Looking for Sittercity reviews? Read on to hear my story!
As a nurse with admittedly insane working hours, finding safe and nourishing childcare options has been a true pain. I was very nervous and generally confused about the process of choosing a sitter for my children.
My husband and I stumbled on this babysitting marketplace via some obsessive google searching, so I thought I’d do this assessement to share a bit about my experience.
Hopefully it will help you with yours!
Review of: www.sittercity.com
Use: Babysitter Website
5 out of 5
Tons of sitters available, many with unique qualifications
3.5 out of 5
Cancelling the service can be slightly confusing
Ease of Use
4.5 out of 5
Easy sign-up process and to create a quick listing
4 out of 5
For some, $35.00 can be steep. Best if you catch it during their free promo
- We didn’t have to sign up to create a listing
- The babysitters just seemed better
- Lots of students at local universities and sitters with special skills
- "Badges" that help you find CPR and First-Aid trained sitters
We Don’t Like:
- The ongoing monthly cost after the first month
- If you don’t live in one of the major cities listed on their site, you can’t see the babysitters in your area until you’ve signed up.
- Some profiles seemed to not be updated
Summary: The minimalist design easy sign-up process made it easy to use. We started getting applicants the same day. There were quite a few potential babysitters in our area to choose from. Once your sitter is found, we recommend you cancel your membership to avoid the recurring charges.
My Story: Major Trouble Finding A Babysitter
I knew I wanted Jen to have a special and nurturing relationship with her caretaker in her formative years. And I knew I needed someone I could trust to do it.
I’m not sure what I would have done without my support system at work (at the hospital). In particular, my friend Shelly (major shout out!) in pediatrics offered to help out.
She was stellar with kids.
Out comes our baby Mark a few years later (now 18 months), and Shelly continued to do a fantastic job taking care of the kids.
Our kids have always loved her, and Shelly basically became part of our growing family.
Oh No! Shelly Got a Promotion, and There Went Our Babysitter...
The news dropped like a bomb few months ago.
My husband and I were devastated to say the least. Sure, we were happy for her, BUT Shelly’s new position would mean that she has to be at the hospital 5 days a week.
This pretty much meant she couldn’t sit for us anymore.
So we scrambled to find a solid place for our kids.
Where else to turn but mom and dad?
Our parents were the only temporary fix we could find, which is great, but not quite what we’re looking for. Like about 20% of grandparents surveyed by the Grandparents.com in 2013, our parents aren’t the "bored and doting" characters we grew up with. They’re busy, and don’t always have time to babysit the grandkids.
We Decided To Give SitterCity.com A Try
We got the first month of premium access free after seeing we can do this from other reviews of Sittercity, so we thought, why not.
Honestly, it’s pretty cool. We’ve found a lot of passionate, qualified people for the job.The only downside is that some of the most qualified sitters are on the pricey side. Like I said, though, we were really seeking a high-quality option to somehow replace our Shelly.
So far, as of my writing this, there’s one candidate (her name’s Steph) that really stands out. She’s a med student that lives really close by and has a crazy-open schedule on Wednesdays and Saturdays (those are my working girl days).
We’re pretty sure the kids are gonna like her, and she seems like the right fit. She’s coming for an interview in a few days, so fingers crossed!
We’ll keep you guys posted about the results…
Who is SitterCity For?
- Parents with crazy working hours (like moi) who need consistent help
- Bilingual families who are looking for nannies that help keep their kids cultured
- Families who are looking for specialized care based on their child’s unique educational needs
- Parents who go on extended business trips and need an all-around skilled nanny
- Parents who can’t seem to find the right friends or relatives for the job
Who is SitterCity Not For?
- If you’re looking for someone to keep a quick eye on the kids, look elsewhere.
- Parents who are not willing to invest time into finding the perfect sitter
- Parents wanting a 100% free marketplace (check Craigslist in that case)
Sittercity Reviews: Let’s Walk Through The Signup Process and Features
So right from the get-go it asks you what you need in terms of scheduling. This means you don’t have to sift through a bunch of sitters with schedules and expectations that don’t match.
The idea is that the listing you build out will be sent out to all the babysitters in your area that fit the bill. Pretty neat.
ProTip #1: At first we forgot to select the start date as "flexible". Once we went back and changed our listing, the number of applicants went up. I figured the grandma could tolerate the kids for a few more days if it meant finding a better sitter!
2. Basic Information About Your Kid(s)
It goes a step further by asking how many kids you have and their age, so that you don’t end up with a sitter who’s fond of toddlers, but not to keen on older kids.
It also ensures that the sitters you match up with are comfortable caring for multiple kids.
3. Babysitter Qualities
In our case, we needed someone who was experienced with toddlers and preschool aged kids, so we were relieved to find a filter for that too.
