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How to Start a Babysitting Co-op

July 19, 2011

We had our Meetup last week on “How to Start a Babysitting Co-op”. We had 30 parents there with their tummy surfing, cooing, gurgling and talking babies! Right before the Meetup, I got into a fender bender as I was parking in front of Caribou Baby. The man who hit me (or as he says, I hit him), jumped out of his SUV ready to box me, but the always-calm owner of Caribou, Adrienne, managed to file the police report and talk the officers out of giving a ticket to me. A bit rattled, I forgot to take photos of the Meetup. Apparently I am rendered totally useless by a small pip in my fender.  However, I did soldier on so we could talk about forming babysitting co-ops. Here is a bit from it.

Starting a babysitting co-op can seem daunting, especially if you don’t know enough parents to get one going. But…check out what one can do for you!

a.    Nighttime sits.
b.    Daytime/playdate sits esp for freelancers or SAHP or emergencies.
c.    Emergency sits (use Yahoo Group or phone in addition).
d.    Weekly swaps with one family.
e.    New baby. Playdates for older kid, social & relief time for you.
f.    Babysitting party- night out for parents.
g.    Airport rides.
h.    House sits.
i.    Pet sits.
j.    Sleepovers. You get a night away!
k.    Meal swaps.
l.    Last minute sits. Put a call out that you are free.
m.    Socialization for your kids
n.    Community of parents for you and for your children

Sounds good, doesn’t it?!

One mom there was super psyched to get airport rides and another was super psyched to give them! We do that in our co-op and it’s actually my favorite way to earn points.

A few groups were formed at the Meetup (2 in Greenpoint alone, 1 in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill and 1 in Park Slope). I am thinking of doing another talk on this in Fort Greene and Park Slope if you are interested…let me know via our Meetup Group. The talks are free of course!

Everyone did go home with a fabulous gift bag and extra treats for those who preregistered.  The biggest bonus: the possibility of lifelong friendships and all that help through a co-op! So exciting.

If you want the handout I gave to everyone about “How to Start a Babysitting Co-op” then sign up for A Child Grows in Brooklyn Meetup Group and go to the Files section of our Meetup and download the Word document. You do have to be a parent in Brooklyn however!

I have written about “How to Start a Babysitting Co-op” many times on the blog too, here is my latest post on the subject.

*** Our next Meetup is Monday, July 25th at 7 pm- FREE Boot Camp. Get your butt kicked with the rest of us moms- no matter what age your children are!