This babysitting co-op is a family co-op. Dads and moms sit, report hours, record hours, and attend the semi-annual meetings. Two social events per year are planned; one in the summer with children and one in the winter without children.
The co-op is for sitting any time of the day or evening, Monday through Sunday, for doctor appointments, golfing, parents' night out, shopping, etc. Sitting is not particularly for working on a regular basis, since hours can accumulate very quickly and it can be difficult to make them up. (Gadding cannot exceed 25 hours.)
Prior planning to arrange sitting is most ideal, but last minute calling is acceptable. Just realize that it might be difficult to find someone to sit. Members should feel free to say "no" if sitting is not convenient, but realize that too many "no"s can limit future calls.
The members are responsible to publicize to other members if they need sitting hours. If a member has -5 hours they should not necessarily stop using the co-op until they sit to get more + hours, because the more a family uses the co-op the more other families call them for sits. Co-op usage varies between families and months and can range from no hours to as many as 20 hours. Members keep track of their own hours daily on a calendar and report them to the co-op secretary at the end of the month.
The secretary for the month receives one hour from each co-op member. This "payment" helps stimulate the co-op, because the secretary then tends to gad, which means other members are asked to sit.
As you consider joining, keep in mind that it is great to have so many people available to sit for you, but realize that you are also making a commitment to sit for the other members. It usually takes a while to become very active, since the existing members tend to ask certain members to sit for them out of habit. As you begin to ask different members to sit for you they will tend to then ask you to sit.