You’ve been there for your family since day one and you’ve been through it all. From picking up the kids at basketball practice to driving your loved ones to doctor’s appointments to walking the dog before you head out for work in the morning, there’s a lot to manage.
You’re known for juggling all of this and then some, navigating through life like you’re on a mission. But sometimes life gets a little busy and you must turn to someone for help.
Whether that’s a childcare provider during the week, pet care while you’re on vacation, or senior care to look after elderly family members, it’s normal for people to hire someone to lend a helping hand.
The problem is finding a trustworthy person at an affordable price you’re willing to pay. That’s where Care.com comes into the picture.
Care.com is an online homecare platform that connects families seeking care services with trustworthy and qualified care providers who are looking for employment.
But how much does it cost families and caregivers to use the Care.com platform?
In this article, we’ll lay out every cost associated with Care.com and will give you an idea of how much families and caregivers will spend using the homecare platform.
Care.com offers two different membership tiers — premium and basic membership. The basic membership tier is free, but it’s limited in its functionality. The premium membership will cost you, but you’ll receive access to all features of the site.
Let’s start with those who are seeking care.
Care Seeker Costs
Beginning with the basic membership for care seekers, as mentioned above, this option is free to use. On paper, free sounds like the best choice. But the problem with the basic membership is that you’re only able to do so much with it.
With the basic membership, you’re able to sign up and create your job posting. You can also begin searching through caregiver profiles and read over reviews.
The problem is that you can only see basic profile information and a limited amount of reviews. Important details that would help you make your decision, like phone number and professional references, are held back from you.
You also are unable to fully communicate with caregiver applicants. You can only preview the messages they send you.
With the premium membership, you have complete access to all of this information, including access to background checks, and are able to communicate back and forth with applicants as much as you want.
At some point you’ll likely be coaxed into paying for the premium membership out of necessity. If so, here’s a rundown of how much it will cost per month, depending on which payment plan you go with.
- 12 months: $13 per month
- 3 months: $26 per month
- 1 month: $39 per month
As you can tell, you’re pretty much backed into a corner of paying for the premium membership tier.
But we think that’s alright since this is a very big decision that involves trust, security, and assurance, so forking over a couple bucks isn’t so bad in the long run.
Caregivers must also make the same decision as care seekers — do you pay for the premium membership or just use the basic membership?
Well, the story goes the same way for caregivers. It seems as though you can search job descriptions and apply to jobs, however, once a potential employer reaches out, the level of communication you have with them is limited.
After scouring Care.com’s forums, we found that Care.com will in a way serve as the mediator when communicating with a potential employer. This can surely slow things down and create a big inconvenience for you.
If you decide to go with the premium tier, you have free reign over how much you communicate with care seekers and can get jobs locked in much faster.
Also, if you decide to go with the premium tier, your profile will be pushed to the top of search results, putting more eyes on you and increasing the chances you’ll receive jobs.
Lastly, you’ll receive a free basic background check that will help strengthen your profile and make you look more legitimate in the eyes of care seekers.
If you decide to go with the premium membership tier, you have the choice of paying three different monthly fees:
- 6 months: $10 per month
- 3 months: $15 per month
- 1 month: $20 per month
On top of just paying your monthly premium rate, there’s one more layer to the cost of being a caregiver, and that’s Care.com credits.
Care.com credits are completely optional, but they provide caregivers with another opportunity to catch the attention of potential employers.
Caregivers are able to purchase credits and use them towards qualifying job applicants. If you decide to use credits for a job application you really like, you’ll be one of only five applicants that the employer will see.
By charging caregivers to apply, care seekers will likely only get serious applicants since caregivers will be much more selective.
Likewise, caregivers will have a better chance of landing a job because they’ll only be competing with four or fewer competitors.
If you think purchasing credits will help land your next job, then here’s the price breakdown:
- 10 credits for $9 (only $0.90 per credit)
- 25 credits for $19 ($0.76 per credit — save 16 percent)
- 50 credits for $29 ($0.56 per credit — save 36 percent)
Now that you have a handle on all of the membership and credit pricing, let’s move on to the next cost you’ll likely come across — background checks.
Care.com has pretty strict requirements as is, but they take things one step further by conducting background checks on all sitters.
Background checks are priced at three different tiers and cover different levels of information. The first and most basic background check tier costs $59 and goes all the way up to $300 for the most in-depth screening.
