UMass Amherst

Babysitting Options and Child Care Co-op for Graduate Families

Babysitting and Childcare Share Co-op Options

Any family looking for local babysitting services may advertise with the UMASS Student Employment Office. Visit to post a babysitting job under “Employer Links”.

Alternative options for finding a sitter include advertising at the employment offices of other local colleges and area high schools. Many libraries and YMCAs offer babysitter training programs, and they too can be contacted for assistance.

Reminder: 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 expectations for your care provider. There are many online sources that can provide you with sitter guidelines. Although we do not recommend any one site, we do think that the fact sheet prepared by the University of Michigan is particularly helpful. To access that fact sheet, visit:

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

On-Line Babysitter Exchange

BabysitterExchange is a free online service that lets parents network with other parents to share childcare. This site is open to anyone, however it requires you to act as a “team leader” in order to find others interested in joining your caregiving community. The Office of Family Resources has no relationship with this service and does not provide support for interested users of the site. Visit for details. Child Care Co-op for Graduate Families

For graduate student families, balancing the time and cost of school with parenting responsibilities can be daunting. In recognition of this challenge, the Office of Family Resources (OFR) has solicited special funding to support the set up of a childcare cooperative just for UMASS-Amherst graduate students with children.

The Co-op, administered by, allows graduate student parents the opportunity to share part-time childcare at no cost. To access the cooperative database, sign up and create an account:

  1. Visit Click "Join Now" and complete the enrollment form.

  2. Click on the header "Children" at the top of the screen, and select " Co-Ops." Then, click "Find a co-op near you" and search for UMASS with zip 01003.

  3. Request to join the group and get started! (A point system has been put in place to ensure that families give and receive care evenly. You are awarded 5 points to start, and will pay 1 point each time another family sits for you, and vice versa.)

  4. Visit "Group Settings" to review the Co-Op Charter which provides guidelines and suggestions for using the service.

If you have questions or concerns about the Co-op, please contact us at: This is a new program and your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Babysitting and Home Care Options Especially for Faculty

The UMASS Office of Faculty Development offers faculty a FREE trial membership with Sittercity: an online childcare-finding service. In addition to babysitting services, Sittercity can also connect you with other home-based support. For instance, assistance with elder parents and other family members in need of care, pet sitting and tutoring services.

Babysitting Options for Both Faculty and Staff

The UMASS Human Resources department has contracted with to 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 options including pricing information, visit