How to Create a Babysitting Cooperative with Friends

In this blog post, we want to share with you what it takes to set up a cooperative babysitting group in your area. Chances are that you have been struggling to find someone who you trust that will watch your kids when you want a date night or just need a little break from the daily routine. Setting up a co-op can be tricky and so we hope these tips and tricks help guide you through the process.

  • How to find others who might be interested in a babysitting co-op

The best way to find others who are also interested in starting up a cooperative is by looking to meet people in your local area. Often the best way to meet other parents is by joining local Facebook groups or finding out about community events. There are lots of apps out there designed to help parents connect with one another such as Mush, Peanut and Frolo to name a few. Our kids are the most precious things in our lives and we would never trust them with just anyone so it is important to get to know your group and build relationships with them to ensure they are people that you can trust. A great way to do this is to organise regular meet-ups at the park or a local coffee shop. Once you have a few people who are interested and thinking this will be a great idea, the next step is getting organised!

  • Creating your babysitting co-op

Voken App is a super simple way to create a babysitting co-op. With Voken, simply start by creating your group. Pick a name and fun photo and you’re almost there! When setting up your group you’ll need to decide how many tokens, or virtual tokens each member starts with. Virtual tokens on Voken are what group members use to exchange babysitting time. One virtual token on Voken is worth one hour of babysitting time. By giving everyone the same number of Tokens to start with we make sure things are kept fair so that people are rewarded equally for what they put into the group vs. what they take out. Voken keeps it simple by giving you 3 options depending on how active your group is likely to be and the typical length of your sits. We recommend most groups go for a starting balance of 20 Tokens.

  • Inviting friends to your coop

Once your group is created, you can start inviting friends. Cooperatives are often popular with parents as it often seen as safer and less costly than hiring someone who they themselves do not know and their kids have perhaps never met. It’s important to agree before setting up a cooperative who will be involved to ensure everyone is on the same page and trusts one another. Voken makes it super simple to add friends to your coop. Providing you have their telephone number, Voken can sync with your contacts and add them to your group in seconds.

  • Babysitting co-op etiquette

Once you have a few parents who have joined your babysitting co-op, it’s important to agree on some basic etiquette rules that everyone can follow. This will help avoid any issues down the line and ensure that everyone is happy with the way things are going. Chances are that you will be sharing childcare duties with people who live close enough to babysit for one another and so it’s important to agree on some basic etiquette rules such as who the sitter will be on all occasions. Voken makes it super simple to agree this etiquette up front by providing a group chat feature that allows you to message with all of your group members. Smaller details that are more specific to the sit can always be posted on the sit request so everyone knows what they can expect when they are offering to help out. 

  • Creating your first request!

Once your group is all set up with some active members it’s time to start creating requests. Chances are that one person will create the first request as they might be looking for childcare at an odd hour or might be planning a date night with their partner to celebrate a special occasion. To create a request you simply select the date and time and provide any details that you think would be helpful for your group. Your group will be automatically notified when you create a request and will be able to offer on the sit depending on whether they are free at that time. As the requestor you’ll be able to review all offers and choose the best one for you and your family.

  • Earning Tokens!

Tokens are earned by completing a sit for others and spent when someone completes a sit for you. By exchanging tokens for each hour of babysitting we help to keep things fair and ensure no one is using the group for lots of babysitting but not giving back in return. As soon as a sit is completed the tokens are added and deducted from the relevant members balances. If a member does not have enough tokens for a particular sit then they cannot submit a request.

It’s important to remember that a babysitting co-op is about creating a community of parents who are happy to help out each other when needed! We hope these tips have been helpful and that you’ll be able to set up your very own babysitting cooperative in no time! To get started creating your own babysitting coop why not try out Voken App today.

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