A How-to Guide for neighborhood
leaders working to make life better for
people in Battle Creek
How to Create a Neighborhood
A babysitting cooperative consists of a number
of families in a community who decide to share
babysitting among themselves without the
exchange of money.
Busy parents often need a few
hours of their own time — whether
to go out or simply to get things
done around the house. Mostly,
parents rely on paid babysitters or
a limited set of friends and family
for childcare during those hours.
By joining forces with neighbors
in similar situations, parents can
work together to provide free
babysitting virtually whenever it is
needed. It’s called a babysitting
cooperative (or co-op).
babysitting cooperative consists
of a number of families in a
community who decide to share
babysitting among themselves without
the exchange of money. Members agree
to share responsibilities for keeping
records and for providing and using
services. Babysitting co-ops usually are
intended for occasional — not regular —
childcare. If regular childcare is needed,
other arrangements are usually made.
What Are the Advantages
of a Babysitting Co-op?
A babysitting co-op allows neighbors
to get to know one another. Children
become comfortable among adults and
other neighborhood children, and
parents come together. By organizing
as a co-op, parents expand the options
available to them for babysitting, and
they can turn neighbors into friends.
Here are just a few more advantages
of using a babysitting co-op in your
• Children can make new friends and
develop social skills.
• Children can become close with many
families in the neighborhood.
• No money is spent on babysitting.
• Occasional day, evening, or
emergency overnight care helps
• Parents get some free time.
• Parents get the opportunity to see
their children interact with others.
• Neighbors get to know one another
and create a stronger community.
In your neighborhood, there already
may be parents who babysit one