Tuesday, May 19, 2009

thrifty caregiving!

on the front of today’s Globe & Mail newspaper, i noticed a fun article by Sarah Boesveld on “The Recessionary babysitters Club” … whereby “thrify parents swap sitting duties to save on child-care costs.”

i smiled as i read the tale of friends taking turns “switching-off” with babysitting each others kids… this has been something my hubby and I have done with various sets of friends since we’ve entered parenthood – and has it ever been a saving grace.

i recall years ago reading about *free* babysitting co-ops, whereby a formal token system is set up. when you join you get so many tokens, each token representing one hour for one child. you use tokens when another member watches your child(ren) .. you gain tokens when you watch someone elses. i love it!

while we haven’t set up a fun token co-op system, we do relish in the financial & emotional feasibility of formal childcare swaps with our friends. we love it: when little rikrak is under their care, we save on babysitting monies & love the reassurance of having a friend watching our sweetie! and he loves having a fun sleepover night with their kids!

in our case, this was sort of born out of necessity, as we sadly don’t live within quick driving distance to any relatives who could watch little rikrak for a night, and try to be very very budget-minded. we both think caregivers should be well paid for the great job they do, but as parents know, a night out can become crazily expensive! so for us, babysitting swaps have come to be a great, thrifty, fabulous venture for us. and in our case, it means we end of taking advantage of more nights out! yay to that special time together!

do you ever babysit swap with friends on a formal basis?

are you part of a babysitting co-op?

i’d love to hear about how you go about meeting your own babysitting needs, moms & dads!

do you find it a challenge?

yay to thrifty plans!

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  1. That's a very fun idea, RR!
    We sort of do that with our friends across the street. Isn't it nice to get out for a night!!!?

  2. We're fortunate to live in the same town as my in-laws, which makes for very close AND free care-giving. But I sure like this idea! Sounds great.


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