How To Barter For Child Care
article was written by a former writer for BarterNews, James
We can barter for many things which
are needed by parents. One barter club has these listings
under its "child care" heading: sitting (day, night,
overnight, or weekend), adoption consultant, behavior
consultant, development consultant, foster care, legal
rights, clothing exchange, storytelling, party planning,
physical therapy, mother's helper for newborn -- and classes
for kids in crocheting, knitting, sewing, and other arts and
crafts. Of course, if we do not belong to a barter club, we
can barter for these goods and services in one-to-one deals
with other people.
We can exchange babysitting services.
Every parent has bartered babysitting with friends who have
little ones. But sometimes the friends are busy or
out-of-town. The solution can be to join a babysitting
co-op, or to start our own. The co-op is like a barter club;
we are trading services instead of spending money.
We can start our own babysitting
co-op. To publicize the group, put some notices onto
bulletin boards, and use the publicity methods which are
presented in the chapters regarding "meeting barterers" and
"starting a barter organization."
directory. The directory can include information
about the other members: their phone number, address,
availability (e.g., "We work at night, but we can
babysit during the daytime, except on weekends"), any
special child-care skills (e.g., "licensed practical
nurse") -- and their children (age, gender, etc.).
- In our
co-op, we can create our own units of exchange. Each
"unit" can equal one hour of babysitting.
- The group
can have a secretary, to keep a record of these
- We can
design our own "money," and print it on paper in
various denominations -- 1 hour, 5 hours, etc.
- We can
create a policy for people who quit the group. If
they have received more hours than they have given,
perhaps they can make up the difference by
contributing money to the group, to help to pay for
the operating expenses
- We might
allow the members to use the "units" for purposes
other than babysitting. If we decide that one unit
equals one hour of babysitting (which equals $3), we
might want to spent 10 units to buy a member's
bicycle, for example. We have expanded the concept
of the babysitting co-op into that of a barter club;
now the units can be used to purchase any goods and
services within the group. This practice might be
desirable, because we will be able to get
babysitting even if we would rather give something
else in exchange; and, vice versa, we can offer
our babysitting to get something which we need
more than we need a babysitter.
The members can devise some guidelines which cover these
members' qualifications, references, and screening.
We can do a background check (including, perhaps, an
inspection of the people's police record). To learn
more about prospective members, we can have a
personal interview with them, and we can interact
with them at a meeting of the co-op members.
credit for babysitting on weekends, or during
mealtimes, or at late hours, or overnight.
- Limits on
deficit spending, so that the members do not receive
more than they give.
We need a policy for dealing with complaints
Treatment of children while they are at another
Violation of other rules.
infractions which require police involvement.
Responsibilities of the babysitters. These
responsibilities can include:
the fundamentals of child care. If we have
children of our own, we have probably had
experience with most situations which might
occur while babysitting.
Notifying the parents as soon as possible if we
have to cancel our agreement to babysit on a
Responsibilities of the parents. These
responsibilities can include:
miscellaneous information about the child: his
or her habits, quirks, bedtime, etc.
the sitter about the child's problems: medical,
emotional, disciplinary, etc. A child who is
very sick should probably not be left with a
the sitter where to contact us. We can also
offer the phone number of our doctor, and other
services (e.g., fire department, police
Returning to pick up our kids at the time when
we said that we would return.
Providing for the child's material needs: food,
the sitter at least 24 hours in advance.