The Demise Of Baby-Sitters?

If these California parents have their way, paying for a babysitter may soon be a thing of the past. As the Contra Costa Times explains, the rise of babysitting co-ops could mean your kid with the entrepreneurial streak needs to consider another after-school business.

With three children younger than 6, date night could’ve easily run the Dillmans of San Ramon, Calif., almost $100 – and that’s just for the high school baby sitter. Never mind that many high school kids have never changed a diaper; they’re also rarely available in a midday pinch, when doctor’s appointments coincide with baby naps.

The family’s child-care options expanded a year ago when Danae Dillman and others in the Iron Horse Mothers Club started a baby-sitting co-op, a community-focused trend in child care exchange. While some co-ops have bylaws and hundreds of members, others keep it simple. Many co-ops consist of a few overwhelmed parents who join forces because they believe watching someone’s child is the neighborly thing to do.

Since more young couples live far away from grandmas and aunties, many co-ops grew out of a need for reliable, free child care in an increasingly tight economy. Need to hit the gym or get your hair cut? Request a sit using hours that are accumulated when you watch someone else’s child.

Photo by Contra Costa Times.

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