UMass Amherst

Babysitting Options and Child Care Co-op for Graduate Families

Babysitting and Childcare Share Co-op Options

Many options exist for families looking for babysitting services or to exchange childcare with other families in the community. An example is, a babysitting exchange or co-op which provides families the opportunity to swap childcare without payment for services. This model is beneficial to families in three ways: 1) children have the opportunity to play with other children, 2) families in need of childcare receive it without spending money, 3) and, lastly, both parent and child connect with other families building family-to-family peer support.

All UMASS Families:

If you are interested in hiring a babysitter for your child(ren), the UMASS Student Employment Office can take a job posting for your household. Click here to post a babysitting job under “Employer Links”. Other options for finding a sitter include registering your need at the employment offices of local colleges and high schools.

Before leaving your child in the care of someone else, it is important to have a clear idea of your family’s care needs, as well as, clear of expectations for your care provider. There are many online sources that provide you with sitter guidelines. The checklist provided by the University of Michigan is especially helpful.

Families desiring more thorough background checks may choose to request a criminal background check of the potential sitter through the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) system.

Babysitter Exchange is a free online service that lets parents network with other parents to share childcare. This site is open to anyone, but requires you to act as a “team leader” in order to find others interested in joining your community.

Graduate Student Families:

For graduate student families: balancing the time and cost of graduate school with parenting responsibilities can be daunting.

In recognition of this challenge, the Office of Family Resources (OFR) has set up a childcare cooperative for UMass graduate students with children, thus allowing for graduate student parents to share part-time childcare at no cost. OFR has contracted with Care.com to provide this no-cost childcare alternative for graduate student families. To access the cooperative database, sign up and create an account at umass.care.care. For additional information, contact ofr@stuaf.umass.edu.

Faculty Households Only:

The Office of Faculty Development offers faculty free trial membership with Sittercity: an online childcare-finding service. In addition to babysitting services, Sittercity can connect you with services for elder parents and other family members in need of care, house sitters, pet sitters and tutors

Faculty and Staff:

Care.com helps connect employees with qualified, vetted caregivers when there is a gap in a family’s regular childcare or adult care routine. Caregivers are available day and night, seven days a week, on weekends, Monday holidays, vacations and for overtime needs. Caregivers are also available when a child or adult is ill, or overnight during a business trip. To learn more about Care.com options for UMASS employees, visit https://www.umass.edu/humres/employee-discount


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Babysitter Type Experience Start Date End Date
matt jplNoDHwjhEzdtUa
Canceled: Sep 30, 2014
Parent Seeking Sitter 0 Years Jan 2014 Jan 2014
matt jplNoDHwjhEzdtUa
Canceled: Sep 27, 2014
Parent Seeking Sitter 0 Years Oct 2014 Oct 2014
matt jplNoDHwjhEzdtUa
Canceled: Sep 17, 2014
Parent Seeking Sitter 2 Years Sep 2014 Sep 2015