Sunday, December 18, 2011

Babysitting Cooperative

I don't mention often enough how lucky I am to have such a wonderful group of girlfriends.  How we manage to have such a large group of like-minded, but different enough to keep it interesting, mamas in this little town never ceases to amaze me.  I am truly blessed to have a wonderful group of mamas cheering me on with my many opinions and my crazy children.

And, oh, the crazy children.  We all have them.  Some days, we need to know our crazy children are well taken care of even if we need a trip to grocery store by ourselves, a visit to the dentist or a date night with our husband.

Thus, a babysitting co-op was created.  With the organization skills of my friend, Carmen, a few ladies' nights to hash out the details and the guidance of my friend, Becky, who participated in a babysitting co-op in her hometown, we figured out a system that works well for us.

Babysitting Cooperative Guidelines:
*Chips refer to poker chips.  Each co-op member starts with 30 poker chips to use as "payment" for babysitting services.
1.  There will be a maximum of 16 members.  A waiting list will be kept and potential new members must be approved by the group.  Members may withdraw from the group and their chips saved for future members. 
2.  Any member may post a request on our private Facebook group at any time.  The member should post their optimal babysitting scenario such as “need someone to watch my 2 kids at my house this Friday night from 8p-10p”.  Members respond to this request by posting if they are available to babysit 
and work from there.  Also, each babysitting request should have at least one 'back-up' babysitter.
3.  Each chip is worth 30 minutes.  One child will cost 2 chips/per hour, two children will cost 3 chips per/hour, and three children will cost 4 chips per/hour. 
4.  Please do not use the co-op if your child is sick.  
5.  The babysitting mother should be present at all times unless the parents have agreed the father will babysit.  
6.  No spanking  is allowed. 
7.  Each member should provide the babysitter with everything needed to care for your child -- diapers, drinks, snacks, etc.
8.  Feel free to post any questions at any time about how the co-op works or to propose new rules.

                                     Do you participate in a babysitting cooperative?
Are your guidelines similar?


Ivey Ivy said...

I've got a very small group of friends with young kids... we have been trying to figure out how to do this, but the logistics have been intimidating. This is great!

LauraOMML said...

Carmen did all the research but it seemed like the general plan for a co-op is outlined here and implemented with our group.  It is really really really working well for us.  Let me know if you have any questions about getting one started with your friends.