What if there was a way to always know ahead of time when a babysitter would be available to watch your children? You could pre-plan doctor’s appointments or cumbersome errands and always have a trusted adult to babysit. What if when you needed an hour or two to yourself, you could actually have it and not have to pay extra for a babysitter?
Sound too good to be true? It isn’t.
A babysitting co-op, organized around your trusted group of friends or neighbors is an answer. Everyone gets equal benefit and everyone helps each other-with this system things stay organized.
I had the opportunity to read the book Babysitting Co-op 101: A Win-Win Childcare Solution
by Samantha Fogg Nielsen and Rachel Tolman Terry. Rachel emailed me about sharing the book and in exchange for an honest review of the book, she offered a copy for me to give away to one reader. I just can not turn down great freebies for you, so I read the book and learned a lot! Of course I can’t reveal all the ins and outs of setting up a babysitting co-op, but I can tell you that this book makes me want to start one.
A babysitting co-op is a group of parents who watch each other’s children. Pretty simple, but this book offers so many ways to keep the co-op organized and stress free for all involved.
With free child care, the ability to know ahead of time what time slots will have a sitter available, having a trusted adult to rely on when you need to leave your children with someone to attend an appointment or event, a co-op is a great solution to the problem that many of us SAHMs have when it comes to needing a sitter.
This book details everything you need to know and consider to run a co-op from tickets, scheduling suggestions, and even ideas for dealing with issues that may arise. A fantastic resource in the book are meal suggestions
and activity ideas
for when you are the designated sitter for a shift. That section of the book is valuable even if you don’t want to set up a co-op.
You could use the meals and activities in your home anyway.
I am really glad that Rachel approached me about her book. It will be a great resource for me going forward, because we move every three years and setting up a co-op is a great way to engage with other moms and form friendships in each new area. It is always helpful to have friends willing to watch my kids at times when I have doctors appointments. I get to return the favor with an organized system like a babysitting co-op. It is not a burden to do that for a friend, but the remembering
part can be nagging. I begin to feel guilty if I wait too long to reciprocate. With a co-op, there is no need to remember or keep track of what you owe someone else, because each member keeps track of their own tickets (tickets determine how many hours of babysitting you have to use). More details about this are in the book. To check it out on Amazon click here.
If you already have a playgroup that meets regularly, you know and trust those moms. Forming a co-op with the playgroup moms is a natural way to continue to build relationships and help each other out while keeping everything organized and manageable. What mom doesn’t need a break now and then? After caring for twin infants along with my two older kiddos, I know I could definitely gain from having access to a co-op, plus it would make me feel good knowing that I will always be able to help other moms out by watching their children as well. It is a win-win for all involved.
To check out more about Rachel and Samantha’s co-op support,
To start reading how to start your own babysitting co-op, click the book link below: