How should I set up childcare for my LIFEGroup?
As a LIFEGroup Leader, it’s important to set up a child care system that works efficiently with as little headache as possible. There are several ways to do this, but this page will explain the method most LIFEGroups use. While these details have been battle-tested for safety and efficiency, what matters most is that the system you use works great for your LIFEGroup!
- If no one in your LIFEGroup has a teenager old enough or willing to babysit, you can request a current listing of babysitters who have registered with Fellowship of the Parks by emailing LIFEGroups@fellowshipoftheparks.com. These potential sitters have each filled out a form providing their contact information, availability, certifications, and experience. All sitters over 18 have a completed background check on file with the church. You are also welcome to employ any contacts you know and trust personally.
- Ask for a weekly commitment up front from your babysitter. It’s always a good idea to have a list of back up options in case your primary babysitter is unwell or unable to work (ask for 24-48 hours’ notice to allow time to find the replacement).
- It will benefit you to lay down some basic ground rules with your babysitters, such as no cell phone use while watching the kids.
- At your request, Fellowship of the Parks will run a background check on any adult who provides babysitting care to LIFEGroups. Contact LIFEGroups@fellowshipoftheparks.com for assistance.
Fellowship of the Parks suggests the following child-to-babysitter ratios. This is still largely based on your comfort level and confidence with your babysitter.
- Infants/Crawlers: 4 children per babysitter
- Toddlers/Two’s: 6 children per babysitter
- Three-Five’s: 8 children per babysitter
- Older Children: 12 children per babysitter
- It’s important to know that LIFEGroups (and great discussions at LIFEGroup) is extremely important to your relationship with God. Because of this, if the cost of childcare is difficult for you and your LIFEGroup members, we encourage you to factor this cost into your tithe.
- Generally, $3-5 per child is acceptable (per week) for 90 minutes of supervision
- If multiple babysitters are working (meaning the number of kids to watch is high), you can split the “pot” evenly between the two, aiming to give each babysitter a $15 minimum payment for approximately 90 minutes.
- Decide whether parents will pay weekly or if you will have them prepay for the entire semester. Prepaying will increase their commitment to the LIFEGroup and offer a flat weekly amount to the caregiver. We recommend still paying the caregiver weekly, however, and any unused money at the end of the semester can be used either for a social night for the group, or to get a small gift for your sitter.