It also asked us to make the sitter’s hourly rate for our listing. This was the scary part, since I wasn’t sure what the best babysitters were really expecting to get paid.
According to Time Magazine, babysitters in major American cities get paid an average of $15.71 an hour. Don’t be alarmed if rates go a bit higher – a lot of their sitters definitely show above average skills and education. This article says that babysitters can expect to earn up to $18/hour!
Pro-Tip #2: Be sure to select the option to add the preferred rate as a range. This made it easier for us to find a sitter that fit our budget.
Of course it asked us to break down the expectations a bit. It was kind of nice that there were housework and laundry and errand options, but also kind of odd.
We just chose the basics (though the thought of some help cleaning the house was tempting...).
Here’s a shot of our listing description:
Pro-Tip #3: Descriptions can really help bring out the strengths of your candidates, in unexpected ways. Steph, the med student we’re interviewing this week, actually has years of ballet under her belt that she didn’t include in her profile (but did mention in a message to us.)
A good thing to note is we found out afterwards that you can scroll down to skip all this stuff and just take a look at the sitters in your area.
This is good if you’re not 100% sure what you’d like.
6. You Can Easily Run Background Checks
They let you run background checks. This was an amazing feature, as safety was important to us.
7. Sitter Profiles – “Badges”, Skills, Last Sign In ("Freshness"), Babysitting Experience and More
So once it was all said and done, we started looking at our candidates.
A lot of the babysitters seemed qualified, and a few of them even had verified background checks.
For CPR training and first aid training, they have convenient badges to set these sitters apart. There’s even an Enhanced Background Check’ badge.
I’m still not sure what it means, but it sounds safe!
So once you click through to a sitter’s profile, you can see all sorts of detailed information, including:
- Last sign in date
- Parent opinions
- Experience details
- Special Skills
- Additional Services Offered
- Much more
8. SUPER BONUS: You can find pet-sitters on the site too.
What Other Parents Are Saying. Sittercity Scams?
It seems like people are pretty impressed by it overall. As far as SitterCity scams go, I’ve found nothing.
There were a few criticisms, but they all seemed to be about one thing– the renewing membership.
Pro Tip #4: Remember, the price of the membership renews automatically. So when you find a sitter you are comfortable with, don’t forget to cancel the membership. If you can cancel with 30 days, it’s free…BUT you have to cancel.
This is what we dug up around the web from other reviews of Sittercity.com:
5 Stars. We found it to be the most simple and user-friendly online platform for finding nannies and babysitters
As it is primarily a sitting and online nanny service, you probably won't find a lot of individuals who are prepared to take care of pets, handle dependent adults or clean house during sitting stints.
Once you have joined, the site’s massive database of professionals is ready and waiting for your next job.
Let's Make Some Comparisons To Other Babysitter Sites
I gave a few other sites a quick glance to see their Sittercity reviews and compared it to my choice. Here’s what I noticed...
SitterCity vs Care.com
Care.com has senior care and home care options, which is cool– but not what I was looking for. Other than that, it doesn’t seem quite as thorough. Since they aren’t a dedicated childcare site, some of the details and verification that just aren’t present.
UrbanSitter seems to focus more on local recommendations, which is great. Thing is, my husband and I were looking for special qualifications and training. They had video profiles for some of the nannies and sitters, which was pretty cool. The search was a bit difficult and the nannies weren’t quite right for us. It didn't seem as "mature" of a website.
Wyzant is actually all about tutors. It seems like a good place to go when the kids are older, but definitely not what we’re looking for now.
Sitter.me is seems to focus on recommendations from friends. This is nice, but we’re young, and not that many people in our network have kids just yet. It also just doesn’t seem like the best thing for us. Again, we’re looking for qualifications– not recommendations.
Care4Hire seemed a bit outdated. It did let us browse the babysitters in our area before the whole sign-up process, which was nice. Unfortunately, only 5 sitters showed up, and none of them had profile pictures.
Overall, SitterCity gave us everything we needed. We built out a listing really fast, and started getting responses the same day.
There are tons of babysitters out there on Craigslist and other local listings and that can be convenient in a bind. But something about it just doesn’t feel right. It seems like most sitters sort of go with the flow and let the kids do their thing until bedtime, which isn’t enough for us.
Like about 83 percent of parents surveyed by the Red Cross in 2012, we’ve looked to unskilled (though available) adult relatives for long enough.
Sittercity seemed more developed of a website, and there were more sitters in my area.
It’s only been a week and we have an interview with a great candidate set up. I’ll let you know how our interview with Steph (aforementioned med student) goes!
I hope you found these Sittercity reviews helpful. Below is their “promo video” so have a look if you want something from the company.