Babysitting Tips for Single Parents who are Dating

Babysitting tips for single parents dating

Babysitting World recognizes the fact that not all parents are married. Many single parents date. Therefore, we decided to publish this article on babysitting tips for single parents dating.

Who Picks up the Tab?

Most single parents find babysitting expenses to be more than they can handle on a single income. The idea of having the woman’s date pick up the tab for the babysitter has been suggested by some and rejected by others. If money is not an object for the man and he truly doesn’t mind paying, accepting graciously isn’t a crime. Many believe if the man is picking up the tab for the night out, then the woman should be responsible for covering her own childcare expenses. If she can’t afford to pay a babysitter, there are still other options for child care coverage.

Trade Babysitting

First, she could find someone in a similar situation and trade babysitting. When she has a date, the other single parent babysits. When that parent has a date, she babysits. This can be beneficial to all involved, but the parents agreeing to this type of shared child care need to be sure that they have an equitable arrangement. Consider a situation where one parent only has one child but the parent she’s agreed to trade babysitting with has three children. It would be tough to trade childcare fairly.

Join a Babysitting Co-op

Similar to trading babysitting is joining or starting a babysitting cooperative. In a co-op, parents earn points for babysitting another parent’s children in the group. Points earned depends on the number of children and the number of hours they care for them. The parents take turns acting as the secretary keeping track of the number of babysitting hours earned and used by all parents in the group. Sometimes, they even earn points for their turn at being secretary. Each parent is able to redeem points for babysitting services performed by another parent in the group.

More Babysitting Tips for Single Parents Dating

Trade Services

Parents can also trade other services for babysitting. Services performed by hair stylists, seamstresses, singers, musicians, housekeepers, pet sitters, and tutors are great for trading. Haircuts, clothing alterations, music lessons and many other services can be costly so they are often perfect services to trade for babysitting. Before thinking you can’t go out because you can’t afford a babysitter, consider what talents or skills you possess that could be exchanged for a few hours of childcare.

Bring the Kids along

Another option is to bring the children along, if this is mutually agreeable. This option should only be used occasionally. Adults need time to themselves, especially in a new relationship. Also, the additional cost for the children to accompany the couple to dinner or a movie may be close to or even equal to the cost of a sitter. Babysitting tips for single parents dating don’t end here.  Read on for a couple of other ideas.

Make an Offer

If either person has a membership to an online babysitting service, post a job with the amount you can afford to pay.  Although a sitter might have posted her rate as $15.00 per hour, she might accept the job for $9.00 per hour rather than not get paid at all.  Many people would rather get paid something than nothing unless they have something better to do.  Post the job and see what happens!

Double up and Split the Bill

If both adults are single parents, they may consider leaving all the children at either house and splitting the cost of one babysitter. There are several different options for single parents who need childcare, and all should be exhausted before turning down a date for lack of a babysitter or the funds to pay one. It isn’t a crime for a parent to go out once in a while if their children are being properly cared for. Everyone deserves a break now and then!

*Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at