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Babysitting Solutions

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To make connections in your community, and create more time for yourself, find or start a cooperative babysitting group with some other parents. You'll earn lots of babysitting time by caring for other co-op members' children. Plus, you'll have the added reassurance of knowing you're leaving your toddler with someone you can trust.

Here's how it works:

  • All co-op participants get tokens or certificates for the hours they put into caring for other members' kids.
  • You "pay" for your own babysitting needs by redeeming your tokens.

Babysitting co-ops can provide a modern-day substitute for the extended family. And they're a great source of support and security for many families. What's more, research shows that a child's sense of her own competence gets a boost when her parents have lots of connections and regular contact with other adults. Just be sure that all co-op participants share similar philosophies on discipline and have the same basic expectations for care. 


 
 
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Is it time to choose day care for your baby? Feel free to take your time as you visit each setting, and to ask lots of questions. We also suggest checking on the licensing and the staff-to-child ratio at each facility. Get more tips.
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Baby-sitters are like precious gems. We talk about them in excited but hushed tones, and are sometimes reluctant to share the best of them, even with our friends. A baby-sitter provides two things that parents value the most: time and peace of mind. In many communities, a good baby-sitter finds herself (they are still mostly female) in a seller's market. She can pick and choose her clients, sometimes driving up the price but also letting clients know her preferences for gourmet pizza and premium ice cream. It's a job that can take a surprising amount of maturity. Still, some 12-year-olds can cope with a crying toddler better than some college students. Having years of practice with younger siblings seems to provide a considerable advantage—especially if the baby-sitter is watching two children. So how can you find and keep
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