Babysitter jobs can be a great way to make extra money if you love kids -- but not all babysitting apps are created equal. Here’s our rundown of the top 5.
The gig economy gives you the flexibility and independence to generate extra income doing something you love. If you love kids, babysitter jobs -- whether full-time or just on an occasional gig basis -- can help fill the time and make some cash, while doing something you love.
Perhaps looking after a younger sibling or neighbor’s kid was your first babysitting job, and a few good references paved the way to better-paying jobs in the community. You made flyers, and advertised on bulletin boards at elementary schools and local malls. You might even have volunteered at a childcare center, or taken a first aid or CPR course.
Some people enjoy working with kids so much they decide to make a career as a babysitter or a nanny. Pay is great for an entry-level position: on average babysitters in the U.S. make around $17 an hour. It’s something you can do anywhere in the world (for example, consider traveling abroad as an au pair), and unless people stop having kids, you’re guaranteed job security! Babysitting might even be the launch-pad for another exciting child-centered career.
Whether you’re looking for full-time babysitter jobs, or simply something to do in the evenings or over weekends for a little extra cash, a babysitter app or website is a really handy search tool. Just remember there are a lot of unknowns when babysitting in a stranger’s home, and not all platforms are created equal when it comes to handling safety concerns.
Check out some of the best apps for finding babysitting gigs, including costs to join, and how they differ from one another:
Care.com is one of the biggest sites in the world for finding babysitter jobs. It’s really easy to join: all you need is to be over 18, provide a bit of essential information, a recent photo ID, and undergo a quick background check. Payments arrive in your bank account within a day, and you keep 100% of what you make.
Care.com has a large footprint, but it’s really just a job board for finding babysitting gigs. Although there are no fees for a basic caregiver membership, you’ll need to upgrade to premium status to take full advantage of the site. In addition, you pay for your own background check. It’s up to you to do the legwork of sending emails to parents looking for a babysitter and do your own follow-up. Also, prospective employers are NOT required to undergo background checks, so there is an element of risk involved.
- Huge network
- Easy to join
- Payment is speedy
- No vetting of parents or any way to tell whether they’re legitimate
- No sitter support for engagements
- Pay for your own background check annually
Cost: Free entry-level caregiver membership; $20/month for premium membership
Sittercity is another popular babysitter app with an extensive network of parents. You need to be 18 years or older to join (which is free); it’s easy to see babysitter jobs near you.
However, like Care.com, Sittercity is essentially an online meeting venue, so you’ll have to be proactive to secure babysitter jobs. They supply a platform, but don’t get involved in the hiring process or paying sitters. This means that income and babysitting opportunities may be inconsistent. Also, bear in mind that background checks are not run on parents, so it’s important to communicate through the Sittercity website.
- Big network of prospective parents, although not as many as Care.com
- No vetting of parents
- No sitter support for engagements
- Parents, not Sittercity, are responsible for paying you
Cost: Free basic membership, pay for upgrades
UrbanSitter is a babysitting app in the U.S. that leverages Facebook to connect babysitters to local parenting networks via an internal database. Like Care.com and Sittercity, it’s more of an online marketplace for flexible as well as longer-term babysitter jobs. You determine your own hourly rate, and they won’t take a cut of your earnings.
To be eligible for bookings, babysitters must be at least 18 years of age and are required to pay an annual membership fee, which includes a background check. Parents have to verify their identity to book a sitter, though a proper background check isn’t required.
- Easy to use app
- Lots of prospective parents in big urban areas
- Connects to families through other sitters, families and community groups
- Limited babysitter jobs outside larger cities
- Difficult for new sitters to get booked
- Pay for your own background check
Cost: One-time fee of $24.95 to join, plus $9.95 per month
With a presence in every major US metro area, Nanno is the first national on-demand babysitting app, connecting top-quality, fully-vetted sitters with families. It’s free to join—Nanno even pays for your background check! You just need to be legally authorized to work in the U.S., be at least 18 years old, and pass our vetting process and background check. We’re growing nationally, and have babysitter jobs all over the country.
The coolest thing about Nanno for sitters is that we’re the only babysitter app that runs background checks on parents as well as sitters -- your safety is important to us! The app is easy to use and allows you to exchange secure messages with parents before and during booking.
Unlike some other sites, Nanno sets the hourly rate for babysitting jobs, and we aim for it to be at least 10% higher than the going rate in your area -- so you don’t need to negotiate about rates with parents. And if parents cancel at short notice, you still get paid a portion of the booking fee. Payments are deposited into your account within a few days… but we’re working on instant payment, so keep an eye out!
- Super safe—Nanno is the only platform that background checks parents too
- Free to join, and even pays for background checks
- Bookings are confirmed instantly
- Payment is automatic through the app
- Booking cancellation protection
- Nanno sets non-negotiable rates based on location
Bambino is an online platform to connect babysitters with clients in their neighborhoods. It’s free to download—you just need a Facebook account to sign up. Sitters set their own rates, and aren’t charged a commission fee on earnings.
Unlike some sites, it’s not a job board per se. Instead, Bambino is more of a social network, helping parents find highly-rated local babysitters who’ve already sat for people they know. Once a prospective client sees a neighbor has recommended you, the job’s almost certainly yours! Bambino is a combination of a babysitting app and word-of-mouth referral. However, bear in mind that apart from some basic verifications, they don’t require comprehensive background checks on caregivers or care-seekers, so the platform is a bit of a leap of faith when it comes to safety.
- Lots of prospective parents in certain areas
- Recommendation system creates good parent-sitter networking
- Once you’ve set your rate, you can’t adjust it
- Parents are “verified” if they used a Bambino sitter before, but there’s no proper background check
- Platform doesn’t encourage client to tip sitter