How Much Is Care.com?

Learn the full costs, how premium membership works, additional fees, how taxes are deducted when you’re earning, and more!

By Corbin HartwickUpdated on July 14, 2024

Tech Life Unity independently reviews everything we recommend. When you buy something after clicking on a link to another website, we may earn a commission. Learn More

Care is one of the most popular online platforms for connecting careseekers with nearby caregivers. But how much is using it going to cost you? That depends on whether you’re looking for help or wanting to be the one providing the help. It also depends on what type of caregiver you need (if you’re a careseeker), whether or not you want premium site features, and whether or not you want extra background checks on a caregiver (or yourself, if you are a caregiver).

So how much is Care.com? This article will outline how little you can pay for it, and how much you may have to pay if you want the full extent of its functionality.

Is Care.com free to use?

Careseekers can use Care at no cost other than what they pay caregivers for their work. Caregivers, on the other hand, are required to pay an annual fee to cover background checks. They must also pay a service fee for each job they accept that is directly booked with them by a careseeker.

Both careseekers and caregivers can also choose to pay for premium-tier memberships, which unlock additional features. We’ll elaborate on that in the next section.

Important

Careseekers also have to pay a booking fee whenever they directly book a job with a caregiver. However, they can’t access this function unless they have purchased a premium-tier membership subscription anyway.

How much is a Care.com premium membership?

A Care premium careseeker membership costs $39 for a monthly membership, $78 for a quarterly membership, or $156 for an annual membership. A Care premium caregiver membership costs $20 for a monthly membership, $45 for a quarterly membership, or $60 for a semi-annual membership.

Here’s a breakdown of the equivalent monthly rates (all prices are in US dollars):

Time Period

Care.com Careseeker Premium Rate

Care.com Caregiver Premium Rate

1 month

$39 / month

$20 / month

3 months

$26 / month

$15 / month

6 months

N/A

$10 / month

12 months

$13 / month

N/A

Compare Care.com Basic vs. Premium

Both careseekers and caregivers on Care have access to basic-tier or premium-tier memberships. Each type of user gets a certain set of functions with a basic-tier membership, and then they can purchase a premium membership to unlock additional features.

Here’s a comparison of the differences between a basic and premium Care.com membership:

Careseeker accounts

Criteria

Care.com Basic

Care.com Premium

Post public jobs

Allows for posting public jobs
Allows for posting public jobs

Search for local caregivers

Allows for searching for local caregivers
Allows for searching for local caregivers

View profiles of applicants to your public jobs

Allows for viewing profiles of applicants to your public jobs
Allows for viewing profiles of applicants to your public jobs

Use site tools and resources

Includes access to site tools and resources
Includes access to site tools and resources

Communicate with and book caregivers directly through Care.com

Does not allow communicating with and booking caregivers directly through Care.com
Allows for communicating with and booking caregivers directly through Care.com

Review results of background checks

Does not allow for reviewing the results of background checks
Allows for reviewing the results of background checks

Access the LifeMart Discount Program (for business employees)

Does not include access to the LifeMart Discount Program
Includes access to the LifeMart Discount Program

Get discounts on HomePay caregiver tax & payroll services

Does not provide access to discounts on HomePay caregiver tax & payroll services
Provides access to discounts on HomePay caregiver tax & payroll services

Caregiver accounts

Criteria

Care.com Basic

Care.com Premium

Search and apply for public jobs

Allows searching for and applying to public jobs
Allows searching for and applying to public jobs

Receive and accept/reject booking requests

Allows for receiving and accepting/rejecting booking requests
Allows for receiving and accepting/rejecting booking requests

Use site tools and resources

Provides access to site tools and resources
Provides access to site tools and resources

Get priority rankings in searches

Does not provide priority rankings in searches
Provides priority rankings in searches

Get priority job alerts

Does not provide priority job alerts
Provides priority job alerts

Communicate directly with careseekers through Care.com

Does not allow communicating directly with careseekers through Care.com
Allows for communicating directly with careseekers through Care.com

Waive costs for background check and annual screening

Does not waive costs for background check and annual screening
Waives costs for background check and annual screening

Access the LifeMart Discount Program (for business employees)

Does not include access to the LifeMart Discount Program
Includes access to the LifeMart Discount Program

Is the Care.com Premium membership worth it?

