In my local area I started a babysitting club. I'm posting the rules here so that others can do the same. To start the club I printed copies of the rules, booked a space at the local community centre and called a meeting to discuss the formation of the club. We went from there, and have been successfully running for the last several years. We have given our rules to other local mums who have formed their own clubs. So, give it ago.
BABYSITTING CLUB RULES
The maximum number of members is 24, with a minimum ideally of 12 in order to operate effectively.
Available 24 hours a day 7 days a week with the exception of Christmas Day and Good Friday, subject to sitter availability.
A Secretary is appointed from among the member families for a month at a time and this role is rotated each month. With 12 members, each mum is Secretary one month every year. Unless no-one else is available any one member must not be Secretary again before all other members have taken a turn.
Informal meetings are held at least every 6 months. At the meetings we decide on a roster of Secretaries for the next 6 months, meet with any prospective members and resolve any problems.
The club runs on a points system and all records are kept in a folder which is transferred from Secretary to Secretary at the end of each month. Tables in word have been prepared and printed with names and phone numbers of members listed.
The folder includes a printed copy of the rules.
Points are gained for babysitting and used by the family requiring a babysitter. All points gained and lost, and a running tally of points, are calculated by the Secretary with a balance at the end of the month before the book is passed on to the next Secretary.
The incoming Secretary checks the tally of the previous month. The outgoing Secretary will email the tally to the email group at the end of the month. The Secretary receives a bonus of 12 points.
After receiving a phone call or email from someone requiring a sitter, the Secretary then phones or emails all families until a sitter is found. If more than one sitter is available, the family with the most debit points is appointed the sitter for that request.
The sitter then contacts the sittee to make arrangements. It is important for the sitter and the sittee to agree at the end of the contracted time, that is, when the sitter is due to arrive home, as to the number of points involved.
As soon as possible after the sit, the sitter phones or emails the Secretary to advise how many points have been gained. The Secretary then enters the points lost and gained as appropriate and calculates new tallies.
If there is an overlap of arranging sitting at the end and beginning of the month the outgoing Secretary will make sure all requests are dealt with before handing over the book.
The sittee is required to leave a light supper (biscuits, tea/coffee), pillow, blanket, contact numbers and details of where they are going and estimated time of return and any specific information necessary eg baby has a bottle at 10 pm, children to be in bed by 8 pm. Etc
The sittee will leave emergency information. This includes, exits from the home, contact details of someone to be contacted if parents cannot be contacted, family doctor, allergies.
All sitting is to be done in the home of the sittee, unless otherwise agreed to mutually.
Points are awarded for sitting according to the convenience/ inconvenience of the time.
7pm to midnight – 4 points per hour
Midnight to 2am – 8 pph
2am to 8am – 12 pph
8am to 4pm – 4 pph
4pm to 7pm – 8 pph
Points are calculated to the nearest 15 minutes
Maximum points for and against at any time are limited to 60 except in exceptional circumstances. (for example, new baby, illness, moving house or other major disruption) That is, if you are in debt by 60 points or so you need to sit for someone else before you can use the club again.
When a family expects to leave the club all debits are expected to be worked off.
New members are to be nominated and endorsed by existing members who have known them for 12 months so that everyone feels confident with prospective sitters. Unless otherwise agreed to, it is expected that the female parent will baby-sit. Picnics will be held from time to time to allow families to meet and mothers’ dinners will also be arranged
Between three days and three weeks notice should be given to the Secretary when booking a sit. If a club member needs a sitter at the last moment she is to obtain current contact information from the Secretary and arrange the sit herself.
If you need to cancel a sit you must ring the Secretary and the sitter. Points for two hours will be charged to any member who cancels a sit with less than 24 hours notice. A cancelled sit will not be considered use of the club. If a sitter needs to cancel she should phone around to find a replacement. If no replacement is found the proposed sittee gains the first two hours bonus points.
Young children must be ready for bed when the sitter arrives for an evening sit. Unless agreed to mutually in advance.
The sitter is expected to interact with the children if they are awake.
Sitters are to arrange their own transport to and from the sit. The sitter has to be escorted to her car after the sit. Members should ensure that the sitter has driven away before closing the front door.
A sitter may bring her children to the babysitting job according to the time of day, eg babies under 12 months allowed for night sits, older children allowed for day time sits.
A sitter is to breastfeed no children other than her own.
It is acceptable for a sitter to fall asleep if the children are asleep.
The group email for the Babysitting Club is not to be used for purposes other than the Babysitting Club.
Rather than form a committee to resolve disputes, we agree to discuss and resolve them at informal gatherings of members, eg dinners.
We agree not to sign waivers re liability or run checks on members but to trust each other with the care of our children. We agree that all decisions of safety or appropriateness of any situation rests with the mothers involved.
Names, addresses and other family details are to remain strictly within the babysitting club unless consent is given by individual members to release these details to another party.
New members will start with a balance of 12 points.