Hi, I’m Sheila Lirio Marcelo, the founder, Chairwoman and CEO of Care.com, and I wanted to share with you some really exciting news.
We launched Care.com in 2007 with the mission of creating an easier way for families to connect with caregivers. Today, we’re the world’s largest online destination for finding and managing family care, with more than 10 million families and 7.7 million caregivers across 16 countries.
From the beginning, we’ve known what a vital role caregivers play in the success of our business – and beyond. Care.com wouldn’t exist without the babysitters, nannies, housekeepers, dog walkers and elder care assistants who use the site to find jobs. That’s obvious. But what doesn’t get enough attention is how important the work that each and every one of you do is to the success of our country as a whole.
You may have heard me say before that working families are the lifeblood of our economy. But what I cannot stress enough is how the work that you – our nannies, personal care aids, housekeepers and pet care providers – do is fundamental to keeping Americans working productively.
Too often caregivers are taken for granted, their skills undervalued because care is perceived as a “soft” issue often confined to our homes or care facilities. In reality, you’re doing the most important jobs imaginable: Caring for our aging parents, supporting the early childhood development we know is so important, being there for the people who matter most to us when we cannot be there ourselves.
You’re professionals, and we believe you should have access to benefits like other professionals. In 2012, we started providing you and your employer access to HomePay – our household payroll product that makes it easier for you to obtain unemployment insurance and social security benefits down the road. We’ve since added access to workers compensation insurance, through the HomePay service as well. We believe that just because your workplace is someone’s home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to the same benefits and support workers have in other industries.
That’s why we are so happy to announce that we’re joining together with Stride Health to introduce more ways to take care of you through Care.com Benefits as a way to deliver easy, personalized access to health care options for care providers registered on Care.com.
With the launch of Care.com Benefits, caregivers registered on Care.com in the U.S. have access to Stride’s personalized recommendations, financial guidance and year-round navigation support for medical and dental insurance plans in time to meet the January 31, 2016 deadline to enroll in 2016 health plans.
Through Care.com Benefits, caregivers can access:
- Personalized health plan recommendations that optimize total cost of coverage and care each year, comparing 38 factors across thousands of plans
- Customized plans that take maximum advantage of free preventative care included with selected health insurance.
- Year-round dedicated advisors for support navigating health plans, and help understanding how to use their plans to save money on health care.
Care.com Benefits is the latest in a number of initiatives we’ve undertaken to ensure caregivers have the protections and benefits common in other career fields.
Over the past year, we have:
- Teamed with the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Hand in Hand to launch the Fair Care Pledge, which asks families to support fair care employment practices – including fair pay, clear expectations and paid time off – for caregivers who work in their homes.
- Committed to supporting values of a livable wage and transparency under the Good Work Code, an initiative meant to create a framework that guides fair employment practices in an on-demand workforce.
- We’ve created an inventory of articles and resources for caregivers, providing tips and tricks on topics like optimizing your Care.com profile, resume advice, interview tips, negotiating pay and training and safety.
- Recommended our friend Suze Orman’s Finance 101 as a way for caregivers to take control of their financial future. As part of Care.com, it’s yours FREE through March 31! Just add the gift code CARE.
And we have more big plans for the year ahead. Please keep on the lookout for other initiatives, and make sure the families you serve are aware of what we are doing for you on Care.com.
Caregiving is a calling, and we believe it should be a respected career path. We’re serious about investing in your success, because we believe it not only improves the overall quality of care for our country and loved ones, but also your profession is critical in supporting families so they can be gainfully employed and thus drive our overall economy.
Let’s work together to make 2016 the Year of the Caregiver.