Start a Babysitting exchange
As a single mother with three children its easy to get burned out and need a little time on my own to get caught up with work, home and SLEEP.
I have paired up with three other moms and started an overnight babysitting exchange . Here’s how it works; one weekend each month I host a sleep over for all three families (8 children). This evening usually consists of playing a game, followed by movies and a sleep out on the living room floor in sleeping bags. The following morning I pull out my waffle makers and the children feast on waffles and oranges.
Each mother hosts a pajama party at her home as well. Leaving me with two glorious evenings to clean, blog, even sleep. One of the mothers uses her evening to have date nights with her husband and the other to work on school assignments.
So how do you start a babysitting exchange ? Start by determining your needs. An exchange will work best if you can find families needing the same type of help you need. When each family has different needs (over night versus Saturday mornings) the exchage can become complicated. Begin asking around to friends, moms at different events to see who all might be interested in starting a childcare exchange network with the same requirement as you.
Planning a weekend away with your partner or husband ? Look for a family who may also like to consider a weekend away. If you don’t have friends you know well enough for an over night exchange, consider short term babysitting swaps or groups.
I have an exchange with another mother who like me needs to attend her children’s school PAC meeting each month. My meeting is the first of each month hers is the second Tuesday. This exchange works great 10 swaps a year all pre-booked. We drop our children with their pajama’s and tooth brushes and pick them up ready for bed.
The Baby sitter exchange offers a venue for meeting other parents looking for childcare exchanges. Be sure to require EACH adult over the age of 16 in each home to have a criminal record check performed. GreatAuPair.com offers Criminal record checks for all of the USA and Canada.
Meet with all the parents ahead of time to discuss, agree upon and write down what each parents responsibilities will be. Be sure to provide information to each parent regarding your children’s likes, dislikes, important medical information, and a secondary emergency contact. Medical release forms should be provided to each member of your exchange.
Utilizing a childcare exchange may help you free up some time in your busy life to care for yourself or catch up on your to do list. You may be surprised how many people are open to the idea of exchanging childcare once you start asking around.
Let me know what sort of childcare exchanges are working for your family.