Could you use some helpwithlocating a babysitter, daily childcare, pet care, senior care,tutoring or a house cleaner? If so, then this service is just for you. And for military families - it is totally free!
The Defense Department now is paying for an Internet service that helps military families find in-home child care, nannies, tutors, elder care providers, pet sitters and other services in their local communities.
Active-duty Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps members and their families, to include activated National Guard and reserve members and their families, can receive a free membership to the service, which costs an average of $120 a year. Retirees are not eligible.
Those looking for the services can do it in two ways, through a sitter search or by posting a job. Those looking for child care, elder care providers, pet sitters and house cleaners can use specific search criteria, including geographic areas. The database will pull from more than 600,000 child care provider profiles nationwide. But there are more than 1 million care provider profiles across all five types of care - child, tutoring, senior, pet, and home, said Mary Schwartz, spokeswoman for Sittercity.com.
The program provides military families with instant access to caregiver profiles, including background checks, pictures, references, reviews, a four-step screening process, and a specialized matching technology to help select the right caregiver. They also are working to include military spouses who provide family child care in their homes, too.
Sittercity.com doesn't employ the caregivers; it simply helps match them with families. The family hiring the caregiver negotiates the salary or fee with the caregiver.
The site will help increase options for families, including normal weekly and hourly care and care for those who work in excess of a normal duty day or live off-base in remote areas, said Melissa Anderson, head of Sittercity's corporate division.
"We're very honored and excited to be part of this program for military families," Anderson said.
"Because of the mobile nature of military life, trusted community resources are often difficult to identify and locate. These online tools will help service and family members attain the best match between resource and need," said Tommy Thomas, deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy, in a statement announcing the new service.
The site confirms eligibility through the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System.
If you utilize this service, please come back and comment. Let us know howthe experience worked for you and your family. Let us know if you likethe services availableand the website.