Monday, January 11, 2010

Babysitting Co-op

Ever take your child to the OB/GYN with you?
Ever want to go on a date but couldn't find a sitter?
Then consider a babysitting co-op!

With the change in the economy, many are financially unable to go out on dates. It would be one thing to do dinner or a movie but add babysitting costs on top of that and opportunities to be out and about without children get fewer and fewer.

To ease this problem, a group of 7 families created a babysitting co-op.

Babysitting Co-operative


Each person interested in the co-op will fill out a form containing name, e-mail, phone number, kids (ages, names, allergies), emergency contact info etc.

When you need a sitter, you’ll e-mail the co-op listserv stating date/time you need a sitter. People who are interested and available will contact you by phone or e-mail. Together you will make arrangements concerning where babysitting will take place, how long you’ll need a sitter, etc.

When you drop your child off, it is up to you to provide an INFO form. The babysitter will fill out her portion and give it to you when you pick your child up.

Please recognize that as SAHMs, we will generally be babysitting with our own kids in tow. If you want an adult alone to watch your children there is an additional cost.

**Please keep in mind that people may not be interested or able to watch your children every time you request it**


Each parent gets 10 tickets for each child (3 kids=30 tickets). This is 10 hours of babysitting for each child.

Babysitting “costs” 1 ticket per child per hour (3 kids=3 tickets an hour).

If you want someone to come to your house to watch your kids it costs an additional 1 ticket (3 kids, 1 hour, own home=4 tickets)

If you want someone to watch your children alone (meaning their children will not be with them—a likely situation on “date nights”) it is an additional 2 tickets (3 kids, 1 hour, own home, alone adult=5 tickets)

The only way to get more tickets is to watch someone else’s children. If you use all 10, take a year hiatus and want to re-join the group you will have to watch kids to “earn” tickets. There are no exceptions.


It may become necessary to discipline another mom’s child. Follow these guidelines:

• No yelling or use of crude/coarse language
• No corporal punishment including but not limited to: spanking, smacking, pulling, pushing, dragging, etc.
• Give child 2 warnings and then a timeout if necessary. Time outs should be 1 minute per year of age (3 years=3 minutes). More than that is not developmentally appropriate.
• If you are having a hard time, contact the parent ASAP
• Consider these phrases: hands are not for hitting, teeth are not for biting, feet are not for kicking, words are not for hurting …


At all times you provide food and drink for your children. Make sure to always send a cup and snack. If your child will be with a sitter over mealtime, send a lunch/dinner.

Send extra clothes as needed.

Parents are responsible for providing diapers/pull-ups/wipes.

You are responsible for your child’s transportation. Another parent may transport your child for an additional charge.

This co-op is open for children of all ages.

Habitual last-minute cancelations will be considered on a case-by-case basis but may lead to removal from co-op.

The e-mail listserv is to be used for the babysitting co-op only. Please do not use this group to solicit donations, party hosts, etc.

Please remember that some moms may form friendships and offer to exchange babysitting free of charge.

This is the form parents give to the sitter EACH time

Babysitting Co-op Parent Info:

(Give a copy of this to babysitter each time you use a sitter)


Spouse’s name (if applicable)____________________________________________________


Home phone:______________________________________________________________
Cell Phone:_________________________________________________________________
Other phone numbers:____________________________________________________

E-mail address you want listed on the listserv:

Can children’s father pick them up if needed? Y N

Children’s names/ages

Emergency Contact (someone local)



List all medical issues and allergies pertaining to child:

Child’ Doctor name/number ____________________________________________________________

Child’s special toy, favorite games, ways to calm him/her down?

How long do you want child to cry before you are contacted?
Please list your child’s routine below. Babysitters will do their best to follow your schedule but may not be able to due to many factors.




Foods enjoyed:

Food dislikes:





Special toys/blankets/routines




Other Instructions:

This is the form sitters fill out for parents

Child Report (to be filled out by babysitter and given to parent)





Time (start and stop)



Diaper changes:




Discipline Fully explain what happened including time in time-outs if applicable

Injury –If child is injured please fully explain what happened, the extent of the injury, etc. NOTE EVERY INJURY

We've found that Facebook is a very useful tool for the co-op. We hardly use the listserv; instead we sent out group mailings by Facebook.

Our "tickets" are actually little wood tokens. We have hour and half hour increments. They cannot be copied.

If you have questions or suggestions, please share!


  1. People used to think it was necessary to "spank" adult members of the community, military trainees, and prisoners. In some countries they still do. In our country, it is considered sexual assault if a person over the age of 18 is "spanked", but only if over the age of 18.

    For one thing, buttock-battering can vibrate the pudendal nerve, which can lead to sexual arousal in some people. There are numerous other physiological ways in which it can be sexually abusive, but I won't list them all here. One can use the resources I've posted if they want to learn more.

    Child bottom-battering/slapping vs. DISCIPLINE:

    Child bottom-battering (euphemistically labeled "spanking","swatting","switching","smacking", "paddling",or other cute-sounding names) for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

    Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

    I think the reason why television shows like "Supernanny" and "Dr. Phil" are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

    There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

    Plain Talk About Spanking
    by Jordan Riak,

    The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
    by Tom Johnson,

    by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

    Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational resources, testimony, documentation, etc available on the subject that can easily be found by doing a little research with the recommended reads-visit the website of Parents and Teachers Against Violence In Education at

    Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea:

    American Academy of Pediatrics,
    American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
    American Psychological Association,
    Center For Effective Discipline,
    Churches' Network For Non-Violence,
    Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
    Parenting In Jesus' Footsteps,
    Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
    United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

  2. PDeverit--Thank you for your comment. I must admit it came a bit out of left field for me since our Co-Op rules specifically FORBID any form of corporal punishment. But your resources and opinion are valuable and I thank you for sharing!


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