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Is Joining a Babysitting Cooperative Better Than Hiring a Babysitter?

Updated on February 4, 2012
Human beings thrive in communities
Human beings thrive in communities

A community that babysits together, stays together! Right?

The concept of babysitting cooperatives is not entirely new, although it was just recently brought to the attention of people through a big spike in its popularity. History taught us that long before nannies were around, women used to care for the young ones in the community while the men are out hunting animals for food. Now, if that isn't the perfect example of a babysitting cooperative, I don't know what else is! In our modern world, we tend to get lost in the fast-paced steps we are forced to take in order to keep up with the changing times. Because of this, we have forgotten about the nucleus that was once a very essential part in our ancestors' lives: our community!

Humans beings are social creatures. We tend to thrive in communities and we want to be in a place where "we belong". If "birds of the same feather flock together", the very same thing can be said of humans (we don't have feathers though!). In these modern times when people are preoccupied by a lot of things such as browsing the internet (just like what you are doing right now!), checking out new mobile devices or watching the latest movies in theaters, wouldn't it be a joy to see a community taking care of one another's kids and babies?

What are the advantages of joining a Babysitting Cooperative?

If our ancient ancestors did it, why can't we? The truth is, there are a lot of advantages that building a babysitting exchange community can bring to your life. Your family, neighbors and community would all benefit from it and you'll realize the good that babysitting cooperativescan bring to your life in the long run. Here are some of the advantages that you should know about:

You can save thousands of dollars if you build and join a babysitting cooperative

This is actually a no-brainer. If you hire a nanny to take care of your kids, you definitely have to pay for it (and it isn't cheap). But if you organize ababysitting cooperative where you exchange babysitting duties every week or every month FOR FREE, you'll save up thousands of dollars annually.

Your kids will have the chance to meet new people

A growing baby, or a kid for that matter, definitely needs social interaction with other people in order to develop a healthy mental and social state. If you are a member of a babysitting community, you are giving your kid the chance to meet new people, play with other kids and develop a healthy community relationship along the way. This is a priceless gift and one that you will definitely not regret giving to your growing children.

You are building a healthier, stronger bond with your neighbors and your community

In my opinion, this is one of the most important benefits of joining a babysitting community. The fact is, in joining a babysitting coop, you are entrusting the welfare and safety of your kids to your neighbors and they are doing the same thing to you. This act entails a great deal of trust that only comes from well-bonded ties and a long time of being together. If you have these kind of trust and strong bonds with your community, you are not only improving the welfare of your children by joining a babysitting coop but you are actually improving the health of your social life as well.

Starting a babysitting cooperative is not that hard to do. For a start, you can call up your closest friends, the godparents of your kids, your neighbors and basically any one that you can trust with the welfare of your kids (of course, they should feel the same towards you too!) It would be great if all of you are living within the same community so it would be easier to monitor where the kids are staying and who is the assigned babysitter for the week. Be sure to log in the hours and maintain a record of your schedules so that it would be easy to track the duties of the cooperative. It might be tricky at first but once you get the hang of it, you will surely enjoy employing the concept of a babysitting cooperative.

Babies enjoying each other's company
Babies enjoying each other's company

Glad that you asked that question! Fortunately, I saw a website that offers you the chance to join an already established exchange babysitting cooperative so that you don't have to build one on your own. is a site that can help you locate the babysitting coops near your location and help you monitor your babysitting requests, babysitting credits and babysitting points.

The concept is very simple. Every time you babysit for someone in the community, you get a point. Every time you ask for someone to babysit for you, you spend a point. Instead of money, what you are actually exchanging is babysitting duties, and you will get to meet new kids, new babies and new people along the way! Isn't that great?

If you are interested in joining a babysitting cooperative, SittingAround is one website that can help you locate the nearby babysitting cooperatives in your vicinity. If you know one that offers a similar service, inform me so I can mention them here too !

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    • GDRshop profile image

      GDRshop 6 years ago

      Childcare services sure is tough nowadays, but yes I agree. Background checks are definitely a must, whether you are joining a babysitting cooperative or trying to find a babysitter. The welfare of the kids should always be # 1!

    • mom0f2 profile image

      mom0f2 6 years ago from Columbus, OH

      they usually offer back ground checks and things that help make the decision easier. I'm offer childcare in my home and I joined which has helped me find families and families find me. Craigslist is also a place a lot of care givers post ads, yeah I know craigslist? but then you live somewhere were you don't know people it's hardd to find a sitter. We found 2 great sitters on craigslist before I cahnged my hours at work to be able to not have to pay for childcare.