Our Babysitting Co-op is a group of families who share babysitting so that parents may go out for a date night, run errands, or get things done at home without paying a babysitter.
Many, although not all of our members, participate in the babysitting co-op. (You must be an active Fort Collins Families member to join the babysitting co-op, but you do not have to participate in the co-op to be in Fort Collins Families.) Each family takes turns hosting drop offs (or co-hosting at someone’s home) and, in exchange, they are able to take their children to other members’ drop offs. The most popular drop-off times for the babysitting co-op are Saturday nights from 5-9 p.m. There are also drop offs during the week (mornings or evenings) that members or groups of members work out on an individual basis. The co-op is free and open to all members of Fort Collins Families.
Joining the Babysitting Co-Op
To join our babysitting co-op, you must:
- Be an active member of Fort Collins Families
- Sign a “Release of Liability” form
- Fill out a“Family/House information sheet” with information about your home and children
- Have a current co-op member complete a home visit
- Visit a drop-off event to make sure that it will work for your children
New members receive 4 tokens for joining the co-0p (each token is good for one child for a 4-hour drop-off event). In order to participate in the drop offs, you will need to host or co-host at least 1 drop off each trimester. If a drop off is cancelled due to an emergency or illness, the host must schedule another one in that trimester or host an additional drop off in the following trimester.
Drop off Hosts Must:
- Maintain a 4-1 ratio of caregiver to child. (That means that if you and your partner/spouse are watching together, you can have 8 children including your own). There can be no more than 2 babies per drop off; babies must be able to sit up on their own to participate in a drop-off.
- Inform participants ahead of time of any activities planned (play outside, crafts, etc.)
- Isolate age-appropriate crafts/activities. If your group consists of several age groups please isolate the younger and older ones from each other when doing crafts.
- The Host is responsible for ensuring that they have a Co-op Member Information Sheet (available for download in Big Tent) for all children coming to the drop-off.
At the drop offs
- Children should be free of fever for 24 hours prior to drop off, and not have any persistent cough, profuse or discolored nose discharge.
- Inform Host/Co-host of any current day-to-day, special needs your child may have every time you drop off. (i.e. Allergies, etc.)
- Label and provide any necessary items for the drop off (diapers, cups/bottles, sunscreen, etc.)
- Hosts will provide a meal for all the children unless there are dietary restrictions or the child is too young to eat what is being served. In that case, parents need to send dinner for their child.
- Please cancel your RSVP AND call the host if your child is ill on drop off day and cannot attend. If you do not show up for your scheduled drop off without calling to cancel (prefer at least 24 hours notice so that space can be filled) you will still be responsible for paying your token(s) to the host.
- No swimming, trampoline play, smoking, wrestling or leaving the host’s premises is allowed unless specifically asked to each mother in advance. This is both for safety and liability purposes.