Tech Tuesday: Online matching, the next generation. (Enter the Babysitter.)

by Geek Squad Agent on ‎02-17-2009 10:32 PM (22,651 Views)

Welcome to the latest in internet advancement. Geek Squad Agents know that all roads lead to the Internet, and all ideas eventually find a way of popping up there — including finding caregivers. Enter caregiver matching sites, like www.sittercity.com and www.care.com.

 

Founded in Boston in 2001, Sittercity.com has grown to over half a million users around the United States, all thanks to a simple principle: giving people a safe method of finding caregivers. The site is free for caregivers to sign up for, and allows users to search by zip code for babysitters, pet sitters, dog walkers, elderly care, house sitters, and tutors of all types.

Caregivers fill out an exhaustive series of questions to give users an understanding of their background, skill sets, and personality style. Sittercity uses a four-step screening process (online feedback, reference checks, video interviews, and background checks) to help users search for a reliable caregiver. In addition, they’ve got SpeedSitting events, where (just like speed dating) parents sit at a long table across from sitters and interview each other for 5 minutes before moving down to the next potential sitter.

 

Care.com provides most of the same elements as sittercity.com (matching by zip code), with the addition of Special Needs care givers, and the ability to search for a caregiver by age, gender, language, hourly rate, and more. It uses Google Maps to plot out available caregivers in a map of your area, making it even easier to find a caregiver near you.

 

Full subscriptions for sittercity.com are as low as $7.99 a month for an annual subscription. Care.com goes for $10 a month annually. Both are free to try, so next time you and your significant other want to get out of the house and on the town, consider using the Internet to help you find that perfect (caregiver) match.

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