A babysitting cooperative is a group of families who exchange childcare. The co-op usually provides some mechanism for keeping track of hours of babysitting accumulated or used. Parents save money they might otherwise pay babysitters, and can have reasonable confidence that their children are cared for by other experienced parents.
A babysitting co-op in the town where we used to live had been in existence for nearly 15 years when we first joined, and during that time has developed stable structures and rules that keep it going, even though almost all of the original families have now been replaced by new families. If you are interested in setting up a co-op in your area, you might find some of the information below useful. Some fledgling co-ops have asked if they can use the material either directly or take it and modify it for their own use. I asked that question at a semi-annual meeting when we were still members and the answer was yes. If you wish to give credit to us, please credit "Westside Babysitting Cooperative." Though I posted this material, I'm not really the author. Note also that the permission to use materials from this site does not extend to the other sites I've provided links for below. Please pay attention to any copyright restrictions they note on their own sites.