November 16, 2023
There are a range of child care services out there and it’s confusing to figure out which service best fits the needs of your family. We’re here to help. We’ve broken down the key differences between Care.com and Bumo on-demand child care services based on certain parameters below so you can evaluate which works best for you.
Care.com is an online marketplace subscription service which provides a range of services including child care, senior care, housekeeping, pet care and even tutoring. They facilitate those in need of the services with those who provide them. For the purpose of this blog, we’ll focus on their child care services only. Care.com is a leader in the nanny, in-home care services in particular. As part of onboarding, they require you to put in your search parameters, starting with your location, followed by what kind of care (in-home, or center) you’re looking for, the number of children you have and their age(s).
They have a 10-step onboarding process as follows:
Care.com then requires you to create an account before you can access the search results page.
In the event, you were looking for individual nannies, from the search results page, you are able to go through individual caregivers’ profile pages which you can then drill into and read their reviews and history of caregiving to determine who might be the right fit for you and your family.
You can then initiate a text message conversation with the ones on your short list. However this is a premium feature and Care.com will paywall this and require you to pay for their subscription service as follows:
Once you enroll and pay, you can then chat/converse with the candidates to assess each candidate individually before making a decision.
If you searched for day care centers, care.com lists locations based on your search parameters and provides information on each that you can review.
However with care providing centers, there is no way to book. The only available call to action for care centers is to request information as follows:
You can also post a job, e.g. I need a full time care nanny for 2 children, ages 6 months and 2 years, starting Jan 2024, and care providers who are available and meet the criteria can contact you. You can vet the list of nanny candidates and determine who would work best for you.
Care.com services include CareCheck, which is a background check that is part of their caregiver eligibility screening process. All caregivers are required to complete CareCheck in order to interact with families, providing families with reassurance of safety.
However, since in-home care is so personal, most families often take the time to connect with, chat and get to know the care candidate before finalizing the hiring process.
Through care.com, one can hire long term, short term, one-off care. While they also have child care center listings as mentioned above, that allow families to asses center-based care if that’s what they prefer, care.com’s strong suit is the vast breadth of their nanny, in-home network. They is no ability to book directly with child care providers through care.com.
Bumo specializes in on-demand care and comes in particularly handy when your primary care falls through in instances of school closures or your nanny calling out sick. That said, this level of flexible, session-by-session purchase ability provides families with options; the ability to patch together different kinds of care including family, nanny, and part time care. Additionally, this provides families with the opportunity to try out child care locations before committing to full time enrollment.
While Care.com has a stronger and broader network of in-home, nanny care services, Bumo focuses on vetted, child care centers. They partner with these locations and put their available slots online on the Bumo platform for those in need of care, whether that’s for regular, last-minute, or backup care.
When you click search, you land on the search results page.
Unlike Care.com, Bumo does not require you to create an account in order to view child care centers that fit your search criteria. You can drill down and review each provider detail page, read reviews, see photos of the center, etc.
Bumo does the vetting in advance using their BumoTrust Verification process in order to ensure all child care providers on the platform meet a high bar of trust and quality child care, but should you feel the need to vet the provider yourself, you can go ahead and do so as well. You can schedule a call or tour with them with the click of a button. Based on what you’ve read from the provider detail page and the reviews, and you feel rest assured that the location meets the needs of your family, you can go ahead and book child care with a few clicks of a button, much like how you would book an airbnb or a restaurant online. You can initiate the booking process by selecting session dates and times that work best for you, but Bumo will require you to create an account when you click the call to action button “Book”.
Care.com has a membership subscription in order to access their services. They have 2 tiers, one basic and premium with the basic being free and the premium being $38.95/month with a much more affordable annual option that brings the cost down to $12.95/month. The basic is pretty limited though and in order to actually meaningfully connect with caregiver candidates and hire them, one must be using premium services.
The annual price is markedly cheaper, largely because most people enroll in the subscription service simply to find a care provider as soon as possible and are motivated to cancel right after. The annual fee is intended to help users justify a longer relationship with the company since it’s close to 3 monthly payments that unlock a full year of service.
On the other hand, Bumo is completely free to use. Bumo’s business model is a marketplace one, taking a fee off of each facilitated transaction, i.e. each booking made on the platform.
Care.com is now a multinational, corporation under IAC Inc and has a national and international presence while Bumo is a much smaller startup with coverage focused in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas for the time being, with plans for national expansion. Unfortunately, those looking for on-demand care in areas outside of these two major California markets, would have to look elsewhere for the time being.
Both Care.com and Bumo provide valuable services to customers in need of child care. This post is intended to help you understand the key differences and choose what works best for you and your family.
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