Coop Start-Up Kit
This is what you’ll need to get your coop up and running. Additional information on each step can be found below.
Signup for a new account at SittingAround. All you need is an email address. Once you've created your account, you're ready to start your own coop.
Create a Coop
After you have created an account, you will notice there is a link to start a coop in the top navigation bar. Enter a few pieces of basic information about your new coop - name, location, description, etc. - and your coop will be created. As the creator, you will automatically be the coop Moderator.
Bylaws are a fancy way of saying rules. It’s important to develop a set of bylaws because as your coop grows, you can use the bylaws to explain to new members how your coop works. Further, a clear set of rules will help to reduce disputes between members. So what should you include in your bylaws? At a minimum, you should have:
- Points rules
- Eligibility requirements
- Join process
- Dispute resolution
You can use our sample bylaws to get started. These are meant to provide guidance only. You should create the bylaws that work for your particular coop.
Draft New Member Agreement
In addition to a great set of bylaws, you’ll also want to have a short and sweet member agreement that all new entrants to your coop sign. The new member agreement is where the member acknowledges that she or he read and agrees to the bylaws. Think of it as an acceptance of the “Terms of Service” of your coop. New member agreements typically call out the most important rules of the coop.
Invite Other Parents
Introduce your babysitting coop to other parents and invite them to join. From the "My Coop" page, you can send invitations directly to whomever you choose. The parents you invite could be from your parenting group, a school or daycare, a religious organization, or just friends in your neighborhood. Most parents, on learning about coops, have an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response.
An easy way to introduce your coop to other parents is by putting a flyer on your school or local community bulletin board. Many PTOs are also happy to promote your coop in their newsletter or at their regular meetings. Reach out to them and ask. Want some SittingAround flyers to distribute? Download a flyer in color or download a flyer in black and white.
Hold a Kickoff Meeting
The purpose of a coop kickoff meeting is to make sure everyone is on the same page right out of the gates. This meeting is especially important if not all members know each other. During the kickoff, you should introduce the coop and discuss your vision for it. Be sure to save time at the end for socializing amongst members.
Register Coop Members for SittingAround
Make sure that all of your coop members have signed up for SittingAround AND have requested to join your new coop. You will need to approve these requests before they can join. Once their account is created and their request to join approved, they are all set.
You've got an account, you've got a coop, and you've got other members. Now all you need to do is create your first sit request and start enjoying the benefits.