Need babysitting? You and your friends can use our Babysitting Co-op on this site to meet people interested in forming a local co-op. It's free.
“You get free babysitting in return for providing free babysitting for others. And this can be easier than you think because watching other peoples' kids is less of a stretch when you're already home watching your own.
As your children get older, shared babysitting can actually feel more like trading playdates. The children are occupied playing together, which gives you more time to yourself.
More important, joining a co-op assures you that your child will be looked after by the best kind of sitter – another parent you know and trust. You don't have to worry about hiring a teenager who's essentially a stranger and might pay scant attention to your kids or do things in your home you don't entirely approve of.
‘The best thing about the co-op, besides not having to pay, is that our kids know each other and play together,’ says Marie desJardins, a mother of two in Menlo Park, California. ‘So in some ways, it's actually better than having a babysitter come over because it's a treat for the kids to get to visit a friend's house. Plus, we know that these are experienced parents, and over time, the parents have become close friends too.’"