Have you been out on a date lately? Talk about sticker-shock!
We have moved to an area where our only choice for childcare is paying someone so our dates have been limited (non-existent). I figured out what it would cost to go out and hire a babysitter.
- Babysitter for a toddler and preschooler for 3 hours (min): $30
- Dinner or dessert and coffee: $20-$30
- Movie: $24
- Gas: $5
Total: $90 for 3 hours
That’s just CRAZY! At first, it seemed our only options were to cut the cost of what we do when we go out, limit the time we are gone or skip the babysitter and take the kids with us. But another option allows us to cut the total cost in HALF without sacrificing at all. In addition to all the money saving options there are for the dinner and movie part of the date, we have found a way to save on babysitting.
I’ve recently discovered the benefits of joining or starting a babysitting co-op!
We joined a babysitting co-op through my local Mom’s Club and are in the midst of starting another one at our church. A babysitting co-op is a group of friends, neighbors, church family, etc. who trades babysitting for…you got it, babysitting.
There are two ways a co-op can be structured:
- Members agree to a specific day/time for “date nights” and the babysitters rotate each scheduled night. For example, Saturday nights, twice a month from 6-10pm is date night and each family takes a turn babysitting for the group in their home! If you had 4 couples and went out twice a month each couple would babysit 1 time every 8 weeks!
- Babysitting requests are made on a one-by-one basis and whoever is available babysits for the requesting family. This gives you more options and flexibility but less consistency!
Either way is great. The type you choose really just depends on what you need. We are members of both types.
Use your community connections to find and join these groups:
- Your local Mom’s Club, MOPS, Mother’s of Twins or any family support group will likely be interested in forming a co-op. Just ask the board to bring it up for a vote!
- Families of your child’s classmates, extra-curricular activities, etc.
- Your church, a fabulous place to start!
- Your neighborhood, assuming you know and get along with the individuals. This makes pick-up and drop-off a breeze!
- Co-Workers of a “lateral” relationship. You probably don’t want to be trading family time with your boss or employees.
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