Since finding care for your loved ones is a very important decision, you’re most likely going to want to run a background check on potential employees. After all, you probably wouldn’t let some stranger off the street come into your home and start watching your loved ones without some extra reassurance.
There are three different tiers for the Care.com background checks, with each one covering more than the last. Here is a breakdown and price of each background check:
- Criminal Records Check
- Cost: $59, or free if you upgrade to Premium.
- Covers: This checks against five criminal databases.
- Criminal Records Check + Motor Vehicle Record
- Cost: $79
- Covers: This is the same check as above, plus license status, driving records, and traffic violations.
- Investigative Criminal Plus Check
- Cost: $300
- Covers: The ideal option for those who do not want to take any chance whatsoever. This looks at 11 different criminal databases.
Typically the care seeker will pay for these background checks since they’ll want to give a thorough check themselves, however, caregivers can also pay for their own background checks. If a caregiver wants to strengthen their profile, they can surely pay for their own background check.
Worker Pay Rates
The last cost associated with Care.com are the rates caregivers charge care seekers. Depending on several variables like what type of job it is and the experience level of the caregiver, care seekers have the option of paying hourly rates that typically fall between $10 and $15.
When it comes to the type of work you’re looking for, there are some jobs that pay more than others. For example, tutoring for a child brings in an average hourly wage of $14.25. If you compare that to just childcare, which comes in at $11.75 per hour, you’re paying almost $3 more per hour.
To give you an idea, the most popular jobs on Care.com have the following average hourly wages:
- Childcare: $11.75/hour
- Nanny: $12.75/hour
- Housekeeping: $13.00/hour
- Tutoring: $14.25/hour
There are also several other factors that will affect how much a caregiver is able to charge their employer. Some of these variables that will drive up the price include the following:
- Amount of Care: Is this a full-time, part-time, or just a once in a while job? Days of the week and last-minute jobs can also skew rates.
- Location: Major metropolitan and suburban areas tend to have higher rates than rural areas.
- Number of Children/Pets: Sure, one kid is no problem, but what about two, three, or four? The more children or pets you have, the higher the rate will be.
- Care Needs: What does your job consist of and are there additional services? If you expect your children to be cared for, plus laundry, housekeeping, and other chores, rates will surely be higher.
- Transportation: If your caregiver needs to drive around town, expect a higher rate, especially if they are driving their own vehicle. Don’t forget about factoring in gas money as well!
- Years of Experience: This one comes with the territory. Experienced caregivers demand higher rates than inexperienced workers, and rightfully so.
- Special Qualifications: Along with experience, those with qualifications that enhance their ability to fulfill their duties expect a higher wage.
As you can tell, there’s a lot that goes into how much a caregiver is charging.
If you’re a caregiver, carefully go over this list and don’t feel bad for charging a premium if you know you’re worth it.
If you’re a care seeker and you are starting to think the costs are adding up, there are some ways you can cut back the costs and save a few dollars.
How to Reduce Costs
The two easiest ways to reduce care costs are finding a Care.com promo code you can apply to your order and being smart about deciding when you’re able to discontinue your plan.
First off, using a promo or coupon code for your Care.com purchase can immediately reduce what you’re spending. With a promo code, you can get a reduced first-time membership fee or money deducted off services.
Promo codes are all over the web, so we decided to compile a list of current Care.com promo codes you can use for your purchase. Head to our Care.com promo code guide to find yours now!
Also, it’s important to note that if you’re a care seeker and found the perfect caregiver, or the other way around, what’s the point in paying for the monthly subscription fee if you no longer use it?
When signing up, make sure you take this into consideration. Once you decide on a membership tier and duration of your membership, you’ll be locked in paying those prices.
So if you only think you need a three-month membership, then don’t sign up for the one-year tier. If you end your membership early, you won’t be reimbursed for those extra months.
You should also know that your membership will renew automatically. So if you found your perfect match, make sure you cancel your membership before the auto-renewal charges you again. You also won’t be able to receive a refund if this happens.
Find Your Perfect Match
After seeing all the costs that go into using Care.com, do you think it’s worth it? We’d like to think so.
If you’re in need of a pet sitter, part-time nanny, senior caregiver, or any other home care position, Care.com is an excellent tool for finding the perfect fit.
And for those of you looking for a new job, Care.com provides people just like you with flexible and diverse employment opportunities every single day.
It’s time to find your perfect match!