Finding a Babysitter: A Five Year-Old’s Perpsective

Last week, I was working on a SittingAround flyer that could be distributed easily to coops around the country, making it easier to find and recruit new families. Putting flyers in places families frequent (coffee shops, playgrounds, community centers, etc.) is a great way to gain visibility in your neighborhood and let other families know there is a coop nearby!

My five year old son, Gavin, saw me hard at work and asked what I was doing. “I’m designing flyers for SittingAround,” I told him.

“I can help,” he said and ran off.

An hour or so later, he emerged with 15 flyers that he had made himself, advertising SittingAround. My heart nearly broke with how sweet they were. I took a few pictures to share the work of my budding entrepreneur and wonderful little guy:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The real flyers arrived a few days ago, and I was worried he would be hurt I didn’t mass produce his version. Instead, he kept saying how much he loved the flyers and wanted to help put them up. So we went coffee shop to pizza place, eating our way across town and putting up flyers as we went.

I’m super lucky to have such a wonderful little helper :).


Lack of Daycare Hits European Families Hard

These are the kinds of stories that break our hearts.

In the past few days, a number of articles have popped up in newspapers worldwide analyzing the rising cost and dwindling availability of childcare. Reports from the United Kingdom lament the fact that the cost of nannies and daycare centers have forced a growing number of families to have one parent leave the workforce to stay at home with the children. Sadly, in Germany, in addition to facing the same rising costs as the UK, parents are facing a childcare and early education crisis that is affecting more than just incomes.

An article published earlier this year explains how the fall of the Berlin Wall led to an influx in the number of children vying for spots in state-assisted childcare centers. As a result, soaring costs and limited availability (about 23% of children under 3 yo are in daycare, despite a much greater demand for it) are making it so difficult for parents to balance work and home that the birthrate has actually declined in the last 10 years and the trend is expected to continue.

The whole driving force behind is our desire to help improve the situation of parents everywhere, so of course we find it sad to think that a lack of balance may be causing people to delay or forgo having children. One proposed solution to the problem is an advance akin to a student loan (as if parents need to pay a college tuition twice!) and there have also been rumblings in the UK about changing the laws to give parents more discretion concerning childcare, which will hopefully increase options. In any case, it will certainly be interesting to see how these countries will look to solve the childcare cost/availability issue in the future and we’ll be keeping our fingers cross for affected parents during this stressful time.