.com nanny profile.
How to Create Your Profile
Now that you’ve created your account, you’ll need to create your profile. Be sure to choose a friendly and smiling photo of yourself, summarize your experience and credentials, state your hourly rate, and let families know whether you’re looking for part-time or full-time nannying work.
Here’s an example of a great Care.com nanny profile:
Anapaula is smiling, has lots of experience, and has a background check on file that families can review for free.
In her “Meet Anapaula” section, she has listed her language skills, all her certifications, and notes she has several years experience as a nanny. She offers to share her references and explains the types of employment she’s willing to accept (multiple children and duties, but with a minimum of four hours per booking). She notes that she has her own car and speaks multiple languages, including English, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Anapaula made sure that her most recent review on Care.com is a glowing one and goes into more detail regarding her academic qualifications as a nanny.
If you don’t have the academic credentials of someone like Anapaula or are just starting out, it’s okay to say that. Share your enthusiasm and whatever relevant childcare or nanny experience you do have. Not every family will be the right match for Anapaula or you. It’s not necessary to match with every nanny job listing on Care.com, just one or a few to fill your schedule.
How to Apply for Nanny Jobs
Now that your nanny profile is set up, you’re ready to start applying to jobs. Start by logging into your Care.com account and navigating to the Care.com homepage. Scroll all the way to the bottom where you’ll see all the different categories. Click on “Nanny Jobs.”
You’ll be taken to a job board full of the recently posted nannying jobs on Care.com. At this point, you can sort by whether you want a job “Right Now,” “Within a week,” “In 1-2 months,” or if you’re “Just browsing.”
You’re able to click on “more” to read more of the job description and to determine if it’s for you before loading the entire listing for even more details.
Here is a nanny job listing that looks appealing, assuming you’re looking for a full-time nanny job, have your own transportation, and are near Port Washington, New York.
The family will usually post a photo of the children engaged in some activity they enjoy. It’s a nice way to gauge their hobbies and personalities. While the button here says “Join to apply,” it will say “Click to apply” for you as you will already be logged into your Care.com account.
Here you can see more information about the job, including the children’s gender and ages, the schedule, and the additional tasks the nanny will be expected to help with.
An easy trick is to hop to the bottom of the profile where families list “Caregiver preferences” and see if you match their preferences. For example, if you don’t have a college degree or a car, you may not be a good fit for this family.
Because some families don’t put their schedule in their “About the job” section, Care.com forces them to lay out the schedule on a nice tidy calendar so you can easily check if it matches your availability.
Take the time to find the nanny job listings that are both most appealing to you and match your skill set and schedule. Be sure to compose a clear and friendly message to the care seekers to let them know why you’d be the perfect nanny for their kids. This message is your chance to really shine, especially if you don’t have a lot of reviews or experience already.
Consider this message an informal cover letter and take it seriously. You’re better off writing two great messages that get responses than eight that get ignored.
Use Care.com to Find Your Next Nanny or Nanny Job
Whether you’re a family looking for help or a nanny looking for work, Care.com is a great platform for you to use. It’s easy to navigate, has an abundance of care seekers and care providers, and makes the process as simple as possible.
If you’re a care seeker, it takes just minutes to set up your profile and job description and screening interested care providers is as easy as reviewing profiles and scheduling a few interviews. If you’re a care provider, you’re just a profile and a few personalized messages away from your next nannying job.
Instead of paying an agency to play middleman, use Care.com to shortcut your way to your next nanny or nannying job.