The Babysitting Club
by Debra L. Karplus
When our children were young, like other families, we had little money to spend for a babysitter. Sometimes, we wanted to go out to a movie or enjoy some quiet time without children. To save money, our family organized a babysitting club with seven other families who had children of the same age. Every month, each family selected a Friday or Saturday night to be the host house. Hosting involved opening your home from seven o’clock in the evening until eight o’clock the next morning to anyone in the club who wanted to drop off their children. The guests could stay the entire eleven hours, or just part of the time. The hosting family provided a healthy evening snack, a safe place for the children to sleep, and a nourishing breakfast. No advance commitment was required to use the babysitting club.
The convenience of not having to search for a competent, available babysitter each weekend, in addition to the money saved on a babysitter was just one of many benefits of being in the babysitting club. Also, the children were in a safe home with responsible adults. The children felt comfortable with each other and many friendships between the children and also their parents, evolved from the baby sitting club. We remained members of the babysitting club for several years until our children were old enough to stay home without an adult.