A Care premium careseeker membership may be worth it if you’re mostly planning on hiring pet care services or one-time child care. In these instances, it’s better to be able to directly book and communicate with specific caregivers in order to arrange short-term care within a limited time frame.

On the other hand, you can probably get away with using the basic version of Care if you’re planning on hiring a caregiver for long-term help. This includes recurring/ongoing child care, senior/adult care, housekeeping, or tutoring. In these cases, you’ll likely have the time to do legwork like caregiver interviews, background checks, and contract negotiation – and you’ll want to take it to ensure you make the right decision.

So just getting a sense of who’s available in the area is likely all you need from Care. You don’t necessarily need the service to directly connect you with a caregiver whom you’re looking to hire on short notice.

How much does Care.com cost as a caregiver?

Even with a basic account, caregivers still have to pay some additional Care fees. One is an annual fee of $15-$20 to cover the cost of CareCheck, the standard background check procedure for all Care caregivers. Another is a fee paid when a caregiver accepts a job booked directly with them through Care.

Did You Know

Sometimes, a careseeker will request additional background checks on a caregiver prior to hiring them. The caregiver is required to complete the checks before they can be hired by the careseeker. However, the caregiver is not responsible for the costs of these checks – the careseeker is.

Caregivers can also upgrade their accounts to premium-tier in order to unlock additional features. Subscriptions are available on monthly ($20 / month), quarterly ($45 / quarter), or semi-annual ($60 / half-year) bases.

Can you apply for jobs on Care.com without paying?

Yes. As a Care caregiver, you can apply for jobs posted by careseekers on the public job board without paying the service fee. However, you will have to contact the client outside of Care.com to arrange interviews and negotiate your terms of employment, including how you will be paid.

You also don’t need a premium membership to do this. You will still have to pay the annual CareCheck background check fee, though, so you can’t use Care completely for free.

Does Care.com automatically deduct taxes?

No. If you make enough money on Care to require a tax form, Stripe – Care’s payment processing platform partner – will send you a notification email. You must create a Stripe Express account (if you haven’t already) and download the appropriate tax form from there.

Important

Even if you don’t make enough money on Care to require a tax form, you must still report your earnings on Care as income for tax purposes.

How much money can you make as a caregiver?

You can set your own pay rates for one-time or recurring jobs on Care. When you accept a direct booking, you’ll get paid the applicable hourly rate times the number of hours for which the job is scheduled. For long-term jobs, you’ll have to negotiate your pay rate with the requesting careseeker.

So how much can you make on Care as a caregiver? That depends on several factors. These include what kind of services you offer, how much experience you have, where your clients are located, how long a job lasts, and any other specific responsibilities you’re asked to handle as part of a job.

Care has a set of pay rate calculators for senior/adult care, child care, pet care, and housekeeping. These can help you determine a competitive rate for your services based on your circumstances. To give you a starting idea of ranges, though, the following table contains the average rates for different care services across major US cities (as of this writing).

Care Type

Low Average

High Average

Overall Average

Adult care

$16.75 / hour

$24.25 / hour

$20.23 / hour

Senior care

$16.25 / hour

$24.50 / hour

$19.65 / hour

Babysitting

$16.25 / hour

$25.50 / hour

$19.76 / hour

Nanny

$17.00 / hour

$30.25 / hour

$21.51 / hour

House cleaning

$18.00 / hour

$23.50 / hour

$20.33 / hour

Housekeeping

$16.75 / hour

$23.50 / hour

$20.10 / hour

Pet sitting

$13.25 / hour

$21.00 / hour

$16.13 / hour

How much does Care.com cost when hiring caregivers?

When you directly book a job with a Care caregiver, you must pay their listed hourly rate times the scheduled duration of the job (in hours), as well as a booking fee. If a caregiver applies for your publicly-posted job, you must negotiate with them how much (and how) you will pay them.

Caregivers consider a number of different factors when setting their pay rates for one-time and recurring jobs, as well as when they’re negotiating pay rates for long-term jobs. These include:

  • What type of services they provide

  • How much experience they have providing their services

  • How long their services are needed

  • How many people or pets need to be cared for

  • What type(s) of people or pets need to be cared for

  • Where you are located (relative to them)

  • Whether or not you require them to provide their own transportation, equipment, and/or supplies

  • Any additional responsibilities you want them to handle as part of the job

How much are babysitters on Care.com?

