23 Sep Movie Mama Babysitting Co-op
By Natasha Legere
With six beautiful children, Natasha has found many ways to find relief and support as a busy mom, especially when relatives are inaccessible. Here she shares with you, a great initiative to ensure affordable and convenient babysitting. A fantastic idea worth implementing.
What Is a Babysitting Co-op?
It is an incentive based co-operative group of families who babysit for one another.
Why Do I Need One?
1. Joining a co-op assures you that your child will be looked after by the best kind of sitter-another parent you know. You don’t have to worry about teenagers having parties or inviting their boyfriend/girlfriends over.
2. Families are helped with occasional day, evening, or emergency overnight care.
3. Save money on a sitter.
4. Enjoyable care for your children because they play with their friends.
5. Provides free time when parents need it.
Membership is selective. Most people want their children to be cared for by families who are known to them.
How It Works:
The co-op is set up using a chip system. Parents get paid for babysitting time in poker chips based on a half hour (or portion thereof) rate; see Chip Value below. The chip system works well because when you run out of chips you have an incentive to babysit for the other parents in the co-op. This means that everyone ends up going out on a fairly regular basis. The hourly chip rate is based on a family of one to three children. Each additional child will be charged half rate unless an additional care giver is provided. For example, a family of five would be charged the regular chip rate for the first three children, half the chip rate for child #4 and half the chip rate again for child #5; or the equivalent of twice the regular chip rate for the entire family.
1. White chips are worth half an hour.
2. Red Chips are worth one hour.
3. Blue Chips are worth two hours.
A couple with three children which goes out for the evening from 6:30pm to midnight would be charged a White chip, a Red chip and two Blue chips for the 5 and a half hours.
A couple with four children going out for the same period would be charged 4 Blue chips and 1 White chip, or the equivalent of 8.5 hours of babysitting.
A couple with four or more children going out for the same period who provide an extra care giver would be charged the same as example #1.
General Rules and Guidelines:
Each member has a membership list with parent names, address, phone number, and names and ages of children.
Co-op members are provided with a start up credit equivalent to 15 hours of babysitting in poker chips.
New members must be sponsored by an existing member and have the approval of the majority of existing members.
Families may opt out at any time. These families must return all poker chips and will be charged $5 per half hour of chips below the start up credit. These funds will be donated to an agreed upon charity. If they decide to re-enter the co-op they will be considered as a new member.
Membership to gather and review co-op business at least once annually.