Trading child care services can be a huge money saver for families needing child care but who can’t afford a daycare center or private nanny. It can be a formal agreement with rules and a point system like a babysitting cooperative has, or it can be as informal as a couple of friends alternating caring for each other’s children. Either way, it is a great child care solution.
Trading services works best for parents that work part time. Usually it is friends or relatives that trade child care services, but many people have met new friends through searching for a partner to trade child care services with. It works especially well when the children are close in age and the parents share similar parenting styles and beliefs about diet, TV viewing, and discipline.
This childcare solution may also be used for just part of the time. Perhaps a parent can afford daycare, a babysitter, or a nanny for three days per week but needs child care solutions for the other two days. It would probably be easier to trade two days of childcare rather than five.
Some parents use creative child care solutions like trading other services in exchange for child care service. For example, if a parent is a hair stylist, she could give free haircuts in exchange for several hours of babysitting. A seamstress could mend clothes or tailor a suit in exchange for some child care. A landscaper could be owed many hours of free childcare in exchange for mowing and manicuring a person’s lawn. But these exchanges are for short term or occasional babysitting needs. For long term needs, trading childcare for childcare with another working parent works best!