HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - New year or not, you know there are things you're going to pay for -- necessities of life. If you have young children, you'll most likely will need childcare help at some point.
There's a service people in north Alabama are using to save time, money and peace of mind. It's a network of trusted people just a few clicks away and available to help you when you're in a jam.
The site is Care.com.
It's free to join and post a job opening or need.
The site provides money-saving incentives and tools.
A senior managing editor for Care.com, Katie Bugbee, describes it as this: a one-stop destination for finding and managing family care; a resource for tips, checklists & tools; and a way to connect with other parents.
If you're in need of a babysitter, you'll find a babysitter calculator to tell you the going hourly rate in your area, based on the number of children you have and the time you need a sitter.
You put in your zip code.
For example, in Huntsville, the average hourly rate for a sitter is a little more than $12 an hour.
Bugbee says people in Huntsville are using it too.
They estimate 5,000 families in the Huntsville area use Care.com to find sitters and another 5,000 people here are listed as caregivers.
Your financial obligation to Care.com begins when you find someone you like and want to interview. You'll want to check out their background. The site offers that too.
Bugbee says the background check the site offers covers much about the person, including a person's driving record, right down to how many tickets that person has received.
After you've found who you want and you plan to work with that person long-term, you can set up a home-pay service through Care.com.
It keeps up with payroll and tax obligations.
If you spend more than $1,900 per year on childcare, you're eligible for tax breaks.
Bugbee says, as a member of the site, the more months you buy for the services it provides, the cheaper the price.
Care.com allows parents to connect with other families and providers for advice and even potentially find local deals.
And you can find providers for care of elderly people and pets too.
Staffers say Care.com has 13.3 million members in 16 countries, including the Tennessee Valley.