Care.com, a child and elderly care listing website, does not provide full background checks for care providers who want to be listed on the site, leading some to leave their loved ones in the hands of unlicensed caretakers, sitters with criminal records. The Wall Street Journal reports that in the past six years, nine caregivers with police records were listed on Care.com and were later accused of crimes while having children or elderly relatives in their care—including “theft, child abuse, sexual assault and murder.” The newspaper also found hundreds of day-care centers that falsely claimed to be state licensed on the website. Amelia Wieand's twins reportedly drowned in the care of a Tennessee day-care center that was falsely advertised as state-licensed. Colin Cutler, a babysitter on Care.com, allegedly molested a girl and two boys in his care. Cutler's listing on Care.com was reportedly removed seven weeks after the first police report against him was filed.
Care.com reportedly only performs a “preliminary screening” on caretakers for members who pay the standard $39 a month—which does not include a background check or verify any credentials. If parents want more stringent background checks, they have to pay premiums that go as high as $300 dollars. CEO Sheila Lirio Marcelo told the Journal the website was a “marketplace platform, like Indeed or LinkedIn.” The company also reportedly disclosed that it was currently under investigation by the district attorneys of San Francisco and Marin County, CA regarding the accuracy of disclosures on their website.