Last Updated on 2024-04-10

How Much Does Care.com Take Out of Your Pay? Usually Nothing

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

author image

Natalie Dodd

3+ years of experience on Care.com working babysitting, pet-sitting, and tutoring gigs

author image

MaryKate Conway

3+ years of experience on Care.com working both babysitting and tutoring gigs.

author image

Kelly Snider

3+ years of experience on Care.com working babysitting, housekeeping, and tutoring gigs

author image

Phil Grossman

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers


Care.com charges a fee to caregivers using the platform for some of its services but not all of them. Depending on how you accept business on the site, you may be able to avoid most of the fees. 

Most of the time, the only fees you’ll have to deal with are membership and background check fees. However, if you accept direct bookings, Care.com will also charge a service fee that amounts to up to 10% of your earnings — but you can avoid this fee by choosing other jobs. 

Can you see yourself as a caregiver on Care.com? Apply now to be a babysitter, senior caregiver, petsitter, or housekeeper.

Here’s what you need to know about Care.com membership, background, and service fees. 

Care.com Basic and Premium memberships

You can use all of Care.com’s core features with a free, Basic membership, but you’ll miss out on some perks that make finding a job easier. There are two types of subscriptions on Care.com: Basic and Premium.  

We won’t delve too deeply into the specifics between the two in this piece (check out our full post on Care.com memberships for more info), but it’s important to know the basics as the differences can end up having an impact on your long-term earnings. Here are the main differences between the two:

  • Cost: With the Basic membership, you have to pay the annual fee for Care.com's basic background check, called CareCheck, which is around $24.99 but may vary by location (check out our full post on Care.com background checks for more info). Care.com doesn't publicly post the pricing details of a Premium membership, but it is around $8.99/month for caregivers. The fee for the CareCheck is waived if you have a Premium membership, so you won’t have to pay for that in addition to your membership fees. 
  • Profile Benefits: Premium profiles rank higher in search results, which increases the likelihood that a care seeker will reach out to hire you. Natalie Dodd, who’s supplemented her income for several years via Care.com, explains that “Premium memberships also include an annual screening, priority notifications, and you can see who has viewed your profile.
  • Unlimited Messaging: Premium members don’t have any restrictions on how many messages they can send. 
  • Priority Job Alerts: Premium members receive alerts for new jobs before Basic members, which improves your chances of getting hired. 

If you want to use Care.com to find jobs, you’ll have to pay at least the cost of the CareCheck — that much is unavoidable. However, it may be in your interest to upgrade to a Premium membership, as it provides a competitive edge. Of course, choosing to do so will dent your profits somewhat, but it’s likely worth it for the increased revenue opportunities. 

Additional background checks

In addition to the basic mandatory CareCheck, you may opt to undergo additional background checks. These can be posted to your profile and include a Motor Vehicle Records Check, a Criminal Records Check, and an Investigative Criminal Plus Check. Each of these additional checks carries an associated cost, which you’ll need to cover. 

Depending on the specific type of background check and how many you’d like to purchase, the total fees can range from dozens to hundreds of dollars. 

These checks may make you stand out to prospective clients as responsible and trustworthy. Even though these checks are not mandatory, you may find that paying for these services makes you a more attractive candidate when applying for jobs and bookings on Care.com.

It’s important to note that Care.com includes an option for families interested in hiring you to request these checks — in that case, the family will cover the fees for you. These additional background checks will not be initiated unless you’ve agreed to them — you don’t need to worry about being caught off guard by a surprise background check. 

Jobs vs. bookings on Care.com

Jobs and bookings are the two different categories of work that are posted to Care.com. 

Job postings are typically used for more long-term needs. For example, if a family is looking for a new babysitter, they’re more likely to make a job posting.

Booking requests, on the other hand, are usually for shorter-term engagements. For example, if a family needs a babysitter at 8 p.m. tomorrow, they may look through some profiles on Care.com, find yours, and send a booking request directly to you. MaryKate Conway, who has been using Care.com for over three years, shares a pro tip: “Booking requests are usually for last-minute requests. If you have an open night, remember to check the app frequently so you can get yourself some extra hours!

Here’s a summary of the differences you need to know about as a caregiver: 

  • Payment: Payment for bookings is managed through Care.com directly. However, payment for jobs must be handled between you and your client separately. 
  • Service Fee: Caregivers on care.com report that the platform charges a service fee of up to 10% of your pay rate on bookings. This does not happen with job postings.
  • Visibility: Booking requests are sent directly from the client to potential caregivers, whereas job requests are publicly visible and accept applications from prospective caregivers.

Booking payments go through Care.com. To get paid for bookings, you have to connect your debit card to your Care.com account — it’s the only way Care.com can process booking payments. It may take up to 48 hours to receive the payment.

Care.com charges a service fee, called the “Trust and support fee,” for one-time bookings. This fee can be as high as 10% of your pay rate. 

Care.com will not pay you once you complete work for a job posting — you will be paid directly by your client. Whether it’s via cash, check, or electronic transaction, make sure to keep detailed records of your income, as you’ll need to report this income once tax season arrives.

"Make sure the family pays you before you leave, don’t allow them to tell you they will pay you later," says Natalie. "Payment needs to be completed when the service is complete." If you have a longer-term job, you may have a different arrangement with the family such as a payroll service that pays you regularly every month.

Tax withholding on Care.com

Because you aren’t employed by Care.com, the platform will not withhold any taxes. 

However, if you are paid over $2700 a year by the family (or families) that hires you, you will be considered an employee of that family (or families). In this case, they, as your employer, need to withhold taxes from your paychecks. You’ll then receive a W-2 from your employer(s) at the end of the year to file your taxes.

Some families may offer to pay you under the table, but keep in mind that this is illegal. If you have any concerns about how payment is being arranged, discuss them with the family before beginning work. 

MaryKate notes that "not all families are aware that they should be giving a W-2 to their caregiver. It is always helpful to ask about this during the interview process or give your client a heads-up before the job starts that you will need a W-2 at the end of the year. Either way, keep an organized record of all your hours worked throughout the year.”

In addition to keeping your own personal records, using a payroll service such as HomePay may help you and your employers properly account for everyone’s tax burdens. Kelly Snider, a caregiver on Care.com for 3+ years, echoes this tip: “I’ve had a great experience using HomePay for payroll with multiple families, and their customer support is responsive!

Get started

Can you see yourself as a caregiver on Care.com? Apply now to be a babysitter, senior caregiver, petsitter, or housekeeper.

Keep Learning...