Last week The Social Impact Lab hosted a virtual workshop on How to Create a Childcare Collective.

Collectives or babysitting swaps/co-ops” are small groups of parents that help each other out. 🙏 Parents exchange time caring for each other’s children, which could look like hosting playdates or tutoring sessions at each other’s houses, doing fun arts & crafts, or maybe even meal prepping. Parents in a collective agree on what the rules are and how they will keep track of the time exchanged 🤝 They also get together once in a while for fun!

Here is how you can get your collective started in three easy steps:

1. Find other families. Think about people that you already know and trust in your community, they are a great place to start building your collective. Maybe there are some parents that you see at school during drop-off or at afterschool activities? Or maybe there are neighbours that you see on your walks?

2. Make a plan.  Get together with the other families to discuss how your collective will work. You can do this safely in person or online. Your first meeting may just be about getting to know the other parents, this is very important for building trust in your group. Choose one person to ‘manage’ or keep track of everything.

3. Test it out. Start swapping with the other families and test out your plan.  Things will not go perfectly at the start, but the important thing is that you try and take to each other regularly about what is working and not working well.

Here is the full video of the workshop that you can watch to get more information on collectives and some advice:

If you are interested in additional resources, join a network of parents supporting parents, or getting connected with a volunteer to answer your questions please let us know!

You can reach out to Lily Lo at lily.lo@thesocialimpactlab.com or call Erika at 403-852-9573.