According to a survey from Care.com, one of the biggest babysitting websites, the national average rate for babysitters for an after-school sitter in 2017 was $242, a figure that has risen by a third since 2010. The survey found that cost was the number one reason families don’t hire a babysitter; the number two reason? It’s stressful and time-consuming to find a babysitter. But having some alone time is very necessary, and if the in-laws don’t live nearby babysitter apps can be a godsend.
To help you find the right sitter, here are seven babysitting apps that make finding, scheduling, paying, and communicating with potential caregivers easier than it’s ever been.
Sittercity has so many caregiver profiles — more than 1 million nationwide providing babysitting, nannying, pet sitting, senior care, tutoring, housesitting, and housekeeping services — that they decided it’d be easier for them to bring the results directly to you. Post babysitting jobs and you’ll get notifications from sitters matching your criteria who you can vet through the company’s four-step screening process. That process includes references, reviews, interviews, and background checks. The company says it connects a family to a nearby sitter every nine seconds.
Pricing: $35 per month; Free basic membership available
With 150,000 caregivers in 60 cities and an average response time (to last minute requests) of three minutes or less, UrbanSitter is the Uber of babysitting websites. One simple interface powers the entire process for parents and nannies. As long as you’re willing to pay the monthly fee, you can search by availability and browse categories like experience, pay rate, and background to find a match. Book jobs, make payments, and post reviews, all in the app.
Pricing: $34.95 per month, pay as you go; $19.95 per month or $99.95 per year with subscription; Free basic membership available.
Sitter assumes you and your friends aren’t among the 16 percent of parents that hoard their babysitter’s contact information to keep friends from poaching, according to Care.com. The app enables you to create a private network of other parents and trusted babysitters, so you can find new sitters quickly, based on your friends’ recommendations. When you need a sitter, send a single request to your trusted network (even ones that don’t use the app) and the first to commit gets the job. Sitter also includes a timekeeper, calculator, and in-app payment functionality that prevents end of the night math and “Sorry, I don’t have any bigger bills.” It’s a win-win.
Pricing: $10 per month or $100 per year; Free basic membership available (only includes booking and finding sitters through friends)
The beauty of Bubble is that, like Sitter, it connects you to babysitters recommended by your friends ⏤ either by tapping into your phone contacts or your Facebook account. Even better: it’s free. All of the care providers in the system are identity- and background-checked ⏤ although there’s also a feature where you can ask your friend to “vouch” for them, just to play it safe ⏤ and the secure in-app payment system makes settling up easy.
This babysitting website takes aim at both the expense and stress of finding a reliable babysitter by rethinking the whole enterprise. When you create a profile on SittingAround, you’re then able to join “co-ops” of parents in your neighborhood who exchange sitting for sitting rather than for cash. Aside from the savings, you get to embrace the whole “it takes a village thing” and actually talk to your neighbors.
Pricing: $5 per month or $15 annually; 60-day free trial; free, ad-supported accounts available to families with demonstrated financial hardship
In addition to a $30 set-up fee, Seeking Sitters is different in that involves individual local franchises helping families find “one-time, full-time, part-time or last-minute babysitting needs.” All you do is submit an online request for a baby, pet, or house sitter, and they tap into their local network of certified caretakers and send somebody over. Subscription plans are monthly or pay-per-use, you handle all payments directly with the sitter, and you can also gain access to other Seeking Sitters locations when you travel.
Pricing: $6 per month for unlimited requests; $29.99 one-time set-up fee
The largest online provider of caregivers (including babysitters, nannies, special needs, tutors, senior caregivers, pet sitters, and housekeepers), more than 25 million people in 20 countries use Care.com and the site’s companion app to find babysitters. Both let parents find, review, book, and pay babysitters, and its new streamlined, three-step “Date Night” engine makes it even easier to get out to see your one blockbuster movie a year.
Pricing: $37 per month or $12.25 per month for 12 months; Free basic membership available
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