Does anyone have experience using care.com? I live in a college town with probably 15k students and 20k regular residents. I need in-home care for DD on weekends while DF and I are both at work, I'm just leery of using such a service.
I do! I live in a smaller college town then what you do. I've used care.com very successfully as well as craigslist and sitter city to find sitters. My first venture into finding a sitter off the net was sitter city about a year ago where I found an awesome girl who had just graduated, that lasted a few months and then she finally found a job in her major. My next find was off craigslist right when college got out for summer so there is a glut of students looking for work. She stayed with us through the summer and then went to grad school. And that brings me to my current full time nanny that I found off of care.com. All 3 have been amazing. I have used many college students previously over the years, usually I get a phone # from a friend or a flyer from the co-op (small town, flyers are still huge here!) but being college students, their schedules changed every semester and often I could only use one for one semester before their school hours would not work with my work hours. My work hours are during the weekday, daytime hours so it can be hard finding someone that is available.
I have had better luck off of the websites. In my town there are several pages of college students looking for part time work and with you needing weekend work, that is a huge bonus. Some have reviews and ratings, some do not. Mine from sitter city had great reviews, my current one did not and actually her info on the page had not been updated recently. I start looking through the listings, I first look for when they had logged on and pick the ones i like out of the most recent log ins. And then I narrow down from there. I have found that not all of them get back to you. In Sep when I was nanny hunting again I probably emailed 10 sitters and got a response from 3. I ask for references, as while as set up a time to chat for them if I like what they say in the email. I check the references and then see what "my gut" tells me on the interview. Next is meting my kids while I am still in house and see what my kids think of them.
My best college sitters over the years have been about 22-24 years old. I don't rule out younger ones, but I have had more 19-21 year olds that flake out on me then the slightly older ones. I would suggest either having one main person and a back up or two people that you rotate through in case something comes up, you aren't left scrambling.