Hey mamas and papas, are you tired of spending $150/night on your date night sitter plus a taxi ride home ? We talked to a dozen families who started babysitting co-ops. Here’s how you can start an effective and fun babysitting co-op that works!
1) Find 3 friends who want to swap date night. If you don’t have families in mind, you can use KidsClub to find families near you with similar ages.
2) Choose one night a month where you want to offer care to the other families. Saturday or Sunday are nice because you don’t have to start after parents get home from work. Depending on the age of the kids, a nice 4–5 hour block is usually good to give parents time to go to dinner and a movie and get back before bedtime. We recommend 4–9pm as the ideal time slot.
3) Write a few ground rules so everyone is in the same page about parenting style and values. (No TV, no candy, no spanking, etc)
4) Plan a fun activity for your night like painting a mural, baking cookies or the classic favorite — dance party!
5) Try to find a time once a month or every two months to do a meetup with the other families. Kid clothing swap and meal share are always favorites. When in doubt, playground hangout!
Last but not least, enjoy your free night of babysitting! You’re an awesome parent and you deserve it!