Babysitting co-op helps busy moms save money

By Lauren Lowrey - bio | email

Posted by Kate Oatis - email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - The struggles of being a single mom motivated Sheena Terry to create a co-op composed of mothers who provide free babysitting for each other. Until a few years ago she worked three jobs and went to school full-time, all while raising her infant daughter.

"It was hard," Terry says. "This is for everybody, all the moms. It doesn't matter if you're a stay-at-home mom, if you're married, if you're divorced, if you're working, if you're a student. It's meant for everybody that's got kids."

The process is facilitated on, a sort of appointment book that gives people access to schedules from the other moms in the group.

Here's how it works:

Instead of giving cash for babysitting services, you trade time in points. Every 15 min. is worth one point; one hour is worth four points. You earn points when you babysit someone else's children, and you spend points when someone babysits for you. It's your job to keep a zero or positive balance at the end of each month.

Right now, Terry is holding open registration for two groups: one serving northwest Ohio and one serving southeast Michigan.

The babysitting is free, but there is an annual fee of $8.95 for use of the website where all the scheduling is done.

The Toledo group will have a registration meeting on Sat., Sept. 19. You must attend to be a part of the group. Call Sheena Terry at 734.659.6008 for more information.

A registration event for the Monroe group hasn't been set yet.

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