Babysitters on Care in the US cost an average of about $19.75 per hour. However, they may cost more if you need them to perform additional duties, such as doing laundry, buying groceries, or driving children to appointments or other events (e.g. sports practices).

Costs can also be affected by a few factors, including:

  1. How long (and how soon) you need a babysitter

    Choosing the date and time length you need a Care.com babysitter

    (Image source: Care.com Help Center)

  2. How many children need care, and how old they are

    Choosing which children need babysitting

    (Image source: Care.com Help Center)

  3. Other details about the babysitter, such as how experienced they are and where they’re located (relative to you)

    Details about a Care.com babysitter

    (Image source: Care.com Help Center)

How much is a background check on Care.com?

All caregivers on Care must pass a CareCheck, Care’s default background check. They also pay an annual fee for this. However, a careseeker can initiate further background checks at their own expense. The cost of this depends on the scope of the background check ordered.

Pro Tip

Caregivers can also request background checks on themselves, and then share the results on their profiles. This can help them get hired by careseekers faster and more often. It saves careseekers the trouble of running a background check themselves, and shows careseekers upfront that a caregiver doesn’t have a criminal record to hide.

Care currently has four types of extended background checks available: Criminal Records Check, Motor Vehicle Records Check, Criminal+ MVR Records Check, and the Investigative Criminal Plus Check. Their pricing is not very transparent, but these are the estimated costs for each type of check.

Background Check

Cost

Information Covered

Criminal Records Check

$60

  • Social Security Number (SSN) Trace

  • Multi-Jurisdictional Database Search

  • Sex Offender Search

  • Federal Courthouse Records Search

  • County Criminal Records Search

Motor Vehicle Records Check

$20

  • License type, class, and expiry date

  • License endorsements, suspensions, or revocations

  • Recorded accidents, DUIs, or other traffic violations

  • Owner’s driving privileges (and any restrictions on them)

Criminal+ MVR Records Check

$80

All information covered by both the Criminal Records Check and the Motor Vehicle Records Check

Investigative Criminal Plus Check

$300

  • All information covered by the Criminal Records Check and the Motor Vehicle Records Check

  • Advanced Identity Research

  • State-Level Criminal Records Search

  • National Bankruptcy Records Check

  • National Wants & Warrants Search

  • Civil Restraining Orders Search

Other Care.com cost FAQs

Here are some other common questions regarding how Care and its users are paid and charged.

How does Care.com payment work? + Available methods

Stripe, Care’s payment processing service partner, handles direct job bookings. It typically accepts credit cards as payment. However, if you’re using the Care mobile app and paying through the app provider (i.e. Apple App Store or Google Play), you may be able to use other payment options.

If you post a job on Care’s public job board and a caregiver applies for it, you will need to contact the caregiver directly (either on or off Care) and negotiate their terms of employment. Part of this is how they will be paid, so you can use whatever payment method you mutually agree on.

Warning

Be careful of caregivers asking for payment in advance – or, if you’re a caregiver, careseekers wanting to pay you in advance – via a difficult-to-track payment method, such as cash, check, money order, or wire transfer. They may be trying to pull a scam such as overpayment fraud or advance-fee fraud.

Look for other suspicious signs such as strange job details/requests, pay rates that seem too good to be true, an insistence on using specific forms of communication (usually email), and a reluctance to communicate using other methods (e.g. on-site messaging, phone call, video call, or in-person meeting).

Make sure to review our guide on Care.com safety and scams to watch out for to learn more about what you should be wary of when using Care.com.

How do you change your pay rate on Care.com?

Log into your Care caregiver account through either the website or the mobile app. Next, open the main menu and go to your profile. Select the service you want to update your rates for (if applicable), then click Edit beside “(Pay) Rates”. Change the rate(s) you want to change, then click Save.

The process is slightly different depending on whether you’re using the Care website or mobile app. Full instructions can be found here.

What does "professional pay" mean on Care.com?

“Professional pay” means a caregiver is counting the money they make on Care as taxable income. This has several upsides, such as building a documented employment history, entitling them to unemployment insurance, and entitling them to Social Security and Medicare benefits when they retire.

What is CCI Care.com on a credit card statement?

This is a charge from Care for a background check fee, direct caregiver booking, or premium membership subscription. Care’s premium membership subscriptions automatically renew after each billing period, so be sure to cancel them if you no longer wish to use their services.

