Safety Tips

As an online service that helps individuals & families locate care & service providers in their area, and helps those providers to find jobs, Care.com aims to foster a safe, secure, and welcoming community for all of its members.

Our Safety Tips guide is here for you to use as a general rule of thumb. Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have additional safety or security concerns.

Member Responsibility
Common Sense
Protection of Online Information
Avoiding Scams
Foster a Respectful Community

Member Responsibility

Care.com encourages all of its members to take an active role in the process of finding care & service providers or finding jobs. Hiring a provider, or being hired by an individual or family, is serious business.

To help you make the most informed decision possible, Care.com strongly suggests you perform standard safety checks, including:

  • Checking References. Checking references is an easy but important part of selecting a care or service provider. This includes checking a broad range of references - not just the ones provided by an employer or a care & service provider.
  • Conducting Interviews. Providers and families should both thoroughly interview potential matches and be sure that all important questions are answered. Only you will know if the fit feels right. Take your time in the process to ensure that it's the perfect match for you or your family.
  • Running a Background Check. Running a background check is an additional step you can take to better understand the candidates that you are considering. However, it is not a substitute for checking references and conducting a personal interview. Additionally, the results of a background check may not always be 100% accurate or complete. Learn more about the background checks offered through the Care.com website.

The decision to hire (or be hired) ultimately rests with you. Take the time required to make a decision that you're comfortable with.

Common Sense

Whether you are providing care or welcoming a provider into your home, we recommend that you follow these simple rules:

For care & service providers:
  • Know and regularly get updates regarding your employers' specific safety concerns (allergies, medical issues, etc.)
  • Ask for any and all emergency contact info and protocols in case of an accident
  • Arrange safe transportation for yourself to and from your job, especially at night!
  • Let friends & family members know where you are at all times
For people seeking care or services:
  • Share a "responsibilities checklist" with your care professional
  • Make sure your provider is comfortable with performing all tasks given to them
  • Know and clearly communicate your specific safety concerns, updating them regularly with routine providers
  • Provide any and all emergency contact info and protocols in case of an accident

Protection of Online Information

We respect your privacy and security and take appropriate, industry-standard measures to ensure that we provide a safe and secure community.

However, there are also steps that you can take to keep the Care.com community, as well your own information, secure. These steps include:

  • Your Password Choose a unique password that only you will know. Don't use a word or phrase that could easily be obtained or guessed - like your basic information (name, birth date, mother's maiden name or pet's name, etc.). Regularly change your password for your own protection. If someone emails you or contacts you asking for your password, do not share it. Care.com will never contact you to solicit your password.
  • Your Browser While you're online, your computer may temporarily store information in your internet browser. It is always a good practice to log out and close your browser window each and every time you have visited or logged into any website.

Avoiding Scams

Care providers should be extra cautious if they receive messages offering employment and advance payment by check without an interview with the family or even a phone call. This is a common internet job scam, which occasionally targets sites offering babysitters, nannies, and other care providers.

At Care.com, we have put together a list of tips to help you avoid such job scams:
  • Never accept payment from a care seeker without having first met the seeker and gone through an interview process.
  • Never give out your social security number, credit card or bank account information to a care seeker. (Care.com requests your SSN in order to run a background check but we do NOT store your SSN in our systems once the check is complete.)
  • Never accept payment by check for an amount which is greater that what you agreed upon. Never wire money back to someone who pays you by check.
  • To protect your privacy, use Care.com's messaging service to communicate with care seekers, rather than giving out your personal email address.
  • If an offer sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns, or with reports of any suspicious activity within the Care.com community. You can find out more about internet job scams at Fraud.org.

Foster a Respectful Community

The Golden Rule: From making initial contact to interviewing and choosing a match, treat your provider or employer as you would want to be treated.

  • Care & service providers and those seeking their help should establish mutually agreed upon guidelines and responsibilities beforehand, and should stick to them.
  • Communication is the key to ultimate security - misunderstandings can lead to confusion or frustration. Your safety, or your family's, rests in the consistency of care or services being provided.
  • Finally, always be fair and use your best judgment in evaluating the experience - there are always two (or more) sides to every story.