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In the past couple of decades, a lot of parents have relied on the services of babysitters when it comes to handling their childcare needs. Working parents who are too busy to look after their kids will usually look for a nanny or a babysitter to take care of the children while they are away. Although this is a method that is widely accepted as practical and efficient, times are quickly changing and new child-sitting alternatives are starting to surface. With the current economy causing an uncontrollable increase in the costs of babysitting, hiring a babysitter to take care of the kids might not be a wise decision anymore.

Unknown to many, there is a cost-efficient alternative to hiring a babysitter that parents can actually take advantage of. Known as babysitting cooperatives, these community-based childcare groups can actually eliminate the cost of babysitting through a system of sitting exchange. For those who aren't familiar with babysitting cooperatives yet, it is a term used to define a group made up of parents that exchange babysitting with one another. Instead of hiring a babysitter, members of babysitting coops handle their child care needs through babysitting exchange. This helps parents save thousand of dollars a year in babysitting expenses and can even help in improving their relationship with the community.

Babysitting cooperatives work under a system of "point exchange". Babysitting points are awarded to members who do babysitting tasks and points are deducted for those who ask for babysitting services. For example, if Member A babysits the child of Member B, Member A will get babysitting points as a reward. If, in the future, Member A decides to ask for a babysitting service, she can use the babysitting points that she acquired for a free babysitting. Babysitting points cannot be bought or traded and the only way to acquire it is to perform babysitting duties. This unique approach to babysitting has been widely popular among parents because of the big amount of money that they can save using this strategy.

Joining a babysitting cooperative is very easy. If you are up to it, you can even start a babysitting coop inside your own community with close friends, neighbors and relatives as starting members. Some websites such as Sitting Around can make it easier for you to find a nearby babysitting coop and even process the application for you to become a member. With a number of people starting to adopt the idea of exchanged babysitting, this new babysitting cooperative trend might well be the accepted system of babysitting in the near future. ベビーシッター

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