Pro Tip

Many people have complained about Care seemingly illegitimately charging them, but it’s likely that some didn’t realize they hadn’t officially canceled their premium membership subscription. Some charges from Care may actually be fraudulent, though (i.e. someone else accrued them in your name). Get in touch with your financial institution and credit card company (or other payment provider) to understand what these charges are, and to dispute them if necessary.

How to cancel a premium membership subscription & get a refund from Care.com

Besides caregiver no-shows, Care doesn’t offer refunds for any of its services (unless otherwise specified when you purchase them), including premium membership subscriptions. Of course, you can try to dispute charges you believe to be unfair with your financial institution or payment provider. However, unless these charges are found to be truly fraudulent, you may not be able to recover your money.

That’s why it’s important to know how to officially cancel your Care premium membership. Ideally, you want to do so before the subscription auto-renews and you get charged for something you aren’t using. Here’s how:

On the Care.com website, if purchased through Care’s website (for careseekers):

  1. Open the main menu by clicking the three bars at the top of the screen. It looks like this:

    Icon for the main menu on Care.com

    (Image source: Care.com Help Center)

  2. Next, select My Premium Benefits.

    My Premium Benefits on Care.com

    (Image source: Care.com Help Center)

  3. On the right side of the screen, scroll down until you see your name and profile picture. Click Manage Membership.

    Manage your Care.com membership

    (Image source: Care.com Help Center)

  4. Click Cancel subscription.

  5. You will be given a brief exit survey. Answer questions where necessary or applicable, clicking Continue after each prompt.

  6. When you are finished with the survey, click Confirm cancellation.

On the Care.com website, if purchased through Care's website (for caregivers):

  1. Click Me to open the main menu, then select either Settings & Privacy or Account & Settings.

  2. Scroll down to the “Membership Information” section, and then click Manage Plan.

  3. Click Basic, and then click Submit.

  4. Click Confirm new plan. This will save your changes and downgrade you to a basic-tier membership.

On the Care.com app, if purchased through Care’s website (for careseekers):

  1. Tap Me in the lower-right corner to open the main menu, then select Account & Settings.

  2. Scroll down to the “Account Status” section, and then tap Cancel subscription.

  3. Tap Downgrade now.

  4. You will be given a brief exit survey. Answer questions where necessary or applicable, tapping Continue after each prompt.

  5. When you are finished with the survey, tap Finish downgrade.

On an iOS device, if purchased through the Care.com mobile app (for careseekers or caregivers):

  1. Open the Apple App Store app.

  2. Tap your profile picture in the upper-right corner, then tap Subscriptions.

  3. Tap Care (Caregiver).

  4. Tap Cancel Subscription.

  5. Tap Confirm.

Make sure to review our full guide on how to cancel your Care.com membership so you fully understand the billing implications of a premium membership before you sign up.

How does Care.com make money?

Care makes money mainly through subscription fees for its premium memberships. It also charges both careseekers and caregivers fees when they complete direct job bookings. Finally, it has annual fees for CareChecks, as well as one-time fees for careseeker-initiated background checks.

So, do you have to pay for Care? If you’re a careseeker, you don’t strictly have to. However, you’ll only really be able to use it for finding nearby caregivers for long-term care jobs. And you’ll still have to do a lot of the prep work yourself: interviewing the caregiver, researching their background, and negotiating their terms of employment. If you want Care.com to help with any of this legwork – or are looking to use it to arrange short-term help on short notice – it’s going to cost you extra.

If you’re a caregiver, there’s an annual cost of around $15-20 for the mandatory CareCheck background checks. There are no other compulsory costs, but Care does charge for premium features and extended background checks should you want them. Care also charges a service fee on any job a careseeker books directly with you through its website or mobile application.

Pro Tip

You can get around the direct booking service fee by arranging short-term jobs outside of Care.com, like you have to with long-term jobs posted on Care.com’s public job board. However, Care.com cautions against doing this unless a careseeker needs to pay you overtime after a short-term job is done. This is because you forfeit any support Care.com could provide you with if you encounter a pay dispute or other suspicious activity.


Check out our full list of guides to Care.com if you want more information, like how to hire on Care.com, or how to become a caregiver yourself. If you think all of this still sounds too expensive, you can try other services like Care.com, or compare Care to Sittercity, another popular caregiving website.